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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm looking to build an inexpensive HTPC. It's main use (for now) will be to watch OTA HDTV. I'd like to run MCE but don't want to have to purchase a regular SD tuner card because I never intend on watching SD TV. I thought I read somewhere that MS was going to change the SD tuner card requirement for installation and configuration of MCE. Does anyone know with what version this is going to occur, if at all? I really like to use the someting like the inexpensive AverMedia A180 HDTV tuner card.


What other options do I have if I don't go with MCE and this card? Other HD tuner cards seem a lot more expensive.
 

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For the initial installation of MCE, you need a SD Tuner card. After that you can remove the card.....Just no TV! Have not tried installing an HD card yet. I used my Hughes HTL-HD for HD tv viewing right now.....until something better comes along.
 

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A lot of people (myself included) have gotten MCE to work using the ATI HDTV WONDER for both analog and digital TV. It requires some modified drivers (Kram drivers) and a very specific step of installation instructions. A search of the HDTV WONDER thread should point you in the right direction.
 

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the analog card does not need to stay in the PC at all times.... it is required when changing tv setting etc, set up HD channels, disable the analog channels and take the analog card out when you are done. To make any further changes in the settings you will have to put the card back in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I'd really rather not play any buy-the-SD-card-swap-it-out-and-return-it games. I guess my question is then, has anyone heard if MS is planning on relaxing this requirement to have a SD tuner card in a future version of MCE?


If so, how soon is it coming?


If not, I guess I'll just have to bite the bullet and get a cheap SD tuner card or an HDTV All In Wonder.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by edrossy
For the initial installation of MCE, you need a SD Tuner card. After that you can remove the card.....Just no TV! Have not tried installing an HD card yet. I used my Hughes HTL-HD for HD tv viewing right now.....until something better comes along.


I initially installed MCE on my HTPC w/out a tuner card. So I know it can be done. Anyway I do not see why you would have a problem just using a OTA card for your initial MCE setup
 

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Because MCE won't let you set up a DTV card without having a hardware SD card in there already. You can install and setup MCE without any TV card at all... as long as you don't try to do anything TV related. To do DTV (HDTV), you have to configure the normal TV part first.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I am not wed to MCE, I just thought it would be the easiest path to get up and running a "starter" HTPC (I also have an MSDN subscription, so MCE is readily available to me). All I really want to do right now is watch OTA HDTV on my projector without having to spend $150-$200 on a single use STB tuner like the Samsung t451.


Can the Avermedia A180 be used (standalone) by any other HTPC apps to display OTA HD?
 

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Beer me -- you'll spend $150-$200 on tuner cards, dude. Might as well get the STB if all you want is OTA tuning.


On the other hand until MS supports analogless tuning, or officially supports dual role cards like the ATI and Hauppauge cards,

analog tuners aren't that expensive.


An officially suported MCE-150 is $55 from newegg:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815100007


If you want to dig around using froogle, here's a $24.95 card that claims to support MCE:
http://www.avindigo.com/p-51-kworld%...d%20maker.aspx


I don't know about you, but my time is certainly worth more than $25/hr, so if you want to run MCE

it is worth it to just buy an analog tuner rather than spend 1 hour researching how to get around this limitation.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by technofiend
Beer me -- you'll spend $150-$200 on tuner cards, dude. Might as well get the STB if all you want is OTA tuning.


. . .


I don't know about you, but my time is certainly worth more than $25/hr, so if you want to run MCE

it is worth it to just buy an analog tuner rather than spend 1 hour researching how to get around this limitation.
STBs don't record.


Also, in pricing these worthless analog tuners, I'd only look at USB models, so that you don't have to have useless junk taking up space, slots and resources on your computer.
 

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You don't need another tuner. I have an HDTV Wonder only. I used the Kram drivers to get around the analog tuner requirement. Just search the forums for "kram" and follow the directions.


tm
 

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I'm just starting to research HTPC and I'm having a hard time understanding what MS media center does for you. What's the big attraction ?
 
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