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AutumnWave / OnAir USB HDTV Tuners - Page 2

post #31 of 2955
Clint,

I don't know if you went back and read the previous thead, but the other STRONG selling point for Autumnwave is that Ryan has been active in helping resolve issues we've had with the product. Cox cable here in Phoenix was doing some strange stuff with an "empty" channel on one of their digital channels which was preventing me from being able to tune the ABC and Fox HD feeds. Ryan actively worked with me to collect data, diagnose the issue, and then let me know when the fix came out.

That definitely helps boost buyer confidence.

Phoenix
post #32 of 2955
Hi Ryan,

I am experiencing audio problem in MCE2005. At first, I couldn't even able get the Media Center in MCE2005 to detect the TV tuner. After I launch Windows Update, and manally selected and installed two software updates for MCE2005 from Microsoft and restarted my laptop, Media Center is able to detect the tuner and I am able to watch analog OTA channels.
However, I got no sound from any channels. Media Center can play my other videos fine with sound. I tried changing the setting in Media Center TV->Audio option from stereo to SAP, still no sound.
Do you have any idea? Thank you.
post #33 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhoenixScreen View Post

Clint,

I don't know if you went back and read the previous thead, but the other STRONG selling point for Autumnwave is that Ryan has been active in helping resolve issues we've had with the product. Cox cable here in Phoenix was doing some strange stuff with an "empty" channel on one of their digital channels which was preventing me from being able to tune the ABC and Fox HD feeds. Ryan actively worked with me to collect data, diagnose the issue, and then let me know when the fix came out.

That definitely helps boost buyer confidence.

Phoenix

Oh, I thought of it. I just failed to post it. It is nice to see someone paying attention to meeting the consumers desires!
post #34 of 2955
I am also pulling in USDTV but when I go to them they say scrambled. I wonder how they from a technolgy standpoint would unscramble them. I get 99.1 (the guide/sales channel) and then can hear the audio on some of the channels like ESPN. But if I were to pay the $20 a month how do they know it's me to unscramble to the OnAir GT. Maybe I should ask USDTV...but I thought you might want to know this is an option for more channels if you live in one of the four locations that broadcast USDTV channels.

www.usdtv.com
post #35 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by clintroberts View Post

Hey Ryan, thanks for convincing me to accept the GT.

I never expected it to be this good! especially after trying to get the VBOX and the Artec to work. Yes this one was $179 and the Artec was only $80 but this is worth the $100 more.

I have been waiting for 2-3 years and am estatic. I sound as if I would be getting a kick back for this review but I am just really impressed. Nice work guys. Highly recommended!!!

Agree totally with Clint!

I bought the GT 2 weeks ago through WalMart Online for $174 but said nothing until I finished testing it because I couldn't believe the results I was getting. It is a marvel!

Some past history as a comparison. Three years ago I bought the MDP-100. Of the 8 Atlanta HD channels, I would get reception at 70-80% on half of them and 50-60% on the others. That was in autumn and winter when the leaves were off the trees. Come summer, I would lose half the channels (0%) while the others went down to 60%. Two years ago I upgraded to an MDP-120 and got about a 5% improvement across the spectrum.

My situation admittedly is a difficult one. I am in a valley surrounded by rows and rows of tall trees (30-40 feet high) 30 miles from the broadcast towers. I tried mounting my ChannelMaster 4228 (and many other antennas) on the roof and in the attic - and found my sweetspot inside the attic (with better reception actually inside the attic than on the roof).

This year I decided that OTA was not going to be for me since I could not get the channels I wanted spring or summer. Since I work odd hours, I decided to try a USB receiver for my office (close to the broadcast towers) where I could work late at night or on weekends and have some sports events on TV in background. So I bought the GT not for my home but for my office.

When it arrived, I decided on a whim to hook it up to my antenna at home - just to see whether this "5th generation chipset" was going to be more than just a myth with respect to fringe reception and multipath problems.

WOW! After having done the channel scan, ALL my channels came in (even those the MDP-120 showed at 0%). Better yet, each channel was locked in and stable continuously. For two weeks I watched programs in HD - through sun and rain, day and night (under all conditions) without a hitch. No hiccups, no dropouts, no fluctuation. I tested the card in the morning when I got up, on weekends in mid afternoon, and in the evenings. It performs beautifully under conditions the other cards simply fail at.

