Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

[URGENT] Which TV tuner card works with digital TV?

Last response: in Systems
Share
January 3, 2007 4:35:18 PM

I am in a urgent need for a working tv tuner card for work related reasons. I am planning to grab a tv tuner card from the list below:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...

However, I am not familiar with TV technologies. I believe that my cable service (Rogers) right now is a digital one and I am not sure which card will work with a digial cable service.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks
January 3, 2007 4:55:00 PM

Kworld Digital/Analog HDTV Tuner PCI Card
Item #: O38-1072


That is the only one that stands out, but I have never heard of it. You might want to look up some reviews on the card.

Likewise, ATI offers a card, though its not on the list... So I guess never mind.
January 3, 2007 5:43:04 PM

Quote:
I believe that my cable service (Rogers) right now is a digital one and I am not sure which card will work with a digial cable service.

Well, why not give them a call and ask them? :? Of course, they won't give you a recommendation on tuner cards, but ask them what sort of capability a TV would need to view a program using their cable signal. That should give you a basis for choosing a video card.

Switching to pure speculation mode, I would guess ... and it's only a guess ... that digital cable is most likely to use a proprietary transmission technology. In other words, the cable company would require you to use their desktop converter box to convert the digital transmission to a format that can then be input to your TV ... or TV card.

But like I say, just call them and ask them if (1) they actually do provide "digital cable" and if so (2) what "digital cable" actually means in terms of viewing a program.

-john
Related resources
January 3, 2007 5:46:18 PM

Usually for cable services the channels under 100 are analog and can be received by a regular analog TV tuner card.

As far as I know, no TV tuner cards can grab digital cable channels because they are encrypted. ( If anyone knows of one I would like to know about it :wink: )

The current line of digital HDTV tuner cards only work for over-the-air HDTV channels (and possibly non-encrypted digital cable channels, but most in the US are encrypted as far as I know)

However, it is possible to connect your computer to cable boxes and record things in standard definition. It is possible for you computer to change channels on the set top box using an IR Blaster, direct serial connection, or firewire connection. Any TV tuner card would do. I would not get an ATI all-in-wonder card. I am very happy with my hauppauge card and it works great with both linux and windows.
January 3, 2007 5:48:18 PM

YOu make no sense.
Let me rephrase for you.




You take your cable box video out, and you plug it into the video in on your new TV card.

If, to view HDTV on your computer, you need to match the connection for HDTV out on your cable box, with a card that supports that connection in, such as DVI, or RGB.

I dont think Rogers supports cable cards, (which bypass a cable box), but if they do, you can get a tuner card that has a cable card slot... though there was not one on your list.
January 3, 2007 5:54:44 PM

Quote:
YOu make no sense.
Let me rephrase for you.




You take your cable box video out, and you plug it into the video in on your new TV card.

If, to view HDTV on your computer, you need to match the connection for HDTV out on your cable box, with a card that supports that connection in, such as DVI, or RGB.

I dont think Rogers supports cable cards, (which bypass a cable box), but if they do, you can get a tuner card that has a cable card slot... though there was not one on your list.


I don't think there are any cards that support HDTV in from a cable box, only standard def.
January 3, 2007 5:58:06 PM

RGB in supports HDTV 1080i.

There are cards that have RGB in.

There are cards that have cable card support, and able to view the HDTV content.
January 3, 2007 6:13:54 PM

Interesting...

I couldn't find either type of card with a quick look on newegg, I will look other places later when I have more time.

Are the cards with cable card support available in the US? Do you have a link?

When you say RGB i assume you are referring to a PC VGA input (I'm not up to speed with the terminology). I have not seen a cable box with a RGB output (perhaps they exist, i don't even have a cable box right now), are there component to RGB adaptors? I guess you could do HDMI to RGB?
January 3, 2007 6:22:16 PM

RGB -> Component cables, not VGA.

HERE

I cant do much looking at work, but those are some links to up-n-comming technologies. I know ATI has a HDTV tuner that has Component input supporting 1080i. I know there are cablecard tuners though I dont remember who makes them.



However, cable card tech is not very popular with cable companies...and many wont offer such a device.
January 3, 2007 6:31:44 PM

I've heard that such cards were being developed and prototyped, but I've never seen one in the market. Can you please point to an example? I'd love to get one.

(edited)
Looks like we crossed posts. I took a look at the Google search you posted, and it talks a lot about what you can't do, or what you might be able to do soon. But I didn't see anything obvious showing a commercial product with cable HDTV capabilities.
January 3, 2007 6:36:37 PM

Wait wait wait guys:

Quote:
Usually for cable services the channels under 100 are analog and can be received by a regular analog TV tuner card.

As far as I know, no TV tuner cards can grab digital cable channels because they are encrypted. ( If anyone knows of one I would like to know about it :wink: )


I dont have HDTV, but I do have channels over 100, does this mean I will never be able to view channels over 100 with my computer TOGETHER with my tv, both on a different channel?
January 3, 2007 6:41:32 PM

Yes you can.


What he means is that Many cable companies reserve channels higher then 100 for Digital channels, which are encrypted. However, you can still view any number of standerd definition channels, regardless of the channel number (14, or 159).
January 3, 2007 6:59:07 PM

so you mean some channels are encypted and some are not? So if I wanted to view a channel 301 with my computer, and then 601 with my TV at the same time, is this scenario possible?
January 3, 2007 7:02:41 PM

Quote:
YOu make no sense.
Let me rephrase for you.

OK, thanks. :?

I guess the basic question I should have just asked the OP is whether he needs a cable box to to watch TV or does he just hook the cable directly to the cable antenna input on his TV (at work).

-john
January 3, 2007 7:05:30 PM

Quote:
YOu make no sense.
Let me rephrase for you.

