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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am looking for a HDTV tuner.


I just need it to watch TV, recording is not a big issue.


I have an empty PCIe and a PCI slot but I want to use the PCI slot (or a USB slot, but I would prefer PCI)


I will also need a remote.


I currently have SD cable cause my parents don't really care for HDTV, so I prefer if it can do analog via the cable line and OTA HDTV with my antenna. I can switch between both in software, right? I can pick up around 10 channels here in Toronto, Canada.


Are there any 1080p HDTV tuners?


I prefer the price to be less than $100 but will pay more if it is worth it. I see some as low as $70 and others are going to 3x that price, what are the main differences?


If there are any questions or suggestions, I will answer them.


What tuners are recommended? There is just so much to read I don't know where to start. And I don't see any differences in some of the products to justify the price differences between them.


TIA
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrre /forum/post/18229952


I am looking for a HDTV tuner.

Technically there is no such thing, unless you mean the tuner inside an HDTV.

You want a digital or ATSC tuner for OTA digital TV reception. Analog cableTV (what you and most people incorrectly call SD) needs an NTSC tuner.


> I just need it to watch TV, recording is not a big issue.

The tuner hardware has nothing to do with watching versus recording.

What the PC does with the TV program from the tuner is up to the PC software.


> Are there any 1080p HDTV tuners?

No (assuming we're not talking satellite).

There are no OTA TV broadcasts in 1080p. ATSC has 19 resolutions, including 480i, 720p and 1080i.


> If there are any questions or suggestions, I will answer them.


Get a reception prediction from www.tvfool.com

If you're in a weak reception spot, then you will need a better/bigger antenna and more sensitive tuner. It you can get strong and clean signals, then you can risk getting an inexpensive (less sensitive, weaker multipath rejection) tuner
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/18230756


This is what you need:


1: PCI (you can also get a PCIe version, same price)

2: Analog tuner w/hardware encoder for cable feed

3: Separate digital tuner for OTA recording (both can be used at same time)

4: USB remote (not one of the cheesy plug in the tuner type)


$60 after $20 MIR.

For pt 2, what is a hardware encoder?
 

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Hardware encoder is part of the tuner that converts analog cable to a digital signal that the PC can use. Some tuners such as the Hauppaugge 1250 use a software encoder which requires the processor to do the encoding. Software encoding uses CPU resources which is OK for powerful computers but will bog down older machines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Is there a similar tuner to the one you suggest but with software decode and a lower price? I think my PC can handle the software decode so I figure I can save a couple of dollars.
 

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The 1250 is $50 but only has ONE tuner that can be digital OR analog. You would have to record QAM feed off your cable line for HD (if your cable co supports it). Has the plug in the tuner type of remote, won't turn computer on/off. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116028


You can look into the ATI 650 for $55, has 2 tuners/inputs like the ASUS and comes with remote. Not sure if it's the plug in the tuner type or the USB. I've seen it on sale for $50 free shipping but you may have to wait until it goes back on sale. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815306020


Both of the above tuners are PCIe, not sure how big a deal it is.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/18231125


The 1250 is $50 but only has ONE tuner that can be digital OR analog. You would have to record QAM feed off your cable line for HD (if your cable co supports it). Has the plug in the tuner type of remote, won't turn computer on/off. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116028


You can look into the ATI 650 for $55, has 2 tuners/inputs like the ASUS and comes with remote. Not sure if it's the plug in the tuner type or the USB. I've seen it on sale for $50 free shipping but you may have to wait until it goes back on sale. http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815306020


Both of the above tuners are PCIe, not sure how big a deal it is.

Can you elaborate on the highlighted part? I am not sure what you mean. I thought QAM = OTA HDTV?


I don't have HD Cable so any HD channels I get will be OTA, I definitely need this in the tuner otherwise there would be no point in my getting one. I might get HD Cable in the future so having the tuner being able to draw from that would be a plus.


I would prefer PCI over PCIe because I have a mATX motherboard and it only has one free PCIe slot and that will be reserved for a future USB 3.0 card. I could go with USB but I would really prefer to keep as much in the case as possible, but I won't rule out USB tuners if they are good, quality-wise or price-wise.


I forgot to mention this, I am running Windows 7 x64 and any tuners would have to work with it (I assume they all do but I wanted to add this just in case).
 

