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Topic # 112067 25-Nov-2012 10:03 Send private message

I currently have a Hauppage HVR-2200 PCI receiver card on MCE, however I keep running into recording conflicts, so I want extra DVB-T decoders.
I do not have any PCI-E slots (both used) but I have 2 spare PCI slots.  I have been trying to find PCI dual tuner cards preferably that support hardware H.264 decode, however nothing is available any more.
There are plenty of USB single tuners, however I am thinking these will rely heavily on my processor and thats not great if your trying to record 4 channels and possibly watch recordings at the same time.

It seems the old cards have dropped out of the market with no replacements, and not availiable on trademe either

I have seen a suggestion of a network tuner box but this is a little pricey and was only on a Australian site so I have not investigated this option much yet.

Any suggestions at this stage to get 2 extra HD DVB-T tuners at a reasonable price AND are available to NZ buyers would be a real help.

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  Reply # 722508 25-Nov-2012 10:24 Send private message

DVB-T cards don't (and have never done) "hardware decode". The job of a tuner card in a digital world is simply to pass the DVB stream to the tuner software which does the decoding. A USB tuner shouldn't have any impact on performance as once again it's sole job is to pass the DVB-T MUX to the TV software for decoding. The TV software splits the MUX and your video card then decodes the H.264 video.

My recommendation would be a HDHomerun which is an ethernet based tuner. I have one of these myself, and Nicegear are the NZ resellers.

As for conflicts the other thing that you may want to do is look at other software alternatives. Virtually every other TV tuner app allows recording multiple channels on a single MUX so for example you're able to record every Media Works and every TVNZ channel at the same time with only a dual tuner card.

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  Reply # 722539 25-Nov-2012 13:07 Send private message

As a HTPC noob* I'm a bit confused about the video coding/decoding thing.

Like the originator of the thread I've seen this in the blurb for the tuner card: "Dual built-in high quality hardware MPEG-2 encoders, so your PC continues to run at full speed while watching, pausing and recording analog cable TV".

Does this mean the tuner card is doing the coding (into what?)? And the video card will do the decoding?

If the video card needs to decode stuff, will the on board GPU on a ASRock A55M-HVS do the job well enough if I don't have a card?

*I'm probably not even a noob, as I haven't ordered the bits yet!




TV: Sony Bravia KDL324000. Freeview|HD
PC: ASUS P8P67 Pro B3, intel i5, 8Gb RAM, 120Gb SSD, Win 7
HTPC: Antec NSK2480B case, AMD A4-5300 CPU, Asus F2A85-M LE mobo, WD Caviar Green 64Mb 2TB HDD, HD Homerun, Win7 Home Premium, RAM 1600Mhz 4Gb.
Laptop: Sony VAIO VGN-CS16G
iPad 2

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  Reply # 722541 25-Nov-2012 13:35 Send private message

turb: Like the originator of the thread I've seen this in the blurb for the tuner card: "Dual built-in high quality hardware MPEG-2 encoders, so your PC continues to run at full speed while watching, pausing and recording analog cable TV".

Does this mean the tuner card is doing the coding (into what?)? And the video card will do the decoding?

If the video card needs to decode stuff, will the on board GPU on a ASRock A55M-HVS do the job well enough if I don't have a card?

*I'm probably not even a noob, as I haven't ordered the bits yet!


That means exactly as you've described it - an analogue video feed is encoded into MPEG2 and then sent to the PC for decoding by the GPU or CPU.

MPEG2 can easily be decoded by (virtually) any PC that's been made in the this millenium. H.264 on the other hand requires a GPU for best performance, otherwise it'll use a lot of CPU resources for the decoding.


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  Reply # 722542 25-Nov-2012 13:39 Send private message

turb: 
If the video card needs to decode stuff, will the on board GPU on a ASRock A55M-HVS do the job well enough if I don't have a card?


Technically that mobo doesn't have onboard GPU; you use an AMD Llano APU with it which is basically a CPU and GPU combined.  The AMD APUs have very good integrated GPU (better than their intel counterparts, but the tradeoff is weaker CPU)



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  Reply # 723289 26-Nov-2012 21:30 Send private message

sbiddle: DVB-T cards don't (and have never done) "hardware decode". The job of a tuner card in a digital world is simply to pass the DVB stream to the tuner software which does the decoding. A USB tuner shouldn't have any impact on performance as once again it's sole job is to pass the DVB-T MUX to the TV software for decoding. The TV software splits the MUX and your video card then decodes the H.264 video.

My recommendation would be a HDHomerun which is an ethernet based tuner. I have one of these myself, and Nicegear are the NZ resellers.

As for conflicts the other thing that you may want to do is look at other software alternatives. Virtually every other TV tuner app allows recording multiple channels on a single MUX so for example you're able to record every Media Works and every TVNZ channel at the same time with only a dual tuner card.


Thanks for your help. That does explain some of the H.264 difference I have seen although there are quite a few cards out there that have a different model number with and the only difference seems to be H.264 support.

I would be keen to try a few other programs however wifey has already got used to MCE so it is hard to change what's working. I would still need 3 tuners to cover all the stations we watch. commonly TV2, TV3 and Prime, so each is on a different frequency unfortunately.

Anyway I got sick of wasting so much time looking for cards and bought the HDhomerun today from Nicegear.  A few bonuses of this one being a network device.
1. I can try out some of the other software TV programs GBPVR etc on another PC without affecting the main TV in the house (and the wife)
2. I should be able to watch TV on my tablet. (Samsung Galaxy Tab 2 10.1) Just hope it has enough power to do the decode.
Thanks for your help !!

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