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HD Ready PC capture cards

Discussion in 'TVs' started by newbiebie, Sep 23, 2005.

  1. newbiebie

    newbiebie
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    Hi,
    I am interested in adding a TV Tuner card to my PC (USB preferrable to PCI). Which cards can I safely buy which can receive the Freeview signal and will be MPEG4 ready as well for when the time comes? Are there cards that do both terrestrial and satellite so I can pick up the current HD test MPEG2 feeds today and the future live HD MPEG4 feeds tomorrow?

    Thanks a bunch.
     
  2. HSC

    HSC
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    Sky does not licenese its technologies to enable OEM's to manufacture PC based tuner cards

    the only HD card I know of is the ATI HD All in Wonder - but fairly sure that only works off USA Cable....
     
  3. dogtanian38

    dogtanian38
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    The original post didn't mention Sky, who unlike many other providers are not showing HD test feeds or programming at present. It is possible to view sky on a PC*. There are many HD compatible PC satellite cards, in fact the reciever card is just a complicated connector for the coax to the dish. All decoding is usually done in software by the PC so the card doesnt even know what type of information its receiving.

    Firsly, in general PCI bus cards are preferable to USB based devices, unless you have specific problems such as a small cased PC. Don't be afraid to install an internal card, it will be far easier than all the USB driver issues.

    For satellite the card you are after is one of the Skystar series, which cost from £40 upwards. The Skystar2 is cheaper than the original but lacks the ability to fit smartcards, and the card reader (CAM) required to view encrypted material. All skystar cards are compatible with MPEG2 HD feeds from eg Euro1080 and most test broadcasts - most people buy them for this. They will also be compatible with MPEG4, however when that change happens we are all switching to DVB2, which the Skystar's are not compatible with. At present there are no retail DVB2 receivers for a PC or a settop box, and no european networks are using it, but the change will happen.

    The original post appears to confuse freeview (terrestrial) and satellite broadcasts. In the UK there are no plans for terrestrial HD, whether MPEG2 or 4. You will require satellite for this. Satellite currently has a Sky operated Freeview style service known as FreeSat, with a similar but poorer (no e4) channel line up. PC terrestrial freeview cards start from £35 from european online stores, £45 from UK online stores. No PC receiver cards can do both satellite and freeview, so you would require two cards.

    *Dragon CAM, CI equipped receiver card, valid sky smartcard.
     

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