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post #2611 of 2903 Old 12-26-2010, 09:54 PM
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Originally Posted by BB_Mike View Post

Instead, I want to use my home PC as an OTA DVR. After this post I am going to venture down that path. What I wanted to ask you all is if you or someone you know has done this and what are some of the bad things I might be getting into?

I've had pretty good luck with an ATSC card and WatchHDTV (of course). I'm using a cheap kworld PC150-u hybrid tuner card from Newegg. I have to keep up with the program scheduling manually, though.

I haven't figured out how to get WatchHDTV to do QAM at this point, but that's not an issue for OTA/DTB.
-Dan
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post #2612 of 2903 Old 12-27-2010, 09:34 AM
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Originally Posted by BB_Mike View Post

... Instead, I want to use my home PC as an OTA DVR. After this post I am going to venture down that path. What I wanted to ask you all is if you or someone you know has done this and what are some of the bad things I might be getting into? ...

I use a DVICO Fusion card for my DVRing. The software has a few quirks, but for the most part it is solid on XP. If you are on Win 7, you may not even need DVICO's software.

Titan TV is a good place for listings. You can configure the site to interface with several tuner cards. You then click on the record button in the guide and it sends a scheduling command to your software.

I love my PC DVR.
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post #2613 of 2903 Old 12-27-2010, 10:10 AM
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I'd quickly direct BB_Mike to the Home Theater Computers forum to discuss PVR applications but not without first sharing my experience: I have a 4-bow-tie (ChannelMaster 4221) antenna on a pole in my attic - I'm in Monrovia (9.8 miles from the towers) and get excellent reception on my tuners. I have an ATi HDTV-Wonder, Hauppauge HVR-1600, AVerMedia Duet (dual ATSC on one card), ATi 650 USB combo, 2 ATSC OTA tuners in my DirecTV HR20, an old RCA DirecTV box w/an ATSC and a Samsung TS-160 I use its ATSC tuner as well... what, that makes 9 in service at my house with 5 in use by my HTPC. From the age of my HDTV-Wonder you'll suspect there's history - YES, there is. I started with ATi's MMC 9.06.1 and quickly switched to the hdtval21's WatchHDTV application! It worked great but I needed a more advanced scheduler... found MediaPortal (after 18 months of WatchHDTV) and haven't turned back! It does all I need and more... it's a free, open source application! Others use its plug-ins for all kinds of fancy stuff, but I like that I can download a free TV-Guide (for the local OTA channels), and from inside the app pick a show and select "advanced" recording options, and from then on just let it load up recording my shows... I don't even know when they air!

PS I bought my antenna at Mock's Electronics back around 2002... I think they still carry some form of it today. Oh and I think Lowe's has a few attic fans! (He He....)
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post #2614 of 2903 Old 12-27-2010, 11:55 AM
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Wow. thanks for all of the help everyone. I have enough to get me in trouble. The only hiccup I can see is ESPN come football time.
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post #2615 of 2903 Old 12-27-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BB_Mike View Post

...I will keep the internet from knology, but the cable just isn't worth it anymore...

You may be able to tune several Clear-QAM channels using an ATSC tuner card (that supports QAM) by simply scanning the cable - yes, the same cable you'd be keeping your internet feed on. In some cases providers are unable to block TV from their from 'internet-only' customers and you end up being able to tune a whole slew of (analog-NTSC, digital-ATSC TV and digital radio) channels by default. Give it a try before you go fooling around with any antenna. Do you have a "digital" TV with an on-board ATSC tuner now (e.g a flat-panel TV)? These don't have to be computer card tuners to test your the cable coming into your house.

If you find channels then search this thread... I'm sure folks have posted their Clear-QAM findings on the various providers. Oh, and if your cable still passes analog (after you go to 'internet-only') you may still see ESPN. Do you have any OLD (NTSC) TVs connected without a "box" and how do they work on Knology, today?
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post #2616 of 2903 Old 12-27-2010, 05:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

You may be able to tune several Clear-QAM channels using an ATSC tuner card (that supports QAM) by simply scanning the cable - yes, the same cable you'd be keeping your internet feed on. In some cases providers are unable to block TV from their from 'internet-only' customers and you end up being able to tune a whole slew of (analog-NTSC, digital-ATSC TV and digital radio) channels by default. Give it a try before you go fooling around with any antenna. Do you have a "digital" TV with an on-board ATSC tuner now (e.g a flat-panel TV)? These don't have to be computer card tuners to test your the cable coming into your house.