I never did take the GT to the office. Instead I ditched the MDP and the GT has become my home receiver. I consider the GT worth every penny after struggling to get OTA through many antennas, many mounts and locations, etc. I had tried the ChannelMaster 4228 antenna, the CM 4248, the Winegard SquareShooter, the Televes DAT-75 (yes I still have all those antennas lying around). The GT makes the antenna WORK!

The GT makes OTA a reality for me. Sorry if this sounds like a paid advertisement but it isn't. I waited until another person like Clint reviewed the product to confirm my feelings (since it seemed too good to be true). Thanks OnAir - I love a product that transcends "excuses" and "expert concerns" such as distance, antenna types, weather, multipath and ghosting, hills & trees, valleys & troughs and JUST WORKS so I can concentrate on the content rather than the media.

~ Ben Welijka,
Cumming, Georgia
post #36 of 2955
Hey Ryan,

The option menu under other has "enable click sound" but it doesn't seem to do anything. Anyway to get rid of the click sound when pressing buttons on the remote?
post #37 of 2955
If only we could get this integrated into laptops as an option. Maybe design this to go into a modular bay. It's that good!
post #38 of 2955
Here is a size comparison between the Artec, VBOX 3560, OnAir GT, and a standard CD.
LL
post #39 of 2955
Thread Starter 
Clint & Ben,
We are very happy that you are pleased with our products, and appreciate taking the time to write a good review!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintroberts View Post

The option menu under other has "enable click sound" but it doesn't seem to do anything. Anyway to get rid of the click sound when pressing buttons on the remote?

Right-click the Remocon icon (in the system notification area) and choose "Options". Uncheck the 2nd option, and the 'click' sound should go away!


Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #40 of 2955
Thread Starter 
skycat,
Could you email me a 'System Information' file?

(1) Start Menu >> Run... >> msinfo32
(2) File >> Save...
(3) Send the resulting ".NFO" file to me

Email address: 'tech @ autumnwave . com' (remove the spaces)

- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #41 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpertusio View Post

Clint & Ben,
We are very happy that you are pleased with our products, and appreciate taking the time to write a good review!

Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America


(Silliness ahead)... Not a problem, now where's that kickback?
post #42 of 2955
Whoa! I'm amazed to see the GT selling at Walmart. I hope this is turning out well for AutumnWave/OnAir!

I bought the OnAir Creator a week after it came out and have been continually impressed with not only the reception (I have serious multi-path issues) and the consistency of the support.

A while back I requested that the Creator's software allow one to record the entire DTV stream instead of just the current tuned sub channel. Not only did they implement the feature, but Ryan also sent me an email to tell me about the new software update! I don't know where else one can get this quality of service from a hardware manufacturer. Hat's off to everyone at AutumnWave!

Oh, I noticed that someone mentioned the USDTV channels a while back and that I remembered that I forgot to report back (from a post on the previous thread):

I bought one of the OTA USDigital HDTV tuners from Walmart a while back and compared it to the OnAir Creator. Although the USDigital OTA box doesn't seem to require as strong of a signal to tune it in, the Creator can keep a channel stable when the USDigital box pixilated or tuned out completely. In addition to that, the USDigital OTA box cannot handle high-strength signals that well. If one station is over 20 dB on the USDigital OTA box, the tuner refuses to tune in (or lock on) to any of the other stations whereas the OnAir Creator handles signals upwards of 28 dB without any degradation of other stations or reception quality.

So, in short, the OnAir Creator has outperformed the USDigital HDTV tuner in my simple, unscientific, tests.
post #43 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkloppenborg View Post

Whoa! Oh, I noticed that someone mentioned the USDTV channels a while back and that I remembered that I forgot to report back (from a post on the previous thread):

I bought one of the OTA USDigital HDTV tuners from Walmart a while back and compared it to the OnAir Creator. Although the USDigital OTA box doesn't seem to require as strong of a signal to tune it in, the Creator can keep a channel stable when the USDigital box pixilated or tuned out completely. In addition to that, the USDigital OTA box cannot handle high-strength signals that well. If one station is over 20 dB on the USDigital OTA box, the tuner refuses to tune in (or lock on) to any of the other stations whereas the OnAir Creator handles signals upwards of 28 dB without any degradation of other stations or reception quality.

So, in short, the OnAir Creator has outperformed the USDigital HDTV tuner in my simple, unscientific, tests.

That was me...how did you unlock the USDTV channels even after you subscribed? How does the Creator know how to unscramble the signal... a code or something?
post #44 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by bkloppenborg View Post

Whoa! I'm amazed to see the GT selling at Walmart. I hope this is turning out well for AutumnWave/OnAir!


