: TV Tuner Cards For HTPC Discussion
2012-02-18, 11:48 AM
I have a HVR2250 and a HD Homerun. For me, the HDHomerun definitely has the weaker tuner of the two.
My experience was the opposite. The older, "big" HDHomerun is not as good as the newer "small" model. The HVR2250 may have undergone some revisions as well, though Hauppauge doesn't say so. I was waiting for Hauppauge to deliver a tuner card using newer generation ATSC chips but they haven't. That's why I went with the HDHomerun. The HDHomerun also has the advantage of being installed next to the whole home router, closer to the antenna, so no preamp or distribution amp is required.
2012-02-18, 12:24 PM
danomac and ScaryBob. Were your tests done with or without a pre-amp? That could be the difference right there. The HDHR may have a lower noise first stage amp, but the HVR-2250 may have a better tuner/decoder. With a pre-amp, the NF of the first stage amp in the tuner is irrelevant, but is extremely important if there is no amp between the tuner and the antenna.
2012-02-18, 05:40 PM
I tried with and without and a couple of different preamps. My experience was that a preamp generally made reception worse with only slight improvement on a small number of channels. This was due to overloading from strong channels. The only situation where the preamp made much improvement was when the signal was split to feed several tuners. The big advantage with the HDHR is that placement is more flexible and it can feed several HTPCs with TCP/IP instead of separate RG6s. The coax is not split before the HDHR and it's about 25' from the antenna.
2012-02-18, 06:03 PM
I will side with roger, depends on your implementation. I need splits. So a preamp is better for _me_. And in this case taking into account that the first stage amp is irrelevant with preamp use, my ranking of tuners is still 950Q, pctv 800i, 1250/2250, then others. I have not tried the HDHR but I believe you will find mlord did test one against the 950Q and it was a weaker tuner. I also discussed privately with somebody who tried both 950Q & HDHR in Ottawa and found the 950Q to get more channels than the HDHR, his setup was without a preamp.
Extra note: the 1250/2250 are subject to tuner overload if you use a preamp and you are not splitting or attenuating the signal. Either adding an attenuator or splitting the signal made things better.
2012-02-18, 11:33 PM
If a pre-amp makes things worse for all tuners, overload is likely a culprit. Your options are use a tuner that has a lower noise first stage amp (though maybe not as low as a good pre-amp) or try and fix the overload problem. If the first option allows you to receive everything you want, than that is the easiest option. However, the latter may be required if you can't receive all the stations you want without a pre-amp, but the techniques for doing so are beyond the scope of this thread.
2012-03-02, 10:11 AM
But with the HDHomeRun you still need a HD Rogers Set-Up Box(4642HD) to record HD programs correct?
Im desperately trying to figure out a viable solution to record the upcoming Olympics and utilizing my HTPC as a PVR
2012-03-02, 10:22 AM
jerkyboy, you need to check if you want just OTA, just Rogers, or both.
IF your olympics are carried on a channel that come in freely OTA using an antenna in your region, then a HDHR would record them using its ATSC tuner, in HD from your antenna, no Rogers needed.
If your olympics only come in using a channel exclusively coming from Rogers like a specialty channel, AND you want to record that channel in HD, then you would need the collosus and your Rogers box.
2012-03-02, 10:33 AM
jerkyboy, tuner cards (including the HDHR) will not record in HD from Rogers as they encrypt all of their digital channels and AFAIK all current tuner cards only have S-Video and Composite inputs (which only support SD) for connecting to a digital box. To record in HD from a Rogers box, you will need something like an HD-PVR or Colossus that have either component or HDMI inputs (but don't have tuners).
As flavoie suggested, you could connect a tuner card to an antenna to record the local broadcasts using an antenna and use an HD-PVR or Colossus (connected to a Rogers box) to record the cable channels. That way you can record more than one thing at once without using extra Rogers boxes.
2012-03-02, 12:43 PM
ok thanks guys. My focus has been on getting the Colossus 1414 but by reading a bit of the latest posts I thought the HDHomerun was same or similar product.
Also, I have no antenna whatsoever. Strictly cable service (Rogers)
2012-03-02, 01:22 PM
@jerkyboy Where do you live? (please add your location to your profile). If you are in the GTA then there is a good chance that you can get CTV and NBC via OTA with an antenna. This is, by far, the easiest way to record HDTV. But this Olympics is still being broadcast by the unholy alliance of CTV and Rogers which means that some events will be on TSN and RSN and for those channels you need a cable solution like the Rogers STBs plus an HD-PVR.
2012-03-02, 01:40 PM
Ok Wayne, profile updated. Yes you are right, I would like to record various HD content from TSN1 and TSN2 (thats besides the upcoming olympic event)
2012-03-02, 01:42 PM
Depending on your location, you might want to consider an Antenna. The OTA threads are awesome, everyone there is eager to help. Free unfettered wireless TV signal is good! (Isn't wirless everything the new craze! ;-)
2012-03-02, 01:53 PM
To record TSN you will need either a Hauppauge HD-PVR or Hauppauge Colossus connected to a Rogers HD cable box via component cables. There are several threads around here on this. You will also need some PVR software like Win Media Center or NextPVR.
2012-03-02, 10:37 PM
Thanks Wayne (and all others who replied)
Yes I'm currently am using WMC right now with a Hauppauge HVR950 Hybrid stick (usb) but the video quality is not great. Thus the main reason I'm seeking a HD solution.
I was originally planning on just getting the Hauppauge2250(PCIe) for my newly build HTPC but figured that the quality of video won't be much better than my current 950 stick.
2012-03-03, 12:33 AM
The 950 should be giving you outstanding quality! Oh wait, you have it hooked up to Analogue cable. If you had it setup for ATSC (digital antenna) or Clear QAM (if Rogers allowed it) then you would have HD quality. The 950 and the 2250 are both capable of HD!
My 950q PIC
2012-03-03, 11:13 AM
Another problem with using the 950 for analog is it doesn't have a hardware encoder, so you need to use your CPU to do the encoding. For live TV this isn't an issue, as there is no need to encode (just grab the frames and display them), but for recording you will want some sort of compression.
With digital, it has already been encoded at the source so no need for a hardware encoder (assuming the program hasn't been encrypted of course, in which case it needs to be decoded, decrypted, and then re-encoded, which is yet another reason why OTA gives so much better picture quality than cable or satellite).
2012-03-03, 12:56 PM
For analog, the Hauppauge HD-PVR 2250 is a good choice since it has hardware encoding and two analog tuners. It can be used for clear QAM (where available) and ATSC.
2012-07-15, 03:47 PM
I have read than the Hauppauge 2250 is Terrible for weak and medium hdtv signal. Waht do you think about that. do you know a better TV card for this kink of over the air digital signal ?
2012-07-15, 07:12 PM
I would highly recommend Avermedia software for HDTV and Radio.
Available at Staples and Tiger Direct, as well as other Computer software dealers.
2012-07-15, 07:16 PM
What does software have to do with receiving marginal TV signals?
Software can't make hardware perform any better in terms of
receive sensitivity or selectivity.