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TV Tuner/Capture - Complete Noob

Hey Guys and Girls,

Im looking at building a PC that im wanting to use only for TV Capture and playback on the TV,
Im pretty good (Most of the time) with building the computer and everything, But when it comes to Video Capture and Recording im completely useless.. I have no idea the difference between the 2. or what is a good one to buy.

Im planning on just using normal Free-To-Air TV (Not satellite or PaidTV).. And im wishing to record multi-able TV shows at the same time (Say record a show from Chanel 1 and Chanel 2 at the same time)..

What do you guys think would be a good card to buy? .. Ive tried reading information about it, but i have found very little so they must not be too popular...

So im hoping somebody here could help me out a hand and point me the right way!! .. thanks peeps!
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More about tuner capture complete noob
  1. Well you are looking at a proprietary card and program but you can buy one with the drivers and software on newegg. I have only used ati tv tuners on a single channel using dscaller but that was it. Better make copies of the disk that comes with the card or you are screwed.
  2. Here's an excellent card. You can watch and record at the same time.

    On its own it will record 2 tv shows at the same time

    It functions as PVR and or DVR

    It can do 2 Digital or 2 Analog or 1 Digital 1 Analog Tv reception/recording
  3. Best answer
    Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250

    I think this is the video capture card Leon2006 meant to link and for free over the air digital broadcasts, this is about the best card you can get.

    For more info, keep reading...

    I've pretty much run the gamut from my first Video capture card, to an ATI All-In-Wonder card, to a dedicated TV Tuner Card, and now onto a Cablecard TV Tuner. It all depends on the source of the video. If the source of the video was static (camcorder, video tape) all you needed was a video capture card. If the source could change (i.e. changing the channel without changing your hardware set up), then you needed a TV Tuner card. If you didn't want two separate cards installed into your system, then you got a hybrid card like the ATI All-In-Wonder (TV Tuner and graphics card).

    Then things got complicated. When Microsoft introduced Windows Vista, it didn't include software for watching TV via an All-In-Wonder card and many other TV Tuner cards that existed at the time, did not work with Vista. Add in the transition to digital broadcasting and things got really ugly.

    Essentially, there are four different types of broadcast:

    1) Analog (Free, Over the Air) which was labeled NTSC
    2) Digital (Free, Over the Air) which was labeled ATSC
    3) Cable/Satellite (Paid, wired, unencrypted) which was labeled ClearQAM
    4) Cable/Satellite (Paid, wired, encrypted) which was labeled QAM

    Free, over the air analog (NTSC) is defunct. These types of tuner cards will now only work with analog camcorders/vcrs.
    Free, over the air digital (ATSC), which is what you're looking for, will detect the broadcast channels in your area and record them as digital broadcasts appropriately. Either an exterior or interior antenna is used for this purpose. You can go to to see what channels are available in your area.
    The last two broadcast types are based on whatever subscription you pay to your local cable/satellite company. The majority of basic cable subscriptions are delivered to your home unencrypted (ClearQAM). This means that a cable set top box is not required. You can go directly from the wall outlet to your TV/TV Tuner Card. Assuming that the cable company has transitioned to digital broadcasts, you would need an ATSC TV Tuner card. However, if you subscribe to more than just the basic cable subscription, many of those channels would be encrypted and the only devices capable of decoding that encryption are the cable company's set top box or a cablecard ready device.

    With a set top box, the video source is once again, static. There is only one video feed (one channel being outputted) at a time. In this situation, you'd only need a video capture card. However, a cablecard ready device takes the place and functions as both a set top box (decrypts the encrypted channels as well as changing channels) and offers the additional capability of recording said channel.

    -Wolf sends
  4. thanks wolfshadow
  5. thanks wolfshadow... Most of your high tech info is pretty much over my head but ill take your word for the Hauppauge card you linked haha

    thanks again guys!
  6. Best answer selected by thefear.
  7. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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