Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250 - Owner's Thread

Help with tuners from ATI, Hauppauge, AverMedia and more.

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250 - Owner's Thread

Post#1 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:34 pm

Hi all! I just bought my first TV tuner card, but my picture quality is poor/bad. Any ideas as to the cause?

Here's the scoop. I bought the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR 2250. I have a digital cable signal (Hauppauge helped me determine this). The picture is awful compared to what it was (see next paragraph) before switching to a TV tuner card. Pixels dance/shimmer like around the edges of words. Short horizontal lines extend past objects on the TV as opposed to being crisp clear vertical lines like down the side on a pair of pants someone is wearing or the side of a building. (This happens whether I view on the PC monitor or TV. FYI - The picture is displayed on the TV via an HMDI cable.) I have discussed the problem with Hauppauge. The signal strength is good. (Yes, my processor and video card exceed the minimum specs required. I am running Win 7 Home SP1 64-bit.) Hauppauge feels since it does it on more than one channel that something is wrong with the TV tuner card. I just thought I would check here before exchanging it in case... well, in case the cause is really something else.

Prior to installing the TV tuner card, the TV was a direct connect (connected directly to the cable TV outlet, no set top box). The HD picture was awesome!! Crystal clear.

Thank you in advance for the help/advice.
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Post#2 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:49 pm

I've had two of those cards for about 18 months and haven't experienced anything like that. I have a good OTA signal and very rarely have any problems with the picture. I'd go with what Hauppauge says and exchange the card. A small wait to get set up is better than a long time fighting with issues.

I'm not an expert by any means with Media Center so someone else may have other tips you can try. For mine, though, I built the PC, installed the antenna, set up Media Center and it just works.
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Post#3 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:55 pm

Ack wrote:I've had two of those cards for about 18 months and haven't experienced anything like that. I have a good OTA signal and very rarely have any problems with the picture. I'd go with what Hauppauge says and exchange the card. A small wait to get set up is better than a long time fighting with issues.

I'm not an expert by any means with Media Center so someone else may have other tips you can try. For mine, though, I built the PC, installed the antenna, set up Media Center and it just works.




Thanks for the feedback. Hopefully I'll hear more of what you have experienced. I am hoping so. I did a lot of research before buying, and felt I bought a good card.
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Post#4 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:13 pm

I'm happy with the cards. Just attach the cable, run setup in WMC and the tuners work. I came from SageTV and when I set it up at first, the instructions for Sage had me first set up WinTV. I did that when I switched to WMC also, but I believe I've since read here something that leads me to believe I didn't need to set up WinTV. That's no harm though as it isn't causing any issues and that's the only way I could figure out how to install the drivers needed for the remote that came with the tuner (I've since bought another remote that I referred to in my reply to your other post).

I do have a couple of really big trees in the line of sight between my antenna and the TV towers in my area. That seems to cause a bit of a glitch with the signal on very windy days (or at least that's the only time I've noticed it and it has only been with the weakest signal channel so far).
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Post#5 » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:12 pm

What you describe sounds like signal issues to me. Unfortunately, Windows Media Center tends to be a bit more sensitive than set top boxes to low signals or low signal-to-noise ratios, and this results in the blocky corruption you describe. Even if your signal level is strong, the SNR still could be problematic. I'd recommend looking at all the components and cables that lead up to your HTPC- including splitters and coax cables. Try some better quality cable and try eliminating splitters as much as you can. (Even if its temporarily, to determine whether that helps). Of course, it could be the card thats the problem, but more often than not, its the signal coming into the card.
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Post#6 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:32 am

makryger wrote:What you describe sounds like signal issues to me. Unfortunately, Windows Media Center tends to be a bit more sensitive than set top boxes to low signals or low signal-to-noise ratios, and this results in the blocky corruption you describe. Even if your signal level is strong, the SNR still could be problematic. I'd recommend looking at all the components and cables that lead up to your HTPC- including splitters and coax cables. Try some better quality cable and try eliminating splitters as much as you can. (Even if its temporarily, to determine whether that helps). Of course, it could be the card thats the problem, but more often than not, its the signal coming into the card.



