TV Turner for Media center PC

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Steve F M, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    What DVR TV tuner card do you guys suggest for a Windows Media Center 2005 PC. The HDTV Wonder is probably out of the question for Hi Def since my towers are about 25 miles away and my antenna would need to be placed in the basement.

    Any Suggestions and places to buy?

    Thanks
     
  2. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Some of the best quality and good performance for the dollar comes from the ATI eHome Wonder card (NOT to be confused with over the counter All-In-Wonder cards or ATI Tuner cards) which you can find @ NewEgg and elsewhere.

    The Nvidia NVTV cards have a lot of interesting features, including options of dual tuners, etc. for fair performance.

    But bang for the buck, the ATI is a good card.

    That having been said, if you ever -do- add an HDTV card, realize due to a current error with the driver base, you can't combine an ATI eHome card with an ATI HDTV card.. MCE will bomb with both of them; you'd have to change the analog card over to something else (like an NVTV)
     
  3. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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  4. ChristopherDAC

    ChristopherDAC Producer

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    I will sell you one of those eHomeWonder cards if you want it, and fairly cheap too. I bought it by mistake to serve as a video input on my computer, and have been having to do the God-awfullest kind of kludges [technical term!] to make it work at all under XP Pro. From its unobjectionable performance under the strange regime I'm using, I suspect it would work quite well for its intended purpose. I have the special connectors and so forth; it accepts Composite and S video and stereo audio as well as cable/antenna input, and apparently includes an FM radio tuner.
     
  5. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Steve-

    You know, we tested a lot of cards, and those cards weren't bad, they just weren't always the tops either. The Hauppauge seemed to want too much in the way of resources for it's quality of output until you got up to the PVR-250 and above, and then at that price point, it was an "iffy" buy.

    Good hearing on the sound [​IMG] Really, I think a lot of people buy into needing high-end soundcards; but a good soundcard that will pass on optical or coax is really what most of us are after.. though we have also seen/done HTPC boxes that control THX speakers via soundcard.. then it's a different game altogether.
     
  6. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    I have heard good things about the hauppauge 150mce I am going to buy it. I have a 3.0 p4 with 1gig ram. In a normal state the pc uses about 200 mb's just at start up. I hope I have enough.

    But I have my eye on the http://www.hauppauge.com/Pages/produ...pvr150mce.html

    seems to be the right one for the job.

    I am just confused about getting the sound out of the computer. I want to have dolby digital via optical or coax.

    Definately going witht the Windows Media Center 2005.
     
  7. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    I'm looking to go with the same tuner card? It will probably look like crap though projecting from my projector onto a 106" screen, but I want to see what its all about. As far as Dolby digital if you are passing the signal through to a receiver, Chris rec'd a good PCI card which works great for only about $30. Link below.

    http://www.zipzoomfly.com/jsp/Produc...uctCode=292200
     
  8. Christo Ramo

    Christo Ramo Stunt Coordinator

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    Do you know of a good 5.1 dts card?
     
  9. Chris

    Chris Lead Actor

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    Any sound card that will pass Optical will pass a DTS signal to a ready receiver.

    If you need a card that will process DTS, you can use -most- 6/7/8 channel cards and the appropriate decoder, but it's both more CPU intensive and not always as good. The only one that really shines there is the Creative Audigy 2ZS Series.
     
  10. Ronald Epstein

    Ronald Epstein Founder
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    Thanks to the suggestion of Chris, I bought
    the ATI EHome Wonder cards for my PC.

    I ended up returning it.

    It's probably my fault as I didn't know
    the best way to hook it up.

    Before the EHome card I had a regular
    ATI TV CARD that I loved. I simply plugged
    the raw satellite cable from the satellite
    box OUT into the TV card IN, kept the
    software tuner on Channel 3 and changed
    channels using the satellite box remote.

    The problem is that setup would not work
    with the EHome card and Windows Media no
    matter how hard I tried. Windows kept trying
    to find a signal and it couldn't. There was
    no ability for me to keep the software on
    channel "3" and use my satellite box to
    change channels.

    I even tried running the raw satellite
    cable into the EHome card - but no dice.

    I'm sure I missed something. In the long
    run I decided to return the card and go back
    to my standard add-on ATI tuner card.
     
  11. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    Christo if you are using a receiver get the card I mentioned above. The optical out will just pass the signal to your receiver which will decode DTS or DD or whatever format you are outputting. There are out of stock at zipzoomfly, but do a search on google and you should find another site that sells them.
     
  12. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Steve, which card did you end up going with? The PVR-150 is a great buy. I'm not sure how MCE works wit hthe card but if you are blowing the image up on a projector try using DScaler and toy with the filters until you like whart you see.
     
  13. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    I'm going to go with the PVR-150MCE which is pretty much the PVR-150 without the remote. Never heard of DScaler is this some sort of software?
     
  14. Steve F M

    Steve F M Screenwriter

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    Found it. Sounds very interesting and I will check it out once my 150 arrives.
     
  15. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    doh, forgot that DScaler doesn't support the PVRs for some odd reason. [​IMG] Maybe your viewing software will let you control smoothing and sharpness.
     

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