View Full Version : Questions about TV tuners

11-16-2010, 01:20 PM
For a long time now I've been interested in tossing away my tv, and using my computer monitor to watch television.

However, there's one huge question I can't seem to get answered. Can I watch the television in a scaleable window on my desktop? Most reviews I see people are using this card to watch their videos fullscreen with Windows Media Center, but I just want to watch tv alongside my current programs I'm using.

Also, another concern is that I have Comcast cable, and to see the guide I need to use the Comcast cable box. Will I need to divert the coaxial cable from the box to the tv tuner, or directly from the outlet?

I've had my eye on this guy: Link (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=15-116-015&SortField=0&SummaryType=0&Pagesize=10&PurchaseMark=&SelectedRating=-1&VideoOnlyMark=False&VendorMark=&IsFeedbackTab=true&Page=2#scrollFullInfo)

Can it do those things? Help is most appreciated, I've never had a tv tuner before so I'm interested.

11-16-2010, 02:15 PM
Yes you can watch in a window through MC I do that some time's for a lil TV surf'n action lol..

It look's like the card is designed to work with MC so that card should be fine.

I use a smaller USB HDTV dongle and it works a treat.

T Rush
11-16-2010, 04:05 PM
you can use the Comcast cable box with that tuner card...as it comes with an "IR Blaster" ...what that does is runs a wire from the back of the tuner card out to the cable box where it sticks on over the IR receiver, then your computer(and the remote that comes with the card) can control the cable box...you will need to do this if your cable plan includes any 'pay' encrypted channels

...otherwise, if you just have a basic/family cable plan, you don't need the cable box, and the tuner card alone can do all the work

however, I think the Comcast guide is only a function of that box, and even if the box is connected to the computer(cable from the box and IR Blaster from the computer), I don't think you will be able to use that Comcast guide....not to fret tho, as Windows Media Center has the one of the best Guides and interfaces out there(often people think its better than TiVo)...so that isn't really bad new at all...as Media Center is very polished...and you can run it in a smaller window...one bit of bad news is that while that tuner card has two tuners in it(one analog, and the other Clear QAM digital) Windows Media Center can only use one or the other per device(like you need two actual cards to use two tuners at the same time...as in one recording something while you watch something else one the other, or record two overlapping shows on different channels)
I would probably just start out installing the card, connecting the cable directly to the card's analog tuner, and setting up WMC and Guide to use that, so that you can get familiar with how it all works...then next try connecting the cable to the digital tuner input or try with the cable box and go for a more advanced set up(where you might have to manually assign guide programing to the channels http://www.hack7mc.com/2009/06/setting-up-custom-channel-lineups.html )

11-16-2010, 04:15 PM
Wow, really nice help so far, thanks!

Comcast offers 'Premium Channels' which I would be using. I'm guessing because of that I'd need to plugin the tuner card to the cable box, right?

T Rush
11-16-2010, 04:35 PM
I've never used a cable box with any of our PC TV tuners

but what are 'Premium Channels' with your line up?
as that stuff usually isn't encrypted, and will be in both analog and digital(digital is needed for 720p/1080i "HD" and digital 5.1 sound) so the tuner card will get those with the cable plugged directly into it from the wall

anything like that will be encrypted, and you will need to use the cable box to tune those stations

but Windows Media Center will go online and get all the info/times for any programing you receive and have listed in the guide

11-17-2010, 01:26 AM
but Windows Media Center will go online and get all the info/times for any programing you receive and have listed in the guide

yeah may be In the US, wish it would work down under.. Dame Microsoft.. You would think that they could get this info from there Australian partner NineMSN but no there a pack of useless #$%&^ so no TV guide for US and it's been this way since Vista was released. (Win 7 don't change a thing BTW)

HDTV for PC is still dame good and save's purchasing a PVR witch would cost more than a PC TV card..