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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here's my problem:

I don't own a tv capable of HD (yet), but do want a tuner card. All of my local stations broadcast DTV, so is it worth the extra money to buy a DTV tuner as opposed to analog at this point?? I was going to get a WinTv, but then noticed the WinTv-D's going for under $100 on ebay. Just curious if there's any advantage at this point.


Mike
 

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Good reason that the WinTV-Ds are going so cheap - CRAP. Don't waste your money on them. Main problem with SDTV and HD cards is how are you going to display it on the TV. I don't think that any of the HD Cards that decode in hardware support SVideo or Composite. If you can do 480i component on your TV, then maybe OK, but do a search. I remember threads of users who could not get it to work. Most of them do support the Windows desktop, but is usually not very good, and you have to live with the windows title bar and such.


This leaves the Fusion cards, which do use the Video card for its primary output. Most of the video cards do support SVideo or component. You might have to live with underscan (small black bars on the sides, top and bottom. The Fusion cards also require a fairly hefty CPU as it is doing the decoding (2.4 GHz or so at a minimum).


My advice is, if that HDTV is going to be a while (1-2 years) then save your money. Get a decent TV card like the WinTV PVR-250 and SageTV. It will give you a satisfactory experience today and will still have life even after you get the HDTV and DTV card. Analog ain't going away for a number of years and some DTV cards don't record analog that well.


And if you are really into PVRing, SageTV can support multiple PVR-250s at once. SageTV is even contracting with Haupauge with a possible deal on PVR-250s without remotes for around $100. So if you buy one full version for the first card (to get the remote control), adding more without remotes will be a little less painfull.
 

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If you have a monitor capable of 1600x1200 then you have a HD capable display, all you need is a decent HD tuner card. Most computer monitors far exceed the specifications for HDTV, and in fact put most expensive HDTV televisions to shame dollar for dollar.
 

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The HiPix doesn't have S-Vid and composite outputs. Those are inputs. The WinTV-D does, however, have a composite output. The WinTV-D will do most anything a standard WinTV card will do, but can also tune the DTV channels.
 

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I suppose that, with a dual display card whose 2nd display is S-video (e.g. Gefore MX420 w/ TV out) , the DTV window could be moved to the second display. Seems feasible but I've never tried it. Should work with most any DTV card.
 

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If you have digital TV stations broadcasting in your area, I would strongly recommend an HDTV tuner card. As daredevil23 mentions you don't need no stinkin' high priced screen to view HDTV, you have a monitor that will work very well. Yes, it would be cooler to have a 50 inch DLP screen but while you're viewing HD on your monitor the prices of all those digital displays (plasma, LCD, and DLP) will continue dropping faster than new car depreciation.


Considering how far the US has come in the conversion to digital TV (more than 1,000 out of 1,700 stations are broadcasting a digital signal), I'm surprised none of the "media" computers made by Dell, Gateway, etc include a digital tuner. The HD picture quality is distinctly better than DVD quality and if your ABC affiliate has converted you can watch Monday Night Football in HD every week for free.
 
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