Originally Posted by vladd
Are you sure the dropped frames are not related to the decoders you are using and not the tuners themselves?
Actaully I am pretty confident it is not the decoder. I have the same experience whether I use Microsoft's deccoder, the Avivo or the Cyberlink. My dropped frames only occur on the single station. I can watch the signal for that station oscillate on the snr meter on the Proband STB tuner. Thr Probrand signal meter is nice because it not only gives a percentage like most do, but it also reports SNR out to two or three digits.
Playback is perfect on everything else. I am using the Avivo decoder in Vista MCE. On my the other pc I tried the Nvidia and the Cyberlink all with the same results.
The ATI 650 has the most trouble staying locked. With M780 I can use a splitter on the coax ahead of a distribution amp sort of antennuate then boost. if I get tricky this way I can reduce the stutter somewhat, actually, quite a bit. The downside to that is of course my overall signal drops becasue of the splitter is a head of the distrubiton amp and that has consequences for some of the weaker stations.
In general though the better the signal, the fewer skips. I know some of it is multipath as I can move the antenna a good ways off the correct azimuth for this particular station and the stutter will reduce but other stations at the same antenna farm will start to have problems. BTW most of my local station towers are located at this same farm.
Again only the PCs tuners have any trouble. All the TVs and STBs are fine, even when they are provide considerably less signa than they are getting nowl. All DVD and HD DVD playback on the PCs are trouble free. Everything is trouble free except playback of this particular station. This an ABC affiliate and when it is in HD it is 720P. The SD subchannels on this ABC affiliate do the same thing even though they are on different frequencies. Because of the the stuttering occurs at random intervals but clusters it is very difficult to say whether it occurs more frequently on the SD or HD subchannels or content. My impression is that is slighty worse with HD content.
This is a pain because it might play 10 minutes with out a noticeable stutter. Then it will drop several frames in a row. I am not sure what is so different about the tuners in the STBs and TVs versus the ones I have tried on my HTPCs.
I am having a hard time pulling the trigger on an HD Homerun if I am just going to be faced with the same thing. I don't know where you can buy an HD HR and return without signifcant penalty if it does not solve my problem.
I have not tried a USB tuner... it is possible there is some RF thing going on inside the chassis on the PCs that is causing this which an external tuner might not be exposed to. Odd thing is the troublesome station is on UHF frequency 32 and there is a station at 33. Both with the same azimuth and listed at antennweb.org as within a tenth of a mile of each other. When I move off azimuth enough to improve the difficult station then the adjacent station goes from a full signal and perfect to poor enough for the TVs to have trouble locking.
I do have a big tree in the line of sight and I can't do anything about that.
Again is there a "King" when it comes to the actual digitral broadcast tuner performance?