TV Tuner Cards


What is a TV tuner?

3G

Digital TV has slowly gathered momentum in Australia thanks to its clear advantages over traditional analogue broadcasting. Digital set top boxes have come down in price over the last year but are still relatively costly. The good news is, if you've already got a PC you're a couple of short steps away from enjoying DVD-quality TV at home.

Australian TV networks have been broadcasting digital content since January 2001. Initially, the broadcast area was limited, but it has grown steadily, and now encompasses most of Australia's populated regions. Digital television brings a range of benefits to consumers, including support for widescreen broadcasts (in a 16:9 aspect ratio,) higher quality sound including the Dolby Digital 5.1 surround format, and high definition support, where broadcast images are at a higher resolution than standard TV or DVD.

Since 2001, the promise of digital television has been hampered by government regulations. One of the most exciting things about digital television was the potential of multi-channel broadcasting. This is where a television network could broadcast more than one channel in their transport stream. SBS had a service called SBS Essential that ran from October 14, 2002 to January 25, 2007. It was a support channel for SBS which gave constant news, weather and sports headlines as well as SBS programming schedules. Currently SBS has a dedicated news channel and ABC has an ABC 2, a channel with new and time-shifted content. Due to restrictions from government media regulations, the commercial channels have not been able to use multi-channeling to its potential. The second channels of the seven, nine and ten consist of nothing but scheduling information. However, many of the restrictions were lifted with the new media ownership laws passed through parliament on October 18, 2006. Whether they adopt the concept of multi-channeling remains to be seen.

Another, possibly more compelling, reason to move to digital is the fact that the signal isn't subject to interference. Because the stream is broadcast as digital MPEG-2 video (the same format used for DVD, albeit at a slightly different quality), the image is clear and crisp. What's more, the digital signal is broadcast in the same spectrum as analogue UHF, so the signal can generally be received without needing to upgrade the antennas. Making the switch to digital is simply a matter of installing a compatible tuner (as either a digital set top box or expansion card for a PC).

Where dedicated digital TV set top boxes are designed to sit in a lounge room and enable a regular TV to receive digital content, digital TV tuner cards are designed to receive digital television broadcasts for playback on a PC. They're relatively good value compared to dedicated set top boxes as the computer can perform some of the required signal processing, therefore simplifying the tuner.

Home Theatre PCs (HTPCs) have been popular in geek circles for years, but the relatively recent availability of MPEG-2 TV Tuners and Microsoft's Windows Vista and XP Media Centre Edition 2005 operating systems have sparked widespread interest. PC-based digital TV tuners come in three flavours: High Definition (HD), Standard Definition (SD) and a hybrid of the two. More on that later...

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GoodGearGuide Staff

Good Gear Guide

14 Comments

Anonymous

1

thanks really useful

Anonymous

2

this site is great, i have been looking for information all over the place and this site answered all my questions, thanks!!!

Gerry Hiles

3

TV card

Many thanks for the info. Now I know which way to go.

Anonymous

4

PC TV

Thanks, this site has made it very clear on how to set up and what to purchase to enable me to tune in to digital TV and Radio stations on my PC. Great site.

John Harnett

5

TV Card

I recently purchased a new computer and am running Windows 7. My old computer ran on XP and had a DVB TV card in it that did not work in the new computer. Unfortunately all 4 of the USB points are being used by keyboard, mouse, printer and modem. now if I want a new TV card I have to get one that works with W7 either a card or a USB TV but if I go down the USB track I need to get a USB hub to give me more USB connections. If I do get a USB TV I should get a powered USB hub because they are much more reliable but obviously require a power outlet. Can you recommend which way to go ? I am not very computer literate and would have to pay about $100 to get someone out just to install a TV card if that is the way I decide to go ?

