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SLR_65
2008-11-27, 07:03 PM
Hi Guys,

It's time to get serious about getting a qam tuner working as my local cable co just sent a note out that they are adding a couple channels (MyTV and Retro Television Network) and they are moving several channels from the digital premium tier to the digital basic tier (History Channel, Animal Planet, etc.) and currently anything listed on the digital basic tier is available in clear qam so I'm assuming (hoping) that will continue.

I have an HVR-1600 but I'm NOT happy with it. It's entirely too picky on signal strength. I have two cable boxes and a cable modem running off my cable with zero issues. I can even split a feed to a cable box and run a TV with a qam tuner in it and it has zero issues, but the HVR-1600 wont hookup reliably even when fed directly from the cable co input. I can hookup a BIG amplifier and it helps, but even then not all are error free. Doing some net research both here and on other forums and I've found MANY have the same issues with the HVR-1600 - it just seems to have a dud for a qam tuner in it.

The HVR-1800 seems to be better, but I haven't read much on it so I'm not overly confident with it yet.

What qam tuners are people in the US using with good success? If you've got one that you just popped in and it worked please speak up! I'm sure many of us would like to know!

Thanks!

Steve

soccerdad
2008-11-27, 07:31 PM
I have an HVR-1800 that has been running for a couple of weeks with good success. It does not seem to need and extremely good signal. I would say my signal into it is between fair to good but not excellent. I have it split 1-3 at the house, 1-2 in my office and 1-3 at the dvr box so it can't be that strong. The strength meters do not work durring scanning so I can't tell you what it is.

pcostanza
2008-11-27, 07:46 PM
Steve, I'm curious as to who your cable company is that they actually discuss QAM. I'm disgusted with Cox's refusal to do everything but admit it exists.
I've got both the 1600 and te 2250 and the signal strength is the same. Both work great with ATSC and with Vista Media Center but refuse to work with GBPVR. In fact, the 2250 won't even get QAM with WinTV while the 1600 gets a scant few channels.

mmatheny
2008-11-27, 09:54 PM
DO NOT GET A 2250 - it will make your QAM life absolute hell!

Unless you want to buy mine, in which case, ignore the first sentence.

pcostanza
2008-11-27, 11:57 PM
DO NOT GET A 2250 - it will make your QAM life absolute hell!

Unless you want to buy mine, in which case, ignore the first sentence.
Spoken like a used car salesman.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 01:19 AM
Steve, I'm curious as to who your cable company is that they actually discuss QAM. I'm disgusted with Cox's refusal to do everything but admit it exists.
I've got both the 1600 and te 2250 and the signal strength is the same. Both work great with ATSC and with Vista Media Center but refuse to work with GBPVR. In fact, the 2250 won't even get QAM with WinTV while the 1600 gets a scant few channels.

Charter is my cable co.. They sent the note out just this week and detailed the additions and changes. I called them and didn't use the "Q" word, I said I had a new TV with a "digital" tuner in it and I was currently getting the PBS channels, Flix, and networks in digital format with it and asked if I would get the channels they listed as switching from the digital premium tier to the digital basic tier with that TV and no set top box. They said yes I would and specifically said those channels would be transmitted "in the clear" so newer equipment wouldn't have any problem with them and I would not need an additional cable box. :)

My 1600 seems to work OK with over the air signals, but it falls way short in my opinion on qam.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 01:22 AM
Soccerdad - please check your private mail on the forum.

/Steve

dark_half
2008-11-28, 01:31 AM
I have not used any others but I really like my hdhomerun.

dennit
2008-11-28, 02:16 AM
I have not used any others but I really like my hdhomerun.

I have an HVR1600 setup that's dialed in and is now completely reliable. As a result, I like it. I had to spend some time (too much) getting it exactly right - I found that all the amplifiers I tried made things worse, some cables I used were poor quality and seemed to kill the higher frequency channels.and I had too many splitters. Some splitters I tried just would not work.

Bottom line: I wouldn't recommend this card, but it can be made to work with careful attention to signal strength over the range of channel frequencies and careful choice of splitters and good cable.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 04:21 AM
Bottom line: I wouldn't recommend this card, but it can be made to work with careful attention to signal strength over the range of channel frequencies and careful choice of splitters and good cable.

I respectfully disagree with that . . . many cable companies wont help at all with qam reception. As long as the analog (if present) works to a standard TV and as long as their cable boxes work with the digital they could care less about making your after market equipment work. That's the situation I'm in. In this case I have no way to raise signal strength other than through an amplifier and as you found out this card is picky about them! Beyond that there's nothing I can do as I'm running Belden rg-6 quad shield, T&B Snap-n-Seal ends, high quality splitters, etc.. Even running directly to the cable co drop through about 20' of cable with no splitters, etc. I can't get a reliable lock from this card on all the digital channels. Using an amp it helps but still isn't 100%. Soooo, I'm pretty much out of luck. The cable co wont do a thing to make it work and there's no better wiring, etc. I can use, so there's really no way I can make this card work.

