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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 10-25-2008, 02:47 PM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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Question Long time analog Sage user seeks new analog/digital tuner advice

I've been using an earlier version of sage (4.x?) for a while with a single hauppauge tuner (PVR-150). I'd like to add another (dual?) tuner to the system, and would like to add the option to record clear QAM SD. Clear QAM HD would not be required immediately, but would be a nice feature to have also. I'm currently using comcast cable, and I believe there is a fair amount of clear QAM stuff available.

I was looking at the HVR-1600 and HVR-2250 as possibilities, but I'm getting a little confused about the differences and features of each. plus, the 2250 has appeared to be a little shaky on the sage support. I'd like to stick to an internal PCI hardware encoding solution to minimize network traffic.

right now, all of my watching is done on media mvp's via wired network, but envision maybe adding a sage HD extender for watching HD soon.

I can keep my current analog tuner, what would be the biggest bang for the buck for an additional PCI tuner? I'm assuming I'll also have to upgrade to the latest Sage version. I'm not sure how to handle recording HD and SD versions of the same shows also, but that issue wouldn't come up for a while.

Thanks for the recommendations.
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  #2  
Old 10-25-2008, 04:55 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
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You will probably find that you'll need to upgrade your SageTV version to work with most any of the Digital Tuner/Encoder options now available.

Recording SD or HD program streams from QAM cable isn't a big issue because the program data is already digitally encoded and just needs to be written to disk. I run SageTV headless and stream SD and HD recorded content to either a SageTV Client PC or an MVP. I was surprised to find that if the server isn't busy recording it can transcode an HD show to the MVP using a standard quality setting with pretty good results.

I have an HDHR for QAM-only tuning and a Hauppauge PVR-500 for analog. Comcast here doesn't seem interested in opening up their clear-QAM choices, making only 13 channels clear-QAM, but have yet to begin pairing down their analog tier.

To see what clear-QAM channels are available in your area, check out the SiliconDust channel wiki:
hdhomerun/channels - Silicondust
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  #3  
Old 10-25-2008, 06:16 PM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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so you'd recommend a PVR-500 for analog over using one of the above HVR options for analog? or are they comparable for analog and also offer the QAM expandability?
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  #4  
Old 10-25-2008, 07:16 PM
Conejo Conejo is offline
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Sorry, I wasn't giving you a specific hardware recommendation, just telling you what I have and am using with my MVP. The PVR-500 is an older dual-analog tuner/encoder.

Take a look at the SiliconDust channel wiki to see what's available in your area. I really like my HDHR digital tuner, but since my local cable company (Comcast) gives me just the four local channels plus PBS in the clear and encrypts all the other channels I only get limited use out of it.

If you're a Cable or Satellite subscriber and want to record more than what's available in the clear, you might want to look at using an Set Top Box and record Composite-in for SD and use a PVR-HD for HD.
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  #5  
Old 10-25-2008, 07:58 PM
sage_doc sage_doc is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
plus, the 2250 has appeared to be a little shaky on the sage support. I'd like to stick to an internal PCI hardware encoding solution to minimize network traffic.
There are no dual PCI digital tuners except for the Dvico Fusion and the Hauppauge 2250. Of the two, I chose the Hauppauge 2250... There are reports of it working with clear qam (search the forums for 2250), but it does NOT work for ATSC as of yet.

If you can deal with an external solution, I'd really get HDHR. It seems like a much more mature product.
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  #6  
Old 10-25-2008, 08:07 PM
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HelenWeathers HelenWeathers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sage_doc View Post
I chose the Hauppauge 2250... There are reports of it working with clear qam (search the forums for 2250), but it does NOT work for ATSC as of yet.
I am using the 2250 for ATSC and have been using it for two months now with no issues. Beautiful picture and 5.1 audio.

I have been using the drivers from the install cd that came with the card. And have not done the SageTV updates either (TSSplitter.ax & DShowCapture.dll). If it's not broken, don't fix it.
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  #7  
Old 10-26-2008, 06:44 AM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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probably a dumb question, but when you guys are talking ATSC you're talking about over the air ATSC? I was generically referring to clear QAM SD and HD without considering the possibility that the QAM HD stream could contain an ATSC signal?

