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Trouble figuring out which tuner card I need

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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October 16, 2010 10:05:30 PM

I just built a new system to game on, but I also want to be able to record and watch TV.

I have Comcast digital cable

Here is my problem, I was unaware of the difference between ClearQAM and normal QAM, so i bought:

Which i can receive all the unencrypted channels (an amazing 34 channels, none I like, of course). From what i understand I have 2 options, use a set top box from Comcast (I would rather not if I don't have to), or find a TV Tuner card wit CableCARD capabilities. I have looked around and the only card that has that appears to be the ATI TV Wonder HD 650 from Dimond, however i have been unable to actually confirm that (every site I look at has different information).

Does anyone know of a good CableCARD TV tuner? (pci-e preferable)

or should I try and get a set top box to work? (with IR blaster and what not)

If relivent I am using Win7 pro
and I have non-HD programming from Comcast so HD is not required, bu would be nice feature.

Thanks!
October 17, 2010 12:24:52 AM

Did you try google?
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October 17, 2010 6:05:18 AM

I did, but it was surprisingly unhelpful
Most of the results were from 2008 and before
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October 17, 2010 6:30:16 AM

Well, there are cable card capable PC systems out there, but I thought the market was supposed to open up so that cabl;e card tuners could be installed by users. MS had developed a pre-purchase scanner to determine if your pc had the necessary protections to allow you to install a cable card.

But I didn't find but one $400 card that *seemed* to be available for purchase.

Cable companies never liked the concept, and like it less on a PC. My guess is while technically and legally possible, the regulations make it as difficult for users to install as it is to drill for oil in the gulf.
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October 21, 2010 12:12:58 AM

Ok, so my best solution would probably be try and get my current card to work with a set top box?

And thank you for the reply.
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Best solution

October 21, 2010 4:16:16 PM

There are still channels delivered that do not require the set top box, at least in my area's Comcast system. So here's how I currently do it:

Take the incoming cable coax and use a splitter to get two wires. On Wire#1 attach a low-pass splitter to eliminate all the higher-numbered channels, scrambled or not. Attach Wire#2 to a set-top box whose output is composite video + audio. Feed that output into a modulator and set the channel to (eg) 48, which will be the only channel on its output wire that we'll call Wire#3.

Feed Wire#1 and Wire#3 into a reversed-splitter, which will combine the two signals into a single output, Wire#4. Feed that wire to your tuner and any other TVs (if any).

Wire#4 now contains the basic cable channels on their original channel numbers plus whatever you have tuned your set top box to . . . which will appear on Channel 48. Tune directly to any basic chanel, or set your set-top box to a scrambled channel and tune your PC to 48.

Done this way two or more TVs can all have access to full cable programming, though all can only watch the same scrambled offering appearing on 48.

If you have only your personal TV to worry about, and if your set top box has an RF modulator, you can attach a wire from that to your PC tuner directly. Whatever you set your set-top to will apear on channel 3 or 4 on your PC tuner. If your set-top box has only A/V cables as outputs, you either need a modulator to use your PC tuner, or you need a video input card in yourPC that would accept those as input.

Hope that helps. As you sweat all this out, just keep in mind that none of these changes were made for your benefit. All of the implemented solutions are for the protection of the entertainment/broadcast industry.
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October 22, 2010 5:38:24 AM

yes, that helps. Thank you very much!
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October 22, 2010 5:38:30 AM

Best answer selected by cdburner5911.
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