Separate TV tuner vs. tuner+video card


Dec 20, 2003
Need your input. I would like to install a TV tuner in my PC. Should I get a separate tuner card or a combo video/tuner card. My current video card is probably good enough to meet my needs but there do seem to be some good deals on AIW cards this week that would also upgrade my video.

I use my machine for
60% business apps (MS Excel, MS Powerpoint, MS Money and slightly more graphic-intensive stuff like MS Visio, Photosuite, Windows Media Player).
20% strategy games (Galactic Civilizations, Warcraft3, Alpha Centauri, Rise of Nations, RR Tycoon, RollerCoaster Tycoon)
15% web surfing and newsgroup reading
03% first-person shooters
01% tools (Norton, Spybot, ZoneAlarm, etc.)
01% tinkering around with learning/using Linux
Obviously, I will be adding watching TV/DVDs to the list after I get the TV tuner card so the %s might change a bit.

So, as you can see I really do not *need* to have the absolutely top-of-the-line card. But I do want to get the TV tuner up and running and want to get the best bang for the buck in the video card department (which could mean keeping my existing video card, although the urge to upgrade, even just a little, is strong). :)

As-Is environment:
NVIDIA GeForce4 Ti 4200 with AGP8X
ViewSonic E790 monitor
AMD Athlon XP 2000+
Mobo: ASUS A7V8X REV 1.xx (Bus Clock: 133 MHz)
BIOS: Award Revision 1006 09/13/2002
Windows 98 SE
2 X 256 PC2700 Installed Memory
One Memory Socket is Empty
194.15 Gigabytes Usable Hard Drive Capacity
162.93 Gigabytes Hard Drive Free Space

To-Be environment:
Immediate: Windows XP (already purchased but not yet installed)
Immediate: New TV tuner card (???)
Immediate--Alternatively new video + tuner card (ATI 9600 AIW? or maybe even ATI 7500 AIW for the tuner and as a backup/second video card?)
Late January: New video card (ATI 9600 or 9700 or ?) if not already obtained with tuner or wait til next Summer and get the top-of-the-line -1 generation card then
Late January: Second monitor (probably a Samsung SyncMaster 192 or SyncMaster 213T)
Early Spring: New CPU P4 2.6C or AMD Athlon 64
Early Spring: New mobo (depends on CPU chosen)
Spring/Summer: 2 X 512 PC3200 memory
Fall/Winter 04: New SATA2 hard drives


Former Staff
You'd be OK with just a TV-tuner card. In fact, you don't even need a really good one. See if <A HREF="" target="_new"></A> still has one for under $15.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>