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Moving! Place has cable! What's a good TV Tuner to get?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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August 18, 2006 4:27:39 PM

Hey, I have the Gateway 21 inch HDTV monitor. But it doesn't have a coaxial input slot.

And I'm headin out to college.. but they have cable instead of satelite!!

So I'm in need of a tuner card for my pc. What's a good quality card under 100 or 200 dollars? Preferably 100 of course.

I have a 150MCE right now, but when I did try to tune chanels, it seemed to pause for like a second before changing. It's not instant.

Are there any tuners that change channels fast?

Thx!!!!
August 18, 2006 5:14:09 PM

Quote:
I have a 150MCE right now, but when I did try to tune chanels, it seemed to pause for like a second before changing. It's not instant.

Are there any tuners that change channels fast?

Thx!!!!


Thats not the tuner, the tuner changes fast. The DVR function of watching live tv puts a few second delay between the actual broadcast and what you are watching, so changing channels takes a few seconds for the DVR to catch up.

If you turn off the DVR software, you get instant channel changes (but you lose the ability to pause live tv).
August 19, 2006 7:03:08 AM

It would have helped if you had given us the model of your Gateway panel.

However, as you say that it doesn't have a coaxial "input slot", I'll take that to mean that the LCD panel does not have a builtin TV tuner. In other words, your panel is something like the Gateway FPD2185W wide screen.

So, you want a TV tuner card that can pickup over-the-air TV broadcast signals and cable TV signals from a set-top-box. If you only want analog TV, most of the brand name Tuner cards like the Hauppauge, Pinnacle, and ATI tuners can do this. Before buying, you might consider a tuner that supports QAM descrambling of cable TV signals. Keep in mind, even if you get a QAM supported tuner, it still won't be able to show encrypted cable signals.

Also, many TV tuner card can not change the cable channels. You will then need the remote control that came with the cable STB to do channel changing.

However, some TV tuner cards in a Windows Media Center 2005 can change the cable channels.

Make sure that the tuner card has analog video in ports: composite or svideo. You will connect the cable STB to the PC with this video in port. Not all TV tuner cards have video capture.

If your college is in a town that receives over-the-air HD television programs (which nearly everywhere in the US where standard TV can reach), you should definitely consider a TV card that is a combo SD/HD tuner. HD will show up great on your Gateway 21" wide screen.

For a plain Windows XP box, I'd recommend a Dvico Fusion 5 GT Gold, a Fusion 5 Lite, or an ATI HDTV Wonder. Each of these have a SD tuner and a HD tuner. Also, all come in the PCI card form factor.

You already have an Hauppauge 150MCE. Match it up with an Avermedia AverTVHD A180 HD tuner in a WMCE box or in a plain Windows XP box. Its a PCI tuner card. About $70USA.

It you prefer a USB tuner, check out the OnAir HDTV GT, which is a combo SD/HD tuner card. It plugs into a USB port (USB 2.0 only). I have one that works real well with my notebook. About $170US. For plain Windows XP box.
August 24, 2006 3:41:34 AM

yeah $40 will do for a tuner. you will always run into the dilemma of having a max resolution of 800*600 ( mine maxes out at 720*480 :(  ) wether its 100 or 200 dollars

since you are in college, like i am, i assume that your school has cable and all it does is split the cable signal into hundreds and hundreds of inputs for every dorm room. like my school. so quality is gonna be so so . you will def not get a STB. the coaxial cable that you get will act like over the air braodcast free channels (ABC, CBS, NBC, etc)
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