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Unread 19th May 2009, 12:12 AM
RagingShadow07 RagingShadow07 is offline
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Sound cards and TV Tuners

First off, I've got to say thanks to the people on the BMR forums that have helped me out before (Especially Olin ) when I needed PC-related advice. It's been great and extremely helpful!

...on to my question, .

Since I had 2 things I needed to ask (with a few extra sub-questions) and I REALLY don't like spamming with a million and seven threads, I'll just ask them both in one thread. I've been looking at TV tuners and sound cards lately, since I don't exactly need any peripherals or component upgrades, and decided I need to know a bit more about them before I go blindly buy one...

TV Tuners.

Not really much of a story as to why I'm looking at TV tuners, to be honest. My DVR is out of storage, I'd love the ability to watch and record TV on my PC, and if I can watch HDTV on my PC as well, awesome.

Haha... here's the problem: I don't know a single thing about TV Tuners. So I don't know what to look for in one, I don't know what brands to go with, and I don't know what specs (if any in particular) I need a tuner to have. So I have a few questions, and would gladly take recommendations on what to get.

A. What kind of input would I need to look for?
B. Is it possible to get a tuner that can play HD TV?
C. If a tuner can play HD TV, what kind of input/specs would I need to look for to make sure?

I don't have a big sound system or anything (Hell, I use a pair of $30 headphones) if that makes a difference.

I'd also need one that's certified for Vista (Since I'm on Windows 7, anything that works on Vista SHOULD work on 7 with a little tweaking if necessary)

Sound Cards:

I'm looking/leaning more towards getting a tuner first than I am a sound card, but I've noticed lately my onboard sounds kind of bad (I can't really explain it, to be honest.) so I'm looking at sound cards as well. Again, I sound like a complete idiot, but I don't know much/anything about sound cards either, so advice and recommendations would be great, again .

Like I said, no fancy sound system or anything, but I'll end up getting better headphones later on (I've never been a big fan of huge speaker systems, especially since I'm in an apartment)

I've seen some sound cards that can do virtual 5.1 or 7.1 surround sound. Is it even worth it to aim for a sound card that can do that?

Also, it would need to have drivers/be certified for Vista (I'm pretty sure Creative mentioned they had some Windows 7 beta drivers being tested).

I figured since this forum doesn't have a lot of threads, and audio/video basically falls under a Home Theater category, the thread would fit here. If I posted in the wrong forum, I apologize.

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Unread 19th May 2009, 04:47 AM
XJnine XJnine is offline
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I can't give you much advice regarding sound cards but for a TV tuner I'd definitely go with the HDHomeRun by SiliconDust.

It will require a little bit more setup than a standard tuner but it is well worth it.

You didn't mention how you're getting your TV signal though. I'm guessing you have cable. This tuner is excellent since it can decode ClearQAM which means you will have access to all of the HD channels your provider offers except for the encrypted ones (HBO, Showtime, etc...). Even if you're on an antenna it will still pick up the broadcast HD channels.

I'm using one and I love it. The fact that it is networked and I can watch TV on any of my PC's is a huge bonus for me.

Hope this helps!
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Unread 19th May 2009, 09:31 AM
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Olin Coles Olin Coles is offline
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TV Tuners: first things first, there's no advantage to having one interface or another for these products; PCI is just as good as PCI-E, so get whatever form factor you can utilize best. You'll want to ensure that it's a digital tuner, since analog TV is dead now. It's also a good idea to have FM reception, but if you're not listening to radio now then it's not going to happen on a PC either. I don't have any real recent experience with the products, but I did buy a AverMedia AVerTV Combo PCI-E card almost a year ago and it worked well enough. I think that these days you'll really want to search out a 1080p capable unit, though.

As for the sound card, I have to wonder why your onboard audio isn't good enough for headphones? Have you attempted to remove/uninstall all of the driver software, and install the latest version? I would start there.
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Unread 19th May 2009, 01:39 PM
RagingShadow07 RagingShadow07 is offline
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XJNine, sorry about not mentioning the signal I'd be using. It's normal cable through Brighthouse (Which is a child company of Time Warner, I think). That tuner you linked me to... is it only Ethernet-based? I don't use a router, since I only have one PC at the moment (That will be changing soon, though) but I'll definitely keep that one in mind.

Olin, the drivers are likely the reason my sound seems a bit distorted at times. The audio drivers are the only problem I've had driver-related with Windows 7. I just figured since I'm asking about TV tuners, I might as well ask about sound cards in the event I ever did want to go buy one for one reason or another.

I think I basically answered my own question there, though. I can wait until I see a Windows 7 driver update for the audio drivers to determine if I actually need a new sound card.
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Unread 19th May 2009, 11:44 PM
Olle P Olle P is offline
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TV tuners is a jungle to me, and for the US (NTSC) market it's even worse...

Now to the sound issue.
I too had problems with the onboard sound on my previous motherboard. To me it seemed like an issue with poor EMC insulation from the rest of the board. My current motherboard doesn't have this issue.
If I were to buy a sound card it would most probably be Asus Xonar D1 or DX. These are essentially the same card, with D1 being PCI and DX being PCIe. It's the low end of the Xonar range, but get very good reviews. Price ~$80.

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Unread 20th May 2009, 12:20 AM
RagingShadow07 RagingShadow07 is offline
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I think that may have been one of the ones I was looking at before. If I remember correctly, one site said it did better than the Creative Fatal1ty sound cards.

I just found out today that ASUS has confirmed a Crosshair III Formula, which will be a 790FX board. The Crosshair boards come with a higher performance sound card (Or at least I'm assuming it's a higher-performance sound card, since the boards have no onboard) so I may end up getting it when it's released, and get both a board upgrade and good sound card with one purchase.

It's AM3 only, which means I'll need to upgrade to a Phenom II 955 before I can use it, but all the boards I've seen that I wanted are AM3 only anyways.
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Unread 16th July 2009, 06:26 AM
panther063 panther063 is offline
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reccomended tv tuner

Firstly i'd like to say hi to all as this is my first post here, next i have a link to another site that shows a liking for one specific card; the Hauppage 2200
This forum has helped me immensely with my foray into the world of htpc's, hope it helps you. John
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Unread 30th December 2011, 07:06 AM
badrinath badrinath is offline
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What are the limitations of IPS technology?
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Unread 30th December 2011, 07:07 AM
arjunsahani arjunsahani is offline
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Originally Posted by badrinath View Post
What are the limitations of IPS technology?
There are no limitations of IPS technology as such. This technology was developed in order to improve the overall 3D experience of users. This technology is successfully performing and providing great 3D pictures and images to users.
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