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TV tuner card fried by elec., power supply to blame?


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#1 lestatpdh

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Posted 02 July 2013 - 07:25 PM

Hi,

 

(Specs below)

 

I bought a TV tuner card in Oct. 2012, then 7 months later it stopped working. Hauppauge replaced the card, so I installed the new one and connected it to the TV cable - with the PC's power cord unplugged. When Windows Media Center (as well as NextPVR) failed to detect a signal, I suspected I might have plugged the cable into the wrong jack on the card (my signal is QAM, and the card has another jack for an antenna signal). With the PC's power on and Windows running normally, I unplugged the cable and put it into the other jack. As I did so, I felt a small electrical shock.

 

I continued to feel shocks from the TV cable whenever (even weeks later) I touched the wire end that otherwise would have been plugged into the tuner card. I suspected that my previous landlord might not have properly grounded the TV cable, thus charging the wire, so I waited to see if the tuner would work after I moved to a new apartment on 7-1-13. Not only does the card still not work, but I still get shocked when I touch the metal connector while it is plugged into the tuner card. The difference is that when the TV cable is not plugged into the card on the PC, I do not feel an electrical shock coming from the unplugged cable the way I did at my previous apartment. However, if I touch both the end of the unplugged TV coax cable and the PC's metal case, I feel the shock just as if the cable was connected to the tuner card.

 

Is it likely that I fried both the original and the replacement TV tuner cards? It seems to me that if improper grounding of the TV cable caused the problem, then I should no longer feel a shock in the new apartment (unless by coincidence BOTH places have faulty grounding, but I know the current apt's wiring was done by a Comcast electrician).

 

Is it more likely, as I suspect, that the shock is coming from my PC's power supply unit? My understanding is that Cyberpower installed some cheap PSUs on PCs like mine, so I wouldn't be surprised if that is to blame.

 

I haven't yet gone back to Hauppauge, but I'm afraid they might not replace the card again. Either way, I need to fix this problem before installing a new card.

 

I might decide to upgrade my video card a year or two from now, possibly with a Radeon 7790 or equivalent, which requires 500W. I am considering a CORSAIR Builder Series CX600, http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16817139028 . Do I need a 600W max PSU to get 500W continuous, which I have read is required for the GPU? I don't even see specs on any websites for the continuous wattage of the PSUs they're selling.

 

Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 Internal PCI Dual TV Tuner/Video Recorder 1387

http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-WinTV-HVR-1600-Internal-Recorder-1387/dp/B004CJ9NU8/ref=sr_1_1?s=pc&ie=UTF8&qid=1349304550&sr=1-1&keywords=Hauppauge+WinTV-HVR-1600

 

CyberpowerPC Black Gamer Ultra GUA250
Power Supply:  480W (unknown make/model)

AMD Quad-Core FX-4100
Motherboard:  Gigabyte GA-78LMT-S2 (rev 1.0)
8GB (2 x 4GB) DDR3 SDRAM
1TB SATA II HDD
NVIDIA GeForce GT 520
Sound Card:  Integrated Realtek HD
Case:  Thermaltake Commander Mid-Tower

Windows 7 Home Premium

 

I will greatly appreciate any information and advice you can offer.



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#2 slgrieb

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 04:10 AM

I doubt if you have a power supply issue if everything else is working. Sounds to me as though the card might have gotten zapped by static discharge. Anyway, if the tuner card is under warranty, why not contact Hauppauge? They will either be helpful, or not. Either way, what do you have to lose?

 

If you have any questions about the Wattage you need from a PSU, this is the calculator I suggest. If you want a brand recommendation for a PSU, I always go with Seasonic.  Corsair, Antec, Enermax, etc. all have PSU's built by multiple vendors (including Seasonic) so I'd just go right to the source. All Seasonic power supplies are designed and built in house.


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WIFFLEBALL!

 


#3 dpunisher

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 05:03 AM

A couple of things come to mind.

 

A lot of times apartments have TV signal splitter/amplifiers, and sometimes those amplifiers have problems. 

Possibility exists of a ground potential between antennae and computer.  Ck your outlet ground.  Possible there is a major wiring fault in the building and all the grounds are bad.

 

I don't think your current PSU is the problem, but like all online diagnoses, I could be wrong.