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If you don't want to mess with QAM just get the ASUS. QAM is a digital signal sometimes present on the cable line, normally just the locals go through unscrambled. The ASUS is also the only one that is PCI.


Get the ASUS.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
If I get the Asus will I be able to watch the encrypted channels if I run a cable line from the box up to the tuner?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrre /forum/post/18231811


If I get the Asus will I be able to watch the encrypted channels if I run a cable line from the box up to the tuner?

If you are wanting to watch off a cable box, just use a capture card A/V input. You don't even need a tuner at all. I guess you could use the cable box CH3 output then tune it in but your picture would look like azz.
 

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You could use an analog tuner to receive the local OTA stations (until they convert to digital) and analog cableTV. At only 3 miles you probably only need rabbit ears.


The USA digital channels will be a lot harder to receive. At 80 miles you're on the fringe for CBS and ABC. You are going to need a good antenna and digital (ATSC 8VSB) tuner.


If you might get digital (which includes both SD and HD channels) cableTV then plan ahead and get a digital tuner that also has QAM modulation as well as the (standard) 8VSB (OTA) modulation. Of course those digital cable channels will only be the unencrypted ones.


And you might have to put that big antenna on a rotor.


> I thought QAM = OTA HDTV?


Wrong on two counts.

1. QAM modulation is used by digital cableTV, not OTA.

2. Digital TV (OTA and cable) includes both SD and HD. The RF signal transporting the digital information doesn't care if the resolution is SD or HD. You cannot buy a tuner that only receives HD broadcasts (and excludes digital SD channels). A digital tuner receives both SD and HD digital broadcasts.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Ah, I see, thanks for clarifying.


My priorities have changed. Yesterday I watched an episode of Family Guy on my computer and was reminded of how horrible SDTV looks. So I decided to forget SDTV. Now I only need a PCI (or USB) tuner that can pick up OTA channels. It needs a remote too.


BTW, is there a HDTV tuner + capture card on one card. I will eventually get digital cable which will have more channels and I would like to be able to watch those channels on my computer.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrre /forum/post/18234817


...and was reminded of how horrible SDTV looks.

That is more an indication of the quality of the TV's built-in upscaler and the flat-panel display than SD itself. I was able to compare HD content downscaled by a CECB and HD over component video into a HiDef widescreen CRT TV. The difference between the SD image and the HD was not as huge as anyone would expect. There was a difference is detail, but the SD was not "crap" as so many flat-panel viewers complain.


If the SD content has marginal/poor PQ, then if just won't look good on any TV especially on a flat panel TV. It's the content's original PQ, not the resolution, that affects the PQ you see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·

Quote:
Originally Posted by blue_z /forum/post/18235973


That is more an indication of the quality of the TV's built-in upscaler and the flat-panel display than SD itself. I was able to compare HD content downscaled by a CECB and HD over component video into a HiDef widescreen CRT TV. The difference between the SD image and the HD was not as huge as anyone would expect. There was a difference is detail, but the SD was not "crap" as so many flat-panel viewers complain.


If the SD content has marginal/poor PQ, then if just won't look good on any TV especially on a flat panel TV. It's the content's original PQ, not the resolution, that affects the PQ you see.


I don't think I can stand watching SDTV or DVD after viewing 1080p. I am pretty disappointed already because 720p seems to be the new standard but I can clearly see that it is inferior to 1080p on my computer screen. I just wish that they could come out with 2160p today rather than drag out 1080p for 5 more years. There will be dark times ahead until then.
 

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So you're the kind of person that thinks "more (or bigger) is better"?

High(er) resolution is no guarantee of picture quality.

It's PQ that counts in the end, not resolution.


BTW is your "computer screen" an LCD or CRT?
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by ronrre /forum/post/18234817


Ah, I see, thanks for clarifying.


My priorities have changed. Yesterday I watched an episode of Family Guy on my computer and was reminded of how horrible SDTV looks. So I decided to forget SDTV. Now I only need a PCI (or USB) tuner that can pick up OTA channels. It needs a remote too.


BTW, is there a HDTV tuner + capture card on one card. I will eventually get digital cable which will have more channels and I would like to be able to watch those channels on my computer.

The ASUS has capture and HDTV tuner. You could go with another model but most HD tuners are PCIe. Also includes USB remote. For $60 after MIR you aren't going to beat it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I like the HDHomeRun, does it work well on wireless G? What are the advantages of the dual tuner?


Are there comparable products out by other companies?
 
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