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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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Old 11-15-2017, 12:24 AM
texneus texneus is offline
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Location: DFW
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HDHR Connect Quattro Initial Thoughts

I ordered one of these over the weekend because my old HDHR "classic" seemed to be failing. That particular unit was actually the second HDHR I've owned and they both failed the same way. A drop out here and there that gets worse over time and eventually gets to the point that stations no longer come in reliably. My very first HDHR just outright died eventually, but seeing the writing on the wall I decided to make a preemptive strike and gain 2 more tuners in the process.

Anyway, the Quattro arrived to the house today, one day sooner than Best Buy said I could have picked it up in the store. My initial impressions when opening the box were disappointing. Basically it's a monolithic black box made of thin plastic, no feet, and no status lights. Not even a light to confirm it's plugged in. They do still include an ethernet cord of a decent length, although it too has been trimmed to 1.8m. Yah, I know I'm nit picking, but I've grown weary of these tactics to shave a few cents at every opportunity and it's sad to see Silicon Dust succumb to this. Short rant: I was absolutely and thoroughly shocked to see that blu ray players have de-evolved into little more than toys last year when I had to replace my old player and downright livid when a TV manufacturer couldn't be bothered to include a manual and wants to advertise at me on a darned near top of the line OLED TV. Maybe I'm alone in my dismay at the race to the bottom in consumer electronics, but I'd like to think not.

Initial impressions aside, it's an amazingly compact device, roughly the same LxW as the "dome" and a touch thinner than the original white HDHR. Single input of course, so you can no longer mix QAM and OTA or use different areals for two cities in the same device. I understand the logic here, but it's a feature that I suspect some will miss.

I installed the new HDHR in place of my old one. It's effectively a drop in replacement, just removing the splitter and replacing the power adapter. I have mine connected to OTA and running SageTV 9.1.7 on Linux/Docker, so there is no software to install, but I assume the Quattro software would essentially be identical to, perhaps even compatible with, existing HDHR software.

In SageTV it was a simple matter of removing the prior two HDHR tuners and adding four new ones. Since the source is identical I only did a channel scan on the first tuner then re-used the finished lineup on the other tuners (same as I did for the prior HDHR). Pretty painless to swap and I encountered no hiccups doing so. I noticed some people seem to be having issues with SageTV "seeing" the HDHR or scanning channels lately, so I won't be able to add anything to that mystery.

One thing I immediately noticed is despite an internal 4-way split into four tuners, the Quattro reports higher signal levels than my old HDHR, although since they don't really say what the signal strength meter actually means (100% of what?) it's hard to say if that's real or just that it reports levels differently.

Anyway, I've been watching for about an hour now and the drop outs are unfortunately still present, so I'll need to look elsewhere for my problem. I should note not a single TV has reception issues through their own tuners, so I must conclude Quattro reception is roughly on par with prior HDHRs. On the plus side, I now have 2 extra tuners for when I get around to adding an extender or two.
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Server: Asrock C236WSI, Xeon E3-1225, 32GB RAM, NAS4Free (FreeBSD) 11.1 w/Ubuntu VM for SageTV
Tuners: HD Homerun Quatro (OTA), Hauppauge Colossus HDMI capture (CATV)
Clients: SageTV client on Windows 7 HTPC, NVidia Sheild
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Old 11-15-2017, 01:55 PM
wayner wayner is offline
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Regarding your previous HDHRs dying - did you try changing the power supply? That is a common issue with these as I have had it happen on at least my original HDHR that sounds the same as yours with dual inputs. It is even more common with Hauppauge HD-PVRs.

Did you try to see if you can tune any additional stations that you couldn't get before, which could prove if the tuner is better?
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  #3  
Old 11-18-2017, 01:44 AM
texneus texneus is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Regarding your previous HDHRs dying - did you try changing the power supply?
Yes. First HDHR was old enough that the original power supply was recalled for this reason. Second HDHR is on it's third supply, although as stipulated at the end I'm not sure it was actually bad (meaning the second walwart was probably still OK). Something has changed, could be something in my rather esoteric setup or it could be that stations around here are already moving around for ATSC 3.0 spectrum repack. Even though it's low power and secondary stations affected so far, several channels are now stacked one after the other with no "guard band" between. I'm still tracking this down but it may not be resolvable if stations are packed together such that they interfere with each other. I intended to update this when I can but it will probably take a while to understand what is going on.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wayner View Post
Did you try to see if you can tune any additional stations that you couldn't get before, which could prove if the tuner is better?
It's not really as simple as that as the stations I receive change by the day. Digital is not "there or it's not" as everyone thinks. It's always "there", but only usable if enough data can be extracted for the error correction in the receiver to overcome received bit errors. That's why you can have a really weak signal perform just as well as having a strong signal, and why you can have a strong signal that is useless. It is also why Silicon Dust (wisely) tells you to maximize signal quality, not signal strength, to aim your antenna.

I'm 40 miles from the transmitters in the DFW metro area so I invested some time ago in a very large antenna and a good quality pre-amp. I get all the full power stations no problems (other than the a fore mentioned reception dropouts), but low power stations come and go pretty much as they please. Signal strength of these stations typically runs 50-60%, so the HDHR has no problems detecting these stations, but the signal often degrades beyond the HDHR's ability to correct it simply due to changes in the weather. Rarely, I am even able to receive stations from Sherman/Denison, TX and Ada, OK from behind my antenna with even less signal. This situation has not noticeably changed when I swapped HDHRs.

Regardless, my conclusion still is that if you need four tuners then by all means get one. It's a drop in replacement and performance is not likely worse than legacy units. I was even playing with Windows drivers and utilities from 2014 to monitor received signals, so even the old software works. If you are happy with two tuners then at this time I see no reason to change. If I get the current reception issues resolved I might have more to say at that time.
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Server: Asrock C236WSI, Xeon E3-1225, 32GB RAM, NAS4Free (FreeBSD) 11.1 w/Ubuntu VM for SageTV
Tuners: HD Homerun Quatro (OTA), Hauppauge Colossus HDMI capture (CATV)
Clients: SageTV client on Windows 7 HTPC, NVidia Sheild
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