I've been looking at getting a TV Tuner card for my PC but cannot find any reliable information on them. Most reviews I see are for models from around 2005. If possible I would like to find a HDTV tuner, but reviews for them vary wildly. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated.
HD tuners are good, but expensive. I have a dual-tuner HD capture card at home, and it cost about £100 (~$200) roughly 18 months ago.
Your average analogue or digital terrestrial tuner shouldn't cost more than £20-30 (~$40-50), though, and the picture quality is usually just as good as if you were viewing on a standard TV.
I've read a fair bit about TV tuners of all types and have recently come across a company that seems to get it all right. Many such devices have issues with poor drivers, the software that decodes, or the software that you view the signal with. A few have great hardware but even some of those can exceed the 500ma limit on the USB port, which is potentially harmful to you computer. Autumn Wave is the company I'm referring to as being a very good one. Their tuners use the most modern 5th generation tuner chip by LG that is found in $5000 HDTVs. They include their own player and Nvidia Pure Video Decoder, so you don't have to use a Windows Media Center Edition OS, which doesn't decode the HD quite as well anyway. The more affordable and most popular model they make is called the OnAir HDTV GT. It receives both Analog and Digital signals but will only record HD signals as it has no hardware analog decoders. It is a small external unit with infrared receiver and has an included remote as well as it's own small antenna. The included antenna is only meant for strong signal areas for use with a laptop. At home a rooftop antenna is the way to go. Their MSRP is $179 for the OnAir GT, but I've seen it as low as $150 with free shipping on a sale Circuit City had once. There is a very long thread on the AVS forum about the Autumn Wave tuners and they are VERY well supported by Ryan Pertusio whom is about the best I've seen at listening to customer feedback. The GT has had numerous software updates due to feedback on the AVS forum including it's working with Titan TV for programming and scheduled recording. AutumnWave / OnAir USB HDTV Tuners - AVS Forum
Wow! Thanks for the info. I'll probably go with the more expensive model which can do analog as well since I wish to use it so I can use my PC as a DRV.
Who_Flung_Poo?;4004402Wow! Thanks for the info. I'll probably go with the more expensive model which can do analog as well since I wish to use it so I can use my PC as a DRV.
No problem, computer TV tuners are a type of device that has caused many a frustration with those whom experiment via trial and error. If you have any detailed tech questions be sure to visit that forum thread I linked to. Ryan is a very nice and helpfull rep and gets back to people via the forum, PM and email. You can also find threads dedicated to other popular brands of TV tuners commonly sold but there are many a horror story. Quite often it stems from poor support but in some cases the devices themslves are not made well in certain ways. The more expensive model is called the OnAir Creator and runs about $70 more at $249 (MSRP). It's external as well with a remote included but not nearly as good for laptop use being much less compact. It's a great home unit though. The only thing I don't understand is why they choose to mount it vertically like a Wii in a cradle being vulnerable to getting tipped over, though you may have the option of laying it down. I suppose it's to free up desk space similar to how many of the newer modems are made. http://www.autumnwave.com/Consumers/OnAir-Creator.html