Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

Best TV Tuner Card?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
July 10, 2009 4:07:10 AM

I'm looking to get a TV Tuner card for my computer and was just wanting a list of some choices. Maybe some of you have had good experience with a certain brand/model and wouldn't mind pointing me the right direction.

Thanks.



-Charles

More about : tuner card

July 10, 2009 4:28:53 AM

Not alot of responses down in this forum. You might want to visit Newegg dot com. They have tons of reviews from actual posters. You can get a feel for picture quality / bugginess of applications included / etc by reading their reviews - and most of them are from verified purchasers.
July 10, 2009 4:30:50 AM

JessieJ said:
Not alot of responses down in this forum. You might want to visit Newegg dot com. They have tons of reviews from actual posters. You can get a feel for picture quality / bugginess of applications included / etc by reading their reviews - and most of them are from verified purchasers.



Thanks for the heads up!



-Charles
Related resources
a b x TV
July 10, 2009 10:48:26 AM

Hauppauge 2250 works well with Vista-64 windows media-center. You also have an option of using Hauppauge TV Software which also runs well.

The 2250 is the only Tuner that provides Dual Hybrid Tuner. Any of the two can run as Digital, Analog, or both (2 Analog or 2 Digital).

It has an accessory for you to control your cable or Satelite BOX.

I made HD recording for HD 1080i from Over the Air (ATSC) and CLEAR QAM. It’s awesome. The Analog TV (NTSC) is also great. I don't watch NTSC TV anymore but from time to time I do check and see how the card performs. So far NTSC TV is great as well.

I programmed it to record HD Shows for 2 days none stop just to check it out. Everything works out fine.

Be sure to have a big drive. I have 1 TB drive just for dumping media files. The biggest single HD -TV recording that I made is ~ 27GByte to 30Gbyte. I did that with 2009 Grammy Show, Superbowl and Olympic Basketball Games.

Here is the path for more information.

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.htm...

This is the exact unit that I got. It includes the controls for cable/satellite box.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Other TV Tuners I tried
Hauppauge 1800/1600: Software is great and works well with media center for Vista-64. HD video is good but the Analog TV reproduction is a degraded version.

ATI-650 PCIE, ATI-600 PCI: One of the best hardware that I have seen.
- Software is buggy and requires a lot of work to run with Windows Media Center.
- The HD input is prone to failure. I had my board replaced twice.
- HD TV recording has bug. It is limited to 4Gbytes then the TV stops recording with an error flag.

AVERMEDIA Combo PCIE: The board that I got never work so I returned it.

Pinnacle PCI TV: One of the best HD TV that I have tested. The software is behind. Bug resolution is open-ended.

Here is a site for additional info on PC TV comparison for your reference

http://www.hdtvtunerinfo.com/comparetuners.html

For GOOD ATSC (HD TV) reception use an Amplified Antenna. You can get it from Best Buy or Wal-Mart for ~ $20 to $30.


July 10, 2009 3:16:19 PM

Yeah, I've got a 500 GB HDD and then a 1 TB external, as well as another TB networked at my house. And yeah, when I worked at Circuit City I remembered Pinnacle being a heavy hitter when it came to Computer/TV hardware. I'll do a little more research on the Hauppauge 2250 and might try it out. Thanks for the posts.



-Charles
July 10, 2009 3:35:07 PM

calmstateofmind said:
I'm looking to get a TV Tuner card for my computer and was just wanting a list of some choices. Maybe some of you have had good experience with a certain brand/model and wouldn't mind pointing me the right direction.

Thanks.



-Charles


I would like to add a question to this post. Do these TV tuner cards replace a regular video card or can they co-habitate in the same machine?
July 10, 2009 3:47:10 PM

ram1009 said:
I would like to add a question to this post. Do these TV tuner cards replace a regular video card or can they co-habitate in the same machine?

Tuner cards are complimentary. They recieve signals and decode them only. You still need a video card to output the results.
November 30, 2009 1:13:16 PM

Sorry to add a reply that may seem out of context, but I have a computer with a pretty old configuration(Intel P4, 1Gb RAM, Seagate 40Gb HDD, 128Mb ATI Radeon graphics card, CD-RW drive and a 19" Viewsonic widescreen LCD with an XP OS). I am currently using a pretty low end external TV tuner and also would like to add that I am not that technically aware about hardware.

Firstly, keeping in mind that I would like to be able to record whatever I'm watching, I'd like to ask what is the difference between an internal and external TV tuner and what are the pros and cons? I get a slightly grainy picture right now but I don't know if it is my monitor or the TV tuner that is the reason behind it.