If you find channels then search this thread... I'm sure folks have posted their Clear-QAM findings on the various providers. Oh, and if your cable still passes analog (after you go to 'internet-only') you may still see ESPN. Do you have any OLD (NTSC) TVs connected without a "box" and how do they work on Knology, today?

I tried this a number of years ago with analog cable TV when I acquired internet-only service from Knology (I required a high bandwidth internet connection for work). The first attempt (immediately following installation) worked fine. When I ran the test again several weeks later, it did not. Inspection revealed that Knology had installed a bandpass filter in the customer interface box. As I was not interested in paying for cable TV at the time, this caused me no problems, but be aware that they may install one of these filters and not necessarily do it initially. Knology likes to hang these little lock-on tags of different colors on the entrance wiring to indicate the services for which you are paying, presumably so their service personnel can cut you off if you are not.

Now that I have a internet/cable/phone bundle, I've got lots of little colored tags.

-Dan
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post #2617 of 2903 Old 12-28-2010, 01:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DLK View Post

I tried this a number of years ago with analog cable TV when I acquired internet-only service from Knology (I required a high bandwidth internet connection for work). The first attempt (immediately following installation) worked fine. When I ran the test again several weeks later, it did not. Inspection revealed that Knology had installed a bandpass filter in the customer interface box. As I was not interested in paying for cable TV at the time, this caused me no problems, but be aware that they may install one of these filters and not necessarily do it initially. Knology likes to hang these little lock-on tags of different colors on the entrance wiring to indicate the services for which you are paying, presumably so their service personnel can cut you off if you are not.

Now that I have a internet/cable/phone bundle, I've got lots of little colored tags.

-Dan

Those filters work pretty well blocking the analogs, but not so well with the digitals (usually higher frequency). Most cable companies have a filter that passes internet only, but like I said, there is a 50/50 chance once the filter is installed, the customer has major issues with their internet services.

Like Andrew said, it never hurts to try.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #2618 of 2903 Old 12-28-2010, 08:28 PM
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Can someone tell me why Ch 19 finds it necessary...
They went nuts with it, didn't they? I wonder if that HD church asked for some of their money back?
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post #2619 of 2903 Old 12-29-2010, 01:57 PM
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I am buying a new house in Madison in January and wanted to get some advice. I currently have a Knology cable/internet/phone bundle but would like more HD channels and some of the features that Directv offers.

Looking into getting Directv for television and keeping Knology for High Speed Internet/phone service.

I've done some pricing and it is pretty comparble with what I am paying now to do that.
I would have to get a 2 year deal with Directv to lock in the good rate.

Just curious if anyone on the forum has gone this route splitting providers like this?

I've never had Directv or Dish before... anything to be aware of (I've always heard about outages during heavy rains.)

Thanks for any feedback !
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post #2620 of 2903 Old 12-29-2010, 06:14 PM
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Been using DirecTV since 1999 - I've got the HR20 (an older HD DVR) that records 2 shows at once and gets OTA locals. Today (I don't think) they don't offer any OTA tuning, you have to pay the $3 against their package which includes the locals they want to rebroadcast (i.e. not necessarily all of the sub-channels). The other major thing is you'll need a box for every TV you want to watch... not absolutely the case on a cable system.
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post #2621 of 2903 Old 12-29-2010, 06:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado1070 View Post


I've never had Directv or Dish before... anything to be aware of (I've always heard about outages during heavy rains.)

I'll say this about the "rainouts" - they're rare, and in the summer as often as not thunder and lightning would be not far behind, and I personally unplug stuff when it's stormy. I learned my lesson when hauling around an almost 200 pound SONY KV-2680 console to a shop after it got hit.

-------------------------------------------------------

Addenda: I changed the erroneous model number from 2610 to 2680 and bolded it.
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post #2622 of 2903 Old 12-29-2010, 07:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tornado1070 View Post

I am buying a new house in Madison in January and wanted to get some advice. I currently have a Knology cable/internet/phone bundle but would like more HD channels and some of the features that Directv offers.

Looking into getting Directv for television and keeping Knology for High Speed Internet/phone service.

I've done some pricing and it is pretty comparble with what I am paying now to do that.
I would have to get a 2 year deal with Directv to lock in the good rate.

Just curious if anyone on the forum has gone this route splitting providers like this?

I've never had Directv or Dish before... anything to be aware of (I've always heard about outages during heavy rains.)

Thanks for any feedback !

