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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First off. I have Vista ultimate.


I'm trying to read through all these threads and understand which cards are compatible with Vista Media Center and support ClearQAM inside of Media Center(I don't want to use any other front end). I've read bad things about the TV Pack and I don't want to have to install that so that I can get the HD ClearQAM channels. That said I understand that only the HDHomerun and the Avermedia card are the only two. Would I be correct?


The avermedia card is this one in particular? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100015
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by eschberg /forum/post/15593553


First off. I have Vista ultimate.


I'm trying to read through all these threads and understand which cards are compatible with Vista Media Center and support ClearQAM inside of Media Center(I don't want to use any other front end). I've read bad things about the TV Pack and I don't want to have to install that so that I can get the HD ClearQAM channels. That said I understand that only the HDHomerun and the Avermedia card are the only two. Would I be correct?


The avermedia card is this one in particular? http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100015

Yes the HDHomerun and the Aver M780 are the two best known clear QAM tuners that can be used in VMC. Avermedia also makes a hybrid that may also work. I thought that I heard that Hauppauge now has drivers that supported VMC as well.


I don't have the HDHomerun, but those that do seem to have a lot of good things to say about it. It offers two digital tuners and frees up slots in your computer. The down side - at least in my case - is that it's another external box (I don't have room for more boxes).


The Aver M780 is PCIe - so no external boxes. It also has an analog tuner and S-Video/Composite input. However, the analog and S-Video/Composite side is unusable in my opinion (poor video quality - apparently due to too much applied temporal noise reduction). Since an internal card is a necessity for my setup - I had to go with the Aver M780. It works well for ATSC and clear QAM in VMC. The only downside is the channel numbering in the thousands (i.e. 1161, 1162 etc.) for clear QAM. I had to get an ATI 650 to handle the analog/S-vidoe/Composite duties. The ATI 650 does a fine job of that, but it should not have been necessary (had the M780 not been worthless in this regard).
 

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That's the card I use. You need the "beta" drivers to do QAM. It uses a QAM scanner to scan for unlocked channels, then imports them to MCE and you need to manually add the listings to the channels. They are not really beta, but for some reason they don't want to offically release them. Works beautiful. OTA/QAM picture quality is amazing. Analouge.. not so much but it's fine for me.


Beta Drivers:

Please download Beta Drivers and Vista MCE Plug-In from the following FTP:

ftp.aver.com

user name: beta

password: betatest


In that FTP site is the QAM scanner needed to import the channels to MC.


I'm testing the beta of Windows 7, and Windows 7 media center directly supports QAM internally with the AverTV combo card with the windows drivers it installs. When setting up MC for the first time, it automatically scans and adds the channels into the guide with the correct listings. It's bad a$$. The only problem is, windows 7 is beta, and is glitchy and is not useable for constant TV use. Once it's released, OMG... it's going to bring TV to a whole nother level. The added features and new look is amazing.


Oh and be ready. QAM scanning can take 1-2hrs.
 

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My understanding is that without TV pack VMC doesn't support ClearQAM. You can still use other TV front ends but in order to use the ClearQAM inside Vista Media Center the TV pack is a must. I just installed Vista Ultimate, SP1, TV Pack, and a Hauppauge 1600. The only trick to get it working was to let the channel scan run all the way through. It took a while and said that it didn't find any channels. They were there but only once I let it scan all the way through. I edited the channel guide to get rid of the shopping and music channels and it has been working great for two weeks now.


I initially tried to use the drivers that came on the CD, v3.2 or .6 maybe, I dunno, they didn't work. While searching I kept hearing about beta drivers being needed but all those posts were from early 08 or right when TV Pack was released, nothing recent. Hauppauge didn't list any beta drivers available so I just download and installed the latest, v4.6, and they worked fine.


What have you heard that is so bad about the TV Pack?
 

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I never heard of TV Pack. The AverTV combo card does QAM perfectly fine in Vista SP1 VMC. It's just a simple utility that scans the QAM and throws it in the channel guide. Intresting. Where do I get TV Pack?


Also, remember. Windows 7 this is all intergrated, no 3rd party scanners needed and is 100% compatable with AverTV combo card even in it's current beta form with QAM.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68rustang /forum/post/15593971


My understanding is that without TV pack VMC doesn't support ClearQAM. You can still use other TV front ends but in order to use the ClearQAM inside Vista Media Center the TV pack is a must. I just installed Vista Ultimate, SP1, TV Pack, and a Hauppauge 1600. The only trick to get it working was to let the channel scan run all the way through. It took a while and said that it didn't find any channels. They were there but only once I let it scan all the way through. I edited the channel guide to get rid of the shopping and music channels and it has been working great for two weeks now.


I initially tried to use the drivers that came on the CD, v3.2 or .6 maybe, I dunno, they didn't work. While searching I kept hearing about beta drivers being needed but all those posts were from early 08 or right when TV Pack was released, nothing recent. Hauppauge didn't list any beta drivers available so I just download and installed the latest, v4.6, and they worked fine.