I can use a cable box if I have to, but would prefer to find an internal solution that would recognize more of the digital channels, even the digital SD channels. Maybe I'm misunderstanding, and the QAM won't pick up many digital SD channels? my cable box addressing recently stopped working, and I still pick up about half of the digital SD channels, so I was hoping a QAM card would also.


while I sort all of this stuff out, would the 2250 be interchangable with a dual analog tuner card like the PVR-500? I would like to add an additional dual analog tuner card now, and if the 2250 does that function also, I'd lean towards that, as it would possibly provide much of what I'd need for the QAM function.

Thanks for the helpful responses so far
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  #8  
Old 10-26-2008, 09:59 AM
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HelenWeathers HelenWeathers is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robmarch View Post
probably a dumb question, but when you guys are talking ATSC you're talking about over the air ATSC? I was generically referring to clear QAM SD and HD without considering the possibility that the QAM HD stream could contain an ATSC signal?
While I sort all of this stuff out, would the 2250 be interchangable with a dual analog tuner card like the PVR-500? I would like to add an additional dual analog tuner card now, and if the 2250 does that function also, I'd lean towards that, as it would possibly provide much of what I'd need for the QAM function.
When I have used ATSC I have meant OTA ATSC. I will be more specific in the future. Sorry.

The 2250 is a PCIe card. It has two combo tuners with an internal splitter. Each tuner can be used for Analog OTA, Analog thru s-video, OTA ATSC or Clear QAM reception (not encripted), but only one at a time per tuner. So with the two tuners you can tune 2 same or 2 different types of signal.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2008, 11:24 AM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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no problem, I'm just not up to speed yet on all of the acronyms.

it seems like if the 2250 would work well with 2 analog cable signals now it would be ideal for me.
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  #10  
Old 10-28-2008, 04:03 AM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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pci-e may make this decision for me, I'm not sure my motherboard has a pci-e slot.
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  #11  
Old 12-11-2008, 12:25 PM
robmarch robmarch is offline
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I have the new card installed, and the digital tuner picks up some clear qam stuff. it adds tons of channels to scroll through, though, so I have it disabled right now. I'll need to research a bit more on here how to set up the channel guide to accomodate analog and clear qam, and which channels have preference. If anyone has any tips for threads to start with, I'd appreciate it.

as of right now, I'm just enjoying the dual analog tuners

ps...I went with the HVR-1600, as it was the PCI solution.

Last edited by robmarch; 12-11-2008 at 12:27 PM.
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  #12  
Old 12-11-2008, 01:15 PM
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I was final able get one from Hauppauge spent all day play with it the other day.
Here my thougth on HVR-2250 which I must say is not all that good or I end up dumb card.
The Hardware Encoder work well depend on the drivers I use I person like the 7.5.6.26322 prerelease but I'm a bit dispointed in fact there not make full use of the Hardware Audio/Video Encoder rigth now which only seem to doing MPEG1/2 encoding which dosen't include all the other Features
Quote:
Supports MPEG4, WMV VC-1, DivX
Supports AAC, MP3, WMA, AC-3
The ClearQAM SD and HD works really good as far as I can tell.
The ATSC side wow this give me problem rigth way where I only get 5 channel unlike the 1600 and 1800 which give me 21 channel and didn't matter which app I use with 2250 SageTV or WinTV6 I still end up with about only 5 ATSC channel out of 21 Local and Analog Ant/Cable side had really bad pciture.
One thing that I didn't like is Analog/Digital tuner which you are limited to two channel recoding only in falling order Analog/Analog, Digital/Digital or Analog/Digital "Digital/Analog" but with a 1600 or 1800 it all ready a more useful dual tuner and if where do a pair of cards you can do 2 Analog/Digital channel at one time unlike 2250 which I though was going be the same to be 2 Analog/Digital give you 4 channel rec at one time on one card oh boy I guset I was wrong there.
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