Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Newbie: How do I use a TV tuner card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
January 23, 2009 3:14:38 PM

I have an old TV tuner card that I never got around to using. Am building a new computer and thought that I would go ahead and throw it in as long as I have the box open. However, I have never used a TV tuner card in the past and am not sure how it works.
I seem to remember my cable installer talking about some feeds being amplified and other feeds not being amplified and that it was critically important to not mix the two up (I use a cable modem for Internet access). What do I need to know here?

Also, I am thinking that the big change in February will have no impact on this equipment but wanted to make sure.

My card is an ATI TV Wonder Pro (Remote Control Edition). Uses a PCI slot. See http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonderproremote/features..... Again, I think I bought this in 2003 or 2004.

Please feel free to point me to a step-by-step guide to PC TV tuner installation and operation for newbies.

Also, what software do I need. I think that I wold like to use my PC to record shows from my cable feed.

Thanks for your help.

More about : newbie tuner card

a b x TV
January 23, 2009 6:42:20 PM

A couple things you need to know.

1) A TV Tuner card that old almost certainly does not have a digital signal tuner. With the digital transition coming next month, the signal will have to be converted to an analog signal before it gets to your TV Tuner card (your cable box should do this).

2) You can hook up the coax cable from the wall directly to the TV Tuner card and use the tuner functions (but again, with the digital transition, you'll lose those analog signals) or you can let your current cable box do the signal conversion (and channel selection). This essentially turns the TV Tuner card into a glorified video capture card.

3) It doesn't look like ATI/AMD offers download of drivers/software for the TV Wonder Pro under Windows Vista. In order to use the TV Tuner, your new system has to have Windows XP installed (or you may be able to find 3rd party drivers).

4) If it is your intent to load Windows XP on your new system, ATI does offer drivers and software (the Multimedia Center software) for setting up and using the TV Tuner card.

5) If it is your intent to load Windows Vista on your new system, I wouldn't bother with installing the TV Tuner card.

-Wolf sends
January 23, 2009 7:45:55 PM

Wolfshadw said:
A couple things you need to know.

1) A TV Tuner card that old almost certainly does not have a digital signal tuner. With the digital transition coming next month, the signal will have to be converted to an analog signal before it gets to your TV Tuner card (your cable box should do this).

2) You can hook up the coax cable from the wall directly to the TV Tuner card and use the tuner functions (but again, with the digital transition, you'll lose those analog signals) or you can let your current cable box do the signal conversion (and channel selection). This essentially turns the TV Tuner card into a glorified video capture card.

3) It doesn't look like ATI/AMD offers download of drivers/software for the TV Wonder Pro under Windows Vista. In order to use the TV Tuner, your new system has to have Windows XP installed (or you may be able to find 3rd party drivers).

4) If it is your intent to load Windows XP on your new system, ATI does offer drivers and software (the Multimedia Center software) for setting up and using the TV Tuner card.

5) If it is your intent to load Windows Vista on your new system, I wouldn't bother with installing the TV Tuner card.

-Wolf sends


I am going to be running XP. But it sounds like I am still out of luck as my cable box is nowhere near my computer. My computer is near where my cable comes into the house, but if the signal is the wrong signal after next month than I will not be able to make this work.

I am in fact just wanting to use the card to record tv shows and play them back later.
Related resources
a b x TV
January 23, 2009 11:21:19 PM

Easiest solution would be to get a TV Tuner that's capable of handling a digital (ATSC) signal. That's what we change to next month. This is the one I use replacing my ATI X1800XL All-In-Wonder card.

Another option would be to rent/purchase another cable box just for your PC.

-Wolf sends
January 24, 2009 12:02:19 AM

yeah not much point if its useless in a month. imo just chuck it/give it away to some random...
January 24, 2009 2:07:07 AM

Contacted my cable company. They will be continuing to send both analog and digital signals. So, I may be able to make this work.
Hooray.
Now just gotta get the right software.
!