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TV Tuner Cards & Comcast

Okay so I have been behind the times and been trying to catch up with the technology. I want to ask some questions about the TV Tuner Cards and what they would do for me.

Currently I have Comcast Cable TV (Digital Starter) and I live in the Philadelphia Suburbs Area and I've researched and talked to Comcast Reps that verify I DO get the HD channels (200-300 and 800-900 channels) and was given the DCT700 box (Standard def). I have a Samsung HDTV and now I need to get a HD Digital Box such as the DCT6412 but pay an extra $9 a month to VIEW channels which I already pay for. I think thats completely bogus.

So what I am asking is what will a TV Tuner card in my PC do for me. Will it allow me to get the 200s and 800s on my TV (I'll still use the DCT700 for On-Demand and stuff like that, as I have read that the Tuner Cards don't support that)? Also, would it be better to make a little Media Center Box with the TV Tuner Card and use that like a box by the TV or could I install it in my current computer and stream it through the network to my X Box 360 via Media Center and use it that way on my TV? Both uses are practical since you can use it to record shows as well as use both machines as photo viewing as well as other things a box that costs $9 a month can't do, so spending around $100 to make this thing is not a problem, I just would rather get more use out of something practical rather than RENT a box for 10 months which equal the same amount... and thats just bogus making us pay for HD when we already pay to get the channels.

Any other options I can do? Or do I have it all wrong? Let me know!


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  1. Best answer
    If I understand things correctly, the DCT700 is essentially a digital to analog converter box with TV tuning capabilities. The DCT6412 box you linked is actually a Digital Video Recorder (DVR) box that outputs an HD image to your HDTV. Comcast should be able to provide you with a non-DVR HD set top box at a lesser cost, but you're still stuck with the rental fee. In truth, since Comcast encrypts all their channels, there is no getting around the rental fee.

    A TV Tuner card won't do much at all for you, by itself. It lacks the decryption that a Comcast Set-Top Box provides. Since Comcast now encrypts most (if not all) but the local channels, the TV Tuner card is all but useless by itself.

    There are alternatives to the set top box, but at a much greater up front cost. Ceton Corp has their InfiniTV4 TV Tuner card and SiliconDust has their HD HomeRun Prime that accept cablecards from Comcast. Cablecard rental fees are generally much cheaper that set top box rental fees and the output from your computer isn't downgraded to standard definition.

    Hope this helps some.

    -Wolf sends
  2. I might be vague about some of the stuff since I am at work.

    Yeah, and those are like $15.75/mo. I don't wanna bash Comcast but charging for HD when I already pay for those channels is bogus. Still, I guess I thought getting the cable channels in HD could be free, since they charge over $20 to get 1 of the channels (such as HBO) a month. Thanks for clearing everything up for me!

    As for the Ceton Corp card, I see its like $2-4/mo and I am trying to avoid a monthly fee. Now for the SiliconDust option, I believe there is NO monthly fee for using that and from what I have read it provides more functionality than the other options. Is this correct? I know you have to pair the HD Home Run Prime with a Tuner Card but still, I'd gladly pay to OWN a setup that probably won't change in years to come.

    My question is would the Cable Companies change the encryption or whatever to nullify the SiliconDust + TV Tuner option I am planning to do?

    Thanks a lot for the help Wolf!

  3. Just to clarify. There is no fee for the Ceton or the HDHomerun. You buy the equipment and that's it. You do have to pay Comcast a monthly fee for the CableCard that plugs into the tuners.

    Also, you do not need to pair the HDHomerun Prime with a tuner card. The prime is all you need and it streams the TV signal over your LAN.

    Two problems still exist: #1 the Ceton card is $400 so the ROI will take a long time, #2 the HDHomerun Prime is not available yet.
  4. Alright, so I just buy the equipment and no fees no gimmicks just plug in my cable to the HD Homerun Prime and connect everything and it will work? I will get the HD Channels (200-300 and 800-900)? The DVR capabilities are just a bonus but I bought my TV with the intention of watching HD on it and since there was nothing (unless my thick-head overlooked something) on their site saying I needed to pay $9 extra for the HD channels I am already paying for, I'll gladly pay to own something that will essentially pay for itself in the long run.

    Just to get things straight, CableCards are the SAME as TV Tuner Cards? So if I use one of these cards, I still have to pay to get the HD Channels, but if I get the HD Home Run and use it as is, there is no fee? Sorry for all the clarification I just wanna make sure I am understanding things correctly. And what would be the benefit to using the CableCards (if they are different than the TV Tuner Cards)?

    I'll wait for the HD Homerun Prime, seems like the smartest and best option.
  5. Best answer selected by Katzie.
  6. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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