I went to Best Buy today and asked them if I could use Windows Media Center's Web Guide with a Tv tuner to watch Michigan games, which would pretty much be making my pc a dvr. I figured this is a much cheaper alternative to the slingbox. Has anyone used a tv tuner or done this before? Was it difficult? The guy at GeekSquad said he didn't know how to do it and that it would take some time to figure out how to set it up, but looking online I found this:http://www.microsoft.com/windows/windows-media-center/learn-more/record-tv/default.aspx , and it doesn't seem too difficult.
OT: Tv tuner w/ windows media center?
It's not too hard as long as you've got a decent TV tuner. Set one up at my parents' house last summer with an HDHomeRun (http://www.silicondust.com/), and it works well. Windows Media Center was a little bit temperamental for recording, so I think my dad went with different software, but for watching TV normally it works great.
You'll want to make sure you have a decent video card in the PC though, especially if you're trying to use HD. Without that, it tends to stutter a bit, varying from slightly annoying to unwatchable.
I have an htpc I don't use much anymore because I now have digital cable and time warner doesn't feel the need to have decent analog cable.
The question is, what is your signal going to be? OTA standard, ota hd or unencrypted digital. If the last, you need aQAM tuner and you have to made sure your provider doesn't encrypt standard channels. ATSC and NTSC are much easier.
Or, you make sure your tuner card has video capture and send a stream via s-video and rca audio cable from cable box to the computer.
And, you want to have an ATI video card for your computer because their drivers have a tv decoder built in. If you have nvidia, you need to buy a decoder. nvidia's pure video
I have a tuner card in my computer, and had one in my previous desktop. If you have a set-top box, you don't even need to run the setup on WMC. Just make sure that the live tv in WMC is turned to whatever channel the cable box responds to (Ch. 3 or 4). If you don't have set-top box, then run the setup in WMC (setup is really easy and friendly to those of us not highly proficient in that area) and the channels will appear like magic. Also, make sure WMC downloads the guide, so that you can set your dvr within WMC. If I remember, the guide is good for up to a week's worth of programming, and you can also have it record the same channel at the same time every day like you can now on a dvr set-top box. It is actually really cool.
but I don't get what you are saying about slingbox.
Slingbox is useful when you have to watch LIVE REMOTELY. The setup you describe above will not help you do that. If all you are setting up is a DVR, then don't bother because you could just download HD Video from:
I have a Hauppauge PCI tuner card in my desktop and a Comcast box sitting on top of my tower. If you have Windows 7, drivers for the card should install automatically. Windows Media Center makes everything really easy to set up...my card came with a remote, IR receiver, and IR blaster (to change the channel on the set-top box) and everything worked perfectly after a few painless minutes of configuring. I've had no issues with the card or WMC, and it works great for what I need.
I bought my card from Newegg for about $60. It has dual tuners (one ATSC, one NTSC) so I can record from my SD cable box and OTA HD local channels at the same time. Addtitionally, orb.com works really well if you want the capabilities of a Slingbox and have a tuner card in your computer. Let me know if you have any other questions.