I am looking at building a new Vista x64 system and I want to include a TV tuner. I've looked at several different models and read tons of reviews on all of them. The question I have that keeps lingering is....
Which ones will work with a cable signal after the digital switch??
It's just basic cable and I do not have to have a converter box to watch on my old TVs. I don't know what to look for when looking at the specs of them to know if it will work or not, and most of the reviews don't say whether it will work with a cable connection.
The advantage of this Hauppauge 2250 card design is that BOTH of its tuners are able to handle all three TV signal types - older NTSC analog (still found on cable), ATSC digital (on OTA transmitters) and Clear QAM (digital signals on cable). Moreover, they share the antenna input connector so you don't provide two feeds in from your signal source, be it antenna or cable. It only gets a little tricky if you are unusual and want to be able to use BOTH cable and OTA antenna signals, but not simultaneously. For that rare situation you would want a selection switch on the input to the single antenna connector. (Oh, there is a second antenna input connector, but it is devoted to the FM Radio tuner in the card.)
The downside comments I've seen on this card suggest that it sometimes takes some fiddling and tweaking to get it all to work, and Tech Support seems weak. An important clue for many was: do NOT install the card drivers that come with it on disk. Go directly to the Hauppauge website and download / install the very latest drivers.
Be aware of a potential change in cable digital signals. This is an undecided area right now. Apparently the FCC regulations required that any digital TV signal on cable NOT be encoded or scrambled. Now, may cable systems had been encoding their HDTV digital signals so you pay extra for them, and home TV owners could not tune in the QAM signals used for digital channels on cable. So when the switch came through the HDTV and any other digital signals on cable were put on Clear QAM, and the Clear part means unencoded. The computer users with tuner cards slip in and get these signals FREE for now! The cable operators all are asking the FCC to change the rules, intending to encode those QAM signals so you can't sneak a free use with your computer. 8ut there are a number of organizations keenly interested in making sure computer users will buy and use tuners for cable systems, and the battle is on! Right now it's not clear how this will shake out.