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  1. #1
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    Question How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    I've been doing a lot of research and my head is spinning. Could sure use some friendly help. Here's the thing: I need to record the World Cup 2010 soccer matches (those with South Korea or the US playing) and would really like to do it in HD using a Dell Studio 17 laptop, which has Vista Home Premium. We live in NYC and have Time Warner Cable HD service. I also don't want to spend a lot of dough. Appreciate any advice you can offer. Thanks.

  2. #2
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    I don't know of any way to get hd into your laptop from cable.If you had a desktop with videocard that has hd in (component dongle) you could hook that up to your cable box if it has component out.
    Thought about using hd -dvr from the cable company if you want playback on your tv ?
    Last edited by CMB; 01-22-2010 at 03:17 AM.

  3. #3
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    You could use the coaxial output that normally runs from the cable set-top-box to the TV and run that into a TV tuner on your laptop (set that up as AV input in the tuner software). The tuner will probably have to be analogue or hybrid as generally digital tuners don't have AV input modes.

    Lots of USB and PC Card tuners out there that are hybrid

  4. #4
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by Mjölnir View Post
    You could use the coaxial output that normally runs from the cable set-top-box to the TV and run that into a TV tuner on your laptop (set that up as AV input in the tuner software). The tuner will probably have to be analogue or hybrid as generally digital tuners don't have AV input modes.

    Lots of USB and PC Card tuners out there that are hybrid
    It wont be in HD however. The only easy solution I can think of is the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It connects to the cable box via component cables, then via USB to the computer.

  5. #5
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    It wont be in HD however. The only easy solution I can think of is the Hauppauge HD-PVR. It connects to the cable box via component cables, then via USB to the computer.
    Good call. I missed that point. It'd be roughly double the cost of an SD tuner though.

  6. #6
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    The only easy solution I can think of is the Hauppauge HD-PVR
    I actually own 2 of these units and they are great.

    The unit also comes with some great software.
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  7. #7
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by CMB View Post
    Thought about using hd -dvr from the cable company if you want playback on your tv ?
    That was my first option, but I'm setting this up for my Dad and he doesn't want to pay for it plus the hassle of upgrading the set top box for a couple months and then downgrade when he's done. Also, he wants to archive the recordings to DVD or on his laptop.

  8. #8
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Thanks all for your advice. The Hauppauge HD-PVR is defnitely beyond my price range. Still, I'm curious if it'll record premium cable channels, like ESPN HD? I'm confused about the whole encrypted cable signals, QAM, ATSC, NTSC, etc. A clear explanation about these regarding Time Warner Cable would be greatly appreciated.

  9. #9
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    For premium channels, and virtually anything beyond the basic networks and the lower tier stuff, you will need either a cable box, or a cable-card tuner for your computer. None of the lesser tuner cards will do what you want, in HD. Or for that matter, in SD. Basically you need something to decrypt the signal, and those are your 2 options. The HD-PVR hooks up to your cable box with component cables, and then sends that signal to your computer via USB. So it will receive whatever you cable box can. A cable-card tuner replaces your cable box, it uses a programmable card that the cable company rents you and you pay a monthly fee for, usually a couple of bucks a month, plus the programming charges.
    NTSC- the old fashioned signal that has been sent over the air, and via cable in the US for years and years. It is not capable of hi-def, and is pretty much phased out. It is analog.
    ATSC- digital over the air broadcasting, this is what your local stations transmit in now, it sends both HD and SD signals to your antenna. Many tuner cards can receive this signal.
    QAM- is the encrypting program used by cable companies to send digital cable signal to your home. Clear-QAM can be decrypted by most modern digital TV's, and many tuner cards. It may be HD or SD signal. Usually consists of the major networks, such as ABC, NBC, etc. Basically anything you can get via an antenna at your house. Some, but very few cable companies have their lower-tier on clear-QAM, so you can get it the same way.
    QAM- requires a cable box or cable card to de-crypt, as explained above. It will have your premium channels on it.
    Last edited by John C; 01-24-2010 at 04:09 PM.

  10. #10
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    The Hauppauge HD-PVR is defnitely beyond my price range. Still, I'm curious if it'll record premium cable channels, like ESPN HD?
    The short answer to the question is YES if it is hooked to a HD source (HD cable box).
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  11. #11
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Thanks, John and Richard for boiling it down to digestable info. It really helped. So, if I understand this correctly, I can directly plug in the laptop to the cable box (both have Firewire ports) without needing a tuner card since the cable box already decrypts the QAM signals, so I can record ESPN, ABC, or the Soccer Channel? Even if I can't record in HD, it still beats using a VCR, right?

  12. #12
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Ok, firewire is a whole different animal. I didnt mention it for a couple of reasons:
    1.Many cable cos disable the firewire port on their DVRs.
    2. It can be a challenge to get it to work.
    If you are really interested in doing it this way, I suggest Avsforum, and go to the HTPC section and do a search. It requires some hacks to make it work. The good news is that if it DOES work, you will get the HD feed.

  13. #13
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    I see. Then would it be possible to use a USB tuner (or some sort of adapter) connected between the laptop and the cable box (via component cables)? Since the box has decrypted the QAM signals, shouldn't I be able to record premium channels that way?

  14. #14
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Yes, a USB tuner will work just fine, and you will receive all the channels. It will be in standard def, however. But on a laptop that might not make such a difference. The usb tuner will probably hook up to the cable box using s-video cable, or the single composite cable (usually yellow jack/plug). Do not use the screw-on coax cable connection, or you are by-passing your cable box/dvr.
    Really, try the firewire, all it will cost you is the price of a cable, but it can take some work.
    John

  15. #15
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    Re: How to Record HD cable with Vista laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by John C View Post
    Yes, a USB tuner will work just fine, and you will receive all the channels. It will be in standard def, however. But on a laptop that might not make such a difference. The usb tuner will probably hook up to the cable box using s-video cable, or the single composite cable (usually yellow jack/plug). Do not use the screw-on coax cable connection, or you are by-passing your cable box/dvr.
    Really, try the firewire, all it will cost you is the price of a cable, but it can take some work.
    John
    I agree, if your cable co. uses a motorola dch-3412 or 3416 or some of the older motorola boxes, chances are the firewire ports are enabled. You'll need Capvhs program and the firewire drivers whcih can be found on this thread @ avsforum. It works better with xp though.
    Last edited by liteman; 01-25-2010 at 07:22 PM.
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