I'm looking into buying a tv tuner card and I have some questions:
1. I have Time Waner digital cable. will i need to get a second cable box?
2. How well does the over-the-air tv work, or does it work at all?
3. This one is tricky, I have a coaxial cable in my room, but it does not have a connector on the end (i.e. it is just a bare cable). Does anyone know how to add a connnector to the end of the cable?
2) You don't have to use OTA*
3) Don't know that one
*The digital tuners for computers usually have Clear-QAM tuner which allows them to pick up certain channels that are not encrypted, and the channels that are unencrypted are usually the ones broadcast over the air in your area. In order to get the encrypted channels you need another set top box that goes from the wall to the tv tuner
they is a company creating a cable card tuner for PC's that don't need a set top box (that's what a cable card tuner is for), the only thing needed to be rented from Time Warner is the Cable Card (make sure its an M type for multi-tuner cards) it should be like $5/month and if they say they can;'t give you one, they are required by law to rent one to you (just in case)
1. If you want to watch the same cable HD contents like ESPN, HBO, Discovery, you will need that Set-Top-Box. However, if your cable package only have local channels, then you won't need a cable box as "mindless728" mention about ClearQAM for PCTV tuner. But rumor has it that some cable company are start shutting off ClearQAM offer, so you probably need to check with you cable company. Also you will need to have Windows 7 OS or use of the application which come with your PCTV tuner card.
2. Go to antennaweb.org, type in your address and see how far away and which direction the broadcast tower from you. Within 5 ~ 10 mile with a clear line of sight, you can use indoor digital antenna. I would say Over-The-Air digital TV picture quality is the "BEST", better than cable and satellite HD, because OTA digital TV has all needed bandwidth, of course you can only see the 1080i HD in major network broadcast like CBS, NBC etc... Some local or regional broadcaster are only broadcast their contents in SD format.
3. Go to Google and type "Coaxial Cable Repair Kit", you will see some tools and connectors for cable repair. Before you purchase any of these, you should check your coax cable is connected to the main hub. So you should still bring in a TV or use a laptop with TV tuner to test it.
"mindless728" mention about Cable Card tuner for PC... The first generation OCUR for Vista failed, as of now, there should be the new second generation OCUR for Windows 7. The product has not launch yet, if it works, it does save your cable box rental fee.
What I am using right now is the new AVerMeida USB HD DVR with my Satellite HD STB, I also have the Hauppauge HD PVR hardware, now I use this one and connect with my PS3 console to record some of my game play. I use laptop (x2, one for AVerMedia, and one for Hauppauge) to control and set record time. The Hauppauge IR learning is not that user friendly, so I only use that to record my game play and the max record quality is not as high as AVerMedia (up to 20 Mbps). Both device record H.264 (hardware encode). The file format is .TS (transport Stream), but both hardware has applications to convert in different format like iPod or PSP. There are Pros & Cons with these two hardware... AVerMedia has HDMI out, so I can just playback my recording directly back to the TV (without the laptop connect to the TV), the draw back is that you cannot FF/RR, just playback from start to end (best for movie, not for TV programs, unless you want to watch the commercial), Picture quality also better than Hauppauge. The Hauppauge has optical input, so if the source has DTS or Dolby, it will be good. The video is not as good as AVerMedia, but it wins on Audio (AVerMedia only take stereo audio).
1) the cable companies cannot (by law) turn off ClearQAM support for broadcast stations (ABC,NBC,FOX...) but if they have other channels in ClearQAM they could shut them off
2) there is no more OCCUR so you don't need a special BIOS or an OEM computer anymore (took long enough), all you need now is Media Center (on all Win7's above Home Basic) a cable card tuner (Ceton), and a cable card from the cable company (which as stated, they must rent to you, its the law)
and really the only options you have for cable channels on your PC (through a tuner) are the old ATI tuner and the Ceton tuner (when it comes out)
1. I thought so as well, that FCC mandated cable company must carry local ATSC channel in ClearQAM domain. But there was a loop hole that the cable company is getting around. I know the facts that cable company turn off ClearQAM in some cities. They sent out a notices to customers as if they don't response, they will agree to turn off by default.
2. We will see when Ceton device come out, what will happen. So far I would rather to use AVerMedia USB HD DVR or Hauppauge HD PVR instead. My friend had a Sony system with the ATI OCUR device, the cable company is having a hard time to setup that thing and end up it took a month with MSFT help to setup.