Okay, This is my first time posting on here but I have noticed that everyone on here seems extremely knowledgeable. What I am trying to do is essentially turn my TV into a DVR box. I am looking at purchasing the AverTVHD Bravo 2013. I have seen mostly good reviews about it and it comes with a remote which is important for my wife. My questions are:
Is this a good TV Tuner card?
If I hook up an HDMI cable to my TV and set it as a secondary display will my wife be able to watch and record TV while I am using my PC?
Do I need to buy and IR adapter or anything for my PC for her to be able to control the recording?
Thank you in advance for your advice. Below are the specs for my computer,
AMD FX-8320 3.5GHz 8-Core Processor
Cooler Master Hyper 212 EVO 82.9 CFM Sleeve Bearing CPU Cooler
Gigabyte GA-990FXA-UD3 ATX AM3+ Motherboard
Patriot Viper 3 32GB (4 x 8GB) DDR3-1600 Memory
Western Digital Caviar Green 1TB 3.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
Western Digital Caviar Blue 250GB 3.5" 7200RPM Internal Hard Drive
Western Digital Green 2TB 2.5" 5400RPM Internal Hard Drive
XFX Radeon HD 7770 1GB Video Card
Cooler Master Storm Scout ATX Mid Tower Case
Antec High Current Gamer 520W 80 PLUS Bronze Certified ATX12V / EPS12V Power Supply
Samsung SH-222BB/BEBE DVD/CD Writer
Microsoft Windows 8 (OEM) (64-bit)
You have plenty of horsepower to drive an HTPC. I have been running mine for about a year - don't have near that much horsepower (Intel Dual-Core CPU, 4GB RAM, 1TB HD for recording, 320GB HD for OS, Windows 7 Home Premium 64-Bit).
I am using the HDHomeRun Prime from Silicon Dust, and I am able to watch/record up to 3 channels (HD or SD) from Time Warner Cable without issues for the most part. An XBox360 is an extender and works well (wireless connection even - streams HD well).
The only issues you may encounter will be with anti virus/firewall (suggested to use only Microsoft Essentials/Windows Firewall), and also suggested to use an unmanaged switch to connect the Prime and HTPC to the network (we don't know why this works, but it does).
Second issue - depending upon your usage of the computer, if you have intense HDD read/writes to your recording hard drive, you may experience pixelation of the picture.
Most of the cable companies (I use TWC) are switching to digital, moving the analog channels to the digital range (forcing a cable box and/or cable card). The card you selected will have to use a cable box (usually a $10 fee a month) to tune most of the stations, while the Ceton/SiliconDust tuners will accept a cable card ($2.00 per month) to display all of the channels.
If you are using this for only over the air, there are non-cable card tuners:
thank you I didn't even realize it had been discontinued. I currently have use Time Warner but I don't have a box, just my built in digital TV Tuner. about 70-80 channels, some analog and some digital. In that case I would not need a cable card correct?
As far as the hard drive I will most likely be getting a small 60gb or so and use that exclusively for recording shows. I just cant bring myself to pay $22 a month for a stupid DVR.
If you don't subscribe to digital tiers of cable, you won't need the cable card. TWC doesn't have HD channels in their standard tier of cable, so you will only have SD channels using the non-cable card tuners. TWC is also switching several channels from the standard tier to digital only tiers in recent months, reducing the number of channels.
You're going to be fine with your system. Probably the gold standard in TV Tuner cards now is the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250, you could probably step down to the 1800 if you want to save a few dollars. There's nothing wrong with the SiliconDust HDHomeRun dual either.
For a remote control, you could use something like this Hauppauge Remote. This will allow the wife to control the TV and set up recordings, etc...
I don't think it would be wise to attempt to use the PC while someone else is watching, but if you were to pick up an extender like an XBox or the Ceton Echo, it should work just fine.
Sorry Ronin, but that's not correct (at least not according to the overview):
Purchase Once, Use forever There is no monthly fee for the WinTV-DCR-2650. Once you buy it, it's yours to use forever. But you still need to sign up for cable TV service, and you will still need to rent a digital cable card from your local cable operator.
My experience is with the Ceton InfiniTV4 PCI-E card and while I've never tried it, the requirements for the card do state a cablecard from my cable company.
With the SiliconDust HDHomerun Prime (HDHR3) if you want the subscription digital channels, you need a cable card from the cable company. If you want the standard analog tier of stations, you do not.
The Prime is essentially the same tuner with a cable card slot that allows for viewing/recording the digital tier channels (everything above channel 99 on TWC).
To receive any channels - you must pay the cable company for the standard tier of programming (usually around $30-40). The digital tier will add another $30, with additional channel packages around $7-15 each. With the subscriptions I have, it is $63 per month.
If I remove the SDV adapter and cable card, I will only be able to view channels 1-99. With the SDV adapter and cable card, I have access to all channels EXCEPT pay-per view/on-demand channels (this was due to one way cable cards from TWC - but some cable companies have the two way cards).
My big savings was with the elimination of the cable boxes - namely 2 DVRs. TWC charges $10/mo per DVR for DVR service, $20 per month per DVR cable box, total of $60. By turning in the cable boxes, my TV portion of the cable bill went from $123 per month to $65 per month (they charge $2.00 for the cable card, the SDV adapter is free).
All premium stations (HBO, Showtime, etc) do work....
"The Ceton InfiniTV 4 is a PCIe 1x card with four CableCARD 2.0 tuners. Unlike the Silicondust HDHomeRun Prime the InfiniTV tunes up to four cable channels with an M-type CableCARD obtained from a cable company, and does not require an Ethernet connection of its own. Due to differences between cable companies, the exact channels you are able to receive with MythTV can vary. The card is also capable of being used without a CableCARD to tune Clear QAM channels. "
I have been playing around with tuner cards, external tuners, etc., for about 7 years now...my first HTPC build was in 2006, constantly looking for ways to improve.
I just wish there was something better than Windows Media Center to display everything....SiliconDust may be giving us the work around on this shortly....January 18th big announcement...along with the HDHR4 (4-tuner models) coming out.
Sorry to resurrect on old thread but this seemed like an appropriate spot to ask since this topic has been covered.
I'm looking into getting a TV tuner card, from my understanding in order to get encoded and HD channels that I would get on my TV's I would need a tuner with a CableCARD to decode. I'd prefer an internal card as mostly I just want this to work on a single PC. From what I've been able to find the Ceton sounds like the card I'd want. My biggest reservation about it is the number of splits it has. I don't really need 4 tuners, I'd be happy with 1 or 2. Are there other internal cards that are able to accept CableCARDs so as to deliver all the premium channels but that don't have as many splits or that don't quite cost as much?
The internal cards are fine if you have a well-ventilated rig - they do generate quite a bit of heat. In my opinion, the Ceton USB is the best bang for the buck....and fewer problems. I like my SiliconDust HDHomeRun, but "sharing" the tuners can create issues that require reboots. I wish I would have gone with the Ceton.
The Ceton Cards/USB devices (4-tuner), SiliconDust (3-tuner), and Hauppauge (2-tuner) all use a single coax connection - no splitters. It is a digital signal, so you don't have issues with signal loss. The Hauppauge starts around $100, the SiliconDust for $150 and Ceton about $200 (sometimes one or more on sale).
Ceton has the only internal PCI card - all the others are either USB or Ethernet Based.