Play PS2 through PC?

I don't have a TV and don't really have a convenient place to put/mount a TV, but I'd like to play through some of the PS2 games I never got around to checking out. I've been thinking about buying a TV tuner card so that I can plug the PS2 into my computer, but I'm unsure of what type of performance I might get. Reading reviews of products on Newegg for some of the popular models has given me somewhat conflicting reports. Does anyone have any advice/experiences to share? Is there any easier way to do this that I just completely missed?

Because I believe at least some of the processing is offloaded from the card to the rest of the PC, I've posted some quick & dirty comp specs below, if someone knows what kind of a load this would entail:

CPU: Intel Core i7 860 @ 2.80 Ghz
RAM: 4GB DDR3 1600
GPU: NVidia GTS 250 1GB

Thanks for taking the time to read (and hopefully respond!) to my thread.
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  1. So, if I understand it correctly you want to play PS2 games, but don't have a tv to play it on.

    A TV-tuner card enables you to watch cable television on your computer, and it's not made for connecting dvd-players or PlayStations to it. So, buying one is a waste of money.

    So, you now have a few options left:

    - Does your monitor has a composite input (a small round yellow plug)?
    If it has, connect the yellow plug from the PlayStation to that yellow plug.
    If you also want sound, you'll need a stereo reciever with the same input plugs on the backside (but this time the plugs are red and white) and if you connect the red and white plug from the PlayStation to it you have sound.

    - If your monitor doesn't have a composite input, you have a bigger problem.
    There are converters that convert composite to VGA (that blue plug) or DVI (the thicker white plug), but those converters are expencive.

    - If your computer has a composite input (not the yellow plug on the backside (if yours hase one), because this is an output), you are lucky because then you can connect your PlayStation to this input.
    The only thing you then need to do is download some video conversion software (this software is used to convert video footage from the old camcorders to digital video's).
  2. And again:

    A TV-tuner card is for watching (cable or satallite) television on your pc, not for attatching PlayStations to it.
    Also the quality of a TV-tuner card is pretty poor and only enables you to watch free channels.
    For commercial channels, you'll need a seperate smart-card reader.
    A smart-card is a card you will have to buy and monthly pay a x amount of money for watching the commercial channels.

    I say: don't buy a TV-tuner card, unless you are desperate and want to watch tv in poor quality.
    Believe me it is worse than watching YouTube video's in 240p.
  3. I'm not sure where greatforce is getting his info, but I've got some experience that might help you.

    I was using an ATI usb tv tuner card on my pc. It came with catalyst media center software that does a fair job, though there are some 3rd party software programs that do a better job at a cost. The card supports 1080p HD signal, and so long as you get good reception (a larger antenna helps) the picture is fabulous for watching TV. If you hook up your cable TV service to the card it will work fine after doing a channel scan. I was not subscribed to HD channels at the time, so I do not know if they would be displayed in HD by the tuner card. All the channels I was receiving were low def.

    The tuner came with an input adapter for S-Video and Composite RCA cables (yellow, red, white). I had your same idea; to hook up a PS2 and/or XBOX to the card and play games using my LCD monitor. Does it work? Yes. Is it effective? No...

    The problems I encountered were the picture quality was worse than hooking the PS2 directly up to a TV with the composite cables, and there was a severe amount of lag between user input on the game controller and video output on the monitor. Probably in the area of 3/4 to 1 full second of lag. Just too much lag to adjust your gameplay to. Also, there was occasional lag between the audio output and video output. I tried bypassing the audio inputs of the tuner card by running the red and white RCA wires into my logitech stereo system, which worked, but did not eliminate any lag. The sound was in sync with user input, but still not with the video output.

    Would I rule out being able to play console games through a TV tuner card? No... I believe with a faster, more up to date system you would be able to get the lag down to an unnoticeable amount. Also, going with an internal card on PCIe would probably greatly improve performance, and give additional input/output options.

    My setup was the following:
    Core 2 Duo E6700 2.67ghz
    Dell mobo G965 chipset
    4gb 800mhz ddr2 memory
    Radeon X1600 Pro 512mb
    ATI TV Wonder HD 600 USB
    Logitech X540 5.1 stereo
    Windows XP Media Center SP3
  4. You just said exaclty the same as I did, but you tested it and I didn't (because I have enough money to afford a 40 inch HD-TV).

    And the difference is that you have XP Media Center eddition, that means that you have Windows Media Centre and all the additional drivers and support for tv tuners.
  5. Not exactly the same thing. You pretty much said TV tuner cards are worthless because they have low video quality and can't play anything but free channels. False and false.

    In a nutshell, the problem with using a USB TV tuner is the lag time between the game controller input and the video output. I believe an internal TV Tuner card on PCIe would nearly eliminate the lag, and improve video quality as they typically have more video-input options, rather than just composite or s-video.

    The Media Center software wouldn't even detect the TV Tuner. I still had to use Catalyst Media Center software and the Ati drivers
  6. Tv-tuner cards also play commercial channels, you only need a smart-card reader for it.
    There are high-quality tv tuner cards, but they are expencive and it depends on the quality of the cables inside your home.

    I agree with your pci card, but I want to add that you also have ones with s-video and composite only.
    This is cheaper and works better, because it is designed for video input from camcorders.
  7. I have comcast basic cable service. When I hooked it up to the TV Tuner via coax and did a channel scan, all my channels were available. Since I don't subscribe to any HD channels, I couldn't say if the TV Tuner supports those channels.

    Some brainstorming gave me an idea for OP. Sony released a set of component cables for PS2/PS3. You could pick up a component > DVI adapter and bypass the TV Tuner and PC altogether.

  8. In your case you have a provider, that means the channels are already enabled.
    Normally when watching with a seperate antanna or when you want to watch digital channels too, you'll need a sperate smart-card reader.

    Or you can just buy a simple converter.
    There are simple converters, so you don't need all these pieces of hardware.
    Just one box with component input and dvi/vga output.
    they cost around $30 depending on the brand and quality.
  9. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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