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August 30, 2014

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First look at the Hauppauge HD-PVR

by Brad Linder, posted Jun 3rd 2008 10:55AM

A few days ago the Hauppauge HD-PVR started shipping, and now early adopters are starting to try plugging the HDTV digital video recorders into their computers and television sets. The HD-PVR captures high definition video from analog sources. That means you can plug in a component or composite cable from your cable, satellite, or other set top box and save videos to your PC in H.264 format.

Blogger Brent Evans got his HD-PVR yesterday and posted the unboxing video you can see above. He says setup was easy and that the latest beta version of SageTV recognizes the tuner. The software that comes with the HD-PVR lets you record programs, but it does not let you watch live television.

Evans says while his computer seems to have done a decent job of recording HD video, he can't get it to play the video smoothly. The HD-PVR also locked up twice during his initial test, and he had to reboot it by turning it off and on again.

You can find some more first person accounts at the GB-PVR forums. It looks like Brent Evans isn't the only one having some problems. Several GB-PVR user says they've been having problems with recordings failing or the device locking up altogether. In other words, if you've been waiting patiently to get an HD-PVR, it looks like you might want to wait a little longer.

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Hauppauge HD-PVR begins shipping

by Brad Linder, posted May 29th 2008 4:57PM
Hauppauge HD-PVRHauppauge has begun shipping the HD-PVR. This little box is the first consumer level device capable of capturing HDTV from an analog source and performing real-time H.264 compression. What that means is you can hook the $249 box up to your digital cable, satellite, or other set top box and record high definition TV shows on your PC without the need for a pricy CableCARD.

The quality might not be as high as the video quality you'll get from an ATSC, ClearQAM, or CableCard tuner. But the HD-PVR is extremely versatile since it works with a variety of devices. It includes S-Video and composite and component inputs. So if your video device supports any of those standards, you're all set.

The box can handle 1080i and 720p resolutions. Several major media center applications for Windows already support the HD-PVR, including BeyondTV, SageTV and GB-PVR. Windows Vista Media Center support is coming, and MythTV developers are working on adding support to the open source Linux media center application.

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Hauppauge releases beta ClearQAM driver for TV tuners

by Brad Linder, posted May 16th 2008 5:25PM

Hauppauge ClearQAM drive

Hauppauge has released beta software that adds ClearQAM support to several of its HDTV television tuner cards. If you've got an HVR-1250, HVR-1600, HVR-1800, or HVR-2250, right now you can tune into analog NTSC broadcasts or over the air ATSC signals. But no matter how many times you plug in the cable that runs to your digital cable box, you're not going to pick anything up without the new beta driver.

Once the new drivers are installed on a Windows Vista computer (sorry, Windows XP and Mac OS X are not supported), you should be able to access Hauppauge's ClearQAM scanner in the programs section of Vista Media Center. Using this tool, you can find any unencrypted digital cable channels available in your area. Typically broadcast networks like ABC, NBC, CBS, Fox, and the CW don't encrypt their signals while premium cable channels like HBO and Showtime do.

[via Chris Lanier]

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Hauppauge: Only one HD PVR per computer, please

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 25th 2008 10:05AM
Hauppauge HD-PVRThe upcoming Hauppauge HD-PVR is probably the most anticipated piece of PVR hardware since... well, I don't know. But it's certainly a sexy piece of hardware that a lot of folks have been hoping to get their hands on. The HD-PVR can record HDTV video from analog component sources. In other words, you don't need a CableCard tuner, HDMI, or other fancy tricks to record HDTV on your computer. You just need to run some cables from this set top box to your cable or satellite box. The HD-PVR will then do all the heavy lifting and compress your video using the H.264 codec.

But there does appear to be at least one downside (aside from the fact that analog recordings are inherently lower quality than digital recordings). Chris Lanier points out that Hauppauge will not officially support dual tuner setups for now. That means, if you were hoping to pick up two boxes and record two HDTV shows as the same time, you may be out of luck.

Apparently the drivers for the HD-PVR do support multiple tuner setups. But Hauppauge has not yet tested this configuration, so the company won't officially support this option. That would seem to indicate that Hauppauge could add support when the product is a bit more mature and the company's had more time to kick the tires. On the other hand, it's wholly possible that third party software PVR applications like BeyondTV, SageTV, and GB-PVR could add multi-tuner support before Hauppauge gets around to it.

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GB-PVR already supports the Hauppauge HD-PVR

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 9th 2008 12:55PM
GB-PVR
While SageTV, Microsoft, and possibly Snapstream and Elgato are still working on adding support for the hotly anticipated Hauppage HD-PVR to their media center applications, GB-PVR already supports the new high definition H.264 recorder.

