Can a tuner display most of my cable channels

Custom / CUSTOM
January 22, 2010 at 12:19:03
Specs: Microsoft Windows XP Professional, 3.008 GHz / 2047 MB
Hello, I have Comcast Cable with most of the channels besides premium channels like HBO, Showtime, etc. If I buy a tuner for my PC, will I be able to watch most/all of my cable channels on my PC? I did a little searching and it looks like they only pull channels through the air with an antenna? I have a Geforce 7900 graphics card with dual monitor outputs, could I then add another monitor to serve to display the channels pulled from my tuner? Thanks.

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#1
January 22, 2010 at 12:26:30
Not HBO and Showtime because those are scrambled. You can get a black market tuner which has a descrambler built in but other wise you have to hook it to one of your cable boxes provided by Comcast which means you can't do Picture in Picture, DVR, and Chanel changing unless you get a Card that has a IR output to control the cable box.

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#2
January 22, 2010 at 12:40:31
Yes I understand I cannot get those premium channels, sorry for the confusion. Basically I am asking if I can watch all of the non-premium cable channels that I pay for on my PC and if so what kind of tuner do I need.

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#3
January 22, 2010 at 12:42:28
In order to be able to pick up all the channels available, you often need to use a (coax) cable amplifier inline between your input cable and the TV card - they are not as tolerant of weaker signals as regular TVs are.

Are you using a cable box (to de-scramble, if applicable) ?
If so does it have an analog coax output? Digital coax output?
Are you presently changing channels with the cable box or with the TV?
........

"I have a Geforce 7900 graphics card with dual monitor outputs, could I then add another monitor to serve to display the channels pulled from my tuner? "

Usually you can set the displays in the (Nvidia in this case) graphics settings so the displays are different, but I'm not sure about how to do that. Take a look in the Help for your video settings.

If the TV card has one tuner, you can only display one channel at a time. Most TV cards have a recording feature - you can only watch the channel you're recording if the card has only one tuner, or if you have one TV card with one tuner, while that channel is being recorded .

Some analog TV cards have two tuners - you can watch a different channel than the one being recorded. Or you could install two TV cards with one tuner each.

Depending on whther being able to directly input digital signals to the TV card is important to you, you don't necessarily need to get a more expensive card with that capability.
E.g. if you have digital channels, are presently changing channels on the TV, and you have a cable box with a (digital to) analog output coax connector, a cheaper analog TV card will do you fine - you'll still have your digital channels, in analog format.


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#4
January 22, 2010 at 15:25:55
My mother had comcast and got about 60 to 80 percent of the channels on a tuner that would be in a new pc. Many of the didn't receive were channels that no one watches anyway. Some were kind of good. I'd say overall she got about 90 of what she wanted to see. Dunno about your exact install. Simple enough to try on a newer TV. See how many on air or cable antenna can be viewed with the cable to input.

Playing to the angels
Les Paul (1915-2009)


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