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How well do tv tuners work? Help finding a good one?

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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November 4, 2012 9:22:58 PM

I've been looking at buying a tv tuner for my pc, but at least on newegg, they all seem a little sketchy. They all seem to have mediocre reviews and can range from $20 to well over $100. Do a lot of people just not know what they are doing or are tuner cards pretty unreliable? I just want something that can automatically record a tv show when it comes on (or at least let me setup a manual schedule). If it could keep subtitles that would be nice. I have the standard 125 channel analogue cable (U.S.) (although there is only channels 2-60 available). I don' need a remote and it can be pci, pci-e or usb.
Thanks.
November 4, 2012 10:17:17 PM

I would say most people don't know what to expect. The free "HD over the air" is still reception dependent, just like the old rabbit ears. Cable input is of course different, but most cable operators make it difficult to use. Comcast in my area mandated boxes even for basic cable, with "all digital" as their excuse. As for scheduling, that's just a matter of software, and who know what people are using and their level of expertise.
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November 4, 2012 10:23:20 PM

If you have Comcast be aware they are switching to all digital. Depending on providers they also broadcast almost no channels in QAM.

You are currently in the easiest situation, no set top box, analog only, no encryption, very easy to set up, and it works well. Had that for years.

If however they go digital you would need an ir blaster and set top box to keep using the tuner, which complicate it but isn't that hard, or a ceton or HD homerun digital tuner which are more expensive, along with a cable card.and sdv box.

With Comcast I haven't used mine for months since channels encrypt shows on digital and on demand has gotten so much better. If I had one of the cable card tuners I probably still would.

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January 22, 2013 9:22:30 PM
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genoe said:
I've been looking at buying a tv tuner for my pc, but at least on newegg, they all seem a little sketchy. They all seem to have mediocre reviews and can range from $20 to well over $100. Do a lot of people just not know what they are doing or are tuner cards pretty unreliable? I just want something that can automatically record a tv show when it comes on (or at least let me setup a manual schedule). If it could keep subtitles that would be nice. I have the standard 125 channel analogue cable (U.S.) (although there is only channels 2-60 available). I don' need a remote and it can be pci, pci-e or usb.
Thanks.



I personally have a WinTv-2650 USB cable card tuner, and love it.

In windows media center when you mute the show the subtitles automatically appear and can just be turned on as well. The guide for scheduling recording is great and there are plugin's that let you set recordings from your smart phone or stream live from your pc. I also have MCE buddy running in the background converting all of my recording to M4V's and removing all of the commercials. You will have this same functionality whatever flavor of tuner (card or analog) you buy.

Overall my tuner card/DVR experience thus far has significantly exceeded my expectations. I have 3 monitors and its great having the news or whatever on one of the screens while working.
February 1, 2013 11:07:11 PM

Best answer selected by genoe.
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