Who's Watching TV on their PC?By Frank Ohlhorst | Print
Can vendors make Microsoft Vista ready for the switch to digital TV? Take an in-depth look at two DTV tuners that may have all the answers and learn how solution providers can profit from the transition to digital television.
One may question the business (or even consumer) value of TV on a PC, but with the abundance of business programming and news feeds, TV is becoming an important source of information for today's businesses. Brokerage houses will watch financial channels, trucking companies will watch live weather and traffic broadcasts, and others may just want to tune into local news. Any way you slice it, TV can bring critical information into the business environment and even to the desktop PC user.
It's not as easy as you think.
Most system builders would conclude that all you need to do is pop a tuner card into a PC and run an installation program and voila!, you get TV on your PC. Well, it's not that easy after all, although it should be.
Windows Media Center does not support QAM tuners and only recognizes digital tuners using terrestrial (ATSC) broadcasts.
For those looking for QAM on Vista today, there are several manufacturers making QAM tuner cards that come with bundled software that replaces or supplements Vista Media Center. We took a look at a pair of products that does just that: the PCTV HD Pro Stick (801e) from Pinnacle Systems and the ATI TV Wonder HD 650 PCI Express. We tested both of those products on a Windows Vista Ultimate 64-bit system from Super Micro Computer, powered by a quad-core Intel CPU, 8GB of RAM and an Nvidia Quadro FX 5600 display adapter.