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What exactly can I do w/ a tv tuner card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 6, 2008 7:43:50 AM

I have cable tv through Comcast here in South Florida and want to watch tv on my pc because I share a house w/ two roommates and even though my room is the biggest of the three, I would much rather not have a tv in my room if I can help it. I was looking @ getting ATI TV Wonderâ„¢ HD 650 Combo PCI Express because I have always liked the ATI brand and have never had problems with them. But basically my question is this: can I just plug the cable cord into the card and BAM! I can watch anything on my pc as i can my tv? Will I need another box from the cable company (more money!!) to watch HBO or SHOWTIME or channels such as those? I would like as much info. as I can as reading the different reviews for different products by different reviewers did not answer my questions. Thank you in advance!!

In case it is needed my system is: Phenom 9950 BE, ASUS 770 mobo, 4 gigs of ram, ATI 4850 more info. available if needed.

Mihow

More about : tuner card

October 6, 2008 8:13:30 AM

I believe you would still need the cable box to get your movie channels and other digital channels. You'd be able to get most of the basic and expanded basic chanels. I'm running an older t.v. tuner card and get channels 2-70 something but can't get the channels like my cable box.
when going to the upper channels i think you need the cable box to decode the signal. Even with an HDTV
you'd need a cable box. I've heard several manufacturers of t.v.'s want to develope a built in cable box so you dont have to got that route but i dont think they have any models that do yet. Perhaps I'm wrong. Hopefully someone else with a little more knowledge will help you out. Any which way good luck.
a b x TV
October 6, 2008 8:23:37 AM

TV turner cards do not decode scrambled TV signals.
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October 6, 2008 1:14:38 PM

there are many types of tuner cards. if you can find them some have a slot for a cable card (which means premium channels and hdtv channels) but you have to activate the tuner with the cable company. many tuners can pickup analog and digital channels and some have Over The Air hd channels (local stations, good for football though!) or OTA channels. so research around about what kind of tuner fits your needs. i would around newegg.com they have alot that will fit anyones needs. the ones that give you premium channels are a bit pricey so do your homework and pay attention. im looking to get a tuner that picks up NTSC/ATSC/CLEAR QAM. whereas ntsc is analog channels, atsc is digital/hd channels (not premium) and clear qam which is ota channels (i think)
October 6, 2008 1:33:49 PM

...or get a dreambox and hack yourway to all the channels free of charge!! It works here in europe!! (for satelite tv)
October 6, 2008 1:41:48 PM

No matter how fancy a tuner card you buy, you will still only be able to get the channels that you are paying the cable company for. Anything other than basic cable service requires a decoder (your cable box) that unscrambles the signals YOU are paying for.
Check to make sure before you buy a high dollar card with built in decoder if your cable company will accept it and be able to use it. Otherwise, any cheap tuner card is fine, and yes, another cable box, and a

But yes, in short, simply plug the cable from your box into the card, and you can watch TV on your PC, just as if the cable was connected to your television.
October 6, 2008 1:46:47 PM

blashyrkh said:
...or get a dreambox and hack yourway to all the channels free of charge!! It works here in europe!! (for satelite tv)


Only one problem with that. ITS ILLEGAL.
Some people are simply low-life sludge crawling maggots.
October 6, 2008 1:56:06 PM

Agreed, this guy is prolly a l33t torrenter.
October 6, 2008 4:52:34 PM

As a 650 owner (who's about to pickup a Hauppauge 1500 next weekend while in Vancouver) you won't get HBO if it's not an unencrypted channel.

Comcast does broadcast alot of channels (including some SD pay-per-view) in unencrypted QAM, but what you'll essentially get is basic cable and a few others that Comcast offers unencrypted. For encrypted content you'd need a cable card and comcast to provide access. My provider only offers 2 channels of HD content unencrypted, everything else (even stuff other cities get OTA) is encrypted.

For a bedroom TV (the I use it, and you say you'll use it) it's nice, it doesn't give you everything, but it gives you more than just OTA content, which depends on your location.

The tricky part is setting it up, and that applies to both ATi and Hauppauge's offerings. MCE and Vista are a pain. You may need to rely on 3rd party apps like Myth TV etc to get the best experience if you're not willing to slog through tweaks to get all the bundled software to play nice with the OS, drivers, etc.
October 10, 2008 4:00:36 AM

Hey thanks for all the advice. Looks to me like the simple solution is to pay my cable provider an extra 5$ a month for another box and set it up in my room? No big deal for me really. An i'll keep in mind my possible driver issues w/ vista thanks!
October 26, 2008 1:22:53 PM

xxcoop42xx said:
there are many types of tuner cards. if you can find them some have a slot for a cable card (which means premium channels and hdtv channels) but you have to activate the tuner with the cable company. many tuners can pickup analog and digital channels and some have Over The Air hd channels (local stations, good for football though!) or OTA channels. so research around about what kind of tuner fits your needs. i would around newegg.com they have alot that will fit anyones needs. the ones that give you premium channels are a bit pricey so do your homework and pay attention. im looking to get a tuner that picks up NTSC/ATSC/CLEAR QAM. whereas ntsc is analog channels, atsc is digital/hd channels (not premium) and clear qam which is ota channels (i think)


Does anyone know of any tuner cards that do have a slot for a cable card? I've been considering building a HTPC, but I want it to be able to control all my media without any other external devices. I've looked around a bit and have yet to find a tuner card with a slot for a cable card.
April 20, 2009 11:47:19 PM

jitpublisher said:
Only one problem with that. ITS ILLEGAL.
Some people are simply low-life sludge crawling maggots.


Actually it is not illegal, because the dish company doesn'/t own the air it broadcasts through unlike the cable company that owns the conduit to your house, it is an interesting loop hole, but for about $700 you can get an installed satelite that gets everything, and it is not illegal. ethical... you decide.
August 11, 2009 3:34:25 AM

acableguy said:
Actually it is not illegal, because the dish company doesn'/t own the air it broadcasts through unlike the cable company that owns the conduit to your house, it is an interesting loop hole, but for about $700 you can get an installed satelite that gets everything, and it is not illegal. ethical... you decide.

can you get such a dish that you can use for internet access?
August 23, 2009 12:01:02 AM

acableguy said:
Actually it is not illegal, because the dish company doesn'/t own the air it broadcasts through unlike the cable company that owns the conduit to your house, it is an interesting loop hole, but for about $700 you can get an installed satelite that gets everything, and it is not illegal. ethical... you decide.



I have a 10 foot dish in my back yard that I no longer use because I had to pay for everything to be legal so I might as well subscribe to Dish network. Maybe you'd like to share where to get this $700 legal dish.
March 26, 2013 3:27:52 PM

jitpublisher said:
blashyrkh said:
...or get a dreambox and hack yourway to all the channels free of charge!! It works here in europe!! (for satelite tv)


Only one problem with that. ITS ILLEGAL.
Some people are simply low-life sludge crawling maggots.

I mean seriously...the name calling?
!