[mythtv-users] Where to (really) buy an Air2PC -or- should I get a HD-3000?

Brandon Beattie brandon+myth at linuxis.us
Wed Mar 30 23:22:58 UTC 2005

On Tue, Mar 29, 2005 at 05:59:50PM -0800, Paul B. Henson wrote:
> On Tue, 29 Mar 2005, Matt wrote:
> > I wanted the Air2PC, but looks like I might have to go for the
> > pcHDTV-3000 now.  Still not sure if there really is any difference
> > between the two cards that makes one a better choice than the other.
> The original Air2PC was reputed to have a better tuner, and handle
> multipath and weak signals better. The new version is supposed to have a
> 5th generation tuner, and presumably will be even better yet. I'm not sure
> how much difference that makes unless you are in an area with a marginal
> OTA signal.
> The HD-3000 also has a standard NTSC framegrabber allowing capture of
> regular TV signals. Given I have no plans to use that, I considered it
> extraneous hardware that I'd just as soon not have.

Signal level is a lot logo BOGO MIPS.  It's all estimated and up to the 
driver to decide what the signal level is.  If anyone bases judgement on
this alone they're making a mistake.

For example, I've seen several set top box always report better
signals by several % but yet they have more video corruption/data
loss.  I've talked with many who have the air2pc work
better and many who have the pchdtv-3000 work better.  The reason is
every tuner is different, even if it's the same model.  I have 3
HD-2000's which all report different signals by as much as 12% on the
same channel.  My 4 HD-3000's differ by about 1-2% on every channel and
two channels by 3% (All using the same cable).  I've also found certain
splitter brands and amps and antenna's in various combinations make the
difference more or less.  Regardless of which card if you're on the
border of a signal you should consider everything else but the card.
It's amazing what adding 5 feet to your tv antenna or adjust it 1 degree
can do.  

5th generation tuners do have improved multi-path support but only 5% of
the world will make much use of this (I'm sure many won't agree with
me).  Unless the tower is on the ground and you're also on ground in
downtown NYC then mutli-path isn't as big of a problem as you'd think.
Living in canyons/mountains doesn't produce enough MP that most would
notice.  If you're paranoid then get the new generation.  If you want to
put your antenna next to your basement TV then goodluck with any tuner.
:)  (You'd be surprised how many people ask me for help that do this.)

Oh, one last thing, the local TV station and their tower can bring out
good and bad in every TV tuner card, so picking the better one is often
probability that it will work better too.  I had problems with 2
stations, found out they're on the same tower which was actually closer
than other towers with higher signals and after talking to the stations
techs rant about the towes they'll be replacing it fairly soon...
Some towers don't do as well with the narrower ATSC frequencies but that
will change for some.  But yet a USDTV set top box could pick those
towers up better than any other towers...  This is why I stress
everything but the tuner card that you have more control over how well
it will work.


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