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Want to stream cable tv onto computer.

Last response: in Home Theatre
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February 5, 2011 2:52:26 AM

Hello all, wasn't sure where to post this question, so forgive me if it is in the wrong spot.

I want to know if there is a way to get TV onto my computer. Preferably wireless because I'm in the second story of my house. I was thinking I could use my linksys router but I couldn't confirm this with research. Would like to stream it live but if the only way is to use a DVR then I guess I will deal with it, don't know how to do this either. I would like to spend very little money if any. When I built my computer I was told that TV tuners were being phased out because the switch to digital signal.

I use wave broadband as my cable provider and I have a wireless connection throughout my home. I believe it is type G, could possibly be type N but i doubt it.

Thanks in advance!

More about : stream cable computer

Best solution

February 5, 2011 12:41:59 PM

What you need is an HDHomerun manufactured by SiliconDust. This is a network based TV tuner. You connect it to your cable and your home router. Any computer on your home network will be able to watch and record TV over your home network using Windows built in media center. Here is a review.

There are a several models such as:

  • Single = single ATSC/QAM tuner
  • Dual = dual ATSC/QAM tuners
  • Tech = industrial dual ATSC/QAM tuner that allows multicast streaming (probably not what you need)
  • Prime = triple CableCard tuner (not available yet)

    A dual/triple tuner will allow you to watch one channel while recording another at the same time. A single tuner can record or watch only one channel at a time.

    ATSC is for over the air HD television received by an antenna (local NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) and is by far the easiest to setup. Just plug in a antenna and scan for channels.
    QAM is for digital cable. You will have to research what kind of cable you have, and what channels are broadcast by your cable company with unencrypted clear QAM. You may get all of your standard cable channels or you may only get the local channels... the same ones you get with an antenna. It depends on your cable company and what QAM they broadcast. A phone call to your cable company may answer that question. You will NOT get any premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) with a QAM tuner.

    And then there is the anxiously awaited CableCard Prime tuner. With this tuner, you plug in a CableCard from your cable provider and you get ALL cable channels including the premium ones. This tuner is not yet available, so you might have to wait if you want premium channel content streamed over your home network. You will not get pay-per-view with any of these setups.

    With that said, if you decide to go with a QAM tuner, you may want to wait a bit because SiliconDust has updated their HDHomeRun line. The new Dual is smaller and has an internal splitter. That means with the old dual you have to split your cable into two lines and plug both into the HDHomerun but the new one only needs one cable plugged in and it will split the signal internally.

    Lastly, if you are planning to stream any HD channels over your home network you may need to upgrade your router and all clients to wireless n. Wireless G may not be fast enough to handle the high bitrate that HD channels broadcast.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit- if you have satellite TV service, I am not aware of way to stream over a network. All of my advice above is for cable TV only.
    Share
    February 5, 2011 4:55:01 PM

    that is a lot easier and less expensive than getting a tuner that plugs into the PCI slot and using one of those 'ethernet over electrical wires' solution.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power_line_communication

    if you want to send TV to the computer wirelessly.. you are going to need a tv tuner that will plug into the cable downstairs and send the signal over an antenna.
    they dont make such a thing that i know of.
    you would have to use one of the suggestions in the post above this one.. then plug its ethernet cord into a wireless router and use it as an access point.
    OR
    you could use the 'broadband over electrical wires' solution if you purchase one that is fast enough to stream HD television.

    it shouldnt be too hard to find a used wireless router and use it for an access point.
    the computer upstairs will see the router downstairs IF you have wireless internet on the computer upstairs.

