I am looking to make my PC into an HD-DVR. Currently I have DirecTV and their HD-DVR. I want to be able to get the same functionality using my computer so I can get rid of the HD-DVR box and save some money. Next to my computer, I have a DirecTV HD Box which I believe I will still need to unscramble the signal. I have an Xbox 360 that acts as a media extender. I am hoping to just watch TV on that.
What kind of tuner will I need to be able to use media center on my Xbox for live TV and watching recordings? I also want to be able to record an HD show and watch an HD show at the same time, or record two at a time.
Also, is it possible to watch a recording while the recording is still in progress?
All this is very possible. You just need a TV-tuner card for your PC. For your purposes, you may need a dual tuner which will allow you to either record two channels at once or record a channel while you watch another.
As for the recording and playback, it's usually always possible but that's just dependent on the program you use for it.
Do tuners that unscramble DTV exist? I know they make network tuners for Cable TV where you stick a cable card in, but do they also exists for DTV? If they do, then it's a piece of cake. I currently have the one for Cable TV. It's awesome.
I don't think there are any tuners that are DTV ready, for DTV you still have to connect the DTV box to the tuner. Some DTV companies have programs that let you change the channel on your DTV box through the internet and if you are a programmer, you can probably write some code to set recording sessions, etc.
As for the S-Video, HDMI and component connections, a lot of tuners accept S-Video and component connections but I'm not too sure about HDMI. I thought all directv boxes have a coaxial tv out connector..
You should be able to find and connect the HD DirecTV box to a tuner card, but the problem would be to synch the recording with the channel lineup and recording.
You can probably use the auto tuning feature on the DirecTV box to switch to the channel to record and set the recording program to record certain time periods since all the broadcasts are on a set schedule.
Regardless, with or without a coax out, you can definately use s-video or component connections instead. They give much better quality pictures anyways. The problem is the HD which would require the HDMI input on the tuner.