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I bought a Hauppauge 1191 WinTV-HVR-950Q TV Tuner a while back, and I am attempting to use it to watch TV in Windows Media Center. I do not have cable TV, however I used to have Comcast. Through experimentation, I found that connecting my coax cable into my TV, I was able to view television (i.e. 2-1 = CBS, 5-1 = NBC, etc). This also works on a second TV I use in another room.

When I connect the coax cable to my TV Tuner stick and scan TV channels in Windows Media Center, it only picks up 1 station (like 81 or something).

My only conclusion on this is somehow the hardware in the television is decrypting a signal that the TV tuner stick is not able to. Is that possible? Should I try a different TV tuner? Any assistance would be appreciated. I also bought a Terk HD Indoor Antenna but my reception has been flakey, so I would rather go this route if possible.

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1 Answer 1

however I used to have Comcast

Apparently the digital TV signal was not completely disconnected.
Do you still have ISP service with Comcast?
You might be guilty of "theft of services".

the television is decrypting a signal

Actually this is not a matter of decrypting (which would require a CableCard), but of demodulation or the extraction of the digital information from the analog signal.
PC tuners tend to be vague with respect to QAM demodulation capability, as there are QAM16, QAM64 and QAM256 schemes. OTA digital TV uses 8VSB modulation, and is supported in all ATSC tuners. QAM demodulation would be an optional capability in an ATSC tuner.

Perhaps your tuner can only demodulate QAM64, and the TVs can do both QAM64 and QAM256?
Try visiting the SiliconDust website, enter your zip code and then select your provider. A list of the unencrypted channels and their modulation technique should be listed. Note that these lists may be outdated, as many providers are reducing the number of channels transmitted in the clear.

Should I try a different TV tuner?

If you're not concerned about the "theft of services" issue, then you should probably look for a PC tuner that explicitly mentions QAM256 (rather than just QAM) capability.

If you want to receive over-the-air (OTA ATSC) TV, then first visit www.tvfool.com and/or www.antennaweb.org for predictions/estimation of TV reception at your location.
Unless you are close to or have a clear line of sight to the transmitters, an antenna much better than that Terk will be needed for good reception, preferably installed high-up outside or maybe in an attic.

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