[mythtv-users] Hardware Purchase

Mark Lord mythtv at rtr.ca
Tue Apr 5 14:56:24 UTC 2011

On 11-04-05 10:46 AM, George Nassas wrote:
> On 2011-04-05, at 9:51 AM, Mark Lord wrote:
>> If you want OTA, then the HDHomeRun is one of the poorest tuners out there
>> for sensitivity of weaker stations.  Even the HVR-1600 beats it by a fair margin.
> How do you know this? I'm not challenging you, just curious.
> I don't think I've seen it said with such certainty before.

I have a last-gen HDHR in the setup here, and had two earlier ones before it.
One of the earlier ones died (another reason to avoid them),
and I sold the other one.

The remaining one gets only 80% SS despite line-of-sight to strong locals,
so I feed it through a (very good) pre-amp to boost that to 100%.

The HDHR is spotty for the non-strong locals, and doesn't even get a whiff
of the distant PBS station we wanted to view here.  I put tons of time and
innovation into a very elaborate array of antennas, quad-sheild, expensive
RC pre-amps etc.. all of which helped make the old analog station look great.
But the HDHR simply couldn't "see" the DTV version of the station.

This confused the heck out of me, because "most people" say the HDHR is excellent.

Then I got a cheap digital TV from Costco, and it could tune the PBS DTV station,
but with some pixelation.  Encouraged by that, I took a chance on an HVR-950Q
with a 30-day return policy.  Plugged it in, and there was the PBS DTV nice
and clear, no pixelation.

I've since acquired other DTV tuners, including a refurb HVR-1600
and a PCTV-800i (PCI cousin of the 950Q), and both can also get the PBS station.

Since that time, the HDHR got upgraded to their latest (pre-HDHR3) version,
with zero improvement on all fronts.

I've also since upgraded the TV, and the replacement also outperforms
the HDHR, including being able to tune the PBS DTV station.

Conclusion:  okay for strong locals, bad for sensitivity of weakest station,
not very good for so-so locals.  All of the other tuners here manage better.

I make many of my own antennas, RF switching arrays, and use only very low
noise (0.4dB NF) pre-amps where pre-amps are necessary (weak stations).


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