Media Center: Analog TV Tuner? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Hi,

    I'm trying to set up live TV on Media Center (Vista Ultimate).

    I have Comcast cable (Seattle) which uses NTSC in both digital and analog.  They say they will continue broadcasting analog for 3 more years, even though the US standard is changing to digital-only soon.

    I have the Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert (certified for Vista).  It says it for analog only. 

    When trying to show Live TV, I get the following message from Media Center: "Loss of Signal.  Windows Media Center has stopped caputing data due to low data rates in the TV signal.  Thjis may be a temporary situation.  If this persists, make sure the cable for the TV signal is conneced properly, restart the computer, and then try tuning to a channel."

    Any ideas?  Could this be because of a weak analog signal?  Do I need to buy a digital tuner?

    I've tried mutliple cables, and tried connecting directly to the wall outlet.  Same message.  Through my standard configuration, I will also have my TV on the cable.  Should I split to the computer BEFORE the cable box, or split to the cluster AFTER the cable box?

    Saturday, January 3, 2009 12:49 AM

All replies

  • Two possibilities:
    First and foremost, a PC tuner card is a lot touchier about signal quality (and, signal level) than a TV is.
    If you have a lot of splitters in your house (between the drop entrance) and the PC, and/or 'shady-quality' cabling anywhere in there, and/or low-quality no-name spitter(s), it will result in the error message that you're seeing.
    Media Center is simply stating the obvious:  the signal level that's making it to the card isn't high enough for it to reliably tune it.
    Best test:  move the PC (and, everything that goes with it) into the basement (temporarily), and connect it directly to the drop entrance.  If it works, problem is with your in-home cabling.  If it still doesn't, it's either a very poor signal coming down from the pole, or....
    Second:  if your in-house coax is done right (no splitter-feeding splitter-feeding splitter BS), well, that card, ah, isn't of the highest quality.  IMHO.

    <<Should I split to the computer BEFORE the cable box, or split to the cluster AFTER the cable box?>>
    Before.  After the cable box, and you'll need to set up Media Center to use a set-top box, and MC will have control over that STB. 
    (BTW, coax is a really crappy way to connect a Media Center to a STB - the picture quality sucks.  Composite video is a bit better, s-video is best possible.)

    <<Do I need to buy a digital tuner?>>
    Only if you want to tune over-the-air HD signals, or any Clear-QAM (unencrypted digital cable) signals that your cable co is sending down the line; Clear-QAM only works (within Media Center) with a few tuners, whose manufacturers have written special drivers to get around the lack of native Clear-QAM support. 
    A digital tuner can't tune analog (which your cable co is still sending down.)

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    Saturday, January 3, 2009 6:15 AM