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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
With image quality being my utmost concern, would I be better off getting a HD tuner card for my HTPC or just wiring up a dedicated STB (I already have a Hughes E86 that may be recycled for this)?


The feed will be going to a G70 which has component inputs which would go well with the E86 (though I'd have to run the cables).


My current assumption is that 720P content would probably look best coming from the STB but 1080i would show a decent amount of flicker on the G70 (and/or scan lines).


Assume at this point I don't have the cash for a H3D II card or that I'm willing to invest that much for the limited amount of HD viewing I'll be doing in the theater (most HD I watch is on a 65" RPTV that is much more conveniently located for daily watching).


I've been doing a lot of searching here and in the HTPC forums but I have mostly only found comparisons between different tuner cards but not between STBs and HTPC for HD.
 

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pcgeek,

I assume by your name you are comfortable working with PC's so that not an issue. The big advantage as you may know is most PC cards allows you to time shift (Record) OTA HD. I only have experience with the HiPix HDTV card so thats the one I will talk about, in-fact I was on the AVS development team that took the flaky POS software that came with the card and turned it into a very nice use-able unit. Picture quality is on par or maybe slightly better than a STB but as with any PC based hardware the WAF is very low so the STB wins there. One thing I notice about the HiPix while running in 720p mode was it seemed to comb bad during fast scene changes so I stayed away from that res and ran it in 1080i exclusively.


The other issue with the PC card is HD sources are limited to OTA broadcast HD signals where many STB will receive direct broadcast satellite depending on what type of box and your program provider. The HiPix will drive RGBHV or component but if your using the passthru cable with the Hipix the windows desktop will not be viewable using component mode.



IMO film based material such as movie look better at 720p for the reasons you stated such as scan lines and flicker however for video sources like live football and sporting events 1080i looks damm good so IMO its kind of a mixed bag.


Weigh your needs and make a judgment based on those needs.


Good Luck

Mike
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Aren't PC cards for HD limited to OTA? I mean, I'm not aware of a card for D* or E*.
Until Dish Network turns off support for the Dish5000/ modulator I can record HBO/Showtime/ Demo Channel and HD PPV with my HiPix.


Mike
 

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Wanman,


The HDTV modulator add-on unit for the Dish 5000 outputs a standard ATSC HD signal, just like OTA broadcasters do. So a HDTV tuner card for a PC can tune this signal and capture it to hard disk.


--Jerome
 

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ATSC is the broadcast digital televison standard. You can get more information on it here:

ATSC Standards Web Page


--Jerome
 

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Jerome, I know the ATSC standard is digital in its transmission from broadcast transmitter/satellite to the STB, but I'm asking if the STB is re-broadcasting it in digital (why the heck would it?) or analog from the STB.


My point is that I am curious as to what this particular HD-STB is doing that no other HD-STB cannot do.
 

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Wanman,


You already had your answer. I'm sorry if it wasn't clear enough for you. The Dish HDTV modulator takes the high definition satellite signals (chiefly the HBO, Showtime, and CBS HDTV channels) from Dish Network and modulates that into a ATSC signal. No other satellite receiver can do this. Even the 169time mods do not do this. The signal comming from the Dish 5000 HDTV modulator can be received by an STB HDTV tuner (such as the Samsung SIR-T165), and from there you can archive HDTV to a D-VHS deck over firewire. Or, you can use a PCI HDTV tuner card in a PC, connect the Dish 5000 HDTV modulator output to it, and capture the HDTV transport stream to hard disk or D-VHS tape.


The whole benefit of this is to be able to timeshift HDTV from Dish Network. There is a ton of discussion about Dish 5000 and 169time recording setups in the HDTV Recorders forum, just in case you want to know more.


Hope this helps to clear it up.


--Jerome
 

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Ok, light bulb just followed the brick to the head. :) Too bad its Dish, though. Was this technology a mistake, or just something that got invented and released before Bullywood started screaming Thief! to all its paying and honest customers?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by WanMan
Ok, light bulb just followed the brick to the head. :) Too bad its Dish, though. Was this technology a mistake, or just something that got invented and released before Bullywood started screaming Thief! to all its paying and honest customers?
Yep, that pretty much sums it up. I have not been as diligent as Jerome on recording HD from this source. As of right now I only have about a terabyte of HD movies.


Mike
 
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