TV Tuner Card ?

Discussion in 'OT Technology' started by lolerskates, Apr 23, 2008.

  1. lolerskates

    lolerskates New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    0
    I want to get a tuner card for my pc, but i don't know much about them. I want to run my cable through it so i can record shows that will be on while i am at work, also when i upgrade to an lcd tv i would like to run it off of my pc for a tv.

    First off what should i look for in one? any features that are a must have?

    Second off we have digital cable, but i don't have a box in my room so right now i just get the basic channels, will these cards pick up more stations as if i had a cable box hooked up?
     
  2. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    1) get a card, avoid those USB sticks/external ones, they suck.
    those external ones usually doesn't have a hardware encoder. if it doesn't have one, encoding is done by your CPU, which is bad.

    2) there are 4 kinds of tv tuners right now: analog, digital, hybrid, and combo.
    analog = analog, NTSC
    digital = digital, ATSC
    hybrid = one tuner that doubles as analog and digital.
    combo = two separate tuners, one analog, one digital.

    get the combo.
    make sure it can process NTSC, ATSC, QAM, over the air HD, etc. FM if you want it.

    3) Most tuners doubles as a capture card, PVR, DVD decoder, etc. What's important here the connections/ports you need. TV-in, FM-in, S-Video, RCA, component, etc.

    4) OS and Software compatibility
    This is very important. Most people get problems because of this.
    Some are made for Windows Media Center.
    Some needs 3rd party TV apps (SageTV, MythTV, etc).
    Some get driver problems with Vista.
    Some come with bundled software.

    You get the idea. Research the card and TV software you will use before you buy it.

    5) If it comes with a remote, good. If not, buy a compatible one.

    No. Cable/satellite TV companies will not allow TV Tuner cards access those extra channels (and services) by themselves without the box.
     
  3. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I would recommend this one for Vista:
    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116010

    that one is PCI,... there are other variants, PCI-Express x1 interface, no remote, no FM tuner, etc. just browse newegg.

    Warning: I currently sackride Hauppage cards, so I really didn't dig much research on other brands. If you want non-biased, solid advice on specific brands of cards, I suggest you ask the experts at avsforums.

    One thing I'm certain though, no card out today is perfect, even the Hauppage ones.
    They all have their pros and cons.
     
  4. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    btw, if you plan to record shows,... make sure you have enough HDD space.

    a 3-hour NFL game, NTSC, is like 28GB+ in dvr-ms format.
     
  5. dorkultra

    dorkultra OT's resident crohns dude OT Supporter

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    22,743
    Likes Received:
    27
    Location:
    yinzer / nilbog, trollhio
    shouldn't he be able to tune in clearqam digital cable channels? i was under the impression that you could plug in a qam tuner to a digital cable subscribed line and grab the unencrypted channels. i thought only pay channels like hbo were ungrabbable
     
  6. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    yes, he can view clear QAM.
    what I meant about extra channels and services are the premium channels, pay-per-view, video on demand, etc.
     
  7. lolerskates

    lolerskates New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    0
    i think i read something like this as well
     
  8. lolerskates

    lolerskates New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    0
    awesome, thanks
     
  9. lolerskates

    lolerskates New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2006
    Messages:
    1,486
    Likes Received:
    0
    so since i have xp pro i should stay away from the media center ones?

    those third party programs, are they free or you have to buy them?
     
  10. Doc Brown

    Doc Brown Don't make me make you my hobby

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2006
    Messages:
    16,404
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Ohio
    Since all digital tv is just around the corner, wouldn't it be just as well to go with an only digital tuner card?

    :dunno:
     
  11. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    the one I linked above will work with XP Pro (the card), but the remote it comes with will not. check other models.

    Hauppage cards comes default with WinTV. It sucks.
    Some like BeyondTV and SageTV are not free but they offer bundles. These include the choice of any their available tuner cards (some also use Hauppage cards), tv software, guide listings, cables,... all in one package.

    Some free ones doesn't include features like guide listings.
    You have to subscribe for this service separately.
    xp or vista media center has this for free.
     
  12. Doomsday

    Doomsday XXX

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2000
    Messages:
    14,902
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Minnesota
    few digital only tuners right now.
    most of the ones out there are older models than the hybrid and combo ones.
    analog, hybrid, and combo will be pushed by manufacturers till Feb 2009
     
    Last edited: Apr 24, 2008

Share This Page