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post #1 of 50 Old 10-15-2007, 11:29 PM - Thread Starter
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I'd like to get a tuner for my pc and I'm only concerned with the digital reception and not the analog. I like the idea of using the graphics card to accelerate things from reading the Autumwave threads. I would like the card to pass DD 5.1 signals to my sound card too since I've got my receiver connected to that. Otherwise, I've got no experience with the matter, any advice on which one to get?

My specs:

p4 3.0ghz
geforce 6800
2G Ram
Winxp home
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post #2 of 50 Old 10-15-2007, 11:55 PM
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Tuners have no effect on whether or not your graphics card accelerates the video. The software you choose and the decoders you have on your system are what is responsible for this. Same with the passing of DD 5.1

The main tuners of choice these days are:

DVico Fusion 5
Hauppauge HVR-1600 and HVR-1800
SiliconDust HDHomeRun

I myself am partial to the HDHomeRun. Dual ATSC/QAM tuners. Does not require a slot in your PC. Can be placed anywhere you have a Cable/Antenna connection and a Ethernet connection. Can be accessed by all PCs/Macs in the home. Windows Media Center QAM capable (although I use a different PVR application).
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post #3 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 04:44 AM
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post #4 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 06:32 AM - Thread Starter
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Maybe this is a bit of a silly question, but can you get a remote with any of those tuners? I don't have MCE so not sure how that'd work.. And what video format are the broadcasts in usually?
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post #5 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 07:54 AM
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I have a hdhomerun on its way for QAM and I have 2 VBOX Cat's Eye 3560's grabing the OTA locals via ATSC... The Vbox tuners are great and I cannot review the hdhomerun, as I have not gotten it (been shipped as I type this)

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post #6 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 08:01 AM
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I cannot recommend the HD Homerun unless you are unable to get ATSC over-the-air. Then, the HD HR proves its worth, since you can get the QAM signals of your local networks.

If you get OTA reception, a card like the AverMedia PCI-e tuner is a better and much cheaper option.

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post #7 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 08:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

I cannot recommend the HD Homerun unless you are unable to get ATSC over-the-air. Then, the HD HR proves its worth, since you can get the QAM signals of your local networks.

If you get OTA reception, a card like the AverMedia PCI-e tuner is a better and much cheaper option.

but the cards aren't dual tuners, right? if you have to get 2, then you may as well get the HR.
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post #8 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 09:10 AM
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The Aver card is dual tuner. One NTSC, one ATSC.

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post #9 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 09:57 AM
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I think he means dual ATSC. You would need two AverMedias to do that.

Specifically how is the AverMedia tuner better than the HDHR? For example, does it tend to lock in weaker signals better?
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post #10 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 11:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IAM4UK View Post

I cannot recommend the HD Homerun unless you are unable to get ATSC over-the-air. Then, the HD HR proves its worth, since you can get the QAM signals of your local networks.

If you get OTA reception, a card like the AverMedia PCI-e tuner is a better and much cheaper option.

The HDHR is still a great option for OTA ATSC for most of the reasons I listed above. UFGrayMatter, I don't even get a paid endorsement I should have been accepting donations for the QAM Mapper though so it's my own fault.
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post #11 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 12:27 PM
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As mentioned above, the hdhr is a good option as a dual tuner, but if you only need one, then there are a lot of tuners around that cost only half as much.
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post #12 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 12:32 PM
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Vbox150, HDHR and Artec USB T14a have all worked great for me.

Two Vbox150s are much cheaper than the HDHR. The HDHR firmware/drivers also seem to have stabilized now. They were changing very frequently a few months ago.
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post #13 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 01:42 PM
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www.hdtvtunerinfo.com <==== good info on tuner cards

www.themissingremote.com <=== good site for reviews on different tuners, software, ect...

www.pcalchemy.com <==== great site for purchasing said tuner cards, software, remotes, ect....

for me I am running two PCI Vista view Sabar 1-DN-I ATSC/NTSC tuners, and two Avermedia A180 ATSC tuners, for a total of 4 ATSC and 2 NTSC.

as far as software if your not running MCE, there is SageTV, BeyondTV, GB-PVR, Media Portal, Myth TV, ect....

- Josh
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post #14 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 01:55 PM - Thread Starter
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What's the advantage of two ATSC tuners, two channels at once? I'm actually still leaning towards the autumnwave onAir GT because it's got a remote that works in xp home! None of the cards that's been brought up seem to have a working remote with xp home unless someone can tell me otherwise.

edit: Thanks for the sites umdivx, some pretty good information
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post #15 of 50 Old 10-16-2007, 02:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madh83 View Post

What's the advantage of two ATSC tuners, two channels at once? I'm actually still leaning towards the autumnwave onAir GT because it's got a remote! None of the cards that's been brought up seem to have a working remote with xp home.