    $80 for the HDhomerun + $20 for a used wireless router = $100

    i really dont see it happening for very little money.
    IF you have a television downstairs that has the ability to connect to the internet wirelessly.. you might be able to use a software hack and program the television to send the data over the wi-fi

    but that would rely heavily on the television being capable of such a thing on the circuit board before you can even begin to hack the operating system on the television.
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    February 8, 2011 4:17:39 AM

    Yeah I think I will wait for the newer HDhomerun gotta wait the intel mobo recall thing anyways, before I could build my new comp. Both of your information was extremelly helpful to me, thanks.
    BTW I just received a Toshiba Satellite L25 laptop was wondering if that would be possible to use. I know you can stream media from it but what about cable?
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    February 8, 2011 11:31:24 AM

    If you have an HDHomrun setup on your home network, the laptop will have access to whatever content you feed the tuners. That laptop is a bit old and is probably using Windows XP which doesn't have its own Media Center (unless it has MCE 2005). Media Center is needed to watch TV unless you get third party software (SageTV, BeyondTV, MythTV, etc.) It may struggle unless the content is MPEG2 and low bitrate.
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    February 8, 2011 3:53:55 PM

    I was thinking about trying to do the same thing. One out-of-the-box solution could be the "slingbox". It is meant to allow you to control your TV/Cablebox/DVR, from anywhere in the world that you can connect to the internet. I'm assuming that you would be able to control it from your own network too. I guess the limitation would be that if someone was watching the television in the TV room, then you would not be able to control it from your computer without disrupting them. But, I guess a separate cable outlet/cablebox would do the trick. Anyway, I'm considering it, and you can find it at the Slingmedia website. The standard definition one costs $160 - $180, and the HD one is more like $300.

    Good luck. I'll be interested to see which way you go. Please report back.

    Lance
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    February 8, 2011 7:24:12 PM

    i think people have a right to pay for broadcast service and be able to take advantage of the data connections today's world has.

    i'm curious to know how people are using it.
    i know i have been in some hotels and the internet isnt fast enough to stream high definition video without either compressing it or buffering it.

    but trying to buffer some video that requires something like 40mbit/s
    well that is going to take a long long time to download the video when the connection speed is only 1 or 2mbit/s

    me thinks the slingbox will have to compress the video
    or
    you will have to find a motel with faster internet service.

    the slingbox might not be the perfect piece of hardware right now because lots of people struggle to have an internet connection fast enough to stream HD video.. but whenever we get around to having the speed necessary to play uncompressed HD television from our home.. it would make traveling a much more enjoyable experience because you can relax an ample amount before going to bed while watching your favorite shows.

    i went to the slingbox website and they said that the box can stream HD content with 3mbit/s of internet connection.
    with that kind of need, i would have to try the visual quality for my own eyes.
    but i dont travel and wouldnt have any use for it.

    i could just imagine myself watching REAL television while waiting for the doctor or at some other appointment on a mobile device.
    its so much better than watching those educational channels IF you can find something you are actually interested with.
    because i cant hardly ever find anything worth watching during the day on television.

    but yea.. i think if you pay for broadcast television, you shouldnt have to pay for it again simply because you are not at home.
    soon motels can get rid of their broadcast television and supply their customers with internet only.
    people could then stop paying a premium for television in the rooms.
    (although the price would probably go right back up because internet is expensive.. especially if you want to feed an entire motel with high speeds EACH )

    no more crappy snowy picture and wimpy selection of channels.
    having a DVR at home to record your favorite shows.. you dont have to miss anything and can stay current on a day to day basis with the season.
    and that alone is worth the slingbox.
    add to that, the ability to stream audio from your audio collection at home.. you have another solid reason for the slingbox.

    no sense in having a data communication infrastructure and not use it except for connecting to websites.
    i mean just look at the success of the fax machine.
    people used a telephone line that they already had installed.. it saved them time because they didnt have to wait on a delivery person.
    it saved them money because they didnt have to pay a delivery service.
    i bet it made people a bit more productive .. which should have made them feel better about themselves.

    switching to computers means quite a bunch of printing.
    if you were a business already without a computer.. you probably should have been doing some copying anyways.

    a photo copy of a drivers license is worth so much more than a piece of paper with the license number hand written.

    i am only going this far with the post because i know how absurd it can be to pay for paper and ink IF you are not using it.
    i'd say get some ink that doesnt dry out and you will get what you pay for when you eventually use it.
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    February 11, 2011 7:44:35 PM

    lharwerth said:
    I was thinking about trying to do the same thing. One out-of-the-box solution could be the "slingbox". It is meant to allow you to control your TV/Cablebox/DVR, from anywhere in the world that you can connect to the internet. I'm assuming that you would be able to control it from your own network too. I guess the limitation would be that if someone was watching the television in the TV room, then you would not be able to control it from your computer without disrupting them. But, I guess a separate cable outlet/cablebox would do the trick. Anyway, I'm considering it, and you can find it at the Slingmedia website. The standard definition one costs $160 - $180, and the HD one is more like $300.

