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Thread: PCI DVB-t cards - less sensitive than freeview set top boxes?

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    PCI DVB-t cards - less sensitive than freeview set top boxes?

    I have been using a pace freeview set top box for a year and i get perfect reception.

    However, I have recently fitted a compro dvb-t200 from scan to my htpc to make use of timeshifting, recording etc with MCE 2005. I am having serious prolems getting a decent picture as it is continually stuttering and breaking up.

    I this just due to the card i am using, or do people find that the reception they get from pci cards is weaker than normal freeview boxes? Basically if my reception is good enough for the set top box it should be good enough for the pci card right?

    I am going to try a different card to see if it is a hardware problem. Its a shame as i wasn't expecting to have problems recieveing channels with the computer.

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    I use USB boxes for DVB with well shielded RF cables. I find the reception pretty similar on all three (Hauppauge Nova-T 1 & 2 + Twinhan MagicBox) and almost as good as my set top box (never going to be as good because of the house cabling).

    Decent (£10ish, not those insane ones for people with too much money) RF cables are definitely worth the investment, I had horrible problems using cheap ones.

    On a related note, does anyone know of a good freestanding aerial that works with DVB? I've never heard of one working well but Hauppauge have their new USB stick DVB receiver so I guess there must be some out there...

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    Have you tried the PCI card with the aerial your using on your set-top box?

    I find the signals to be the same but then I can only compare between 2 pci cards and 2 boxes that are all fed from the same roof aerial.
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    Seething Cauldron of Hatred TheAnimus's Avatar
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    as long as the coxax cable isn't damaged, a tesco value one is fine. Thats what my parents have on an indoor arial (but a big one) in their loft, perfect reception.

    are you feading them all at once? That might be the problem (but shouldn't be).
    throw new ArgumentException (String, String, Exception)

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    From what I've read about Hauppauge and Nebula cards, stuttering can be caused by the pci slot you use (shared resources, I guess). Have you tried it in another slot?

    Also, what is your hard drive setup? Are you using SATA? Some sata controllers are connected to the pci bus and that can get saturated leading to bandwidth issues and stuttering.

    As Shaithis said, are you using the same aerial cable?

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    thanks for the replies...

    yeah, I'm using the same aerial. remvoed the cable from my set top box and put it right into the pci card.

    Never though of trying a different pci slot so i might give that a go..... only got to slots as it is a low profile case with a matx mobo.

    I have one 200gb SATA spinpont in on an ASUS A8N-VM CSM board - not sure if the sata is connected to the pci bus.

    GDVS - i might try the other(free!) suggestions before i buy another rf cable since its really unwatchable. If i get it to a point were i just want a slightly better picture then a nice shielded cable may be usefull.
    Last edited by colincliff; 13-12-2005 at 03:21 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by colincliff
    GDVS - i might try the other(free!) suggestions before i buy another rf cable since its rally unwatchable. If i get it to a point were i just want a slightly better picture then a nice shielded cable may be usefull.
    Definitely go for free suggestions first, I will say that for me a decent cable was more than a slight improvement though. Digital TV tends to be either spot on or absolutely dire, for me it's unwatchable without decent cables but pretty much spot on with them, I suspect the insane amount of RF transmitting kit in the area of my computer may be the cause of that (that's my best guess anyway).

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    Re: PCI DVB-t cards - less sensitive than freeview set top boxes?

    I am using the download from Hauppauge’s website recommended for my WinTV card. Box is connected with antenna cable – I tried the set up I had before (aerial into box, SCART to VCR,cable from video to card and it didn’t work, and then tried in and out cables direct to box) but nothing worked whereas before I had the same setup with the same card but the computer had media centre on the system and while the freeview signal was noticeably weaker it worked. The only other thing that has changed that may affect it is I now have a remote keyboard and mouse but surely cables would have a strong enough signal to override this. Any suggestions?

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    Re: PCI DVB-t cards - less sensitive than freeview set top boxes?

    we live in an are were an indoor/loft arial will not pick up digital
    with an external arial through a 4 way booster we can get digital to freeview boxes with a good picture but on a nova-t pci the picture is bad on all but one pc ( the one closest to the ariel

    there are a lot of factor

    1, strength of signal
    2, Number of times signal is split
    3, possion of other cards/fans in a pc
    4, cable quality

    and thats without pc specs and driver problems

    i ended up getting a sky box and using remotes from nova-t to control media-portal
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: PCI DVB-t cards - less sensitive than freeview set top boxes?

    I haven't got the source on me right now but I have read in the past that when televisions / digiboxes are fine with a particular aerial feed, but pctv cards (analogue and digital) struggle, using a signal booster helps a lot. I certainly have found in my experience that they do help, especially with analogue cards (had pinnacle pctv rave, various hauppauge wintv cards. With my compro dvb-t300 card I found that signal levels that were around 70% became 95-100%, and the weaker 20% multiplexes were now watchable without breakup at around 50%.

    There is a lot more electromagnetic interference inside a computer case compared to a television or a digibox, so using a signal booster can amplify signal levels to a certain level that the pctv card can work with. Note that obviously signal boosters also boost the noise so don't go crazy with them. I think I remember using a 7.5db-9db booster.

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