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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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  #1  
Old 10-14-2011, 10:17 AM
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troycheek troycheek is offline
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Replacement for Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500

I'm looking to replace my PVR-500 with something that can capture a composite signal (yellow-red-white RCA) from my cable provider's set top box, works with Vista or Win7 64-bit, PCI (not PCI-E) interface or perhaps USB, and most importantly is compatible with SageTV. Any suggestions?

(The rest is unnecessary background. You can stop reading now.)

I've gotten a lot of good use out of my PVR-500, but after Comcast went digital in my area, I've only really been using it for the composite input so I can record from my set top box. I've been using Vista 32-bit and resisting buying a 64-bit operating system because I've read out the PVR-500 doesn't work with 4GB of available system memory.

Recently, I had a motherboard failure, which started what I like to call "the upgrade cascade." The new motherboard supported a faster class of CPU. The faster CPU showed me that my 256MB 8600GT Nvidia GeForce video card was now my gaming/video editing bottleneck. I can get a more modern replacement cheap, but the newer cards have 1GB or more of video RAM, which would mean even less system memory available unless I upgrade to a 64-bit OS. This will, of course, kill the PVR-500, hence my dilemma.

The new motherboard (Biostar A780L3G) has only a single PCI slot available. Well, there are two, but one is too close to the PCI-E slot to be useful, given the size of graphics cards these days. My last board had a mini PCI-E slot which is apparently used for all the really cool new capture cards and other devices, but this board doesn't have one. (I was without a working computer and bought the first thing I could find. So sue me.) I do have a few spare USB ports, though.

And, yes, between SageTV, converting my recorded shows to mp4, gaming, recording games, editing videos for YouTube (check out my channel!), web browsing, and whatever else I might be doing at the time, I am indeed pretty much maxing out the 3GB or so of available system memory I currently have. I'm not looking for more RAM just for bragging rights.
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  #2  
Old 10-14-2011, 11:58 AM
equalize equalize is offline
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I had a PVR-500 and replaced it with a HVR-2250 and recently added a Colossus. I replaced the SD Comcast cable box with the HD version. The HD composite output of the cable box feeds the Colossus and a splitter before the cable box feeds the 2250. Overall it works great. I had to reboot the Sage box once every two weeks because of Colossus driver issues but that problem seems to be fixed in the latest driver release. Iím also using Win7 x32 since the Streamzap remote drivers are 32 bit.
As for a video card, something like this will do you just fine. Nice and quiet.
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16814161380
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  #3  
Old 10-14-2011, 06:42 PM
BobPhoenix BobPhoenix is offline
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I have an nVidia DualTV in a Win7 x64 works great if you can find one. I would recommend a HVR-2250 like equalize suggested if you want something more current. As I also use that in a different Win7 x64 install and SageTV server.
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  #4  
Old 10-15-2011, 03:10 AM
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doncote0 doncote0 is offline
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Lightbulb AverMedia For Me

My best options were from AverMedia.

Love my AverMedia USB device. It was cheap and by cheap I mean $60 or less. In fact right now newegg has some on sale for $43 after MIR with free shipping.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100035

Works great with Sage. I am using Win7X64. Do not use the included drivers...go and download the latest driver and TV App from their website.
The app is great for initial configuration and testing.

Pros:
-Can actually record two streams from the device at the same time.
-Can record from cable including HD or ATSC (with included antenna). The cable interface is a hybrid analog/digital.
-I have had exactly zero problems with this device since install and setup.

Cons:
-The TV app may sometimes show a setup preview in washed out colors or black and white, but the channel will record with full color and looks great.

It was a snap to install and setup. In fact, during my initial install the driver software for the device actually noticed and recommened a faster USB port. "Your AverMedia device noticed faster USB ports available on your PC. AverMedia recommends that you move your device to one of those."

If you do want something more current and HD, I recommend the HDHR Prime. Records HD streams simultaneously (rental of MCard at $2/month including tax).

Last edited by doncote0; 10-15-2011 at 03:14 AM.
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  #5  
Old 10-15-2011, 05:22 AM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by doncote0 View Post
If you do want something more current and HD, I recommend the HDHR Prime.
As long as your cable provider flags the channels that you watch "copy freely". Otherwise, the HDHR Prime will make a terrific doorstop.
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  #6  
Old 10-16-2011, 05:57 AM
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troycheek troycheek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by equalize View Post
I had a PVR-500 and replaced it with a HVR-2250
Thanks for the suggestion. The HVR-2250 was one of the possibilities I looked at. Unfortunately, it uses the PCI-Express 1x interface, and my new motherboard doesn't seem to have one of those. It's my own fault for just buying what was handy, but I was without a working computer and kind of desperate.
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  #7  
Old 10-16-2011, 06:52 PM
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troycheek troycheek is offline
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Thanks for all the suggestions. The nVidia DualTV looks good, but also looks like it's discontinued. I don't want to go from one end-of-life tuner to another. The AVerMedia AVerTV Hybrid Volar Max MTVHBVMXR USB 2.0 Interface (say that three times fast!) looks good and I will probably go with that.

I should have mentioned I already have an older HDHR dual tuner, so I've got the local channels covered, along with a few random basic cable channels that are clear. I just need something for the rest of the lineup. I've considered the Prime, but Comcast seems a bit... iffy... when it comes to technical stuff. I'm not sure I could ever get a CableCard out here or get it activated. Though I never thought I'd say it, capturing the SD composite output from the set top box is good enough for me.

Although I've not gone x64 yet, I have played around a bit with a kernel patch that lets me use all 4GB of my system RAM with Vista32. The PVR-500 doesn't like this at all, by the way. I had to stop testing because I had shows I wanted to record.
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  #8  
Old 10-16-2011, 08:30 PM
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zoop zoop is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troycheek View Post
Thanks for the suggestion. The HVR-2250 was one of the possibilities I looked at. Unfortunately, it uses the PCI-Express 1x interface, and my new motherboard doesn't seem to have one of those. It's my own fault for just buying what was handy, but I was without a working computer and kind of desperate.
so what kind of slots do you have on your motherboard?

/jer
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  #9  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:21 PM
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troycheek troycheek is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zoop View Post
so what kind of slots do you have on your motherboard?
As I mentioned in the original post, this is the board I currently have: BIOSTAR A780L3G AM3 AMD 760G Micro ATX AMD Motherboard. Perhaps not the motherboard I would have chosen had I had time to research and whatnot, but it was the board the local store had on hand when my last one gave up the magic smoke.

I may not be using the correct terminology to describe the slots. Sometimes I run out of words and have to make up my own. The motherboard has the huge PCI-E slot where you can plug in a video card. I think they call this PCI-Express 2.0 x16. It has two older PCI slots where you can plug in things like sound cards and older TV capture cards like the WinTV-PVR-500. What it doesn't have (and what my recently deceased board had) is the tiny PCI-E slot where you can plug in certain newer TV capture cards. I think they call this PCI-Express x1.

I think you can put an x1 card into an x16 slot, but to do that I'd have to give up my video card and go back to the onboard video, which would kill my gaming performance. (Yes, I realize that given the amount of money I spend and tinkering I do on my one computer, I'd be just as well off if I built two systems, one for video and one for gaming.)

What I do have is 8 USB 2.0 ports, only half of which I'm using right now, which is why I'm leaning towards the AverMedia USB device.
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