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HDTV for Linux: New Options

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Hardware

Once considered to be way too complicated for the newer Linux user, HDTV on a 'Nix box often times felt just out of reach for many. Then we found that hardware designed for Linux specifically was in the works. The card is known simply as the HD-5500.

Hardware with the Linux User at Heart. I always have to smile when I discover new hardware manufactures that decided to take on the battle of getting Penguin-friendly hardware into the hands of consumers. For one thing, it can often times be an uphill battle. What’s more? Companies, such as the ones producing the HD-5500 are trailblazing a new market that I believe will pick up and utilize this product. After all, who wouldn't want to take HDTV on a Linux box for a spin?

Hardware Meets Software: Perfect World in the Making?

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One of the areas I find most interesting these days is the development of high-definition television. Particularly the free over-the-air broadcasts that allows any HD capable tuner to pull those signals in to a television, computer, or dvr. One of the newest HDTV tuners for the Linux platform is the pcHDTV HD-5500. pcHDTV is a unique company in that they specialize in making tv cards solely for the Linux market. I recently got a chance to check out the pcHDTV HD-5500 card and these are my impressions of this very capable high definition pc tuner card.

For $129 (if you order the card from pcHDTV’s website), you do get a very sweet HDTV tuner card, capable of receiving free over-the-air HDTV broadcasts, as well as unencrypted QAM 64 and QAM 256 Cable signals.

One of the coolest aspects about the HD-5500 card is that if you are running Linux kernel 2.6.18 or higher, you don’t have to do any type of driver or firmware installation to get the card working, while Ubuntu Edgy Eft (2.6.17) did not recognize the card automatically. The installation of the drivers for the HD-5500 was a relatively easy process.

pcHDTV HD-5500 - HDTV for your Linux desktop


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