Whereas Walmart adds Shipping and taxes to its price, Autumwave includes shipping at neat price (free shipping). Saved me about ten bucks.
post #45 of 2955
I have been thinking of getting the gt for a while. I just have a few questions. Has anyone used it to plug a xbox into it? If so how well does it work and is it possible to get it in HD. I'm also from Canada and wondered if anyone else in Canada has tried it out to see how well it works here.

Thanks
post #46 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by Epix View Post

I have been thinking of getting the gt for a while. I just have a few questions. Has anyone used it to plug a xbox into it? If so how well does it work and is it possible to get it in HD. I'm also from Canada and wondered if anyone else in Canada has tried it out to see how well it works here.

Thanks

The inputs on the OnAir/GT would only accomodate RF (aka "Ch 3/4"), composite (or svideo) + analog audio from your video game console - - there is no RGB or component inputs. This does work well, played my older PS1 this way util I ran emu.
post #47 of 2955
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by clintroberts View Post

That was me...how did you unlock the USDTV channels even after you subscribed? How does the Creator know how to unscramble the signal... a code or something?

The Creator cannot unscramble encrypted channels. The only channels viewable are 'Unencrypted QAM' channels. (The cable company wants you to purchase their set-top-box. If they left the channels unencrypted, they would be losing your $ if you returned the STB.)

You can connect the STB output (composite or S-Video) to the tuner, and watch it in Standard Definition. Then, use the remote for the STB to change the channel. It's not going to get you encrypted Digital directly to the tuner, but you'd have SD.

- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #48 of 2955
Ryan,

Do you know if the GT works in Linux? Also, can you tell me which bridge chipset is in the GT?

Even if you don't know the answer the Linux question, the answer to the chipset question would help me make a guess.

Thanks,
Kevin
post #49 of 2955
Thread Starter 
Hi Kevin,
The GT does not currently work in Linux. I'd be happy to find more information regarding the bridge chipset. Please PM me (or email me: tech @ autumwave . com)

Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #50 of 2955
I received shipment of one OnAir GT today, and just installed it on my HP Pavillion dv1000 notebook.

Generally, it works as advertised, but some notes:

1. If you live or in a remote area where your local TV broadcast signals are weak, you won't be pleased. HOWEVER, this issue applies to ALL TV TUNERS, regardless of brand. So, don't hold this against the OnAir GT.

2. After connecting a roof OTA antenna, the GT performed as good as my other TV tuner cards. So, again, signal strength at your place of use is extremely important.

3. Recording digital HD TV programs is very good.

A note about my HP Pavillion dv1000. This model came out in mid-2004, and uses Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 video graphics technology. This means that the Intel Extreme Graphics 2 uses system memory, because it has no discrete memory of its own. I was concerned that the OnAir GT would have performance problems because of this; however, it does appear that the Intel Extreme Graphics is up to the job.

Thus far, a five minute segment of HD from my local PBS station played back in the OnAir software very well, without any stutter or hickups. The file type use are "trp" files. The only other software media player that will play these on my current setup is InterVideo's WinDVD, but there were occassional hickups in the playback. However, OnAir's player delivered no hickups.

You can change the digital video file type to either ".ts" or ".tp", among other settings.

Incidentally, my HP Pavillion dv1000 has an Intel Pentium M 1.5 GHz CPU, and has 1.2 GB of DDR memory.

Total CPU usage during HD TV recording averaged about 25%. I could not visually detect any change in CPU usage when recording is on or when recording is off. No other application was running at the time. Of course, HD TV signals are digital, so that virtually no CPU processing is done as the video is recorded directly to the hard drive.

4. Analog TV recording was good. The resulting files appear to be plain ole MPG files recorded at 720 x 480 resolution. These recording played in the OnAir GT Player as good as in Windows Media Player.

CPU usage averaged about 80%, of which about 55% was the player recording video. The specs for the OnAir GT does not mention whether MPEG encoding is by software or hardware. Well, we know now.

Anyway, I don't think that this will be a performance issue so long as your system has a fairly strong CPU, sufficient memory, and few other demanding applications are running concurrently.

Because of the absence of an hardware MPEG encoder, the OnAir GT probably won't install in Windows Media Center 5005.

