myHD HDTV Tuner Card
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Introduction | Hardware | Software | Performance | Image
Early on in the game HDTV, only off the shelf boxes were
available to receive HDTV. And even then, choices were limited to about a handful.
story is a little different. More manufacturers have joined in the fray and
introduced their own line of HDTV Set Top Boxes (STBs).
But much to the dismay of HD consumers, the average cost of entry for such devices is
still a bit expensive. Prices generally are over $500 and no price drops are
So what other options does one have? Well, if you've got an HTPC already or have
a pc that could be converted into one, then your choices just widened a bit more with STBs
on a pc card for receiving HDTV. They are feature rich, compact, and a lot cheaper
than the standalone STBs.
For about a couple of years now, a number of HDTV tuner cards have been available to
the HTPC crowd, namely AccessDTV, Hipix, Hauppage, and myHD being the popular ones.
The initial signs of success in these cards and the sales potential for the future have
prompted others as Dvico, Sasem, Suma, and Sigmacom to start their own line of pci tuners.
I've had the highly regarded myHD MDP-100 for a few months now but not until a few
weeks ago was I able to free up some time to install it in my htpc ... finally.
The myHD card is produced by Macro Image Technology (MIT) and sold exclusively in the
US by DigitalConnection.com.
The myHD boasts a number of features that make it a frontrunner in the PCI card
HDTV tuner market. It is an advanced HDTV receiver card with HD recording and
playback capabilities. Based on the Teralogic Janus decoder chip, it delivers 1080i,
720p, or 480p broadcasts to your home theater via your HTPC. Unlike other HDTV
cards, it is space efficient in that it only requires a single pci expansion slot.
In most cases, as it is in my HTPC, this is a critical consideration.
The myHD comes with a full featured remote control, supports Dolby Digital 5.1,
and can tune both ATSC and NTSC. The best feature from my perspective however is its
ability to record HDTV (as well as non-HD) programs and still images. Recordings can
be saved either directly to the HTPC hard disk or a D-VHS device via a IEEE 1394
interface. If you have internet connection on your HTPC, you can further enhance
your HD experience by synchronizing it with the free HDTV program listing at
TitanTV. Yes, PVR with no monthly or lifetime subscription fees and it's HD. You
can't beat that. =)