1. Technology

Internal Hauppauge TV Tuner Cards


Hauppauge has been producing computer TV tuner cards for years and typically these are top notch products. 

The card you choose will depend heavily on what type of TV signal you receive and Hauppauge covers everything from NTSC to QAM and ATSC signals.  As well, the company does produce several products that will allow you to capture HD cable and satellite programming, though there is some work involved.

Let's take a look at Hauppauge's current internal solutions.


© Hauppauge

This PCI tuner is a full height card which will provide you with a single hybrid digital/analog tuner.  The 1150 handles both ATSC and QAM signals on the digital side and of course, NTSC on the analog.  

Being only a single hybrid tuner means that you can only record one show at a time.  For most HTPC users this can be severely limiting but depending on what you need, it may be enough.

Another consideration of the 1150 (and the below listed 1250) is that the MPEG-2 Encoder for analog TV is software based meaning that your CPU will have to do most of the work while recording your programming.


© Hauppauge

The WinTV 1250 doesn't change much from the 1150.  The main difference is that it is a PCI Express board.  It still sports a single hybrid tuner and uses a software encoder for analog content.

Another difference is that the 1250 is a half-height board so if you have your HTPC in a smaller form factor case, this is the tuner you'll want.


© Hauppauge

The WinTV 1600 is the first in Hauppauge's line of combo tuners.  Providing one analog and one digital tuner means that you can record one of each type of signal at the same time.

Like the 1150, the 1600 is a full height card so you'll need a full-sized case to hold it.

The 1600 is also the first in Hauppauge's line to offer hardware encoding.  This means that the card does the heavy lifting when it comes to recording analog signals leaving your PC to concentrate on other tasks.


© Hauppauge

Much like the 1150 to the 1250, Hauppauge's next step up is to the 1850 which is a PCI Express version of the 1600.  

I does add an FM tuner if you're a radio listener.  This was actually a function I enjoyed when I had a tuner that supported FM.  

Just like the 1600, you get a combo tuner with one digital and one analog tuner.  


© Hauppauge

The WinTV 2250 could be called Hauppauge's flagship combo unit.  Providing two digital and two analog tuners, this PCI Express card will allow you to record up to four channels at a time.

This is a half-height card so installation in smaller HTPC cases is an option.  Like the 1850 the card provides FM radio as well.

Like the 1600 and 1850, the 2250 offers hardware encoding for analog recording lifting the load off of the CPU.

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