[mythtv-users] Hauppage Analog Cards, alternatives?
colin.mc151 at gmail.com
Mon Sep 1 17:21:22 UTC 2008
On 9/1/08, Jeff Holicky <myth.myth_user at myth.sent.com> wrote:
> On Thu, 28 Aug 2008 18:40:45 -0700, "Derek Archer"
> <eggman97132007 at mac.com> said:
>> Hi all, I just subscribed to the list so forgive me if this question
>> is already in the current discussions.
>> I am looking to build a combination back/frontend box. I am currently
>> on analog cable and plan to remain so for the forseeable future. I
>> have been trying to find a good dual-tuner, dual-encoder analog card.
>> The Hauppauge PVR-500 is getting VERY difficult to find in my trials,
>> and I cannot even order them direct from Hauppauge anymore. Their
>> official word is the the FCC will not let them ship analog cards due
>> to the DTV transition. They suggested the HVR series, but as far as I
>> can tell, they are hit or miss on MythTV compatibility.
>> One potential alternative I found is the AverMedia AverTV combo card,
>> which has an analog tuner w/ encoder as well as a QAM digital tuner.
>> It is PCI Express x1 card and I would like to know if anyone has had
>> any luck with this or similar cards from AverMedia, or any other
>> manufacturer. The resources online I have found seem to be somewhat
>> outdated in regards to these newer cards.
> I am just at the beginning to build my own MythTV system - and find the
> Hauppauge issues to be quite disturbing.
> First, on the FCC - sounds confusing to me. Is there something (being
> in Canada EH?) that I am missing wrt analogue to digital conversion? Is
> the US doing something that is above and beyond what we have in Canada?
> Right now I rent a cable box - from that I can use
> coax/video/s-video/(component maybe) - to the TV. To me all that is
> analogue. Digital would be via HDMI or some Firewire device. But in
> the end we pay the cable company to get a coax - and then if we want to
> pony up - rent/buy a digital set top to get the extra channels. (SD /
> HD). Are my terms wrong? Is S-VIDEO considered "digital" ?
Your terms are more incomplete than wrong. In February 2009 all
regular analog over-the-air TV station in the US are to be shutdown,
in August 2011 the same is to happen in Canada. Most US stations and a
few Canadian stations are in addition to their regular analog
over-the-air signals are now also broadcasting a digital TV signal
over the air. If you want to continue to watch over-the-air TV after
the above cut-off dates you will have to have a TV with a tuner that
accepts and can deal with the ATSC digital signal, or you will need a
digital to analog converter box.
The cable companies can continue to offer analog services after the
above cut-off dates, so anyone on cable can contine as is with analog
for the forseeable future.
To return to terms, you can get an analog signal from HDMI, and
Firewire. Though coax you can get an analog, or in parts of Canada a
digital signal. Now to keep things messy some Canadian cable companies
are encrypting ALL digital signals sent down their coax lines (meaning
if you want to watch a digital signal from them you must pay a service
fee for a descrambler box).
In my case I have a MythTV box set-up with two analog tuners (a
Hauppage PVR-150 and a PVR-350) connected to @#$% Rogers Cable here in
Toronto, ON, and one pcHDTV-5500 HDTV tuner card connected to an
outdoor antenna. So, I can watch digital TV from Toronto and Buffalo,
NY over-the-air stations. My MythTV box displays onto a Sony 26"
analog TV. In essence my MythTV box can be set to act like one of the
biggest / ugliest digital to analog converters going :-) .
> In the US, is there some digital connection being forced by the FCC to
> be adopted? I thought the FCC was merely removing the analogue
> broadcasts and forced people to get digital via an "OTA" "Satellite" or
> "Cable" set top boxes. What does ANY of that have to do with the feed
> coming FROM those boxes to the TV?
With the lead up to analog TV transmitters being shutdown the US FCC
has ordered an end to sales of analog only receivers. Receivers that
can do analog and digital are fine... This has a carry over here,
where the high end analog only tuners have become scarce...
> Which brings me to the Hauppauge question - why would the 150, 250, 350,
> 500 (x50/500[/MCE]) units be phased out BECAUSE of the FCC? The HVR
> seems to still use that old school analogue 125 channel input - so what
> is that all about? Or is Hauppauge merely using the FCC notice as a
> method to phase out those units for newer ones?
The HVR series can do analog and digital so are fine as far as the FCC
is concerned. The PVR series is analog only only, so the FCC has told
Hauppage to stop producing those...
> Which now leads me to this - not sure at this date if any of the HVR
> units are supported (properly) by Myth. I am starting to look for the
> 150-500 cards and already finding it hard to get a 250. About 6m ago I
> asked and many suggested the 250 over the x50/500 was the better way to
> go. I want to start with 2 set top boxes and eventually to 4 (could be
> 2x250 or 4x250 or 2x250, 2xHDHR etc etc). Now what?
Some of the HVR units are partially supported under MythTV. With a
number of digital TV tuner card one finds the digital TV support to be
good/excellent but support for the analog section of the card to be
poor/no-existant. This is true with my pcHDTV-5500 card, excellent
digital support under linux, but the analog section...
> The other negative is the capital to get this all going properly - I was
> actually thinking of getting a retail 150 or 250 to hookup under WinXP
> until I am ready to move to the Myth system - but even that is a problem
> it seems. Some suggest "instead of a 150/500 get the 150MCE / 500MCE" -
> I assume that works well with Myth but seeing as I am not running MCE -
> I assume my WinXP would not support those cards. True?
> So big picture - anybody know of a game plan I should take - should I be
> waiting until the HVR cards are more mature wrt Myth/Linux development?
> Will I be able to buy 2 HVR cards and still record SD programming as I
> would with the x50/500 series? (once the drivers are working well)?
> Sounds like getting an older x50/500 series card is not the right move
> today as I am buying legacy/future unsupported hardware.
If you get you TV via cable then for the forseeable future your good
with the PVR series cards (in fact collect them while you can). As for
digital cards, great stuff if you are in range of at least one over
the air digital TV station (GREAT picture quality). What messes things
up is the cable companies, if your local cable company scrambles
EVERYTHING then any digital tuner card is irrelevant when it comes to
cable TV (sigh).
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