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Best TV Tuner card?

Hello,

I am planning to buy one TV+FM Tuner card. Should I go for:

1) USB or PCI based?
2) Make: Pinnacle or Avermedia or ATI or who else?
3) Card must record the videos (Software)
4) OS: Windows 7 Pro x64
5) Must support DVB-S / DVB-T
6) Signal: Direct to Home (Direct Broadcast Satellite).

My Video hardware is 24" ASUS VK246H LCD Monitor and Sapphire Radeon HD 5770 1 GB.

Please suggest which product would be better?

Thank you.
14 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about best tuner card
  1. What "videos" are you planning on recording? I don't know what you mean by "Direct to Home". Are you just planning on recording over-the-air programming?

    I've had great luck with Hauppauge TV tuners. I use two in my current HTPC, a HVR-1600 and a HVR-2250. I highly recommend the HVR-2250 since it has a dual tuner that allows you to record two shows at once or watch one while recording another. The HVR-2250 also has an FM tuner. My combination of two dual-tuners gives me the ability to record four shows at the same time.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=1790949191&Description=hauppauge&name=Dual%20Tuner
  2. @shortstuff: A few questions, as this is one (of many) areas that I don't know anything about. My newest build was meant as an HTPC and is hooked up to my TV, but I left out the tuners because of my lack of knowledge.

    Does that let you record off of cable, or over-the-air only? I know it says "analog cable," is there an easy way to tell if the cable is analog or digitial (if that exists)? Do you need special software to record?
  3. shortstuff_mt said:
    What "videos" are you planning on recording? I don't know what you mean by "Direct to Home". Are you just planning on recording over-the-air programming?

    I've had great luck with Hauppauge TV tuners. I use two in my current HTPC, a HVR-1600 and a HVR-2250. I highly recommend the HVR-2250 since it has a dual tuner that allows you to record two shows at once or watch one while recording another. The HVR-2250 also has an FM tuner. My combination of two dual-tuners gives me the ability to record four shows at the same time.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=1790949191&Description=hauppauge&name=Dual%20Tuner

    Thanks for the response. DTH comes from the Satellite signal (small dia. dish). I can record any videos in my country but I wish to record only MotoGP, Formula 1 and WRC races from the 2010 season onwards. I will check out those Hauppage cards for sure.
  4. MadAdmiral said:
    @shortstuff: Does that let you record off of cable, or over-the-air only? I know it says "analog cable," is there an easy way to tell if the cable is analog or digitial (if that exists)? Do you need special software to record?

    Analog TV transmission through Cable or Air.
  5. MadAdmiral said:
    @shortstuff: A few questions, as this is one (of many) areas that I don't know anything about. My newest build was meant as an HTPC and is hooked up to my TV, but I left out the tuners because of my lack of knowledge.

    Does that let you record off of cable, or over-the-air only? I know it says "analog cable," is there an easy way to tell if the cable is analog or digitial (if that exists)? Do you need special software to record?

    My setup records HD OTA programming and analog cable. I just use Windows 7 Media Center for all my recording and playback. You can only record the unencrypted cable channels you would pick up if you plugged your cable directly into your TV. It gets pretty messy when you start messing with digital cable boxes and satellite boxes since you need a blaster to change the channel on your digital cable or satellite box. Support for recording digital cable without a digital cable box has recently been enabled in Windows 7, but there are VERY few TV tuners available with that capability yet. In fact, as far as I know, this is the only one and I'm not sure it's even available yet.

    http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonderdigital/

    Here's some more information on the subject:

    http://www.zatznotfunny.com/2009-11/the-windows-media-center-cablecard-update/

    http://community.winsupersite.com/blogs/paul/archive/2009/09/10/microsoft-removes-cablecard-limitations-in-windows-media-center.aspx

    http://thegreenbutton.com/default.aspx
  6. Since I already have a box, to hook up the tuner, I connect the coax from the wall to the tuner, the tuner to the box (via coax), and then the box to the TV (via HDMI), right? Is it just messy with the cable box because of the extra step or am I missing something?
  7. Best answer
    Your TV tuner would have to go between your cable box and the TV. I don't have any experience when using digital cable boxes along with TV tuners. I do know that you have to have an IR blaster to change the channel on your satellite or cable TV set top box. My HVR-1600 came with an IR blaster, but it's still in the box. Somebody with experience recording TV while using a digital cable box will have to offer additional advice.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1600.html
  8. Don't think I'm going to bother with it, at least for now. I'm really going to need to start reading up on it though.

    Thanks for the info and links.
  9. No problem. It's probably best to stop our hijack of this thread anyway.
  10. shortstuff_mt said:
    Somebody with experience recording TV while using a digital cable box will have to offer additional advice.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1600.html

    Till date am using this type of USB card attached into my Lenovo laptop (WinXP and analog Cable):

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_usb2.html

    But I also watch satellite TV on the wall mounted LCDs. This is DTH (MPEG-4) and naturally I would like to watch and record (using software) from the same DTH service on my newly built workstation running Windows 7 pro.

    Looks like I need to do some study on this thing, also my DTH vendor has a set up box and that adds some complexity!
  11. shortstuff_mt said:
    No problem. It's probably best to stop our hijack of this thread anyway.

    Please go ahead, such tech things would be useful for others too.
  12. shortstuff_mt said:

    I've had great luck with Hauppauge TV tuners......The HVR-2250 also has an FM tuner. My combination of two dual-tuners gives me the ability to record four shows at the same time.

    Even I need something like that...and just found that Pinnacle PCTV product line has been sold to Hauppauge Digital so that makes my search somewhat easy. Check this Hybrid TV-/FM PCI Card with Video Capture
    http://www.pctvsystems.com/Products/ProductsNorthAmerica/HybridproductsUSA/PCTVHDCard/tabid/171/language/en-US/Default.aspx (but Windows 7 support??)

    What is your comment? Anyway, will search more tomorrow....
  13. shortstuff_mt said:

    I've had great luck with Hauppauge TV tuners. I use two in my current HTPC, a HVR-1600 and a HVR-2250. I highly recommend the HVR-2250 since it has a dual tuner that allows you to record two shows at once or watch one while recording another. The HVR-2250 also has an FM tuner. My combination of two dual-tuners gives me the ability to record four shows at the same time.

    I am not sure about those models, thought this would best suit my criteria and interested in saving a PCI express slot.

    http://www.hauppauge.com.sg/site/products/data_hvr1900.html

    Please comment on the above card. Thanks.
  14. shortstuff_mt said:
    Your TV tuner would have to go between your cable box and the TV. I don't have any experience when using digital cable boxes along with TV tuners. I do know that you have to have an IR blaster to change the channel on your satellite or cable TV set top box. My HVR-1600 came with an IR blaster, but it's still in the box. Somebody with experience recording TV while using a digital cable box will have to offer additional advice.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr1600.html


    I went for WinTV-HVR-1900 which is a Hybrid Analogue and Digital USB Tuner. I love this product, very much impressed with its performance on my new Core i7-860 based workstation with a 24" Asus LCD Monitor and it's also completely Windows 7 supported. For more info:
    http://www.hauppauge.com.sg/site/products/data_hvr1900.html
    http://www.microsoft.com/windows/compatibility/windows-7/en-us/Details.aspx?type=Hardware&p=Hauppauge%20WinTV-HVR-1900%20TV%20Tuner%20Card&v=Hauppauge&uid=1292&pf=0&pi=40&c=TV%20Devices&sc=TV%20Tuners&os=64-bit

    Thanks for giving me the lead to choose Hauppauge :)
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