I hope this is the right forum for this question, if not, mods please feel free to move as needed.
I have a question regarding making a PC into a HTPC.
I have an old Sony plasma TV that Ive had for about 8 years. It has no digital connections in, only Component (Y-Pr-Pb) and VGA.
I currently watch TV using a cable box connected via Component cables.
I also watch media (dvd, internet tv, HULU, etc...) from a PC by connecting to the VGA port using Windows Media Center.
(the vid card is a nvidea 9500GT - HDMI->vga converter to the display) It pushes out a beautiful picture.
I can control WMC via a remote hooked to the PC.
I control the cable box via another remote.
The only way to change the display from video 1 (componet) to video 2 (vga) is by manually hitting buttons on the front of the display.
(this is one of the first generation plasmas used by my old company for trade shows, I got it for next to nothing about 8 years ago when they upgraded, the picture is still great on it!)
What I would like to do is to have both the cable box and the pc push to one input, as well as be able to control both of them with 1 remote.
Im thinking this can be accomplished using WMC.
From what I have read, I can control the cable box using an IR blaster from the WMC remote reciever. Which gets me 1/2 way there.
My question is what do I need to add on the PC side to get the signal out from the cable box to the display going thru the PC?
Im assuming some type of tuner card, but Im not sure b/c the signal is being decoded by the cable box already but that may not matter b/c I still need to get the signal to the PC.
Also - if I want to do any type of DVR on the PC side, is that a function of the tuner card, or is that software (can WMC handle that), again assuming the signal is coming from the cable box.
DVR functions will require a tuner card, scheduling the recordings is done in the software. If you just have basic cable or clear QAM digital cable, you can get rid of the cable box all together by the way.
Anyways, look for a TV tuner card that has an S-video input. You run an s-video cable from the cable box to the input on the tuner card.
Hauppage cards often come with bundled IR blasters. I suggest you look at the HVR-2250 card:
Let me ask one other thing. My current box (an SA 8300HD) is already a DVR (which I added a 300gig drive for more storage).
Its coming out of that box to the tv via component cables. (best quality that not digital)
Can I still use the DVR functionality in the box and control it using WMC?
Also - if I take S-Vid out to that card - what happens to the PQ?
I guess ideally what I would like to be able to do is use the WMC interface to schedule the DVR in the cable box, as well as watch any media I have on the PC.