Ceton Infinitv Pci Card vs External Box - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-22-2012, 04:35 PM - Thread Starter
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I was just curious that in an HTPC build, from the ground up, which of these products would be the most effective. I think they do essential the same thing. If I'm wrong can someone discuss in detail.
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-22-2012, 04:49 PM
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What do you mean by "external box", exactly? A cable box / DVR, or an external infinitv box?

I use an infinitv card in my windows home server. I divide the 4 HD tuners that it provides between two different media center PC's. It works out very well. Easy to use, and more storage space than I know what to do with, and my cable card rental is only $4 per month from Verizon.

An external infinitv USB product would do the same thing, but one of my design goals was to minimize the amount of clutter there was below the displays. One box, one remote. Actually, by network bridging the tuners, I eliminated the need to attach the infinitv card to my HTPC at all.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-22-2012, 05:31 PM
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I'm going to assume that you mean USB InfiniTV by "External Box"
There's no real difference. They are both the same price. They are essentially the same (same tuner chips, same CPU, etc) - the interface portions are basically the only difference. I generally prefer PCIe as it doesn't need a power supply and is hidden, though some people with small cases prefer external.

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post #4 of 10 Old 10-22-2012, 05:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erickotz View Post

I'm going to assume that you mean USB InfiniTV by "External Box"
There's no real difference. They are both the same price. They are essentially the same (same tuner chips, same CPU, etc) - the interface portions are basically the only difference. I generally prefer PCIe as it doesn't need a power supply and is hidden, though some people with small cases prefer external.
Pretty much this.

Somewhat off topic, but when I build my HTPC, I'll probably go with MiniITX, but the PCIe slot will be occupied by a sound card. So, get an internal USB header to USB A adapter, and stick the InfiniTV USB inside the case, hopefully next to a fan.
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 11:25 AM
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Lots of people have reported issues with the USB version. I used to use external USB tuners but had problems with them becoming "undiscovered" on occasion. Some of this probably resulted from flaky external powered USB hubs, which are a necessity when using multiple USB tuners (I had six ATSC tuners). I'm currently using two internal PCI-e InfiniTV4's and a HDHomeRun Prime. If you think you may want to share tuners with others PCs or space is at a premium inside your PC case, you may want to consider the HDHR Prime networked tuners. Both the InfiniTV and HDHR Prime cablecard tuners work equally well.
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post #6 of 10 Old 10-23-2012, 11:53 AM
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I second that, the HDHR Prme is a stand alone networked three tunner box, that can be used by anyone via the network. Your not tied down to a PC. You never know what the future is going to bring.

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post #7 of 10 Old 10-24-2012, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
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Two Infinite TV's along with and HD Prime...?.?.? Are you the husband of the old lady who live in the shoe? What is your setup like?
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post #8 of 10 Old 10-25-2012, 04:23 AM
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I've got multiple TVs throughout the house that have their own HTPC attached. The HDHomeRunPrime and dual HDHR are used primarily to supply them with TV signals. The two InfiniTV4's are used in my main HTPC along with a pair of Hauppauge 2250 dual ATSC tuners. I was originally using a single InfiniTV4 in the main HTPC with the HDHR Prime as a secondary source of tuners if I needed them. Unfortunately, I was getting "tuner not available" messages, probably as a result of the HDHR Prime tuners being allocated elsewhere. I had a spare InfiniTV4 that I bought for another project that never materialized so I installed it in the main HTPC for the rare occasion that it might be needed. I pad all of my recordings so it's not unusual to have 5 or 6 shows being recorded simultaneously. I've always felt it was better to have too many tuners rather than too few. I currently have 17 tuners available for use in my primary HTPC (eleven digital cable and six ATSC), five of which are shared with other HTPCs.
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-25-2012, 05:35 AM
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... I'm guessing you use an amp, right? What kind do you use?
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post #10 of 10 Old 10-25-2012, 06:54 AM
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Are you referring to audio power amps or distribution amps for the video signal? I've got separate monoblock power amps for my surround system fed by an Onkyo Pro PR-SC885 preamp/processor for the audio. I do use a distribution amp for the OTA antenna since I have it split several times. I just use the amp to compensate for signal loss due to splitting. Other than that I don't use any other amps. The FIOS signal goes through a standard 6-way splitter that was installed by Verizon. The incoming TV signal is strong enough that it's not attenuated by the splitters to cause any degradation.
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