 

PSUs-  The CX600 will put out 600watts continually.  A 7790 does not require "500 watts" continuous.  500 watts is the recommended PSU wattage.  Your current system, even with a 7790 would be hard pressed to pull 230 watts, even in a worst case scenario.    Video card manufacturers suggest overkill wattage recommendations because they don't want to have to contend with RMAs from idiots trying to run their cards on 225 watt Bestec PSUs in some OEM tower.  Generally your better brands, (slgrieb listed some above) are safe bets to output what they advertise.  Good PSU review sites, Hardwaresecrets, HardOCP,JonnyGuru.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

3770K @4.5, Corsair H100, GTX780, 16gig Samsung, Obsidian 700 (yes there is a 700)


#4 lestatpdh

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 11:47 AM

Thanks for the input, guys.

slgrieb, I do plan to contact Hauppauge again. I guess I was just thinking out loud and added some frivolous info. Thanks for the calculator link!

dpunisher, The only problem is that I've now had the same shock in two different buildings. Either both buildings have the same problem or there is some common factor to blame inside my PC.

Unfortunately, I don't have access to much other than the wall outlet. I'm not very good with electrical wiring, etc, anyway. Maybe it is the same problem in two separate apartments, so I'll discuss it again with my new landlord. I do know that she had a Comcast electrician redo the wiring in the entire building a few years ago, and there have been no problems other than mine. Then again, my TV works fine; it's just the tuner card on my PC that doesn't work and releases a shock.

Are you saying the PC's power cord or the surge protector might not be properly grounded? I did notice that sometimes the grounding indicator light on my surge protector is off. I tried (just now) setting up the surge protector again, but the grounding light is still off. I have only two-prong outlets, so I have to use an adapter and put the wall plate's screw through the metal hoop on the adapter to complete the grounding via the third prong on the surge protector. I removed the wall plate and everything seems to be connected. Also, I had three-prong outlets in my old apt, and I know the grounding light was lit on the surge protector there.

Did the shocks to each of the tuner cards destroy their circuitry, or should the current card work fine if I can fix the grounding issue? I don't want to RMA a new card and destroy that, too.

I suppose it's possible that Hauppauge sent me the same card back after an engineer decided it was not faulty. In that case, he could have missed the problem, if indeed the problem is originating in the card. I haven't yet tried touching the cable and the case while the card is not installed, but I'll try that after I contact Hauppauge again and remove the card to send it back to them.

I know my post was long, but I wanted to be detailed. Thanks for reading it and providing feedback.



#5 slgrieb

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Posted 03 July 2013 - 02:10 PM

I still don't think your PSU, or the wiring is at fault.  So, I'm thinking your card is fried. I just don't see this as a computer system issue. It is pretty common to get recertified hardware as a warranty replacement, and sometimes, it isn't reliable. I could write a book on hard drive warranty issues.

 

All the same, I think you are focusing too much on external issues, and not enough on the most likely problem: a bad replacement card.


Yes, Mr. Death... I'll play you a game! But not CHESS !!! BAH... FOOEY! My game is... 
WIFFLEBALL!

 


#6 lestatpdh

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 08:09 PM

I plan to update this with the final resolution once I have one, so admins, please don't close this thread yet. Hopefully it can help someone else in the future.

 

For now, I changed the electric receptacle from a two-prong to a three-prong and added grounding that wasn't done before. Now I no longer receive a shock when touching the TV coax cable and the PC case at the same time, and the "Grounded" light on my surge protector is lit.

 

I sent the tuner card back to Hauppauge yesterday. The technician said he will personally test the card on his PC at the office, and if it works then we know the problem is probably in my PC. If not he will send me a new one. He also said the second card they sent me was brand new, not the original one "recertified."

 

I should have an update within a week. I'm sure everyone is hanging on pins and needles in the meantime :-\



#7 slgrieb

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Posted 11 July 2013 - 12:35 AM

I plan to update this with the final resolution once I have one, so admins, please don't close this thread yet. Hopefully it can help someone else in the future.

 

For now, I changed the electric receptacle from a two-prong to a three-prong and added grounding that wasn't done before. Now I no longer receive a shock when touching the TV coax cable and the PC case at the same time, and the "Grounded" light on my surge protector is lit.

 

I sent the tuner card back to Hauppauge yesterday. The technician said he will personally test the card on his PC at the office, and if it works then we know the problem is probably in my PC. If not he will send me a new one. He also said the second card they sent me was brand new, not the original one "recertified."