Please suggest changes I should make to my system/create a new config since mine is pretty old [an entry-level setup would suit me just fine(No overclocking or complicated graphics setups etc. required, like most of you guys have, as I just wont be needing it) For example, a 500Gb HDD at max would be just fine,although less wouldn't hurt either] so that I can watch and record TV shows and also play my games without any hassles. I primarily play Counter-Strike and Warcraft III: Frozen Throne - Dota.

Looking forward to your help.
February 22, 2010 6:56:12 PM

Saw your question while doing some research on TVTC's (TV Tuner Card) for recording the 2010 World Cup :bounce: 

My 2 cents:

Your setup is almost exactly like my 1st PC. Only difference is mine has 2GB of RAM but a 64MB ATI Radeon GPU. I'm surprised you're able to watch *anything* on there with your external TVTC. It's definitely time to move to a new setup.

Regarding external & internal TVTC's: like pretty much anything else electronic, your connection type makes the biggest difference (in this case, internal vs. USB). External TVTC's connect through a USB port, where as most internal ones use a PCI-E x1 slot on your motherboard. This means the internal TVTC's are hardwired to your system, which is the preferred choice. This route produces better video quality (a lot of factors work into that, actually, such as your cable providers' channel lineup quality, signal strength, etc.,) vs. a USB e-TVTC.

A no-brainer: the more power your rig has, the better video quality you're going to get. The grainy picture you're experiencing has to do with the fact that your system is underpowered. Some basics for your new system:

- @ least a dual core CPU, I'd go for a quad-core AMD or Intel build
- make sure to get the 64-bit version of your OS of choice, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit is mine
- @ least 4GB of RAM, I'd suggest 1066MHz at a minimum/if you're on a budget. RAM is *CRUCIAL*. The more, the better.
- the size/number of your HD's totally depend on how much you're going to record/save, but I'd suggest a single 500GB HD for sure
- a decent GPU, like the Radeon HD 5770, to compliment whatever TVTC you decide to get
- make sure you have a power supply that can handle how you plan to use your PC, @ least 500W
- good airflow/cooling inside your case
- DO YOUR RESEARCH, Google/Bing every aspect, it's better to go into it knowing as much as possible vs. building quickly & frying something

Good luck.
February 23, 2010 2:26:01 PM

You don't really need much at all for just recording video/playing cs or dota. Basically you'd just need a better processor and a big fast harddrive. I can't see picture issues being caused by low processor unless it just can't handle it at all, and yours should be able to handle displaying it fine (transcoding and recording however is a different issue).
February 27, 2010 9:17:28 AM

I've been searching for a tuner card and checked noticed this thread. I checked out the Hauppauge 2250 and did some research on it. The only negative I could find is that it only has one RF input. Since I'm pretty new to this could this be a problem down the road? I have cable TV (Digital). I'd like to record in HD. Am I correct to assume that I'll be able to watch the HD recordings via DVI or HDMI outputs on my MSI Radeon 4550 tuner card? I also presume the QAM tuner on the card will decode the digital HD signals. Thanx.
a b x TV
February 27, 2010 3:53:39 PM

Hauppage 2250 has 2 bybrid Tuners...Both can function to decode/play HD shows from Antenna or Cable/Sat Box
March 18, 2010 12:21:32 AM

mzadotcom has some good ideas, and I know that there as many options as there are opinions, but I would like to point out that you may not need as many as 500W for the above mentioned system... often times, power supplies that are reasonably priced (i.e. under 100$ or so) have to make compromises, so a really good 400W PS is often better than a budget 500+ PS. There are far too many variables to consider when choosing a PS. Look for PS's that have "dual rail" power... this will allow you to divide your power requirements between two transformers... think using two circuits on your house instead of one overloaded one!



I build PC's professionally for clients and lately, I have had great luck with Phenom core processors (2 or 3 core) on an AMD KVA-7 board. Pair this with 2 GB of ram (I like Corsair XPS), a Seagate 1Tb barracuda Hard Drive, (I also like the radeon 5770, btw) and a decent 120mm fan to exhaust the case. If you are intimidated, follow mzadotcom's advice and use newegg.com's reviews section for hardware choises... as a rule, I ignore all gushing 5 star ratings, because most are just overjoyed purchasers and may not have the depth and critical eye that a 4 star rating (or less) may have (just a rule of thumb).

Also, you can get more bang for your buck with XP than windows 7 or *gulp* vista. I know people may groan, but you can build a 32bit XP system that will run as fast, or faster, than a win7 system with double the ram. I recently purchased a new in the foil XP pro for a client for under 80 bucks!

With a new copy of XP 32bit (look closely on Amazon for deals) , you can easily buy a system and assemble it yourself for under 600 bucks... and you already have a decent monitor (I used Viewsonics professionally for years for color correction work) and mouse/keyboards should only be upgraded once you have spilled a beer on them and the "s" key stops working!