What have you heard that is so bad about the TV Pack?
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...8#post14460088


I can't readily find the other posts about the TV pack that I've read.
 

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Yeah but if you search the same forum you will find plenty of people like myself that have TV Pack up and running without any issues. In your original post you said you do want to use any other frontend besides VMC which is where I was at as well. If that is the case I am 99% sure that TV Pack is a must.


Soarertt,

With the AverTV card you can see and access the ClearQAM channels through the VMC Channel guide without TV Pack installed? I was under the impression that one of the whole reasons for TV Pack was to gain QAM support in VMC. I guess the Aver guys found away around it or you have a PC shipped after TV pack was released?
 

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You do not need TV Pack for clear QAM support in VMC. I certainly don't have it (and won't go near it) and I can verify that the M780 works nicely for clear QAM in VMC with just Vista SP1. Read the threads about TV pack posted here on AVSForum. Once read you may (probably) want to avoid it. Many things don't work after TV pack installations (various pluggins, features etc.) It should be said that once you install TV pack there is no going back (no way to unistall it). To rid yourself of TV pack you have to reinstall the operating system. From my skimming of the TV pack threads, many who installed it wished they hadn't and eventually went back (via the hard way) to straight Vista SP1.


If memory servers, the HDHomerun will integrate the clear QAM channels nicely into the guide (with correct numbering). The Aver M780 works nicely with the beta drivers and clear QAM tool mentioned above. The only downside of the Aver M780 is that is uses the 1000's channel numbering for clear QAM.


I suggest that one avoid TV Pack unless it offers something that is essential that you can't get any other way. I can't think of anything essential here in the U.S. that TV pack offers.
 

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Yes you can see Clear QAM in Vista MC with the AverTV M780 without TV Pack. There is "Beta" software they released along time ago (pre sp1) that makes this possible. It's a small piece of s/w that scans QAM, then imports it to the VMC program guide. It's flawless.


Windows 7 has all this built in (qam scanning) and automatically adds in the channel lineup for the unlocked channels found with the correct channel and not 1xxx at the end. Works out of the box with the M780. Only problem is, W7 is beta, and is glitchy with live tv.
 

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I use TVPack x86 with M780, Movie Collectorz, and DXVA mkv files using PowerDVD8/AC3Filter codecs without an issue. It's definitely nicer to have the native QAM support within VMC.


Also,


With the m780 Analog, the denoise issue can be caused by a weak analog signal or a denoise option turned on within your video card drivers. ATI Avivo turns on denoise by default. Once I turned off Avivo denoise the analog was alright. I don't have another analog PC tuner to compare it to, though.


In addition, cable companies will be turning off analog signals in the near future, Comcast saying as early as 2010 in some areas (it is 2012 by law I believe). What this means for all the analog channels we currently get, I don't know. Will they all become clearQAM or will they all be encrypted and we're forced to use a box except for local 'air' channels?
 

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Not bashing here... Just want to make sure some things are clear....

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68rustang /forum/post/15594334


...In your original post you said you do want to use any other frontend besides VMC which is where I was at as well. If that is the case I am 99% sure that TV Pack is a must.

This is not accurate. TV pack is not needed for VMC to function as your sole front-end. In fact you will probably be better off avoiding TV pack.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 68rustang /forum/post/15594334


Soarertt,

With the AverTV card you can see and access the ClearQAM channels through the VMC Channel guide without TV Pack installed?

The answer to this question is yes. Both HDHomeruns and the Aver M780's beta drivers support this - without TV pack. For the M780, see the ftp info above and the Aver M780 thread at the greenbutton for futher information.
 

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I use 2 M780s and I have the x64 TV pack.


The only downside is the TV pack stores the shows as WTV instead of DVR-MS files, but I found a utility that converts WTV to DVR-MS in no time flat.


I used the beta drivers without the TV pack and I had problems with the guide not updating. Using the TV pack, QAM is plug and play using the drivers Windows Update provides.
 

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How do I get TV Pack? I wouldn't mind having the channels actually showing up correctly.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soarertt /forum/post/15598099


How do I get TV Pack? I wouldn't mind having the channels actually showing up correctly.


Best bet is to search torrent. It is recommended by MS that TV pack only be installed with a fresh instal of Vista before any other updates, although people have reported no issues installing TV pack on existing Vista installation. BUT you cannot uninstall TV Pack, so you should create a ghost image/backup of OS unless you want to possibly have to reinstall.
 

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Eh, nevermind. I'll just wait til August for Windows 7 to be released. I know that works already in beta form.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by soarertt /forum/post/15598752


Eh, nevermind. I'll just wait til August for Windows 7 to be released. I know that works already in beta form.

Beta Win 7 is gonna get shut down in August 2009. Official release date for Win 7 is late '09 or early '10.
 

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I work for an IT company, we get the action packs, and they will release the RTM a good time before it's out to the public, they always have in the past for new OS's (2008 standard and SBS, Vista SP1, etc..). We're expecting August.
 
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