will regular cabl tv look better on an htpc?

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by jason bishop, Dec 13, 2002.

  1. jason bishop

    jason bishop Extra

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    i have a 51 hdtv and am wondering if an htpc will make cable tv look better. i have an extra pc that looks like it would work with a few add ons. or let me know what to search for on this site and ill be off.
     
  2. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Jason,

    Answer is maybe yes, maybe no...

    The first issue is what is currently "wrong" with your cable picture. If the problems you have with the picture are related to transmission, resolution or other things that are part of the cable system itself- it's unlikely a PC card will do much for you.

    However if the issues you have are cause by your chosen tuning device (how do you currently tune your cable?) or by the line doubler in the TV itself- then HTPC might possibly help you.

    The first issue is the tuner. The problem is that most budget cards (say anything under $100) have pretty lousy tuner systems-- and won't likely offer any improvement over a cable box, vcr or integrated TV tuner. There might be better pro level solutions with better quality components- but I don't have any specific info beyond that fact that I'd expect them to be pricey.

    The next issue is the doubler. If the internal TV doubler is introducing artifacts to the picture-- a tuner card coupled with Dscaler (which can do adaptive 3-2 pulldown) might offer some improvement over the internal doubler system.

    So really the whole issue of quality improvement comes down to determining why it's lackluster in the first place and what different components in a PC might help solve those issues.

    -Vince
     
  3. jason bishop

    jason bishop Extra

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    thanks for the reply. what i dont like about the picture is what i call the jaggies like an old nintendo video games graphics. im useing the cable (ATT) providers box to recive the signel. the box has composite out and rf out only. i started with the composite connection at first but read in the tv manule (sony) that i should use the rf connection insted because it could improve the picture so i swicthed it but dont notice and improvement. its supposed to be digital cable but ive found out its only certin channels that are transmitted in digital. hope this info helps a bit i dont expect dvd quality but id like a nice clear not so jaggie picture.
     
  4. Vince Maskeeper

    Vince Maskeeper Producer

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    Well jaggies tends to be an issue of the line doubling method- so a HTPC mnight very well be helpful to you.

    Of course, as I'm sure you know, the HTPC tuner card will not be able to get the digital channels- only the analog band stuff.

    -vince
     
  5. Mathew Shelby

    Mathew Shelby Second Unit

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    Is there any tuner that will allow you to get channels above 100 (i.e. digital cable)?
     
  6. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Matt: I think most (analog) tuners go up to 120.

    As far as Digital Cable, they probably won't decode the digital stream (i.e. whats coming from the wall into your cable box), but it will pick up the single-channel stream coming FROM the cable box.

    This is problematic for recording, as you have to set the CHANNEL you want to watch before you record.

    This is just a guess, so clarification would be much appreciated.
     
  7. jason bishop

    jason bishop Extra

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    what if i use the composite out on the cable box to the htpc and just continue to use the box as the tuner?
     
  8. Brian Ruth

    Brian Ruth Supporting Actor

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    Composite/S-Video out from the cable box should work just fine. [​IMG]
     

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