: USB2.0 Digital TV Tuners
2012-03-05, 12:27 PM
The 950q works fine in a notebook computer. A netbook might be a bit more of a challenge however.
Here are the requirements from the manufacture's website.
Minimum processor recommended:
2.2 GHz Intel® P4 or 1.8 GHz Centrino or equivalent
2.8 GHz Intel® P4 or Core™ Duo or equivalent for analog TV recording with MPEG-2
Microsoft Windows® 7 or Windows Vista (32 and 64-bit) or Windows XP with Service Pack 2 (32-bit only).
Also for Windows Media Center in Windows 7 or Windows Vista.
Graphics with 64 MB of memory (minimum).
USB 2.0 port (will not work with USB 1.1).
CD-ROM drive (for Software installation).
I noticed under the utilities for the 950 (which I assume is now discontinued, now its the 950Q), they have signal strength indicator software, but seems to only apply to that stick....do you have any experience with this.
2012-03-05, 01:04 PM
A certain 3rd party media center app uses less resources than windows media center and is compatable with the 950Q. I run a NextPVR client on my netbook but don't use USB tuners.
2012-03-05, 01:17 PM
I've used it, but only with the 950q. I can try it on my 2250 when i get home tonight and let you know. (I assume it works with all the manufacture's cards and sticks) You can use it by itself as a stand alone app you don't need the WinTV software installed.
Thanks folks, for the input
I guess my question is whats the smallest (size) notebook that could be used with the USB tuners for OTA live viewing purposes only ?
2012-03-05, 04:27 PM
I think that to run live TV on a netbook it's more of a question of the requirements of the media center app. And since NPVR will run on anything as far back as Windows2000 ( plus runtime&directX) it's probably a good option.
2012-03-05, 05:26 PM
If you really wanted to get down to bare minimum, I have seen threads on getting VLC to work with live TV. You would still be looking at the minimum requirements of manufacture in your low end machine. The trouble is, how do you translate a 2.2 ghz P4 into today's offerings? The smallest I've used it on is a core 2 duo.
I got the 950Q working wint its WinTV (version 6 only), on the laptop, but even on the laptop its excessively slow, and the few programs I have are bogging down.
So I guess that answers the question, seems like no way its going to run well on a notebook.
I would also like to test its latest WinTV, version 7, download from their site, but like last year, it wont run at all on the laptop, the program hangs then crashes with error message!:mad:
2012-03-05, 08:52 PM
balm, try SmartDVB. Once ya get it all setup and working, it's pretty forgiving CPU usage wise.
thanks to all of you,
i will check that out,
but being persistent, it bothers me I cant get the latest version of the products WINTV to work on my laptop, makes me wonder if its the software or something wrong with my computer, or incompatibility with my system...last year I worked with tech support, but we gave up after a while. They were consulting with the programmers in England and verifying the log files. They were quite surprised and quite sure it was something wrong in their program code...they were at one point downloading new dll files onto my computer....
anyway, i will look for a small notebook now, on the cheap of course... any ideas ?
2012-03-05, 09:43 PM
I've never had much love for the OEM software that comes with various devices. It's typically dumbed down and lacking in features.
I have used SmartDVB on a laptop with a Celeron Processor and 1GB mem (win xp). Was usable.
SmartDVB is cool if ya just wanna be able to test, test, test various configs, tuning channels, etc.
Most of the full blown PVR applications are designed to be configured once and leave it alone.
Someplace here I posted about my experience upgrading an el cheapo laptop from Walmart to be usable for HD satellite feeds which are a lot more taxing CPU wise than OTA feeds are.
I'm watching Buffalo @ Winnepeg on it as we speak from Ku band satellite, 1080i HD MPEG4, cpu is at ~ 60%.
Prior to upgrading it woulda been clipped at 100%.
if I can dig up that thread / post I'll post a link here.
thats helpful. im going ultra small, because i dont like carry bulky laptop on the roof...
2012-03-06, 12:17 AM
that's where linux comes in handy.
use an iPhone or blackberry up on the roof to remotely control the tuner in the laptop
via an ssh terminal to get signal quality readings.
that application looks really cool, especially the sreenshot of the "blindscan" with signal power & quality BER data....