That's what I was thinking (about it being something else). Thank you for the ideas. I will try them. I added no splitters just replaced the cable from the cable TV wall outlet to the TV (located downstairs) with a single, different, new, longer coax cable to reach the PC/HTPC (it is upstairs). Is there a way an average homeowner can test a coax cable?
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Post#7 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:22 pm

If you really truly have digital cable, Then you shouldnt be seeing problems like that, even with poor signal. A QAM tuner should just take the digital cable signal, decode it, and then store it to disk. It doesnt affect the quality of the video at all. Poor signal should result in either entire rows of pixels missing or the "no signal" screen. What you describe sounds like tearing and overly processed edge enhancement. Which, to me, points to your video card not your tuner card.

Or it could be you are really receiving analog signals, they could still be around even on a digital cable system. Analog cards do some "enhancement" to the signal that could result in what you see but my guess is its still your video card thats at fault.

We need more details about your hardware. I would also go to the video card's control panel and turn off any kind of picture enhancement features you can find and see if that improves the picture.
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Post#8 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 3:44 pm

dmagerl wrote:If you really truly have digital cable, Then you shouldnt be seeing problems like that, even with poor signal. A QAM tuner should just take the digital cable signal, decode it, and then store it to disk. It doesnt affect the quality of the video at all. Poor signal should result in either entire rows of pixels missing or the "no signal" screen. What you describe sounds like tearing and overly processed edge enhancement. Which, to me, points to your video card not your tuner card.

Or it could be you are really receiving analog signals, they could still be around even on a digital cable system. Analog cards do some "enhancement" to the signal that could result in what you see but my guess is its still your video card thats at fault.

We need more details about your hardware. I would also go to the video card's control panel and turn off any kind of picture enhancement features you can find and see if that improves the picture.




How can I determine myself whether I have a digital or analog signal?

What hardware details please?

Dell Studio XPS 8100
ATI Radeon 5700 HD Series video card
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Post#9 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 8:03 pm

I dont have cable so I dont know if MCE has any indication of A vs D. One way is to just plug an analog TV into the cable jack. If you have FIOS, it surely is all digital. Around here, Comcast has basic cable channels 1-29, analog. Anything higher is digital. you could also go into the edit channels/edit sources menu and look at the sources for your channels and see if MCE has combined analog, SD digital, & HD digital into one guide listing.

There are a lot of comments from people with ATI video boards and lousy pictures, most of them solved when all the picture enhancement features are turned off or set to 0 in the ATI control panel. As a test, you could also try using a computer monitor instead of your TV to see if things get better. You'll have to rerun the display setup in MCE.
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Post#10 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 9:02 pm

dmagerl wrote:I dont have cable so I dont know if MCE has any indication of A vs D. One way is to just plug an analog TV into the cable jack. If you have FIOS, it surely is all digital. Around here, Comcast has basic cable channels 1-29, analog. Anything higher is digital. you could also go into the edit channels/edit sources menu and look at the sources for your channels and see if MCE has combined analog, SD digital, & HD digital into one guide listing.

There are a lot of comments from people with ATI video boards and lousy pictures, most of them solved when all the picture enhancement features are turned off or set to 0 in the ATI control panel. As a test, you could also try using a computer monitor instead of your TV to see if things get better. You'll have to rerun the display setup in MCE.




Only have the one TV. No FIOS just direct connect (to the cable wall outlet). How do I know if channel signals types are combined? What do I look for please?

TV picture is bad on the PC monitor too. ATI Catalyst is all I believe I have installed software wise for the video card. Is that what you are referring to when you say control panel?
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Post#11 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:58 pm

If you go to Edit Channels/Edit Sources, you should see 1 source for each tuner. So if you have 2 tuners, for any channel, there should be 2 sources. The channel number of each of those sources is also displayed. I dont think this is the problem though because you say its for all channels.

What do things look like when you play the short video clip during set up? Or for that matter, can you play any other video that didnt come from the tuner. If videos look good but the tv tuner doesnt, thats an indication its not the video card.

