[mythtv-users] FAQ about the US OTA DTV and MythTV?

Tom Dexter digitalaudiorock at gmail.com
Thu Jan 3 18:48:15 UTC 2008

On Jan 2, 2008 8:33 PM, Chuck Needham <thatguy at 2bitstudio.com> wrote:
>   Is there a FAQ where I can find info on suggested tuners for OTA
> Digital SDTV for MythTV?
> Are the HD tuner cards out now able to capture Digital SDTV channels as
> well? Have the issues of aspect and resolution been addressed? Can the
> SDTV stream be converted into analog for non digital TVs from the DTV
> (HD?)tuner card?
> Can't you tell I'm a complete NOOB? I'm just getting my parts list
> sorted out for the MythTV system I'll be putting together. I figure I
> will need at least a dual-tuner solution for analog for now (and to run
> my VHS and Beta tapes through after the chnage-over) and be ready to add
> a DTV (HD?) tuner later in the year.
> Thanks for any help...
> Chuck

I don't know offhand of an FAQ about that specifically.  I'm currently
using mythtv entirely for OTA DTV.  I'm using three pcHDTV hd-5500
cards and have had very good luck with them.  They pick up both SD and
HD DTV just fine.  I believe that all ATSC tuners will pick up both SD
and HD.

One important thing to note however is that, at least in my area
(central NJ picking up mostly New York DTV) there are almost no true
SD broadcasts.  That's not to say everything is HD.  As I understand
it, true SD DTV has 480 lines of resolution.  Other than a few local
PBS stations, everything I get is broadcast at either 1080 or 720
lines of resolution even when the content isn't HD...only it has
built-in black bars and is at a lower bit rate.

For example, CBS broadcasts at 1080i.  When they broadcast a show like
Survivor, which isn't HD, they still broadcast at 1920x1080 only with
black bars on the left and right embedded in the broadcast.  This is
true of all the major networks around here...CBS, NBC, FOX, ABC, CW
etc.  The main PBS station (13.1 WNET in New York) broadcasts in HD
only...any shows that aren't produced in HD like Washington Week etc,
are currently only shown on their analog stations.  They are the only
station in my area with different programming on their digital vs
analog stations.  I'm assuming that, before the 2/2009 cutoff, they
will have changed all those shows to HD as well.

Also note that on the networks, almost all prime time shows, with ever
shrinking exceptions, are in HD.  The reality shows are the only big
exception and even many of those are HD now.


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