DVRing, recording two shows at once, or recording one show and watching another show at the same time.

or in my case I use xbox 360's as media center extenders around my home, so between 3 hd tv's I've got 4 ATSC tuners to support those tv's.

Also ANY of the cards will work with XP Home, thats not the issue, what you really want to look for is the PVR/DVR software, like I already mentioned above, so what you want to do is make sure whatever remote you go with is supported by the PVR app.

Both SageTV and BeyondTV support the MCE remote and USB IR box which can be had for under $30 at most places, and is the cheapest combo out there.

So again, first find the DVR/PVR app that you want to use, then find out which USB IR box's and remotes are supported with that said software, then finally find out which tuner cards are supported with that software.

- Josh
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post #16 of 50 Old 10-17-2007, 04:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madh83 View Post

What's the advantage of two ATSC tuners, two channels at once? I'm actually still leaning towards the autumnwave onAir GT because it's got a remote that works in xp home! None of the cards that's been brought up seem to have a working remote with xp home unless someone can tell me otherwise.

edit: Thanks for the sites umdivx, some pretty good information

Multiple tuners means you can record more than one show or watch one "live" show while others are being recorded. I have six ATSC USB tuners connected to my HTPC. This allows me to record from every OTA local network affiliate (ABC, CBS, Fox, NBC, PBS & The CW) simultaneously if I ever feel the need. There are nights when I actually have 4 or 5 shows being recorded at the same time.

I use the VBox 3560-A-USB tuners connected to an external USB hub. The hub provides power to the tuners directly instead of putting an additional drain on the PSU in my HTPC. Having the tuners outside of the HTPC case also eliminates a lot of heat. Besides, how many motherboards do you know that have six extra PCI or PCI-E slots available? The OnAir HDTV GT tuner you mentioned is supposed to be the best available according to the HDTVtunerinfo website. I just picked one up off ebay to see how it stacks up against my VBox tuners.

I rarely have multiple recordings on all six tuners in the same time slot but I do record several minutes of overlap at the beginning and end of each program to cover for any program guide glitches (i.e., networks airing a show a couple of minutes early or late, which happens more often than you might think). Therefore, two shows airing in consecutive time slots on different channels will require two separate tuners during the overlap period.

Check out themissingremote.com website for info on compatible remotes and software to support them. You might also want to consider upgrading to XP Pro for your HTPC OS. XP Home is a bit too minimalistic for an HTPC. Think of it as "XP Lite."
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post #17 of 50 Old 10-17-2007, 11:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by madh83 View Post

What's the advantage of two ATSC tuners, two channels at once? ...

It's more than just that. The broadcasters are constantly starting early or ending late now. So you need two tuners just to record "back-to-back" shows on different stations, because one of the shows will certainly either start early or end late and make you miss a couple of minutes of the show.
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post #18 of 50 Old 10-24-2007, 08:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

Tuners have no effect on whether or not your graphics card accelerates the video. The software you choose and the decoders you have on your system are what is responsible for this. Same with the passing of DD 5.1

The main tuners of choice these days are:

DVico Fusion 5
Hauppauge HVR-1600 and HVR-1800
SiliconDust HDHomeRun

I myself am partial to the HDHomeRun. Dual ATSC/QAM tuners. Does not require a slot in your PC. Can be placed anywhere you have a Cable/Antenna connection and a Ethernet connection. Can be accessed by all PCs/Macs in the home. Windows Media Center QAM capable (although I use a different PVR application).

I'm using the AverMedia PCIe M870 card for ATSC...I can't seem to get it to pick up 5.1 audio. Can someone point me in the right direction or is this simply the crappy software that comes with it? Will MythTV or SAGE work with this tuner?
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post #19 of 50 Old 10-24-2007, 10:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hunter844 View Post

I'm using the AverMedia PCIe M870 card for ATSC...I can't seem to get it to pick up 5.1 audio. Can someone point me in the right direction or is this simply the crappy software that comes with it? Will MythTV or SAGE work with this tuner?

In MCE you should have no problem getting 5.1 if you have your speakers set up for that. It works on mine.

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post #20 of 50 Old 10-24-2007, 10:51 PM
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I don't think we have ever really got to the heart of the topic title. Which tuner is the BEST ATSC tuner. I have now tried Hauppage 1600, ATI 650. Avermedia M780 PCIe... not a single one of them is as good as any of the 3 HDTVs in my house or my Samsung or Proband STBs. Using the same lead off the same attena the PC tuners all drop frames on my local ABC HD affiliate, and never on the TVs or STBs.

