External Tuner/Demodulator for HTPC - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 7 Old 05-22-2001, 05:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I was wondering if anyone had some suggestions on what to use to tune/demodulate some video for the HTPC.

I bought the Cybertainment card with FM, coaxial, and composite inputs. The tuner is unsuprisingly very noisy so I went out and got the $19 Cybertainment card with two composites and an s-video. What I'd like to do is get something to output the demodulated cable signal by s-video.

I wanted to avoid buying a SVHS vcr since I don't watch VHS, let alone SVHS tapes. I really just want something for the tuner inside. I really can't find any reviews of the relative quality of the tuners built in and there don't seem to be many inexpensive, non SVHS vcrs with s-video output. Anyone using something they like in their current setup? Otherwise I guess I'll bite the bullet and buy $150 of VCR I don't really need http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif

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post #2 of 7 Old 05-22-2001, 10:13 PM
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The VCR is probably your best bet. About 5 years ago I searched high and low for an NTSC tuner for my projector. Finally found a Sony pro unit - ST-92TV.

It may still be available - but only from a Sony pro dealer and is quite pricey. $500 or more as I recall. Just composite output to boot - but a fine picture.

It could be that some cable boxes have built-in tuners, but I don't have any data. Check garage sales, since web prices seem to be in the 200-300 range.

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post #3 of 7 Old 05-23-2001, 10:08 AM
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Another wierd thing to consider is a Tivo. I think mine has a very good tuner and clean svideo output.

The older models are much cheaper now and you can still get much of the function without paying for the guide.

- Tom

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post #4 of 7 Old 05-23-2001, 10:18 AM
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I agree with Tom. A Tivo might fit your needs.

In any event, an external tuner/demodulator, such as the Tivo, probably uses the same tuner parts as a capture card, just that it's shielded from the PC.

For instance, the Tivo probably uses a Philips tuner just like what was on your Cybertainment and I know that it uses a Philips decoder chip of similar grade to the Bt8x8 chips. If you think about it, it makes sense that there are only a couple of parts out there that are being used for all digital applications, PC or non-PC. I'm not the sharpest tool in the shed, so it took me several months to figure this out. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif

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[This message has been edited by dschmelzer (edited 05-23-2001).]

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post #5 of 7 Old 05-23-2001, 07:08 PM - Thread Starter
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I knew what a Tivo was but the idea never occured to me. I got very interested and was actually about to start bidding on ebay when I caught some interesting posts on the Tivo Community board. Evidently with the new software update, the nag screens when you do not subscribe make it unusable. Before it was only annoying, but evidently almost every button press warns that you have no guide data.

9 months out of the year I will be on a college cable system that I know TiVo will have no guide info for so it seems fairly useless to me now http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/frown.gif

Ubid does seem to have some good VCRs available that I might get in a few weeks. Specifically the 3800U which does VHS and has s-video output.

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and
Gateway Destination 27" (Princeton Arcadia based)+HTPC (Pentium II 400, 256mb, 20gb+9gb HD, Radeon LE, cybertainment tv tuner, asus dvd-rom, hercules game theater xp, Kenwood VR409 DTS receiver)
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post #6 of 7 Old 05-24-2001, 01:41 PM
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This looks interesting: http://www.sasem.co.kr/english/product/tvtuner.htm

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post #7 of 7 Old 05-24-2001, 02:31 PM
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Quote:
Evidently with the new software update, the nag screens when you do not subscribe make it unusable. Before it was only annoying, but evidently almost every button press warns that you have no guide data.
Namlemez -

Sorry about that.

I bought a Tivo about a year ago with the original intention of not buying the guide, then changed my mind and got the guide too.

I didn't realize Tivo had gone to nag-ware or I wouldn't have suggested that.

- Tom




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