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Teach a n00b how to watch tv on new LCD computer monitor

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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December 13, 2006 9:58:16 PM

I just bought a 20.1" widescreen Viewsonic VX2025WM (my baby) for my computer to basically game with. The jump from a 15" 4:3 to this! Unreal. Anyway, I realized today that it is bigger than my tv in my room so I said this was the absolute best place to ask this question. I would like to watch tv on my new baby. I'm not sure how tv tuners work and stuff as I have never even seen one. From what I've heard, Internal computer tuners are better quality than external. My monitor only has 2 ports, DVI and VGA. DVI is being used by a 7900GT so I assume the tv tuner would hook into the VGA? Anyway I have no idea how all this works so please inform me as to what I will need in detail. In my PC i have the x16 port used by the 7900GT, a free x1 port, and several PCI ports (none used) so that would be fine with me if it would be better quality. I have no preference on external or internal tuners, if possible give me both sides. I'm going for quality, but not trying to spend over ~$100, thank you. Thank you, Justin.

By the way, how u guys like my new compy?

My baby

Case: Thermaltake Matrix
P.S.: Antec True Power 2.0 - 430W
Mobo: Asus A8N32-SLI Deluxe
CPU: AMD Athlon64 X2 4800+
RAM: Corsair 2x512MB Twinx1024-3200XLPT - 2-2-2-5-1T
Video Card: XFX 7900 GT 520/1500MHZ
Hard Drives: 2x 80GB SataII Hitachi's - RAID 0
DVD-RW: LG
Monitor: Viewsonic VX2025WM
Speakers: Logitech Z-680 (old)
December 14, 2006 12:36:06 AM

Nice PC, way better than mine.

First you are correct with the internal (PCI) tuners working better than external, and they are cheaper (sometimes). I don't have first hand experience with a usb tuner but I've heard many complaints.

The tv tuner card is installed in the PCI slot and you don't connect your monitor directly to it. Cable in, hook up sound (depends on the card, usually just a wire to your on-board or to your sound card) and thats basically it.

Are you interested in recording TV? If so, you'll want a card with MPEG2 encoder on it so it doesn't busy up your CPU.

Otherwise just to watch tv, many cheap cards will work. $20 and up are fine. Heard many good thimgs about Hauppauge and their video quality. They are usually the higher quality cards.

Me though, I have a Leadtek PVR2000 with the MPEG2 encoder bought from EBay. Full screen on a 17' flat is just as good as regular tv. Recording is cool and works great. Leadtek also offers a bunch of inexpensive cards without the encoder from $20 and up. Read the reviews and The Egg and decide based on the money you want to spend.

-Ben
December 14, 2006 12:45:39 AM

I don't need recording or pip support or anything fancy like that
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December 14, 2006 12:58:09 AM

All of these will work with Windows XP right? I've heard a lot of people like in best buy and stuff say that you have to have media edition.....thought it was bs myself.
December 14, 2006 1:04:11 AM

Yes, you can double check for yourself at Newegg in the specs section. Only some cards req the media edition.

I mean for as little as 30 bucks you really can't go wrong. I just wouldn't spend $100 bucks on a tv tuner.

Btw, do you have a sound card?

-Ben
December 14, 2006 1:08:57 AM

I have the built in sound on my asus A8N32-sli and use the SPDIF optical out for my logitech z-680's. Thank you for all your help beasty, I'm going to get two of these, one for me and one for my grandad =P The leadtek TV2000XP will work with my built in sound right?
December 19, 2006 5:25:06 PM

Hauppauge !
If you are looking for a very decent TV card I would recommend Hauppauge. I am personally using this one Hauppauge

you may think its ridicullous to burn $55 but the picture quality overall is by far the best with this manufacturer. or you can get one that comes with a remote and a FM/AM turner for $20 more. just whatever fits your need and this one works on WinXP. I have recorder over 20 shows and about 4 movies over the cable and the quality is very good. I am not trying to be baised here but I do know about the TV cards quality over the 2 brands because I was trying to decide on what TV card to buy couple months back and sadly made a wrong decision at picking cheap price over quality.
!