HDHomeRun Dual Comparison: Old (white) vs. New (Charcoal) - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 

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Old 2012-04-19, 12:06 PM   #1
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Default HDHomeRun Dual Comparison: Old (white) vs. New (Charcoal)

This news will be of interest to OTAers that want to use their computers to watch and record over-the-air TV.

I had the old HDHomeRun - the white one with the dual tuners.
I replaced it with the new HDHomeRun - the charcoal grey one with the dual tuners.

There is a big difference in the quality of reception I get on the weaker channels.

I have three "real' HDTVs in my house. They always got better reception on the tricky channels - for me, WBBZ and WPXJ - than the white HDHomeRun got.

Specifically, I could have excellent stable reception on my three TVs but the HDHomeRun (and the two digital-to-analog set-top-boxes for that matter) would show the station, but with frequent drop-outs. Essentially unwatchable - at least unenjoyable.

Now that I swapped out the white HDHomeRun with the new model, my reception is basically on-par with my real HDTVs with built-in tuners.

So, the new HDHomeRun gets the coveted HWP Seal-of-Approval.

Note that for quality HD wifi streaming from your HDHomeRun, you need a quality up-to-date wireless router. I am having 100% success with the Linksys e4200 wirelss router for my HDHomeRun.
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Old 2012-04-19, 01:55 PM   #2
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PS: If all you care about are the main, strong stations then the white one is probably fine. I never had any trouble with the strong channels -- the main networks in Toronto and Buffalo -- with the white HDHomeRun.

PPS: Note also there is now a smart phone app (my phone is an android) for the HDHomeRun. Now with my newer hdhomerun's chipset, if I wake-up at night and want to check out reception, I don't have to turn on the TV and scan. I can just check my smartphone and use the HDHomeRun signal meter (Signal Strength %, Symbol Quality %, and Signal Quality %) and check out all the frequencies.

Also, the smartphone app serves as a good tool if you go up to the attic or roof to change your antenna aim.
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Old 2012-04-19, 04:31 PM   #3
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I'm not using my old HDHR any more (gave it away to a friend) and replaced it with a pair of HDHR3 units when they came out.

Yeah, I'm getting slightly better performance off the new HDHR than I did from the original one, but I just chalk that up to not losing as much signal (due to splitting) and the more sensitive tuners.
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Old 2012-04-19, 05:15 PM   #4
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Good to hear from more people with a direct replacement comparison

My v2 is serving me well for now.. might get one down the road for tricky winter stations (or just to have 4 channel capability.. why not? )
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Old 2012-04-20, 02:07 PM   #5
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Humm really interesting.

I have the white HDHR. There is 1 weak station that I watch pretty often where I get pixelisation about 5 times/hour. Usually, the pixelisation is about 1sec long.

Do you believe the new model could reduce that?
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Old 2012-04-20, 02:09 PM   #6
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Chasseur,

I don't know, and I don't think anyone (even the people at Silicondust) would be able to answer your question because none of us know specifically what is causing the occasional macro-blocking that you are reporting.

Unfortunately, the only way to tell is to buy a HDHR3 and see if it helps.
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Old 2012-04-20, 03:34 PM   #7
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Salut Chas
We've got your TVFOOL report but you didn't name the station in question.
But guessing I'd say that a pre amp may be in order or that the white HDHR is not "super" sensitive.
So it may be overcome with some antenna direction tweaking or upgrade(CM7777 and/or HD 8800).
Which is what I've got but the 7777 has more gain than 7778 and the HD-8800 is the highest mid range UHF in terms of gain.
I'd play with the antenna first.
Since you have reception most of the time the problem is likely related to your antenna set up.
You can have the worlds greatest tuner but it's functionality depends greatly on what signals you make available to it by means of aiming your antenna and amplifying those signals. To run out and buy another tuner has little chance of solving the situation and would be pure folly unless you are absolutely sure your present one is too weak.
If you have a PC connected to your HDHR download TSReader Lite(free). It is about the most accurate for accessing signal strength with the use of bars, % and errors over the time that you monitor the signal.

But what station are you reffering to?
What is the position of your antenna?(rooftop,attic or other)
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Old 2012-04-20, 04:46 PM   #8
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Hi,

My antenna is in the attic, and the channel is CFJP 35.1.

