ATSC tuner reccomendations

Discussion in 'Home Theater PCs' started by kornphlake, Jan 9, 2013.

  1. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    I just cancelled my satellite tv service and after just 2 hours I'm already missing the DVR. I'd planned on building a HTPC or buying some other DVR solution after saving money for a few months, but that might need to happen sooner than later. What are my options for tuners? I'd like something that has dual tuners, all I need are ATSC tuners, if I ever go back to cable or dish I'll use their DVR solutions. I'm still in the initial planning stages, but I'll most likely use MythTV or Windows Media Center, I'm not too interested in software that is bundled with the tuner and would prefer not to be limited to only using software included with the tuner.

    I looked at the HDhomerun and like the features, especially being able to access it from any PC on my network but I'm a little concerned that a lot of the reviews say reception is weak. Is it going to be any weaker than the various pci-e tuner cards?
     
  2. Dirigible

    Dirigible Diamond Member

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    I love my hdhomerun. Dunno if reception is weak. Works for me.
     
  3. Shadowknight

    Shadowknight Diamond Member

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    Hauppauge 2250 works okay for me. Even has drivers under current version of Linux, as long as you download the firmware.
     
  4. SaurusX

    SaurusX Senior member

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    I've got the Avermedia Duet and have never really been happy with it. Maybe it's been fixed in the latest builds (and that may be judging from recent Newegg reviews), but with my setup I cannot put my HTPC into S3 sleep without the card completely disappearing upon resuming. Other than that it functions great as a dual tuner.
     
  5. Binky

    Binky Diamond Member

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    HDhomerun keeps additional heat out of your case and the tuners are shareable with any other computer on the network. There's really no reason to use anything else. I never noticed any difference in reception between the HDhomerun and other tuners I've used.
     
  6. Mloot

    Mloot Diamond Member

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    I love my 2250's. They just work. I'm not sure how they compare (reception wise) to the Homerun, since I've never played with one of those.
     
  7. Raincity

    Raincity Diamond Member

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    I have the Diamond version of the ATI TV Wonder 650. It has really good quality Samsung tuners on it. The riff is that the analog and QAM/ATSC tuners are separate and need their own connection. I get excellent results both with OTA or cable. I had the Hauppauge 2250 and the picture quality was not as good.
     
  8. nickbits

    nickbits Diamond Member

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    If you have an outdoor/attic antenna, I think all the tuners will work the same. I've had 4 different ones haven't noticed any difference in reception.
     
  9. kornphlake

    kornphlake Golden Member

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    I'm planning on using an attic antenna but don't have any opposition to moving it to the roof on a mast if needed but, I'm only 12 miles from the furthest broadcast tower so reception shouldn't be a problem. I don't have a compelling reason not to try a HDhomerun at this point, it does everything I want to do and has a couple of neat features the others don't, I suppose if it doesn't work out I could always return it.
     
  10. Aikouka

    Aikouka Lifer

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    I use a Hauppauge 1650, and it seems to work fine!
     
  11. Zorba

    Zorba Diamond Member

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    This is what I use. I've had 2 for 3 years and one just recently died on me. But the computer has ran 24/7 for 3 years in a entertainment center, so the heat may have gotten to it.

    The Diamond cards don't have Win8 drivers released for them right now, but I was able to use the Vista driver without any problems.

    I had issues with multiple 2250's failing to tune one channel 3 years ago, at the time it seemed like a fairly common problem for channel 11. I am sure that has been fixed by now, but the Hauppauge support was no where to be found.

    EDIT: For what it is worth I plan on replacing my dead Diamond card with an HDHomerun.
     
  12. mshan

    mshan Diamond Member

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    Haven't kept up with tuners, but the one with best OTA tuner I've used is Hauppauge HVR 950 usb stick (better than original HD Homerun and the updated one with only one tuner input). All were way better than very dated ATI HDTV Wonder.

    My guess is that tuner designed primarily for OTA reception is probably going to have a better tuner chip than tv card that is primarily designed to be hooked up to cable, where ota tuner chip might have just been cheap afterthought.

    Stand alone set top box, designed primarily or only for OTA reception, might be another good option to research (though might not integrate seamlessly into htpc).
     
    #12 mshan, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013
  13. wirednuts

    wirednuts Diamond Member

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    never had that issue with my duets... i suspect youre a lucky one

    my favs are the 2250's. been rock solid for me anyway. really though, ive tried 2250's, aver media duets, asus my cinema mini 3100, and kwolrd qb-435 or whatever they are and i really havent had a problem with any of them. i regularly forget what ones i have where, because they all work so similar.

    i mean, even the difference between the usb and pcie ones is hardly anything. you just have to decide what kind of ports you want to give up really...
     
    #13 wirednuts, Jan 15, 2013
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2013