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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was looking for suggestions on a tuner card that works well with comcast. I just ordered all the components for my first HTPC minus a tuner. I am looking for something sorta cheap to get started as I am waiting for the homerun prime to come out. Thanks for any info Aaron
 

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Here is what I ordered so far.


X-master BK/500 case 34.99

ASRock H55DE3 MB 59.99

i3-540 3.06 104.99

GSKILL Ripsaw 4gb 49.99

Seagate Barracuda 500gb 49.99

Seagate Barracuda 1tb 49.39

Pixxo wireless keyboard and mouse 19.99

Samsung bluray sh-b0831 49.99

Rosewell WMC Remote 24.99
 

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Are you concerned with getting HD premium channels? Or are you OK with getting just the locals in HD, and maybe channels 6-23 in SD? The only way to get HD out of your cable box onto your PC is the Hauppauge HDPVR. If you are OK, for the time being, not getting your extended package, you can get a basic tuner card that accepts clearQAM, and tune in a couple dozen channels, with the locals in HD. The only other options are cablecard solutions which allow you to unencrypt your full lineup, and you are waiting for the Prime.
 

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If you are fine not getting the full encrypted lineup, and just want to get your feet wet, a cheap USB tuner may be the best, since it is a small investment. I don't have personal experience with this, but the reviews and price look good: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815260023


Otherwise, a cheap single tuner like the AverMedia Bravo or the Hauppauge 1250 should be fine, and can be had for around $50.
 

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ClearQAM? Comcast, in my area, transmits around 50 channels in the clear. They also transmit about the same over analog (NTSC). ClearQAM is superior because it is digital and there are about a dozen HD channels. For my comcast, both a ClearQAM tuner or a NTSC tuner would work, but I chose ClearQAM due to the HD. 6 months ago, Comcast had about 130 channels over ClearQAM, but they started encrypting the basic package and calling it digital starter, and left everything unecrypted as "basic". It would surprise me if you were in an area where you'd get more analog channels than clearQAM, but Comcast is remarkably inconsistent from locality to locality (for sometimes justified reasons).


But maybe my understanding is poor, and the signals I am getting at my house are atypical. Maybe Servicetech571 should explain the NTSC claim further.
 

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Quote:
ClearQAM is superior because it is digital and there are about a dozen HD channels.

The first part of that statement isn't necessarily true. Most of the SD digitals are 528X480i, and are probably sourced from analog programming. Analog, on the other hand, is usually digitized at 720X480i. Just because it arrives already digitized does not make it superior. The HD part, however, is true. That's why I chose this tuner (also because it has video inputs - to connect a VCR or other source to).
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/19571480


Most cable feeds are still NTSC, the linked tuner won't work.

AFAIK all cable companies offer both NTSC SD 480i resolution content and ATSC HD resolution (720p or 1080i) content and all HD resolution content is digtial and theSD NTSC resolution content can be either analog or digital.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Servicetech571 /forum/post/19573665


Clearqam is great if your cable provider sends it. In most areas it's just analog with all but the shopping/locals being scrambled on QAM.

I haven't done extensive statistical research, but I did follow Comcast's analog shutdown. They used to transmit the basic package, channels 2-99 (which was actually about 70 viewable channels) over analog, and put a trap on people's line that had a package under that. But because of the higher demand for HD, they have been removing all analog transmission except for the very basic local channels (6-23 in my area), and reclaiming that bandwidth for more encrypted HD. They also used to transmit a ton of clearQAM channels, but started encrypting more and offering DTA boxes for those users with older analog TVs, but a higher subscription package in order to keep getting the 23-99 channels. From reading the dslreports forums for months, this was common in most viewing areas, especially ubran areas, and most areas were completed months ago. Perhaps my understanding of the analog shutdown is skewed by the posts I've been reading, but with Comcast, at this point in time, I would be skeptical of the claim "most areas it's just analog".


That said, the only thing that matters is what Comcast is sending the OP. What sort of TV does the OP have? Does it have a built in analog and/or digital tuner? What happens when you plug the cable directly from the wall into your TV? What sort of channels do you get? Or what is your zip code? Check out http://www.silicondust.com/support/channels/
 

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According to some of the gurus on these forums Comcast is providing nation wide at least one channel from each local and public broadcster in unencrypted QAM IAW with the FCC must carry regulations.

If a local ISP such as Comcast has switched to all digital tranmissions then they arre required to offer 1 or 2 clearQAM(SD or HD) chasnnels to SD 480i NTSC converter boxes for free or for a very minimual cost.
 
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