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Let's pick the best tuners!

post #1 of 50
Thread Starter 
Hi AVSForum folks - you've always been spot-on in the past, so I'd like to get your collective opinions again. Here's the situation:

I have a full-sized HTPC in a nice Silverstone case.
I've been using a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 which is total garbage.
I am selling the 2250 to someone who won't have the same problems I do. (It works on their mobo)
I just built a nice UHF antenna for OTA ATSC in addition to my ClearQAM and Cable NTSC needs.

Objective:
Replace the 2250 with card(s) to accomplish the following:
Over-the-Air HD via ATSC
Cable (Brighthouse) ClearQAM (For channels I can't get OTA)
Cable (Brighthouse) NTSC (For Channels I can't get in QAM or ATSC)
I'd like to be able to watch one program and record another in the background.
Chief needs are for the digital tuners, but some of the g/f's shows we only get on analog NTSC. (blah)

Limitations:
I am running Windows 7 Media Center, 64-bit. (Open to other tuner programs)
Case is full-sized.
Mobo is PCI & PCIe capable.
I'd like to build the tuners in versus have an external tuner (i.e. USB or silicondust)
I want no loss of quality on analog or digital signals.

So, what do you think? I'd like to order the cards ASAP, and run my coax to the attic this weekend.

Thanks in advance!
post #2 of 50
I always had good luck with my HDHomerun Tuner. It is a networked dual tuner that i believe meets your needs.
post #3 of 50
Thread Starter 
Yep I've looked into the HDHomeRun, but I dislike the idea of buuilding an HTPC only to have external tuners. Also, the HDHR is only digital, so it would be good for the ATSC connection, but not for the cable connection.
post #4 of 50
I'm not sure that WMC will support OTA and cable in the same setup. For OTA I give the Avermedia 188 my vote.
post #5 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

I'm not sure that WMC will support OTA and cable in the same setup. For OTA I give the Avermedia 188 my vote.

X2, great tuner, and cheap too............Brian
post #6 of 50
X3 for avermedia, although i use the single tuner.
post #7 of 50
I use two Avermedia Duets in Win7 64 bit with no problems other than CBS OTA signal strength. But that's not the cards fault.
post #8 of 50
what don't you like about the 2250? I thought it would do all of that for you?
post #9 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

I'm not sure that WMC will support OTA and cable in the same setup. For OTA I give the Avermedia 188 my vote.

7MC supports mixed tuner types.

For analog cable, you can use any of the older tuner cards sold on fleabay. Such as hauppauge pvr150 and fusion 3. With many cablecos dropping all their analog channels, they should be getting cheap.
post #10 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by grittree View Post

7MC supports mixed tuner types.

For analog cable, you can use any of the older tuner cards sold on fleabay. Such as hauppauge pvr150 and fusion 3. With many cablecos dropping all their analog channels, they should be getting cheap.

How do you add OTA and Cable channels to the same guide?
post #11 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 View Post

How do you add OTA and Cable channels to the same guide?

the same way you add analog and digital.

windows will find all the channels and you have to map the guide data, you can either combine the channels, disable one of the channels, or copy the listings to both.
post #12 of 50
When you do the tuner setup, you will be asked for the analog and digital sources separately. If any tuner can do both analog and digital (like the fusion), you can enable it for either or both.

In the guide, the analogs will have two digit numbers and the digitals will have the xx.x format. You can edit the guide to only show the digital for channels you can tune both ways.
post #13 of 50
Thread Starter 
Indeed. I have it working this way with the 2250 (sortof).

Since someone took the bait, this is why I'm ditching the 2250:

1. I have tried 3 different 2250's over a 7 month period including a "special" one that Hauppauge sent me. All have the following problems:
2. The chief problem is driver support. The 2250 loses its PCI Device ID (Should be programmed like a MAC address on the card) on a cold reboot. On a warm reboot, the proper PCI Device ID comes back! This is maddening because:
2a. Windows relies on that ID to pick a driver for the device, so the 2250 shows up as "unknown media controller."
2b. When the tuner "returns", 7MC sees it as a new tuner, and duplicates all the channels in the guide. Some channels no longer work, all my name mappings are screwed up.
3. H's support basically accuse me of making this problem up (!!) and they just don't care. Their driver support even for people who have working hardware setups is awful. 32/64bit drivers are rarely in sync, and you frequently have to use some form of "beta" driver just for basic functionality like ClearQAM.
4. H's Drivers will break something that they previously fixed.
5. H's software (e.g. WinTV) is utter garbage.

That said, please go buy my card on eBay.
post #14 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cetrian View Post

4. H's Drivers will break something that they previously fixed.
5. H's software (e.g. WinTV) is utter garbage.

that has been my experience with hauppauge's drivers and software. complete junk.
post #15 of 50
I am building my first HTPC, and am looking a tuner cards. Right now I only need support for Digital Over the Air -- I only need to watch and record over the air programming.

Would like to be able to watch something and record something else at the same time, or record 2 programs at the same time. Since this is my first HTPC, I do not have a remote yet, and would prefer a TV Tuner that comes with remote -- unless I shouldn't do that -- please let me know.

I looked up the aforementioned Avermedia, but am not sure that the card meets my requirements listed above. Please help!

MOBO supports PCIe 2.0 & regular PCI. Going to use Windows 7 64 bit.
post #16 of 50
What is the current choice for USB tuner?

