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What is the best beginner-friendly tuner card? - Printable Version

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What is the best beginner-friendly tuner card? - TheRealDonJohnson - 03-23-2015

Hey there,

I'm building my first HTPC after realizing the amazing(and free) quality of digital signals in my area. I've been building computers for years so the hardware situation is super simple, however I'm still very new to dealing with complicated firmware problems (especially on linux). I'd also be lying if I said I was an expert on video/signal formats so keep that in mind as well.

I've decided to run openelec and use tvheadend as the backend since it seems to be the most beginner friendly approach. Initially, I'm going to be running both ends on the same machine. I'd love to use a PCI-E slot for a capture card for build cleanliness, but would be willing to consider a usb setup if that option provides any benefits in card selection/appeal.

I've also heard that different tuner cards can effect your signal or picture quality. I've been assuming that the tuners built into TVs are after-thought components and that any dedicated piece of hardware will at least match or out preform them. I've been running this antenna through my samsung's built in tuner, and I want to keep the same quality of signal (or better).

Knowing the above, what tuner would you recommend to a true HTPC beginner? Ideally, my goal is to have over the air TV working straight out of the box with little firmware work until I get my feet wet. If this means only having a single TV tuner, or giving up things like broadcast radio, I'm okay with that.

I'm hoping that post can also become a great starting point for other beginners, since I did some digging around and could never really find a general consensus.


What is the best beginner-friendly tuner card? - PANiCnz - 03-24-2015

You'll need to give an indication of what DVB standard you're trying to tune. I can recommend a tuner but there's a good chance it wont work for your locale. Remember these are global forums Wink');


What is the best beginner-friendly tuner card? - grillz - 03-24-2015

My guess is that you are trying for DVB-T (terrestrial, not satellite), but we still need your country to help narrow down what type of DVB-T system (as mentioned by PANiCnz). Wikipedia has some good info about DVB: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Video_Broadcasting

If you are in North America looking for ATSC tuning (over the air HDTV), I would recommend the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1250 PCI-E . Worked out of the box and I use an antenna I built myself (http://www.htpc-diy.com/2012/04/diy-flexible-fractal-window-hdtv.html) with great reception.


What is the best beginner-friendly tuner card? - TheRealDonJohnson - 03-24-2015

grillz post=136178 Wrote:My guess is that you are trying for DVB-T (terrestrial, not satellite), but we still need your country to help narrow down what type of DVB-T system (as mentioned by PANiCnz). Wikipedia has some good info about DVB: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_Video_Broadcasting

If you are in North America looking for ATSC tuning (over the air HDTV), I would recommend the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 1250 PCI-E . Worked out of the box and I use an antenna I built myself (http://www.htpc-diy.com/2012/04/diy-flexible-fractal-window-hdtv.html) with great reception.

Yes, I should have been more specific! I live in the USA so I'm trying to tune ATSC. I'll take a look at that card, there seems to be several cheap/working used ones on eBay currently.