Unfortunately I couldnt get it all to run properly, I spent a fair bit of time...but I'm not sure how to set it up and there is no real help for a newcomer ....
I got it to receive one channel, but I'm not even sure how I did it. I keep getting device not found errors, and the programs just hangs. I also could not use the blindscan module (but apparently this doesnt work with all hardware- tuners...:confused:
I'm willing to give more effort, but its going to take some guidance !
2012-03-06, 09:43 AM
Last summer I got a cheaper/older USB ATSC/NTSC tuner. It works fine on my Netbook, but does all it can to play HD. That is using the rather sparse software from the included CD. MCE does not support that tuner.
2012-03-06, 11:00 AM
You can get a laptop/netbook with e350 in it for cheap, and it can handle HD no problem. I'm using an equivalent in my HTPC.
If you want analog though.. can't comment. HDTV is fine because the gpu does the work.
2012-03-06, 09:08 PM
I'm willing to give more effort, but its going to take some guidance !
He has changed it quite a bit since the last time I used it in windows (was using XP).
I'll play with it here in Win7 and let ya know how I make out with one of the recent versions.
BTW, Which version did you download?
The blindscan feature is only for DVB-S (satellite tuners).
When setting it up, for an OTA tuner use one of the two bda.dev not the one for blindscan.
It does work, I helped the author test/debug the ATSC EPG parsing here in North America. Since he's in Europe, he has no way to tune ATSC obviously.
I think I was using version 2.1 or so back then, which is prior to him adding the blindscan features for satellite.
You can join the help forum there and checkout threads related to setting it up, etc. He's very good at getting back to ya and takes end user feedback in to account. He's sent me several test / debug versions to test certain features he was working on or bugs I had reported to him so on.
I posted about this ~ 1 1/2 years ago. But looks like it never went anywhere here.
2012-03-07, 08:27 PM
OK here's the deal. I got this working again in windows7.
I had downloaded several versions last nite, none of which could I get to work.
None would tune. Just like you were seeing. I went back to my old emails with the author and found a version that works great. Here's a dropbox link.
Let me know if you can't access it.
At the time the author was working on what was ultimately released public as SmartDVB2.0 . So I had installed a SmartDVB2.0 version last nite, and still couldn't get it to work. I installed it to c:\smartdvb, instead of the default c:\Program Files(x86) thinkin maybe there's some permission issue in that directory with Windows7. Still didn't work. So I copied SmartDVB.exe in the above archive, let it overwrite the one from the website. Also I copied bda.dev from the archive and overwrote the existing bda.dev that was in c:\smartdvb\devices. Started Smartdvb, and used the scanner to scan in all the stations around here. They are all playing perfectly now, The EPG is working well also.
Ultimately I think the issue was with bda.dev. But I fired an email off to the author to see if he has any ideas.
Maybe he'll be kind enough to pop in here and provide some more guidance. If he does Keep in mind the timezone difference.
please give the above a whirl. I think you'll be happy with it.
2012-03-07, 09:08 PM
Wow it looks pretty good! Can you tell me if it supports analogue cable, QAM, or only ATSC?
2012-03-07, 10:38 PM
Yeah I think it should support QAM, there is no support for analog tuners. The tuner I'm using doesn't support QAM in windows (but the linux driver for the same tuner does) so I can't test it right now. I have another tuner someplace that does QAM, pretty sure I have tested QAM with it. Just been so long ago I forget.
I'll try and test it on that card again sometime to confirm. I've been using linux for quite sometime now, so I get rusty on these windows applications.
Also, keep in mind one thing I learned way back was that ION in Batavia is the only station around that I know of which uses an optional feature from the ATSC standards, called huffman encoding (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huffman_coding) on their ett/eit program guide data. Think of it as compressing the data prior to packaging for OTA transmission. So in order to decode it the receiver's software has to implement huffman decoding. The ATSC epg parser he wrote doesn't support huffman encoded Guide data, so it won't parse while tuned to ION in Batavia (suspect all ION stations across the US might be doing the same). He told me he didn't have the time to implement huffman decoding at the time. If ya clicked on the wiki link above and see how complicated it is vs the number of users who might actually use it, one can't argue with that. So when ya do get it working and see no epg from ION, you'll know it's by design in the program and there is nothing wrong at the station end.