OTA HD tuner recommendations? - Page 2 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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Home Theater Computers > OTA HD tuner recommendations?
blackcat6's Avatar blackcat6 03:07 AM 01-27-2013
I have two HDhomeruns and a HVR2250 in my MythTV whole house DVR setup. Each is connected to a different antenna and all feeding into the Myth back end. Some advice. The HDHomerun is a very flexible device. However don't even think about trying to run it over a wireless network along with the output of your tuner also transmitting as well. TV broadcasts, at least in the USA, are mpeg 2 and this results in an enormous data stream especially if your software is capable of decoding the subchannels of a station simultaneously with a single tuner. (Mythtv will do this, I'm not sure about MCE) Potentially one HDhomerun could be sending 4 channels to your DVR and you could be watching live TV on one part of your network while recording the rest. No wireless setup will handle this.

The point of this is this is where the HVR 2250 will offer an advantage as it won't need to use your network if everything is running through your DVR. I pulled cable for all my TVs so it isn't an issue for me, but I'd thought I'd mention it in case it affects you. Beyond that, I'd say the HVR 2250 might do a slightly better job at tuning than the HDhomerun, but it's not a deal breaker.

DanPackMan's Avatar DanPackMan 06:12 AM 01-27-2013
Originally Posted by Splicer010 View Post

Amps/boosters are a frequency range. any and all from average 50-1000MHz, type deal and are completely blind to ATSC/NTSC. wink.gif

Originally Posted by blackcat6 View Post

There is no such thing. Amplification deals with the underlying RF carrier wave and for TV, the modulation, digital or analog, won't make any difference. Since ATSC tends to be mostly in the UHF spectrum, this is where the OP should focus. i.e. What is the UHF amplification.

My bad...poor wording, yes, there is no amplification based on the 'standard' but rather the frequency of the carrier wave..... should have just said make sure it covers UHF as that's where the ATSC channels generally are. I guess there are probably not many VHF only amps out there anyhow.
Mac The Knife's Avatar Mac The Knife 02:09 PM 01-27-2013
While it's true that there's no such thing as a specific amp for ATSC, there are amps that are better suited for ATSC than for NTSC.

With NTSC, all you usually care about is signal level, so it's just a matter of picking an amp with the best gain for your situation. But ATSC tuners are more susceptible to noise issues then to signal level issues. The amp only needs to have just enough gain to get the signal level on the good side of "the cliff". But you want the amp to be as clean as possible because if the amp is too noisy then no matter how much gain the amp has, it won't help. OTOH, NTSC will give you a viewable signal even in the presence of tons of noise, You might see some sparklies or other noise artifacts, but you'll still have a viewable image, unlike ATSC where you won't get anything or have so many dropouts that it's unviewable.

So you should almost always trade off gain for low noise for ATSC. And for NTSC, you should usually pick a gain that get's you as close as possible to overdriving the receiver and not really care about the noise.
gomberg's Avatar gomberg 05:47 PM 03-14-2013
I have a similar, related, need. I have a Lenovo Q180 "media center" computer, with Win7 Home Premium. I want to start using it as a HTPC. So I need an ATSC tuner with USB output, right? (There are no card slots in a Q180, only USB). What are the recommended makes and models for this application? I am 1.3mi line of sight to Sutro Tower, I can get 60 digital channels using a paper clip for an antenna. Any guidance deeply appreciated. My Sony DVR just lost its Rovi feed, so I gotta do something. Many thanks for your help.
Josea's Avatar Josea 05:39 AM 03-15-2013
Originally Posted by jekbrown View Post

Hi gang, I need a way to bring OTA HD into my HTPC. Don't need cable card capability or anything like that, just 2 or more OTA HD tuners. What are my options? I need to:

