When we speak of an HDTV tuner we are talking about a tuner that can pick up locally broadcast over-the-air HDTV signals.
The important consideration here is how well you can pick up these signals from where you live or work. Put another way, how far away are the local TV broadcast stations. The closer you are the stronger the signal and the better TV and breadth of stations that you can get.
Based on my experience with the brands that I've used, the rank of the HD tuners for picking up weak signals: Dvico's Fusion 5 RT Gold, ATI HDTV Wonder, Avermedia AverTVHD A180, and Dvico's Fusion 5 Lite.
Of course, you must have a proper antenna. See Antennaweb.org and CheckHD.com.
As for cable and satelite HD, you must have a settop box for the respective services in order to watch their HD programs. As far as I know, there are no tuner cards that can decrypt the signals.
In addition to a settop box from your cable or satelite provider, you need a HD ready TV set with the proper HD inputs.
watching cable tv (basic channels non HD) is possible on a tv tuner card (lets say the atis 650 pro, btw when will that tv tuner card come out? ) isnt it? or it will not work at all? or only air signal antenas?
well since his question has been answered i guess i could put my question about tv tuners in here also.
i have comcast cable television, i would like to be able to record a television show while watching another one ( if thats possible ) and gives me good quality. im not really looking for hd quality here but at least television quality ( quality that looks pretty good).
what kind of tv tuner would be great for that?
or should i get one of those all in wonder things ( i dont know how good those things are but i usually never buy things intergrated like that; kind of like buying intergrated video graphics)
"kind of like buing integrated graphics" .....not exactly lol :wink: i m using one all in wonder old old all in wonders and the quality of video on the pc is i would say almost the same as the one on the tv, i can watch it fulscrean with no issues in quality, but i usually wach it in a smal window because i do other things in the meantine(brows the web and such), the all in wonders are just a tv tuner(some newer models have radio tuners also) and a gpu czard, so if ur looking just for a tv tuner, and u have already a nice gpu card u would be beter off with a regular tv tuner rather than a all in wonder card. but if ur looking for somehting 2 in one, space saving, (a bit of power saving as well, usually tv tuners use about 40W of power aditionally) i would go with the all in wonder series, iv been using an oldie 64 mb 7500 ATI all in wonder for couple of years and never had any issues with it wheather hardware wise, video quality wise or any other, thats why i was thinking of geting another all in wonder series card, but maby this time ill go for a separate tv tuner and a gpu card, since i planned on gaming, and to be honest the all in wonder series are falling a bit behind (usually) with their "vanilla" counterparts, but i gues that changed with the 1800, and the 1900 series cards(i might be wrong) but both of them are clockec at the same speeds (i might be wrong)....hope this bit of info helped u a bit.
To record TV from a cable set-top-box on your hard drive, you will need a TV tuner card that has analog input port, either svideo or composite, or both.
Most cable and satelite STB have analog video out, either svideo or composite, or both. As these signals are usually unencrypted, you can record them to your hard drive.
Just connect the STB analog out to the tuner card's video in, and use the software that came with the tuner card to record or watch. Or use Windows Media Center.
Note well that not all TV tuner cards have a separate analog in port. In other words, these tuner cards can not capture video from a video source like a STB, VCR, or camcorder. For instance, the Dvico Fusion 5 Lite does not have a functional analog in port, and therefore you can not capture video with it.
More problematic is being able to watch one TV program while recording another from a single STB. I'm not aware of any tuner card that can do this, as all of the video in and out will be controlled by the STB. For instance, I have a TiVo box for my DirecTV, and it has dual input from the satelite dish. The TiVO allows me to watch one satelite show while it records another. But, the TiVO does not have two video out ports, so I can only record one TV program on the hard drive and, therefore, it is the only TV show that I can watch live on the PC monitor.
By the way, I do not always watch DirecTV from my PC. My TiVO has a direct connection to my LCD TV, which has multiple video inputs. The PC connection to the LCD TV is via DVI.
I suppose that, if you have a cable or satelite STB with two video out ports, you can connect each to two separate TV tuner cards in a PC. With Windows Media Center, you can record simultaneously from every TV tuner that you have in your box (max. two analog tuners and two HD tuners). Accordingly, if you are able to have two separate cable TV sources, you can connect each to its own tuner, which will capture and record for you in WMCE.
As for other software other than WMCE that can do this, I don't know. My experience has only been with WMCE.
I've never used the ATI AIW cards, so I have no opinion on them. I believe that all of the AIW tuners are analog only, not HD.