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Living Room PC

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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September 22, 2008 3:56:37 PM

Well....I am building one of my old Shuttle comps to use as a living room or media PC. I will be purchasing a Samsung LN52A650 HDTV and a Onkyo HT-S6100 Surround Sound System I want to utilize Windows Media Center on them (DVD, Cable, Over the air HDTV and maybe even a cable box with HD channels).

I know I need a TV Tuner Card but I cam kinda confused on which one to get. Since the TV is 1080p capable I want to be able to watch things in 1080p. I don't want to buy the wrong tuner that can't handle that.

Any suggestions?

More about : living room

September 22, 2008 4:22:30 PM

IMO, get the Hauppauge 1800.

The 1600 is good and a minimum level of support for QAM using clear cable, but the 1800 seems to have better support for Media Centre and a little better support. There are other IHVs out there like ATi, but I would go for Hauppauge jut for the consistency of hardware support and their slightly more secure future (ATi's a bit of a question mark after selling alot of their division to Broadcom).

What OS are you using? You may find even with the best support in the biz, it's still a pain setting up HD Tuner cards under MCE, and especially under Vista's MC app. Be prepared to go into the forums of whichever company you end up buying from, other people's experience in getting past the various barriers to installation (thanks to DRM) is very helpful. I had alot of trouble with the ATi TV Wonder 650 USB and only figured it out after reading a similar solution to a 600 series problem.
September 22, 2008 4:29:02 PM

Thanks man.

I just installed Windows XP Media Center Edition last night.

So this card will be capable of handling 1080p output to the HDTV??? Just want to make sure I buy the "right" card the first time :) 
September 22, 2008 5:29:15 PM

The output will be handled by the graphics card, the 1080P depends on the source material.

IIRC no un-encrypted cable is 1080P and no OTA is 1080P, so it mat be a 1080P output, but of a 1080i/720P signal input.
But the Hauppauges do support 1080i input, displaying that 1080i to your TV will involve all the DRM fun of Windows and hardware support of your graphics card. MCE's drivers are also sketchy, so you're going to have to check with your graphics card maker as to the output support.
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