I'm kinda with the cable company on this (and it pains me to say that!) -> I truly feel it's not their problem as like I said earlier - two cable boxes, a cable modem, and a qam tuner equipped TV runs on this system just fine so I really feel it's just a matter of a poor tuner in these cards.

I really hope a good tuner card shows up soon - I've been spoiled by the analogs as they have truly been plug and play!

TTYL,

Steve

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 04:29 AM
Does anyone have an HVR-1800 up and running and a spare pci slot?

If so, drop me a pm!

/Steve

whurlston
2008-11-28, 06:58 AM
I have an HVR1600 setup that's dialed in and is now completely reliable. As a result, I like it. I had to spend some time (too much) getting it exactly right - I found that all the amplifiers I tried made things worse, some cables I used were poor quality and seemed to kill the higher frequency channels.and I had too many splitters. Some splitters I tried just would not work.

Bottom line: I wouldn't recommend this card, but it can be made to work with careful attention to signal strength over the range of channel frequencies and careful choice of splitters and good cable.The problems you had should be the same with any QAM tuner. You need to make sure that you use RG-6 and not RG-59 for cabling. Splitters and amplifiers need to be rated to at least 950/1000 MHz (1 Ghz).

Another thing to keep in mind is that tuners usually need about 10% better signal for tuning QAM than they do for tuning OTA as well. A good general rule of thumb is 80% for OTA and 90% for QAM.

As for the thread topic:
I have two HDHomeRuns, a Vistaview Saber and a Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate Stick (used mainly for testing and travelling). The Vistaview works about as good as the HDHomeRuns but channel changes are slower on the QAM side.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 01:34 PM
The problems you had should be the same with any QAM tuner. You need to make sure that you use RG-6 and not RG-59 for cabling. Splitters and amplifiers need to be rated to at least 950/1000 MHz (1 Ghz).

Another thing to keep in mind is that tuners usually need about 10% better signal for tuning QAM than they do for tuning OTA as well. A good general rule of thumb is 80% for OTA and 90% for QAM.

As for the thread topic:
I have two HDHomeRuns, a Vistaview Saber and a Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate Stick (used mainly for testing and travelling). The Vistaview works about as good as the HDHomeRuns but channel changes are slower on the QAM side.


Hi Whurlston,

Yep - you're right! On analog a poor signal usually just gives ya a poor picture, but you do have a picture and many can live with it. On digital it's more of a it works or it doesn't work kinda thing. i.e. many can live with a little snow in the picture but a choppy stuttering playback is unacceptable so preserving your singal by using good quality wiring is a must with digital.

I'm thinking an HD Homerun may be the move and considering there's two tuners in it it's not really a bad price. I don't think I've seen a bad review on one of those yet.

My 1600 behaves as you say - OTA it works fine, but on QAM it wants a ton of signal, 90 is actually marginal on mine as it will occasionally glitch on one channel that's on 90.

I've read somewhere where someone had an HVR-1800 and a 1600 in the same system at the same time. The 1800 worked fine and the 1600 had problems. The 1600 showed about 10% less signal than the 1800 and since they were both in the same system at the same time the only real variable was the 1600 (and yes, they switched the coax feeds around and got the same results, so it wasn't a bum coax or splitter causing the problem).

I can't find that post again though. I was hoping somene here with a running 1800 and an open pci slot would be interested in installing my 1600 in their system to do a head to head test to see if we can duplicate the findings, I'd say if we can then it confirms the 1600s have a dud tuner in them.

TTYL,

Steve

vmq
2008-11-28, 01:36 PM
I can't get a reliable lock from this card on all the digital channels. Using an amp it helps but still isn't 100%. Soooo, I'm pretty much out of luck. The cable co wont do a thing to make it work and there's no better wiring, etc. I can use, so there's really no way I can make this card work.


Steve,

maybe you have seen this (http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=38812) thread. I'm exchanging emails with the Hauppauge service on a weekly basis and they are trying to figure out the problem. In the meantime you can try the "old" version 3.4d1 (http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/software/install_cd/hauppauge_cd_3.4d1.zip) drivers. Makes all the difference for me, clear QAM works like a charm with them, and not at all with newer driver version.

