Atom/ION QAM + NTSC tuner dilemma - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 4 Old 06-20-2010, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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I have basic digital cable service which provides local channels in HD, and other cable channels in SD.

I want to build a dual channel MythTV combined front/backend to replace my ancient Tivo Series I. I want to use an Atom/ION board (Zotac 330 IONITX) for space and heat reasons. This limits me to a single PCIe slot.

Originally I was going to use a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual tuner card, which I think would have been perfect.

Unfortunately my cable provider started scrambling some of my basic cable channels. So now I need to be able to also use the NTSC output of my cable box as an additional video source. The 2250's analog function is not supported on Linux. And even if it was, I don't think it would work well on an Atom board due to lack of hardware encoding.

It looks like the only PCIe card with hardware encoding that supports both analog and digital on Linux is the Hauppage WinTV-HVR-1800 (now 1850).

Some questions:

1) Can the 1800/1850 digital and analog tuners be independently controlled by MythTV? Or, since Atom/ION boards only have one expansion slot, do I need to get a USB tuner stick for dual channel recording?

2) If I need to use USB as well, I am thinking of getting Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-850 model 1200. LinuxTV.org says this supports QAM, but the Newegg listing for the product and the Hauppage web sites says no QAM. Can anyone confirm if this USB tuner really supports QAM on Linux?

3) If not, are there any other recommendations for currently available USB tuner sticks for ATSC and QAM? I know I can use the Hauppage 950Q but I am looking for cheaper alternatives. It looks like most of the others on the LinuxTV wiki are no longer available. I don't need analog on the USB stick since I will have it on the Hauppage 1850 PCIe, so ATSC/QAM only is OK.

Thanks for the help!

Dave
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post #2 of 4 Old 06-20-2010, 01:55 PM
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Can't help with most of your questions as my tuners are all ancient and I haven't kept up on the latest (but hey, they all work and I can record ATSC/QAM/NTSC). I don't know if the 1800/1850 is a dual tuner or just capable of tuning multiple types of signals. If it is a single tuner but can tune multiple types of signals (but not at the same time obviously if it is a single tuner) mythtv can handle this with input groups to prevent conflicts.

Also, a dual core ION should have little problem encoding an SD analog stream. A PIII could do it.
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post #3 of 4 Old 06-20-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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Honestly, your best bet (while expensive) would be to get 2 Hauppauge HD-PVR's and run each of them from a STB (so you would need 2 STB's nearby).

http://www.newegg.com/product/produc...82e16815116030

This way, you are guaranteed access to every channel at its proper resolution, and it is supported by MythTv.
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post #4 of 4 Old 06-22-2010, 08:34 AM - Thread Starter
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Some more research and checking the KernelLabs blog led me to the conclusion that the HVR-1800 still has unresolved problems with analog audio when used with MythTV.

I'd really like to have everything in a single case. So I am probably going to build a uATX system instead of using the ION. That way I can choose between many well-supported PCI tuner cards instead of being limited to PCI express.

Thanks for the help!
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