Suggestions for a TV Tuner card that does decent HD via antenna? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-31-2012, 06:01 PM - Thread Starter
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Need a little help here, looking for a basic TV Tuner card to use with an antenna for SD and HD broadcasts linked to a JVC projector. Most of the Hauppage cards get pretty mixed reviews on Newegg.

Any suggestions for a good quality card that has basic recording (or us WMC) and a good quality HD image? Prefer PCI over PCI-E because of space in my HTPC.

Cheers.

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post #2 of 15 Old 07-31-2012, 07:28 PM
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Hauppage is one of if not the best brand for OTA tuners. Newegg reviews are kind of hit and miss. The dual pci tuner has one review with 2 stars. But its because it doesn't come with WinTV and FM radio. Who cares.

If you want dual tuners on pci you are pretty limited. Only the one on newegg. One tuner sucks because if you are recording you can't change the channel.

I have the avermedia Duet. But its PCI express. Its been good to me though.Had some issues with it in a intel 775 system but its been great in my i3 htpc. Some
people don't quite understand how tv tuners work which I think is why the newegg reviews are all over the place.

You can also look at the HDhomerun. Not the prime but the old one. Its a dual OTA networked tuner. You plug it into your router and all PC's on your Lan can access the tuners.
Only thing is that brings in another possible problem in that the signal is transmitted over your network. Instead of being internal.
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post #3 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 12:23 AM
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I read reviews of both the Hauppage and the AVerMedia Duet PCIe cards. Neither was great but I went with the Duet because it was a lot cheaper. I got it for $65 from Walmart online with free delivery to store. I figured if it did not work it would be easy to return. I've only had it a couple months but it works great. I got the white box version which everyone seems to recommend. I wanted to get a second one now but am finding it difficult to get a good price & it is N/A from Newegg or Walmart anymore. I called AVerMedia & they said the white box version has been discontinued & don't know what if anything will replace it.
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post #4 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 12:32 AM
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Yeah I noticed the only one on newegg is like 80 bucks. I got mine as an open box on newegg for 35.
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post #5 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 05:33 AM - Thread Starter
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The thing that concerns me is the comments that it's "not HD resolution" on some of these cards, is that just user centric blah blah?

Im blowing up to a 100" screen so I'm after something decent. Problem also is I've only got a PCI slot free and one PCI-e but in that slot the card would have to be a small one or it'll. Rash into the RAM. frown.gif
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post #6 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 06:07 AM
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Tuner 101: Whether the broadcast is HD or not depends on the local affiliate. In the US the new OTA standard is the digital ATSC with a few low power exceptions remaining in NTSC. What you want for OTA is an ATSC tuner. That said, the tuner tunes and the resolution is broadcaster dependant. Your PC will display at a constant resolution based on your desktop (video card) settings, scaling all material as required.

IF you want to use the PCI slot I highly recommend the OLD Hauppauge 1600. It's a combo ATSC/NTSC card but would do fine in the PCI. Since you really don't have a need for NTSC the HDHomeRun is a top recommendation as it's a dual tuner and uses your LAN to connect to the PC and is fully WMC supported.

Oh, and if you use the PCI-e I second the Duet suggestion - it's an excellent dual-tuner ATSC card and it's short (in length)... you never mentioned whether your PC is Low-Profile or full height.
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post #7 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 09:44 AM
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I've been using the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 and have had no problems. Dual tuner is the way to go and also has a external input for
the mpeg-2 encoder if you should ever want to capture video say from a VCR or camcorder. Only snag I had was setting up the IR receiver as
I purchased the package with remote. My equipment is behind me and placing the receiver by my screen was about a 26ft run. The IR jack
on the 2250 is a smaller jack to use with my IR connecting block and as I remember it might be proprietary to Hauppauge. (Check with Hauppauge if this applies to you) and a extension cable was as I remember about $40.00. I ended up using Windows Media Center remote
with USB IR receiver and a USB extension cable which was cheaper than the extension cable for Hauppauge cable. Windows Media Center
Remote will control the Hauppauge. I am not using any set top box just Antenna.
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post #8 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 09:49 AM
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I have been using $20 Magyca USB tuners from Meritline, and they are pretty decent for the price. I have 4 of them, and they play nicely together in WMC7.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #9 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 10:03 AM
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I wouldn't personally recommend a USB after having used both internal and USB. The USB tuner was painfully slow compared to my Duet when it comes to tuning channels. Also the signal strength was not as good. It was good enough for the bedroom PC where I had it but I would be pretty irritated if that was in my living room.
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post #10 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 10:08 AM
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The Duet is great reception wise, and it's quite a lot cheaper than the 2250 (sometimes you can get it for ~$50).