Volker

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 01:38 PM
Oh, one more thing . . . most tend to misunderstand amplifiers. amplifiers can't magically make something out of nothing. They can make a signal stronger but in doing that they also increase the noise presented with the signal, so although the signal is stronger the signal to noise ratio is worse. It's best to amplify a good signal rather than try to improve a poor one . . . i.e. put an amplifier before all those splitters in the house rather than putting a bunch of splitters in and then trying to amplify the low signal coming out of the splitters back up.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 01:53 PM
Steve,

maybe you have seen this (http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=38812) thread. I'm exchanging emails with the Hauppauge service on a weekly basis and they are trying to figure out the problem. In the meantime you can try the "old" version 3.4d1 (http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/software/install_cd/hauppauge_cd_3.4d1.zip) drivers. Makes all the difference for me, clear QAM works like a charm with them, and not at all with newer driver version.

Volker

Hey! Thanks! I'm not at home so I can't get to the system right now, but my card is about a year old. It is a qam capable 1600 and even says qam on the card tuner sticker. It came with a driver cd that I loaded and the thing didn't work well. I added a BIG amplifier and it helped but still wasn't great. I later downloaded the newest drivers from Hauppauge and the thing worked MUCH better, but still not 100%.

Sooooo, I dunno what my initial drivers were. I do know the most recent ones worked better. Hopefully these drives are somewhere in the middle and will do the trick for me! I'll try to play later tonight and let you know.

Like I said, my cable company isn't too helpful if their stuff is working. I'm wondering if I just need to complain that my set top boxes keep dropping out ever so often, not all the time but usually when I want to watch something - basically tell them it does it but it could take hours for it to show up . . . hopefully they wouldn't want to stand there for hours waiting for it to drop so maybe they'd just crank up the signal for me to see if that would fix it . . . ;)

Thanks for the input - I'll post back what I find.

Steve

dennit
2008-11-28, 01:54 PM
The problems you had should be the same with any QAM tuner.

Except that as SLR_65 has found, the same signal delivered to other QAM tuners works fine, but does not work on the HVR-1600. It's just very very picky. It appears that he has a signal that he just can't get to work on this card.

I gave it a high quality signal that worked perfectly on two other QAM tuners. It should have just worked, yet I was at a point where I thought I'd never get it to work, too. I feel his pain and understand why he posted. I used RG-6 quad shield (Belden), SNS compression connectors and tried 6 different amplifiers, none of which improved things. I used high quality 1GHz splitters, even tried satellite grade splitters rated to 2.5 GHz, and got various results.

I would find that a direct connection would work worse than a single splitter installed. Where the splitter was placed seemed important. Ultimately, it seemed that I had to balance between a signal that was too strong and one that was too weak. You'd expect installing a splitter to reduce signal strength, but it would sometimes have no effect (when measured on the Hauppauge signal strength meter).

The reason I posted was to give some insight into how I got it working, not to disagree with SLR_65.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 02:14 PM
Hi Dennit,

I didn't really mean to disagree with you either - I just wanted potential buyers of this card to realize that you may not be able to get this card working by simply upgrading your cable wiring or balancing where you put splitters and where you get the signal for the 1600 from.

Cable companies (around here at least) are very stingy with their signal and they wont crank it up just to make some after market piece of equipment work. If their stuff is working that's all they care about and it seems this card is so picky that many times it wont run when other equipment will run just fine.

If you have good wiring and the cable co equipment is working fine then you just may not be able to get this card working as the only fix is better signal and the cable co usually wont give that to you (and I don't really blame them - they face the same issues we do with signal levels and they have a lot of subscribers to keep happy so they can't just crank signal levels up as when they give us more signal they decrease the signal available on their main trunk line. They do that too often and they'll start affecting service to lots of people).

I'm really curious about the driver as my original driver didn't work well at all but it got much better with the newest driver. If there's an intermediate driver in there I may have a shot at getting this working!

I'm even more leaning towards a driver issue now as from what I gather the 1800 is just a 1600 with a pci express interface so it's curious as to why it seems to work OK but the 1600 doesn't. Maybe it is a driver issue and the 1800 is using different driver code to run the pci-e interface.

Sigh, I JUST put the HTPC in the entertainment center and now I gotta drag it back out and lift the lid . . . hopefully the wife will be distracted with all her black friday bargains and wont pay attention to the mess I'm making in the family room! :)

TTYL,

Steve

highflyer875
2008-11-28, 02:26 PM
Really? I have a HVR-2500 and it works great. I get all my non-scrambled QAM no problem. I have no issues with GBPVR and can record 2 HDTV, 2 Analog, or a mix of both with out issue. I have TW cable. I think the issue is with the cable company, but I would agree the tuners in the TV have to be much better. Look what they need to put on the little card to get it to fit on the high size PC card. If your cable company is a pain in the A** like most are, get a Cable Tuner with DVR and pay through the nose, you can even hook it up to the HVR-PVR.

