[mythtv-users] Myth and DTV Converter Box

Mitch Gore mitchell.gore at gmail.com
Wed Oct 8 18:00:03 UTC 2008

On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 12:47 PM, Darrin <mtv at aperature.org> wrote:

> On Wed, Oct 8, 2008 at 12:42 AM, Brad DerManouelian <
> myth at dermanouelian.com> wrote:
>> On Oct 7, 2008, at 9:19 PM, Jesse Michelsen wrote:
>> > So I am a real cheap guy and don't really want to pay for cable or
>> > satellite TV when there are enough perfectly good TV shows coming over
>> > the waves free. I got my free coupons for DTV converter boxes from the
>> > government so I can keep watching free TV until my wife finally says
>> > "I
>> > Well my question here is this. Has anyone had success running mythtv
>> > with DTV + antenna as the input? I am having trouble here, heres how
>> > its
>> > set up.
>> > The DTV box:
>> > has antenna in (coax)
>> > coax out
>> > AV out
>> >
>> > normally the antenna would come in, and coax or av would go out to a
>> > TV
>> > tuned to channel 3 or 4, whatever the dtv box was set to. The channels
>> > then have to be changed via the dtv remote, the TV staying on ch3/4
>> >
>> > tvtime is the same way, tune to ch3/4 and dtv+antenna come in fine and
>> > channels are changed on the dtv
>> >
>> > with mythtv I figure it would work the same way but then I wouldn't
>> > really be able to record anything in the normal fashion. I could set
>> > myth to record channel 3 and change the channel on the dtv to the
>> > show I
>> > wanted to record but that isn't quite the setup one would want and
>> > even
>> > that I am having trouble with. This is my first PC-TV setup ever and
>> > its
>> > been quite a painful journey but I think it will be worth it in the
>> > end.
>> > Until then, does anyone have any ideas? I have searched all over the
>> > net
>> > but its kinda weird and unique setup I think and I haven't found any
>> > info.
>> > sorry so lengthy
>> You have two choices for (strictly) over the air programming. The
>> first one is exactly like you thought it would work:
>> 1. Use your converter box and current analog capture device. Tell myth
>> to tune the analog capture card to channel 3 and tell mythtv to change
>> the channel on the DTV box. This will require an IR blaster to send
>> the correct commands to the DTV box. This is assuming you have a DTV
>> box with known remote control that lirc can control.
>> 2. Replace your analog capture card with a digital one and let mythtv
>> tune the card to the correct channel. I only have expensive digital
>> capture cards ($129 for my pcHDTV-5500 and $170 for an HDHomeRun with
>> 2 tuners), so I don't know how well the cheaper ones work but I know
>> there are cheaper ones.
>> -Brad
> For the OP: If you have a pci slot, you might be able to get a Dvico Fusion
> HDTV5 RT Gold for cheap.  They were recently discontinued and retailers that
> have them left on their shelves are dumping them.  Might be harder to find
> now - I got mine a few weeks ago from snapstream.com.
> I dumped cable just before starting this project, so as far as I could see,
> not having cable for one month paid for mine.
> Otherwise, the card works great - I didn't even have to build drivers for
> it.
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Upgrading your tuner card will most likely be cheaper...

I bought a air2pc off ebay.  works great:

I won mine for $32 shipped.

Compare that the converter boxes.  $20 for box (w/coupon) + ~$20 for an IR
blaster...plus configure all that, woring about consistancy of IR blasting,
dont bump it etc...i hope you see where this is going

Get a tuner.  The card above is cheap as its discontinued but works great.
Only disadvantage is it wont tune Digital Cable QAM, but if OTA is all that
is required go for it.

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