AVS Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am in a fringe reception area and need the most sensitive HD tuner card/USB I can get. Unfortunately, I cannot find independent testing reports.


Can anyone point me to testing that looks at sensitivity?


Also I wanted to confirm that the need for hardware MPEG encoding is unnecessary for capturing digital OTA programming.


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
151 Posts
Don't know of any testing. But, I can tell you that I live 35 miles from towers and get good reception with my Avermedia Duet dual ATSC tuner. Better that my now dead Hauppauge HVR950 usb tuner.


No encoding with ATSC digital signal.


I think you might find that your antenna may be more responsible for your reception than the tuner you select. If you get good reception with you TV, the Duet or other good tuner will work.


Check here for more on antenna for your area:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/forumdisplay.php?f=45
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
Agreed, antenna is what really matters. I have owned the Duet and the 2250, the Duet did a better job on a difficult channel we have in our area. The Duet is considerably cheaper per tuner than any other ATSC solution out there. No need to pay for an NTSC tuner you will never use.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,786 Posts
As fringe viewer with an HTPC, let me tell you that the hope that a better tuner is gonna help is just magical thinking.


There are only a handful of answers to fringe reception. They are: more height, better pre-amp, better cable.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I am 130 miles from the towers, so every little bit helps. I already have a low noise amplifier, a rotor to fine tune the direction and the largest 8 bay bowtie antenna that makes sense.


I currently use an Apex set top box which I have tested against a friend's K-World STB. The K-World was noticeably better at picking up most (but not all) channels. So I am pretty sure the tuner can make a difference. Maybe not significant to those with better signal, but I am working with next to nothing.


I am only interested in OTA digital and don't want to give up any signal by splitting it in a combo card.



PS: In case anyone is wondering why I don't just buy a K-World since it's better than what I have, the reviews on reliability are terrible lots of failures & my friend has already had his replaced once. Plus I really prefer a tuner card so I can use the PC for capture and streaming.


So I am still looking for any objective testing that might be available.


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I looked at using a Yagi, but the commercial ones do not offer any gain in performance over my DIY 8 bay (at least according to the NEC analysis).


A DIY designed Yagi I looked at had such narrow beam width, I questioned the ability to actually aim it. Plus it was getting out of hand in size - over 10 ft long.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,696 Posts
An 8bay has a 12db gain. You should be able to do better than that with a directional antenna. Of course the cost will be substantially more than a DIY setup...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/18320248


An 8bay has a 12db gain. You should be able to do better than that with a directional antenna. Of course the cost will be substantially more than a DIY setup...

Perhaps you are thinking of commercial 4 or 8 bays that only get around 12 Db?


The DIY M8 8-bay I am using shows a minimum net gain of over 16 dB across the freq span and peaks close to 19dB.

http://www.frontiernet.net/~mclapp/A...re11-23-08.xls


The XG91 YAGI also peaks just below 19, but falls off its peak much quicker. But more importantly it is tuned to the old UHF band. In the new UHF band, its maximum net gain is less than 15 dB falling to 12 dB at the low end.

http://www.hdtvprimer.com/ANTENNAS/comparing.html


The above also shows several commercial 4 & 8 bay bowties, which indeed only show around 12 dB net gain.


I have confirmed these numbers with my own NEC4 modeling of both commercial and DIY antennas. The absolute numbers may be off, but the comparison is most likely valid.


To get a YAGI style antenna to out perform the M8 (or the comparable performance DBGH) requires a VERY long boom or a stacked set of YAGI's, which have a VERY narrow beam width.


If there was a commercial antenna available that matched the DIY performance I would buy it, I have already spent a bundle building and testing antennas!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
51 Posts
Tuners do make a difference. I swapped tuners without touching the antenna and got many more channels.


The unfortunate thing is that it isn't really clear which are better, or which revisions.


The tuner I have before was avermedia a180 and I got a no-name Asus one off ebay (cause I needed a pci-e x1)for cheap that was far more sensitive. But the avermedia ones have good reviews so maybe they got better with revisions. Also my hdtv (a samsung 1 year old) gets slightly better reception than the Asus one. It is just slight though, the difference between the a180 and the ASUS was large.


I found this thread searching b/c if I am to buy a new tuner I want it to be of high quality.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
50 Posts
Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks Sxotty,


I also believe the tuner can make a difference based on my limited observations and notes I have read from others. But darned if I can find any recent testing that tests sensitivity.


Please post back if you find anything.


Thanks!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
23,131 Posts
Where I've found tuners to make a difference is in stability/reliability of the signal, probably most specifically multipath rejection. The way you improve reception of weak signals is with antennas and preamps (if you've got a lot of cable and/or splitters).


I chased tuners and whatnot for too long in my setup before I returned to the basics, an ancient 120" Radioshack V/UHF outside on the roof feeding a mast mounted CM7777 preamp.


The recent (gen2) HD HomeRun is the best tuner I've used.
 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top