    Good luck. I'll be interested to see which way you go. Please report back.

    Lance

    I think I am just going to wait 3 months when the new ssd's are out and intel fixes its mobo problem. I will be building my computer then and the newer HDhomerun thing will be out. I believe this is the way I will go. Slingbox seems a little complicated and pricey to me.
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    February 11, 2011 7:52:58 PM

    anwaypasible said:
    i think people have a right to pay for broadcast service and be able to take advantage of the data connections today's world has.

    i'm curious to know how people are using it.
    i know i have been in some hotels and the internet isnt fast enough to stream high definition video without either compressing it or buffering it.

    but trying to buffer some video that requires something like 40mbit/s
    well that is going to take a long long time to download the video when the connection speed is only 1 or 2mbit/s

    me thinks the slingbox will have to compress the video
    or
    you will have to find a motel with faster internet service.

    the slingbox might not be the perfect piece of hardware right now because lots of people struggle to have an internet connection fast enough to stream HD video.. but whenever we get around to having the speed necessary to play uncompressed HD television from our home.. it would make traveling a much more enjoyable experience because you can relax an ample amount before going to bed while watching your favorite shows.

    i went to the slingbox website and they said that the box can stream HD content with 3mbit/s of internet connection.
    with that kind of need, i would have to try the visual quality for my own eyes.
    but i dont travel and wouldnt have any use for it.

    i could just imagine myself watching REAL television while waiting for the doctor or at some other appointment on a mobile device.
    its so much better than watching those educational channels IF you can find something you are actually interested with.
    because i cant hardly ever find anything worth watching during the day on television.

    but yea.. i think if you pay for broadcast television, you shouldnt have to pay for it again simply because you are not at home.
    soon motels can get rid of their broadcast television and supply their customers with internet only.
    people could then stop paying a premium for television in the rooms.
    (although the price would probably go right back up because internet is expensive.. especially if you want to feed an entire motel with high speeds EACH )

    no more crappy snowy picture and wimpy selection of channels.
    having a DVR at home to record your favorite shows.. you dont have to miss anything and can stay current on a day to day basis with the season.
    and that alone is worth the slingbox.
    add to that, the ability to stream audio from your audio collection at home.. you have another solid reason for the slingbox.

    no sense in having a data communication infrastructure and not use it except for connecting to websites.
    i mean just look at the success of the fax machine.
    people used a telephone line that they already had installed.. it saved them time because they didnt have to wait on a delivery person.
    it saved them money because they didnt have to pay a delivery service.
    i bet it made people a bit more productive .. which should have made them feel better about themselves.

    switching to computers means quite a bunch of printing.
    if you were a business already without a computer.. you probably should have been doing some copying anyways.

    a photo copy of a drivers license is worth so much more than a piece of paper with the license number hand written.

    i am only going this far with the post because i know how absurd it can be to pay for paper and ink IF you are not using it.
    i'd say get some ink that doesnt dry out and you will get what you pay for when you eventually use it.

    I agree!
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    February 12, 2011 7:30:44 PM

    Best answer selected by monkeymonk.
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    February 16, 2011 6:30:44 AM

    Thanks for your post.
    I have a question: Now i am subscribing to a HD digital vip account from Rogers and would like to stream all the channels from my HD cable box so i can allow other viewers to enjoy the channels and watch at the same time different channels, if possible also, i can modify receivers to download the stream n connect the receiver to their tv using audio/video cable or HDMI if possible.
    What equipments do i need and what kind of modifications are required ?

    rwpritchett said:
    What you need is an HDHomerun manufactured by SiliconDust. This is a network based TV tuner. You connect it to your cable and your home router. Any computer on your home network will be able to watch and record TV over your home network using Windows built in media center. Here is a review.