GB-PVR is a free, but closed source media center application. The developer says he's had an HD-PVR sitting on his desk for a month and that support is already built into GB-PVR version 1.2.9, which was released a month ago. He hasn't been able to test the unit fully, since he doesn't have high definition cable or satellite service. But in theory, it should work as soon as the new recorder is available.

[via Project HTPC]

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Hauppauge HD-PVR in the wild

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 7th 2008 9:53PM
Hauppauge HD-PVR
Two more bits of Hauppage HD-PVR news today. First up, Hauppauge has launched an official preorder page. While the HD-PVR isn't expected to hit the streets until May, you can place an order for one today for $249.

In other news, Snapstream Media CEO Rakesh Agrawal wrote in to let us know that his team has received a prototype unit for testing purposes. Snapstream makes the BeyondTV personal video recorder software for Windows, so it's safe to say that HD-PVR support will be added to BeyondTV in the not too distant future. Agrawal says he's not ready to make any official statement yet, since Hauppauge is still working on the hardware.

Blogger Dave Zatz has already confirmed that SageTV will support the HD-PVR, which means that it's possible the only major commercial PVR application for Windows that won't support the device when it's launched will be Windows Media Center. But Windows Media Center support is expected later this year.

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Hauppauge releases more specs for HD-PVR

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 5th 2008 11:56AM
HD-PVR
Hauppauge has added a page to their web site with detailed specifications for the upcoming HD-PVR, a new box that will be able to capture 1080i video from a component source. Hauppauge says the unit will be available May 1st, but despite earlier rumors that a pre-order page would go live soon, there's none to be seen yet.

Here are some other interesting tidbits:
  • Compresses video in real-time using the H.264 codec, with constant and variable bit-rates ranging from 1Mbps to 13.5Mbps
  • Format recordings so they can be burned to Blu-ray discs
  • Record at 1080i, 720p, or VGA resolutions
  • Comes with IR remote control and IR Blaster for changing the TV channels on your set top box
  • NTSC, PAL, and SECAM support
  • Requires a PC with a dual core CPU and at least 256MB of graphics memory for playback of high definition H.264 videos
Oh, and the HD-PVR has a model number now. It's officially the HD-PVR 1212.

[via Brent Evans Geek Tonic]

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Hauppauge HD-PVR photos arrive, pre-order page coming today?

by Brad Linder, posted Apr 4th 2008 11:28AM
Hauppauge HD-PVRObservant readers will note that every time I've mentioned the upcoming Hauppauge HD-PVR, I've slapped an image of the Hauppauge logo on the post. That's because up until now Hauppauge had not released any images of the new video capture device which will be able to do real-time H.264 compression of 1080i video from a component video source.

Now a moderator at the SageTV user forums has posted 2 images that show the front and back view of the HD-PVR. It appears to come with a standard Hauppauge infrared remote control, the same type the company bundles with many of its existing TV tuners.

The Hauppauge HD-PVR should be available in May or June for about $250. But if you believe the folks at the SageTV Forums, you should be able to preorder one from the Hauppauge web site later today.

[via Brent Evans Geek Tonic]

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Hauppauge HD-PVR delayed

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 30th 2008 4:27PM
Hauppauge If you've been waiting to get your hands on the new HD-PVR from Hauppauge, you might have to wait a little bit longer. Brent Evans reports that the device, which had been targeted for a late March launch has been pushed back and is now scheduled for a May or June release.

The HD-PVR will be able to capture HD video from any component video output and compress it in real time to H.264. In other words, you can using your existing cable or satellite box to flip channels, and record HDTV without getting a CableCard tuner for your PC.

Evans has also learned that Windows Media Center will not support the new device at launch, but that you should be able to use the HD-PVR with a Windows Media Center machine by this summer. But we'd be surprised if the device isn't supported by third party media center software like SageTV, BeyondTV, and MythTV.

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Hauppauge to release set top boxes, portable media players

by Brad Linder, posted Mar 7th 2008 2:56PM
Hauppauge
Hauppauge is probably best known for its line of TV tuners that let you watch and record live television on a computer. But it looks like the company is expanding it product line in a big way.

At CeBIT Hauppauge announced several new products, including:
  • A 149 Euro portable media player that can pick up live digital TV using the UK's Freeview standard
  • The 199 Euro HD-PVR USB TV tuner that encodes 720p and 1080i video on the fly using the H.264 codec
  • The HVR2200, a 129 Euro dual-tuner Freeview card
And today, the company has announced plans to release a set top box using the DiVX Connected software platform. There's not a lot of information about this box, but I assume it'll allow users top access web content from sites like YouTube and Google Video. Once upon a time, DiVX was showing off this set top boxes that could access the company's Stage6 video sharing service, but that site was shut down recently. You'll also probably be able to stream content over a home network from any PC in the house.

