Need some advice/suggestions

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Current system:
OS:  Media Center 2005 SP2
Mem:  1.5 Gb
Proc:  2 GHz AMD Athlon 64 (3000+)
Tuner:  ATI TV Wonder Elite PCI Video Card

Service Provider:  Comcast (no cable box)

Problem:  Comcast.  :-)  They've basically reduced broadcasting to only a
handful of analog channels.  The tuner does not support HD or Clear QAM or
really anything like that, so my recording selection is extremely limited.

Question:  What should I do if I want to get more channels?

I'm not necessarily averse to upgrading to Win7 (but I'm not interested in
Vista), and I think the system has enough to handle Vista as is.

Obviously I need a new tuner card, but I haven't found any that had, shall
we say, glowing recommendations.  The best of them tend to have 3 stars out
of 5, at least on Amazon.

For the record, I built this system from scratch, so I'm certainly not
afraid of swapping cards, though I'd rather not have to build an entire new
system if I can avoid it.

Thanks

--
Reginald Blue
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone.  My wish has come true.  I no longer know how to use my
telephone."
 - Bjarne Stroustrup (originator of C++) [quoted at the 2003
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces]
 


Re: Need some advice/suggestions



Why not get the cable box.

Comcast gave me three of them for no extra charge.

Re: Need some advice/suggestions



Ultimately, if that's the consensus, that's what I'm going to do.

But, I have a few reasons why I'd prefer not to do that, especially if
there's a better option.

--
Reginald Blue
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone.  My wish has come true.  I no longer know how to use my
telephone."
 - Bjarne Stroustrup (originator of C++) [quoted at the 2003
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces]


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Re: Need some advice/suggestions



if you have an old analog tuner on MCE2005 you have two options

1. get a FREE DTA and hook it up.
http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/tips-tricks-how-tos/comcast-dta-mce-setup-steps /

2. rent a traditional set top box and connect it up.



wrote:

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Barb Bowman
MS-MVP
http://www.digitalmediaphile.com
http://digitalmediaphile.wordpress.com

Re: Need some advice/suggestions



Well, I must say that I'm surprised at this answer (i.e. that my best choice
is to get a set top box/dta), but, I'll call comcast and get them to ship me
one of their evil little boxes.  :-)

Thanks everyone for the input!

Barb Bowman wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it
http://digitalmediaphile.com/index.php/tips-tricks-how-tos/comcast-dta-mce-setup-steps /
Quoted text here. Click to load it

--
Reginald Blue
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone.  My wish has come true.  I no longer know how to use my
telephone."
 - Bjarne Stroustrup (originator of C++) [quoted at the 2003
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces]



Update: Re: Need some advice/suggestions



FYI, I received the box (actually 3 boxes... their phone system that they
provide doesn't allow me to say "I just want one DTA"... it presumes to know
what it's doing, and so I ended up with 3 boxes (2 DTA, 1 Set Top, all
free).  Oh well, it's their money.)

Setup of the box itself was mostly easy, though I had to request two times
to get it to initialize.  (One of the other boxes initialized, but when I
dared reroute the cable, unplugging it in the process, it stopped working
and has refused to restart... haven't bothered resetting it as it's not
critical for me.)

Getting it configured was painful.  My main problem was not being able to
interpret how media center would react to the box and vice versa.  It wanted
a 3 digit channel, so I did 100, but then wanted me to cycle through the
channels... but there were few nearby, so I misinterpreted the failure as it
not working right... took about 5 tried before I caught on to what was
happening.

Then, much to my dismay, the guide and the actual available channels don't
actually match, which compounded the previous issue.  So I spent several
minutes trying to get that all straight, mostly deleting channels the DTA
doesn't have.  (There's only 2 choices... one that almost corresponds to the
analog channels, the other is "everything"... not sure whose "fault" that
is, but it surely is annoying.)

But... now it's working.  The signal is nowhere near as clear as the HD
signal it starts with, but it's way better than the analog signal, and I'm
able to actually record programs I want to watch again, so it's definitely a
net gain.

Thanks for everyone's help.

Reginald Blue wrote:
Quoted text here. Click to load it

--
Reginald Blue
"I have always wished that my computer would be as easy to use as my
telephone.  My wish has come true.  I no longer know how to use my
telephone."
 - Bjarne Stroustrup (originator of C++) [quoted at the 2003
International Conference on Intelligent User Interfaces]



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