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Digital TV USB for my notebook


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I just recently purchased a Dell Inspiron 8600, Pentium M 2.1 with 768 MB RAM and 100 Gig HD.

Questions:

1. What is the best USB Digital TV box for my notebook? - preferably HDTV

2. I heard about the Nebula DigiTV. Any comment? When will they be out? Where can I buy them?

Thanks heaps

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By all accounts the Nebula USB 2.0 is a good product, certainly the best of what's currently available. The bundled software DigiTV is also good. The only real limitation is DxVA support for hardware assisted decoding of the video stream.

However a bunch of new DVB-T USB 2.0 devices are coming to market over the next couple of months some of which will add BDA drivers and DxVA enabled codec's to the mix...

Tough call ~ Depends on whether you are willing to wait...

There was a similar more comprehensive thread yesterday so start reading / searching

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Considering my Toshiba notebook with a Pentium4 2.0GHz can play HD fine (even chanel 9), your PentiumM 2.1GHz (similar to a Pentium4 2.8GHz) will have no problem with Nebula HDTV.

The new USB Nebula should be available soon, otherwise you could look for an old Nebula USB but they require an AC Adapter.

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Does a usb tuner like the nebula need as much pc grunt as a card?. or will it work with a lowly speed laptop for hd? - most laptops just aren't there in the speed department in comp with desktop PCs. What the min cpu speed for a usb dig tuner?

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Does a usb tuner like the nebula need as much pc grunt as a card?. or will it work with a lowly speed laptop for hd? - most laptops just aren't there in the speed department in comp with desktop PCs. What the min cpu speed for a usb dig tuner?

Hi alebonau,

Much of the grunt required is for the live decoding of the HDTV stream, hence there is basically no difference in the CPU requirements between Nebula USB and PCI.

The minimum requirement for SDTV is P3 800Mhz or equivalent, we recommend a minimum of a P4 2.4Ghz for HDTV, although some people seem to be able to manage with a bit less.

As pointed elsewhere, the main issue in relation to this, is that the Nebula software does not take advanatge of the DirectX Video Acceleration (DxVA) generally available on most modern video cards.

When Nebula relases BDA drivers you will be able to use alternative software that can take advantage of DxVA.

Cheers

Renura

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Does a usb tuner like the nebula need as much pc grunt as a card?. or will it work with a lowly speed laptop for hd? - most laptops just aren't there in the speed department in comp with desktop PCs. What the min cpu speed for a usb dig tuner?

In the case of the Nebula DigiTV product, it uses exactly the same software and decoder for the USB device and the PCI card, and therefore the required CPU grunt is the same as for the PCI card. As we say here the feedback we have received is that, as far as mobile processors go, around a Pentium-M 1.7GHz or better is required for watching 1080i HD with DigiTV on a laptop. As I've mentioned elsewhere around here today and as has been discussed plenty of other times previously, software that supports DxVA will of course give you some more CPU leeway - but only if the GPU on the laptop supports DxVA.

EDIT: <SNAP>

EDIT: Replace P4-M with Pentium-M, as discussed below

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As we say here the feedback we have received is that, as far as mobile processors go, around a P4-M 1.7GHz or better is required for watching 1080i HD with DigiTV on a laptop.

I just wanted to clarify something, since it has been mentioned in two threads now. A Pentium4-M is not the same as a Pentuim-M. It's likely that a Pentium-M 1.7GHz can properly render HTDV in DigiTV (mine can over network), while a Pentium4-M at 1.7GHz will not.

Given the same clock speed, a Pentium-M is much faster than a Pentium4 while a Pentium4-M is slightly slower than its desktop cousin.

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Your right BSS, a Pentium 4-M (which means Pentium 4 Mobile) is basically exactly the same as a Northwood Desktop Pentium 4. Both have 512KB cache.

The Pentium M is Intels newer Pentium Mobile chip, but its not really clasiffied as a Pentium 4 due to the performance difference from the extra 512KB cache it has (total 1MB cache).

Performance wise, a Pentium M 1.7GHz roughly performs about the same as a Pentium 4-M 2.4GHz - but this depends on the program running since some programs perform much better with an extra 512MB of cache.

Having more cache (which buffers RAM/Memory for the CPU using high speed memory in the CPU itself) can drastically improve memory intensive programs such as Audio+Video applications. So if you have a Celeron CPU (only has 128KB or 256KB), a 2.4GHz Celeron may have a tough time rendering 1080i HDTV.

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I just wanted to clarify something, since it has been mentioned in two threads now. A Pentium4-M is not the same as a Pentuim-M. It's likely that a Pentium-M 1.7GHz can properly render HTDV in DigiTV (mine can over network), while a Pentium4-M at 1.7GHz will not.

Oops. Yes, I made a slipup there - now corrected. Thanks for correcting me.

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Yes its sometimes tough identifying Intel's Mobile CPU naming conventions, and now its even tougher since they have renamed their whole range to 3xx, 5xx, and 7xx numbers :blink:

btw; There is a windows utility called CPU-Z which can identify any CPU's speed, stepping, cache, FSB, etc...

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The Pentium M is Intels newer Pentium Mobile chip, but its not really clasiffied as a Pentium 4 due to the performance difference from the extra 512KB cache it has (total 1MB cache).

engagdet

New Pentium M CPU, the 765, has a 2.1 Ghz clock speed, a whopping 2MB of L2 cache, and 400Mhz frontside bus speed.

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Yeah, in my opinion, the Pentium-M is the best thing to come out of Intel in a really long time. It was just discouraging for me to know that the whole Pentium-4 line of CPUs was a ploy to push up clock speeds as much as possible, at the expense of actual processing power.

I think the only thing that holds them back is the platform they run on, which isn't terrible, but it currently can't give the same sort of memory bandwidth as a desktop with dual channel PC3200 RAM.

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