Windows – High-def TV tuner for satellite TV

hdtvhtpcsatellitetuner-cardwindows 7

A few months ago I bought a plasma television and upgraded my satellite receiver so that I could watch the high-def channels. We have another television purchased previously which also has a high-def receiver. When I compare the two, the one attached to my Windows Media Center machine seems to be poorer quality. The computer is fairly old anyway, so I was planning to upgrade it and thinking I need to upgrade to a better tuner card at the same time. I'm currently using an ATI Theater 550 Pro.

In my attempts at research, everything is about over-the-air HD, Clear QAM, etc. I just want to watch my satellite TV (Starchoice). I am getting the impression that the newer HDTV tuner cards will treat my satellite receiver as an analog signal. Is this correct? Can anybody recommend a tuner card that will meet my needs? I am intending to use Windows 7 Ultimate RC for the operating system.

Best Answer

See [this article] posted on a forum:

Short answer: there is no "tuner" that will work with StarChoice.

Long answer: a "tuner" is a device that translates RF signals from and antenna or cable line into electronic signals. Terrestrial, satellite, and cable signals are all different.[...]

You can buy a satellite "tuner" that will receive the DVB-S (I think) signals from the StarChoice satellites. It will accept the RF signals collected by your dish and translate them into binary data that the computer can see. This is probably illegal in Canada. The data you get is encrypted [...], so no one has bothered breaking it. [...]

The only real option you have right now for recording HD video from your StarChoice box is the Hauppauge HD PVR. This exploits the analog hole and allows you to record the HD signals from the component video output of your set top box. This is not a tuner because it does not receive RF frequencies. It is a video capture box and a serious kludge. It even comes with a WebTV era "IR Blaster" that pretends to be a remote control and changes the channels for you.

Can you plug the satellite reciever that is supplied to you by StarChoice into your computer using RF (a coaxial cabe) into just a regular digital tuner card? If you can then you may be able to use that and Windows Media Center should be able to record that just fine, although I am not sure if you would be able to change channels in Media Center, or if you would need to change them on your satellite reciever.

Related Question