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Old 30-Dec-2011, 10:58 PM   #19
GroundUrMast's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2010
Location: Greater Seattle Area
Posts: 4,681
Originally Posted by DEDon View Post
Groundmast, thanks for this post. I've been posting in Reception sub-f and your replies have been helpful.
While I am awaiting better weather to install my new antenna and rotor that I received last night, I'm killing some time and reading this thread.
You mentioned that you are running an XP machine with the HDHR3-US and you have piqued my interest since I run a XP media center.

The Silicondust site mentions Windows 7/Vista but not XP.
must confess that I have never used Media Center for anything other than listening to my audio library. I've always been curious about the coax jack on the back of the computer.
Placing the HDHR3-US aside for the moment, am I correct when I assume that I could run my OTA antenna cable into that and, using my Media Center software, go ahead and run a channel scan and use my computer for watching OTA TV? ....perhaps even record a OTA broadcast, providing I have hardware space?
This may be a rambling post... but there are a bunch issues involved when picking a tuner, related hardware and Media Center software package. Here goes...

Yes, for PVR/DVR functions, XP is what I currently use. My wife's laptop has Win-7 Home Premium and can also provide PVR/DVR functionality. The recordings produced by Win-7 are in a proprietary format and may fail due to MS security features.

Without knowing the make and model of F-connector equipped card in your computer, I don't know what functionality it has. Many older tuner cards supported NTSC analog only. If your card has ATSC (US OTA DTV signal format) support, you may have all the hardware you need to record to disk. On the other hand, an analog only tuner card is of little use to most US viewers.

As I recall, XP included many audio codecs but did not ship with an MPEG2 video codec. This is needed if you are going to use the XP Media Player as your video player for OTA DTV. I have installed a third party codec. I'm sorry, I don't remember were I found it, just that I did a few Google searches and read through several on-line forums...

After installing a compatible codec and tweaking registry entries, I have been able to run the XP Media Center successfully but found nothing special about it and have since switched to VLC as my preferred video player.

I have not found any PVR/DVR functionality in the XP Media Center software which is why I wrote batch files and learned to use the MS Scheduler Utility to automate recording. The recording is in the native MPEG2 format and is not playable using XP or Win-7 Media Center Software. This is probably the single biggest reason I have for using VLC... I find the proprietary MS software to be a pain, Yeah Open-Source!

As I mentioned earlier in this thread, my ultimate goal is to build a Linux based system running MythTV, mythbuntu being the easy prepackaged distribution of choice. For now, I have reliable PVR functionality using the old XP box.

On another tangent, Silicondust is one of the few open source vendors offering tuners. This has been critical in my use of their products. I am able to obtain the needed documentation of their software commands which made it possible for me to write usable batch commands. I have no idea if you could accomplish a similar goal using a tuner card from another manufacturer.
If the well is dry and you don't see rain on the horizon, you'll need to dig the hole deeper. (If the antenna can't get the job done, an amp won't fix it.)

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Last edited by GroundUrMast; 31-Dec-2011 at 6:05 PM.
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