I'm doing this now. I use knology for phone and Internet. Got a special for first 12 months at 40 a month. DTV was just a move. So if you don't have then now you'll get a great price for the first 12 months.
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post #2623 of 2903 Old 12-30-2010, 05:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

Been using DirecTV since 1999 - I've got the HR20 (an older HD DVR) that records 2 shows at once and gets OTA locals. Today (I don't think) they don't offer any OTA tuning, you have to pay the $3 against their package which includes the locals they want to rebroadcast (i.e. not necessarily all of the sub-channels). The other major thing is you'll need a box for every TV you want to watch... not absolutely the case on a cable system.

Directv stills sells the AM-21 tuner for use with their HD boxes.

Brad
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post #2624 of 2903 Old 12-30-2010, 08:06 AM
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I'm on Directv and use Comcast for internet.

And I agree with Irving1956, as long as the dish is peaked correctly, rain fade isn't a big deal at all.

Currently testing 3D with Sammy DLP, shutter glasses, and HTPC
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post #2625 of 2903 Old 01-04-2011, 04:02 PM
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How about I stir the pot... I was noticing the crawl on WAFF about their 'negotiating' an agreement with DirecTV to carry them, and how they had submitted it and are awaiting their concurrance and signature. What? Why?

While I realize it's a business decision, why all the hub-bub about this? I tune my locals via OTA using an antenna and a multitude of tuners both in my HTPC and various DirecTV boxes using their internal ATSC tuners. My point being that DirecTV charges every subscriber for the service, or let me say, my 'grandfathered' package denotes "no locals" for which it used to (and still does) save me $3.00/month. I don't like that DirecTV has forced subscribers to take locals on their current packages and eliminated ATSC tuners from their boxes. Personally, I like having free local stations to watch! And, before I get everyone fired up I do realize there are some locations where OTA isn't possible due to terrain, trees, buildings, etc.
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post #2626 of 2903 Old 01-04-2011, 04:37 PM
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Besides that the locals look better OTA vrs Over Direct or Dish.
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post #2627 of 2903 Old 01-05-2011, 02:26 PM
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With Uverse now coming into the area, I am curious if anyone on this forum has tried their tv and internet service yet. I understand it is available in Decatur, Madison, and parts of HSV. Is is worth checking into? I have seen mixed postings from other cities.
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post #2628 of 2903 Old 01-05-2011, 04:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrylwill View Post

Besides that the locals look better OTA vrs Over Direct or Dish.

I can't tell any difference between the directv and over the air feeds.

Brad
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post #2629 of 2903 Old 01-05-2011, 04:36 PM
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I can't tell any difference between the directv and over the air feeds.

The OTA ones are FREE

Let's see... $3/mo * 12 months/year = $36 savings per year and counting!

Moreover, when I record them on my HTPC I own (my copy of) them, they're in full resolution mpeg-2, I can move them to a different HDD/PC and still play them, edit them (not that I do any editing), shrink them to .264 and place them onto a thumb drive, iPod, or storage library... they're not copy-protected on the DirecTV DVR which has to have been sync'd up with the satellite before it will playback. ** Oh... you're talking about image quality... Sorry, I don't have the local-HDs on satellite. **

Actually, there was a window when they first rolled them out and they were viewable by "all" customers and I must agree, they seemed to have pretty decent image quality - but that can change whenever DirecTV decides to squeeze them down, compress them more to cram more channels into the same bandwidth... remember how bad some of their high-movement sports channels were there for a while? All pixelated and generally not as sharp image quality.
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post #2630 of 2903 Old 01-09-2011, 10:40 AM
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I can't believe WHNT is already scrolling Monday closings on the screen during the football game. Telling that Auburn is closed Monday (over 200 miles away, and don't you think the students know this?) and a private school in Culman. These are the only two schools they have to tell about and then the only businesses are no garbase pickup and the courthouse will be closed. I don't know who is dumber, WHNT for showing it, or the businesses and schools for already announcing the are closed when the first snowflake hasn't even fallen yet. I hate WHNT. They are sensationalists and alarmists.

Oh, I see now it has been removed from the screen. Hopefully they got flooded with calls.

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post #2631 of 2903 Old 01-10-2011, 02:11 PM
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I can't believe WHNT is already scrolling Monday closings on the screen during the football game. Telling that Auburn is closed Monday (over 200 miles away, and don't you think the students know this?) and a private school in Culman. These are the only two schools they have to tell about and then the only businesses are no garbase pickup and the courthouse will be closed. I don't know who is dumber, WHNT for showing it, or the businesses and schools for already announcing the are closed when the first snowflake hasn't even fallen yet. I hate WHNT. They are sensationalists and alarmists.

