[mythtv-users] Digital tuner card recommendations

Jared C. Davis jared at cs.utexas.edu
Sat Dec 16 03:12:22 UTC 2006


I just got a new tv (hooray!) and, much to my surprise, it picks up
several digital channels over the antenna.  These channels look really
great compared to the standard channels, so naturally I'd like to
start recording them.  I think my PVR-350 doesn't support this, so I
guess that puts me in the market for a new card.  I'm in the USA, so I
think I need a card that can handle ATSC signals.

I got some great advice from this list when I was looking for a video
card, so I'm hoping to repeat the experience. :)  My ideal card would
be easy to install and configure, reliable, and cheap (in that order).
 I am tentatively looking at the pcHDTV 5500, which seems to be about
$135 USD (shipped) from pchdtv.com.  But I have no idea if these are
good cards or if there are better ones.

I also read that HD signals take more CPU effort than standard
signals.  My myth system is also my main computer, and it has a
Pentium-D, 2.8 GHz and an Nvidia 6200 PCI-E card which does the
dual-head between my monitor and the TV.  I hope this will be fast
enough to simultaneously (1) record a tv show, (2) watch a recording,
and (3) work on emacs or browse the web.

I can leave the PVR-350 in if that can help the other card in encoding
or with playback.  I guess if I kept the PVR-350 in, we could even
record two shows at once, one high def and one standard, if the CPU
could keep up.  I'm running Ubuntu with the 2.6.17 kernel and Myth
0.20, but I can upgrade the kernel if need be. I only have one free
PCI slot and no other slots, but I could remove the PVR-350 if I
needed to free up a second slot.

Thanks so much!


Jared C. Davis <jared at cs.utexas.edu>
3600 Greystone Drive #604
Austin, TX 78731

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