I run a handful of VBox Catseye 3560 USB tuners and they work just fine, but I'm wondering if there are any new USB tuners that are less expensive.

-Suntan
post #17 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevhanc View Post

I am building my first HTPC, and am looking a tuner cards. Right now I only need support for Digital Over the Air -- I only need to watch and record over the air programming.

Would like to be able to watch something and record something else at the same time, or record 2 programs at the same time. Since this is my first HTPC, I do not have a remote yet, and would prefer a TV Tuner that comes with remote -- unless I shouldn't do that -- please let me know.

I looked up the aforementioned Avermedia, but am not sure that the card meets my requirements listed above. Please help!

MOBO supports PCIe 2.0 & regular PCI. Going to use Windows 7 64 bit.

the avermedia duet mentioned before will work.

I'd suggest you buy one without a remote and just pick up a microsoft remote/rx combo from newegg/etc. for $30.
post #18 of 50
I agree with the first response. The HDHomeRun is an excellent tuner and it takes up zero space inside your HTPC. Any PC on the network with MC can watch tv. I even use it on my Mac (with eyetv software) in my office and on my HTPC in the family room. This thing sits in the basement where the TV feed comes in and I just feed it into the network. How simple is that? It is dual tuner and it will work for your non-encrypted cable channels as well.

No hardware compatibility issues! Period!
post #19 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek K. View Post

that has been my experience with hauppauge's drivers and software. complete junk.

the latest driver for my 1250 in win7 was causing crashes, luckily msft had a fix in windows update.
post #20 of 50
Does anyone have experience with the Asus My Cinema cards? I've seen good reviews, but no first-hand stories. How do they compare with the AverMedia cards?
post #21 of 50
hdhomerun
post #22 of 50
The problem with the HD Homerun/Avermedia Duet is there is no analog cable support.
post #23 of 50
Citrian,

Here you are my friend, this is a good guide for what you are looking for.

http://www.hdtvtunerinfo.com/

For my self, I bought 2 of the Saber Da-1N1-E, works beatifuly with Media Center, very mature drivers. Setup and let it go. One of, if not, the best PQ on the market.

http://www.vistaview.tv/content/view/51/116/

Another one could be:

http://benchmarkreviews.com/index.ph...=339&Itemid=58

Haven't tested myself but good reviews on newegg

Good luck,

Charles
post #24 of 50
What do you guys think about the avermedia hybrid volar max for win 7 64bit MCE? Anybody here using it?
post #25 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike_311 View Post

the latest driver for my 1250 in win7 was causing crashes, luckily msft had a fix in windows update.

Mike, can you please check your driver version and post it? Also, are you running 64 bit win7?

I think my 1250 is causing crashes ....

Thanks!
post #26 of 50
I have a HDhomerun for my qam stuff....but

I still have an Nvidia Dual TV for analog cable recording. I've tried a few others but haven't found anything to match it's PQ and the drivers are stable. It has 1 cable input (love that!) with an internal splitter for the dual hardware tuners.
I'd actually like to get rid of it because I'd like to move to a low profile case. Maybe something USB based.

I'll keep an eye on this thread for ideas.
post #27 of 50
2250 is flawless here, was junk until I installed win7. When I switched to the RTM before I even got to the stage of drivers for the TV card Windows Update had already loaded a driver for it and it was working perfectly (QAM and NTSC channels combined in the guide). This did not happen when I used the RC.

Curious what motherboard/chipset you are having issues with using this card??

My only problem is I get stuttering on live HDTV, and it appears to be the sound causing it. Hoping Turtle Beach releases a Win7 driver for my Montego DDL shortly because I think my on-board sound is too flaky to even try.

[edit] I should have mentioned I am using Win7 HP 32bit. Prehaps you could load a dual boot with the 32bit version just to see if it works better? I understand the need for x64 if you have lots of memory but I think the 2250 is one of the nicer cards out there with its dual ntsc/atsc/qam tuners. Keep in mind I was pissed about it until Win7 MC came along. The drivers and WinTV app never would tune all the local HD channels, all is well now though.
post #28 of 50
Thread Starter 
Ok it looks like my 2250 will work for some people because it's bidding like hotcakes on eBay. Now it's time to buy the new tuners! I am looking at:

1. AVerMedia AVerTVHD Duet - PCTV Tuner (A188 - White Box) - OEM
2. ASUS My Cinema-PE9400 Combo TV Tuner Card w/Low Profile Brackets - Retail
3. AVerMedia AVerTV Combo G2 (White Box) MTVCOMG2W PCI-Express x1 Interface - Retail
4. ASUS My Cinema EHD3-100 Dual Hybrid TV Card EHD3-100/NAQ/FM/AV/MCE RC PCI-Express x1 Interface - Retail
5. VistaView Saber Da-1N1-E
post #29 of 50
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cetrian View Post

Yep I've looked into the HDHomeRun, but I dislike the idea of buuilding an HTPC only to have external tuners. Also, the HDHR is only digital, so it would be good for the ATSC connection, but not for the cable connection.

I have an HDHomerun, it works amazing. I've been fiddling with the idea of installing my HDHR internally in my HTPC case. I too dislike all the external tuners.

Come on Ceton, release those 4X tuners already!!!
post #30 of 50
if you need ntsc, then you will need another card if you buy the duet.
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