Sign in with
Sign up | Sign in
Your question
Closed

TV Tuner Card

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
Share
December 12, 2011 2:05:45 AM

I've always wanted to play my games and potentially watch tv on my computer at the same time. I know there are TV tuner cards out there but I know nothing about any of them.

This is my current system:
core i7-920
Radeon 5850
10GB of Ram (2 GB aren't working currently otherwise I'd have 12)
ASRock X58 Extreme mobo
DVD burner
Blu-ray burner

I'd like something somewhat high end that I COULD capture HD video on because I do have a Blu-ray burner that I've never used and would like to break that in.

Also, I don't know if it matters, but I rent currently and I have cable jacks in all the rooms, I guess that's digital cable? There is no cable box.

Let me know if you need any more info to help out.

Thanks!

More about : tuner card

December 12, 2011 2:49:16 AM

You can. I suggest you use two monitors - 1 for gaming and 1 for TV. The cable carries both analog and HDTV channels. What you will get depends on your cable provider and your subscription.

I have been using a Hauppauge 2250 for over a year, and an earlier version before that. Some cable providers are not TV card friendly. Cox's cable allowed me to connect the cable directly to the TV card and I could watch all the unscrambled channels - pretty much analog and a few HDTV channels, and it did not require a cable TV box to function. If I had a Cox cable box, I could have received all the channels in my package.

I now have Verizon FIOS and I must use a cable box rented from Verizon to attach the main cable and then run the output cable to the TV tuner card).

There are other solutions. Ceton makes a cable card adapter that takes a direct cable input and allows you to watch/record up to 4 individual channels simultaneously. You must rent the cable card itself from your cable provider.

I've been exploring the Ceton option to use my computer as the FIOS receiver to distribute TV channels to my living room TV. It looks complicated and expensive. The Ceton card is about $300.
Score
0
a b x TV
December 12, 2011 12:15:12 PM

@ Riccardi50 - Since you subscribe to cable but do not have a cable box, all the channels you receive are sent ClearQAM. Not sure if you actually receive any HD channels. The Hauppauge 2250 that treefrog has is a good solution for you.

If you later decide that you want to upgrade your cable subscription to where you cable provider requires you use a set top box, then you may want to consider going with a Ceton Card (4 tuners), HD HomeRun Prime (3 tuners), or Hauppauge 2650 (2 tuners); all cable card solutions which can record HD channels.

-Wolf sends
Score
0
Related resources
December 12, 2011 3:20:12 PM

@Wolfshadw - Thanks for helping me understand exactly which card would work in my situation. The cable I do have does have a few HD channels, not many though. Maybe like a total of 10. Is the Hauppauge 2250 able to view HD channels? Is it able to record HD channels? I assume without looking that it only has 1 tuner, which to be honest is fine?

Thanks!


Wolfshadw said:
@ Riccardi50 - Since you subscribe to cable but do not have a cable box, all the channels you receive are sent ClearQAM. Not sure if you actually receive any HD channels. The Hauppauge 2250 that treefrog has is a good solution for you.

If you later decide that you want to upgrade your cable subscription to where you cable provider requires you use a set top box, then you may want to consider going with a Ceton Card (4 tuners), HD HomeRun Prime (3 tuners), or Hauppauge 2650 (2 tuners); all cable card solutions which can record HD channels.

-Wolf sends

Score
0
a b x TV
December 12, 2011 3:39:46 PM

The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 has two tuners. This allows you to watch/record two analog channels (Over the air - NTSC signal, now defunct), two digital channels (Over the air - ATSC signal), or one analog channel and one ClearQAM (cable) channel at the same time. In your situation, you can watch/record just the one cable channel.

The card will record whatever channels you subscribe to. If some of them are HD, it shouldn't pose any problems.

-Wolf sends
Score
0
December 12, 2011 9:30:50 PM

@Wolfshadw - I see, so basically if I were to look at models that are more expensive than this one, all they would do would allow me to watch/record more than 1 ClearQAM channel at a time? Is that correct? Do all these tuners come with software to use the computer as a DVR as well?

Thanks, your responses have been the most helpful so far.

Wolfshadw said:
The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 has two tuners. This allows you to watch/record two analog channels (Over the air - NTSC signal, now defunct), two digital channels (Over the air - ATSC signal), or one analog channel and one ClearQAM (cable) channel at the same time. In your situation, you can watch/record just the one cable channel.

