My TV just died so I have no other means of watching television. I have been looking around for good TV tuner cards and USB sticks but I really am stuck on which one would be the best for me, all I want to to is able to watch and record shows and from what I understand most TV tuner are able to do that with WMC. I'm looking to spend around $50 -$60 on one, I'm running Windows 7 64bit, Core 2 Quad, 8GB memory, 275's in SLI, 23.6 inch monitor 1080p. I have a spare PCI-E x16 slot free for a tuner card that's X1, and plenty of USB ports. Thanks for your help.
Pulling a signal from a cable box is tricky business.
If your cable company sends clear-QAM channels, you can just plug the coax directly into the tuner card. You will not get any premium channels this way. Most likely, you will only get the broadcast channels like NBC.
Alternately, you can set up an IR blaster so your computer can control the cable box. The coax goes from the wall to your cable box in order to decrypt the signal. You can then either send the decrypted signal to your capture card via S-video (only at 480p) with most tuners, or you can get the Hauppauge HD PVR which can capture 1080i with component cables.
There is a third option for digital cable. If you can find a CableCard tuner to put into your PC, you can tune in all channels, even premium HD channels, directly but no pay-per-view or on-demand.. Ceton and SiliconDust have some CableCard tuners in the works.