I think the Avermedia might be slightly better than the Win 1600 and ATI650 but if so it is marginal.

I only really care about ATSC performance. Are any of the PC tuners on par with the likes of my HP DLP, my Panny 58PX60U, or my Sharp GP1U? I really don't care about the price but I don't want to be buying tuners only to send them back.

I am about at my wits end trying to get a useable lock on this station. The reception is absolutely flawless on the TVs and STBS.

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post #21 of 50 Old 10-25-2007, 03:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

Using the same lead off the same attena the PC tuners all drop frames on my local ABC HD affiliate, and never on the TVs or STBs.

Are you sure the dropped frames are not related to the decoders you are using and not the tuners themselves?
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post #22 of 50 Old 10-25-2007, 04:49 PM
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Avermedia Volar USB "Stick" for $65 from most places!

It's amazingly "decent" cause it plain works. Within a span of a week, I tried to get these cards working on my Vista box

Fusion 5
Fusion USB
Pinnancle USB
HVR-1600
ATI-650
Pinnacle USB Stick
Diamond USB Stick

The most trouble free by far was the Volar. Perhaps because it's an ATSC only...but popped it in, installed the drivers and hiccup free playback in VMC.

The Fusion had the best signal strength, but the Volar had more than good enough and just plain worked with my Vista machine. And for $65...you can get 2 for the price of some of the fancier ones.
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post #23 of 50 Old 10-25-2007, 08:58 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd View Post

Are you sure the dropped frames are not related to the decoders you are using and not the tuners themselves?

Actaully I am pretty confident it is not the decoder. I have the same experience whether I use Microsoft's deccoder, the Avivo or the Cyberlink. My dropped frames only occur on the single station. I can watch the signal for that station oscillate on the snr meter on the Proband STB tuner. Thr Probrand signal meter is nice because it not only gives a percentage like most do, but it also reports SNR out to two or three digits.

Playback is perfect on everything else. I am using the Avivo decoder in Vista MCE. On my the other pc I tried the Nvidia and the Cyberlink all with the same results.

The ATI 650 has the most trouble staying locked. With M780 I can use a splitter on the coax ahead of a distribution amp sort of antennuate then boost. if I get tricky this way I can reduce the stutter somewhat, actually, quite a bit. The downside to that is of course my overall signal drops becasue of the splitter is a head of the distrubiton amp and that has consequences for some of the weaker stations.

In general though the better the signal, the fewer skips. I know some of it is multipath as I can move the antenna a good ways off the correct azimuth for this particular station and the stutter will reduce but other stations at the same antenna farm will start to have problems. BTW most of my local station towers are located at this same farm.

Again only the PCs tuners have any trouble. All the TVs and STBs are fine, even when they are provide considerably less signa than they are getting nowl. All DVD and HD DVD playback on the PCs are trouble free. Everything is trouble free except playback of this particular station. This an ABC affiliate and when it is in HD it is 720P. The SD subchannels on this ABC affiliate do the same thing even though they are on different frequencies. Because of the the stuttering occurs at random intervals but clusters it is very difficult to say whether it occurs more frequently on the SD or HD subchannels or content. My impression is that is slighty worse with HD content.

This is a pain because it might play 10 minutes with out a noticeable stutter. Then it will drop several frames in a row. I am not sure what is so different about the tuners in the STBs and TVs versus the ones I have tried on my HTPCs.

I am having a hard time pulling the trigger on an HD Homerun if I am just going to be faced with the same thing. I don't know where you can buy an HD HR and return without signifcant penalty if it does not solve my problem.

I have not tried a USB tuner... it is possible there is some RF thing going on inside the chassis on the PCs that is causing this which an external tuner might not be exposed to. Odd thing is the troublesome station is on UHF frequency 32 and there is a station at 33. Both with the same azimuth and listed at antennweb.org as within a tenth of a mile of each other. When I move off azimuth enough to improve the difficult station then the adjacent station goes from a full signal and perfect to poor enough for the TVs to have trouble locking.

I do have a big tree in the line of sight and I can't do anything about that.

Again is there a "King" when it comes to the actual digitral broadcast tuner performance?

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post #24 of 50 Old 10-25-2007, 09:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZenerDiode View Post

Avermedia Volar USB "Stick" for $65 from most places!

