[mythtv-users] Analog capture cards

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Fri Feb 12 15:08:48 UTC 2010

On Friday 12 February 2010 06:29:14 am Bob wrote:
> Brian Wood wrote:
> > If your input is not within the specified limits for the tuner it's just
> > not fair to say it's not as good. "Not as good with X input level" might
> > be accurate, but if it's not within the spec it's meaningless.
> But if the spec is narrower than is typical for that type of device then
> I consider that to be not as good. I'm not making an absolute
> evaluation, I'm comparing it to other existing hardware and it comes
> up short.

I'm not sure what's "typical", or if you can determine that from a sample size 
of 2 different types of device.

> > If a simple attenuator produces better results, why complain?
> How may people happen to have an attenuator lying around?

Just about everyone I know. Certainly any Radio Shack has them. Having the 
attenuator isn't the problem, having a signal level meter to tell you that you 
need one is probably a bigger problem.

A competent cable tech should be able to determine that the problem is too 
much signal, but competent cable techs are hard to find. In most places a 
service call to the cable company is free, though it's a hassle to schedule it 
and wait for the tech.

With most cable systems low levels are more common than high levels though.

> > The more channels a cable system adds, the harder it gets to maintain
> > levels high enough to get a good signal to noise, and still low enough to
> > minimize third-order products. The window between those two points gets
> > smaller.
> I understand that - if all me devices had problems I would blame the
> cable company. When only one device has a problem I blame the device.

Granted that the PVRs seem to be better for your particular situation, the 
fact is they are no longer made, if the 1600 is a viable solution, with the 
caveat of being sensitive to levels, that's what most of us here want/need to 

It really depends on what levels you are feeding your device, if you are 
hitting it with something like 25 Dbmv, and  the PVR works and the 1600 
doesn't, I would not call that a problem with the 1600, it simply means the 
PVR handles your way out of spec condition better than the 1600, if you are 
hitting it with 5-10 Dbmv. then I'd say the 1600 has a problem.

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