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Watching TV on PC!

TankJitsuTankJitsu Registered User regular
edited August 2011 in Help / Advice Forum
So mostly due to me being lazy and not wanting to get up from my computer to watch TV, I'd like to get some sort of TV-PC card. I know these cards are common, but I'm looking for any recommendations you all may have. I've got a pretty powerful system, dual monitor setup as well.

What I have:
-Dual monitor setup
-Win7 system with 6GB Ram
-AMD Radeon HD 6800 (not sure if this helps, as I don't think this has video input)
-Cable subscription and cable box with HDMI, S-video, and composite video out
-PS3 with HDMI out

What I want to do:
-Watch TV/Cable in a window on my desktop/side monitor.
-Play PS3 games in a window on my desktop/side monitor.

What I'd like to do, but is not critical:
-Record TV/Movies to my Hard drive.

What I can't do:
-Move my TV into my computer room, or vice-versa.

I see all these TV cards, but I'm not sure what to look for. I'm surprised that many of them seem to only have S-video, co-ax, or component video input. I thought with today's use of HDMI, it would be easier to have a card that would allow that input. I'd love to have a card that I could just plug in my cable box and my PS3 hdmi outputs into, have a window pop up on the desktop, and away I go. I don't care about remote controls, as I sit right in front of my monitor/keyboard.

Recommend me a TV-card!

TankJitsu on

Posts

  • RaernRaern Registered User regular
    DVI-D = HDMI you just need an adapter. Example: http://www.amazon.com/DVI-HDMI-Cable-6ft-Male-Male/dp/B0002CZHN6

    By which I mean if you can get the sound out to your PC/speakers on a separate line you can plug the PS3 or cable box straight into your monitor using a cheap cable instead of buying a more expensive input device.

    Since recording isn't a priority this would get you most of what you wanted with minor inconvenience of having to swap plugs around depending on what your monitor can take as input. I don't know if it's possible to get sound out of a PS3 while the HDMI is in use though, I don't have a PS3. It works on a 360 though.

    Not the full solution you were after, but it's one method.

  • Nova_CNova_C I have the need The need for speedRegistered User regular
    Talk to your cable company as well if you have digital cable, especially HD. Most companies scramble their signal and I wasn't able to find a card that would work with my cable provider's network. If you get regular analog cable or unscrambled HD, then you'll be fine.

  • webofinkwebofink Registered User regular
    I see you haven't mentioned a PVR app, I can highly recommend MediaPortal for recording/watching live TV, as well as doing a buttload of other cool things. MCE 7 with win7 is really good, but I had a LOT of recording/playback issues using it. Generic "video source error" bullshit when playing back recorded tv. I mean, it recorded it using it's own HD recording codec, but it can't play it for more than 5 minutes without breaking? Typical windows.

    Anyway, I digress. Mediaportal has been good to me, I recommend it over n-pvr, myth, xbmc (which needs a MP backend anyway) and Media Centre.

    XBMC is fantastic with Icefilms and Grooveshark though. Also a Penny Arcade TV addon that I fell in love with.

    As far as capture cards, I've got a Leadtek and it gets a little glitchy at times, but generally is okay. Hauppage is the shit apparently, but out of my price range. I'd really recommend getting a cheap MCE remote too (something like the Windows, HP, or Hauppage ones, with a USB receiver).

    It's dead, Jim.
  • TankJitsuTankJitsu Registered User regular
    Not sure I need a remote, although I'm not sure exactly what a MCE remote is? A good app for recording shows is always good to have.

    I did see the Hauppage cards on Amazon. I even found one that accepts hdmi input! But you're right, they are expensive, like $120 or so. Not sure if that is worth it.
    But do the Hauppage cards allow you to watch TV in a window on your desktop? That would be ideal. I'd love to browse the web and watch "Top Gear" at the same time!

    @Raern: The HDMI to DVI-D sounds like a cheap possibility. I might be able to get a input switch box, and just flip it when I want to watch TV.

    @Nova_C: I've already got the cable box, I'm assuming that it is doing the unscrambling before it sends the signal out to the the TV (or in this case, my computer monitor) Hopefully that's not an issue.

    (Any misspellings are due to the bottle of Scotch on my desk... :rotate: )

  • webofinkwebofink Registered User regular
    edited August 2011
    TankJitsu wrote:
    Not sure I need a remote, although I'm not sure exactly what a MCE remote is? A good app for recording shows is always good to have.

    I did see the Hauppage cards on Amazon. I even found one that accepts hdmi input! But you're right, they are expensive, like $120 or so. Not sure if that is worth it.
    But do the Hauppage cards allow you to watch TV in a window on your desktop? That would be ideal. I'd love to browse the web and watch "Top Gear" at the same time!

    @Raern: The HDMI to DVI-D sounds like a cheap possibility. I might be able to get a input switch box, and just flip it when I want to watch TV.

    @Nova_C: I've already got the cable box, I'm assuming that it is doing the unscrambling before it sends the signal out to the the TV (or in this case, my computer monitor) Hopefully that's not an issue.

    (Any misspellings are due to the bottle of Scotch on my desk... :rotate: )

    MCE Remote = Media Centre Edition remote control. Basically, any PVR program you use (Media Centre, N-pvr, XBMC, Mediaportal, etc) will greatly benefit from having a "media" remote control. This gives you the ability to go straight to videos/recorded tv/tv guide etc, with play/record/stop/skip functions etc.

    I got an old MCE remote for my HTPC, I use the USB receiver but threw the remote in a drawer and replaced it with a Logitech One universal remote. This also replaced remotes for my DVD player, audio receiver, TV, and gives "one touch" activities like "watch tv" which turns on the TV, sets the input, turns on the audio, sets the input, and then goes to Live TV in mediaportal.

    If you don't want to go down that route, just about every capture card comes with a remote of some type, usually an IR receiver into the card, and a crappy remote that gives you Play, Stop, Record, number functions, Channel/Volume, and navigation. I did have an issue with one of these cheap remotes where it wouldn't STOP when watching a DVD.

    Ideally, you'll have a wireless keyboard/mouse for your HTPC anyway.

    Also, just about every card comes with its own TV Capture/Viewing software that will run from the desktop, such as in a window, allowing you to browse at the same time as you watch and/or record.

    webofink on
    It's dead, Jim.
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