1. watch/record OTA HD on my main tv (where the HTPC is)
2. watch/record OTA HD on my bedroom tv (where the xbox will be, most likely via a wired network connection.)
3. watch DVR'd OTA HD shows?
I have virtually the same scenario, except for 1 laptop with win 7 and one with Ubuntu 12.04, I was able to get everything working in about 2 hours, but picture quality is OK all around. Now I want to get a new amplified antenna (to replace a 40+ year old one) and at least 2 network cables run - so I have to spend another $300 but to me it is a cost effective solution compared to OTA alternatives. I got a very good price on the HD homerun from J & R, call them and they will price match. Someone mentioned new models will be out in April so prices may fall on the 2 tuner unit.
$60 +shipping has been the best price since Black Friday 2012.
sxotty's Avatar sxotty 07:23 PM 03-28-2013
Sorry to bump the thread, but I have an Avermedia A180 dual tuner. It keeps disappearing from my HTPC. Normally I record a bunch of stuff, then when I have time I watch it. Now I usually come back to find nothing recorded and no tuner detected in PC. I have to shut down computer, turn off power strip, press power button with power off, then turn on the power strip, start the HTPC and the tuner reappears. This is INCREDIBLY annoying to say the least. I was trying to find which tuners have a good signal, but frankly it seems no one cares much about this. In the past I remember websites actually testing the tuner quality, but I haven't been able to find such tests anymore. It sounds like the avermedia a188 is recommended, but I would probably have the same sort of problem again. Anyone have any links to actual testing of these tuners to see how well they can pull in a signal? Of course if you have an idea about why my tuner is disappearing I would like that too smile.gif
gonzo90017's Avatar gonzo90017 12:15 AM 03-29-2013
What cpu and motherboard are you using?
Mike99's Avatar Mike99 01:46 AM 03-29-2013
I have read some postings of Avermedia tuners disappearing from the Device Manager. IIRC some said they had this problem with AMD CPUs, some said the newer Duet tuners were improved & did not have this problem. Some said the Avermedia Duet had a more sensitive tuner than the Hauppauge 2250 dual tuner card, while the Hauppauge might be more dependable.

I bought a Duet white box model MTVHDDUWB & it works great for me so I got a second one. Had to get the second one from Ebay because Avermedia said the Duet was discontinued, but later said it will be an ongoing model but it's in shortage at this moment. So I don't know when it will be available new from them.

I remember seeing a review link but it was some time ago, but don't recall seeing any info regarding sensitivity. If you can find a reasonably priced Duet on Ebay you could take a chance & see how it does.
Mike99's Avatar Mike99 01:46 AM 03-29-2013
Duplicate posting.
sxotty's Avatar sxotty 06:15 AM 03-29-2013
Originally Posted by gonzo90017 View Post

What cpu and motherboard are you using?

CPU: AMD Phenom II x3 720
Motherboard: ASUS M4A88T-M LE AM3 AMD 880G HDMI Micro ATX AMD Motherboard
Originally Posted by Mike99 View Post

I have read some postings of Avermedia tuners disappearing from the Device Manager. IIRC some said they had this problem with AMD CPUs, some said the newer Duet tuners were improved & did not have this problem. Some said the Avermedia Duet had a more sensitive tuner than the Hauppauge 2250 dual tuner card, while the Hauppauge might be more dependable.

Yeah I had stumbled upon that as well, but no information about how to fix it... btw when I googled again just now I saw people with Intel setups get the same problem. I also don't have the htpc ever go to sleep since I thought that might be part of the problem.
Mike99's Avatar Mike99 12:35 PM 03-29-2013
FWIW my HTPC does go to sleep & so far wakes up & records when it's supposed to. I'm using an Intel G620 CPU & an ECS mobo.

Maybe there is a compatibility problem with certain HTPC components, I don't know. I bought the first Duet from Walmart online because they were as cheap as anyone, & if it did not work it would be easy to return to the store. Too bad that's not currently an option.
gonzo90017's Avatar gonzo90017 01:44 AM 03-30-2013
I had 3 cards laying around. 1 would disappear from the device manager and 1 wouldn't even be detected on 2 different AMD boards. As soon as I moved them to my Intel boards the problem wen't away. I've had zero problems since then.
Cabal0's Avatar Cabal0 07:01 PM 03-30-2013
I'll put in another vote for the AverMedia Duet A188. I had a mix of them and an HVR2250, and the 2250 could never pick up the out-of-market channels that would come in successfully on the A188 or a Vizio TV tuner (using the same connection). I ended up eBaying the 2250 in favor of another A188.

If you're using WMC, you can safely get the OEM version, since their TV software is junk, anyway.

Edit: The 2250 was fine on stronger, local channels, though.
captain_video's Avatar captain_video 06:07 AM 03-31-2013
In case anyone's interested, B&H Photo has the HDHomeRun Dual on sale for $59 with free shipping:

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