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Equinox launches USB TV tuner for Mac

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 25th 2008 12:58PM
Equinox
In the market for a Mac-friendly USB TV tuner? Up until recently the market's been pretty much cornered by Elgato and Miglia. But last year Hauppauge announced that some of its popular TV tuners for PC were now Mac compatible. Or if none of those tuners are doing it for you, check out the new TubeStick hybrid from Equinox.

This $129 tuner can handle NTSC, ATSC, and ClearQAM signals. In layman's terms, that means you can plug in an analog cable, a digital antenna for over the air HDTV, or user the tuner to decode unencrypted HD cable channels.

The TubeStick hybrid comes with a portable antenna for watching over the air programs on the go, but we'd recommend spending a few bucks on a higher quality antenna if you plan to use this tuner at home. The tuner is also compatible with Windows.

[via Engadget]

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Hauppauge to intro device that captures 1080p video without CableCard

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 10th 2008 5:53PM
Hauppauge logoWant to capture high definition television on your home theater PC, but don't feel like shelling out $1000 or more on CableCard tuners that only work with Windows Vista? Hauppauge is preparing to launch a $250 box that will capture 1080p video from a cable or satellite box and automatically transcode it to H.264 video for storing on your PC.

The Hauppauge HD PVR connects to your set top box's component or "YPrPb" output, so what you're capturing is an analog signal. You'll need to use an IR blaster to let the USB TV tuner change channels.

When you combine the analog source with the fact that your video will be compressed, it's safe to say that you won't get the same kind of video quality with the HD PVR as you would with a true CableCard tuner. On the other hand, the HD PVR is going to be a lot cheaper than the competition. And while CableCard tuners only work with Windows Vista Media Center, Hauppauge has a good track record of putting out TV tuner cards that work with everything from BeyondTV and SageTV for Windows to MythTV for Linux.

[via Brent Evans]

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TV tuners keep getting cheaper - Hauppauge intros PCIe card for $49

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 8th 2008 5:03PM
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1250There's never been a better time to be in the market for a TV tuner card for your home theater PC. You know, unless you're looking for a high end tuner that will let you do something like record Digital Cable or Satellite TV signals directly on your PC. CableCard and satellite tuners are either expensive or not-yet existent.

But if you're looking for a PCI Express card that can handle standard NTSC and ATSC signals, Hauppauge has announced a new $49 TV tuner that should fit the bill. The WinTV-HVR-1250 can record standard analog TV or over the air HDTV. It can also handle ClearQAM, which is just a fancy word for unencrypted digital cable HDTV signals.

The TV tuner is certified for use with Windows Vista Media Center, but should also work with other PC-based PVR software. The WinTV-HVR-1250 should be available laster this month.

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Hauppauge announces USB TV tuner with ClearQAM support

by Brad Linder, posted Jan 8th 2008 9:27AM
WinTV-HVR-950QIt looks like Hauppauge is updating its WinTV-HVR-950 line of USB TV tuners by adding a Q to the end of the name. That's right, the all new WinTV-HVR-950Q does everything the older TV tuner does. Oh yeah, and it can also handle ClearQAM signals.

What that means, in a nutshell, is that you can use this little USB jobby to record over the air NTSC or HDTV signals, or you can plug your digital cable line into the tuner and record any unencrypted HDTV channels directly to your computer. Keep in mind, most cable providers scramble premium content, but you'll probably be able to pick up all of your local network affiliates in crystal clear high def with this TV tuner.

Oh yeah, you can also record standard definition programming by plugging in an analog cable (or bunny ears, if that's your kind of thing). The WinTV-HVR-950Q should be available later this month for $99.

[via Engadget]

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SageTV 6.3.1 beta adds some much-needed hardware support

by Brad Linder, posted Nov 9th 2007 2:57PM
SageTV 6
SageTV has released a new beta of its PVR/place-shifting software for Mac, Windows, Linux, and Windows Home Server. I'm pretty sure that list of supported systems makes SageTV the most cross-platform software based personal video recorder on the market today.

There are a bunch of tweaks and bug fixes in SageTV 6.3.1. But probably the most exciting bits include hardware support. While SageTV has been supporting Mac OS X since this summer, the Mac client only supported two Hauppauge TV tuner cards. The update adds support for the popular ElGato EyeTV Hybrid and Hauppauge HVR-950 tuners. There's also Mac support for the HDHomeRun networked HDTV tuner.

It looks like SageTV has also built in support for the company's upcoming STX-HD100 Media Extender, which will do for SageTV what other media center extenders do for Windows Media Center. In other words, you'll be able to put the box next to television sets throughout your house, connect them to the home network and access live and recorded TV and all the other content stored on your main media center PC.

[via Brent Evans]

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