5. The remote control software installed without issue, and the control itself is very good.

6. The GT is about the size of a thick PDA. It comes with a carrying case.

7. I'll test out the short antenna that came in the retail box from another location at some later time.

8. The GT supports QAM. I don't know nothing about QAM, because I don't have cable TV. I have DirecTV.

9. The unit has AV input port, which is a combo video and audio in. The one end of the provided cable connects to the GT unit, and the other end of the cable has svideo in, composite in, and left and right audo plugs.

I haven't tested this, but I may get around to connecting the DirecTV to it.

10. I did not use the software and drivers on the CD that comes in the retail box. I downloaded the latest files from Autumnwave.com
post #51 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekFunk View Post


1. If you live or in a remote area where your local TV broadcast signals are weak, you won't be pleased. HOWEVER, this issue applies to ALL TV TUNERS, regardless of brand. So, don't hold this against the OnAir GT.

Actually, you might try putting an amplifier into the mix. I put a 24 dB amp right after the antenna and I can pick up all of the local channels... even the digital stations (much lower power than the analog stations... 1kW vs >100 kW, respectively) from the same towers from which I cannot receive the analog stations.

The OnAir Creator can also take a lot more power at the tuner than other STBs can. For instance, the USDigital Tuner that I have cannot tune in a station with over 20 dB of signal whereas the OnAir Creator works best with high power channels. I don't know if the Creator and the GT are close enough in design to have similar results... Ryan, care to chime in?

For those of you who have read my previous posts, even though I live in a rural environment, I have a horrible multipath problem with the local PBS station. There is a large building, almost perpendicular to the straight-line path from the antenna to my home, about 1/4 of a mile away. It's painful to watch the PBS station with an analog tuner but the Creator solved that problem!

Quote:
Originally Posted by clintroberts View Post

That was me...how did you unlock the USDTV channels even after you subscribed? How does the Creator know how to unscramble the signal... a code or something?

I'm not in a USDigital market so I didn't get the USDigital channels. I bought the USDigital STB from Walmart (this one: http://www.walmart.com/catalog/produ...uct_id=2598451). This box just tunes in digital channels as far as I know.
post #52 of 2955
Thread Starter 
GeekFunk,
I'm glad to see you have had favorable results with your GT! I'll just add some commentary on what you wrote...

Quote:
Originally Posted by GeekFunk View Post

[...]uses Intel's Extreme Graphics 2 video graphics

Although it appears you have not experienced this... older Intel Extreme Graphics 2 drivers do not fully support DxVA, and can cause your system to hang/crash. If you have the newest drivers, then you probably won't experience this issue. I just thought I'd let you know, in case you roll back to earlier drivers.

Quote:


The file type use are "trp" files. The only other software media player that will play these on my current setup is InterVideo's WinDVD

There are 3rd party programs that can help you convert these files, if necessary. For example, see HDTVtoMPEG2

Quote:


The specs for the OnAir GT does not mention whether MPEG encoding is by software or hardware. Well, we know now.

The 'Creator' model has a hardware encoder. The power requirements of a hardware encoder would exceed that of the USB port. (The GT is self-powered by USB... the Creator uses a DC input.)

Similar (competing) products to the GT draw too much power on the USB port. In fact, our device is one of the only self-powered USB devices that stays within USB power specs. Our engineers have specifically designed the GT to draw much less power and stay within spec. Thus, MPEG encoding for Analog sources is done via the CPU. (If you're looking for hardware encoding, the OnAir USB HDTV Creator may be the product you want instead.)


Quote:


I did not use the software and drivers on the CD that comes in the retail box. I downloaded the latest files from Autumnwave.com

You're missing out on the nVidia PureVideo Decoder. The Retail CD installer launches the OEM nVidia installer. We do not provide the nVidia Decoder on our website, because it has specific licensing limitations. Our website only includes an InterVideo decoder for our softawre. (This is why your software still runs.)

Rather than ask you to re-install everything, I would recommend popping in the CD, and installing the nVidia decoder manually. You'll need the licensing information that was included in the box. On the CD, the installer can be found in the following directory: '\\USBHDTV\\Program\\FilterN\\' You'll probably also find that you can now use advanced sound options, and your performance might be much improved!


bkloppenborg,
The Creator and GT both use the latest LG 5th generation chipset. You should see comparable tuning for either device.


Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #53 of 2955
Quote:
Originally Posted by rpertusio View Post

GeekFunk,




The 'Creator' model has a hardware encoder. The power requirements of a hardware encoder would exceed that of the USB port. (The GT is self-powered by USB... the Creator uses a DC input.)

