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HD Capture Card Recommendations?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 20, 2009 5:25:46 PM

OK. I'm looking for an internal Capture Card that accepts HD signal.
I currently pay for a bunch of HD channels from the cable company, and decided I would like to record a few things once in a while, like sports games, etc. I DO NOT WANT TO RENT A DVR FROM THE CABLE COMPANY!

Now the scenario...
I have a 40" 1080p LCD TV that receives the signal from the digital cable box via hdmi. I want to be able to continue watching TV on it, while I'm recording another show on the PC via the capture card. The capture card absolutely has to record in 1080i, which is what my cable company broadcasts my HD channels in.
I'm not sure how to connect this, and after reading several different pages on the web I've noticed a lot of outdated and conflicting information, which has only made me more confused.
I am using an nVidia 9800GTX+, and would really like to avoid replacing it with an AVIVO card just to record TV once in a while.

So would the cable signal from the wall go directly to the capture card?
Or would it first go to the cable box, and then through an output of some sort (preferably HDMI) to the capture card?
As far as I know, to get 1080i/1080p, the signal would have to be carried through DVI or HDMI. Do they make capture cards with an HDMI input? If not, do digital cable boxes output more than one signal at a time, so that I could have the signal going to the tuner/capture card with one cable, and the lcdtv with the other cable?

Another thing I don't understand is that most of the tuner cards I've found state "OTA (over-the-air) Recording". Is this OTA recording also true for the capture cards? I dont' need a tuner, I pay a lot for good cable. I only need a way to record and edit the tv from my cable box to my PC. When I insert my digital cable into the tuner or capture card, will it record? Or will they only record OTA transmissions?

Also, if anyone is familiar with Justin.tv, how could I broadcast things to a private audience? Would I need a tuner card, or just a capture card?
Do capture cards broadcast, or just record?

I know I have a lot of questions. But after reading on the subject for hours, I have been unable to come to any real conclusions. Hopefully you guys here can help.


January 30, 2009 6:16:20 AM

This has been the ongoing problem for HTPC enthusiasts. Only ATI's External solution will allow you to view/record HDTV content (encrypted) on your PC. Unless you have "certified" vendor PC, you will not be able to use it.

Your other option is to purchase a Capture card that accepts component Video. Use the IR Blaster to change channels on your Cable box, and then send the signal to your capture card. If you want to record 1 show while watching another, then you will need another cable converter and Capture Card.

You can thank DRM, HDCP, and a host of other groups that have been preventing the inevitable for years now.
!