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  #1  
04-07-2010, 02:17 PM
brucek brucek is offline
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I just installed a Hauppauge HVR-1250 and connected it to the TV2 (SD) output from my Dish Network 722 receiver via the agile modulated coaxial output set to channel 60.

I first tried picking up this signal using Windows Media Center. The software tuning program found nothing.

I then tried WinTV 7 and I manually found a signal on the expected channel 60. Problem is the display was not good - it was very, very poor quality. Why isn't the display just as good as I can see on a TV hooked up to this signal. And its not because my TV is better than my PC. My TV is a very old tube TV? My computer is brand new, i5 processor and a Samsung P2570 monitor. So my computer components are top notch and my TV isn't.

My end use for this signal is to capture to my hard drive and then convert for viewing on my iPhone. So I don't need great quality but I need better than what I am seeing on my PC through the Hauppauge card as I currently have it set up.

I'm thinking people will tell me I'm supposed to be using the component output or S-video output from my satellite set top box but my STB is in another room from my computer and the cables that I have run through the walls are coax.

Anyone have any experience in capturing SD off of the Dish DVR through coax? What am I doing wrong? Thanks.
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  #2  
04-07-2010, 08:20 PM
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I would have been one of those people telling you to instead use s-video or composite (or component), instead of coax -- but you seem to be too far away. I would make mention that you can find long s-video and composite cables online -- I have some 20-foot cables, for special on-site work. The longer cables can lose signal fidelity, but sometimes you don't have any choice between "connected" and "not connected".

Here's a 50-foot cable for $13 + shipping: http://www.amazon.com/S-Video-Patch-.../dp/B0002MQGNQ
How long of a run would you need?

Instead, let's look to the quality of your coax cable. Are you using RG6 cable? (And not that thin/flimsy/cheap RG59.) This makes a big difference. It should also be well-shielded cable. The Philips brand white RG6 cable found at Lowe's is excellent.

Sometimes cables be be screwed in too tight at the connectors. Coaxial connections don't always have to be jammed completely into the hole.

In other cases, the coaxial connection is simply bad. I've seen this many times on DirecTV receivers.

WinTV is the correct software to use with a Hauppauge card. (Some special PVR software can also work, such as ChrisTV or SageTV -- there's several choices. I prefer WinTV.)

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  #3  
04-08-2010, 09:43 AM
brucek brucek is offline
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Thanks.
I appreciate the suggestions about using a longer S-video cable. But the problem isn't the distance it's the walls in between. Although I'll do some more investigating for this potential.

Last night, I played around with WinTV 7 some more. I changed the Dish TV2 output channel to Cable 75 instead of Air 50 and, unless my eyes are deceiving me, the signal looks better. Is that possible? Could the Hauppauge tuner "read" the signal more accurately at 75 than at 60?

Here's a dumb question. Does a tuner work in any way like my radio dial? Am I correct in thinking that analog TV signals come across the coax cable at certain frequencies. The tuner knows that channel 5 (I'm just guessing here) is at 50 hz. So when I change the channel to 5, the tuner looks for signals at 50 hz. This 50 hz signal is then translated in to a television display.

In my case, could my Hauppauge tuner be more correctly aligned with my satellites output at channel 75 than at channel 60?

So, is there a way to tweak what hz my Hauppauge tuner looks for at each channel. For instance, is there a way to have my tuner look for a signal at 60.1 hz instead of 60 hz. Just like I fiddle with my radio dial. Or am I just completely mistaken?

Thanks. This is fun. Educational and challenging. Life is great.
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  #4  
04-08-2010, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by brucek View Post
But the problem isn't the distance it's the walls in between.
Drill.

Quote:
I changed the Dish TV2 output channel to Cable 75 instead of Air 50 and, unless my eyes are deceiving me, the signal looks better. Is that possible?
Yes.

Quote:
Could the Hauppauge tuner "read" the signal more accurately at 75 than at 60?
Yes.

Quote:
Here's a dumb question.
Nope, not at all...

Quote:
Does a tuner work in any way like my radio dial? Am I correct in thinking that analog TV signals come across the coax cable at certain frequencies.
Yes! Exactly.

Quote:
The tuner knows that channel 5 (I'm just guessing here) is at 50 hz. So when I change the channel to 5, the tuner looks for signals at 50 hz. This 50 hz signal is then translated in to a television display.
Not 50hz, but yes, that's the general idea.

FYI: Ch5 = 76~82 Mhz, see charts at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_A...on_frequencies

Quote:
In my case, could my Hauppauge tuner be more correctly aligned with my satellites output at channel 75 than at channel 60?
Yes.

Quote:
So, is there a way to tweak what hz my Hauppauge tuner looks for at each channel. For instance, is there a way to have my tuner look for a signal at 60.1 hz instead of 60 hz. Just like I fiddle with my radio dial. Or am I just completely mistaken?
I don't really know. VirtualDub has this option available, but it really depends on the software and hardware. I don't know what may be possible with your exact card, using WinTV7 (I highly doubt WinTV7 has this option).

Quote:
This is fun.
Yeah, it kind of is, isn't it?

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  #5  
04-16-2010, 09:56 AM
brucek brucek is offline
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Here's an update: I'm very pleased with current results.

Channel 75 now comes across to my computer very nice. I'm using my Dish remote in the basement and controlling TV2 output through the Hauppauge inlet to my computer via coax. It looks good. It's SD and not HD but it looks pretty good. Better than my old tube TV.

As far as capturing goes: I started with WinTV 7. I was not successful. I could capture but the video was not good - it was grainy and would skip. I tried all kinds of settings. One problem with WinTV 7 is the online manuals are not very informative. I still have no idea what the different renderers do. I just tried them all and nothing seemed to help.

I switched back over to Windows MCE and the video came across much smoother. I didn't tweak any settings and it looks real nice. My first capture was Eminem's 8 Mile video which my DVR had recorded from TBS.

I then used Windows Live Movie Gallery to remove the commercials. I was surprised how easy that was. I then saved to 480p resolution.

Finally, I used Cucosoft's Ultimate Video Converter to convert to a h.264 file for the iphone.

All works pretty smoothly.
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  #6  
04-17-2010, 01:15 AM
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WinTV was a great program ... until WinTV7. Version 7 is just awful, and has many complaints from users online, myself included. I tested some of the Hauppauge USB PVR cards late last year, and it was just a horrible experience. The Hauppauge UK forums have many complaints, too. My problem was that it was both choppy with HD channel tuning, and unstable crash-happy software. It's good that you found something else to work with.

I've not used Windows Live Movie Gallery, and I don't expect much from built-in MS tools. But it's good to hear you found it acceptable and easy to use.

Those consumer-grade H.264 apps are generally pretty lousy for quality. Granted, that may not matter on a little bitty iPhone, but it will be annoying on a big computer monitor or TV. The best H.264 video encoder is the MainConcept encoder, found either as the expensive standalone MainConcept Reference, or as part of another program (like Adobe Premiere or Vegas Video). The next-best choice is the freeware/open-source x264 encoder, using one of the free GUIs like StaxRip or Xvid4PSP

Aside from that, it seems like you have a good method going, and that's always great to hear.

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