Tell me everything there is to know about TV tuner cards.
September 13, 2012 7:08 PM   Subscribe

What channels can I get from a tuner card in NYC using just the antenna? No cable hookup or FIOS or any of that fancy sh*t. I plug the card into the computer, I put the antenna in the window, I activate the relevant programs, and . . . . ?

Let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that the tuner card of which I speak is a model like this. Also assume that I'm in Western Queens, if that makes any difference. If you know of any brands that you've had especially good (or lousy) experiences with, I'd love to hear about them.

Many thanks in advance.
posted by jason's_planet to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: You can check at AntennaWeb to see which stations you could potentially get at your specific address, and which type of antenna you should use with your tuner card to get the stations that are important to you.
posted by eschatfische at 7:20 PM on September 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

Here's a site that discusses this, the logos of the available channels are displayed, and advice on antennas to buy.
posted by Brian B. at 7:24 PM on September 13, 2012

For the money, I suppose it's worth trying that model but if you seriously want to start watching OTA TV, then consider investing $60 into something like the ChannelMaster 4228HD. It's about 2'x3'. I've seen people hanging them in their windows. I'm in Toronto and we pick up Buffalo (about 50 miles away) but ours is on top of the house.
posted by bonobothegreat at 7:30 PM on September 13, 2012

Best answer: My favorite resource is TV Fool, better than AntennaWeb. gets more technical data, in particular their excellent market listings.

For NYC OTA discussion, go to AVSforum.
posted by intermod at 7:34 PM on September 13, 2012

2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 are the VHF channels you should be able to get.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 7:41 PM on September 13, 2012

2, 4, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 are the VHF channels you should be able to get.

Of those channels, 2, 4, 5, and 9 have actually moved to UHF (while still keeping the old channel numbers due to DTV's virtual channels). Almost all low VHF broadcasters have moved to UHF, and many high VHF broadcasters have as well.
posted by zsazsa at 11:57 PM on September 13, 2012

Best answer: The amazon link is to a DVB-T tuner. In the US ATSC is used for digital television.
posted by mirage pine at 1:44 AM on September 14, 2012

Just a word of warning, I used TV Fool and should have had no problem getting PBS (Channel 13) in Long Beach (just east of the Rockaways) and don't remember having any issues getting 13 when I was a kid at my parents' house further east still. However, I tried using an HDHomeRun with my Mac earlier this week and didn't receive half the channels I should have.

I used both a $15 basic antenna and a $45 amplified antenna and there was no difference. To make sure it wasn't just the HDHomeRun, I hooked the antennas up to my TV, same channels.

If you'd like a gently used HDHomeRun ... :)

Good luck!
posted by Brian Puccio at 8:20 AM on September 14, 2012

Response by poster: OK, now I know where to start.

Thanks, everyone!
posted by jason's_planet at 7:51 PM on September 14, 2012

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