I do have a PC connected to HDHR but I never tried TSReader. It looks quite complex...
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Old 2012-04-20, 04:57 PM   #9
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TSReader Lite is fairly easy to use. Just start it and select the channel to monitor. It will show signal strength, signal quality and symbol quality. There are other applications that will do the same thing, even Android and iPhone apps.
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Old 2012-04-20, 05:17 PM   #10
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The software from HDHR do show signal strength, signal quality and symbol quality. That's what I used to position my antenna. Will TSReader Lite bring additionnal helpful infos?
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Old 2012-04-20, 05:28 PM   #11
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Chasseur,

TSReader looks at the stream post-tuner. In order to determine if a different tuner would do a better job you would need to be able to see the analogue signal before the tuner interprets it, and then what you get post tuner.

If you're super smart and know exactly how these tuner chips work, you would be able to determine if the problem can be fixed by another tuner interpreting the analogue signal better (i.e. one tuner correctly interprets data in the signal where another tuner interprets it as noise so its effectively a "lost packet").

In practise, this level of sophistication is far beyond my skills and my level of understanding of ATSC, and I don't have the equipment to record the analogue ATSC signal before it got interpreted by a tuner. And without the "before" hardware using TSReader with your current tuner to get the "after" picture doesn't give you don't have enough information to troubleshoot, unless you just want to adjust your antenna or try an amp or whatever. That said, the TSReader information wouldn't be any more useful in a practical sense as the HDHomeRun config application. You would just see the MPEG2 stream drop off in the "problem bits".

The easiest way to benchmark the two different tuners would be to capture the digital output of the two (or more) tuners in question, and then compare the output of each.

Technically, because these are digital signals (and each tuner card isn't implementing their own MPEG2 compression which could produce dramatic differences) so these two files recorded by two different tuners (in perfect conditions) would record files that are identical - bit-for-bit. This would allow someone who is sufficiently motivated to find each piece of the two files where there is a difference, and then analyse it to determine which tuner was "correct".

But this is all a lot of work, and if you're time is worth anything then its probably more economically efficient to just buy the other tuner you're interested in and run TSReader. Your original question was about whether the more sensitive tuner on the HDHR3 will fix your problems. The best answer you can get is "maybe" until you do a side-by-side comparison yourself.
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Old 2012-04-20, 05:53 PM   #12
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I have an older HDHR and I have a really strange situation. On tuner 0 I cannot get WRGZ, but it comes in fine (at >80%) on tuner 1 of my HDHR and on another tuner card - a Hauppauge 1850. Other channels come in fine on this tuner and I use it all the time for recording shows from other stations - from both Buff and CBLT from TO.

The channel also comes in fine directly on the TV that I have connected to an antenna.

I have my antenna hooked up to a 1:4 distribution amp and then two the two HDHR inputs, the 1850 input and the TV. Has anyone else seen anything like this.
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Old 2012-04-20, 06:10 PM   #13
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Chas,
looking at your tvfool there is a an adjacent channel warning on that channel.
And given that the disruption is somewhat minimal I'd say live with it rather than disturb reception elsewheren or spend $ and effort to maybe resolve it.
A little bit of pixels is nothing compared to frozen frames and no audio.


TSReader Lite allowed to run for several minutes will give you continuity errors as well as crc errors which is where your problem seems to exist.
but given what we know about it, it's a reception issue.
I don't believe you require any more investment in hardware other than optimizing your reception now.
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Old 2012-04-20, 09:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wayne View Post
I have an older HDHR and I have a really strange situation. On tuner 0 I cannot get WRGZ, but it comes in fine (at >80%) on tuner 1 of my HDHR and on another tuner card - a Hauppauge 1850. Other channels come in fine on this tuner and I use it all the time for recording shows from other stations - from both Buff and CBLT from TO.

The channel also comes in fine directly on the TV that I have connected to an antenna.

I have my antenna hooked up to a 1:4 distribution amp and then two the two HDHR inputs, the 1850 input and the TV. Has anyone else seen anything like this.
Wayne, I have noticed my tuners are not identical.
Tuner0 is slightly weaker than tuner1 for me as well.
I have a direct 2-way split+amp so it should be 50/50. Reversing the cables to test gives the same values.
For you, it could be unbalanced output to 4-way, try swapping inputs around.

When your second tuner locks, is that the signal quality % or signal strength?
80% strength doesn't mean anything - you could have 80% strength and the SNR not good enough to lock - but 82% on the slightly stronger tuner might give you barely enough quality to lock.

Once my tuners were acting very strange - I thought one had died (one month off warranty ) - only the strongest of signals would lock (just TO)
Unplugging and plugging back in resolved the issue (though still a slight difference between the two as above)
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Old 2012-05-17, 08:02 PM   #15
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Just ordered one as today's Shell Shocker - now I can do my own comparison
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