I also had a Divco HDTV7 dual PCi card, It worked well for off air HDTV but the software is very buggy and did not mess well with Titan TV. The Analog side was soft so it did not work with GBPVR (HD side does).

Oh one thing that may help. Do not place a surge protector between your cable and the tuner card. This will weaken your signal. Even the cable company does not recommend them (I could not use one on my TV with a Cable card).

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 02:51 PM
I've thought about getting another cable box and running it through the PVR-150, but then I have another external box and a blaster to deal with as well as another monthly charge from the cable co. Picture quality may suffer too as you convert from digital to analog and back again.

I don't think I'll get a cable co DVR until there's no way to make a roll your own DVR work as NBC and HBO have already exercised some DRM on certain shows.

capone
2008-11-28, 03:08 PM
Any reports on how well the HD PVR works w/ comcast or fios? I was looking at getting one when I migrate up from the 150

pcostanza
2008-11-28, 04:11 PM
I'm thinking an HD Homerun may be the move and considering there's two tuners in it it's not really a bad price. I don't think I've seen a bad review on one of those yet.


Steve
Newegg today has a Black Friday sale on the HDHomerun for $129.99 with free shipping. I'm going for it.
http://promotions.newegg.com/NEemail/Nov-0-2008/BF24Nov28/index-landing.html?nm_mc=EMC-IGNEFL112808&cm_mmc=EMC-IGNEFL112808-_-email-_-E0-_-PromoWord&cm_lm=pcostanza@cox.net

mmatheny
2008-11-28, 04:29 PM
Really? I have a HVR-2500 and it works great. I get all my non-scrambled QAM no problem. I have no issues with GBPVR and can record 2 HDTV, 2 Analog, or a mix of both with out issue. I have TW cable. I think the issue is with the cable company, but I would agree the tuners in the TV have to be much better. Look what they need to put on the little card to get it to fit on the high size PC card. If your cable company is a pain in the A** like most are, get a Cable Tuner with DVR and pay through the nose, you can even hook it up to the HVR-PVR.

I also had a Divco HDTV7 dual PCi card, It worked well for off air HDTV but the software is very buggy and did not mess well with Titan TV. The Analog side was soft so it did not work with GBPVR (HD side does).

Oh one thing that may help. Do not place a surge protector between your cable and the tuner card. This will weaken your signal. Even the cable company does not recommend them (I could not use one on my TV with a Cable card).
I have a 2250 that will only find about 4-6 clear QAM with GBPVR, but WinTV finds a butt load of clear QAM - same cable input, don't even move the PC. That tells me that there is someting going on with the tuning parameters in GBPVR, and in my case, not the cabling. I get arournd 87% signal strength when tuning through WinTV (at least THEIR signal strength program works well - again pointing to some change in the card or drivers that keeps GBPVR from pulling the signal strength info properly (all at -1)

sub
2008-11-28, 08:20 PM
I have a 2250 that will only find about 4-6 clear QAM with GBPVR, but WinTV finds a butt load of clear QAM - same cable input, don't even move the PC. That tells me that there is someting going on with the tuning parameters in GBPVR, and in my case, not the cabling. I get arournd 87% signal strength when tuning through WinTV (at least THEIR signal strength program works well - again pointing to some change in the card or drivers that keeps GBPVR from pulling the signal strength info properly (all at -1)When I'm home, if you willing, I can remotely connect via VNC or Remote Desktop and take a look for you.

SLR_65
2008-11-28, 08:50 PM
When I'm home, if you willing, I can remotely connect via VNC or Remote Desktop and take a look for you.

Ahhh, I hadn't thought of that! Then you could see what's going on while the card is installed and seeing an actual data stream from the cable co.

I have an HVR-1600 that's a pain too . . . just lemme know when you wanna peak at it! :D

Actually I think it's either a dud tuner or some driver problem - neither of which are probably within your reach to fix.

Can't wait till ya get back to kiwiland! Did you at least get some turkey while you were over here in the states?

Take care,

Steve

sub
2008-11-28, 08:55 PM
Did you at least get some turkey while you were over here in the states?
Yes, I managed a bit of turkey and stuffing (and afternoon sleep), followed by a mad day of shopping on black friday.

mmatheny
2008-11-28, 10:27 PM
Thanx Sub - sounds like a plan. BTW, I heard on a news report that it takes eating about 40 turkeys to ingest enough triptophan to become sleepy.

sub
2008-11-28, 10:35 PM
BTW, I heard on a news report that it takes eating about 40 turkeys to ingest enough triptophan to become sleepy.
Probably true, but that didnt stop me :D (probably more to do with having a quiet day relaxing...)

