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HDTV Tuner

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 11, 2007 4:40:21 AM

I'm just trying to figure out what an HDTV tuner is capable of; is it:

a) a TV tuner capable of recieving HDTV signals from your HDTV box (shaw reciever...).

b) a device capable of recieving HDTV channels straight from the digital cable connection into your house, thus meaning this replaces the reciever box (so none needs to be purchased).

Anyone using an HDTV tuner let me know which it is for sure and which brands / models you'd recommend for XP media center and Vista.

Jo

More about : hdtv tuner

September 29, 2007 8:32:40 PM

I was actually curious about letter b as well.

My tv tuner card can pick up the schedule for the shows that the cable company claims I need their converter for, but it won't display any pictures, just fuzz.
September 29, 2007 9:35:34 PM

May not be exactly what your looking for but the DVICO makes pretty solid tuners. I use the DVICO Fusion 5 USB and its awesome. Especially on XP... Vista support is getting better. But it does have a QAM tuner so you can pick up your local HD unencrypted channels.

But the DVICO is probably the best HD tuner I've owned. I would like to get a CABLEcard but its only available on prebuilt systems at the moment.
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September 30, 2007 12:03:23 AM

I guess that's the key - encryption. pchoi04 mentioning unencrypted channels made me think "There are unencrypted HD channels?" but I guess that's just it - if there are some in your area you can pick them up but to protect their interests the cable/satellite providers encrypt them (analogous to scrambling of analog signals). waylon77 is picking up the schedule as it is probably unencrypted but the channels are so no dice there. Any way of finding out which HD channels are available in which area?

Jo
September 30, 2007 12:31:10 AM

In the US you can pick up HD channles 'over the air' (OTA), in other words by a traditional antenna (rabbit ears). The network affiliates such as Fox, NBC, ABC, CBS are all broadcasting high quality HD signals from their antennas and have been for several years now. You get the antenna (cheap, sits on your desk), hook it up to the HDTV card in your PC and the card will do the necessary work to tune in and display the signal on your PC or esle to an HDTV. As long as you are reasonably close to the source and the antenna is more or less unobstructed you can watch perfect HDTV from the networks in this way.

The software that comes with these cards will also let you use your PC as a DVR.

Before I got FIOS I used my MYHD card for almost four years watching HDTV this way. OTA HD is oddly hardly known by the general public but it's great.

Using your HDTV card with an existing cable or satellite box may be possible in some way, but I have forgotten if and how.
September 30, 2007 1:39:30 AM

The DVICO TV tuners also have ATSC (over-the-air) but I just think its hit and miss.. Why use an antenna to receive your local HD when you can just use a QAM tuner and pick up the same channels without having to play around with an antenna.

BUT if you chose to use ATSC (OTA)... All DVICO cards offer ATSC, QAM, and NTSC. So its kind of the complete package.

Only channels you wont get on either tuners will be channels like Discovery HD, ESPN HD, and so on and so forth.
September 30, 2007 3:17:19 AM

pchoi04 said:
The DVICO TV tuners also have ATSC (over-the-air) but I just think its hit and miss.. Why use an antenna to receive your local HD when you can just use a QAM tuner and pick up the same channels without having to play around with an antenna.

BUT if you chose to use ATSC (OTA)... All DVICO cards offer ATSC, QAM, and NTSC. So its kind of the complete package.

Only channels you wont get on either tuners will be channels like Discovery HD, ESPN HD, and so on and so forth.


Why get OTA? Well, I wasn't able to pay for digital cable and the HD pkg.:)  OTA is hit and miss if you don't have a good signal, but if you are properly situated the signal is flawless. I had too many trees right in line with the signal.

But I'm curious, could you elaborate on what you mean? Are you running a line from a cable/sat reciever to your DIVCO and picking up network HD? I take it that much is not encrypted but the other stuff you mentioned is? Or maybe I misunderstood. Please explain. I'm sure the others who started the thread would also be interested.

What advantage does this offer over simply using your cable box as a receiver and DVR?

Are you able to get these HD stations in this way without having to pay for the HD package?
September 30, 2007 10:01:13 PM

Alright... I take that back... So I guess if you dont want to pay for cable "period" then OTA for receiving basic channels is not a bad way to go... Also I'll admit if you can get a good reception the picture quality is flawless without compression unlike from a comcast box here in the Seattle area. But through even basic cable a QAM tuner can pick up local HD channels or any digital signal that hasnt be encrypted. So no... I don't pay for HD or Digital but I do get basic.

Its also funny because you can't exactly pick up OnDemand but if a neighbor is watching a movie you can also pick it up as well. I can't remember what movie it was but one of my neighbors was watching something and a nude scene came up and the guy (I'm assuming) kept rewinding that scene.

Some TVs will have QAM and ATSC tuners in them. But just like CABLEcards the FCC doesnt require them to be built into TVs.
September 30, 2007 10:29:33 PM

Quote:
But through even basic cable a QAM tuner can pick up local HD channels or any digital signal that hasnt be encrypted. So no... I don't pay for HD or Digital but I do get basic.


Ah ha. I didn't know that. I think my old MYHD MDP-100 must have lacked the QAM tuner, you think? It's about 4 years old. No mention of it. Just NTSC and ATSC. Or do you think it will?

If it does I was missing a very simple way of seeing HD when the antenna wouldn't work! Anyway, now I got FIOS and it does seem to look much better than Comcast. Not as much compression I suppose.
September 30, 2007 10:42:17 PM

Most TV tuners will only have ATSC and NTSC. I had to search high and low to a tuner that had QAM on it. I was on the AVS forum and there were several threads related to the DVICO Fusion TV tuners and it was exactly what I was looking for. Can't find them in retail stores or even Newegg for that matter but I did find an online store that did and I've been really happy with the results. Only wished that Vista support was a bit better.

Also DVICO supports dual TV tuner setups as well. Two internal or one USB and one Internal combinations will work. So that way if you wanted to enable PIP or record 2 shows you have that option.

The tuner also allows me to record in HD as well. Not to shabby but these features are a bit buggy on vista. Also Vista MCE does not support QAM as of yet but people are speculating that on the release of SP1 that hopefully Microsoft will enable QAM support.
September 30, 2007 11:19:26 PM

Thanks for the info.
!