New to HTPC, Couple questions about TV Tuners and Media Centers - AVS Forum
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Old 09-14-2012, 09:39 PM - Thread Starter
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I just decided to cut the cord and kick Comcast to the curb.

I converted the desktop to be a media server, serving up OTA channels, Netflix, Hulu, and the like. I'm trying to figure out the best place to put my antenna, so I wanted to see if anyone knows of any real-time antenna signal strength tracking software that I can use to get everything worked out.

I also wanted to know of any alternatives to Windows Media Center for TV recording. I'm currently running Windows 8, and WMC won't be available for download till the end of October at the earliest. I installed MediaPortal and it seems to be working fine, except I can't figure out how to get EPG working. I'm pretty new to this, so I don't know if there are any other services that I can leverage to get the program guide working.

Any help would be awesome!
Thanks
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Old 09-15-2012, 07:55 AM
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You can use antennaweb.org and tvfool.com to locate your TV transmission towers on a map that will also show your address. This will get you started on pointing your antenna and if you are not satisfied with your antenna it will help you select an new one, (I have had good luck with Channel Master 4220, 4221 and 4228).

You did not mention which tuner you are using. I recently replace my original HDhomerun with a newer version, HDHR3 dual tuner US and it is the best tuner I have had. The HDHomerun software will give you a signal strength meter that is more descriptive than media center's. Medial Center has a signal strength meter and perhaps Win 8 will get media center.

I tried media portal years ago and did not like it and thus have never used it. Someone else will need to advise you on media portal.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:04 AM
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There's nextpvr. I haven't used it myself but just know it exists.

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Old 09-15-2012, 10:25 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Postmoderndesign View Post

You can use antennaweb.org and tvfool.com to locate your TV transmission towers on a map that will also show your address. This will get you started on pointing your antenna and if you are not satisfied with your antenna it will help you select an new one, (I have had good luck with Channel Master 4220, 4221 and 4228).
You did not mention which tuner you are using. I recently replace my original HDhomerun with a newer version, HDHR3 dual tuner US and it is the best tuner I have had. The HDHomerun software will give you a signal strength meter that is more descriptive than media center's. Medial Center has a signal strength meter and perhaps Win 8 will get media center.
I tried media portal years ago and did not like it and thus have never used it. Someone else will need to advise you on media portal.

Thanks! My tuner is the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250. I've had pretty good success with it so far. My antenna is this one:
http://www.amazon.com/Paper-Thin-Leaf-Indoor-Antenna/dp/B004QK7HI8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1347726307&sr=8-1&keywords=tv+antenna

I'll try out your suggestions and post back any issues.

Thanks!
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:19 PM
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I also tried doing just over the for a few months and gave up. Digital OTA channels are very directional and if one is not coming in the same direction as others you will not get good reception. I went back and got a cable card with a Ceton. I would go to antennaweb.org and hopefully they are all coming from the same direction. Also your reception will be inhibited by large buildings and trees around you.
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Old 09-15-2012, 04:20 PM
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I also tried doing just over the for a few months and gave up. Digital OTA channels are very directional and if one is not coming in the same direction as others you will not get good reception. I went back and got a cable card with a Ceton. I would go to antennaweb.org and hopefully they are all coming from the same direction. Also your reception will be inhibited by large buildings and trees around you. Also antennaweb will tell you how powerful your antenna needs to be. You might be able to watch them fine but when recording you will have stuttering and microblocking if it is not strong enough.
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Old 09-15-2012, 08:23 PM
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Success with OTA will depend on a few factors specific to your house so its hard to provide advice beyond using tvfool. For my own part, I mounted an antenna in the attic (Antennas Direct DB8) and picked up everything listed on the website plus a bunch that should be difficult to receive from another direction entirely. I boosted the signal strength with a Winegard HDP269 as well as my RG6 goes from the attic to the basement where the HDHomeRun is located.
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Old 09-15-2012, 09:25 PM
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It is possible to overcome multipath, but it takes a good bit of fiddling. I have a house in a forest in a city. The transmission towers are arrayed around the house. I use three antennas connected on combiners which are splitters turned around. I have been doing this for a decade and I can pick up 25 channels with excellent reception. However, when the leaves fall or grow out I have to adjust my set up.
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