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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so im confused about what the TV pack gives me. i know it gives clear QAM channels, but does that mean i can get all the local channels and HD versions of those channels without the antenna? i havent bought an antenna yet but i dont want to if the tv pack will give me all the channels i need.


my tv has an hd tuner built into it if that makes any difference. help?


sorry for the noobish question, and yes ive search all over the place.
 

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Clear QAM is unencrypted digital channels that are available from your cable provider. What you should do is check http://www.silicondust.com/hdhomerun/channels and put in your zip code to see which clear qam channels are available in your area. Scroll down on that page until you see the "QAM256" listings and then look for the ones that are 1280x720 or 1920x1080 and those should be the ones you can get.
 

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You, you will still need an antenna, or you can use cable, which will act as your antenna.


Think of it in terms of a hd radio. The hd radio can play the new hd radio stations whereas an old radio cannot. Both radios still need the antenna in order to get the new channels out of the air.


If you use cable, the coax acts as your antenna, feeding you the television signals. If you do not use cable, you will need an antenna to grab those same signals from the air.
 

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You will only get clear QAM local channels over cable if the digital tuner in your TV supports QAM digital as well as OTA digitasl.

And even if it does you will get less channels over clear QAM since the cable companies are only required to carry one sub-channel from each local digital broadcast station.
 

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I think you are missing the main point. You are wondering if a PC running TV Pack can take a cable input and output the resulting video to your TV.


You need a QAM tuner in your PC. The tuner in your TV is not relevant.


If your only interest is watching your local stations, use an antenna. If you only watch live, skip the PC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
well then im not sure if im explaining my needs correctly.


i want to not pay comcast anything other than for internet. so in order to get as many channels as possible, im under the assumption i need an hd antenna in order to get OTA HD and other locals. im getting the pc so i can record shows to replace my comcast dvr.


when i saw the tv pack thing, people were saying they were getting clear QAM channels and stuff. so i guess that threw me off....i was thinking that in order to get ANY channels at all without comcast in the mix, is to get an antenna and point it towards a certain direction.


as of right now, i plan on buying hardware based on the "build a htpc guide" on these forums.


1. i planned on getting ONE of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100014 tuners which if i understand it correctly, will allow me to record one digital channel and one analog at the same time. right??


2. id like to be able to record two hd channels at once, so im assuming that ill need another one of those tuners to make that happen. right?


my final question though, is the benefit of the tv pack in that you get MORE channels than with just an antenna?
 

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If you want to eliminate Comcast, then you don't need the TV Pack. You just need the antenna. You would however need two of those tuners in order to record 2 HD channels at once. Alternatively, you can get the Hauppauge HVR-2250 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116036 ) which will allow you to record 2 HD channels with one card.


The benefit of the TV pack is that it allows you to get any unencrypted channels that your cable provider provides using Windows Media Center. If you are not using cable (which is what you want to eliminate) or if you are using a software other than Windows Media Center, TV Pack offers you nothing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd /forum/post/15520130


If you want to eliminate Comcast, then you don't need the TV Pack. You just need the antenna. You would however need two of those tuners in order to record 2 HD channels at once. Alternatively, you can get the Hauppauge HVR-2250 ( http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116036 ) which will allow you to record 2 HD channels with one card.


The benefit of the TV pack is that it allows you to get any unencrypted channels that your cable provider provides using Windows Media Center. If you are not using cable (which is what you want to eliminate) or if you are using a software other than Windows Media Center, TV Pack offers you nothing.

*edit*


so what bout the complaints of the driver issues on the reviews?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by hulkster081 /forum/post/15518221


so bottom line then, i need the tv pack AND an antenna to get the most channels right?

