Help Selecting a TV Tuner Card

I'm wanting to put a TV Tuner in my computer, but I'm very confused as to what tuners will give me what. I have digital box cable with HD. I'm wondering what Tuner cards I can use to get that cable to my computer. I want to be able to record the HD channels and everything that I pay for. I know the tuner card probably can't decode the encoded HD channels, but will the new Hauppauge cards (1650,1850,2050, etc.) still get all the HD channels if I use the output signal from my HD box and plug that into the card? The channel should already be decoded by the box.

With that said, would I need a tuner with an HD input? Are there such things? Thanks for the help guys.
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More about help selecting tuner card
  1. Bump. Surely someone on here knows something about TV Tuner cards.
  2. Go for the Hauppage 2250. Dual hybrid tuner. One for playing and the other for recording. It works well for Vista-64 and XP-32. I can't comment on other OS.

    It can function as DVR & PVR for HD and SD TV. It works well with Windows Media Center. Hauppage TV and recording software also works well.

    ATI HDTV tuner 650PCIE has a lot of hardware and software issues.
  3. ASUS My Cinema-PE9400
    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250
    Compro E900F

    With those cards and XP Media Center Edition, Vista, or Win7 you can not only watch but also record like a DVR with Windows Media Center. Most of the reviews I've read say that it is better then the bundled software but I wont know personally until I get the computer I plan to use for this together.

    Also be sure to look into getting a signal amplifier for the incoming signal to improve quality. You should be able to find those at a local RadioShack, Best Buy, or other electronics store. Such amplifiers also work for cable modems from what I hear. I do plan on getting one soon.

    Another feature to look for is a "IR Blaster" that lets your computer send the same commands as your remote to do things like turn on/off or change channel at a specific time even when your not home to your cable/satellite box.

    One feature I liked with the Compro is that it has a pass though for your cases power button so you can turn your system on and off with the included remote.
  4. I went with the AverMedia AverTV Combo G2 tuner card. I chose this card because it had comparable features to the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250, but at a much cheaper price point. I also liked the remote that came with it, as it looked to be very functional & easy to use. The features I was looking for were the ability to record 2 digital, 2 analog, or 1 of each signal type at the same time (or watch & record each at the same time) I wanted to make sure the card supported HDTV, which I believe the highest resolution currently supported by any card is 1080i. I would have liked to have been able to receive FM transmissions as well, as this is going into a HTPC & that would have been nice; however I sacrificed that feature to get a cheaper card. If you game on consoles, the AverMedia card offers an advanced gaming plug-in developed by AVerMedia that allows you to Plug-in-Play game consoles in real time, without the latency problems associated with Windows Media Center. I'm not a big gamer, but I've got a Wii & PS3, so I thought this was a nice feature to have. I wish I could provide you with real-usage results & analysis, but my wife won't let me build my HTPC yet because it is my Christmas present...perhaps I'll check back in & give you an update once I'm done!
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