[mythtv-users] Is the hpHDTV 5500 right for me?
stefan_jones at comcast.net
Sat Jan 23 18:10:20 UTC 2010
> From: "Henry Hartley" <henry at dotrose.com>
> To: mythtv-users at mythtv.org
> Sent: Saturday, January 23, 2010 9:25:12 AM GMT -08:00 US/Canada Pacific
> Subject: [mythtv-users] Is the hpHDTV 5500 right for me?
> I'm considering starting down the MythTV road and have read the FAQ
> the documentation but have a couple questions, just to be sure I
> understood what I read. So, here's what I have:
> First, I do not have cable and don't expect/plan to any time soon. So,
> have an antenna on the roof and that feeds converter box (Lasonic
> LTA-260) via a coax cable (oh, I live in the USA). There is another
> out from that which I could send directly to the TV but instead send
> a switch (Radio Shack 4 Way RF Modulator). I also have a DVD player
> a combination DVD/VHS player plugged into that. It accepts up to four
> devices using either a single S-video or three RCA type plugs each.
> The output from the switch goes, via coax to the back of my old TV,
> which ONLY has a coax jack, nothing else. Yes, it's old, having been
> on Wheel of Fortune by a friend, back in 1986 or so. Anyway, this all
> works fine. The Lasonic also has three RCA jacks which I have going
> the VCR so I actually have the signal going through the Lasonic, VCR,
> and Radio Shack switch to the TV most of the time.
> OK, that's what I know. Now, if I understand this (and I guess this is
> my first question) that means that I have an ASCP signal coming into
> house which is converted into NTSC for the rest of the journey to the
> TV. Is that right?
> What I want to do is set up MythTV (both front and back ends) on a
> machine in my computer room (in the basement). I have a AMD Athlon
> dual-core processor, which should be plenty and 2 GB RAM running
> 12 but I may switch over to CentOS 5.x, which is what I run on my
> production machines. I don't have a huge amount of drive space but
> figure I can put a largish SATA drive in easily enough and dedicate
> to video. I will plan on watching TV on the computer's regular monitor
> for now. Eventually I'd consider a small front end machine to go on
> TV but that's a question for a later date. Any problems with any of
> As for video going into the machine, I need to know that I'm getting
> right device for the signal I have. The pcHDTV HD-3000 is mentioned a
> few times in the MythTV docs but it looks like the pcHDTV HD-5500 is
> "current" model and also costs about $70 less. So, is this (or either,
> really) card is going to do what I want? If my signal is ATSC, as I
> think, then this should be able to be attached to a splitter on my
> antenna without needing the converter box in the circuit, meaning I
> leave my current set up as it is for now. Is that right? Or is there a
> better choice for receiving video into my machine?
> Thanks for your time and for a cool piece of software.
I have a pcHDTV 3000. It does a great job of receiving and recording high-quality digital signals.
The problem here is "digital." What kind of signals is your cable TV provider sending you? How do you tune your channels?
If everything goes through a STB, then what is coming out is likely NOT an ATSC signal. It will be analog NTSC, or a composite or S-Video or component output.
Comcast, my provider, sends out a few analog channels (basic service), some unscrambled digital channels (the local broadcast channels, including HDTV, and some crap like QVC), and a whole bunch of scrambled digital channels. The last set, which includes all of the non-crap cable channels, has to be descrambled iwth a STB which has (in my case) and analog coax out and a composite video out.
I cope by having an analog card in addition to the pcHDTV. The analog card (a cheap PVR-150) listens to the STB coax output; currently I have to change channels manually. The digital card listens to the cable directly and gets the unscrambled digital channels.
The pcHDTV3000, and presumably the 5500, can record analog but it isn't its core competency and relies on the CPU to do the encoding.
Check out your cable service's offerings and equipment before you decide on your hardware.
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