We cut the cable cord but we still would like to watch TV. I’ve been a cable user for the last 15 years or more and haven’t touched an antenna since.
I ordered an Indoor TV Antenna and TV Tuner off of Amazon for around $150 bucks.
The installation into our media center pc went pretty smoothly.
Remove the cover.
Unbox the TV Tuner
Install it in an open PCI Express slot.
There’s four ports on the back of the card. A Cable TV / TV Antenna in, FM Radio in, an Audio/Video in and a IR input. The IR input I think will be important later when we want to control Media Center with a remote control in addition to the keyboard.
I mounted the TV antenna behind the TV on the wall so it cannot be seen. The cord coming out of the antenna, which is a coaxial cable, plugs right into the back of the tuner card just like cable would, which brings the total to 4 cords into the media box – power, antenna, cat-5 and HDMI (for outputting video and sound back out to the receiver).
When I started the PC, Device Manager did not automatically load drivers to I went Hauppage’s website to get the drivers directly for the WinTV-HVR-2250 and installed them. Fired up Windows Media Center and it detected the new TV Tuner card and began a setup wizard process starting with a zip code.
It downloads program information off the web and ends up with a finish screen.
Looking at the TV Guide showed all the new channels available. I thought it looked nice and was an upgrade from the UI in the Comcast DVR. While browsing the guide, the background is transparent and you can still hear the current channel.
The picture came in High Definition very nicely and you get all the controls you would expect with a DVR (stop, pause, record, etc).
We recorded a couple shows to get a feel for how that works and I’ll add some notes about that in another post.
Overall we are both very pleased so far with the experience and the wife acceptance factor is very high with these. I find her experimenting with options and doing things without me showing her a thing.