Media Center TV Tuner

When I first read Dmitry Shulga’s question, I thought it wouldn’t be too much of an issue – but for safe measure, I asked Jake for his most expert opinion:

I have been watching your videos on youtube and you’ve got me hooked. You really know your stuff I am sure you could somehow handle my question, if not, I understand that you aer a busy man. Well, here goes, I am looking into investing into a desktop computer which comes with a built in TV Tuner and Vista/Media Center pre-installed. There is a possibility that once I get this desktop my outdated wireless adapter will not work with since it works fine on Vista (the whole driver issue may have something to do with it). My question is, if I want to re-install the OS, I would install the XP SP2 which I own, would that still give me access to use the TV Tuner even though my XP version is not Media Center? The TV Tuner with the desktop comes with no additional software so it uses the Media Center.

Jake responded: “Assuming it’s a name brand tuner, there’s likely software available from the manufacturer. Probably the biggest challenge would be in getting a compatible MPEG-2 decoder for the tuner, which may or may not be provided in the online support section of the manufacturer’s website. There’s always Sage TV or Beyond TV as alternatives which should be compatible all the way back to Windows 98.”