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HD OTA Tuner Advice?

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Anonymous
January 7, 2005 5:15:39 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I've got a fairly good HD set, but no tuner. I'd like to buy one on ebay.

What brands/models represent a good value? I live in a major media
market, just a few miles from the towers. Bells and whistles are not
necessarily important, I just need the ability to tune in the local HD
broadcasts.

What should I look for? How much should I expect to pay?

--
In the councils of government, we must guard against the
acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
-- Dwight David Eisenhower

More about : ota tuner advice

Anonymous
January 7, 2005 5:15:40 PM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

I know you are looking to buy on ebay, but just for comparison, many of
these boxes can be had for new at Best Buy for $250. I don't have personal
experience, but have seen references in this newsgroup regarding a new
Samsung box.

Jeff

<EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com> wrote in message
news:crm5ib$5q1$5@reader1.panix.com...
> I've got a fairly good HD set, but no tuner. I'd like to buy one on ebay.
>
> What brands/models represent a good value? I live in a major media
> market, just a few miles from the towers. Bells and whistles are not
> necessarily important, I just need the ability to tune in the local HD
> broadcasts.
>
> What should I look for? How much should I expect to pay?
>
> --
> In the councils of government, we must guard against the
> acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought,
> by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the
> disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.
> -- Dwight David Eisenhower
Anonymous
January 9, 2005 12:42:46 AM

Archived from groups: alt.tv.tech.hdtv (More info?)

EskWIRED@spamblock.panix.com wrote:

>I've got a fairly good HD set, but no tuner. I'd like to buy one on ebay.
>
>What brands/models represent a good value? I live in a major media
>market, just a few miles from the towers. Bells and whistles are not
>necessarily important, I just need the ability to tune in the local HD
>broadcasts.
>
>What should I look for? How much should I expect to pay?

I have two tuners, very different, but I like both of them. I knew I
wouldn't be happy without the ability to record HD, so both can do
that.

The first is the LG LST-3410A, which handles ATSC OTA and unscrambled
QAM from cable. It does not accept a CableCard. Video outputs are
DVI, component, RGB (on a 15-pin VGA connector) and composite/S-Video.
Unfortunately you only get one at a time. It can also output to
specific makes and models of D-VHS recorders. HD PQ is excellent, and
SD and analog are as good as I think they can be on a large screen.
The hard drive is easy to replace with a larger one or just because
you've filled it up with shows you want to keep. One nice feature:
you can edit commercials out of saved programs. Not frame-accurate
and the playback blacks out for a moment at the edit points, but it
gets the job done. The Gemstar guide is easy to use when it works,
but it depends on data in the VBI of analog stations, and if you tell
it you have cable it ignores the OTA analogs. Some cable companies
strip the data out. There are a number of design shortcomings and
many reports of unreliability (guess I've been lucky), but I wouldn't
part with mine. If you buy one, DO install a fan early on; it needs
one. If you're sure you won't need the recorder the LG LST-4200A
should do fine.

The second is the MyHD MDP-120 PCI card with optional DVI
daughterboard. It handles ATSC and analog only; although it can tune
cable channels, it can't do QAM. HD pictures are as good as the LG.
SD and analog don't seem quite as good, but the difference is subtle.
This might be a good way to get started, since there's an easy upgrade
path if you want it to do more later. To use it as a tuner you'll
need a Pentium-II 333MHz, 64MB memory and Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP.
You can find that for next to nothing if you don't have one gathering
dust. To record to the hard drive you'll need at least a Pentium-III
800MHz and of course a large hard drive. To output to D-VHS over
Firewire you'll need XP. FAT32 has a 4GB file-size limit, which is
less than a typical HD program needs. MyHD gets around that by
creating multiple files of a user-selectable size. Playback of these
files is seamless.

MyHD uses the TitanTV web site for program listings, so a continuous
Internet connection is desirable though you could use dialup. I've
found TitanTV's listings to be more detailed and often more accurate
than Gemstar's. TitanTV tells which shows are in HD and whether they
are new or repeats. On a recent evening, Gemstar listed Lost for 1
hour and Alias for 2 hours, while TitanTV said Lost would run 1 hour 1
minute and Alias 1 hour 59 minutes, which was correct.

MyHD saves the entire transport stream to the hard drive; if it
contained multiple subchannels you can select them on playback. There
are programs available that will strip out just the subchannel you
want to keep, including the free HDTVtoMPEG2, which will also let you
edit out commercials and do it better than the LG does.

Del Mibbler <mibbler@nycap.rr.com>
!