• You've been granted Beta access to this site, allowing you to explore some of the new features while they're still under construction. More information can be found in the Beta forum.

HDTV Tuner / Capture Cards

mbahr

Member
I'm doing some preliminary (very, very, very early) research into the configuration of a HTPC. I currently have DirecTV w/ high def, and am also capturing over-the-air high def from local stations. I'm looking around for a card that would accept the over the air stations, and may grab component from my DirecTV received. I'm having difficulting finding much. The manufacturer websides (ATI / Hauppauge) are not very helpful in educating a newbie.

So... What is available for capturing / tuning High def signals?

Suggestions for what to look for?

-MIke
 

sic0048

Senior Member
Personally I have a MyHD 130 HD capture card (ATSC and QAM tuners) as well as a couple of VBOX Cats Eye USB HD tuners.

The MyHD is very stable, but does not have a BDA driver which means that it will not communicate with most software including MCE and other front end software. (CQC does have a MyHD 130 driver, but I haven't even opened it to know what it does).

The VBox units are nice, but they have caused my system to be unstable at times. In fact, I've disconnected them from my system at this time.

If I was doing it again, I would purchase the HDHomeRun. It is a network HD tuner card. I think this approach it best because it is independant from any computer and won't make your system unstable (no drivers or bloat loaded on the computer). It looks like you can point VLC, MythTV, SageTV, and soon MCE to the network address and view or record the shows that way. It also has a ATSC and a QAM tuner. They run about $170, which is in-line for a ATSC/QAM tuner card.

In fact, once I get my CQC server up and running, I'll probably look into SageTV and the HDHomeRun. I'll sell my VBox units.

Here is the web site for the HDHomeRun.

http://www.silicondust.com/zxc/content/view/5/26/

Here is a thread on AVS about it too:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=731457
 

mbahr

Member
Thanks for the responses and links.

The Vbox looks very affordable and has drivers now. The HDHomeRun is really intriguing, though. Hmmmmm......

-Mike
 

IVB

Senior Member
My Vbox rocks. I have 2 PVR-250's and 1 Vbox in my CQC server, along with a moxa 8way serial card, and it's all stable as heck.
 

IVB

Senior Member
Trust me - it's less a jealous thing, and more a "pain of death" if wife had to choose between recording Bad Reality show #1 (ie Dancing with Stars) with Bad Sitcom (ie ugly Betty), and god forbid it doesn't come in HDTV quality...
 

jwilson56

Senior Member
When I get my upgraded system with either BeyondTV or SageTV I am thinking of adding a second Vbox card so it can record 2 HD shows off OTA. I rarely use my PVR-500 card anymore.

John
 

TCIII

Member
Hi all,

Before you go out and purchase analog only tuner cards (I have two PVR-150s) remember they will not work once 2009 rolls around.

I do have a My HD 130 HD capture card and have had no problems with computer stability. It meets my requirements.

Just a thought.

Regards,
TCIII
 

mbahr

Member
I've done some more research (ok, reading many posts while drinking beer) and have formed an opinion that the vbox is pretty worthwhile.

I may just have to puchase a mobo, ram, videocard, hd, and vbox to see what kind of fun you are all having!

-Mike
 

68sting

Active Member
Is the a card out there that I can hook my HD Directv via component video directly to the card and record that way?
 

DavidL

Senior Member
No, can't do that. Microsoft is building a DirecTV PC card now, but who knows when it will be available. Lots of politics and money on this deal so it could be a long while. Lots of info on capture cards and HD on www.avsforum.com
 

IVB

Senior Member
too much bandwidth for the PCI bus, or at least that's what I've read. Plus there's the whole DRM issue - too much risk for the manufacturers given the content producers could sue them for enabling copyright infringement.

Perhaps now that PCIe and Vista are here, things will change.
 

brotsten

Active Member
IVB said:
too much bandwidth for the PCI bus, or at least that's what I've read. Plus there's the whole DRM issue - too much risk for the manufacturers given the content producers could sue them for enabling copyright infringement.

Perhaps now that PCIe and Vista are here, things will change.
That won't change. Hollywood wants to shut the analog off completely or at the very least, downgrade the signal. It's a very large hole in their anti-copying scheme.

Brian
 
Top