But I have concerns as this TV tuner may be obsolete for use with COMCAST cable HD. I have read on some forums that Comcast is using more and more encrypted channels and since this card can only pick up clear-QAM and ATSC, I may not be able to get the recording and playback capability I desire. Is this true?
As an alternative... I may have to resort to OTA HD content... but then I have some more questions:
How many channels will I be able to pick up via OTA HD? Will I be able to pick up ESPN OTA HD in San Jose, CA?
In my case, all HD channels from Comcast are encrypted. The only way to record HD channels is to use the set-top box. Unfortunately, the coax output from the set-top box (which would be the input source to your TV Tuner Card) is no longer HD (I don't believe). So while you can record in this fashion, the quality leave much to be desired.
What you may want to do is wait until the the Cablecard add-ons are available for PCs. Ceton is preparing the release of a Cablecard adapter for the PC, which (supposedly) will take the place of your set top box and allow you to record HD channels at their proper resolution. These cards are supposed to be available sometime next year.
As far as OTA HD content, that's up to the broadcast channels in your area. Go here and enter your zip code to find out what channels are available to you.
Good answer from wolfshadow.
I'd like to add to it by saying that it will work if you get only basic cable but if you have a cable box to tune the stations you won't be able to tune those stations, Just the basic cable ones. Which YES does include a few in HD. But they are only the major networks (CBS, ABC, NBC, FOX) that you would get in HD using an anntena anyways.
A good test to see what you would get using this card is to unhook the cable line that goes INTO the cable box (if you have one) then connect it to your TV (so you would be bypassing that cable box) and let your TV search for the channels. Whatever it finds will be the same channels you will get using an HD tuner card in your computer. A few major networks may be in HD (mentioned above) but don't expect to get (Discovery HD or HBO HD for example).
He problem with the cable card is that witht he current cards, they do not support Comcast's OnDemand and other premium services. I think what would be needed is to have a "tuner card" or something like it that had an HDMI or at least a DVI input. I am looking for that myself...anyone know of any?