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Newbie question for terms and tuner card

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
I posted some questions a few months ago about a system I wanted to build, but I ran into some $$$ problems that I had to take care of, lol. Anyway, I'm thinking about taking my Asus K8N Deluxe / Athlon 3500+ and making it a low end HTPC. I'm not concerned about HDTV at this point.

At this point, I'm thinking about just putting a tuner card in my main PC and experiment with this whole home theater thing at my desktop to get more up to speed.

I've been reading this forum for a day now looking for tuner advice, as I understand it, the 650 pro or Nvidia is the way to go, (I don't have PCIe on this board). My read the whole story about 650 being not the way to go, the recall, and the fixed boards. They seem like the way to go at this point.


1) Should I lean one way or the other (650 versus Nvidia), or is there something better?

2) My current cable company supplies digital cable, but the first 100 channels can be picked up with a regular TV (no box). So.... is it all digital, a mix or what? There's probably a faq I missed.

3) My current video card is a 9700 AIW Pro. I bought it for Half Life 2 (years ago), not TV. It has a remote, so is it safe to assume it has a rudimentary tuner?

Thanks in advance.
post #2 of 3
Yes the AIW has a basic tuner that will give you the same channels your tv can get without a cable box (all analog without a cable box, but that doesn't mean lower quality really).

Might as well just use that AIW tuner in the 9700 if all you're wanting to do is test the waters. There is a hack to make that work with mce2005 if you are wanting to use the MCE interface itself or it'll just work as is in all the other programs out there.

Your pc is enough to do OTA hdtv, or cable unencrypted QAM (not subscription channels like HBO etc) with the proper HDTV tuner, just not HD-DVD or Blueray those are the only two things your system can't do that newer faster machines can.

post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Thanks Troy, thats encouraging. I'm hoping my desktop box will act similar to my DVR so I can build a low profile HTPC case and put my current PC innards in it. If this 9700 works okay, I can get another tuner (I'm thinking 650) for a second tuner. I was thinking about getting 2 650's, but if this AIW suffices for a second tuner, that will save me a PCI slot. I have 4, but not sure if with a riser card on a low case how much room I'll have, lol.
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