OK, thanks. :?

I guess the basic question I should have just asked the OP is whether he needs a cable box to to watch TV or does he just hook the cable directly to the cable antenna input on his TV (at work).

-john

I need a cable box, and so far it seems to imply that one cable box = one device that is able to view channels over 100. Theres no way around it?
January 3, 2007 7:11:03 PM

Ok, let's make this simple: A TV Tuner card for your computer is exactly like the TV tuner circuit inside your television. (The difference is in the video output) If you buy a $50 tuner card and install it inside (or connect it to the USB of) your computer, you now have a television in your PC.

If your cable company requires you to have a converter box to view certain channels on a standard TV, then you still need that converter box to watch them on your computer.

The reason you need the cable box, just like others have said, is because the cable company encodes the channels so people cannot watch the protected channels without paying them.

Now, the cable boxes themselves are like mini-PC's, with an Operating System and even hard drives. There are ways to hack into those and use them for other purposes, but that's another story.

8)
January 3, 2007 7:26:03 PM

Thank you for your deep knowledge about this. So my problem is that, I need to be able to do this for the office:

A TV viewing a channel above 100 (likely a channel that requires a box to view)
A computer viewing a channel above 100 (likely a channel that requires a box to view)

at the same time.

Is this possible?
January 3, 2007 7:38:44 PM

Yes, it is possible. With 2 cable boxes. You can either order a second one from your cable company for an additional monthly fee, or purchase your own and hook it up. Same thing if its a satellite dish.

8)
January 3, 2007 7:40:12 PM

Many tv tuners have the capability of being attached to set-top boxes via VGA. Some even give you a special cable to go over the infrared spot on the set-top box so you can change the channel from your computer. This seems like the only solution for you. If you need both the tv and the computer on the same channel then you could have the set top box output to both the computer and the tv. I currently have my setup for my tv tuner like that
January 3, 2007 8:08:14 PM

Quote:
Yes, it is possible. With 2 cable boxes. You can either order a second one from your cable company for an additional monthly fee, or purchase your own and hook it up. Same thing if its a satellite dish.

8)


So you are claiming that you can buy a cable box which will decode the digital cable signal? We're not talking about the analog chanels which still remain on the digital cable, we're talking about the digital channels.

As far as I know, this is only possible if you cable company supports one of the "cards" that were mentioned above. Not a video card, but a card (about the size of a credit card) which slips into a slot on the cable box to uniquely identify your cable box. But if that's the case, then we're back to the possibility of buying a TV tuner for the computer which supports that same "card" technology.
January 3, 2007 8:14:01 PM

Yes. ATI sells one, though I cant look it up at work.


That little credit card sized card is called a Cable Card. A TV Tuner for your computer that can read that card, will do everything your real TV can do, including decode digital signals.
January 3, 2007 9:18:00 PM

I cant visit those sites at work. Will check @ home.
January 4, 2007 1:38:21 AM

The fact is, ATi has the technology, but they don't sell it. Their HDTV Wonder and 650 chip boards both use chips that support QAM (the digital encoding scheme used in digital cable) in addition to NTSC and ATSC, but the boards don't enable it. My understanding of the situation is that CableLabs requires any device licensing the CableCard specification to pass some kind of certification, and that certification costs a minimum of ~US$150k. That's a bit much for a home-built or boutique, and is only feasible if you can distribute the cost across thousands of devices. You can read more about this on thegreenbutton.com.

Paying the fee is no guarantee of certification, either. If your device (e.g. a computer) can be easily hacked so that premium content can be recorded and shared, then your device very well may not pass certification, and then you won't be able to get the CableCard unique passcode to identify your device to the cable operators.

I might be mixing this up a bit between QAM and CableCard premium decoding, but the point is that ATi does not appear to offer such a card. The only such device I've ever heard of is this one:
http://www.meritline.com/dvico-fusionhdtv5-and-capture-...
January 4, 2007 2:04:58 PM

Quote:
I am in a urgent need for a working tv tuner card for work related reasons. I am planning to grab a tv tuner card from the list below:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/category/catego...

However, I am not familiar with TV technologies. I believe that my cable service (Rogers) right now is a digital one and I am not sure which card will work with a digial cable service.

Any help is appreciated. Thanks


HDTV-101
Most if not all HDTV tuners made for PCs are intended for terrestrial reception only. This means that they cannot recieve the radio signals from cable format, only from an antenna. Most HDTV provided by cable carriers is sent out in a digital format that can only be decrypted by a cable box/modem. This format allows the cable carriers to provide service for customers having HDTV ready monitors (these don't have tuners built in).

I have an ATI HDTV Wonder card. Not bad reception, could be better if I wasn't in an apartment and had a larger antenna. This card also has an NTSC tuner, but lacks a FM tuner. However, I also have an 800xt AIW card that includes an extra NTSC tuner and FM. With XP Media Center and a Platnum series audigy sound system, this should have been the ultimate system, but I should have spent this money on something else.

My opinion- NTSC is becoming worthless. Although my cable company offers the 80 analog channel format in NTSC, I could pay an extra $8/month and get a digital box which has better picture quality. This also gives me 40 channels of nonstop digital music.

For an extra $5 (that makes it $13 now), I could get HDTV service using the component video output on the cable box.

Don't get me wrong, this technology is cool to setup and play. I can record two channels at the same time or record while watching another. I have countless video inputs and outputs. However, unless you have limited access to digital cable or sat TV and have a high selection of terrestrial HDTV programming, you won't find it as a wise investment. As my dad always said, "If it floats, flys, or giggles, it's always cheaper to rent." I guess the same is true about digital format.

Just my .02-

Rick
!