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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I just got my Sony G-70 working and I want to be able to watch TV on it. I am running a HTPC and I had a Leadtek TV Tuner but have removed it due to it crashing 3 separate operating systems with a series of unknown errors. I have gotten attached to the idea of using an external TV tuner but am afraid of the image quality without a line doubler. Can anyone recommend an external TV tuner that will produce an excellent image on a 10 foot screen. I have thought of using those TV tuners used for monitors so you do not have to turn on your computer. Will that work. Any suggestions would be great.


Thanks
 

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Go to the HTPC forum and search for "capture card". Hopefully you can find one which will not crash your system.
 

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Most HD tuner cards can also do SD as well. You may want to look into one of those, too. Also, there are a boatload of Brooktree/Connexant BT878-based cards out there. DScaler was written for them, and they seem to be the most stable (tuner or not).


Later,

Bill
 

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Nextvision N6 would fit the bill, but I doubt you'll be happy with it.


Not much logic in owning an htpc, which does a fantastic job of scaling, and not taking advantage of it.
 

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I highly recommend SDTV or HDTV for projected TV. I have a Faroudja NRS 1360x1024 and my OTA and cable TV is barely worth watching, just seems to magnify the bad signal, but removes all of the scan lines.


Recently got a Samsung SIR-T151 OTA HDTV receiver. Even the SD 480i picture is very good at 54"x72" in 4:3 and 54"x96" 16:9.
 

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If you had a problem with a winfast 2000xp in your system then your system has a problem not the card. I have had one, they are rock solid.

Also that means just about any other tuner card would have problems as well... You have a conflict there or a system config issue that I'm sure we can help you work out if you wanted to try.


There is no external tuner that will come anywhere near what a functioning htpc can do, so you either master the problems you are having or settle for much less than optimum.


Lastly, no htpc should ever be turned off. You said you don't want to have to turn on the computer but truth is it should run 24/7 so it is always instantly ready. With modern hardware there is no reason at all not too.

The only reason I can think of is noise, in which case I don't consider a noisy computer a htpc, that disqualifies it as such in my book and that is also easily fixed.


Embrace your computer, love your computer, invest in making it right and you will be rewarded.


Troy
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
so are you telling me my HTPC is the best it can get. I must have a pretty bad cable signal coming in my house because the image I get off the winfast is pathetic. Only 4 channles even have a picture worth watching. What should I do now. Switch to an attena and settle with local channels or pay $60.00 a month for digital cable. If I increase the signal strength will that solve my problem. This information has depressed me. Owell, life goes on and eventually all cable will be digital.
 

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You have a weak signal then or you have not checked the manual tune button. YOU MUST CHECK MANUAL TUNE, that doesn't mean you tune manually that means the card tunes for best signal and not just the standard frequencies... Which are usually off a bit.


It has to have a strong signal, more so than most tv's. If you have cable then get the cable guys out to check the signal strength. If it is anything less than optimal they will install an amp and rewire to fix it. If you make enough of a fuss. I had to have them out two times and with two different amps. Finally it was fantastic, but at first it was awful.


The picture you see on even your monitor should blow away any tv you have seen and if it doesn't it's your signal strength.


Digital cable is totally worthless and a complete scam


Troy
 

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I've been through your situation myself. I think part of the problem is converting an analog video signal to digital, which capture cards and stand alone line doublers both have to do. Everything I tried did a very bad job of it, although I hear the H3D cards are good.


Have you tried using a VCR for a tuner? That might be your best bet.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by pcCinema


Lastly, no htpc should ever be turned off. You said you don't want to have to turn on the computer but truth is it should run 24/7 so it is always instantly ready. With modern hardware there is no reason at all not too.

The only reason I can think of is noise, in which case I don't consider a noisy computer a htpc, that disqualifies it as such in my book and that is also easily fixed.


Sorry, I'm going to flat out disagree with you there, Troy. :)


My HTPC is nearly silent, but I still turn it off when it is not in use. I have a thoroughly optimized system that takes less than 15 seconds from the time you push the power button to the time it is displaying video and doing it's thing. When I want to turn it off, I simply flip the switch. No problem. It acts just like a set-top device, and couldn't be any easier.