Oh, I see now it has been removed from the screen. Hopefully they got flooded with calls.

Heh.

I love how during their newscasts they state that you can get the latest updates on closings at (1) the website (2) Facebook (3) Twitter and (4) some radio station when everyone & their brother knows they will scroll it endlessly on top of the programming anyways.
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post #2632 of 2903 Old 01-11-2011, 07:34 PM
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Trying to watch NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles tonight through a constant crawl of the same crap, school closings, garbage pickup work schedules and lets not forget that the Football team landing is Breaking News and gets a crawl along with their Giant moving changing colorful news logo along with the time and temperature and this runs the full time slot of both programs, this crap has been on constant for 3 days. Everybody email them like I did their station STINKS ROTTEN. I hate them. Its not a TV station its a news/weather station that sometimes lets you watch a network show, and theirs nothing we can do.
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post #2633 of 2903 Old 01-11-2011, 09:49 PM
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Trying to watch NCIS and NCIS Los Angeles tonight through a constant crawl of the same crap...

RTV gave way to AntennaTV and it's still stretched and they plastered a useless bug on it besides. And what does tabloid garbage like Dr. Oz and Inside Edition and Cold Case Files have to do with an oldies format?

I'll say it again - no cash strapped independent would have anything to fear from the incompetents at WHNT, and I wouldn't mourn for a nanosecond if they went dark forever.
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post #2634 of 2903 Old 01-13-2011, 05:56 AM
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I have a question, does anyone up in Lincoln County have Medicom cable internet, how does it perform? (i am about to take the plunge and drop Bellsouth)
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post #2635 of 2903 Old 01-25-2011, 10:33 AM
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Finally switched from Knology cable to Direct due to lower $/HD channel. So far satisfied w/ switch. USA and SyFy look good in HD on both HDTv's w/ HD receivers. Still keeping my OTA antenna in case of any signal lose during bad weather.
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post #2636 of 2903 Old 01-25-2011, 11:25 AM
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Finally switched from Knology cable to Direct due to lower $/HD channel. So far satisfied w/ switch. USA and SyFy look good in HD on both HDTv's w/ HD receivers. Still keeping my OTA antenna in case of any signal lose during bad weather.


If you have an HD DVR, consider picking up an AM-21 for your receiver, since you already have OTA, you will be able to record your OTA stuff
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post #2637 of 2903 Old 02-01-2011, 11:49 AM
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I am in need of some antenna advice. I currently have no antenna, but I am about to discontinue my cable service. I live on the west side of Madison.

The following link shows the supposed antenna strengths for various channels at my house:
http://www.tvfool.com/?option=com_wr...3cf4966e0dafd3

It says that with a simple indoor antenna will get 11 local channels. Anything behond that appears to be repeat stations.

So should I bother with amplification, or just get a multi direction antenna and put it in my attic, like this:
http://www.amazon.com/Antennas-Direc...sbs_00_01_t_lh
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post #2638 of 2903 Old 02-01-2011, 03:19 PM
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Hey Mike... I had occasion to research that CLEARSTREAM-2 and found others believed that in RF "size matters" and the 4221 is still king! Reread my post above detailing my setup... it's nothing to plan for an amplifier if you need one, but try it first without and add one if you find you're signal is marginal or you have a lot of splitter losses to overcome.
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post #2639 of 2903 Old 02-01-2011, 03:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andrew Hornfeck View Post

Hey Mike... I had occasion to research that CLEARSTREAM-2 and found others believed that in RF "size matters" and the 4221 is still king! Reread my post above detailing my setup... it's nothing to plan for an amplifier if you need one, but try it first without and add one if you find you're signal is marginal or you have a lot of splitter losses to overcome.


Greater efficiency makes up for smaller size. The C2 performs almost as well as the DB4 (and similar 4-bay antennas).

Bigger is NOT always better when not needed in spite of what the old-timers believe. Just like Goldilocks, "just right" is good enough when it comes to digital reception.
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post #2640 of 2903 Old 02-01-2011, 03:53 PM
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Since making my post, I also found the DB8 to be pretty appealing.

Here is my other post I started trying to narrow down my Antenna search:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...php?p=19933639

Andrew, can you pickup CW with your antenna array pointing at HSV? I wonder how that will affect me being more in the middle at the west side of Madison.
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