Is it possible to capture digital TV (sky and cable, not just Freeview?)


Active Member

I know there are cards on the market that will allow you to capture and tune to individual Freeview terrestrial digital channels (in the UK), but is there a way of directly capturing and tuning individual sky digital or better yet for my purposes, digital cable channels?

I specifically subscribe to NTL’s home cable service but their set top box is very limited, with only 2 SCART and RF output. No SPDIF.

I would like to utilise a PCI card to tune and capture these digital channels in exactly the same way that Freeview card does, doe anyone know of a solution? I realise that I could get an ordinary RF TV tuner card and you the RF out of the box and tune to that, but I am then dependant on having the box near the HTPC and recording whatever I’m viewing.

It’s not that the Freeview package isn’t worth considering, it’s just that it doesn’t show the one channel that I seem to watch the majority of the time – Sky One.



Distinguished Member
You won't find a sky digital or cable tuner card.
Best you can do is get a decent video capture card and record either s-video or RGB from a standalone tuner box.

You'll find plenty of infop on here about them. I'd recommend an Xcapture for s-video or a sweetspot for RGB .


Novice Member
I don't know if it progressed very far but when I was in the London tech support of Hauppage they did have a USB Digital TV box with a card slot for exactly that purpose.

I ditched the Hauppage anyway and now use a Nebula PCI card, it's miles ahead of the Hauppage Digital TV one I had (Dec 2000 methinks, and I seem to recall DEC 3000 for the satellite one if memory serves me well).



Active Member
You can get a digital satellite PCI card, but it won't decode sky as the encryption system is unique and there is no way on earth that sky will allow it to be used on a PC - it would be cracked within days and mr murdoch doesn't like that idea. The PCI cards available can be used to receive European broadcasts which have less fussy encryption.



Active Member
Does this also apply to Cable?

I'm sure I read in PC Plus or some PC magazine that this WAS possible, although they didn't go on to say how.



Active Member
AFAIK, yes it applies equally to cable.


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