It's amazingly "decent" cause it plain works. Within a span of a week, I tried to get these cards working on my Vista box

Fusion 5
Fusion USB
Pinnancle USB
HVR-1600
ATI-650
Pinnacle USB Stick
Diamond USB Stick

The most trouble free by far was the Volar. Perhaps because it's an ATSC only...but popped it in, installed the drivers and hiccup free playback in VMC.

The Fusion had the best signal strength, but the Volar had more than good enough and just plain worked with my Vista machine. And for $65...you can get 2 for the price of some of the fancier ones.

I have had no trouble with any of the tuners I have tried from an install perspective. I used MCE and Vista. If the driver is not already on the sytem Vista goes out and finds the drivers..

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post #25 of 50 Old 10-25-2007, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gtgray View Post

Again is there a "King" when it comes to the actual digitral broadcast tuner performance?

I don't think there's a PC tuner on the market that's as good as some of the TV tuners. Some are better than others, but I doubt there's a real king available as of now. I tried many tuners (dvico, vbox, kworld, vistaview), but my sony tv beats them all. The vistaview is 2nd in my case. But as mentioned before, your location is a big factor, if you have hills and trees around you. It's way easier, if you live in flat terrain with view of the towers.
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post #26 of 50 Old 10-26-2007, 06:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rico66 View Post

I don't think there's a PC tuner on the market that's as good as some of the TV tuners. Some are better than others, but I doubt there's a real king available as of now. I tried many tuners (dvico, vbox, kworld, vistaview), but my sony tv beats them all. The vistaview is 2nd in my case. But as mentioned before, your location is a big factor, if you have hills and trees around you. It's way easier, if you live in flat terrain with view of the towers.

From what I read the Avermedia M780 and the VistaView offer similar if not identical peformance as the they have the same chipset.

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post #27 of 50 Old 10-30-2007, 04:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Okay, so I ended up getting the avermedia combopcie, and the default software seems decent enough. However, I wanted the playback to use purevideo which it is not using and its not passing along DD5.1. So, what do I need to do?
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post #28 of 50 Old 10-30-2007, 05:42 PM
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gtgray,

Your situation sounds similar to mine. I fought a Aver A180 that was the same as you mentioned, good for most channels but one, then adjust the antenna for it and have problems with others. I also have the Aver USB Volar mentioned above by a poster that said it works great. Same issue on my system with it. Maybe if I tried a directional antenna the Avers would work better? (Not sure)

I think you are getting multi-path, as I think I do too. I've used a Dvico USB for well over a year and it is rock solid. Only issue if I unplug it (USB) sometimes reboot PC (think it has high power draw), but just don't unplug it. Connected to the Antennas direct indoor DB2, it pulls all stations with no adjustments and no multi-path.
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post #29 of 50 Old 10-30-2007, 05:58 PM
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Well you already got your tuner... so my opinion more than likely won't count now... but I'll voice it anyway.

HDHR Hands down!

I am so happy to have one ofthese devices! I had the HDTV Wonder, The VBox DTA 151, the VBox 3560, the KWorld 120, and a fusion 3.... by far the absolute best solution for me has been the HDHR. It doesn't take up a PCI slot, I get much better signal strength than I had before off the same leads, it is a dual tuner solution so I can set one PC to use one tuner and another to use the other if needed... plus with it being networked I could move it closer to my main antenna feed to get a peaked signal on all channels... which I couldnt do with my HTPC as then moving it out of the living room causes problems

I can now use a microATX board if I want to and no longer have to worry about having an extra slot for my HDTV tuner in addition to the NTSC tuner

love it love it love it!

ok sorry... no more kissing up from me I just really wish I had got one of these sooner! I cant wait to get another since I have multiple HTPC systems in my home. Now if only there was a cheap NTSC networked dual tuner I could then hide my dish boxes in a closet and share them between multiple PCs (since not all the PCs are used at the same time)
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post #30 of 50 Old 10-30-2007, 09:03 PM
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i have a question and i hope somebody can help. I need an HD tv tuner. I have a Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500 MCE, which is ntsc, and is dual ntsc, and pci. I haven't found alot of dual atsc, but thats what i'm looking for. I really want PCI and not PCI express. I have only found 2 with dual atsc tuners. are there more and/or which one of these should i choose?

VBox Cat's Eye 164e
Vista View Saber 2020

pretty much i want something exactly like my Hauppauge but HD compatible.
if i get a dual atsc can i get rid of the hauppauge? does that depend on the stations around me, like i can get rid of that as long as all my stations nearby have hd channels. i cannot watch regular channels if i don't have the hauppauge tuner right?

i'm tired and have been tryin to look this up all day, so sorry if it doesn't make alot of sence. any questions you have i can try and restate what i ment. but maybe somebody can understand this
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