My 15 seconds may be extremely fast, but think about it- even if it takes a full minute or more to boot, are you REALLY going to have your projector warmed up by then anyway? Do you REALLY need it to be INSTANTLY ready?



- David
 

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For what reason do you turn it off? To save electricity?

My projector is on and working in under 5 seconds, a marquee, I would never leave it on but the pc you bet... Are you worried about it's lifespan? The mtbf on these things is generally beyond their obsolesence any more, and with basic power management it uses very little power not that I care one bit there either though.


Tell me for what reason you turn yours off? Me thinks it's because you spent time to make it boot fast.


Troy
 

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My PC, not a HTPC (yet!!) has been on 24/7 for about 5 years now maybe 6.


Obviously I have turned it off during bad lightning storms, during vacation, and to install new hardware. Only component lost was a hard drive early on, infant mortality and covered under warranty.


To each his own!!
 

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Troy- although you present a good case for why leaving it on is acceptable, the reason I turn it off is because of the weather.


We live in the country, on a small hill, and our house is taller than the others around it. We've had a few bad storms in the past, including one the summer before last that took out 3 computers, some networking equipment, EVERY ground fault outlet in the house, part of my father's stereo, and our not-even-one-year-old 36" Sony WEGA TV. The TV took several months to repair, Had to order parts to replace the computers, and the whole deal was a huge hassle. Not to mention- no TV.


So now, anything that is either

A) expensive, or

B) has a lot of time invested,

gets unplugged when it is not in use. :) The projector, the audio equipment, the HTPC, and everything else of that category is never plugged in if it is not being used.


That was my inspiration to create a streamlined, quick booting HTPC, and also one that could be turned off at will, without having to plug in a mouse or keyboard, and shut it down "nicely".


Make sense? :)


- David
 

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I have run all my computers (cant count how many that has been) 24/7 since sometime after the 486 processor and ISA tuner cards... Very few failures and less than those turning them on and off every time.


I should have also added my pc is more of a whole house computer than just a htpc. It controls lights, motion sensors, runs three monitors in various rooms, controls two projectors via serial, stewart electric screen, air conditioning, etc...


It is all programmed with painstaking girder setup, which is still growing and evolving and of course has all htpc functions from hdtv to dvd changer to divx/mp3 jukebox.


Currently it's evolving into even more whole house control... And I'm not done, but there isn't anything that takes more than two button presses to get to with my remote, a simple x10 rf one, that works anywhere in the house.


My girder setup would completely overwhelm some of the most adept girder programmers. If it couldn't be directly done in girder I found other ways for girder to trigger batch files and utilities to do it.


Computers are my life though, and I'm chained to them 24/7 practically anyway...


Troy
 

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wd-40


Ok, you do what you have to in that case I guess... I would find a way not to have to do the unplugging turning off stuff but then that is me.


Hey it's your stuff do what you want. I wouldn't want my pc melted either.


Troy
 

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The thing is- I really *WOULD* do something different, but have found it's just plain SIMPLER to unplug it. It's all on one plug, can't get much easier than that. I wouldn't put it on a switch, now that I've seen what lightning can go through. Most surge supressors are sacraficial things, and if they do their job correctly, you have to replace them after a hit ($$ for a good one). If they don't do their job correctly, well..... you know.


Plus, peace of mind is worth a lot. To my family at least.



Sounds like you have quite the house! Is it a Crestron or Lutron based system, or something homebrew?


- David
 

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I should have gone to crestron, but for now it's x-10 for simple stuff, serial for complex stuff, and usb and ethernet for the few things that can be. It only all works together because of girder.


For me to unplug would take half a day to hook back up practically.

Even if I had just simple htpc functions I would have to yank cable drops, antennae hook ups, modem lines, network lines, etc... It wouldn't be fun.


I used to have three computer for all this... Now it's down to one real computer and a firewall/serial server.


I should assert my supreme geekiness a bit less... Sounds as if I have no life but I just do all this stuff in betwen work while I'm at the computer anyway.


Troy
 
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