Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question

Internal and External TV Tuner

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
September 1, 2011 1:18:16 AM

OK, just got a new Dell XPS 8300 PC, didn't opt for the internal PCIe TV Tuner card as it has limited PCIe slots and also can always get a better deal from Newegg/Bestbuy.

So I would like to know what's really the difference between an internal (PCIe) TV Tuner and an external (USB) TV Tuner? Is there any difference in terms of quality and system performance?

Also can anyone give me some adv on which is a good PCIe and USB TV tuner if I am getting one?

Thanks!
a b x TV
September 1, 2011 1:26:34 PM

You shouldn't notice any difference in performance as long as your system can handle it (has enough RAM/decent dual or quad-core processor). There is enough bandwidth over USB to handle multiple tuner devices. The only difference I can think of would be that the USB based TV Tuner would require it's own power socket whereas an internal PCI-E card draws it's power from the computer.

What device you get really depends on what your video source is. In the US, there are four (three current) different types of television signals:

NTSC - Analog over-the-air TV Signals (defunct)
ATSC - Digital over-the-air TV Signals (local broadcasts from interior or exterior antenna)
Clear-QAM - Unencrypted cable/satellite signals (Cable/Satellite that may or may not require a set top box)
QAM - Encrypted cable/satellite signals (Cable/Satellite that requires a set top box)

What device you get depends on which of these you use.

For ATSC and Clear-QAM without a set top box, I'd probably recommend the Hauppauge 2250.
For Clear-QAM and QAM with a set top box, I'd probably recommend just getting a video capture card and the tuning capabilities are not needed (handled by the set top box).

The other option (generally more expensive), if you have a set top box, is to go with a cablecard ready device like the Ceton Corp InfiniTV4, or SiliconDust HD HomeRun Prime.

These devices take the place of the set top box (using a cable/satellite provided cablecard) and essentially turn your PC into a full blown Home Video Recorder like TIVO.

-Wolf sends
m
0
l
September 1, 2011 2:02:16 PM

@wolfshadw

usb tuner draw enough power from usb port to work.
m
0
l
Related resources
a b x TV
September 1, 2011 3:04:54 PM

@Pyree

Thanks for the clarification. All the tuners I've used (ATI All-In-Wonder, AverMedia AverTV, and Ceton InfiniTV4) were internal devices.

-Wolf sends
m
0
l
September 2, 2011 12:17:49 AM

No problem
m
0
l
September 2, 2011 4:18:34 PM

Wolfshadw said:
You shouldn't notice any difference in performance as long as your system can handle it (has enough RAM/decent dual or quad-core processor). There is enough bandwidth over USB to handle multiple tuner devices. The only difference I can think of would be that the USB based TV Tuner would require it's own power socket whereas an internal PCI-E card draws it's power from the computer.

What device you get really depends on what your video source is. In the US, there are four (three current) different types of television signals:

NTSC - Analog over-the-air TV Signals (defunct)
ATSC - Digital over-the-air TV Signals (local broadcasts from interior or exterior antenna)
Clear-QAM - Unencrypted cable/satellite signals (Cable/Satellite that may or may not require a set top box)
QAM - Encrypted cable/satellite signals (Cable/Satellite that requires a set top box)

What device you get depends on which of these you use.

For ATSC and Clear-QAM without a set top box, I'd probably recommend the Hauppauge 2250.
For Clear-QAM and QAM with a set top box, I'd probably recommend just getting a video capture card and the tuning capabilities are not needed (handled by the set top box).

The other option (generally more expensive), if you have a set top box, is to go with a cablecard ready device like the Ceton Corp InfiniTV4, or SiliconDust HD HomeRun Prime.

These devices take the place of the set top box (using a cable/satellite provided cablecard) and essentially turn your PC into a full blown Home Video Recorder like TIVO.

-Wolf sends


Thanks for the detailed explanation!
I live in Canada but I suppose it would be the same as mentioned in terms of the signals?

I guess since I have limited PCIe slots, better to use USB ones?
m
0
l
a b x TV
September 2, 2011 4:37:55 PM

Yes, probably best to go with an external, USB device. Not sure how cable/satellite work North of the Border.

-Wolf sends
m
0
l
September 5, 2011 3:07:28 AM

would you have any suggestion for external TV tuner? any comments with Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q?
m
0
l
September 5, 2011 3:29:09 AM

I am currently using 3 tv tuner from 2 brand, kworld (both internal) and compros (usb), all digital only and use antenna. I am not sure how well my experience translates to cable tuner. For image quality and reception, I found that the tuner perform very much the same and the antenna is the most important determining factor, next up is the length and insulation of the cable from the antenna to the tuner. So I guess in your case, this means you need to buy good cable to connect your tuner to the cable outlet. The station tuning are easy and automatic but I am not living in a block spot so the roof antenna works perfect. The indoor antenna (without amplifier) I use for my laptop works perfect on some part of the house. The antenna is not the one came with the tuner, I bought it in a local electronic store and tried a few, some don't work but I finally find one which did for the most part. The TV transmission tower is to the East and I miss a channel or 2 when I use my laptop on the West part of my house, going through about 5 solid brick walls. But I don't hink you need these info because you are using cable. You can ignore most of what I wrote on this post.
m
0
l
!