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Is there such thing as multichannel digital tuner?

I have a digital TV at home and I want to capture 10-11 channels. All tuners I've found support only once channel at a time. The only solution I see at the moment is to buy a bunch of simple tuners connected via USB and pray USB bandwidth will be enough.

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closed as off topic by ChrisF, slhck, DragonLord, random May 22 '12 at 3:33

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This question has three close votes presently, but I do not think it is a shopping recommendation. It is similar to my question here: serverfault.com/questions/258408/… –  paradroid May 14 '12 at 1:31
    
Dual tuner TV cards are very common. Remember that if you are in the US you will need different types of card to people in Europe (ATSC vs. DVB), for example, so you need the answer may be different for you to what it is for others. –  paradroid May 14 '12 at 1:33

2 Answers 2

up vote 4 down vote accepted

I have a couple of these. They're PCIEx1 and work very well. Each tuner will allow 4 channels to be recorded at a single time. To record 10-11 channels at a time, you will need at least 3 of these cards. They use to be $400 a pop, but are now down to $200 a piece. You will need to contact your cable provider and get 3 MCards (one for each Ceton card). This will allow you to record the premium channels from your cable/satellite provider.

http://cetoncorp.com/products/infinitv-4-pcie/

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The link you provided begins with "InfiniTV 4 PCIe is the world's first multi-tuner solution", which should be interpreted as this is four tuners on one PCIe card, and not a tuner that is "multi-channel". In fact, the FAQ at the manufacturer's web site describes this unit as: "InfiniTV 4 PCIe – an internal, 4-tuner, digital cable TV card". –  sawdust May 14 '12 at 7:20

Is there such thing as multichannel digital tunner?

The answer depends on how you define "channel". If you mean a RF channel (aka the major channel number, or the digits to the left of the decimal point in "xx.yy"), then the answer is "no". A tuner can only lock on to a single RF channel.

If you mean a digital sub-channel (aka the minor channel number, or the digits to the right of the decimal point in "xx.yy"), then the answer is "sort of, but really no". A digital tuner can only lock on to a single RF channel, but outputs all subchannels. It's a typically a software function external to the tuner to demultiplex this MPEG Transport Stream, and extract one subchannel for viewing and/or recording. Windows MC and most tuner applications and digital TVs can only extract & utilize one subchannel per tuner at a time. But MythTV can do a picture-in-picture of another subchannel of the same major channel as the main picture. There are some other programs that can record the entire Transport Stream (of one major channel from one tuner) for later demux and viewing/editing.

In order to receive multiple "channels", you should expect to install multiple tuners, either on multiple cards or multiple tuners on a single card (such as the quad-tuner in another answer).

If USB bandwidth is a concern (and it may well be with several tuners), then an alternative is an Ethernet network-based tuner, such as those made by SiliconDust. Their largest unit has 8 tuners.

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