SLR_65
2008-11-29, 02:06 AM
I dunno, some things I think science just plain gets wrong - the proof is in real life experience . . . turkey DOES make ya sleepy, just chow down on a big meal of it and see what happens! Also, the color of adrenalin is brown - don't care what anyone says, I've proven it several times when teaching my teenage kids to drive . . . ;)

SLR_65
2008-11-29, 03:58 AM
Steve,

maybe you have seen this (http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=38812) thread. I'm exchanging emails with the Hauppauge service on a weekly basis and they are trying to figure out the problem. In the meantime you can try the "old" version 3.4d1 (http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/software/install_cd/hauppauge_cd_3.4d1.zip) drivers. Makes all the difference for me, clear QAM works like a charm with them, and not at all with newer driver version.

Volker

Hi Volker,

I just dug up my 1600 driver disc - it's 3.4d. I loaded that originally and it didn't work as well as the 4.6a that I loaded later.

I take it the 3.4d1 is different that 3.4d, so I should give it a shot?

TTYL,

Steve

whurlston
2008-11-29, 04:31 PM
The reason I posted was to give some insight into how I got it working, not to disagree with SLR_65.

My post was actually meant to expand on yours technically ;)

vmq
2008-11-30, 04:20 PM
Hi Steve,



I just dug up my 1600 driver disc - it's 3.4d. I loaded that originally and it didn't work as well as the 4.6a that I loaded later.

I take it the 3.4d1 is different that 3.4d, so I should give it a shot?


Yes, why don't you give it a try? Use hcwclear.exe to remove the old drivers before installing the (other?) 3.4d1 driver. There is no guarantee that it will help, I haven't heard from anyone else yet that has the same problem. The Haupauge support is still puzzled what is going on here, but it is reproducible here - whenever I change to a newer driver version my clear QAM stops working.

Volker

SLR_65
2008-11-30, 05:53 PM
Hi Steve,
Yes, why don't you give it a try? Use hcwclear.exe to remove the old drivers before installing the (other?) 3.4d1 driver. There is no guarantee that it will help, I haven't heard from anyone else yet that has the same problem. The Haupauge support is still puzzled what is going on here, but it is reproducible here - whenever I change to a newer driver version my clear QAM stops working.

Volker
Hi Volker,

Why not give it a shot? Laziness mostly! :o

I pulled the 1600 and reinstalled my 150 - the 1600 seems to work fine on OTA digital and my son lives out in the country and doesn't have a dish, he just gets by on the OTAs he picks up out there (which is actually quite a few!), so I thought I'd give it to him along with an old machine I have kicking around and let him play with GBPVR too.

He's been busy lately though so I still have the card so I'll try to give it a shot in the next day or so - I got a few programs I want recorded (King of the Hill is doing another "Order of the Straight Arrow" episode! Wematanya, get me a beer!!!!) so I don't want to mess with it today as I'm sure using the hwclear will probably clear out my PVR-500 driver too . . . whenever I think something on the computers is not going to take long it ends up taking forever, so I've learned to wait until I have PLENTY of time to work on it!

I'll let ya know how it goes.

Thanks, take care,

Steve

SLR_65
2008-12-02, 02:16 AM
OK, Just scanning through this thread and thought I'd post a summary.

I'm kinda surprised we haven't had more comments, do I take it that not many are running QAM yet?

So far:

The good:

HDHomerun - Dark_half and Whurlston are running them with no complaints.

HVR-1800 - Soccerdad is running one with no complaints, unlike it's hvr-1600 cousing, they seem to deal well with less than excellent signals.

HVR-2500 - Highflyer875 is using one with no problems.

Vistview SAber - Whurlston is using one, it seems to work as well as the hdhomerun but is slower to change channels.

Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate Stick - Whurlston is running one for development research. No real comment on performance, but no negatives stated either.

The not so good:

HVR-1600 - Dennit and myself are running these and they seem very picky on their signal level. In researching this on the net I've found others have the exact same problems. Different drivers may help, I'm still playing with mine and will post back when I know more.

HVR-2250 - Mmatheny is not having good luck with his card.

I think that's it so far . . . you have experience with any of these cards, or any so far unlisted please speak up!!!

pcostanza
2008-12-02, 02:40 AM
Count me in with having problems with the 2250 and 1600 in GBPVR. Plus some problems with the ATI 650. It's a work in progress.

mvallevand
2008-12-02, 03:06 AM
My HVR 1600 runs well with QAM, for the few channels I get. When I first got it I had problems that were related to the feed to my house that I talked about here http://forums.gbpvr.com/showthread.php?t=33614 but since then things have been quite stable.

Martin

mmatheny
2008-12-02, 04:55 PM
OK, Just scanning through this thread and thought I'd post a summary.

