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Looking for a TV Tuner

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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April 9, 2007 6:28:47 AM

I've never used a TV Tuner before, forgive my ignorance.
I'm looking for a TV Tuner that can record off of a coaxial cable, is this the usual way of receiving a TV signal? I don't know much about encoding or if I should get a hardware based tuner or not. Can anyone shed some light on this for me?

More about : tuner

April 9, 2007 9:07:55 AM

Tuners with software encoding can tie up your processor and slow your machine. The older and slower your processor is the more you need hardware encoding.
April 9, 2007 11:06:52 AM

Should I install the software and drivers that comes with that tuner or is there better on the net?
Another question about TV Tuners in general, I can watch as well as record correct?
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April 10, 2007 4:42:58 PM

I've had good luck with TV tuner cards from Avermedia.

For several years I've been using an old UltraTV 500 card from them, and the picture quality was quite good. It also was fine at recording and playback.

That computer was running XP Pro, and with Avermedia's update driver, I had no problems at all.

Now I've built a new computer and I've got a dual boot, XP Pro/Vista Home Premium on it. The old card wouldn't run under Vista. Avermedia says it had no plans to support that old card, so when I wanted to use it, I had to boot into XP.

Just last week, I purchased an AverMedia GoTV 007 Plus at Fry's for $39. Lowest priced tuner they have. I checked the Avermedia site and they say it will run with Vista, but it's not what they call 'Vista Ready'. I believe it's actually been recently discontinued by Avermedia, but Fry's seems to have a good supply of them.

I've installed it, into both operating systems, and it works fine on both. In Vista, it exits out of the Aero Glass interface while it's running, and the remote control, which I never use anyway, doesn't work. But it records and plays back with no problems and the picture quality is again quite good.

Although the interface and operation of the new card seem quite similar to the old one, it seems to be a different type of tuner. Whereas the old card had the familiar metal 'can' tuner, this one seems to be digital and is a smaller card. Never the less, it works quite well...., especially for the price!
April 14, 2007 4:14:40 AM

I've tried 2 different cards, from two different companies with one result...cheap software. Bad reception. Slow computer.

I got one of these for free. Absolutely horrible. I would never pay $60 for that. Since I've tried 2 TV tuners, I'm convinced that all of the other cards in my price range are the same, and maybe even the more expensive ones.
April 23, 2007 8:13:02 PM

http://www.digitalconnection.com/products/video/fusion5...
Is a great card. You also didnt specify if you want digital cable recording/HD or not. The above will do both but does not have a hardware encoder.

The card below has all the features of the above but has dual tuners and hardware decoding on the fly. It is what I am looking to buy.
http://www.digitalconnection.com/products/video/mdp130....

Snapstream is one of the best and easiest to use software packages out there. Downside ....it isn't free. :D 
http://www.snapstream.com/Products/beyondtv/sysreq.asp

This website has GREAT information on all things HD..
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=615224
April 23, 2007 8:58:49 PM

Quote:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

How about this one? I like that it has its own HD antenna and another input for cable TV.


I bought one of the first Ati HD TV Cards like this one, I works ok for off the air HD TV. The second SD TV input has a bit of video noise on my system.
I gave 195 with a received 50 dollar US rebate, so it was $145 for me.

I have had driver issues with this card, and had to find the right combination of the 5 items of software that are needed to run this card.

Ati has almost no support for this card now, and I do not find any Vista drivers on the Ati site, at last check.

Also, I only have Win XP Pro so I do not know how well it works in media edition.

I saw the HDTV card on the ScreenSavers, it was an impulse buy.

I also have the Compro VideoMate TV Gold+ it an SDTV card that works very well, but it's older and out of support.

I will be looking for a TV card that has HDTV and SDTV, along with support for XP/Vista and MythTV for Linux.
April 23, 2007 9:31:54 PM

Quote:


The card below has all the features of the above but has dual tuners and hardware decoding on the fly. It is what I am looking to buy.
http://www.digitalconnection.com/products/video/mdp130....


I dont see where it says it has dual tuners. Can this thing record two QAM signals at the same time (or is it one QAM and one analog like the avermedia)?
April 23, 2007 9:46:06 PM

A hardware encoding card is definately preferable for any PC. I've had success with this card (single tuner) over the past year. If you want to record one show while watching another or record two shows simultaneously, you would need a dual tuner card like this.

http://www.gbpvr.com is a great piece of free software for recording TV.
May 15, 2007 6:28:49 PM

Quote:
A hardware encoding card is definately preferable for any PC. I've had success with this card (single tuner) over the past year. If you want to record one show while watching another or record two shows simultaneously, you would need a dual tuner card like this.

http://www.gbpvr.com is a great piece of free software for recording TV.


GBPVR looks great, I was considering BeyondTV. Outside of price, what separates them?
May 15, 2007 7:23:40 PM

I would definately get a card with hardware encoding. makes a big diffrence when you're trying to multi-task. I tried an ati card once (don't remember the model) that had software encoding after using a leadtek 2000 something card that had hardware encoding and the performance difference was pretty massive.

I currently went back to a leadtek hardware encoding card (check my sig.)
Not the best of cards, but it does everything i need it too without much of a performance hit. gl
May 17, 2007 8:48:15 PM

Besides the price, BeyondTV is a bit more polished in terms of the GUI's appearance than GBPVR. However, all the core features that you would expect in a PVR are present in both software suites (tv guide, scheduling, remote control support).

I would recommend that you download GBPVR and the BeyondTV trial so that you can compare them for yourself.
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