No the TV pack will only let you receive a subset of the local OTA channels that are available with an antenna you will get less channels not more.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd /forum/post/15520651

http://forums.gbpvr.com/showpost.php...3&postcount=33
(I'm whurlston on that forum)

so i take it this hauppage card is still okay to buy then? as you can tell, i know so little so far about building a htpc (build regular pc's all the time though) and i just want to make sure i get the right stuff the FIRST time around.


now i know its a dual tuner but are there limitations i should know about? like, if the channels are different types will the card know to differentiate between SD vs. HD, antenna vs. QAM, etc?
 

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OK, QAM is a modulation used by cable. With an antenna (there is no such thing as an "HD antenna"), the digital signals are called ATSC; the analog NTSC.


Since you are planning to ditch cable video, you only need tuners that get ATSC. But be aware Comcast will raise your internet price by about the same ($15) as they charge for limited basic service. And that $15 service has all the same QAM channels on the wire as their more expensive packages.


So an option is to get QAM tuners and limited basic and be able to record all your local stations w/o an antenna.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by grittree /forum/post/15521693


OK, QAM is a modulation used by cable. With an antenna (there is no such thing as an "HD antenna"), the digital signals are called ATSC; the analog NTSC.


Since you are planning to ditch cable video, you only need tuners that get ATSC. But be aware Comcast will raise your internet price by about the same ($15) as they charge for limited basic service. And that $15 service has all the same QAM channels on the wire as their more expensive packages.


So an option is to get QAM tuners and limited basic and be able to record all your local stations w/o an antenna.

ah. so is the Hauppauge HVR-2250 card thats recommended here....if i get that card, and pay comcast for basic cable, then i can get all of the channels and the hd channels without an antenna? is that what you are saying? sorry, just want to confirm.
 

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You still need to research more. "HD channels" are just digital channels, some of which send HD some of the time.


Before you pick a tuner, you need to pick your front end software that does the scheduling, recording and playing. Many to choose from; Media Center, Sage, etc. Don't plan to use any software that comes with the tuner card.


Look for threads on front ends in this forum for the pros and cons of each.
 

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In my area, Comcast basic television (just local channels) is $15. If I get both television and internet from Comcast, I get a $10 credit. This means I pay $5 a month for my basic cable.


I then bought a HDHomeRun from silicon dust. It is an external tuner, which sends its info over Ethernet. I plugged it into my cable router and plugged my PC into my cable router (as well as my cable modem, of course).


I then plugged my antenna into the antenna port of the HDHomeRun and Comcast's cable into the cable port (both ports are Coax) of the HDHomeRun.


I downloaded the software from silicondust, installed it, and followed the instructions. I use Vista Media Center for everything.


The HDHomeRun takes the signals and processes the clear QAM, since VMC does not. It then sends it to my HTPC. I ran the setup for VMC, which detects the two tuners and configures itself for them.


It all works well.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by grittree /forum/post/15523334


You still need to research more. "HD channels" are just digital channels, some of which send HD some of the time.


Before you pick a tuner, you need to pick your front end software that does the scheduling, recording and playing. Many to choose from; Media Center, Sage, etc. Don't plan to use any software that comes with the tuner card.


Look for threads on front ends in this forum for the pros and cons of each.

i plan on using VMC. i know i need to do more research but i do better learning things by trial and error. id rather not buy hardware and have to send it back....but i dont mind getting equipment and then doing trial and error while trying to hook it up.


im thinking about just buying that hauppage 2250 card and seeing what happens.
 

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If you are going to use VMC, your best bet would be get one HDHR or two Aver M780s.


You will eliminate having to install TV Pack, which IMO is useless for USA residents.


Trial and error works if you have unlimited time and patience.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by grittree /forum/post/15524493


If you are going to use VMC, your best bet would be get one HDHR or two Aver M780s.


You will eliminate having to install TV Pack, which IMO is useless for USA residents.


Trial and error works if you have unlimited time and patience.

is there any point in getting two aver m780s? i mean, it seems the one card is the obvious, but im just wondering...
 

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2. id like to be able to record two hd channels at once, so im assuming that ill need another one of those tuners to make that happen. right?
 
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