Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Which tv tuner card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
June 25, 2008 12:24:23 AM


Hey guys, im fairly new to the forums and I've learned alot about building pc's and about how to go about choosing all the components. I'm thinking of building a new gaming pc this summer, and since space is kind of an issue, I figured to just give my tv to a freind and just buy a simple tv tuner card. The only thing is, Im already spending over a grand on this pc + monitor, and i was wondering what would be the best tv tuner card for $50 or less. Actually know that i think about it, I'd also like to get this clarified because I am still a little confued, a tv tuner card will allow me to hook up my cable box to the tv tuner card and from the computer to my monitor right? And then use the software that came with the tv tuner card and veiw all my programs and still be able to use the remote that came with my cable box right?
Well thanks for checking this thread and hopefully replying and helping me lol. :D 

More about : tuner card

a b x TV
June 25, 2008 1:59:00 AM

There are two ways to connect the TV Tuner card. The first way is to connect it directly to the cable line coming from the wall. With this connection, you use the TV Tuner Card's channel selector to view different channels. However, you will only be able to view channels that are broadcast "in the clear"; meaning without encryption. Generally, these are your local channels and channels like TNT, TBS, WGN, etc... Cable channels like ESPN, DISC, DISN are often encrypted and will not be viewable when connected this way. Check with your cable company to find out which channels are broadcast unencrypted.

The other way to connect your TV Tuner Card is from the output of your cable box. When connected this way, your computer acts just like a TV. Set your tuner card to channel 3 or 4 and use your cable box remote to change channels. All cable channels you subscribe to should now be viewable on your PC (encrypted or not).

Now, I know you don't want to spend a ton of cash on this, but skimping on the TV Tuner Card generally means poor or blocky (skips a lot) TV reception/video recording. For $90 to $120, you can get a solid TV Tuner card that provides excellent playback capabilities. Myself, I went with the AVerMedia AVerTV Combo PCIe ATSC/NTSC/QAM TV Tuner Card and have no complaints about it.

Some TV Tuner Cards even come with an FM Radio receiver so you can even replace your stereo.

Options you should look for in a TV Tuner Card:
PCI-E interface - Allows for greater bandwidth over PCI - May or may not be an issue.
ATSC Tuner - Digital broadcast transition is less than a year away. This is a must.
QAM - Receives "In the Clear" channels from your cable company.
FM Tuner - Optional. Receives local FM radio stations.

Hope this helps.

-Wolf sends
June 25, 2008 2:19:20 AM

Hey wolf shadw now I have a question. If you connect the cable going from the set top box provided from your cable company to the computer is there a way to have a remote that can control the PC through Media Center? Also is it possible to have this remote not only control the PC and change channels but also control the tv?
Related resources
June 25, 2008 2:25:57 AM

lasttarget said:
Hey wolf shadw now I have a question. If you connect the cable going from the set top box provided from your cable company to the computer is there a way to have a remote that can control the PC through Media Center? Also is it possible to have this remote not only control the PC and change channels but also control the tv?


I know with some Tivo boxes you can connect the box to your PC and use the PC to change the channels on the box but I'm pretty sure no cable boxes allow you to do that.

I have seen recently that some companies are developing tuners with cable card slots to enable you to get any channel you currently receive with your cable box. These products are still in development and won't be out until at least the end of the year. Some companies (including Dell) are even developing HTPC's that have cable card slots but availability is really non-existent at this time
http://www.engadget.com/2007/03/15/dell-xps-410-with-ca...

I've been waiting a while for a good tuner with a cable card slot so I could build a HTPC. I pay for ~200 channels and I would like to have access to all of them and stop renting a cable box.
June 25, 2008 2:53:39 AM

As Wolfshadw pointed out, You do not want to skimp on a tv card. The upper end Hauppauge and ATI may be good. However, I bought a Hauppauge PCI (Approx $70 after MIR). I have The cable connected for Normal channels 1 thru 125 (I get about 65 channels). This does NOT play any Cable HD channels nor scrambled channels. I also have a External ant for Over-the-air High def channels (currently only 4). The problem with mine (and a lot of the cheaper models is that the tunners have Pis_ poor shielding and you pick-up interferance on some channels.

Most cable boxes also have S-video and composite video out.

The best card I have used is the ATI A-I-W 1900 pro. This does NOT work with Vista as amd/ATI dropped support do to vista's DRM. But it still works with XP, BUT ATI quit making A-I-W cards. These cards were/are not very good for gaming.
a b x TV
June 25, 2008 9:28:11 AM

@LastTarget -

I don't know about controlling the TV (haven't tried it with mine), but with the retail version of the card I linked above, you also get a remote control with an IR Blaster which will allow you to control both the PC and the Cable box.

I've found it to be slow and clunky with my cable box (Comcast/St. Paul, MN) and don't use it to change TV Channels.

Another option I like is the Media Center Keyboard. It gives you wireless keyboard/mouse/and Media Center functionality. The mouse is a little nipple like you used to find in the middle of some laptop keyboards and takes some getting used to. It's definitely not for gaming though.

@RetiredChief -

Have to agree. I still have my A-I-W X1800XL in my All-Purpose rig and it runs perfectly.

-Wolf sends
June 25, 2008 12:15:58 PM


Thanks for the reply's guys. I'm now more than willing to spend more money on the tv tuner card as long as I'm getting better quality in the long run.
!