I'm kinda surprised we haven't had more comments, do I take it that not many are running QAM yet?

So far:

The good:

HDHomerun - Dark_half and Whurlston are running them with no complaints.

HVR-1800 - Soccerdad is running one with no complaints, unlike it's hvr-1600 cousing, they seem to deal well with less than excellent signals.

HVR-2500 - Highflyer875 is using one with no problems.

Vistview SAber - Whurlston is using one, it seems to work as well as the hdhomerun but is slower to change channels.

Pinnacle PCTV HD Ultimate Stick - Whurlston is running one for development research. No real comment on performance, but no negatives stated either.

The not so good:

HVR-1600 - Dennit and myself are running these and they seem very picky on their signal level. In researching this on the net I've found others have the exact same problems. Different drivers may help, I'm still playing with mine and will post back when I know more.

HVR-2250 - Mmatheny is not having good luck with his card.

I think that's it so far . . . you have experience with any of these cards, or any so far unlisted please speak up!!!

Well, if I use WinTV (YUCCK!) I can find plenty of clearQAM - GBPVR is not having good luck with this card!

pcostanza
2008-12-02, 05:51 PM
Mike and other 2250 users.....what's your opinions on the quality of mpeg recordings? For me, it's not as good as my pvr500 though it is not too bad. It's better in Vista MC and I don't know why.
Also, I recorded back to back shows so that it would use the 2250 on both and the first show went fine but the second show which did switch to the 2nd 2250 analog tuner lit green as if recording and a directory for the show was made but nothing recorded. It stayed green throughout. Tried it again and the same thing happened. Works fine when doing back to back with the 500.
My HDHomerun just showed up! $129 with free shipping I think is a bargain. Don't know when I'll have time to set it up but you know I'll be asking lots of questions so don't forget, patience is a virtue.:)

dennit
2008-12-02, 06:05 PM
Well, if I use WinTV (YUCCK!) I can find plenty of clearQAM - GBPVR is not having good luck with this card!

This seems odd to me. I've had problems with my 1600, but the problems always related to signal strength. If signal was low, both GBPVR and WinTV had identical problems. The signal strength meter from Hauppauge was always a pretty good indicator of whether I was going to have problems (29.5 was the lowest I could go without problems.)

Did you ever figure out how to manually construct a tuning line in the cache file from WinTV info and tell GBPVR to tune a channel that WinTV was tuning correctly?

IOW, is this a problem with scanning to find a channel (where GBPVR has to be able to recognize that a channel has been successfully tuned and is sending valid data), or a problem with tuning once the correct tuning info is known? I've always thought that for the latter case GBPVR just hands off the tuning data to the card and waits for the data stream. What the card does with the tuning data should be the same for WinTV and GBPVR - shouldn't it? Or am I missing something?

whurlston
2008-12-02, 06:32 PM
My HDHomerun just showed up! $129 with free shipping I think is a bargain. Don't know when I'll have time to set it up but you know I'll be asking lots of questions so don't forget, patience is a virtue.:)A couple quick things to get you started. Use the latest beta software located at http://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=2484

Then when following the GBPVR instructions that I wrote at http://www.silicondust.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=5449 set the application to "GBPVR" in step 5 and ignore step 6. The beta software sets the registry keys correctly for the PID filtering introduced in 1.3.7

pcostanza
2008-12-02, 06:37 PM
Thanks for the tips. I had already seen your instructions and bookmarked them earlier. Seems like things have gotten easier as HDHR has progressed.
Is it possible to use both GBPVR and Media Center at the same time? Not sure that's wise but I was curious about it.

JohnInSJ
2008-12-02, 06:54 PM
HVR1600 here, no problems (now) with it, it actually performs well for $60 ;)

Nightmare at first getting it to work - it really wants a clean signal! For me, getting rid of a couple of (old/cheap) splitters did the trick.

Comcast, so only clear QAMs we get are shopping channels + OTA + community access stuff. *nothing* else is clear qam. Fortunately this at least gets me the network HD stuff.

Good luck with your clear QAMs. I'm not sure I would bank on them forever.

mmatheny
2008-12-02, 07:16 PM
This seems odd to me. I've had problems with my 1600, but the problems always related to signal strength. If signal was low, both GBPVR and WinTV had identical problems. The signal strength meter from Hauppauge was always a pretty good indicator of whether I was going to have problems (29.5 was the lowest I could go without problems.)

Did you ever figure out how to manually construct a tuning line in the cache file from WinTV info and tell GBPVR to tune a channel that WinTV was tuning correctly?

