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Tv Tuner Card (for Mce?)


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#1 adwill9

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Posted 08 January 2008 - 08:39 PM

I've been doing a lot of research into TV Tuner cards, and I'm hoping to get some advice before I purchase one.

I have built a pretty decent computer which I had intended to serve as a hub for all my roomates and I to share our music, pictures, videos, etc. It didn't occur to me until recently that I could also use the computer as a DVR, with a tuner card. I already have an unused copy of Windows Vista Home Premium, so I figure I might as well use the Media Center that comes with the OS, despite mixed reviews for Vista... The end goal would be to use the TV as both the source and destination for the computer (no monitor attached).

The things I'm unsure about:

1. How does it connect with my Comcast cable box-- does it just get inserted in-line before the TV? I guess I wouldn't mind purchasing a MCE remote, to get rid of the Comcast remote, but how would On Demand work?? Would it operate with the MCE remote somehow, or would I still need the Comcast remote for on demand? I want to get a tuner card with 2 tuners... how do I get two coaxial inputs from my comcast box? Is it just a splitter?

2. I want my roommates to be able to connect to the computer and utilize its iTunes playlists.... if I'm recording a tv show and watching one at the same time, while my roommate is switching around between albums on the computer, is it going to lag up?? The last thing I need is laggy tv.

Thanks, I love this forum!!

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#2 hamluis

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Posted 09 January 2008 - 09:47 AM

I'll contribute the little that I know :thumbsup:.

If you use a cable box to get channels (as everyone soon will for HD), that OUT signal can be split to go to a capture card/tuner and a TV (what I do). If you have no need to split the signal, you probably wind up with better video by sending the signal straight to a monitor/TV. You can use a single device as both a TV and a monitor, with a control switch for the monitor determining how the device is used moment by moment.

So you have options.

Cable path equals LINE to Box...the output from the box has several options, as noted.

If you decide to use a splitter, then you have decisions to make. I can split my basic cable (the majority of channels I watch) at the Cable and ignore the channels I need the box for...or I can split the output of the box and reflect the same channels as my TV. When I split the output from the box, I am merely using my computer hard drive as a VCR and have to tune the capture card to channel 3 to reflect channels which my analog capture card don't allow me direct reception.

I don't use On Demand, but it seems to need the Comcast box to exercise.

And...if you use a splitter, I suggest making sure that you use a reinforced cable for your Comcast box out. Generally speaking, it has been suggested to use one of those amplifiers just before the splitter (which I have done before), but I believe that's not necessary if the proper cable is used to minimize leaking TV signals.

Louis




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