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TV Tuner Set-up


thebutcher0

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@theButcher, if you're serious about wanting to build an HTPC that will handle DVR duties (live and recorded TV) I think you should at least consider the possibility of switching to cable. Having cable means you can utilize cable-cards, which means you have a much easier time getting an HTPC to work as a DVR. (plus if you ever wanted to switch to a Tivo you could do that as well as they natively support cable card)

 

As you stated earlier, you could dip your toe in the water and build an HTPC purely to handle movies and music and leave the DVR stuff to a DirecTV branded DVR. Not an ideal setup probably, but it's a reasonable option. If you DO want to go this route, I would consider going with Linux and XBMC as your software rather than windows media center. XBMC is designed around movie playback and has excellent support for different video formats, codecs, etc. Windows media center can be used for movie playback too, but it's not as versatile in my opinion.

Edited by eagle63
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thebutcher0

Hey Guys,

 

As you can see from the posts, you might understand why i've always stopped at the TV Tuner card when i try and hook up my PC to the TV. But with the technology now i thought things might of gotten a little more simplier. You see i am enrolled in a computer class at the tech school and for our final project we have to assemble a computer from parts, install an operating system and show it runs. So what my plans were was to make something i could use when i am done. I have a big gaming computer, so i wanted to go the opposite route and make something small. I might be years behind because i just found out about HTPC, little netbooks, box tops or what ever those little things are called. And that's where this system has led me, to you guys.

 

In response to ikon, i do have HDMI. That's how everything is set up now. But from what vinylfreak mentioned, it sounds like i might be in the same situation as he is. The way to connect the DirecTV box back to the computer is through a standard connection with a lower grade video output. Even if the connection from the computer back to the A/V reciever is HDMI, the connection from the satillight box to the computer is standard definition.

 

I can also see where a cable set up would be easier. One cable coming in and HDMI coming out connecting everything else. With as little info as i've been able to find on DirecTV and HTPC connected together, i'm wondering if there is a reason for that, like it doesn't work like it should. I did get lucky today and found a link to DirecTV's forum. I'm going to make a post and see if anyone has had any luck. And thanks again for the advise you all have given me, i got the links saved, I'll post back how it goes. My motherboard will be coming tomorrow and i can start this build.

 

EDIT--I might of found a solution, thanks to vinylfreak. That link he put in http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_colossus.html is a TV Tuner card with an HDMI ( input ). Tell me if i am right, I'm not really thinking clearly, brain overload. My DirecTV connects to the A/V reciever, that's the input line and the reciever outputs it to the TV. Unplug the end that goes into the reciever and plug that into the colossus ( HDMI input ). Then wouldn't the rest of the set up be normal? HDMI out of the computer back into the reciever?

Edited by thebutcher0
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vinylfreak

Hey Guys,

 

As you can see from the posts, you might understand why i've always stopped at the TV Tuner card when i try and hook up my PC to the TV. But with the technology now i thought things might of gotten a little more simplier. You see i am enrolled in a computer class at the tech school and for our final project we have to assemble a computer from parts, install an operating system and show it runs. So what my plans were was to make something i could use when i am done. I have a big gaming computer, so i wanted to go the opposite route and make something small. I might be years behind because i just found out about HTPC, little netbooks, box tops or what ever those little things are called. And that's where this system has led me, to you guys.

 

In response to ikon, i do have HDMI. That's how everything is set up now. But from what vinylfreak mentioned, it sounds like i might be in the same situation as he is. The way to connect the DirecTV box back to the computer is through a standard connection with a lower grade video output. Even if the connection from the computer back to the A/V reciever is HDMI, the connection from the satillight box to the computer is standard definition.

 

I can also see where a cable set up would be easier. One cable coming in and HDMI coming out connecting everything else. With as little info as i've been able to find on DirecTV and HTPC connected together, i'm wondering if there is a reason for that, like it doesn't work like it should. I did get lucky today and found a link to DirecTV's forum. I'm going to make a post and see if anyone has had any luck. And thanks again for the advise you all have given me, i got the links saved, I'll post back how it goes. My motherboard will be coming tomorrow and i can start this build.

 

EDIT--I might of found a solution, thanks to vinylfreak. That link he put in http://www.hauppauge...a_colossus.html is a TV Tuner card with an HDMI ( input ). Tell me if i am right, I'm not really thinking clearly, brain overload. My DirecTV connects to the A/V reciever, that's the input line and the reciever outputs it to the TV. Unplug the end that goes into the reciever and plug that into the colossus ( HDMI input ). Then wouldn't the rest of the set up be normal? HDMI out of the computer back into the reciever?

