View Full Version : Horsepower

01-25-2003, 08:27 PM
I'm just getting ready to dive into stream extraction. I want to extract from my DirecTivo to PC to Sony DR-500a burner. I've read and read on the different methods and software to do this. I have a question on PC computing power. I can't seem to find the minimum requirements to this successfully. Anyone help me out?

Minimum Requirements


Recommended components? Reasons why?


01-25-2003, 09:24 PM
I've never seen a minimum requirement set for extracting tystreams or authoring and burning TyDVDs. Suffice it to say that when dealing with video on a PC there are a couple of things you should consider. Get the fastest CPU and a decent amount of RAM (128MB as a minimum but more couldn't hurt). A 7200rpm hard drive is also recommended for video processing. While these are not absolute, I believe they are reasonable guidelines. My current PC consists of an Athlon XP 1600+ CPU with 512MB RAM and a 60GB 7200rpm hard drive. I'm considering a larger hard drive because video extraction can fill it up in a hurry. 7200rpm drives with large capacities seem to be the norm these days anyway and the prices are dropping all the time so there's really no reason not to get the biggest drive you can afford, as long as your BIOS can handle it.

01-25-2003, 09:43 PM
Well looks like I'll be building a different system now. I had enough parts to build a:

AMD K6-2 500mhz
128 Meg Ram
30 gig drive

I guess I can try this one out to see whats what. I haven't extracted anything yet...

Thanks captain_video for the input.


01-25-2003, 09:44 PM
using jdiner's older vsplit program on a 500 MHz Pentium-III never caused any problems with CPU or memory usage. MPEG transcoding via TMPGenc and other programs was a slow process, though. that was with 256 megabytes of PC100 SDRAM.

currently using a 1.2 GHz AMD Athlon with 512 megabytes of PC133 SDRAM, and it's not bad at all. I believe artships is still working with an 850 MHz Athlon, and i've never heard him complain too loudly (yet.) BubbleLamp recently upgraded to a newer mongo system, so he might be able to give you a bit more insight.

still, as long as you're not transcoding, anything at or better than a 1 GHz CPU with at least 256 Mb RAM (SDRAM or DDRAM, shouldn't matter *too* much) should be adequate for processing.

:eek: ooops - - almost forgot the hard disk drive. most folks have favored the 120 gigabyte drives from Maxtor and Western Digital. the Maxtor typically have a smaller cache buffer and run at 5400 RPM, and are good for expanding the TiVo itself. the Western Digital 7200 RPM Special Edition drives have an 8 megabyte cache, and are well suited for use in your PC system. with these WD drives, make sure the part number suffix is 'JB', and not 'BB'. (the BB suffix is the smaller cache.) others swear by the Seagate drives for their quieter bearings and mechanisms.

typically, you'll need several gigabytes for processing a one-hour show recorded at 'best' resolution. this would yield four FSIDs of tystream data at 512 megabytes each. next, you'd have the cut/edited MPEG data file of roughly the same size. finally, you'd have the DVD image directory including VOB, IFO, and BUP files. altogether, you'd need about 7 or 8 gigabytes from start to finish for a one hour show. even a 100 gigabyte drive will allow you to perform a good bit of editing.


shucks :D captain_video beat me to it and so did your response . . . good luck !!

01-25-2003, 11:47 PM
If you're running any 32-bit Windows (NT/W2K/XP) don't settle for less than 256MB or you'll be thrashing the swap file and performance will suck. If you need to archive files for a while before burning/editing/transcoding/whatever, get a BIG HD. I've already used up over 100GB on my 160GB drive, and I installed it a week ago. 7200RPM is needed for video authoring or DVI captures, but I don't think it's required for Tivo work.

It's like anything else, whatever is the slowest part of your chain will be the choke point.

01-26-2003, 11:48 AM
Thanks guys,

I'm going to put together the following:

AMD Athlon XP 2000+
384 Meg DDR memory
120 gig 7200rpm WD drive 8meg cache
Sony DRU-500A DVD burner

That should do it. Hopefully within the next 2 weeks I'll have extracted, authored and burned a DVD! I'll let you know how I make out. I'm sure I'll be back to ask questions...