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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 06-08-2011, 02:54 PM
les_bloom les_bloom is offline
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Over the air HD questions from a newbie

Hi there,

I have been toying around with the idea of ditching my satellite carrier and going with just an OTA HD setup.

However, I know very little about the subject.

I have searched around AVS and other forums but can't really find a good place to get educated on the subject.

My home (just recently purchased) already has a huge antenna on the roof, so I assume that will work for me.

If you know anything about the following questions, I would really appreciate the help. Or if you know a good site where I can find the answers, that would be appreciated also.

1) What are some of the cheaper and reliable capture cards that will work with OTA HD and SageTV? I am not gonna lie, I want this to be idiot proof. I just want to hook it up and have it work forever I have little patience for troubleshooting hardware hehe.

2) Does the antenna work as just a single tuner? If I wanted to hook up multiple capture cards, do I need multiple antennas? Or do I just run multiple wires off of the antenna?

Thank you for your help
Les
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  #2  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:05 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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For OTA, I wouldn't bother with anything but a SiliconDust HDHomeRun. The latest version contains dual tuners with a single connection to the antenna, and connects to your network, so it doesn't even occupy any of the slots in your computer/server. If two tuners isn't enough, use a good quality coax splitter, which is readily available at most electronics retailers. That would allow you to connect multiple HDHomeRuns to a single antenna.
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  #3  
Old 06-08-2011, 03:14 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
For OTA, I wouldn't bother with anything but a SiliconDust HDHomeRun. The latest version contains dual tuners with a single connection to the antenna, and connects to your network, so it doesn't even occupy any of the slots in your computer/server. If two tuners isn't enough, use a good quality coax splitter, which is readily available at most electronics retailers. That would allow you to connect multiple HDHomeRuns to a single antenna.
+1. Easiest setup and no messing with any codecs or anything like that.

An antenna will pull in as many signals as you have tuners, you won't need more. However, the longer your coax run and the more splitters you have, the more signal loss you get. That's another advantage of the HDHR being a network device - you can locate it closer to your antennas (say, a second floor closet or a finished attic room?) and shorten the coax run, and then just run network cable back to your switch/hub/router/server.

Try putting your location and antenna height into www.tvfool.com (better than antennaweb). It will tell you what kind of reception you should expect.
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  #4  
Old 06-08-2011, 08:28 PM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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I agree. I love the HD Homerun. I have 3 in fact giving me 6 tuners.
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  #5  
Old 06-08-2011, 08:50 PM
massmanjr massmanjr is offline
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OTA is great--better picture quality than SAT, Cable or FIOS---plus it's free. I have two HD Homerun units integrated with a Windows box. I love it. I got rid of my Dish Network DTVPAL DVR, which was for OTA. Sage is much better
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  #6  
Old 06-08-2011, 09:10 PM
crusing crusing is offline
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HD Homerun all the way, the best tuner I have used.
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  #7  
Old 06-08-2011, 09:28 PM
texneus texneus is offline
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Hard to argue the merits of an HDHR. When I first setup my HTPC a few years ago I tried a number of tuner cards, all were exercises in frustration. The HDHR just works and the tech support has been awesome.

Answer to your second question is one antenna can feed more than one tuner. You need a splitter. You do have to be careful though as each split will halve the signal. To many splits and the signal won't be picked up by a tuner.

Last edited by texneus; 06-08-2011 at 09:33 PM.
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  #8  
Old 06-08-2011, 10:43 PM
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davephan davephan is offline
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The HDHomerun and HVR-2250 are both good choices for the OTA HD broadcasts. We watch mostly locals or Netflix. If you watch mostly locals and like movies, then you might be able to get by with that combination. A Netflix subscription is better than several pay movie channels.

Dave
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  #9  
Old 06-09-2011, 06:52 AM
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PiX64 PiX64 is offline
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+1 hdhr all the way.

I have 2 giving me 4 tuners all running OTA with an antenna mounted in my attic that i built.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions.

http://forums.sagetv.com/forums/show...=cutting+cable

~PiX
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2011, 11:28 AM
les_bloom les_bloom is offline
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Thank you everyone for the replies.

Sounds like the HDHR is the way to go

TVFool says I should probably be able to pick up all my local stations, I guess the only thing to do at this point is running a coax tonight.

/FingersCrossed

Thanks again
Les
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  #11  
Old 06-10-2011, 10:56 AM
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ThePaladinTech ThePaladinTech is offline
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Curious how your experience went? I was going to chime in and +1 the HDHR.

I've been having problems with my cable company (broadstripe... honestly could someone buy them out? PLEASE) and decided to move the HDHR over to an antenna I did some research and was going to get a HBU-22 but ended up getting an HBU-33. The thing is just laying in the rafters of my garage, I've got 100ft of cable running to my HDHR with a pre-amp. and the picture is beyond sharp!

