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Vista Media Center and QAM

by voted_chris_torres / July 17, 2008 6:07 AM PDT

Alright so i need some advise and guidence. For reference i have a new Dell Vostro 400 with Vista Ultimate (Intel Core 2Duo 3.16, GeForce 9600, 1TB of Storage). I have Comcast and have a basic Digital Package.

I'm looking to get a TV Tuner for my Vista PC so i can turn it into a DVR, and stream it to my Xbox360 Extender. I've heard that in order to get HD Channels over Cable you need to have a Card that supports QAM. Thing is i've heard that Media Center does not support QAM from a few of my friends.

I did a little research and i found some info from microsoft that states they do support QAM (http://windowshelp.microsoft.com/Windows/en-US/help/ef5b8360-958c-425b-9529-2922167e78631033.mspx). But i've also heard that Media Center disables QAM for DRM related issues. This was from over a year ago. I also found posts for people gettting Beta plugins from AverMedia and Hauppauge that allow you to get unencrpted QAM using specific TV Tuners. (http://msmvps.com/blogs/chrisl/archive/2008/05/14/1622759.aspx)

The thing that concerns me is that i had a hard time finding current news. alot of the posts i saw about vista media center and QAM was from a month after vista's release. Its been a long time since then and there could be alot of changes. 2ndly it looks like those plugins for WMC have just been recently coming out. The Hauppauge Plugin was posted 5-15-08, so it leads me to believe that even though MS has posted that they Support QAM, they infact disable it and you need a work around to get it.

I'm just looking for some advise on what to get to make WMC work with my Analog and Digital Cable Channels. Happy Should i just get a tuner that is supported by one of these plugin's and give it a shot? Is there specific tuner that i should be looking for? Does Media center actually support QAM Natively?

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