Computer tuner cards?

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by Chuck_McCollum, Nov 23, 2004.

  1. Chuck_McCollum

    Chuck_McCollum Auditioning

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    Hey gang,

    First post here. Nice digs. Now on to my question(s). I plan to do a HT in my Basement. I'm doing it kinda thriftily. I have already decided on a projector. I'm gonna supplement my TV viewing with a conventional TV.

    I know that the projectors are good mostly for DVD movies. However, when it's available I might want to watch an occational TV movie or big game on my projector.

    Now, I think I want to drive my projector with a computer and put in a tuner card. I can configure a pretty good basic CPU system. I just need to know what card or cards I need to tune TV and HDTV through my PC to my projector. I also want good digital surround sound and imagine that there is probably a single card out there that will suffice but I'm sure you folks can help me weigh the pros and cons of doing it this way.

    BTW, I'm using cable and really don't want to change that but I've already read some discussions about cable perhaps dumbing down signals. Is that a reality?

    Thanks,
    Chuck.
     
  2. AndrewVital

    AndrewVital Agent

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    Chuck,
    Well i've got the ATI HDTV Wonder in my PC. It tunes over-the-air HD signals as well as analog cable. It won't get HDTV from your cable company. In my case I've got it on my computer at college. At home we have a HomeTheater with digital cable, a front projector blah blah blah... but at school i've got a 20" LCD monitor so i wanted that to be my TV to save space in my dorm room.

    The school provides us with cable so i use that a lot and I use the HDTV when i want to watch something thats on one of the major networks.

    It does come with an antenna (for me it was useless due to my distance from the HDTV broadcast stations). So i bought a Terk-TR55 Antenna and thats much better.

    I have an ATI Radeon 9600 as my video card. (I had an NVidia card and it didn't like the HDTV wonder, so i returned it for an ATI card and haven't had any problems).

    Good Luck, hope i helped

    - Andrew
     
  3. Chuck_McCollum

    Chuck_McCollum Auditioning

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    Thanks Andrew. The ATI HDTV was a card I was looking at so it is great to have first hand info. I'm still not real clear on the analog vs digital cable thing. They offer digital cable here but I think you have to have a box and I think that might circumvent a tuner card from being able to tune. What do you think?
     
  4. AndrewVital

    AndrewVital Agent

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    Ya if you need a box then the card wouldn't work..... well it would but what you'd do is have the box next to your computer the cable would go into the box the box would tune it, and then youd take the output from the box into into your analog input on the card. and you'd have digital cable on your computer (tune the computer to channel 3).

    The only thing is this won't work on teh Digital input. (the card had 2 coax inputs, 1-analog, and 1-digital or HD). The analog would take cable, but if you say got HD cable and put it into the analog input it would look just like analog cable. If you put the HD box output into the digital input i don't htink that woudl work either because the card it only built to decode over the air HD broadcasts.

    FYI, if you have a cable drop near the computer, just connect the cable to the analog coax of the HDTV card. It will give you all the analog cable channels. You don't "need" digital cable. just regular cable and the card will tune it fine (just as if you put a cable hookup right into a cable-ready tv or vcr).

    good luck
    - Andrew
     

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