IOW, is this a problem with scanning to find a channel (where GBPVR has to be able to recognize that a channel has been successfully tuned and is sending valid data), or a problem with tuning once the correct tuning info is known? I've always thought that for the latter case GBPVR just hands off the tuning data to the card and waits for the data stream. What the card does with the tuning data should be the same for WinTV and GBPVR - shouldn't it? Or am I missing something?
Thanx for the reply - my signal on almost every channel in WintTV is around 87%! I am zipping up the channel database to send to Sub for him to analyze. Hopefully he can see what is going on here.

Pcostanza - I haven't even fiddled with recording and watching analog yet, I bought the card so I could us it to supplement my cable PVR. And I really want to get QAM working. However, I did go ahead and add the other Digital tuner and both analog tuners. And I tried recording one show and changing to another one, but got the message no tuner was available, so I will try to look into that. I spend half my Thanksgiving weekend working on this thing, and as you can imagine, my wife has just about had enough!

pcostanza
2008-12-02, 07:22 PM
I spend half my Thanksgiving weekend working on this thing, and as you can imagine, my wife has just about had enough!
Mike, you'd better take extra good care of her for this Christmas or you'll loose more than tuners! :D

mmatheny
2008-12-02, 07:26 PM
Well, it worked so well with 2 PVR250 tuners. I was hoping to get it set up again that simply, but technology had other ideas!

whurlston
2008-12-02, 07:38 PM
Thanks for the tips. I had already seen your instructions and bookmarked them earlier. Seems like things have gotten easier as HDHR has progressed.
Is it possible to use both GBPVR and Media Center at the same time? Not sure that's wise but I was curious about it.You could but you would need to set the application to Media Center and then set it up in GBPVR as an OTA capture source, not QAM. The QAM channels would be remapped to OTA. Not sure how it would work with the TV Pack though as I haven't tested that. I'll try to do it in the next few days.

mmatheny
2008-12-02, 07:52 PM
whurlston - got your 2250 yet?

whurlston
2008-12-02, 08:07 PM
Not yet. I hope to order it next week but need to wait until I have the money first. Home remodelling had to come first.

pcostanza
2008-12-02, 08:20 PM
You could but you would need to set the application to Media Center and then set it up in GBPVR as an OTA capture source, not QAM. The QAM channels would be remapped to OTA. Not sure how it would work with the TV Pack though as I haven't tested that. I'll try to do it in the next few days.
I asked this question this morning in the HDHR forums and got this:
If you have two computers then no problem running a different DVR application on each.

On the same computer - some DVR applications need a compatibility mode set... it depends on the the compatibility settings needed for one DVR app with work with the other DVR app.

VMC + GBPVR will work - set the application setting to Media Center in HDHomeRun Setup.

With the latest beta release of the HDHomeRun drivers (final release due out later this week) the tuners are allocated automatically as needed. ie you can record two channels with VMC, two channels with GB-PVR, or one channel on each. If you have two HDHomeRun units then you will have a pool of 4 tuners that will be automatically allocated as needed.

Sounds promising!

whurlston
2008-12-02, 08:25 PM
That's the method I described above. Note that the number of channels that you can record does not account for the new multi-record feature in GBPVR. So if you are recording two channels on the same frequency in GBPVR, it will only use one tuner and you will still have a tuner available for VMC.

SLR_65
2008-12-04, 05:27 AM
I may be making progress! I called the cable co and complained that everytime it rained, or was cold, etc. that my digital cable boxes got flakey. My neighbor said the cable co was in the alley today so I checked and I had a new line ran to the side of the house!

I stuck the HVR-1600 back in to see what I had. Before I had a low SNR of the mid 28's and a high right around 30. With a big amp I could get it near 30, but it still wasn't error free on all channels. Now hooked direct to the drop with no splitters I have the high 30s and though there is the occasional recoverable error in WinTV signal monitor there seems to be no unrecoverable errors and no errors when watching the tv. Hey! Progress!

Unfortunately ONE splitter (a good one - Channel Vision HS-2 pcb splitter) drags it back down to around 30 and the occasional unrecoverable error and playback glitch. Playing around I stuck a splitter on the output of my 15db amp before it feeds a trunk line with taps to feed the analog sets in the house (long story, old house and it'd be a pain to run a lot of cables for a home run system, so I ran a trunk and taps instead of splitters). HEY! I got the mid to high 31s and don't seem to have any unrecoverable errors or playback glitches! Having a splitter between the amp and trunk line didn't seem to bother the rest of the analog hookups in the house either!

All I had time to play with was WinTV tonight and I need to run another dedicated cable for the HVR-1600 which I'll try to do shortly, but it's VERY encouraging! I left it run for a couple hours tonight and it didn't seem to miss a beat, even on the lowerst snr channel! (which was about 31.2 at the lowest)

I didn't even play with drivers - still running 4.6a.

