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i am totally new at this stuff and have been reading around quite a bit but im still really confused. i live in NYC and will be getting time warner cable (digital starter pack to be specific) timewarnercable.com/CustomerService/CLU/TWCCLUs.ashx?menu=6849 . i dont have it yet and i dont know anything about what kind of box it is so im hoping someone here that has TW NYC will know.


i have a high end pc with an intel quad core qx9650 cpu, 4gb ram, 2x geforce 8800gtx in sli, 2x WD raptors in raid0, dell 3007, and vista ultimate 64 bit. all i want to know is if i can watch/record programs from the time warner cable box (including the hd ones from channel 700 up) using one of those hauppauge wintv-(hvr/dvr) or ati tv wonder cards.. if yes, how do you hook up the tv tuner card to the cable box? and would every single channel be available or only certain ones? i dont really understand all this atsc/qam/ota etc stuff so it would be great if someone could just tell me what i can and cannot do with a regular TW cable box and a tv tuner card.


thanks in advance for any help.
 

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To record anything straight out of the cable box, you gotta hook up a component, composite, or S video cable output from the box to the computer's TV tuner (provided that your TV tuner has input sockets for them). And you'll need a software (such as Windows Media Center unless one is provided by Happaugue or ATI with the tuner) in order to tune into a specific channel, record/set up a recording. If my knowledge's correct, you may be able to tune into HD channels (I'm not 100% sure) but you will definitely NOT be able to record HD shows at the HD quality as HD signals over the cable are encrypted that any interruption between the cable box and the display device (monitor) for instance by recording will cause the signal to be downgraded to standard defnition. However, you may be able to watch HD shows at HD IF your video card and computer monitor are both "HDTV ready".


The only form of HD signals that is NOT encrypted (and thereby recording does not cause HD to SD downgrade) is over the air (OTA) signal. In order to catch the OTA signal, you'll have to set up an over the air antenna (outdoor ones are in general better than indoor ones), and hook it up to your computer's OTA tuner socket (make sure your tuner has one!) But the availability of OTA signals is limited to stations such as CBS, NBC, Fox, My9 Netowrk, PBS, etc. Not for cable channels such as BET and MTV. The numger of channels you get and picture quality through the OTA antenna depends on how good your antenna, weather to a point, and where you live (the higher up you live the more you get to a point because the signal is less likely to be blocked by nearby tall structures.)


QAM is a new thing, and I bet not all TV tuners have QAM tuners. I am not sure about TMC in NYC. But in some parts of the country, cable networks send "clear" QAM which is the "unencrypted" digital signal over the cable. If Clear QAM is available in your area through Time Warner, this is the best way to record HD channels (though this is also limited to CBS, NBC, NY1 etc.) as the picture quality would not be influenced by what floor you live and weather.
 
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