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New to forums - Need a little help

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
A while back my father commissioned me to build him a "home entertainment PC". He wanted to use it for pictures, dvds, music, and to have a TV-tuner card/DVR. At the time he used analog cable only as all his favorite channels were available through analog cable. I am quite experienced with building computers (however, I had never dealt with DVR/TV-Tuners) and I was able to satisfy him. For the TV-Tuner I selected a Happauge HVR-1800 and the build went along smoothly. He has been using his computer as intended for a while (he particularly liked the Vista Media Center) but recently he received a letter from his cable company that they were switching a good chunk of his favorite channels to digital only. So he wants to switch over to digital cable and still be able to record TV as he has become accustomed to. This has put me in kind of a bind as I don't know how to advise him at this point, so I turn to the forums for help. What will my father need to do to be able to record his digital television?

Thanks in advance for the help.
post #2 of 5
Unfortunately most of the digital cable channels are encrypted and only a rented digital cable box can decode them. You can rent a digital cable DVR to record those channels easily, but no PC tuner alone can decode those channels.
post #3 of 5
The Hauppauge HD recorder device might be usable for this; that said, I don't personally know what the challenges will be to integrate it into a Vista Media Center setup, or if it'll work. Anyone know?
post #4 of 5
Thread Starter 
Well he found some sort of list of unencrypted digital channels in his area from silicondust.com and it was pretty extensive. However, he doesn't necessarily object to somehow going through the cable company to get access to encrypted channels so long as he can use Vista Media Center.

I highly doubt it is this easy but could he just plug the cable out of the digital box into the happauge tuner?
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by revelat0r View Post

Well he found some sort of list of unencrypted digital channels in his area from silicondust.com and it was pretty extensive.

Well, "extensive" is subjective. I have a fair number of unencrypted digital channels on my cable system, but most of them are stuff like Music Choice channels, History Channel International, CNN International, etc.; i.e., stuff you're probably not going to care about.

Quote:
Originally Posted by revelat0r View Post

I highly doubt it is this easy but could he just plug the cable out of the digital box into the happauge tuner?

The Hauppauge device in question is *not* a tuner, but a component video capture box. You'd need an HD cable box from your cable company and an IR blaster to make it work. You'd have to feed component video into it (along with digital or stereo analog audio, not sure which). Again, not having first hand experience with Vista Media Center, I'm not even 100% sure you can integrate the Hauppauge device with it, which is why I was hoping someone with experience with that unit could illuminate things.
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