Recycling old computer for HTPC?
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December 11, 2010, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2009
I still use the Hauppauge series of TV tuners and I'm happy with the new generation of cards (I had some issues with the older ones).
Your Dell has 4 slots, 2 PCI, one PCIExpress X16, and one PCI Express X1. The GPU takes the X16 slot, so you may have either one PCI and one PCIe-X1 slot available for a tuner.
For the PCIeX1 slot I'd recommend the Hauppauge Win-TV HVR 1250. It has both NTSC (cable or off the air analog) and ATSC (off the air digital) tuners. This will give you one tuner at a time, so you can either record a show or watch live TV but not both.
Another one for PCIeX1 (and I use this one too) is the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 MC Kit. More expensive, but has double tuners, so you can watch live TV while it is recording, or record two shows at once.
If you don't have any PCIe slots available for some reason, you can always get the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 PCI card or media center kit.
And you will need a mammoth HD. One hour of analog recorded show will be about 3.5 Gigabytes, HD shows will be about 6-7 GB in size.
Hope it works out...one note: the PC will be very slow if you are recording two shows at once and try to watch a recorded show. Other than that, it can be done!
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