AMD mb/phenom 2 (64bit i.e. windows 7 ready) combo ~90$
Corsair 2GB 1066mhz ~ 80
1 tb Seagate ~ 80
5770 ~ 50 (or less)
Lite on DVD burner ~30
XP Pro (32 bit... very well sorted, not real gains to be seen from win xp64 and it uses multi-core processors well) ~100
Case ~ 30
PS ~ 80 (I've always like Enermax if you can find deals on them)

540$ (or way less, if you are a savvy shopper)

You can always upgrade memory, and add peripherals as you need them, but this is a great base system that will be relevant for at least five or six years. Newegg is a great source, and you will save a ton if you purchase it all at the same time... shipping costs will be dramatically lower (to the tune of 40+ dollars)

if you have any questions, you can always drop me a line... I even have a few quote sheets from recent PC's I have built for clients with hot links to their Newegg/web locations!

just my .02

Ewing Fox
ewingfox@hotmail.com


mzadotcom said:
Saw your question while doing some research on TVTC's (TV Tuner Card) for recording the 2010 World Cup :bounce: 

My 2 cents:

Your setup is almost exactly like my 1st PC. Only difference is mine has 2GB of RAM but a 64MB ATI Radeon GPU. I'm surprised you're able to watch *anything* on there with your external TVTC. It's definitely time to move to a new setup.

Regarding external & internal TVTC's: like pretty much anything else electronic, your connection type makes the biggest difference (in this case, internal vs. USB). External TVTC's connect through a USB port, where as most internal ones use a PCI-E x1 slot on your motherboard. This means the internal TVTC's are hardwired to your system, which is the preferred choice. This route produces better video quality (a lot of factors work into that, actually, such as your cable providers' channel lineup quality, signal strength, etc.,) vs. a USB e-TVTC.

A no-brainer: the more power your rig has, the better video quality you're going to get. The grainy picture you're experiencing has to do with the fact that your system is underpowered. Some basics for your new system:

- @ least a dual core CPU, I'd go for a quad-core AMD or Intel build
- make sure to get the 64-bit version of your OS of choice, Windows 7 Ultimate 64-bit is mine
- @ least 4GB of RAM, I'd suggest 1066MHz at a minimum/if you're on a budget. RAM is *CRUCIAL*. The more, the better.
- the size/number of your HD's totally depend on how much you're going to record/save, but I'd suggest a single 500GB HD for sure
- a decent GPU, like the Radeon HD 5770, to compliment whatever TVTC you decide to get
- make sure you have a power supply that can handle how you plan to use your PC, @ least 500W
- good airflow/cooling inside your case
- DO YOUR RESEARCH, Google/Bing every aspect, it's better to go into it knowing as much as possible vs. building quickly & frying something

Good luck.

April 7, 2010 1:05:03 PM

Hi, I noticed this post and I am real new to the entire HDTV/Tuner and watching tv on your computer. I have a gaming system right now with broadband connection and a nvidia 285x video card. I have a regular tv on the desk near my computer. However, all works well except that I only pay for the channels from 2-75. Therefore I don't receive a bunch of channels that I would have to pay extra for like military channel,MLB etc and stuff like that. If I was to get one of these tuners and place inside my computer,

1. I would plug a coaxial into the card


2. Would I receive channels that would not show on my regular tv but they would show on my computer?

3. The only reason to get one of these is to watch channels that are digital that I don't get on my cable tv?
April 8, 2010 1:35:21 AM

You do not even receive those channels through your coax into the house.

installing a tuner card would not open any other channels... don't think descramblers (ala 1980's satellite dishes)... the signal just isnt there.


You would install a coax to the card

Many people like using the card because you can use your PC as a DVR, and it allows much higher res recording outputs (good for making your own season compilations, sharing with friends... although this is illegal just about anywhere, so my obligatory advice (in case a moderator or big brother is concerned)

DONT. SHARE. INFORMATION. (sounds a lot like the Catholic Church during the dark ages, right?) Hmmmm... Food for thought!

April 8, 2010 1:06:14 PM

Thanks Ewing for the response, I guess I dont need one then, yes, my cheap ass time warner cable charges me 65 dollars for a bunch of crap stations and we have no competition in this area, if I wsn't into gaming I would use them
July 10, 2010 5:41:00 PM

I'm looking at that Happauge 2250 TV Tuner Card. My question is about downstream -- AFTER I've recorded something over-the-air (or over-the-cable). Can I then do something with the files I've recorded OTHER than just play them back on WMC? Suppose I want to record the episodes in a series this fall, and then back up the episodes to DVD-R (perhaps 400 MB AVI's per episode). Can I use something like HandBrake to do this, or does DRM get in the way?
July 10, 2010 5:49:07 PM

This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
!