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 Post subject: TV Tuners and the mATX Case - Will it work?
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 4:43 am 
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I am planning on putting together a fairly basic AMD-HTPC (785G / X245 Combo), with an eye for adding a TVTuner Card such as the Hauppage NovaT-500 or similar. Is it possible to use a mATX case with dual tuner cards? Which mATX cases support full height peripherals?


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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 6:13 am 
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Most mATX cases (like the NSK2480/Fusion) will support full height cards. Many of the "low-profile" cases will either only support "low-profile" cards or use a riser card to allow one or two full height cards, which the are oriented horizontally.

If you can see horizontal full size PCI covers in the back of the case, it uses risers.

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PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 7:29 am 
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Sweet, is there any particular designation that I should be looking out for? It's kind of hard to tell when shopping online.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Sep 17, 2009 11:11 am 
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How about a USB TV tuner? You can get dual ones, and they are tiny - small enough that they just look like a bump where the USB cable meets the coaxial cable.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 12:58 am 
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I simply I don't trust USB-based TV tuners in terms of picture quality and performance (personal bias).


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 3:27 am 
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I've been using a USB tuner for a long time now, and it works great. For digital TV, the picture quality will be the same no matter what type of hardware you choose (it's purely a function of software).

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Fri Sep 18, 2009 7:40 am 
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Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Yes, but USB tuner usually has less sensitivity than PCI version and might not be strong enough to pick up some of the weaker stations, whereas a PCI(e) card might.

The tuner sensitivity should be your primary focus, however. Not whether it's USB or PCI. Some higher-end USB tuners are better than junk PCI tuners, but overall PCI tuner will perform better.

Back to the case though, as long as the case doesn't mention "low-profile PCI" anywhere you should be fine. Look for pictures of the rear of the case online and you will be able to tell the difference.

The picture below is of the Silverstone LC15. It's a horrible case, but it shows both "low profile" options: horizontal "Full Height PCI" (via riser card that is not shown) in the middle left and vertical "low-profile PCI" slots on the far left. Most cases will have one or the other, not both.

Image

Just make sure if you have full height cards, your case has full-height slots or if you get a case that only has low-profile slots, your cards have low-profile brackets.

_________________
HTPC: OrigenAE X11|Gigabyte GA-MA785GPMT-UD2H|Phenom II x3 740BE w/AC Freezer 7|150GB Velociraptor|Corsair VX450
Main: Antec 300 (SlipStream @ 800rpm/140mm @ 5v)|Asus M4A88TD-M|Phenom II x4 945 (Mugen2 pass.)|Asus EAH6850|Samsung 830 128GB|Antec TP750
WHS: DF-85|P8H67-M Pro|I5-3450S/Hyper 212+|Corsair AX650|Sandisk Extreme 240GB, 2xWD20EARS, 2x WD15EARS, WD15EADS


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Sep 22, 2009 3:48 am 
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Joined: Sat Mar 05, 2005 9:33 pm
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Thanks for the details jhhoffma, selecting a htpc case is so much harder than a standard tower case.


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