I had thought about the make your own solution, but I believe they are more geared towards UHF, and my most important channel is a VHF channel. Very pleased with my results.
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  #12  
Old 06-10-2011, 11:11 AM
OneThomas OneThomas is offline
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I'll add my 2 cents.. I've been doing only OTA with a basic Rabbit Ear Antenna sitting in my window, with a Radio Shack amp/splitter giving me 4 feeds into my 2 older HDHR Units (they are about 3 years old, with seperate inputs for each antenna). This is my single source of TV and it works Beautifully. Occasionally it will break up if the weather is bad, but only occasionally. I have netflix for any other movie/show needs.
I cut the "cable" and never looked back! But - I should also mention that I live on the 20th floor in downtown chicago - so I get great reception with the little 10 dollar rabbit ears...
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  #13  
Old 06-10-2011, 02:06 PM
les_bloom les_bloom is offline
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So I tried out my reception last night ... not so good =/

Here is a link to my tvFool.com data. According to that I should have a handful of channels available. However, I could only get 9 and 11 to come in.

I am not really sure what is the issue at this point. It could be any number of things right?

1) Maybe that antenna isn't really a HD antenna? It was on the house when I bought it and I only assume its an HD antenna because it is so damn big. I need to get up on the roof and check it out at this point. I don't know the make or model of it or anything.

2) Maybe the antenna isn't lined up properly? From what I have read it seems like the rotation of the antenna is a big deal?

3) Maybe my TVs HD receiver is out of date? I bought the TV in like ... 2005 or so? Could the air antenna receiver just not work for the newer broadcast types?

Anywho, I am figuring it out.

The real question at this point is how do I break my contract with Dish Network w/o paying a ridiculous fee? =/

Thanks again for the info
Les
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  #14  
Old 06-10-2011, 03:09 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les_bloom View Post
3) Maybe my TVs HD receiver is out of date? I bought the TV in like ... 2005 or so? Could the air antenna receiver just not work for the newer broadcast types?
You need to make sure that your TV has an ATSC tuner built into it. If it is only an NTSC tuner, you will probably not get any US channels.
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  #15  
Old 06-11-2011, 04:56 AM
dgeezer dgeezer is offline
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It could be that your antenna is an old VHF (channels 2 - 13) model. This would explain why you are only getting 9 and 11. Despite marketing claims, any antenna will work with digital signals, but not necessarily VHF and UHF.

Yes, the direction it is pointing does matter. When I was a kid, before cable, we had the typical rural setup which consisted of a huge antenna with a rotating motor controlled by a box on top of the TV. Changing channels required turning the dial on the TV to the new channel and then rotating the antenna in that direction. If there is a rusty box about the size of a coffee pot just below the antenna that would be the rotor motor.
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  #16  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:01 PM
les_bloom les_bloom is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KeithAbbott View Post
You need to make sure that your TV has an ATSC tuner built into it. If it is only an NTSC tuner, you will probably not get any US channels.
My TV model number is HL-R4667W (it's a Samsung) and from what I can find online, it has an ATSC tuner in it.

So I can assume it's not a tuner issue right?

Thanks
Les
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  #17  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:31 PM
KeithAbbott KeithAbbott is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les_bloom View Post
So I can assume it's not a tuner issue right?
Yeah, probably not. I'd follow dgeezer's advice, check and see if your antenna is VHF only.
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  #18  
Old 06-11-2011, 07:55 PM
drewg drewg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by les_bloom View Post
My TV model number is HL-R4667W (it's a Samsung) and from what I can find online, it has an ATSC tuner in it.

So I can assume it's not a tuner issue right?

Thanks
Les
Maybe, maybe not. Tuners have come a long way since 2004/2005. That's when the first good ATSC tuners were just starting to appear. The first "good" tuner I used was an LG based "5th generation" tuner which I got in the summer of 2005. All the tuners I'd used before that were pretty poor in my house. FWIW, the HDHR tuner is worse (for me) than that LG 5th gen.

One other thing to consider is that the wiring is bad and/or not actually connected to the antenna. From your tvfool data, I would not be surprised if you could get those VHF stations without any antenna at all, just some poorly shielded cabling.. i actually had that happen to me the first time I tried to get OTA signals in 2004. I'd hooked the wrong outlet to the antenna, and I was getting just 2 very powerful VHF stations when my TV was just attached to some cabling running outside but not actually attached to anything on the other end.

Drew
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  #19  
Old 06-12-2011, 12:40 PM
pjpjpjpj pjpjpjpj is offline
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Although antenna reception is a strange and magical thing, the fact that you only get two channels, and they're your only VHF channels, sends up a big red flag to me. Either you have a VHF-only antenna, or you are not connected to the antenna at all (and only picking up VHF due to what wiring you do have). Or, maybe you have a combination VHF/UHF antenna with some sort of combiner up there on the mast, and the combiner is faulty on the UHF side?
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  #20  
Old 06-12-2011, 07:12 PM
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mistergq mistergq is offline
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http://www.antennaweb.org/ will tell you if the channels in your area or UHF or VHF. A year or so ago, Baltimore switched a lot of channels to VHF and had to get a second antenna to pick up VHF. This antenna combined with my other antenna helped greatly! http://www.antennasdirect.com/store/...V-antenna.html

Second, you need to make sure you antenna is pointed in the right direction. It may be that simple that your antenna is pointed the wrong way.
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