But there is one issue that it may "disappear" at times after sleep/resume. You either have this problem or you don't, meaning it is related to certain system configurations. I never had this issue (having used the card for a couple of years now) until recently, when I upgraded to an Ivy Bridge system. Luckily I could work-around it by moving it into another pcix slot, where the problem does not reproduce.
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post #11 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 10:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66 View Post

The Duet is great reception wise, and it's quite a lot cheaper than the 2250 (sometimes you can get it for ~$50).
But there is one issue that it may "disappear" at times after sleep/resume. You either have this problem or you don't, meaning it is related to certain system configurations. I never had this issue (having used the card for a couple of years now) until recently, when I upgraded to an Ivy Bridge system. Luckily I could work-around it by moving it into another pcix slot, where the problem does not reproduce.
Yes this is the strange part. When I got mine most people raved about it but there were plenty who said it was junk.

I had mine in an Intel 775 system with an E3300. Had all kinds of issues not detecting etc. RMA'd it and still had problems. But its been perfect ever since I got my i3 system. Really weird not sure what the deal was.
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post #12 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 10:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by whiteboy714 View Post

Yes this is the strange part. When I got mine most people raved about it but there were plenty who said it was junk.
I had mine in an Intel 775 system with an E3300. Had all kinds of issues not detecting etc. RMA'd it and still had problems. But its been perfect ever since I got my i3 system. Really weird not sure what the deal was.
Yes, it is strange. And there doesn't seem to be an official explanation, or a fix for this issue from Avermedia. In my case I saw the problem in one of the x1 slots where I put it initially, and I was already ready to get rid of the card (and replace it with a 2250…), but then I thought why not try to move it to the x16 slot. And that worked fine.
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post #13 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 01:13 PM
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I too heard about the Duet disappearing act. Some comments were it might be an older card & newer ones were better. Or it only happens with AMD CPUs. Obviously that doesn't seem to be the case. But that is one reason I bought mine from Walmart online. And they were as cheap as Amazon & IIRC cheaper than Newegg. Also most comments I read said the Duet had a more sensitive tuner than the Hauppage.
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post #14 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 06:51 PM
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I've been using two Hauppauge 2250's for several years in WMC with excellent results. Never had a single problem with either of them. I've also used several USB tuners in the past with mixed results. The biggest issue I had was having them drop off line without warning, regardless of the make or model. Otherwise, I got pretty good results from each one I tried (Hauppauge 950, HP USB tuner, V-Box USB-A-3560, and On-Air USB HDTV). One issue was that the external hubs kept getting disconnected for some reason, requiring me to rerun setup in either Media Center or BeyondTV.
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post #15 of 15 Old 08-01-2012, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

Tuner 101: Whether the broadcast is HD or not depends on the local affiliate. In the US the new OTA standard is the digital ATSC with a few low power exceptions remaining in NTSC. What you want for OTA is an ATSC tuner. That said, the tuner tunes and the resolution is broadcaster dependant. Your PC will display at a constant resolution based on your desktop (video card) settings, scaling all material as required.
IF you want to use the PCI slot I highly recommend the OLD Hauppauge 1600. It's a combo ATSC/NTSC card but would do fine in the PCI. Since you really don't have a need for NTSC the HDHomeRun is a top recommendation as it's a dual tuner and uses your LAN to connect to the PC and is fully WMC supported.
Oh, and if you use the PCI-e I second the Duet suggestion - it's an excellent dual-tuner ATSC card and it's short (in length)... you never mentioned whether your PC is Low-Profile or full height.

i understand the broadcast side, i just was not sure of what processing goes on from antenna to screen through the card.

I've gone with the HDHomeRun, seems like a no brainer with ipad access etc. There's some used ones on ebay for $55 inc shipping.

Thanks for info and suggestions all, love this forum and the people that share the knowledge.
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