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HD HomeRun Tech vs USB HD tuner & TS Reader for diagnostics/troubleshooting

post #1 of 16
Thread Starter 
I just stumbled across this, even though I have come to find out it's been out since summer of 2007;

http://www.silicondust.com/products/hdhomerun_tech

This is the "Tech" version with the additional abilities of (for $90 more than the consumer version);

Digital broadcast diagnostics/troubleshooting,
Static IP address,
Head-end monitoring,
Constellation plot display,
Estimated dBmV signal level display,
dB signal quality (MER) display.

Comparing this vs using an external USB HD tuner and TS Reader for diagnostics/troubleshooting etc. Which is the better route regarding ease of use, overall cost, flexibility and software compatibility?
I do understand this HD HomeRun has many issues with 3rd party software. I have no intention on using MediaCenter nor Vista. Can this be used with XP and one of the other software choices?
post #2 of 16
Both the normal HDHomeRun and the TECH model are natively supported by TSReader for both ATSC and QAM.

The HDHomeRun is supported in major third-party PVR programs, including SageTV, BeyondTV, and GB-PVR for Windows; SageTV, EyeTV, and MythTV for Mac; and MythTV on Linux. It appears as a standard BDA tuner in Windows, so any application can access it like any other tuner. Separate from that, the control library is open-source, so developers on any platform can integrate support into other applications.

Jason
Silicondust
post #3 of 16
Using the HDHR Tech with TSReader myself.. however it can't be seen remotely thru a VPN, so I have to VNC into a remote pc directly connected to it. (Well, it can be pinged, just that the apps for it won't run over a VPN)
post #4 of 16
Thread Starter 
As far as the actual diagnostics, will using the HomeRun over just a USB HD Tuner w/ Reader provide anything more information?
post #5 of 16
Despite skimming the pdfs, can't figure how this hooks up. Is a PC a must and if so what PC specs are best? If it has a ATSC tuner is it using the latest 5-6th gen chip multipath-rejection design? Needs a condensed 'graph, in plain English, minus computer-geek terms, outlining how it's hooked up. -- John
post #6 of 16
HDHome Runs connect via ethernet, so yes a pc is required.
post #7 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by videobruce View Post

As far as the actual diagnostics, will using the HomeRun over just a USB HD Tuner w/ Reader provide anything more information?

The data in TSReader is the same, since that all comes from the program, not the tuner. I'm not aware of any USB tuner that will provide constellation plots, and signal level readings on others are often a single number derived from the signal strength and quality measurements, whereas the HDHomeRun breaks them down into separate values for strength, signal quality, and symbol quality, and the TECH will show the values in dBmV.
post #8 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Mason View Post

Despite skimming the pdfs, can't figure how this hooks up. Is a PC a must and if so what PC specs are best? If it has a ATSC tuner is it using the latest 5-6th gen chip multipath-rejection design? Needs a condensed 'graph, in plain English, minus computer-geek terms, outlining how it's hooked up. -- John

Demod is the Trident (formerly Micronas) DRX3933J, aka DRX-J - http://www.tridentmicro.com/Product_drx_3933j.asp

Hookup - HDHomeRun and PC(s) are connected to a standard Ethernet router/switch. HDHomeRun has 2 coax inputs; either connect both to a splitter with an antenna or cable, or one to an antenna and one to cable. The driver software will make them appear as standard tuners to PVR software like Windows Media Center, SageTV, etc. PC specs are the same as with any other digital tuner - P4 2.8 is the minimum for HD, 1.8Ghz dualcore or better recommended if you want to do anything else with the PC while watching. Wired network connections are suggested as wireless networks often can't manage a sustained 19Mb/s for one ATSC stream, let alone more.

The TECH model can be configured statically, basically each tuner set to a specific channel and streaming to a target, which can be multicast. A common application for this is as a source for an IPTV headend.
post #9 of 16
Thread Starter 
Quote:


I'm not aware of any USB tuner that will provide constellation plots, and signal level readings on others are often a single number derived from the signal strength and quality measurements, whereas the HDHomeRun breaks them down into separate values for strength, signal quality, and symbol quality, and the TECH will show the values in dBmV.

That's what I figured also, but wanted clarification. Those features caught my attention. The $90 price difference between the consumer version and the 'Tech' version is a stickler.

For those others out there, with only the above in mind, is using one of these vs a typical USB tuner stick with a laptop worth it considering that is the only difference as far a T&M is concerned??
post #10 of 16
The graph they call a "constellation" plot, I would call a histogram. The virtical axis appears to be a count of events. The tuner splits the signal into two axis and a constellation plot shows the data point plotted with respect to these two axis. My understanding is that only one of these axis is used for data in the 8vsb modulation scheme and the other is used to cancel one of the side bands.

I don't know if this HD Home run is capable of generating a true constellation plot, but a constellation plot is a bit more useful in diagnosing problems than the histogram plot they show.
post #11 of 16
Dredging this up for feedback

I had a few questions regarding this device.

This can multicast on a LAN

Are there any STBs that can independently take the network stream and record it, like a DVR? Instead of Extenders relying on Desktop/Laptop based source.

Another thought:

http://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=8317

This would essentially turn your desktop into an HTTP Server, which means any STBs with web browsing capability should be able to access it.


I'm trying to come up with a centralized solution to broadcast OTA channels to 10+ TVs. So far the HDHomerun TECH Multicast sounds like the least expensive solution.

PS - would you need multiple HDHomerun TECHs to display more than 2 channels at the same time, or would that be a function of the "Server" you have in place?
post #12 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kamel407 View Post

would you need multiple HDHomerun TECHs to display more than 2 channels at the same time, or would that be a function of the "Server" you have in place?

If you mean "live" than you'd need a tuner for each live feed you want. So yes, you'd need more than one hdhomerun to stream more than two channels.
post #13 of 16
Quote:
Originally Posted by star_man View Post

If you mean "live" than you'd need a tuner for each live feed you want. So yes, you'd need more than one hdhomerun to stream more than two channels.

Figures, is there a media server out there that can multicast multiple "live" feeds?

Personally, I'm more for appliances than servers, but when you're talking 50+ channels ...
post #14 of 16
No doubt this suggestion is too far out for typical diagnostics but nevertheless...: In addition to the histogram capability mentioned, including a spectrum analysis (SA) capability for HD luma might aid quality control. AVSer dr1394 used the free/shareware SIG package to plot a 1080i stadium crowd scene (see sublinked jpeg and follow-on post for the crowd image). The abillity to zoom in on the higher frequencies for a SA plot might aid comparisons of heavily rate-shaped programming, or multicast 720p/1080i with excessive bit rate reduction. Years back AVSer sspears used a H-P analyzer to measure maximum horizontal resolutions (800--1300 lines/PW) from HD-D5 movie master tapes. -- John
post #15 of 16
Sorry to wake-up such an old thread but this is about the only useful thread on the HDHomerun Tech that I have found. Can anyone verify if the HD Tech uses the same tuner module as the HD Dual? The fixed IP and software features of the Tech look great but it's tough to justify an extra $200 for this. If the Tech actually has a higher sensitivity tuner then I could justify the extra cost for my fringe area use.

If the same hardware, has anyone tried flashing the Dual with Tech BIOS?

Dave
post #16 of 16
regarding the earlier post about no access over VPN, will there be a resolution to this in the near future?


Eddie
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