: Connecting digital box to HTPC

2007-08-23, 11:24 AM
Hey all!

Alright so I think It's about time for me to build my first HTPC box. And I need alot of advice.

I have an old P4 2.0GHZ computer lying around. All I need is a decent tuner card and it's most likely good to go.

My main question is, I have digital cable and I'm confused about the way to set it up with a HTCP box.
When creating one, do I have to go straight from the cable hookup to the HTPC box, or can I go through the box provided with Digital Cable?
I'm with Eastlink btw.

I have a new LCD tv, but the digital box is not a HD box. Just a standard one. (The downstairs has a HD/PVR box) and I dont want to fork out more money for one upstairs :S

I'll have more questions later (Software, tuner etc) but this was my first question.

Look forward to some responces!


2007-08-23, 11:29 AM
If its a media center PC with all the connectors then you can connect your cable to your computer and you will receive all your analog channels that are not encrypted.

Encrypted channels, such as your Digital Channels, must first be decoded by your Digital Cable box and then output to your PC.

Lots of threads around here discussing so search around and it will all be explained.

2007-08-23, 12:03 PM
You can use a digital cable box with an HTPC - you just connect the S-video out to the S-video in of your tuner card. Alternatively you could just connect the cable directly to the tuner card but then you would not get digital channels. Of course if you use the digital box then you need a method to change channels on the cable box and this is generally done with an IR blaster. You can buy tuners that have built in blasters - I bought the MCE edition of a Hauppauge PVR-150 which does all of this. Or you can buy an external IR unit such as the USB-UIRT.

Assuming that you want to record TV you will need software to do so. Your options are installing Windows XP MCE or Vista Home Premium or using third party software such as BeyondTV or Sage.

One thing to keep in mind is that you can't use your HTPC to record HD channels from your digital box. At best HD channels will be downrezzed and at worst you will get nothing. You can record OTA HD if you live in an area where that is available and you use an antenna.