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Internal or External TV Tuner

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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January 28, 2013 3:27:18 PM

Hey guys,

I currently have a PC in my room. I would like to add a TV but unfortunately, I do not have the space for it. The solution I came up with is to either use my monitor as a TV or replacing it with a TV/LCD Monitor combo. What are the pros and cons for each option. Please help and thank you for your time!
January 28, 2013 4:43:36 PM

I would add internal tuner card and get a second monitor..you can watch tv on one and do your computing on the second one

internal tv tuner card is around 150 and a cheap monitor is 100
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January 28, 2013 5:13:09 PM

I have an external wintv-2650. Works great, will be adding a HDHomerun which is another great external product. If you decide to go with an internal tuner, I'm guessing the above poster is referring to the InfiniTV 4. The InfiniTV and WinTV both are really nice but the HDHomerun is a network tuner that will allow other computers to stream live content vs just sharing recordings with the other tuners.

I know there is a way to share non-network tuners by bridging them to the network but the HDHomerun does this automatically.
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January 28, 2013 6:59:08 PM

alvine said:
I would add internal tuner card and get a second monitor..you can watch tv on one and do your computing on the second one

internal tv tuner card is around 150 and a cheap monitor is 100


Hey,

Interesting suggestion. I didn't think of that avenue. I'll definitely consider it. :)  One question though: if I wanted to connect my gaming console (PS3), would I be able to using that card? Sorry, I'm a total noob when it comes to tv tuners. Thanks.
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January 28, 2013 7:04:15 PM

bjaminnyc said:
I have an external wintv-2650. Works great, will be adding a HDHomerun which is another great external product. If you decide to go with an internal tuner, I'm guessing the above poster is referring to the InfiniTV 4. The InfiniTV and WinTV both are really nice but the HDHomerun is a network tuner that will allow other computers to stream live content vs just sharing recordings with the other tuners.

I know there is a way to share non-network tuners by bridging them to the network but the HDHomerun does this automatically.


Hey, thank you for the very specific suggestions. Sorry but I got confused by your post (total noob when it comes to tv tuners). So a tv tuner will find channels to stream by itself? I can't connect my cable box to it and then use the monitor as my output?

Also a question for you: will I be able to connect my PS3 to the tv tuner and use my monitor to game as well? Thanks. :) 
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January 28, 2013 7:07:40 PM

what kind of TV are you watching? over the air or from a digital box? digital cable boxes have hdmi, ps3 has hdmi, pc probably has hdmi or dvi, get a monitor with a few hdmi inputs and plug everything into that.
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Best solution

January 28, 2013 7:08:40 PM

First question - are you looking at basic cable (non-digital cable - basically the stations 2-99) or digital cable (all stations available on a cable box).

If you want digital cable, the next question - is it going to be utilized by one device - or shared by other devices (i.e. multiple computers, extenders like the XBox, and PS3 is in beta support)?

SiliconDust, Ceton, and Hauppauge all make digital cable card tuners - and are all good devices. SiliconDust HDHR3 allows for 3 ethernet based tuners sharable on demand throughout the network. Ceton makes 4 tuners (internal PCI or USB), that are dedicated to "mapped" devices. Hauppauge makes a dual tuner USB for one computer.

If digital cable isn't what you are looking for, any clear QAM tuner works fine. SiliconDust makes 2 tuner ethernet devices, and Hauppauge makes single tuner USB devices and PCI cards.

If you don't want to invest in the hardware, a cable box usually has an HDMI output, and if you monitor has an HDMI input, you can connect it that way (assuming the monitor has speakers), and use the DVI or VGA to connect to the monitor. It is a bit of a hassle to switch inputs on the monitor...but less money.
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January 28, 2013 7:18:39 PM

ronintexas said:
First question - are you looking at basic cable (non-digital cable - basically the stations 2-99) or digital cable (all stations available on a cable box).

If you want digital cable, the next question - is it going to be utilized by one device - or shared by other devices (i.e. multiple computers, extenders like the XBox, and PS3 is in beta support)?

SiliconDust, Ceton, and Hauppauge all make digital cable card tuners - and are all good devices. SiliconDust HDHR3 allows for 3 ethernet based tuners sharable on demand throughout the network. Ceton makes 4 tuners (internal PCI or USB), that are dedicated to "mapped" devices. Hauppauge makes a dual tuner USB for one computer.

If digital cable isn't what you are looking for, any clear QAM tuner works fine. SiliconDust makes 2 tuner ethernet devices, and Hauppauge makes single tuner USB devices and PCI cards.

If you don't want to invest in the hardware, a cable box usually has an HDMI output, and if you monitor has an HDMI input, you can connect it that way (assuming the monitor has speakers), and use the DVI or VGA to connect to the monitor. It is a bit of a hassle to switch inputs on the monitor...but less money.


Hey, thanks for the reply.

The PS3 to my monitor will not work as my monitor doesn't have built-in speakers.

The set-up I was thinking was something like this:
PS3 to TV Tuner
TV Tuner to Monitor
Digital Cable Box to TV Tuner

No other devices will connect to it. Hmm.. now that I think about it, this setup will also be problematic? I would need to buy separate speakers (assuming I don't want to go through the hassle of plugging and unplugging my PC speakers all the time) right?
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January 28, 2013 7:31:55 PM

All tuners for sale do not produce audio/video on their own, but rely upon the computer, XBox or PS-3 to deliver the audio/video signal to the monitor.

The digital cable tuners replace the Cable Box, so you can return it to the Cable Company and save a few bucks every month - and your computer becomes a DVR.

For your setup, I would recommend this tuner:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Connect it to the USB port of your computer. It comes with a remote, and you can remove the cable box. You will need to get a Cable Card from the Cable Company (about $2 per month).

Depending upon the size of display you want and the graphics needs and space requirements, you might want to look at 32" TV's to connect via HDMI from the PS-3, Cable Box and Computer - I purchased one for around $250 that has 3 HDMI inputs. It would have built in speakers as well.
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January 28, 2013 7:47:37 PM

ronintexas said:
All tuners for sale do not produce audio/video on their own, but rely upon the computer, XBox or PS-3 to deliver the audio/video signal to the monitor.

The digital cable tuners replace the Cable Box, so you can return it to the Cable Company and save a few bucks every month - and your computer becomes a DVR.

For your setup, I would recommend this tuner:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

Connect it to the USB port of your computer. It comes with a remote, and you can remove the cable box. You will need to get a Cable Card from the Cable Company (about $2 per month).

Depending upon the size of display you want and the graphics needs and space requirements, you might want to look at 32" TV's to connect via HDMI from the PS-3, Cable Box and Computer - I purchased one for around $250 that has 3 HDMI inputs. It would have built in speakers as well.


I see. Thank you for the detailed info. I'll definitely take your suggestions in to consideration. :)  Have a wonderful day!
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January 28, 2013 7:47:56 PM

Best answer selected by l0v3rboi.
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