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Hardware Support Discussions related to using various hardware setups with SageTV products. Anything relating to capture cards, remotes, infrared receivers/transmitters, system compatibility or other hardware related problems or suggestions should be posted here.

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Old 11-15-2003, 06:01 PM
Grasshopper Grasshopper is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 314
Do I need a tuner card?

Hi, newbie here. I've been browsing and researching exhaustively, and I think I'm starting to get a handle on some of this. I have tons of questions, but here's the first one:

Suppose I want to record and playback digital cable signal using Sage. My understanding is that I must hook the PC to the digital cable box using an IR Blaster or some such. In that case, I would be tuning stations using the box, and not my tuner card. Which means, I think, that I don't need a tuner card, yes?

I think what I need is a video card with video in/out capability and a hardware MPEG decoder. Is this correct -- can I do this without a 250 card or something like it? Does such an animal exist at a price point that makes it sensible to try and pull this off?
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Old 11-17-2003, 11:24 AM
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dkardatzke dkardatzke is offline
SageTV Co-Founder
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Chicago, IL
Posts: 1,220
You need a MPEG-2 encoder to get the signal in, compressed and the written to disk. You won't actually be using the tuner of the card because the card does the necessary MPEG-2 compression to write the video file to the hard disk. Then you use SageTV to interface for the recordings, playback, etc.

The IR blaster is then controlled by SageTV to change the channels for your specific recordings.
Dan Kardatzke, Co-Founder
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Old 11-17-2003, 04:16 PM
Grasshopper Grasshopper is offline
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Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 314
Right, that was my understanding. Is there a card that offers encoding comparable to the Hauppage 250 but saves the expense of an onboard tuner, or is there a video card with hardware MPEG encoding usable with Sage?
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Old 11-18-2003, 02:58 AM
frank2056 frank2056 is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 11
I'm using an external Adaptec VideoOh! DVD USB 2.0 device, connected to the video and audio outputs of my cable box.

It works great with Sage TV . You'll need some sort of mpeg decoder for it to work, though. If you have a DVD drive and DVD player software, its codec should be enough.

The video and audio qualities of the VideoOh are outstanding, and since its converting the video in hardware, the CPU load is minimal.

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Old 11-18-2003, 09:29 AM
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malore malore is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Iowa
Posts: 877
Since tuners are included in the cheapest TVs and VCRs, I wouldn't expect it to add much cost to the encoder card. The majority of the cost is for the hardware MPEG-2 encoder, which you can see when you compare the price of a software WinTV card the cost of the PVR card.
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