Receiving Digital Cable

Currently I am just a subscriber to analog cable tv. My question is the following: If I an HDTV pci card for my pc, will I be able to receive HDTV broadcasts?

Thanks, Jonathan.

At the moment, Happauge does HDTV PCI tuner cards (WinTV-HD) which can decode and display both analogue and ATSC digital broadcasts over the airwaves and from cable TV. :wink:

Just note that the Happauge HDTV card (and most others) cannot decode encrypted content which likely means that you may not be able to pick up the premium digital cable channels on your PC.

If you plan on recording HDTV broadcasts, but just be warned that you will need a lot of hard drive space and low disk fragmentation. A typical 20Mbps HDTV stream will consume around 9GB per hour :eek:

The space isn’t a problem as I would immediately convert the broadcast to xviid, however, that card is way too expensive. You are saying that won’t be able to receive the following channels:

HBO: (HBO, HBO On Demand, HBO2, HBO Family, HBO Comedy, HBO Signature, HBO Zone)

Showtime: (Showtime On Demand, Showtime Too, Showtime Showcase, Showtime Beyond, Showtime Extreme)

Starz!: (Starz!, Starz On Demand, Starz Theater, Black Starz, Starz! Family, Starz! Cinema)

Cinemax: (Cinemax, MAX On Demand, MoreMAX, ActionMAX, ThrillerMAX, WMAX, @MAX, 5 StarMAX, OuterMAX)

The Movie Channel: (The Movie Channel, TMC On Demand, TMC Xtra)

Sports Packages: Follow all your favorite teams from across the country with our professional and college sports subscription packages like: NBA League Pass, MLB Extra Innings, NHL Center Ice, ESPN Game Plan (NCAA Football), ESPN Full Court (NCAA Basketball), and NASCAR.

Is there anyway to get premium channels other than with the cable box? -software, hack, etc.
But I would get ABC, NBC, the Wb and HDTV broacasts such as those, right?

Does a digital channel mean that the broadcast is HDTV?

It wouldn’t let me edit my post, but ignore the comment with regard to receiving premium channels w/o a cable box, because in retrospect I’m pretty sure it’s illegal.

If you manage to find software or a plugin to allow a HDTV or any other tuner to decode encrypted broadcasts and the software is not offical (provided by the cable operator), then it is illegal under the DMCA legislation from what I’m aware of.

However if you manage to find a HDTV tuner card or box for a PC which can decrypt channels with a suitable viewing card, then this is perfectly legal. However with the major issue about digital piracy, even if you do find one of these, it will most likely enforce any ‘copyright flag’ present with the signal such as disabling recording and any recording it does allow may also be locked to the PC using DRM restrictions :confused:

Finally just note that Digital TV does not mean HDTV. Digital is also available in standard definition resolutions such as Digital satellite TV. Standard definition TV is 480i/p in the US and HDTV is either 720i/p or 1080i/p. HDTV set-top boxes require a suitable display to show the higher resolution picture, otherwise the set-top box must down-convert it to standard definition (480i) before output to the TV. :cool: