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?? regarding TV/QAM tuner cards

3378 Views 13 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  Yaobing
heya,


new to the forum, hoping to get a few HTPC questions answered.



I'm going to be purchasing the AverMedia combo PCI-E tuner/pvr card (which I guess I cant link to), but I'm not sure about a few things regarding it's (and other cards') operation. I have two monitors hooked up to my video card. I'd like to use one of them to watch TV/movies while I'm web surfing or working on the other screen. the monitor I intend to use to watch TV most of the time is a VGA-only LCD, but I will occasionally want to watch movies/football on the DVI widescreen LCD.


- can this card - or any other that supports QAM - utilize the PCI bus to transfer the a/v signal to one of my monitors? if the answer is no,


- what additional equipment will be required to view TV on one of my screens?


- I intend to use my motherboard's integrated sound solution - realtek ac97 - for hearing the TV. is there anything sound related that I should be aware of when using the AverMedia - or other - card?


also, if there's anything that tuner n00bs need to know, or consistently screw up please let me know. I'd prefer not to screw this up.



thanks guys
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The transfer of the signal is not based on the tuner card but the PC/video card. You can try this before you ever get the card - use any kind of PVR software and a sample video file and try to play it on one screen while surfing on the other.


Sounds should probably be fine although you only have one output so any sound generated while surfing on one screen would be heard on the other screen displaying TV video.
You can also change your Windows setup so that Windows events don't have any sound. Games, vids, audio still will work though.


Please post your QAM experience with your card, for those who are still looking for QAM-capable cards (and can you also specify what model it is), thanks.
I bought the card tonite - AverMedia M780 PCI-E Combo. going to try my hand at setting this thing up, trip report to follow soon.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brown Radagast /forum/post/0


You can also change your Windows setup so that Windows events don't have any sound. Games, vids, audio still will work though.


Please post your QAM experience with your card, for those who are still looking for QAM-capable cards (and can you also specify what model it is), thanks.

I bought the AverMedia PCI-E Combo (M780) ATSC/NTSC tuner from Tiger Direct for around $100. There are MCE and non-MCE editions available - I got non-MCE, as I'm not rocking a Vista version w/Media Center. Included in both flavors of the M780 are: PCI-E x1 tuner card, S-Video > Composite adapter, RCA audio > stereo mini jack adapter. additionally, a Media Center remote + IR blaster are included w/the MCE package.


instructions, documentation, etc. are non-existant, but AverMedia's support crew is top-notch - using the "submit a question" feature on their website, I asked 4 questions and had all 4 answered the same day. the Aver support crew is also helping me figure out why DxVA isnt supported as it should be.


available inputs on the M780 are NTSC and ATSC coax, S-Video, and audio via RCA > stereo mini jack. I used the NTSC and ATSC coax inputs in my setup - and plan to remove the NTSC coax and install a digital cable box in it's place. in my area - west Chicago burbs - Comcast does not officially offer unencrypted QAM channels except for local HD broadcasts.


software support from AverMedia includes AverTV 6 and the now-in-beta AverMedia Media Center. both programs allow for analog and digital tuning/viewing, and both offer PVR capability. additionally, the Media Center offers a true multi-media experience - photos, videos, and music are all supported in many formats.


in terms of tuner performance, the analog (NTSC) tuner is decent - I havent watched analog cable in 4+ years, and I honestly dont remember how it's supposed to look. the picture produced by the M780 is pretty clear, with minimal noise/interference which may have been caused by the cabling in my apt. moreso than the tuner itself. channel navigation is easy, and the Electronic Program Guide via TitanTV is very easy to set up.


as I mentioned previously, Comcast does not officially offer unencrypted QAM in my area - but local digital/HD stations are relatively easy to tune. I'm really new at this TV on the PC thing, so I'm not used to having to make a list of locations (frequencies?) for the channels.


ATSC tuning is very sharp - definately the M780's strong suit. I'm watching the PGA tour on CBS HD right now, and the picture on my old Dell 15" LCD is phenomenal - yes, I know 1024x768 isnt true HD. whatever. the ATSC EPG is also supplied by TitanTV, and is quite accurate. I've experience absolutely zero picture issuesI'm very much looking forward to the NFL season so I can watch in HD - I expect nothing short of amazing.