 

The Colossus records over Component connection taking advantage of the "Analog Hole". To the best of my knowledge the HDMI on the Colossus will only record Un encrypted HDMI sources ie: X-Box Games , Camcorder etc. Satelite broadcast are encrypted over HDMI and cannot be recorded. I really don't know of any HDMI device that will let you capture an encrypted HDMI source to a PC. Sorry =(

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vinylfreak

I'm surprised you get such long range digital reception. I've heard many stories that the digital signal peters out after about 60 miles.

 

My main purpose for upgrading my OTA antenna last month was to get better reception from the Chicago market. I went with a Winegard antenna that was rated for Deep Fringe reception. It actually was rated for a 100 mile range. I have the antenna on a rotor so I can fine tune it. I also was pretty amazed I was getting CBS out of Milwaukee and Madison. With Fall here and the leaves coming off the trees I have less signal interference. I usually see a reception boost in the Winter.

This is a very large antenna though , its over 14 feet long. My previous antenna was a Clear Stream 4. It was much smaller. I picked up another 25 channels and improved signal strength overall when I installed the Winegard. My old set up is pictured below. I used a Pre-Amp for both setups. It helps a lot.

 

P1040225.jpg

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thebutcher0

I can understand that the satellite signal would be encrypted, but wouldn't it be unencrypted after it leaves the satellite box going into the a/v reciever? When would the satellite signal become unencrypted.

 

---->[satellite box]---->[a/v reciever]---->[HDTV] connected together with HDMI cables.

---->[satellite box]---->[HTPC]---->[a/v reciever]---->[HDTV] connected with HDMI cables.

 

My setup looks like the top example. The bottom example is what i was hoping to achieve. My a/v reciever is only a few years old and it might have 3 or 4 HDMI plug-ins.

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If you go with a htpc with pvr capabilities I'd recommend going on the mediaportal forums and look around for a setup that would work best for you. I have 2 genpix skywalker dvb cards in mine & love it. This is the only card that can tune HD frequencies broadcasted in turbo 8psk nagavision from 129w.

I've tried multiple tuning software: dvbdream, tvheadend, & mediaportal is best for dvb.

Stay away from dvb logic & 1 geek 1 tool softelware due to poor support. Stay away from windows media center because of intermittent play ready issues.

 

My current Project is a Ubuntu Linux build 12.04 precise build. TVHeadend 3.2 with Oscam running XBMC PVR as front end. (Two genpix Skywalker 2 dvb-s cards). This was a very time consuming build!

 

Do not be scared of mounting & pointing

A sat dish! I cheated & set everything up with a compus & iPhone. This gets you close. I then connected my rg-59 to my htpc and launched dvbdream.exe & configured the settings. I then RDP connected to htpc from notebook... Climbed up on the roof and was able to see my signal strength from dvbdream rdp connection as I pointed my dish at 129W.

 

...This is when you find pandoras box.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by ktm300
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I can understand that the satellite signal would be encrypted, but wouldn't it be unencrypted after it leaves the satellite box going into the a/v reciever? When would the satellite signal become unencrypted.

 

---->[satellite box]---->[a/v reciever]---->[HDTV] connected together with HDMI cables.

---->[satellite box]---->[HTPC]---->[a/v reciever]---->[HDTV] connected with HDMI cables.

 

My setup looks like the top example. The bottom example is what i was hoping to achieve. My a/v reciever is only a few years old and it might have 3 or 4 HDMI plug-ins.

 

My understanding is that HDMI remains encrypted until it reaches the final destination: i.e. the display. This is quite intentional. The idea is to make it impossible to record HDMI encrypted content. Your HTPC would, to them, be counted as a recording device.

 

Also, content providers are not happy that the analogue hole exists, but they take comfort in the fact that the quality is much lower, so it is less desirable.

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thebutcher0

If it remained encrypted until it's final destination, then it still could pass through the HTPC to the a/v reciever to the HDTV and then become unencrypted and produce a picture, couldn't it? The only thing you couldn't do would be to view and/or save and view on your HTPC.

I already have a 46" HDTV so i wouldn't want to view it on a smaller screen. And i have recording on my DVR so there would be no need to record the TV show on my HTPC. The HTPC would be storage for movies and music and give me the capability of playing a disk through the optical drive.

I can understand why they encrypt the signal, but i can't understand why they make it difficult to connect a HTPC to the set up. It's just another piece of equipment added into your home theater.

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If it remained encrypted until it's final destination, then it still could pass through the HTPC to the a/v reciever to the HDTV and then become unencrypted and produce a picture, couldn't it? The only thing

you couldn't do would be to view and/or save and view on your HTPC.

But if that were the case, there would be no reason to pass that signal through your HTPC at all right? If your HTPC is not being used for live/recorded TV, then why would you connect the satellite box to the HTPC?

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