Selecting TV tuner card for OTA

Help with tuners from ATI, Hauppauge, AverMedia and more.
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bmbm

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Selecting TV tuner card for OTA

#1

Post by bmbm » Sat Oct 06, 2018 6:43 pm

Hi everyone,
Have been enjoying all this forum offers and I am finally ready to get a tuner card for my PC and use Windows Media Center for ota recording and playback. One goal is economy and so I have checked out the offerings on ebay and have seen a big selection of Hauppauge cards with several different model numbers. A single tuner card will be fine for our requirements but would purchase a two tuner card of course based upon favorable recommendations. Any opinions on a particular model will be greatly appreciated and also any general info and guidance will be helpful.
In keeping with our economy theme a Dell Optiplex 760 became available for $50 with Windows 7 Pro and it works well. Specs are Core 2 6700 2.66 Ghz, 64 bit, 8 gig ram (4x2), 1-PCIe x16 and 1-PCIe x1. So that is what the card needs to work with.
Thanks

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StinkyImp

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#2

Post by StinkyImp » Sat Oct 06, 2018 10:50 pm

I have a Dell Optiplex 3010 (Small Form Factor) with Windows 7 Pro and pretty close to the same specs as yours.

I started out years ago with some generic ATSC "single" USB tuners and when I got this Optiplex last year I decided to stay with that tuner type because I've always had great luck with them. Currently I use two of these for a total of four tuners.

The benefit to me is that over the years I've been able to add tuners on the fly without having to crack open the case. Just plug them in, install the drivers and away they go. I've never had one fail to be recognized in WMC.

When you only have two slots it's sometimes better to save them for a new 4K graphics card and/or a Soundblaster 7.0 card to connect to your surround sound system. At least that's what I used my available slots for...

EDIT: Cost wise you can find these for $20 to $25 per tuner, so $40 to $50 per dual unit.

adam1991

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#3

Post by adam1991 » Sun Oct 07, 2018 12:26 am

There's a difference between price and value.

Frankly, the highest value solution on the market is from Silicon Dust, their network tuners. Their previous gen HDHomerun Connect dual tuner unit is about $50 on Ebay, and it works flawlessly.

I know you think you need only a single tuner, but trust me, you'll have four tuners before you know it. The black box watches TV for you, up to two (or four) shows at once, giving you exactly what you want whenever you want it.

bmbm

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#4

Post by bmbm » Sun Oct 14, 2018 10:23 pm

Thank you for the quick and thoughtful replies and I do like the idea of not opening the case and plugging cards in. I like this a lot to save time and reduce complications so that is my plan now. I want to make sure either of these products can be a solution as they are slightly different. This is what I have:

Living room-Surfboard modem/router, newish LG tv, antennae, Roku 3, Dell I3050 2gb ram 32 gig hd, Onkyo NR, 5.1 surround. All wired by ethernet / hdmi and no available ports left on router.
Office / den- Dell Optiplex 760 connected to the living room router with cat 5, Emerson flat screen, antennae. The Silicondust Connect would be at this location sitting on the Dell 760 or the Hauppage would be plugged in to usb. I will attach the tv antennae to either one.

I want to use the Dell 760 to record the ota and view the recordings in the living room so the Dell I3050 mini PC should stream the recordings to the tv?
The Silicondust Connect will require getting a switch (was planned anyway) and connecting the switch using the existing cat 5 from the living room modem / router. So the Dell 760, Silicondust Connect and a future streaming box for the Emerson flat screen will all be wired in. Based on this am I understanding correctly?

Thanks again this is very helpful.

bmbm

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#5

Post by bmbm » Wed Oct 17, 2018 12:27 am

OK I had some time to take a good look at these two products and discovered the Hauppauge is stereo while the HD Homerun Connect is 5.1 capable so that is what I am going with. Silicondust has the Connect refurb on their site for $45 including shipping with a 90 day warranty. Seems like a good buy.

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#6

Post by mdavej » Wed Oct 17, 2018 7:07 pm

Keep in mind that the Connect doesn't work with Silicon Dust's own DVR software or Live Channels, should you ever decide to go that route. You need the more expensive Connect DUO for that. With the DUO, you wouldn't need a PC at all, only a streaming device and external storage.

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