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TV Tuner advice please

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TV Tuner advice please

I had a bad experience with aTV tuner 4 years ago and never bothered since but now I am ready to have another go.
With myriad options I am hoping someone here may be able to offer some advice.
Basically I want to get Freeview (not bothered about terrestial) and, maybe be ready for Freeview HD next year. Would prefer PCI (don't really want more stuff hanging ot the front, back, side, top, etc.
Hauppauge seem at the top of the game but what other options are there?
Has anyone successfully used one of these cards under W7 with Media Centre?
I've been looking at the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1300 Hybrid TV Tuner Card for just under £60 at Novatech which is just about within budget.
Cheers

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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11 REPLIES
Community Veteran
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Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: TV Tuner advice please

I use a old usb Hauppauge stick but they have issues with bad reception area's.  I'm in a bad reception area for both terrestrial and digital so can't use indoor ariels even with a booster.  It works well mostly but suffers during bad weather and then I do get picture stuttering.
As for the player I still use the older version version 6 winTV as I just never got used to the version 7.  It's pretty basic for recording if you need that so better for Live viewing.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Moderator
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Posts: 16,842
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Re: TV Tuner advice please

Further searching seems to indicate that DVB-T2 PC tuners will not be available till next year, hopefully Q1.
It also seems that, in most cases, the Freeview HDTV switch-on will co-incide with the digital switch-over wgich wlll be 2012 for me so will settle for DVB-T for now. But which one...?

Forum Moderator and Customer
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
He who feared he would not succeed sat still

community
Grafter
Posts: 666
Registered: 31-07-2007

Re: TV Tuner advice please

On my Pinnacle 3010iX Card, which is a dual tuner, I get all the freeview channels.
Including digital radio I get 63 channels.
I have also been able to get channels from my Satellite decoder hooked up to it but the annoying (to me)
disadvantage is the fractional time delay between the viewed and the spoken word.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: TV Tuner advice please

I'd also like to vote against Hauppauge – I had one of their PCI tuners once and it was awful, with clunky software, flaky drivers, and the aforementioned inability to work well in areas of poor reception.
Simon_M
Grafter
Posts: 684
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: TV Tuner advice please

Quote from: Mav
I've been looking at the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1300 Hybrid TV Tuner Card

I've got one of these. It's ok, but I wouldn't put it any higher than that. On the other hand, I don't know that it's any worse than anything else. I have a Tevion USB DVB-T tuner to use with my laptop in the campervan & it's not as good - hardly surprising as it's USB.
In common with any digital tuner, it's very dependent on a decent signal, which means a good aerial in an area of good reception. Without both of those, I'd be surprised if you found anything that was satisfactory.
As Be3G says, the software isn't much to get exited about. While it doesn't appear to use a lot of CPU time or memory, it's very sensitive to other applications running at the same time. Processor speed seems to be critical, but any new kit should be ok. I think that's a lot of the problem with the laptop - it's old(ish) & pretty slow by modern standards.
They have their a place, but the end result does not replace a proper telly matched with a dedicated hard disk recorder, such as a Humax.
I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has got a good working system.
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Re: TV Tuner advice please

I've got an oldish Hauppauge Freeview PCI-only card in my oldish Dell PC (Celeron 2.6GHz). WinTV NOVA-T PCI I think it's called.
Works OK, I have it on most of the time when I'm working, but uses 25% to 30% CPU for TV (much less for radio) so can be a bit flaky when CPU-intensive apps are running alongside.
Not media centre just XP Home, I use their software (WinTV32) remote control (when I'm feeling lazy) and the built-in recorder.
Recording Freeview this way is actually quite good - you get a standard MPEG file that normally fits a whole feature film onto a DVD.
Watching "Hot Planet" on BBC1 in a small window while typing this.
I'll be trying it on W7 over Xmas.
Community Veteran
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Re: TV Tuner advice please

Quote from: Simon
I would be very interested to hear from anyone who has got a good working system.

We use one of Elgato's TV tuners on the computer in the living room and it works pretty well; it's hooked up to our old CRT TV and effectively acts as a Freeview PVR for us. However, Elgato's stuff is only designed for Macs, and whilst they can work on Windows (some of the tuners apparently work with Media Centre) I obviously can't vouch for how well they'd work!
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Re: TV Tuner advice please

I have a Hauppauge Nova Dual DVB-T PCI Card which enables me to watch two programs at once Roll eyes or watch one and record another.
It works fine with Vista Media Centre.

Customer and Forum Moderator.

Moderator
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Re: TV Tuner advice please

I've now been looking at the Hauppage WinTV-MiniStick HD & WinTV-HVR-900-HD.
Hauppauge (& places like SaverStore, Novatech, etc) indicate that both a re ready for Freevew HD although they don't explicitly say as much. Only on Hauppauges pages does it state that not for DVB-T2 which is the only way to get Freeview HD in the UK when available.
I wonder how many people have been caught out by this and bought such a device expecting it to work here?

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Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear - Mark Twain
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bakerbloke
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Registered: 25-04-2010

Re: TV Tuner advice please

Used the Elgato eyetv diversity with great success in Windows 7 Media Center. See link below. Can record two freeview channels at once whilst watching a TV provided your PC is powerful enough.

http://silenceisdefeat.com/~rwightman/PVRprojects/PVR_page.html
Plusnet Alumni (retired) orbrey
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Registered: 18-07-2007

Re: TV Tuner advice please

I picked up a Pinnacle card OEM from scan I think (could have been aria?), was about £20 and had no problems with that using a cable line. There was a Vaio USB IR receiver on ebay for less than a tenner from china, they work like a dream together.
Bought it to replace a hauppage, worth every penny so far. I'd recommend Pinnacle going on my experience so far.