TechSpot

Questions on TV Tuners and cable TV on the computer

By tripleione
Jul 4, 2008
  1. Hey everyone. I had a few questions that I wanted to ask before delving into purchasing a TV Tuner card because some of this stuff is confusing me.

    Basically, I want to be able to watch simple cable television on my computer. I don't really care about HD, and I don't have any O-T-A channels I'm interested in watching. My roommate has Cox cable for the TV in his room and the living room. We also are using Cox's "high-speed" internet services if that makes any difference.

    What I'm confused about is how some of the TV tuner cards describe their specifications. I understand the difference between analogue and digital signals through the air, and I understand the difference between digital television and HDTV, but the thing that I'm not really understanding the difference between analogue cable and digital cable... I was under the impression that cable was digital by default, since it is fed through the coaxial cable in the wall.

    I was also wondering about whether a hardware encoder is a "must-have" for a TV tuner card. I would prefer to buy myself a Hauppauge 1600 TV Tuner card but a few of the TV tuner cards on newegg.com are getting good reviews and they only have software encoding. The KWORLD ATSC 115 is one of them that comes to mind. Is a hardware TV tuner card really worth the extra $70? I don't really plan on trying to record a show and watch TV simultaneously, by the way.

    Thanks in advance for any advice/help!
     
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

  3. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 10,982   +957

  4. tipstir

    tipstir TS Ambassador Posts: 4,715   +89

    I have COX for HDTV Digital Cable Service - Now the problem with Cox is I still don't know how are they going to handle analog free service 2/2009 they provide to their premium customers like me who have everything they offer. I get the analog cable free so I can use my analog TV Tuners to record on the PC as the HTPC (home theater personal computer) I can record from channel 2 thru 99 okay! I can also record 100 thru 999 band which is the digital band when I use my PVR-150 MCE directly to the Motorola DCT digital box using non-coax cables. The results are excellent. Movies come in clear and the sound it great! All the HBOs, SHO, TMC, Stars Pack an etc..

    I only use Hauppauge Tuner cards PVR-150 2x and 1x PVR-150MCE I had 4 but they're gone DOA after 4 years of heavy recording usage. 24/7 no-stop. The newer ones like HVR-1600, HVR-1800 are for HDTV recordings, but they would do me no good if you couldn't record from Component or HDMI back to the tuner. Not with Cox. You could record if you're near a huge major city off ANT HDTV if you want through Coax line instead.

    If you want to record non-HDTV through Cox you should get the Hauppauge PVR-150 with 45 button remote or the PVR-150 MCE cheaper no remote though. Remote good if you want to turn the PC into a DVR only. Otherwise I use the mouse and to record. Then you can download from Hauppauge for free WinTV6 that comes with WinTV Scheduler and TitanTV Program Guide this is very easy to setup and TitanTV account is for free. Just click through your browser on the TV guide marked with a red dot what you want to record and that's it! It will show up in the WinTV Scheduler for you. You really don't have to do anymore.

    Look at the TitanTV EPG site now to get a gest of what I am mean.
    http://www.titantv.com/

    Enter in your zipcode

    Your local tv guide should appear and you should also see those red dots used to record. PTVrec.applet gets installed on your system by Hauppauge when you install WinTV6. This is needed for it to work. Also works with IE and Firefox.
     
  5. tripleione

    tripleione TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 181

    So what you're saying is the cable service through Cox is still an analog signal? The 1600 specifies that it recieves analog, digital and HD signals. Why would I not be able to use that for what I'm intending to do?
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,987   +168

    This is not rocket science. Just connect your digital cable box to the USB Happuage adapter, install the software and you are good! I have done this in Las Vegas for a friend last month he has Cox Digital Cable and he watches digital TV on his computer
     
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