 

I should have an update within a week. I'm sure everyone is hanging on pins and needles in the meantime :-\

 

I hate to be cynical, but most manufacturers these days don't replace much of any defective products with "new" hardware. Getting a recertified product doesn't mean you get your old product back; it generally means you get some other guy's old product back. Some manufacturers may send you new hardware, and I have to give pretty high marks to OCZ and Western Digital here, but that isn't typical in my experience. Sorry, but I don't think your replacement card is going to be personally tested by your support rep. So, no matter how much smoke they blow, don't let them off the hook.


Yes, Mr. Death... I'll play you a game! But not CHESS !!! BAH... FOOEY! My game is... 
WIFFLEBALL!

 


#8 lestatpdh

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 02:47 PM

After three and a half months of back and forth emails (no phone or chat option) with Hauppauge's terrible support techs, I finally figured this out on my own. Even though I had already contacted Comcast support, I determined that the Comcast signal was the problem all along.

 

I had read (early in my journey) on the Comcast message boards that the company was migrating signals in all their markets from clear QAM to encrypted QAM. I discounted that info because the Comcast techs I chatted and spoke with had no idea what I was talking about. It turns out the anonymous poster on that board knew more than Comcast's own tech support did.

 

It seems that I was able to tune in the clear QAM signal, including HD programming, with my tuner card last fall and winter directly from the wall, not through the DTA box. When Comcast switched all their signals in my market to encrypted QAM around April, I needed to treat the DTA as a set-top box. So last week I bought a Media Center remote control kit that included an IR transmitter and receiver to allow WMC to control the DTA. After I installed the IR equipment, I was able to push through the part of the WMC set up where I previously received an error message and could not continue. WMC can now tune all my channels, but I cannot view them in HD anymore without the special HD receiver box (another $9.95/month), which will replace the DTA. In fact, the picture I receive on my HD computer monitor is now of lower quality than what I get from the same DTA on my 13-year-old, standard-def, 4:3 TV. I have a bad feeling that even when I hook up the HD receiver, the signal will again degrade somewhere between there and my HD monitor.

 

I tried to use NextPVR in the hope of getting a better picture, but cannot get any signal no matter what configuration I use. So I'm stuck with WMC unless I want to take another risk by purchasing Hauppauge's own WinTV software.

 

To wrap up, the Hauppauge tuner card apparently was not defective, but their customer support was. The Comcast techs were 100% clueless and useless. The only decent service I got from Comcast was from the sales dept. when I wanted to know how much it would cost to rent either an HD receiver or a cable card. If anyone, particularly a Comcast customer, experiences similar problems I recommend using the IR remote/transmitter/receiver setup because chances are that you just lost the clear QAM signal. You can now tune the signal only through a DTA or set-top box, either of which will decrypt the signal for your tuner card.

 

Thank you to the generous people who replied to this thread to help me figure this out.

 

Moderators/administrators, feel free to close this thread if there is nothing you want to add.



#9 dpunisher

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Posted 19 August 2013 - 03:22 PM

Before it does possibly get closed........................... thank you very much for reporting back what the actual diagnosis/fix was.  Much appreciated.


I am a retired Ford tech. Next to Fords, any computer is a piece of cake. (The cake, its not a lie)

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#10 hamluis

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Posted 22 August 2013 - 09:22 AM

I have a Hauppauge card...and I don't understand how you could possibly plug the connector into the wrong socket...they are all clearly different, with only 1 possible connection accommodating each type of connector (IMO).

 

Connecting a coax cable with system powered up...is akin to connecting a monitor with the system powered...there is no threat of harm or damage to system.

 

The requirements for HD reception...have been the same since the introduction of HD...subscription and proper equipment.

 

FTR:  We don't normally close topics in this forum, preferring to keep them available for all members.

 

Glad you resolved it, happy computing :).

 

Louis



#11 lestatpdh

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Posted 24 August 2013 - 04:41 PM

Louis,

 

My model of tuner card has two coax jacks:  one is labeled "Ant" and the other "Cable". It also has an S-video jack and audio RCA jacks, but I have no use for them.

 

I know it seems goofy, but somehow I was able to tune in HD programming from clear QAM signals without the use of an HD receiver or cable card box. (I still have HD recordings I made last fall and winter in Windows Media Center.) What's more puzzling is that five months ago I couldn't tune any signal directly from the wall jack, but I could get one through the DTA. But as soon as I routed the signal through the DTA, I should have lost any HD and only been able to view standard def. None of this makes any sense, but I'm glad I finally have TV on my PC again! Hopefully my experience can save someone else the frustration I endured.






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