Keep your fingers crossed for me, I'll report back as soon as I have more time to play.

Steve

dennit
2008-12-04, 02:06 PM
Keep your fingers crossed for me, I'll report back as soon as I have more time to play.

Your efforts remind me of what I went through. Every tweak had to be carefully checked on the signal meter. As a matter of interest, what frequency are you using to check signal strength? The upper end of the clear QAM channels I could get had a much lower signal strength than the lower frequency channels.

SLR_65
2008-12-06, 05:07 AM
Your efforts remind me of what I went through. Every tweak had to be carefully checked on the signal meter. As a matter of interest, what frequency are you using to check signal strength? The upper end of the clear QAM channels I could get had a much lower signal strength than the lower frequency channels.
Hi Dennit,

I don't have that many QAM channels, they run in the 715 to 705 mhz range and I'm holding a pretty steady signal to noise ratio of 31 to 32 db across all of them with an occasional correctable audio error or two and zero (so far) uncorrectable errors using the Hauppauge signal strength meter utility. :)

I added an RG-6 quadshield run for the HVR-1600 and I was biting my nails worrying if it would work again once I hooked it back up . . . reminded me of the Friends episode where the guys were getting free porn and didn't want to turn it off for fear they'd lose it if they did! :D

TTYL,

Steve

mmatheny
2008-12-06, 09:12 PM
Hi Dennit,

I don't have that many QAM channels, they run in the 715 to 705 mhz range and I'm holding a pretty steady signal to noise ratio of 31 to 32 db across all of them with an occasional correctable audio error or two and zero (so far) uncorrectable errors using the Hauppauge signal strength meter utility. :)

I added an RG-6 quadshield run for the HVR-1600 and I was biting my nails worrying if it would work again once I hooked it back up . . . reminded me of the Friends episode where the guys were getting free porn and didn't want to turn it off for fear they'd lose it if they did! :D

TTYL,

Steve
Does that app show the info for the currently tuned channel, no matter what application tuned it? Do you just run it and it shows this info? How does it pick which digital tuner to monitor?

SLR_65
2008-12-07, 06:05 AM
Does that app show the info for the currently tuned channel, no matter what application tuned it? Do you just run it and it shows this info? How does it pick which digital tuner to monitor?

Yes, it does. It's a separate application that you can pop up/down over other applications. It doesn't play well with GBPVR though. You can pop it up and it works and shows the levels as you change channels but if try to exit it or minimize it it does odd things - it may just mess up the video display or at worst it'll hang GBPVR and I have to use task manager to shut it down. While playing I just learned to pop it up and leave it alone and to close GBPVR before exiting or minimizing it.

It seems to show the same levels from within GBPVR as it does within WinTV though (which is understandable as I think it's just reporting what the card is seeing and what it sees is independent of the program it's providing data to) so it's less hassle to just use WinTv when troubleshooting signal level issues.

TTYL,

Steve

SLR_65
2008-12-08, 08:50 PM
OK, an update . . . I'm still looking for a QAM tuner that WORKS! :mad:

As I posted earlier, I finally got enough signal level to get the HVR-1600 happy, but I was having a minor problem picking up a channel I should be getting (Flix on channel 84 - it didn't show up at all, encrypted or unencrypted).

I've been working some overtime so I sat down today to play with the HTPC and I found a new problem . . . I have an PVR-500 installed in the machine as well as the HVR-1600 but the HVR-1600 is the first tuner the GBPVR uses. When watching Live TV it runs fine for several minutes, then starts stuttering and freezing, then straightens out and runs ok for a few minutes before stutering again. I changed codecs and stuff and it didn't help. I then disabled the analog tuner in the HVR-1600 so GBPVR would use my PVR-500 and the problem ceased. I was running the 4.6a Hauppauge drivers so I backed up to the 3.4d1 drivers and it made things worse, signal level actually decreased on the digitals and they became unusauble and the analog problem remained. :mad:

I give up! It just shouldn't be this hard! I think part of the problem is that it's fairly new technology and the bugs just aren't worked out. I'm sure as more and more systems start using clear qam and as the digital change over occurs and more need to use over the air digital things will get better, but for now things just aren't mature enough.

I like having three analog tuners so I don't really want to disable the analog on the HVR-1600 just to keep the digital and it's taking up a pci slot. I think I'll give this card to my son to use for over the air digital and I'll look for something different. I would like a digital only pci-e card as I have a spare pci-e slot, maybe a HVR-1800 . . . if the analog works without stuttering on it it would be a bonus, if it doesn't no biggie, just disable it and use the digital side. Maybe an hdhomerun, or maybe a usb solution would fit the bill too. I'm open to suggestions if others have a card that would fit the bill!

TTYL,

Steve