Yes, Catalyst Control Center is the ATI control panel.
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Post#12 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 11:10 pm

dmagerl wrote:If you go to Edit Channels/Edit Sources, you should see 1 source for each tuner. So if you have 2 tuners, for any channel, there should be 2 sources. The channel number of each of those sources is also displayed. I dont think this is the problem though because you say its for all channels.

What do things look like when you play the short video clip during set up? Or for that matter, can you play any other video that didnt come from the tuner. If videos look good but the tv tuner doesnt, thats an indication its not the video card.

Yes, Catalyst Control Center is the ATI control panel.




Can you give me more details on your first instruction? I have no idea where Edit Channels/Edit Sources is in WMC.
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Post#13 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:48 am

Ok, after reading your message a second time, what you describe could be a result of the video card moreso than the signal... (but just to respond to dmagerl, you can DEFINITELY have blocky pixelation with digital channels. Trust me. I've had to deal with it. it isn't necessarily all-or-nothing.)

But if it is the ATI Catalyst card, I'm sorry I can't offer you specifics, as I don't have an ati gpu, but there are multiple settings that ATI calls enhancements that may end up just causing weird artifacts on your HTPC. Try going into the catalyst control panel and turning off enhancements, or just switching between various settings. A bit of trial and error may solve your problem.
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Post#14 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 12:21 pm

makryger wrote:Ok, after reading your message a second time, what you describe could be a result of the video card moreso than the signal... (but just to respond to dmagerl, you can DEFINITELY have blocky pixelation with digital channels. Trust me. I've had to deal with it. it isn't necessarily all-or-nothing.)

But if it is the ATI Catalyst card, I'm sorry I can't offer you specifics, as I don't have an ati gpu, but there are multiple settings that ATI calls enhancements that may end up just causing weird artifacts on your HTPC. Try going into the catalyst control panel and turning off enhancements, or just switching between various settings. A bit of trial and error may solve your problem.





I understand you do not have the same video card, but I am not sure what is considered an enhancement. Are these two items enhancements (extracted from ATI Catalyst Help)? If yes, then I guess my next question would be whether WMC supports hardware acceleration. If no (to the latter), then if I understand correctly these two setting "do not matter."

"Deinterlacing creates a sharp image from the two video fields of interlaced video. Pulldown detection enables automatic compensation for film converted to video.
Note: Video settings affect only applications that support hardware acceleration."
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Post#15 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 1:05 pm

To answer your question, I'd say try disabling the setting. See if it helps. If it doesn't, you can reenable it. No harm, no foul.

Deinterlacing sounds like one of those features that may cause undesired artifacts on your screen, or it could actually be reducing the amount of artifacts that you're getting.
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Post#16 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 2:45 pm

makryger wrote:To answer your question, I'd say try disabling the setting. See if it helps. If it doesn't, you can reenable it. No harm, no foul.

Deinterlacing sounds like one of those features that may cause undesired artifacts on your screen, or it could actually be reducing the amount of artifacts that you're getting.




Tried all 3 possible combinations. I could not tell a difference between any of the settings. I did the tests at the PC using the PC monitor, so sound was on the PC (usually I have it on the TV). What I noticed was the sound has problems too -- comes in and out too.
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Post#17 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:39 pm

Could you print-screen to show us what the image looks like? Maybe that will do a better job in identifying whether its the GPU or the signal. If the sound is being lost too, that sounds like signal to me. Sorry for going back and forth.
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Post#18 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 4:42 pm

makryger wrote:Could you print-screen to show us what the image looks like? Maybe that will do a better job in identifying whether its the GPU or the signal. If the sound is being lost too, that sounds like signal to me. Sorry for going back and forth.



Sure. No problem. I appreciate the help. See attached. Well, I have tried attaching a camera pic (too big). Compressed it (still too big). Pasted it to Word (not allowed file type). PDFed it (not allowed file type). What the heck can I attach!? I see no rules posted.
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Post#19 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:01 pm

Try attaching again... I've upped the limit on image size.
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Post#20 » Thu Nov 10, 2011 5:36 pm

makryger wrote:Try attaching again... I've upped the limit on image size.




SWEET! No luck. 286 KB. 256 KB limit. Compressed will not fit either.
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