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 What You Need To Know About The Hdtv Tuner Card

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PostSubject: What You Need To Know About The Hdtv Tuner Card   What You Need To Know About The Hdtv Tuner Card Icon_minitimeTue Nov 08, 2011 4:04 pm

Nowadays, most people don't just use their computers to send emails, surf the internet or prepare documents. They watch TV and movies on their computers, too. If you're one of them, it's a good idea to get an HDTV tuner card so you won't get left behind as the entertainment industry adopts High Definition technology as the new standard of today.

What is an HDTV tuner card? Just like the HDTV tuner box or Set-Top-Box (STB), an HDTV tuner card receives High Definition signals from a cable or satellite TV box in the form of MPEG-2 encoded packets, decodes them and transmits them to a software application. HDTV tuner cards are different, though, in that they are attached or inserted into computers instead of being directly connected to the back of HDTV monitors, and are even better in some ways.

One advantage of HDTV tuner cards is that they allow you to record and pause HD content on your computer, like you do on a TiVo box, although some high-end STBs already come with their own hard drive to let you do the same thing. They have a better Electronic Program Guide (EPG) and are cheaper than many HDTV tuner boxes, too. HDTV tuners are more difficult to install, though, and require the computer to be on at all times. This can result in more energy consumption and sometimes, more noise.

HDTV tuner cards come in two general types - PCI cards and USB devices. PCI cards are inserted inside your computer, giving it a neater appearance, and are particularly convenient for laptops. They process data faster, too, since they are directly connected to the computer's motherboard. USB tuner cards are just like any other USB devices. They are external devices plugged in directly to a slot on your computer. This makes it a more popular choice, since many people are not comfortable with opening the cases of their computers.

So which one should you get - internal PCI cards or external USB tuner devices? This depends on the level of your computer skills. If you're confident about them, installing PCI cards won't be a problem. The slots on your computer are a big factor, too. After all, to install a PCI card, you need a PCI slot ready, since adding one is incovenient and expensive. It is the same with a USB tuner device. You need to have a free USB slot, too, apart from the one where you plug in your USB drive or the USB cable from your phone or digicam every once in a while.

Before you decide whether you want a tuner card as opposed to a tuner box, or which type of tuner card to get, though, you have to know whether you need one first. True, in order to enjoy the full HD viewing experience, you need to have an HDTV tuner. However, many HDTVs already have their own built-in HDTV tuners. In this case, you don't need to buy a separate one unless you want to watch HDTV on your computer, too.

To help you decide which specific HDTV tuner card to get, consider the features that come with the card. Consider the brand, too, since some are more reliable than others. Cost is a factor, too, although the most important thing to consider is the compatibility of the tuner card with your computer. To know whether or not a tuner card is compatible with your computer, check the hardware and software requirements. If you plan to watch TV on your computer, make sure you have an excellent graphic card or video card, as well.

After buying your HDTV tuner card, the only thing left to do is to insert or attach it to your computer, complete the installation process, connect it to your HD source like your cable box, and configure it. You might need to connect your computer to your HDTV monitor, too, via the DVI-D port or HDMI port. Then again, you can always ask someone to do all this for you and once all these is done, you can just sit back, relax and savor the complete and genuine HD viewing experience.

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