    There are a several models such as:

  • Single = single ATSC/QAM tuner
  • Dual = dual ATSC/QAM tuners
  • Tech = industrial dual ATSC/QAM tuner that allows multicast streaming (probably not what you need)
  • Prime = triple CableCard tuner (not available yet)

    A dual/triple tuner will allow you to watch one channel while recording another at the same time. A single tuner can record or watch only one channel at a time.

    ATSC is for over the air HD television received by an antenna (local NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) and is by far the easiest to setup. Just plug in a antenna and scan for channels.
    QAM is for digital cable. You will have to research what kind of cable you have, and what channels are broadcast by your cable company with unencrypted clear QAM. You may get all of your standard cable channels or you may only get the local channels... the same ones you get with an antenna. It depends on your cable company and what QAM they broadcast. A phone call to your cable company may answer that question. You will NOT get any premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) with a QAM tuner.

    And then there is the anxiously awaited CableCard Prime tuner. With this tuner, you plug in a CableCard from your cable provider and you get ALL cable channels including the premium ones. This tuner is not yet available, so you might have to wait if you want premium channel content streamed over your home network. You will not get pay-per-view with any of these setups.

    With that said, if you decide to go with a QAM tuner, you may want to wait a bit because SiliconDust has updated their HDHomeRun line. The new Dual is smaller and has an internal splitter. That means with the old dual you have to split your cable into two lines and plug both into the HDHomerun but the new one only needs one cable plugged in and it will split the signal internally.

    Lastly, if you are planning to stream any HD channels over your home network you may need to upgrade your router and all clients to wireless n. Wireless G may not be fast enough to handle the high bitrate that HD channels broadcast.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit- if you have satellite TV service, I am not aware of way to stream over a network. All of my advice above is for cable TV only.

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    February 16, 2011 6:32:10 AM

    Thanks for your post.
    I have a question: Now i am subscribing to a HD digital vip account from Rogers and would like to stream all the channels from my HD cable box so i can allow other viewers to enjoy the channels and watch at the same time different channels, if possible also, i can modify receivers to download the stream n connect the receiver to their tv using audio/video cable or HDMI if possible.
    What equipments do i need and what kind of modifications are required ?
    Please Reply
    Thanks

    rwpritchett said:
    What you need is an HDHomerun manufactured by SiliconDust. This is a network based TV tuner. You connect it to your cable and your home router. Any computer on your home network will be able to watch and record TV over your home network using Windows built in media center. Here is a review.

    There are a several models such as:

  • Single = single ATSC/QAM tuner
  • Dual = dual ATSC/QAM tuners
  • Tech = industrial dual ATSC/QAM tuner that allows multicast streaming (probably not what you need)
  • Prime = triple CableCard tuner (not available yet)

    A dual/triple tuner will allow you to watch one channel while recording another at the same time. A single tuner can record or watch only one channel at a time.

    ATSC is for over the air HD television received by an antenna (local NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, etc.) and is by far the easiest to setup. Just plug in a antenna and scan for channels.
    QAM is for digital cable. You will have to research what kind of cable you have, and what channels are broadcast by your cable company with unencrypted clear QAM. You may get all of your standard cable channels or you may only get the local channels... the same ones you get with an antenna. It depends on your cable company and what QAM they broadcast. A phone call to your cable company may answer that question. You will NOT get any premium channels (HBO, Showtime, etc.) with a QAM tuner.

    And then there is the anxiously awaited CableCard Prime tuner. With this tuner, you plug in a CableCard from your cable provider and you get ALL cable channels including the premium ones. This tuner is not yet available, so you might have to wait if you want premium channel content streamed over your home network. You will not get pay-per-view with any of these setups.

    With that said, if you decide to go with a QAM tuner, you may want to wait a bit because SiliconDust has updated their HDHomeRun line. The new Dual is smaller and has an internal splitter. That means with the old dual you have to split your cable into two lines and plug both into the HDHomerun but the new one only needs one cable plugged in and it will split the signal internally.

    Lastly, if you are planning to stream any HD channels over your home network you may need to upgrade your router and all clients to wireless n. Wireless G may not be fast enough to handle the high bitrate that HD channels broadcast.

    Hope this helps.

    Edit- if you have satellite TV service, I am not aware of way to stream over a network. All of my advice above is for cable TV only.

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    0
    l
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    !