hdtv tuner review/roundup

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ice_73 Posted: Sun, Mar 1 2009 9:14 PM

ok, so with the switch from analog to digital alot of tv's are going under. however, people can use their computer and monitor as a tv! a 22 inch monitor, can make an excellent hdtv! but which hdtv tv tuners should people get? ive searched online and there seems to be no real comparision of the different models, nor explanation or what to look for exactly. so im requesting, if hothardware can produce an article.

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I have been wondering the same thing. I have a old ATI 550 tuner. I rarely use it anymore. My TV picks up 5 over the air HD channels. It would be nice to record them.

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Marco C replied on Sun, Mar 1 2009 10:38 PM

We can look into this, for sure.  To answer your questions now, think of a TV tuner card just like a TV.  If the card can only receive analog signals, it will need to be connected to a cable line, or an antenna with one of the new converted boxes.  If the card has an ATSC / ClearQAM tuner, it can recieve analog or digital signals. 

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ice_73 replied on Sun, Mar 1 2009 10:52 PM

that much i understand marco :-) problem is how well a card can handle it. some cards may produce grain, or poor color saturation, etc... also theres 2 different digital tuner types i believe?

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acarzt replied on Tue, Mar 24 2009 11:54 AM

It used to be pretty common to see reviews on tuner cards... it seems like they've already lost all their buzz and no one is reviewing them anymore. It would be refreshing to see a round up of more recent products.

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digitaldd replied on Wed, Mar 25 2009 10:26 AM

The USB stick ones are handy for use on laptops. I personally would like one that is external and connects to a computer via firewire, but I know I'm in the minority.

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I'd be interested in a tuner card round up...Wouldn't mind getting tv in my room.

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nelsoncp21 replied on Thu, Mar 26 2009 10:40 PM

I played around with a few a couple years back and really wasn't that impressed to be honest. There hasn't been awhole lot in the way of new products out worth looking at imo. Not to mention there aren't that many stations available OTA to make it worth while. But if your already using OTA and just want to record it most cards will do what they are intended. it's not like the picture quality is the greatest to begin with for what I have seen. There are also plenty of online resources on how to do it and forums out there that specialize in it. It could be a fun project for HH though if they wanted something new to mess around with. Alittle variety never hurt anything.

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digitaldd replied on Fri, Mar 27 2009 12:03 PM

nelsoncp21:

I played around with a few a couple years back and really wasn't that impressed to be honest. There hasn't been awhole lot in the way of new products out worth looking at imo. Not to mention there aren't that many stations available OTA to make it worth while. But if your already using OTA and just want to record it most cards will do what they are intended. it's not like the picture quality is the greatest to begin with for what I have seen. There are also plenty of online resources on how to do it and forums out there that specialize in it. It could be a fun project for HH though if they wanted something new to mess around with. Alittle variety never hurt anything.

 

Depends on your area, here in NYC the list is pretty decent. ABC,CBS,NBC,FOX,CW,UPN,PBS,PAX,Univision,Telemundo, then toss in PBS kids, some weird sports network that caters to extreme type sports, weather channels from ABC & NBC, all news channels from NBC/ABC, & Lastly I think I had MSNBC...

 

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yea when I did it the most I got was like 6-7 channels. I tried different tuners and antennas. I imagine since some of the stations were crappy qualtiy that now with the digital transition I would get even less channels.

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Here in Richmond we have like 10 HD OTA channels. I actually don't have cable so this is really intresting to me.

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Gator650 replied on Mon, Apr 13 2009 12:14 PM

I don't have an issue with software (mythtv) or tuners  (I use the silicondust hd unit)  My issue is having a remote to power up/down and making a computer + monitor function like a   DVR + TV.

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It seems HTPC's are all the hype these days. Everyone is coming out with there own HTPC cases, PSU's, motherboards, ultra low Watt CPU's, media center software, and the goes on and on. I just read an artical in maximum PC about building your own HTPC and they deliberately left out the TV tuner. They did it to cut out the cable bill altoghther. With free options like Hulu, TV.com, and Boxee available, the TV tuner is no longer needed. Netflix and Amazon have paid content online as well. I use Netflix and Hulu myself, and i am looking forward to Boxee for windows. But i am still using cable to include the rest of my house. Now i wish to be able to pause live TV on my HTPC. I think i am going to go with the WinTV-HVR-2250 by Hauppauge if i cant find any recent reviews. Look it up and look into some of the online viewing goodness. Good luck

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Yeah your right, but my TV watching habbits are a bit odd. I like a few shows like Big Bang Theory and Scrubs, but I usually for get about them for weeks then wanna catch up. With a tv tuner I can just set record all new episodes, but with Hulu and such they only let you see the last few episodes so I miss some. Also Boxee is cool. I have it on my Ubuntu partition.

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mtolsen replied on Mon, Sep 14 2009 5:06 PM

My latest rig is using the Hauppauge Win tv-HVR-2250 with a 32" Visio 1080p LCD as my monitor. I couldn't be happier with the Win 7 media center, works 100x's better than the Wintv7 interface, My only complaint is I have to switch between my analog cable tuner and the digital tuner, but that is a MSFT issue and they claim they are working on that. The system I handed down to my son uses the Hauppauge 1800 which works quite well too.

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sonicb00m replied on Tue, Sep 22 2009 10:52 PM

digitaldd:

The USB stick ones are handy for use on laptops. I personally would like one that is external and connects to a computer via firewire, but I know I'm in the minority.

Minority or not, I firmly agree that firewire is the way to go.

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acarzt replied on Tue, Jan 12 2010 11:10 PM

Bringing this back to the top...

With USB 3.0 hitting the market... are there any sweet HD high quality external TV tuner's coming any time soon?

With all that extra bandwidth i'd think they would be able to make some pretty good products.

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rapid1 replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 12:30 PM

Good point acarzt and with the extended bandwidth needs of USB to tuner to HD TV a unit such as this (USB3 spec) would seem to be a very positive thing. This is not to mention the size and performance level of hard drives now being used for recording and playback. I would be very interested to see a review of this type  of equipment as well as the plusses and mins's when they hit the market.

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Soupstyle replied on Thu, Jan 21 2010 11:13 PM

I'd like a review like this too!

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