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View Full Version : TV Tuner Card Advice


shaker718
02-21-07, 06:29 PM
I'm in search of a good sub 100-150 Tv tuner card for my computer. I haven't watched tv in almost 2 years since I moved to my new place and I'm beginning to want to catch some shows here and there. My main requirement is that it be over the air HD capable since I wont be bothering with cable or Satellite, I'll be purchasing an antenna along with it. Otherwise I don't really care what extra features are available. I'm not necessarily looking for a DVR, just something I can turn on when I feel like watching TV.

j0j081
02-21-07, 06:46 PM
anything by Hauppage is good. I might have spelled that wrong.

Q
02-21-07, 07:13 PM
I'm not that familiar with the HD cards, except for the fact that the ATI one is horrible. This website will help you out quite a bit, I hope.

http://www.tv-cards.com/messageboard/

shaker718
02-21-07, 09:49 PM
been reading the tvcards.com site and it's just incredibly useless. I did manage to look up some cards thanks to the site but nothing concrete just yet. The best I could come up with was getting the Hauppauge 1600 with the Phillips HD antennae. comes out to about 130bucks or so, which is not bad, but I'd be ticked if it didn't work at that price.

Q
02-21-07, 09:54 PM
been reading the tvcards.com site and it's just incredibly useless. I did manage to look up some cards thanks to the site but nothing concrete just yet. The best I could come up with was getting the Hauppauge 1600 with the Phillips HD antennae. comes out to about 130bucks or so, which is not bad, but I'd be ticked if it didn't work at that price.

I sent you to the wrong site... Sorry! That was an old site I used to visit from time to time...and it sucks.

http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/default.aspx

This site is dedicated to Media Center but has some pretty decent recommendations under the hardware forums. At any rate, its another resource for you.

Good luck.

shaker718
02-22-07, 08:16 AM
I read up on the Hauppauge 950 USB tuner, seems like a good deal and its 60 bucks w an antennae after rebates at CC. Going to pick one up in a bit and try it out. Maybe I'll do another review on it.;)

shaker718
02-22-07, 08:45 PM
Update: I bought the Hauppauge 950 USB tuner and to say it was a waste of money is an understatement. The provided software is awful and all the third party tuner programs are crap as well. If I could get better reception without having to purchase a roof antenna or if I had HD cable or satellite this might be worth it, but since I am unwilling to pay a monthly fee for tv I will barely watch, it's a waste. I will admit that when it did work with OTA HDTV it worked really really well. I watched a few shows on the HD PBS station and they looked stunning, however, the reception was spotty at best. After moving the antenna just a bit I could no longer get anything other than FOX and I've been trying to reposition it for about 2 hours. I will be returning it to CC tomorrow afternoon and getting a refund. I'll just take the cost of it and put it away towards an HDTV of my very own. If it had worked this would have been great, it's just not there yet.

j0j081
02-22-07, 09:30 PM
The WinTV software has always been crap. You are meant to use something like BeyondTV with Hauppauge products.

OWA
02-22-07, 09:49 PM
The ATI HDTV Wonder that I'm using works pretty well for me but ATI's MMC software isn't very stable. I ended up using the freeware utility WatchHDTV instead. It was stable but it's a no frills type app (no auto-tuning for example so you have enter the list of stations and their codes into a file manually). With Vista, I've been able to just use the media center software that comes with the Ultimate version and it's working really well. Probably the first time I felt like I was getting my money's worth from the card.

The other one I have is the Instant HDTV. It came with BeyondTV but an older version that was pretty poor. It was very, very sluggish. I tried a trial of the newer version and it was a lot better but I ended up going back to the ATI HDTV Wonder. At the moment, I don't recall why I did though.

Ancient
02-22-07, 10:43 PM
Reception is your problem and it sounds like the included antenna is a bit questionable. Hauppage claims it's only good up to 10 miles when most relatively cheap powered antennas (they don't have to be specifically for HDTV) should be good for 30 miles plus. Your location may have something to do with it too. The NYC area is notorious for bad reception because of the tall structures everywhere. Before you give up on it you can always try out a better powered antenna from your local Rat Shack. If it doesn't work better than the one you've got already, return it.

retsam
02-22-07, 11:09 PM
I'm in search of a good sub 100-150 Tv tuner card for my computer. I haven't watched tv in almost 2 years since I moved to my new place and I'm beginning to want to catch some shows here and there. My main requirement is that it be over the air HD capable since I wont be bothering with cable or Satellite, I'll be purchasing an antenna along with it. Otherwise I don't really care what extra features are available. I'm not necessarily looking for a DVR, just something I can turn on when I feel like watching TV.
so you know anyone that is willing to share a cable bill with you? if so set up a beyond tv server with someone and share the cable bill...