Monday, August 07, 2006

Digital TV on your Computer - TV Tuner Card

Just the other week I decided to purchase a TV Tuner card for my desktop. I have used one before, prior to the digital age, however I have been hesitate to take the plunge and purchase one.

After some research and reading other peoples reviews I decided to go with the following TV tuner card, Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 H. It allows you to watch both Analog or Digital TV, as well as listen to FM radio.

Installation was no problem at all, I've installed several devices in my PCs over the years and the software configuration was reasonably straight forward.

As I don't have a direct line to my TV antenna here in my study, I have just been using some standard cheap rabit ears. Surprisingly the quality has been excellent! The card clearly has a strength with the digital reception, which is far superior to the standard analog.

Something that I have enjoyed using is the PVR function. It is so easy to schedule recordings for TV programs, to be able to watch later. Sometimes I burn these to DVD to watch on the TV or watch them straight off the computer. This was especially helpful during the recent 24 season. The software does also have the ability to burn directly to DVD as it records, which would save time later on.

Overall I'm really happy with the card. I haven't really had any problems with it, and it has been useful when I have had to convert NTSC VHS tapes to DVD. As my previous card only supported PAL. I have noticed that if the signal quality is low, then the program will seem to hang, however this is quickly resolved with adjusting the rabit ears. I also find that it mainly occurs when watching High Definition channels, as opposed to Standard Definition.

I think in the not to distant future, I will make a dedicated PVR PC to use for all my TV viewing. All you really need is a good TV Tuner card, such as the
Leadtek WinFast DTV2000 H mentioned here, a good graphics card and plenty of harddrive space.


At 7:12 PM, Blogger Maximum Advantage said...

Hey Matt
I have been looking at these with a fair bit of interest. How much did you pay for your card? Does it allow you to record multiple programs at the same time? Is the computer useable while it is recording?

At 7:18 PM, Blogger Matt D said...

Hey Rob,
I paid AUS $99 for my card. It doesn't allow two programs to be recorded as it is only a single tuner. The computer is quite useable, I sometimes leave it running on my second monitor while I surf/work etc. Though it depends what apps you are running. The HD channels seem to use more memory than the standard digital.
Hope that helps !

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Maximum Advantage said...

I have been looking at getting one of those cards.
CentreCom have them at 104.95 and they are on the way to Uni so I will probably just pick it up from then.
Cool, the PC will be the first 'digital TV' in the house so it would seem.


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