The card will record whatever channels you subscribe to. If some of them are HD, it shouldn't pose any problems.

-Wolf sends

Score
0
a b x TV
December 12, 2011 10:06:06 PM

Quote:
I see, so basically if I were to look at models that are more expensive than this one, all they would do would allow me to watch/record more than 1 ClearQAM channel at a time? Is that correct?
Yes, that's correct, although the Hauppauge 2250 is about the most expensive non-cablecard tuner there is. Since you don't use a cable set top box, there's no reason (now) to look at a cablecard solution.

Quote:
Do all these tuners come with software to use the computer as a DVR as well?
Most, if not all, come with software for DVR capabilities, but I'd suggest just using Windows 7 Media Center.

-Wolf sends
Score
0
December 12, 2011 10:19:50 PM

Some day I might have my own house and thus a cable set top box...are there advantages of getting a cablecard then? Will my 2250 work with a cablebox?

Wolfshadw said:
Quote:
I see, so basically if I were to look at models that are more expensive than this one, all they would do would allow me to watch/record more than 1 ClearQAM channel at a time? Is that correct?
Yes, that's correct, although the Hauppauge 2250 is about the most expensive non-cablecard tuner there is. Since you don't use a cable set top box, there's no reason (now) to look at a cablecard solution.

Quote:
Do all these tuners come with software to use the computer as a DVR as well?
Most, if not all, come with software for DVR capabilities, but I'd suggest just using Windows 7 Media Center.

-Wolf sends

Score
0
December 13, 2011 1:06:48 AM

I had another thought...would this card be able to record like me playing a game on my computer? Much like fraps? Would it be able to record it in high def?
Score
0

Best solution

a b x TV
December 13, 2011 1:15:02 AM

There are two primary functions of a set top box:

1) Change channels
2) Decrypt any encrypted channels, based on your subscription, so you can view them.

If none of the channels you subscribe to are encrypted, then there is no need for a set top box as your TV has the ability to tune in channels. The same goes for TV Tuner cards.

If you upgrade your cable subscription to a tier where a set top box is required, a TV Tuner card will still work, but primarily as just a video capture card. After decrypting the encrypted channels, the set top box only outputs one channel at a time, so there is no use for the "TV Tuning" capabilities of a TV Tuner card. It can still record whatever the set top box is outputting.

If you have an HTPC *AND* your cable subscription requires some means of decryption, then I highly recommend going with the cablecard solution.

The Pros:
Multiple Tuners (2-4 tuners now, 6 is in the works).
One box (just the HTPC, no HTPC and set top box).
High hard drive capacity (set top box DVRs are generally limited to 80 or 120 GB. With an HTPC, you're only limited by your budget).
Easier connections (no IR Blaster required).
Lower over-all cost ($10-$16/month set top box lease fee, $2/month cablecard lease fee).

The Cons:
No TV Guide Channel (not really a con as you download your local channel line up in 7MC).
No On-Demand/Pay-Per-View (Subscription based channels like HBO and Showtime work fine, however).
High up front cost (when the Ceton card was first released, it was going for $400).

I'd honestly say, in your situation, I'd probably go with the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 or even the WinTV-HVR-1850 (for about $30 less). Just be sure to get one with an Media Center Edition (MCE) remote control. Unless you know for a fact that you will soon be upgrading your cable subscription to a tier that requires either a cablecard solution or a set top box, there is no reason to go with a cablecard solution at this time.

-Wolf sends
Share
a b x TV
December 13, 2011 1:20:41 AM

riccardi50 said:
I had another thought...would this card be able to record like me playing a game on my computer? Much like fraps? Would it be able to record it in high def?


If you mean in just a single system, then no. If you mean play on one system with the output going to a recording system, then technically, yes.

-Wolf sends
Score
0
December 13, 2011 2:49:21 PM

I see, well thank you for all the help. I think I understand about 50% more than I did at the start of this venture. Thanks!

Wolfshadw said:
If you mean in just a single system, then no. If you mean play on one system with the output going to a recording system, then technically, yes.

-Wolf sends

Score
0
December 13, 2011 2:49:53 PM

Best answer selected by riccardi50.
Score
0
!