Recommend TV tuner card?

ChRoNo16

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Want to add a tv tuner card to my pc, needs to be low profile, will be connected to digital cable via coax.

Just want to be able to watch a channel or two.

Recording would be nice but not required

Must be 30 bucks or less as I gotta fly under the wifes radar on this.
 

defaultluser

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Cable, it really depends on whether the signal is encrypted or clear. You'll have to tell us your cable provider for this one. And I guarantee this won't work for HD channels -- it would be the old SD feeds at-best.

Most tuner cards and TVs can handle QAM cable channels, but not encrypted. I think you'd need a CableCard for that, and those usually cost extra through your cable provider. Most providers encrypt these channels so they can charge you a box rental fee.

In other words, this will likely not fly under the radar. This kind of shit is why people have started cutting the cord.
 
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asheron42

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I don't think there's a solution in the $30 price range. The HDHomerun Prime and Hauppauge wintv will both take cable cards, which rent at around $3/mo. So... if you're paying $15/mo on a DVR, you could probably justify it.

But then you have to have a backend to support this. I use mythtv with a HDHomerun prime, which does recordings really well, but you have to pay for a listing (guide) service or find a utility to scrape an open service and update your database every night. It's a bit of a hassle to setup. However, the mythtv front end isn't great, so I use kody tv for the front end. So that's a firetv; a recording back end box; the hdhomerunprime and some time scripting to set it all up.

I tried the windows route for a while and found it severely lacking; it's been a few years though, so maybe that's improved.
 

Vengance_01

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When you say digital cable? Do you mean a cable provider? If so you need an hdhomerun external box and a cable card most providers encrypt all channels even the basic ones with the transition to all digital channels. If your talking OTA lots more options. Still recommend hdhomerun. To me they are the best in town.
 

griffinhart

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If you are talking cable TV, you likely will need something that supports Cable Card. I have used the Hauppauge card in past, and it worked well. That said, I would more recommend the HD Homerun. The current version, if you can find it, has 3 tuners and doesn't require a computer to use. They are about to release a 6 tuner version, so they stopped production of the older model.

The biggest benefit is that it is a network based TV tuner. It gives you massive flexibility on where and how you use it. It will let you use it on a NAS to record TV, or on a PC running the media software of your choice. You can even use your phone or tablet to watch channels. If you want to use it as a DVR there are several options available. Kodi, Windows Media Center, Plex and even Silicon Dust's own version. Since it's not tied to a specific PC, it gives you the ability to use a nice compact PC on your TV, or the ability to not need one at all.

Personally, I have one and a Synology DS918+ NAS running Plex and I stream Live and recorded TV to any screen, from anywhere using the Plex app on my phone, tablet, PC and Roku devices on my TV's. In the summer, I even use it outside with a roku stick attached to a projector in the back yard.

I just don't see a reason to use a tuner card over something like the HD Homerun any more.
 
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Deleted member 88227

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HD Homerun has the most flexibility as mentioned. Since it's network based and all that. Some of them can utilize a cable card also (you'll have to purchase the cable card from the cable provider). $30 probably isn't going to do what you want unless you find something used.
 

dook43

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I don't think there's a solution in the $30 price range. The HDHomerun Prime and Hauppauge wintv will both take cable cards, which rent at around $3/mo. So... if you're paying $15/mo on a DVR, you could probably justify it.

But then you have to have a backend to support this. I use mythtv with a HDHomerun prime, which does recordings really well, but you have to pay for a listing (guide) service or find a utility to scrape an open service and update your database every night. It's a bit of a hassle to setup. However, the mythtv front end isn't great, so I use kody tv for the front end. So that's a firetv; a recording back end box; the hdhomerunprime and some time scripting to set it all up.

I tried the windows route for a while and found it severely lacking; it's been a few years though, so maybe that's improved.

When did MythTV start supporting DRM protected channels?
 
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As long as your go through the cable box first, you can get any channel you want with a capture card right?
 

Vengance_01

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As long as your go through the cable box first, you can get any channel you want with a capture card right?
nope as almost all providers have encrypted the signal which means you need a cable card. Those days are long gone
 

rtangwai

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nope as almost all providers have encrypted the signal which means you need a cable card. Those days are long gone

You can cheat if the cable box has component out - there is no DRM on that and capture equipment like HD-PVR2 can grab it.
 

Vengance_01

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You can cheat if the cable box has component out - there is no DRM on that and capture equipment like HD-PVR2 can grab it.

But then your renting a cable box for ever rather just have the hdhomerun and cable card.
 
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For clarity, I believe the "cable box first" comment was referring to using the cable box to tune the channel. In which case the output is not "encrypted", but HDCP will prevent recording. ...and component output will bypass that issue.

HDHomeRun and a cable card will work if you are still using Win7/8 and WMC. Otherwise, you are out of luck.


*NOTE: This can vary based on your cable service.
 

Vengance_01

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For clarity, I believe the "cable box first" comment was referring to using the cable box to tune the channel. In which case the output is not "encrypted", but HDCP will prevent recording. ...and component output will bypass that issue.

HDHomeRun and a cable card will work if you are still using Win7/8 and WMC. Otherwise, you are out of luck.


*NOTE: This can vary based on your cable service.
Plex can
For clarity, I believe the "cable box first" comment was referring to using the cable box to tune the channel. In which case the output is not "encrypted", but HDCP will prevent recording. ...and component output will bypass that issue.

HDHomeRun and a cable card will work if you are still using Win7/8 and WMC. Otherwise, you are out of luck.


*NOTE: This can vary based on your cable service.
If you have a Plex pass they have their own front end that can get Guide info, Live TV and DVR without WMC.
 

TheFlayedMan

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I bought a Hauppauge WinTV-quadHD tv tuner card. Played with it for a bit then realized I don't like watching TV all that much lol.
 
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Plex can
If you have a Plex pass they have their own front end that can get Guide info, Live TV and DVR without WMC.

I would assume that you are referring to the streaming service. Aside from WMC, there is nothing that I'm aware of that will use a cable TV feed and work 100%. Especially when the cable provider sets the record once flag. I only referenced cable as the op referenced cable.
 

Vengance_01

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I would assume that you are referring to the streaming service. Aside from WMC, there is nothing that I'm aware of that will use a cable TV feed and work 100%. Especially when the cable provider sets the record once flag. I only referenced cable as the op referenced cable.
No they have their own Live Guide info. Looks to be a viable replacement for WMC. I believe they can work with HD Homerun external cable card tuner and not just their OTA tuners.
 
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I need to do more research, but it appears from the FAQ, that record once flagged content isn't supported.

Are channels encrypted with DRM supported?
Channels encrypted or protected with DRM of any kind are not currently supported. What channels are encrypted depends on the channel provider. Generally “premium” channels are always encrypted, but again it varies by provider.


For some providers this would only be the premium channels (ie: HBO). But unless I'm mistaken, there are a few providers (TWC comes to mind) that has record once flagged on most everything.
 

Vengance_01

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I need to do more research, but it appears from the FAQ, that record once flagged content isn't supported.

Are channels encrypted with DRM supported?
Channels encrypted or protected with DRM of any kind are not currently supported. What channels are encrypted depends on the channel provider. Generally “premium” channels are always encrypted, but again it varies by provider.


For some providers this would only be the premium channels (ie: HBO). But unless I'm mistaken, there are a few providers (TWC comes to mind) that has record once flagged on most everything.
yea your right. Ehh I am ditching Cable TV. Way to much money. OTA + Netflix+Amazon Prime(free) is plenty. Plus I have a vast movie collection on my plex server :)
 
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