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TV Tuner Confusion-Please Help

by JPHDesigner / September 16, 2008 5:58 AM PDT

Let me preface this plea for help by saying that I have done a fairly extensive amount of research, and I even emailed Tech Support from a major TV Tuner manufacturer, and I am still left with my question(s) unanswered.

Here goes...I want to get a TV Tuner for my PC. My price range caps at about $150. My PC's specs are as follows, Dual Core AMD (~2Ghz) 8600 GT graphics, 3.75 Gigs of RAM, Windows XP standard and a 26" Westinghouse monitor. I have looked and looked and I can not seem to find out what kind of tuner I need. I have read that I might have problems due to the fact that I do not have a Media Center edition OS. Is that true? Would the tuner run through my graphics card, or would I need to switch my vga or HDMI cord back and forth all the time?

Simply put, I just want to be able to watch TV on my computer. What do I need to buy in order for this to work?

Thanks so much for reading/helping.

John

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Let's try a few things.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 16, 2008 6:25 AM PDT

"I can not seem to find out what kind of tuner I need."

I can't either. Here's why. You didn't reveal where the TV signal was coming from. For a cable connection, say in most of the USA "any" TV card from ATI, Hauppaugge will do fine. Given all will work, I'll consider the issue of which card answered.

"I have read that I might have problems due to the fact that I do not have a Media Center edition OS. Is that true?"

Sorry. Untrue. The card comes with applications to watch and maybe record TV. I will not detail such applications but Media Center was never a requirement.

"Would the tuner run through my graphics card, or would I need to switch my vga or HDMI cord back and forth all the time?"

The usual cards digitize the signal and place it on your display. I am not going to detail how it works but it's very similar to what happens when you play a DVD. The data from the DVD is decoded and put on the screen. Which a small rewrite yields "The data from the TV card is decoded and put on the screen."

"Simply put, I just want to be able to watch TV on my computer. What do I need to buy in order for this to work?""

A TV card from ATI or Hauppaugge that fits you machine plus a TV "source."
Bob

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Thanks for the quick response
by JPHDesigner / September 16, 2008 6:32 AM PDT

I would be getting a cable signal from a coax cable (Comcast). Would there be any issues with resolution (since it will be displaying on a 26" monitor)?

Thanks!

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Yup.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 16, 2008 7:07 AM PDT

Most TV cards take bad old standard definition or SD. In North America that's "NTSC" and put on a high resolution screen some might complain.

For HDTV or better you will not be happy about the need for "a cable card" and the hundreds of bucks to get HD from your cable co, etc, etc, etc. For now I'll just talk about "TV" and not "HDTV."
Bob

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