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Using my PC and converting it into an HTPC

Using my PC and converting it into an HTPC

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Contributor ibage
Contributor
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-11-2011
Message 1 of 3
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I know the topic line sounds odd but what I'm asking is what can I use to record FIOS TV on my PC if it's at all possible. I heard that if it's a digital tuner, it can record without issue. I have two basic questions.

 

1. Can it be done?

2. I have two video cards in my PC and one PCI-e slot and one PCI slot. Both cards make it impossible to use either of those slots. If it is possible, can I use a USB tuner? I do pay for the DVR service if that makes any difference

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Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus
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Posts: 3,220
Registered: ‎02-24-2011
Message 2 of 3
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The FIOS TV video signal is in digital format. Channel 2-49 are unencrypted. Channels 50 and above are all encrypted. That means you need to have some kind of Verizon piece of equipment to watch channels over 49. If your computer has a Digital Tuner, then you could take a piece of coax coming from a live working outlet and plug straight into your PC's digital tuner. You will need 3rd party software (the digital tuner may come with some) to watch and record. Bear in mind this is not supported by Verizon. It will work, but if you run into problems your on your own. We troubleshoot Verizon equipment only. Hope this helps you out.

Anthony_VZ

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Silver Contributor III
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Posts: 381
Registered: ‎09-01-2008
Message 3 of 3
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@ibage wrote:

I know the topic line sounds odd but what I'm asking is what can I use to record FIOS TV on my PC if it's at all possible. I heard that if it's a digital tuner, it can record without issue. I have two basic questions.

 

1. Can it be done?

2. I have two video cards in my PC and one PCI-e slot and one PCI slot. Both cards make it impossible to use either of those slots. If it is possible, can I use a USB tuner? I do pay for the DVR service if that makes any difference


 

Yes, you can turn your PC into a HTPC. In fact, I just recently did it. I use Windows Media Center, so that is what I am familar with.

 

If you are not interested in the encrypted channels, Hauppague makes a USB tuner. However, it will only receive those channels that are NOT encrypted. Those are going to be your OTA local channels ( 2 - 50 with their digital subchannels).

 

There are also ways to connect your STB directly to a device as well, like the HD-PVR from Hauppague, but I am not 100% how it all gets put together.

 

If you want to watch and record content on the other channels, say Deadliest Catch on Discovery, your current options are limited. You have the $400 Ceton InfiniTV4m which is an internal PCI-e QuadTuner with CableCard support. This is only currently supported CableCard tuner currently on the market for the HTPC. This will allow you to record/play up to 4 channels at a time. I have it, and it works great. The Ceton is only supported in Windows 7 and you can only use Windows Media Center. Since you don't have a PCI-e (x1 works) available, this isn't an option for you at this point.

 

The other CableCard tuner in the wild is the discontinued ATI tuner. It can only play/record only 1 stream at a time, and there is no support from ATI/AMD. Beware, if Verizon does deploy simulcrypt in your area (to support both Cisco and Moto boxes) then the ATI card MAY break, leaving you dead in the water.

 

Coming soon will be the SiliconDust HDHomeRum PRIME. It is a 3 tuner CableCard device, where you attach the tuners to your HTPC over the network. It is currently in certification tetsing at CableLabs and there isn't an ETA. I would bet a late Q2, early Q3 launch.

 

Ceton announced at CES a 4 tuner USB device, but I haven't seen anything on that yet. What I seem to recall is that it would be a USB 3.0 device, due to the bandwidth requirement of 4 active HD streams. This will also be a CableCard device, and as of yet, no ETA. 

 

The one concern I see with your current setup is that you have 2 video cards. Microsoft's Digital Cable advisor may fail with 2 video cards in the machine. The DCA is checking to make sure you meet the DRM specifications (HDMI HDCP, etc.)

 

There is also a thread titled PC Tuner Card Discussions here as well.

 

Carl

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