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How To Hook Up HD Cable Box To PC ?

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Old 01-19-2012, 04:55 PM   #1
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Default How To Hook Up HD Cable Box To PC ?

Hey guys,

First post here, but I've been messing with AV for most of my adult life.

I've just received a new, HD box from Comcast, and would like to use it with a computer that I have in my recording studio (for my customers that are waiting during any downtime between recording).

How can I do that ?

I have an older Hauppauge HTV-1250 TV tuner in the PC which has been great so far, but it only accepts S-Video and regular Coaxial inputs (cable type) - it has no HDMI input. The HD cable box has HDMI, component and S-video outs, but as you know, S-video won't put out a 1080i or p picture (at least as far as I know) and the PC is hooked up to an LCD monitor via HDMI, which looks really bad on anything less than 720p.

I'm not prepared to pay so much $$ for a converter box (some are hundreds of dollars) - especially when I can already get a few HD channels just with the coaxial cable plugged straight into my wall socket. The problem is that I want the other channels that I am paying for - NFL, MLB etc.... which I cannot get straight out of the wall socket (that's why I got the new box, so that it will unscramble the other channels).

Also, any other tuner cards that I've seen that do have HDMI, seem to be very "buggy", and do not support Windows Media Center or anything that will work with a QAM signal.

So, with that in mind, what are my options ?

I'm sure the lack of connect-ability options on the market is due to some type of HD digital media rights, but surely there is SOMETHING affordable out there ?

What about making something ? I grew up in an environment where necessity was the mother of invention, so maybe we could put together a group of us to make something that would say, convert HDMI to regular coax ?

Any help or insight would be appreciated !
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:17 PM   #2
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Why do you need to connect your PC to the STB? Do you want to record TV and then play it back for your customers?

Knowing why you want to do this will help us give you some ideas.
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Old 01-19-2012, 07:30 PM   #3
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Assuming your cable box also has component video outputs (most do) then you could use the Hauppauge 1212 HD PVR. It is used mainly for recording the component video in HD, but the capture module has a full screen mode that would allow you to have the incoming HD video to be sent to your PC monitor full screen. If you have a video card that allows for hardware acceleration (you probably do) then the result would do what you want very nicely.

For more info on the 1212 see: Hauppauge 1212 HD-PVR Video Capture device

Hauppauge also has a PCIe card version that has an HDMI input, but due to copy protection the HDMI input is intended for cameras and will not allow HD video input. The card still has the component video inputs for HD input and is a bit cheaper than the 1212 external box. See: Hauppauge Colossus PCI Express Internal HD-PVR

Last edited by rbinck; 01-19-2012 at 07:54 PM.
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Old 01-20-2012, 07:17 PM   #4
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Thanks for responding to my post, guys.

I'd like to connect the cable box to my PC, as my PC monitor does not have an audio out feature on it. It only has a VGA and audio input and an HDMI input.

So, I can plug an HDMI cable into the monitor directly from the cable box, but as far as I know, I can't get the sound into my PC, and the sound of the monitor is well, pretty ordinary.

By comparison, the PC is built around using it for sound production, and is also hooked up to a very nice, reference-quality amplifier and speaker system.

So, I'd like to be able to use that sound system when either my customers or I, are watching TV on the monitor.

For whatever it's worth, I do NOT want to record anything. I just want to watch sports and a few other things when time permits.

Does that make sense ?
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Old 01-24-2012, 05:41 PM   #5
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If your cable company offers CableCard's you can get an HD Home Run Prime networked tuner.

You plug the CableCard and Coax into it. And also connect it to your router via ethernet. Then any Windows 7 computer with Windows Media Center can tune in (3 max) and watch and record any encrypted channels you subscribed to.

I mean, this isn't exactly "free" but the tuner costs like $200 and you won't have to rent the cable box (which adds up over time).

This has an added advantage of working over WiFi as well, but I've found that if you don't have a strong steady signal, recordings can pixelate and drop. But otherwise it works pretty good on laptops as well. Not that you would want to go through the trouble of installing the software and setting up WMC on your customer's laptops. lol I mean, unless the wait is really long you can have your assistant or somethng install it on a regular customer's laptop and she can entertain herself with ComCast cable. But this is Windows 7 and iPads, but so far it doesn't look like it works on Macs. It works for Linux to a limited extent, but I don't imagine you get many customers in the recording industry who use linux.

Last edited by rasmasyean; 01-24-2012 at 06:09 PM.
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Old 01-25-2012, 07:11 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Quarterwave View Post
Also, any other tuner cards that I've seen that do have HDMI, seem to be very "buggy", and do not support Windows Media Center or anything that will work with a QAM signal.
Also I just got a Hauppauge WinTV DCR-2650 Dual Tuner Cable Card TV Tuner. See: Comcast HD DVR Options

So far it has been a very solid unit. Requires a cable card.

The drawback vs the 1212 PVR is when you record it requires a compatible PC or Media extender to play back the recorded files. But for just viewing cable it seems like it would work for your requirements.
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Old 03-05-2012, 11:52 PM   #7
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Its very simple you follow my steps:
First Cable box plugs into a USB port.
Connect the cable box USB cable into an USB port on computer.
Connect the TV coaxial cable into port and here's your cable box is ready to open.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:59 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pollostar View Post
Its very simple you follow my steps:
First Cable box plugs into a USB port.
Connect the cable box USB cable into an USB port on computer.
Connect the TV coaxial cable into port and here's your cable box is ready to open.
Good luck with that.
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Old 03-06-2012, 06:48 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rbinck View Post
Good luck with that.
I lol'd!
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