AVS Special Member
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Ellicott City, MD
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You'll need two separate cables, one for your digital cable TV and the other for the OTA antenna. Models with multiple tuners have internal splitters so you only need a single coax to each tuner card for cable or antenna. You'll also need two separate types of tuners - cablecard for digital cable (InfiniTV 4 or 6) and an ATSC tuner for OTA. The number of tuners depends on how many channels you'll envision recording simultaneously with a spare for watching live TV. If you're only going to use the tuners with a single PC then you can use the internal PCIe tuners or the USB versions. If you'll be sharing tuners with other PCs then the networked type of tuners are preferable. You can use networked tuners in either case if your HTPC is getting overcrowded or you want to keep the internal temperature down. You can also use the USB versions for the same reasons. Either version is probably preferable to installing the tuners in an external server, but it's not a requirement. I'd recommend the networked tuners vs. the USB versions as I've had issues with USB tuners in the past.
Here are some choices for each type of tuner:
Ceton InfiniTV 4 (4 tuners, PCIe, retail $199, on sale for about $150, usually about $100 or less used on ebay)
Ceton InfiniTV 6 (6 tuners, PCIe, retail $299, on sale for $250)
Hauppauge WinTV-DCR-2650 (2 tuners, USB, retail $129)
Ceton InfiniTV 4 (4 tuners, USB, pricing same as PCIe version)
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime (3 tuners, retail $99)
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime (?) (6 tuners, NOT YET RELEASED, projected price $150)
Ceton InfiniTV 6 ETH (6 tuners, pricing same as PCIe version)
AverMedia Duet A188 (two tuners, approx $50-75)
Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 (two tuners, retail for about $100 for bare tuner, approx $130 with remote)
SiliconDust HDHomeRun Dual (two tuners, on sale for about $60)
There's no release date yet on the 6-tuner HDHR Prime. I would expect the price of the Ceton tuners to drop when that happens so they can remain competitive. OTOH, since the release of the InfiniTV 6, the resale prices of the InfiniTV 4's have dropped to below $100 on average so you can get a great deal on ebay if you don't mind used hardware.
Note that there are a lot of different internal ATSC tuners in either PCI or PCIe configurations. Most people prefer going with dual tuners because they tend to give you more bang for the buck Plus, it never hurts to have extra tuners available, even if you only use them on occasion.