Date Joined: 09/07/04
Pros: This is a fanless card that supports two DVI monitors with VDPAU level C support. I have two of these, one on a myth frontend end using one monitor connection and another on a workstation using two monitor connections. No problems on either one.
Cons: I did have to install the drivers from nVidia's website. The drivers that shipped with Ubuntu were too old to support this card.
Pros: Nice solid case with plenty of room and easy access to the 3.5" drives with some vibration damping built in. I bought this to duplicate another machine with an Antec case that wasn't being produced anymore; and I like this case more. Big and relatively quiet case fan. Never have trouble popping extension cards in and out.
Cons: With the drive bays all full it would be nice if the case already had a fan in the front, but I believe there is room to add one. The front drive assembly isn't as easily accessible as it could be, some Dell optiplex cases handle this better.
Overall Review: In the next generation maybe they should add a couple 2.5" slots for SSDs so adapters aren't necessary.
Pros: Inexpensive and works well to secure the drive when the case accepts it.
Cons: The clean design means it only works with the typical side screws not bottom screws.
Pros: Was able to set up three of these to get good coverage in my old brick house, bypassing the built in NAT was much simple than in other devices I've used in the past.
Cons: The only con is with the case. It doesn't stack well on top of other things and due to the translucency of the case the one in the bedroom can't be dimmed with electrical tape so I need to turn it off at night.
Pros: When these work they work.
Cons: Bought four, in less than two years, only one is left.
Pros: Good number of PCIe expansion slots. Hasn't frozen on me, everything worked out of the box, no need to update the BIOS to get going, etc.
Cons: None so far
Overall Review: I'm not trying to overclock or run anything out of spec. But looking at the BIOS it appears it could do that. I have not tried to make any power saving measures so I don't know how complete the ACPI tables are. My use case is as a development box for a video encoding machine, so I wanted something that could give me enough PCIe slots and enough CPU grunt in a cheap quad i5 to do the tasks that a i7/Xeon box is intended to do down the road with power to spare. The OS is Ubuntu 9.04, so I don't know if MS Windows requires dealing with drivers, etc.
Pros: * Supported by MythTV on Linux using pre-release versions of MythTV
* Makes beautiful recordings in well compressed MPEG-4 AVC format.
* With the latest firmware, available from the Hauppauge website, it records surround sound audio.
* Hauppauge provides great support, the first units had an overheating problem, but they handled the exchange for a non-overheating version quickly and efficiently.
Cons: * Closed captions are not supported due to DMCA restrictions and a Cable/Satellite operator decision to encrypt them. Enable captions on your STB and record the captions as open captions as a workaround.
* There is an annoyingly bright blue light in the unit, and while it can technically be turned off in software, doing so disables the fan. Easy to fix if you are handy with a soldering iron, but most people are not.
* In Linux the IR blaster is not yet supported, so you need another IR Blaster to handle channel changes. However, this may be addressed by the time you read this review.
* The MPEG-4 AVC (aka H.264) produced by the unit uses a single slice. What this means to the end user is that multiple core CPU's are of little assistance in decoding, so you need a powerful CPU to decode the stream. Note: The next MythTV release will also include nVidia VDPAU hardware decoding support, so if you have a newish nVidia video card that lowers the CPU playback requirements to nearly nothin
Overall Review: There are other vendors working on similar hardware, but by being first to market the HD-PVR has a great advantage in Linux driver support which will probably remain for years to come.