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Thread: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

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    Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Having got utterly fed up with the piece of junk that is my Happauge WinTV nova TD I thought I'd solicit other peoples experiences with TV tuners.
    I bought the NovaTD stick a couple of years ago now, have had it replaced once and Happauge still havem't got their Vista x64 drivers working properly. On Vista x64, after a seemingly random amount of time, the remote seems to go mental acting as if I'm hammering one of the buttons making my PC pretty useless as a Media Center.
    I have had a brief look on the internet for reviews of other products and TBH it seems like all PC TV tuners are pretty repoy.
    Has anyone here actually found a decent one? If so, what OS are you using it on and what is your hardware?
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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I recently bought this kworld tuner from scan to replace my nova t500 which has caused me nothing but hassle. So far this card seems to be excelent. Also comes with a vista remote and ir reciever if you need it. Not sure about 64x drivers though because the kworld site it currently under construction so I had to use the drievrs from the disk, that was under Vista SP1 x86 though.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I had an ATI all-in-wonder (or something like that) analogur=e tuner which was OK (ish) under win2K

    I tried a Mitsumi USB stck digiatl tuner - very insensitive, and never really got it working under Win2K - partly because I was using a USB 1 port, and mainly because it just wasn't very good. When I get round to upgrading to XP, I might give it another go - if I can find it - it was about 4 years ago.

    Probably comes under the heading of "One of the most useless gadgets I have ever bought"
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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I have used this cheap kworld tuner in vista 32bit and it works fine with no problems although picture quality may not be as good as a high end card.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/KWORL...er-and-capture

    I have also used this Blackgold card in vista 64 and it has worked flawlessly with really good picture quality. Bit pricey though.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/Black...I-E-Tuner-Card

    One thing I have noticed about both the cards is that they need a very strong signal to work effectively and a booster was required on the aerial.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    ... When I get round to upgrading to XP, ...
    *snerk*

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by badass View Post
    I have had a brief look on the internet for reviews of other products and TBH it seems like all PC TV tuners are pretty repoy.
    Has anyone here actually found a decent one? If so, what OS are you using it on and what is your hardware?
    I have a Pinnacle 7010iX (6-in-1) - essentially the same as the Black Gold BGT3540, but much cheaper. I had terrible problems at first getting it to work under Vista x64 (although it worked fine with a 32-bit system) - the WHQL drivers from Windows Update were completely useless, although I eventually found a release of the Black Gold drivers which seemed to do the trick. It also spat the dummy with early beta versions of Win7, but it works perfectly with RC1 using the Windows drivers.

    I don't think you can get them anywhere now apart from eBay, which is a shame as they're an awful lot of bang for the buck.

    I think the main TV-on-the-PC issues are mostly to do with the available software packages, all of which seem to have their share of annoyances. I'm using Windows 7 Media Center at the moment, which is at least simple to set up and doesn't have any showstopping bugs that I've encountered so far. It does however take absolutely aaageessss to scan for channels, although admittedly you'd normally only do this the once.

    Quote Originally Posted by Flewis View Post
    I have used this cheap kworld tuner in vista 32bit and it works fine with no problems although picture quality may not be as good as a high end card.
    AFAIK he picture quality *should* be identical in each case (unless it breaks up due to poor reception/sensitivity) - all it's doing is dumping the digital bitstream onto your HDD, and any quality issues will be due to the original transmission bitrate and/or your playback software.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I used to use Vista 64 and had no end of driver troubles, some drivers worked and some thought they did... changing to Windows 7 32bit has changed the whole picture.

    On Vista Compro T200 worked well, signal was good, but it caused problems resuming from S3, sometimes PC just wouldn't wake properly. Another Compro card (T750F IIRC) just had awful signal with the same receiving equipment so I sold it on... Pinnacle 3010iX also didn't have very good signal, but an external AverMedia A800 USB box was perfect.

    Changing to Window 7 the AverMedia driver seemed to cause blue screen when scanning for channels, so couldn't even tune up. Switching back to the Compro T200 reintroduced the S3 resume problem... so on the off chance I tried the 3010iX again - and stupidly enough the signal is now perfect. Whether this is drivers or my local transmitter getting better is unknown.

    I'll echo earlier comment, signal strength needs to be good - my Samsung TV and dual inputs to the Pinnacle card are too much just to split the signal and I need to use a powered booster - I have tried several and Philex SLx are by far the best IMHO. Available at Maplin or on eBay.

    Software wise, Windows Media Centre in W7 is brilliant... yes it takes an age to scan with dual tuners but aside from that it's very well done, even down to little touches like turning on subtitles when you mute the sound - well thought out.
    Last edited by kingpotnoodle; 10-08-2009 at 12:21 PM.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I've had 3 Elgato EyeTV Hybrids since January. First one I sold - stupid mistake.
    Second one, required me to put it on a heater for 10 mins prior to use.
    Third one (current) outputs no sound or just the left channel if you wiggle the USB stick.

    Worst bit of hardware I've ever owned, however I need it to watch Sky on the Mac. Hopefully it'll be fourth time lucky, but I doubt it!!

    EDIT: When I was running Windows I had one of these and it was bang on! Hardware decoder - so the picture was good and worked flawlessly with Vista x64 and Media Center!

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by martinp View Post
    EDIT: When I was running Windows I had one of these and it was bang on! Hardware decoder - so the picture was good and worked flawlessly with Vista x64 and Media Center!
    I had one of those before I got the Pinnacle and, yes, hardware-wise it's a quality piece of kit - I never used the supplied WinTV2000 media app which was horrible beyond description, although I gather it's improved a lot in the latest versions.

    It seems a bit expensive now though for what you get - these days I doubt if many people will have much use for the analogue tuner and hardware decoder, so you're left with a single DVB-T tuner for nearly £60... hmmm...

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Yeah, the WinTV app wasn't the best to be honest but I used Windows Media Centre in Vista which done the trick nicely.

    The Elgato Hybrid I'm using at the moment (no choice really, since not many tuners are OS X compatible) goes for 110 notes and I only need the S-Video input!

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I've got a Compro one and thats pretty decent, although not in my PC at the moment for one reason or another, well worth looking into

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    we dont get good reception the external boxes seem just about ok but never got a pc one to work 100% so gave up and got sky )
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    Quote Originally Posted by s3ds View Post
    we dont get good reception the external boxes seem just about ok but never got a pc one to work 100% so gave up and got sky )
    Ditto. I have found all the TV tuners to be sub-standard compared to a set-top-box.

    No idea why, there doesn't seem to be much logic to it but after trying cards Happauge, Pinnacle and Blackgold, I finally gave up on the idea.

    The best were Blackgold though, although I would still get a regular small stutter (not much but annoying as hell to me).....and that's before a motorcyclist passes your house......
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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    I think the inside of a pc is a hostile place for a TV signal
    Lots of fans , megnetic forces ect
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: Peoples experiences of TV tuners

    i used a hauppauge USB tuner, got it well cheap which is just as well, reception is a piece of **** basically. although give them credit, not a single problem due to 64 bit OS

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