Author Topic: Best TV card?  (Read 1949 times)

MediaMonkey

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Best TV card?
« on: September 05, 2007, 07:55:31 am »
I have a few questions about tuner cards for LinuxMCE...

Which is the best TV Tuner card (internal or external device) for LinuxMCE? I am considering HDHomeRun. Is there a better alternative?

I like HDHomeRun because it has got two ATSC tuners. The bad is that there is no NTSC tuner so it cannot  tune regular NTSC (correct?) .
Since it has two tuners, two Media Directors can watch two different live channels at the same time, am I right?
At the same time, I am also wondering if 100Mbps bandwidth is sufficient to stream two HD channels in the network.

I am wiring/configuring the whole Media network with its own Gigabit switch to optimize network bandwidth. Will plugging in HDHomeRun into this switch bring down the whole network to 100Mbps? Router is going to be DLink DGS-2208 which has got 128MB buffer.

BTW, does TV Tuner cards come with FM tuner built in? Or should  I get FM tuners separate?

Thanks
Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

totallymaxed

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2007, 02:35:47 pm »
I have a few questions about tuner cards for LinuxMCE...

Which is the best TV Tuner card (internal or external device) for LinuxMCE? I am considering HDHomeRun. Is there a better alternative?

I like HDHomeRun because it has got two ATSC tuners. The bad is that there is no NTSC tuner so it cannot  tune regular NTSC (correct?) .
Since it has two tuners, two Media Directors can watch two different live channels at the same time, am I right?
At the same time, I am also wondering if 100Mbps bandwidth is sufficient to stream two HD channels in the network.

I am wiring/configuring the whole Media network with its own Gigabit switch to optimize network bandwidth. Will plugging in HDHomeRun into this switch bring down the whole network to 100Mbps? Router is going to be DLink DGS-2208 which has got 128MB buffer.

BTW, does TV Tuner cards come with FM tuner built in? Or should  I get FM tuners separate?

Thanks

With ATSC you will definitely need a tuner per channel being watched or recorded. With DVB over here in Europe/Australia each physical channel carries a MUX (a multiplex of channels... both TV and radio) of typically 6 TV channels and say 7-8 radio only channels. Which means with a two tuner setup you can watch/record/stream any mix of channel from a pair of MUX'd channels (we have Core's with 3 x T500 twin tuner cards which here in the UK means we can cover all the UK MUX's without any restrictions to live viewing/recording)

From memory a single 1080i HD channel will typically sue about 18mbits of bandwidth do in theory on 10/100 LAN you should be able to move say 4 HD streams across it. I say in theory as this might push your  routers etc a little hard. Gigabit might be a safer strategy for long term usage.
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MediaMonkey

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2007, 09:40:13 pm »
Gigabit might be a safer strategy for long term usage.
Sure, I agree. I am wiring a separate media network with its own 8 port Gigabit switch for LinuxMCE. My concern is that since HDHomeRun is only 100Mbps will it affect other media traffic at all.

Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

Megalewis

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2007, 12:37:02 am »
I have a BIG concern, If I want to go with LMCE.

I am not sure if it is me misunderstanding something here, or just my bad experience trying to stream from my HDPVR to my computer.

From what I udnerstand, your HD is being broadcasted with terrestrial frequencies, or over the air? or am I off the track? All the tuner I ve seen seem to be working with antennas... Where I am, in Canada, The Cable provider is broadcasting the HD signal, and I have a HD receptor, with a pvr integrated. When I tried to stream it to my PC, I was able to with a Firewire cable, but this requires a very powerful computer, and was not possible with normal channels, since they are encrypted.

So, my point is, I do not see how wil Linux MCE will be able to do it? There is no Tuner that would help me there, specially if I want to keep the quality to 1080i... Only option was for me to go with s-video, ewwwww

Your input would be MUCH appreciated!!

if you care, my pvr is a Scientific Atlanta, model Explorer 8300HD
http://www.sciatl.com/products/consumers/userguidepdfs/4003986.pdf

Regards,

Louis

1audio

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2007, 06:21:31 am »
1) for off air and unencrypted Cable digital the HDHomeRun is the best option. If only because it brings no overhead to the host to use it. I have two seperate streams running often with no problem. It only limits the link to the switch to 100 Mbps. The rest of the network runs full speed. I have never run out of network even testing multiple HD streams from box to box on wired ethernet, 100 Mbps or Gbps. No analog, its going away in 2009. No encripted video, but you can't get that any other way either, except if you can capture the analog output from your cable box. (Think about this.)
2) Canada seems to have let the cable guys have too much control. You don't even get cablecard.
3) Atsc can have 4 programs on the transport stream from one station.
4) there are other options but they are not much more cost effective than the HDHomeRun.
5) The analog cards are more likely to have FM. I'm not sure how LMCE would handle it.

Megalewis

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2007, 10:08:49 pm »
I found this A/V box : http://www.adstech.com/products/API-557-EFS/intro/api557_intro.asp?pid=API-557-EFS

That would probably help connecting any device to the Core... but would be limited to 720p with the components input from any Video devide and a firewire output to the core.

So, you woulndt need a specific videocard i presume... Anyone had/has any experience with this type of device?

dopey

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2007, 04:27:10 am »
I took a look at that device and it is interesting, but it doesn't do 720p...

MediaMonkey

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2007, 04:43:15 am »
I found this A/V box : http://www.adstech.com/products/API-557-EFS/intro/api557_intro.asp?pid=API-557-EFS

That would probably help connecting any device to the Core... but would be limited to 720p with the components input from any Video devide and a firewire output to the core.

So, you woulndt need a specific videocard i presume... Anyone had/has any experience with this type of device?
That's only a video capture card - not a tv-tuner. It does DVD quality with its 480p resolution, I guess. As far I read, HDHomeRun is the best for ATSC tuning for LinuxMCE. It's a bit pricey, though.
Core/Hybrid: Foxconn N570SM2AA-8EKRS2H (has 2 network ports), ASUS EN6200LE, AMD-X2 4000+, 1GB DDR2-800, 500 GB SATA/300, DVD drive/writer, Sony XL1B3, BTC 9019URF, Gyro Mouse, Gyro Remote, USB-UIRT, MS Win XP Remote, ATI HDTV Wonder, HDHomeRun

Megalewis

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Re: Best TV card?
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2007, 04:52:07 am »
damnit...  I got no way to set HDTV on my LinuxMCE or windows PC, this is sad