Need a good TV Tuner for an HTPC
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November 13, 2006, 10:03 PM
Join Date: Nov 2006
It's not a capability issue, it's a content protection issue. Digital cable signals including HDTV over cable/satellite all have encryption proprietary to the provider and the box manufacturer they use. It's basically a key exchange/ decryption scheme. One of the reasons why you need a seperate digital cable or hd box is so you can decode the encrypted signal. Microsoft was working with cable providers in the US to allow cablecard support for Vista's MCE flavors. Cable card is essentially a mini card size decrypter/tuner interface. Shuttle and a few other manufacturers had prototype PCI cable card "docks" at one stage. This will be the ultimate killer app for any HTPC.
The current workaround is to take analogue video/audio out of your cable box, route into your tuner's av input and then use an IR repeater to send the signal from your MCE remote to your cable box. If you've ever used a home dvd recorder then it's the same process. Messy and you get yet another analogue to digital conversion which lowers quality.
As far as tuners, I've always been fond of the ATI theaterpro solutions, the best deinterlacers/scalers as well as mpeg2 encoding. The only problem is I don't think any ATI partners did a dual tuner version.
Originally Posted by
I will look into the sound card. I'll probably demo it in my system and decide if my parents inherit my X-fi, or get the new m-audio, haha.
As for the tuner... Is there any way we're going to see a tuner in the near future that is able to change channels with a service like shaw digital cable? It seems to me that any PC should be powerful enough to do that if we just had the hardware for it.
I will be using MCE 2005 as I just got a couple copies of it (legit and everything, I'm turning over a new leaf) so I guess I"ll go with the microsoft one.
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