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TV Tuner Card Noob

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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June 9, 2011 2:46:42 PM

Hello, I have a few questions in regards to tuner cards. I am so oblivious to these that I did not really know they existed but I always wanted to stream certain tv stations to my computer.

How is a computer with a TV tuner card different from a regular TV?
I still have to buy a cable TV or satellite TV "package" correct?
What can a computer TV tuner card can do that a regular TV cannot?

I thought of an idea and wanted to know how feasible/possible it is. Use an old computer tower with a large amount of hard drive space work as a DVR to save shows to the hard drive. Would this work? Could I record more than one show simultaneously?

What other cool things, if any, can you do with a TV tuner card?

Thanks for the help.

More about : tuner card noob

a b x TV
June 9, 2011 3:04:19 PM

In the days of old, having a TV Tuner card in your computer was the way to get a TV into your office area and saving space. All you needed to do was connect the cable from the wall outlet to the TV Tuner and you were set to go. However, since the cable/satellite companies went digital and also started encrypting their television line-ups, you can only use the tuner portion of your TV Tuner card with OTA digital signals (free over-the-air). If you subscribe to a cable/satellite package, you will need* their set top box to decrypt the signal from the cable/satellite company and to act as the tuner. This essentially makes the TV Tuner card into a glorified video capture card. Yes, it will be able to record and save your TV programs.

*Now there is a newer option available (and another one on the way) called the Ceton InfiniTV TV Tuner card. This card, when paired with a cablecard from your cable/satellite provider, returns to true function of TV Tuner cards. With this card (and the upcoming Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime), you can watch/record multiple channels simultaneously (four with Ceton, three with SiliconDust). The other cool feature that now comes with the Ceton card is you can have it installed in one system (Windows 7/Server 2008) and dedicate one of it's four tuners to another system (Windows 7) over a network. This allows you to watch TV on your computer without having a TV Tuner card installed in the system.

The up front costs are going to be high and there's no getting away from the cable/satellite companies, but in the end, for someone who is looking to record TV without an expensive DVR rental, this is the way to go.

You may want to do some further research by viewing this forum (formerly The Green Button).

Hope this answers at least some of your questions.

-Wolf sends
June 9, 2011 3:38:32 PM

Wolfshadw said:
In the days of old, having a TV Tuner card in your computer was the way to get a TV into your office area and saving space. All you needed to do was connect the cable from the wall outlet to the TV Tuner and you were set to go. However, since the cable/satellite companies went digital and also started encrypting their television line-ups, you can only use the tuner portion of your TV Tuner card with OTA digital signals (free over-the-air). If you subscribe to a cable/satellite package, you will need* their set top box to decrypt the signal from the cable/satellite company and to act as the tuner. This essentially makes the TV Tuner card into a glorified video capture card. Yes, it will be able to record and save your TV programs.

*Now there is a newer option available (and another one on the way) called the Ceton InfiniTV TV Tuner card. This card, when paired with a cablecard from your cable/satellite provider, returns to true function of TV Tuner cards. With this card (and the upcoming Silicon Dust HDHomeRun Prime), you can watch/record multiple channels simultaneously (four with Ceton, three with SiliconDust). The other cool feature that now comes with the Ceton card is you can have it installed in one system (Windows 7/Server 2008) and dedicate one of it's four tuners to another system (Windows 7) over a network. This allows you to watch TV on your computer without having a TV Tuner card installed in the system.

The up front costs are going to be high and there's no getting away from the cable/satellite companies, but in the end, for someone who is looking to record TV without an expensive DVR rental, this is the way to go.

You may want to do some further research by viewing this forum (formerly The Green Button).

Hope this answers at least some of your questions.

-Wolf sends



Sounds awesome. Thanks for the tips. That sounds like exactly what I would want. Is there any reason to worry about being future proof with a tuner card? Obviously you cannot predict if the television standard will shift away from digital, but are there other reasons this card might become obsolete in a few years?

Also would I be able to set up the DVR to skip commercials?

And last, do I have to use some specific software, or can I have the card just simply record as whatever type of media file and put it into an external hard drive and interface it however I like? Is there some kind of protection on the files I record?

Thanks again.
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June 9, 2011 3:46:57 PM

Also if I have like 900 channels, would it be able to search for shows by title and automatically record it or do I have to specifically find a channel and time?
a b x TV
June 9, 2011 3:51:02 PM

Quote:
Is there any reason to worry about being future proof with a tuner card? Obviously you cannot predict if the television standard will shift away from digital, but are there other reasons this card might become obsolete in a few years?


There are hints and rumors of the next version of Windows (Windows 8) will not have a Media Center interface/option. Microsoft may be pushing their XBox Live TV by that point. There are probably other solutions that will be available if Windows 8 makes the tuner card not function properly.

Quote:
Also would I be able to set up the DVR to skip commercials?

Unfortunately, no. I don't believe that is an option, but may be an option in a third-party piece of software (see below for possible restrictions)

Quote:
And last, do I have to use some specific software, or can I have the card just simply record as whatever type of media file and put it into an external hard drive and interface it however I like? Is there some kind of protection on the files I record?

I'm not sure what format the ceton card records it's media to. There may be an issue with what you record being copy-righted. This seems to be entirely upto the cable/satellite company as to whether a recording is marked "Copy-Once" (meaning you can't legally do anything to this program once recorded save view it) or "Copy-Freely" (meaning you should be able to move and manipulate the video recording as you wish.

-Wolf sends
a b x TV
June 9, 2011 3:51:41 PM

timothy2180 said:
Also if I have like 900 channels, would it be able to search for shows by title and automatically record it or do I have to specifically find a channel and time?


That, I don't know. I don't have the card (yet).

-Wolf sends
June 9, 2011 4:30:18 PM

Well you answered all of my questions. Thank you !
a b x TV
June 10, 2011 5:07:19 PM

timothy2180 said:
Hello, I have a few questions in regards to tuner cards. I am so oblivious to these that I did not really know they existed but I always wanted to stream certain tv stations to my computer.

How is a computer with a TV tuner card different from a regular TV?

I still have to buy a cable TV or satellite TV "package" correct?
What can a computer TV tuner card can do that a regular TV cannot?

I thought of an idea and wanted to know how feasible/possible it is. Use an old computer tower with a large amount of hard drive space work as a DVR to save shows to the hard drive. Would this work? Could I record more than one show simultaneously?

What other cool things, if any, can you do with a TV tuner card?

Thanks for the help.





How is a computer with a TV tuner card different from a regular TV?

In some cases the Tv Tuner use for PC and Set TOPBOX are the same. An example is ATI w/c uses the same base HW for pc and Set-top box.
Same case for TV. It is a choice of the TV vendor.

I still have to buy a cable TV or satellite TV "package" correct?

Yes ... For HD recording from cable provider you need an HDMI-Capture input card. An example is
http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_colossus.ht...

The downside of this card is it only have one HDMI input for capture HD... The other option is use the ANALOG-COMPONENT input.



I thought of an idea and wanted to know how feasible/possible it is. Use an old computer tower with a large amount of hard drive space work as a DVR to save shows to the hard drive. Would this work? Could I record more than one show simultaneously?

As long the TV Tuner is compatible with your PC it should work. For compatibility requirement refer to this page. Yes you can record 2 shows at a time.

http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.htm...

Big Hard Drive is recommended. I have 2 Terabyte allocated for DVR/PVR function of my 2250. An hour of HDTV recording can take up 4 Gbyte of HD space. The largest recording in one file that i have done (4 hour show) like the superbowl/worldcup is ~ 27Gbyte.

The 2250 is great it will continue to record until you have sufficent hard drive space.

!