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Video/Cable Card

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August 30, 2009 2:27:56 AM

I'm looking to purchase a card that will give my computer cable capabilities. I'm not looking to spend over $100, but I just want a good card. (one with good reception) nothing else all that fancy so if the price can be dropped do to that I'd appreciate it. Anyway what are your suggestions?

More about : video cable card

a b B Homebuilt system
August 30, 2009 2:58:55 AM

Just what are we talking about hear ? nic card ?
August 30, 2009 4:31:48 AM

TV tuner card for my comp. I want to use my cable through my computer
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August 30, 2009 1:41:27 PM

if you want full control and not have a cable box (i am assuming this is what you want) you need something called a cablecard tuner, the standard tuners wont be able to decrypt the cable stations that are encrypted (which is nearly all of them), though for under $100, you won't find one, i was looking into it and you can really only get them in OEM compters from dell and the cheapest i found was @250

now if all you want is over the air (broadcast) tv, ten a tv tuner will work

@niklas_13 tv tuners usually don't connect to a monitor or tv, they take input only (except ati's all in wonder video cards), he would still use his normal monitor connection
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 1:56:49 AM

With a TV Tuner card, what channels you get depends on your cable company. I have Comcast in St. Paul, MN and I get channels 2-68 and 99 without a cable box. With a cable box, I get all the channels I subscribe to (in essence, turning the TV Tuner Card into a glorified video capture card).

My primary HTPC uses this AVerMedia TV Tuner Card. My secondary HTPC uses this ATI All-In-Wonder

-Wolf sends
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 2:04:28 AM

You will get all non encrypted channels, anything you would be able to pick up with a tv but no cable box you will get, often times the digital channels are encrypted so you wont be able to get anything special like HBO or HD channels. Windows media player in windows 7 actually has some pretty good support for tuner cards, it lets me get 2-99 fine on my Pinnacle 800i(since been discontinued). Get one with dual tuners if you can find it, that way you can record one show and watch another at the same time.
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 3:21:32 AM

hunter315 said:
You will get all non encrypted channels, anything you would be able to pick up with a tv but no cable box you will get, often times the digital channels are encrypted so you wont be able to get anything special like HBO or HD channels. Windows media player in windows 7 actually has some pretty good support for tuner cards, it lets me get 2-99 fine on my Pinnacle 800i(since been discontinued). Get one with dual tuners if you can find it, that way you can record one show and watch another at the same time.


didnt all analog over the air channals gone away ? so wouldnt you need a digital converter box to go with the tuner card ? just wondering, I was thinking of getting one of thos cards myself.

a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 3:47:50 AM

No. Most newer TV Tuner cards now have digital tuners included for over the air digital transmissions.

-Wolf sends
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 3:58:25 AM

cool thanks i will have to look into this myself
a b B Homebuilt system
August 31, 2009 2:00:32 PM

OP is planing to use a cable system for his input, not an OTA antenna. All Over-the-air broadcasts in the USA now have switched to digital signals and there should be no analog signals being broadcast that way. However, cable systems are NOT forced to abandon analog signals, so they still have most of their channels in the un-encrypted range as analog, and you can still get them without a special tuner. Many have added digital channels, too, as well as HD channels, some of these are encrypted, some are not.

Over time, however, cable systems may stop carrying analog signals, but this is expected to be a long time off. Right now, for example, something like 80 to 90% of American households are using cable systems, not OTA antennas, and they rely on having analog signals to use with their existing TV's, rather than having to buy the converter boxes. Until analog TV receivers all die, people will still want analog signals on their cables.

If you want both analog and digital TV signal capability on a tuner card for your comp, you definitely need one with dual tuners. Often these are done with one tuner that is strictly analog signals from cable, and a second one that handles digital signals - two different types. There are TWO different digital signal systems in use now in the USA. Over-the-air (OTA) signals are broadcast using a system called ATSC. Cable services use a different system called Clear QAM. Many tuner cards being sold now for digital signals are designed to handle both, whichever is needed, but NOT all of them so read the spec's carefully.

Some dual-tuner cards have one tuner for analog cable channels, and another that can handle OTA ATSC formats or Clear QAM formats. More advanced dual-tuner systems can handle at three signal systems in each tuner, so you have no restrictions on which channels you can work with two-at-a-time. Some tuners also add FM radio tuners, some do not. Some include on-board HD signal processing, some don't. Almost all of these cards do NOT unencrypt premium-service channels on your cable, so those still need the set-top box to decrypt. However, some tuners also have an IR transmitter that can be used by the computer to simulate a hand-held remote and make the set-top box tune in the required premium channel. The more capability you get, the more you pay, but you certainly can find tuner cards with a decent group of features less then $100.


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