Similar (competing) products to the GT draw too much power on the USB port. In fact, our device is one of the only self-powered USB devices that stays within USB power specs. Our engineers have specifically designed the GT to draw much less power and stay within spec. Thus, MPEG encoding for Analog sources is done via the CPU. (If you're looking for hardware encoding, the OnAir USB HDTV Creator may be the product you want instead.)





bkloppenborg,
The Creator and GT both use the latest LG 5th generation chipset. You should see comparable tuning for either device.


Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio
AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America

Do you know how much power it uses?
The tuner quality and filtering specifications will also affect reception performance.
John
post #54 of 2955
B Kloppenborg & Others

Outside my home, the little antenna that came in the OnAir GT retail box was quite adequate to pickup all the local analog and digital stations in my area (Washington, DC metro, Virginia side).

Again, the OnAir GT was connected to my HP Pavillion dv1000. Incidentally, the dv1000 is a wide screen notebook with a 1280 x 768 resolution, which suits HDTV programs near perfectly and brilliantly.

So, inside, I'll connect the GT to my roof antenna, and outside, use the little antenna.

Ryan

Thanks for your response. I installed the Nvidia Purevideo OEM app without it issue. It works very well.
post #55 of 2955
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ctdish View Post

Do you know how much power it uses?

John,
As you may or may not know, the limitation for USB powered devices is 500mA per port (or hub). Many other USB powered tuners will exceed 500mA, and sometimes causes major damage to the computer. The GT uses a maximum of about 460mA for both Digital and Analog TV.

Thanks,
- Ryan Pertusio

AutumnWave Technical Support
OnAir Solution North America
post #56 of 2955
Ryan,

I would like to build a MythTV box with the GT as my receiver. Do you know of any Linux drivers for the GT?

~ Ben Welijka
Atlanta, GA
post #57 of 2955
No, no linux drivers exist for the GT. There was a post some time ago -- someone looking to write one from scratch but...
post #58 of 2955
Ryan,
Thanks for the current (ma.) information. I had not looked up the current limit for a USB device, but wondered what the tuner's impact on battery life was. Since the tuner uses less than 2.5 watts the impact should be minimal. John
post #59 of 2955
Hi Ryan,

I just purchased Creator and scheduled a few programs for recording at a later time. Although it worked great when my computer was running, it did not work when the system was in standby (which is the state it's in most of the time). I checked in Window's Device Manager to see if I could enable the allow-this-device-to-bring-the-computer-out-of-standby property, however, it was grayed out for Creator.

Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated...
post #60 of 2955
Hi Ryan.

After my standalone DVD recorder became a doorstopper, I've recently gone back to capturing S-Video using the regular Sasem HDTV Tuner. Whites can still be a bit too bright, but overall, picture quality is very good.
However, using the latest 2.99P program, when I capture video for a lengthy amount of time (30min +), I notice there is some sort of hiccup along the way, and the video goes from being smooth to having a jerky quality to it. This is especially noticeable during panning scenes.
I've tried going back to different versions of the program, but I obtain the same result. This occurs no matter what resolution & quality settings I use (though I haven't used anything below 640x480, "Normal"). I've also tried fiddling with the other settings under "ATV Video Encoder" , but to no success. Plugging the Sasem to a NEC 5-port USB 2.0 PCI card did not make a difference. Background programs such as McAfee Virusscan were also not running.

I also purchased the GT and tried capturing via S-video. In comparison to the regular Hardware-encoding Sasem using the same settings (MPEG-2, 640x480, Good), video quality is just not there using the GT - very pixelated. Plus, there is a slight glitch right from the getgo and the audio is ever so slightly off sync. I've yet to capture S-video with the GT for more than 10 minutes to see if video becomes jerky.

**A bit off topic -- I love that the GT doesn't get too HOT - much like the FusionHDTV USB and Sigmacom USB products. However, I still get the occasional 2 or 3 dropped frames per hour of HDTV recording/capturing like I do with the regular Sasem. Also, even with the "No decoding (Recording is possible)" feature, I guess I was foolish to think that I could capture HDTV from both the regular Sasem and the new GT simultaneously without one device losing a bunch of frames. Both are not plugged in at the same time when I capture analog/S-video.

I am not using any other USB devices when a tuner is running. My current configuration: HP a1230n, Windows XP MCE, 2GB RAM, 1 - 200GB SATA HD, 1 - 160GB HD, and ATI PCI-E Radeon x800 video card.

Any advice on this matter would be appreciated. Thanks!
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