What can you suggest ?

emily

6

have fun of statellite tv on pc

I had been used to watch TV with satellite dish like many people ,as you know, I should pay $90.00 every month, It's expensive but have to pay. Last week, my friend recommend me a software ---SatelliteDirect,which can watch TV on PC .Most importantly, it is much more cheaper and useful, I only need to pay $49.95 for one-time fee and can watch over 3,500 TV channels worldwide including movies, sports, comedy, news, music channels, documentaries and much more. All I need is a PC or laptop with an internet connection. I'm a newbie, so I worried it will be very cumbersome. Afterwards, I follow the steps they gave and finally find it is really as easy as 1,2,3.
It's really amazing, you can have a try. Download it with this link: http://softjohn.com/tv_on_pc/pctv.html

Brian

7

Bad Advice

3500 channels of useless crap. I tried it for an hour and have requested a refund.
There are no useful english (AUS, UK, US) channels that you coldn't stream for free over the internet anyway.
This product mis represents itelf too stating 3500 chennels of HD content. There was nothing HD about what I saw.
Buyers beware.

emily

8

watch tv on pc

Are you put off by the cost of cable or satellite tv? Now you can just pay49.5$,a one-time fee less than one month of your monthly cable bill, and watch your favorite TV shows all your time. It’s a big save ,no need to have statellite dish ,receiver or any other equipments ,all you need is a computer and an internet connection . Here you can check out more in this site :
http://softjohn.com/tv_on_pc/pctv.html

PARKAR A R

9

TV tuner Card

Dear Sir,
I want to buy a TV Tuner Card (External) for the following two purposes:
1) I have some old VHS movies and also my camcorder is a DV camcorder, where I need to transfer all the video to my desktop PC so that I can edit and make movies (home videos).
2) I need to use the TV tuner card for watching free to Air and also Paid TV channel thru my satellite TV box on my PC.
Please suggest me which of the TV tuner cards suits best to my requirement and where would it be available. I am a resident of DUBAI, U. A. E.
Thanks & Best Regards.

jack

10

A new MyGica brand TV tuner with DAB radio

Hi, can you tell me do you know a brand MyGica whose T803 TV tuner with DAB radio? it seems like very good for me, I live far away from the downtown and DAB radio is my favorite while I am working at home.

Marc

11

I have looked for days and can not find any concrete answer. I would like to know if a) You have to have a service provider such as Dish or DirecTv in the area. b) What type of programming can be picked up? For example local only, international only, USA only?
and most importantly c) If I live lets say in Mississippi, can I use a TV Tuner Card to pick up LIVE NFL Football from Detroit, MI, or any other state that I happen to want to watch a LIVE NFL Game from?

Also, if the answer to C is no, any ideas other than DirecTV's NFL Sunday ticket on how to watch my favorite teams games without having to move back to the state?

Thanks in advance.

Mat Walker

12

We only watch free-to-air digital and just over a year ago I purchased a Compro E900F dual tuner card for my HTPC Media Center Vista box. I also installed, and subscribe to, the by-donation EPGStream system for the program guide. With this (very easy to use) setup we dont actually watch live TV anymore as we have told it what programs we like and that it should record when it see's they are on.

By not watching live TV we can just skip all the adverts (a Godsend for Masterchef!!). If we do watch live TV then we pause/timeshift when we like.

One downside to the E900F is that the Compro software that comes with it is truely awful and badly lets down what is a very good piece of kit. I have disabled the Compro s/w, except the remote control service, which helps but the remote control service constantly eats 4-5% CPU (even when doing nothing) and often the remote stops working with CPU going up to 50% and we have to plug a keyboard in and restart the PC. Even with the dreadful Compro software, it still makes a great TV and sop highly recommend a E900F (and the EPGStream system).

Hope the comment helps :-)

tumaini mwakapoja

13

i have a tv turner card (philips) . i am looking for its drivers

JEANNE

14

IF I INSTALLED THE THE TV TUNER TO MY PC, WOULD I BE ABLE TO GET THE CANNELS THAT I HAVE ON COMCAST, IE CNN, FOX AND ETC OR JUST WHAT WOULD COME IN OVER OUTSIDE ANTENNAE?

Comments are now closed.

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