I'll assume that some of you caught the "officially" tag when I referred to Comcast's unencrypted QAM support. I say this because I get the video of a number of cable channels without sound when using the ATSC/QAM tuner - which I find very strange. if anyone understands why this is happening, I'd be very appreciative of an explanation. the video-only channels I'm receiving are (channel "frequency" first):

82.22 - CLTV w/no sound

83.34 - USA w/no sound

84.38 - Travel Channel w/no sound

85.44 - ESPN w/no sound

85.47 - A&E w/no sound

85.48 - MSNBC w/no sound

85.52 - Bravo w/no sound

85.53 - ESPN 2 w/no sound

86.57 - E! w/no sound

86.59 - CourtTV w/no sound

86.60 - Oxygen w/no sound

86.61 - Comcast Sports Net w/no sound

86.62 - ESPN Classic w/no sound

86.63 - VS. w/no sound

86.64 - History w/no sound

101.85 - TBS w/no sound

102.96 - Channel Guide with sound

108.106 - Sci-Fi w/no sound

111.109 - ES.TV with sound


local DT/HD channels I'm receiving are:

81.4 - CBS, doesnt seem digital or HD

81.8 - WTTW DT 2, PBS

81.9 - WTTN DT, Indiana PBS

81.10 - WCIU DT

82.15 - WGN DT

82.16 - FOX DT

82.17 - NBC, doesnt seem digital or HD

111.110 - WGN DT

111.111 - ABC DT 2

111.112 - ABC DT 3

111.113 - The Tube, music videos

116.162 - CBS DT/HD

116.163 - WTTW DT, PBS

116.164 - WTTW DT 3, PBS/Create Channel


Conclusion

overall, this is a great card and would recommend to anyone. analog TV is decent - but not awe-inspiring, and digital/HD content is incredible. both AverTV 6 and AverMedia Media Center seem to still be in the beta stage, and as of now there is no built-in support for the M780 if you want to use GB-PVR. a search of the GB-PVR forums for the M780 does yield results, but only for analog TV. GB-PVR does not support QAM via the M780 right now, but I hope to convince them to add it.



also, if anyone could educate me a little as to why I get certain QAM/cable stations that show video but do not have audio, I would be very appreciative. I hope this helps at least a few who are interested in the new breed of combo tuner cards - and I'll try to answer questions if I can, I'm learning more by the minute about this card.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorcanes /forum/post/0


GB-PVR does not support QAM via the M780 right now, but I hope to convince them to add it.

sub will add support for any QAM card the manufacturer are willing to provide him with the details of how to access QAM through the BDA drivers. So convince the manufacturer to release this info to him. Convincing sub is the easy part


Quote:
Originally Posted by razorcanes /forum/post/0


also, if anyone could educate me a little as to why I get certain QAM/cable stations that show video but do not have audio, I would be very appreciative. I hope this helps at least a few who are interested in the new breed of combo tuner cards - and I'll try to answer questions if I can, I'm learning more by the minute about this card.

Have you tried running the stream through TSReader? This should tell you if there is an audio stream and provide details to help you figure it out.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd /forum/post/0


Have you tried running the stream through TSReader? This should tell you if there is an audio stream and provide details to help you figure it out.

I've never heard of it - exploring the TSReader page at coolstf/com webpage now. do you have any hints/tips for using this program?


thank you
My name is Felix and I am Product Manager at AVerMedia and AVerTV Combo PCIe M780 is my product.

I am very interested to hear your opinion about AVerMedia Products and I would like to assist you with any questions.


Also, would be a possible to get a short recording file from Clear QAM channel where you are missing audio, this will help us to analyze problem and hope to solve this issue.

Regards,

Felix
I can't figure out how to get MCE 2005 to recognize the M780 as 2 TV Tuners. This is a feature of this card, correct? I have a splitter from my cable jack going into both cable inputs on the back of the card, but MCE only sees it as one analog card and asks me if the digital antenna is connected. I was told this is both ATSC and NTSC on both inputs, right?


Thanks

Quote:
Originally Posted by fatejd /forum/post/0


I can't figure out how to get MCE 2005 to recognize the M780 as 2 TV Tuners. This is a feature of this card, correct? I have a splitter from my cable jack going into both cable inputs on the back of the card, but MCE only sees it as one analog card and asks me if the digital antenna is connected. I was told this is both ATSC and NTSC on both inputs, right?


Thanks

One input is for analog, one is for digital.
http://support.aver.com/faq.php?do=a...&articleid=541

Quote:
Originally Posted by vladd /forum/post/0


One input is for analog, one is for digital.

Hmm, it's advertised as having 2 analog and 2 digital tuners (each jack is both) - is this not the case?
Sorry.. I don't have the card so I can only go by the specs. Specsheets can be wrong though.
Spoke to AverMedia support and they said that one is analog and one is digital, which is not what I was told when I bought it.


Just FYI for anyone else told wrong like me
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Our software product, J. River Media Center , supports many ASTC/NTSC TV tuner cards (QAM is currently not supported). I am wondering how it works with AVerTV Combo PCIe M780. Has anyone tried it? I would like to hear how it works.


Filix,


We would like to support this product and your other products in our software. Is there anything special we need to do to support it?


I appreciate any info/feedbacks you can provide.


Yaobing

J. River Media Center
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