MS Home Media Center and digital cable tv

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MS Home Media Center and digital cable tv

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I have Dell Demension 8400 with Win Xp Home Media software SP3. I had a TV tuner installed when bought this computer 5 years ago. Our cable TV company forced a switch to digital signal, wich makes this tuner not receiving signals. Wondering how to get the Home Media Center TV functionality back.

Do I have to buy another tuner, digital this time?

I heard I can attach a digital tuner adapter, but I get confused about the need for the IR cables. Will I not be able to change channels with Home Media Center? Will I only be able to change channels by using the remote control supplied by cable company for the digital tuner adapter? Seems I loose a lot of functionality. Even with digital adapter, will Home Media Center be able to change channels and record?

I am confused and not sure how to proceed. I do not want to rent a digital adapter with a monthly fee for a computer tv signal that I will not use that often, but would like to have the ability if I need to record a show.

 

All Replies
  • It all depends on what the cable company is doing with its digital cable signals. Unless you know that, everything is just a guess.

     

     

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • Thanks for the reply, but I don't know what you meant.

    They went from analog to all digital. I have to have either a set-top box or a DTA Digital  Adapter to receive my channels. Not sure what more is needed to know.

    The cable guy said I would not have to have a digital tuner as I could hook up a DTA. But then it gets fuzzy because I don't know how changing channels and recording is affected.

    I assumed there were many people already facing this is all cable is going digital, so I assumed there would be a lot of information from users in this forum.

  • May I suggest http://thegreenbutton.com/forums/ For your questions regarding Media Center.

     

    The entire Green Button site is devoted exclusively to Media Center and has many very knowledgeable regulars.

     

    HTH

    D

  • NiceDog

    Thanks for the reply, but I don't know what you meant.

    They went from analog to all digital. I have to have either a set-top box or a DTA Digital  Adapter to receive my channels. Not sure what more is needed to know.

    The cable guy said I would not have to have a digital tuner as I could hook up a DTA. But then it gets fuzzy because I don't know how changing channels and recording is affected.

    I assumed there were many people already facing this is all cable is going digital, so I assumed there would be a lot of information from users in this forum.

    Before you get all wound up about using Windows Media Center on your PC, you need to know some facts that only trial and error will tell you.

    Assuming the cable guy knows what he is talking about,

    a DTA means that the digital signal coming should be unencrypted. To verify that this is true, you need to hook up a TV with a digital tuner right to the cable connector in the wall bypassing the set top box. See if you can see all the channels that you paid for. 

    I suspect that you will be able to get some but not all the channels. The other channels that you can't get you would only be able to get using the set top box. These channels are encrypted.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • I have an old 8400 with the old analog  tuner that came with it and it works fine with time warner cable's basic service--no box. Digital has nothing to do with cable setup, only antenna tv. You connect  the cable the same as always and it works. You should not change the tv signal selection in Media Center. What you get with basic cable is really an analog signal for backwards compatibility, so don't change the tv signal in Media Center to  Digital . In fact you did not have to change anything when they switched to digital. You should have left it just as it was--analog.  Basic cable works with every old tv in the house.

  • Mary G

    Digital has nothing to do with cable setup, only antenna tv.

    That is not true. In some parts of the country the cable is ENTIRELY digital. My co-worker has that with Comcast. He is given 3 set top boxes for free.

    I have Comcast cable in a slightly different part of the state, so I haven't been forced to ge their set top box.

     

     

     

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • From what I have been able to hear, the cable channels above 22 are digital and need the DTA or set-top box. Supposedly it you do nothing, you will get channels 2-22.  I am dealing with Comcast which  forced this digital signal on our area February 15. I have no TV with a digital tuner.

    So it sounds like I have to install a DTA to my computer which gets into IR cables to change channels. I have not installed this yet as I wanted more information on how to install, what problems I might encounter and how to use. I don't know how changing channels will work with IR cable. Do
    I put MC on channel 3? That is what TVs have to be on to get channels.

    I only want this set up if it is still feasable as I do not particuarly want to buy a digital tuner for my PC if I don't have to.  tI would not be used that often,  but I do like to keep using perfectly good hardware as long as I can and not be forced to get rid of it because of cable company forced change.

  • The DTA isn't free. The rebates are long over.

    The digital tuner for the PC isn't free.

    My mom got a DTA for her old upstairs TV. You use its remote to change channels.

     

    my Dells:
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7 / Ubuntu 12.04
    Latitude D620 - XP Pro SP3
    Precision M6300 - Windows 7

  • Comcast provides a free set-top box to view On Demand content and supplies 2 free DTAs without charge. I have the set-top installed on another frequently used TV,  a DTA on a seldom used TV to ensure it works. I have one more DTA that I was going to see if  it would work with MC and still be able to take it to another TV if needed from time to time. Additional DTAs are charged a monthly fee which I refuse to pay since I seldom use the other TVs, so I have the option of moving the DTAs as needed.