WinTV-HVR-1850 is a PCI Express X1 board. It contains two tuners: a digital TV tuner to receive ATSC and QAM channels plus a 125-channel cable ready TV tuner. For ATSC and QAM digital TV, all 18 ATSC formats including 1080i can be watched or recorded to disk as a MPEG-2 Program Stream. A highly integrated MPEG-1/2 hardware encoder based on the Conexant -418 is on-board for recording analog cable TV to disk. The playback of the recorded ATSC and QAM digital TV and MPEG-2 encoded analog programs are done through a software MPEG-2.
It works, but...5/1/2012
The card works... but really, it's slow and has confusing software. The directions aren't all that great either. When you go to the website to try and find instructions or information, it will give you a manual for a different model card. I tried hooking a Nintendo Wii up to this thing and there was a delay in the video. Be skeptical about this card. Explore other options.
Software included specifically says, "Not for use with Vista." Load up in Vista with absolutely no problems and started working immediately. I set it to record my 4 year olds favorite programs in minutes - very easy to use. Problem: it will only tune channels 1-99 on digital cable. All the movie channels are above that so I can't record any movies. I heard they are coming out with a newer version that will - my advice: wait for the new one.
WINDOWS XP MEDIA CENTER EDITION USERS NEED NOT APP5/8/2008
Based upon my great experience with the PVR-350 on XP MCE, I'm sure this board would have worked fine - IF I HAD WINDOWS VISTA MCE! My issue with the HVR-1800 is that Hauppauge DOES NOT MAKE CLEAR THEY DID NOT BUILD IN SUPPORT FOR WinXP MEDIA CENTER EDITION! It only works with VISTA MCE - Not XP MCE! You are instead required to use the clunky WinTV v6 application on XP. Granted, their app works fine, but sorry Hauppauge - WinTV is not at all as slick as the Windows Media Center interface. For this reason, I rank ease-of-use on this review a 3 for us WinXP users. WinXP MCE users - you'll have to opt for the WinTV HVR-1600 PCI card instead. Look for my new albeit open-box HVR-1800 on EBay...
Worked for me.4/30/2008
Maybe I was the lucky one, but mine has worked fine. I am running vista media center on a home theater PC. After I installed it, vista recognized and automatically installed the drivers. (didn't even install the software - I'm using media center.) Did the channel setup on media center and that was it. The image is about 90-95% as good as a direct cable feed to my TV set (non-HD 27" about 3 years old - pretty decent). But that 5% drop could be my video card or my system - I don't know. The remote works perfect. It comes with a usb reciever that you point the remote at and it works flawlessly. My only complaint is that there are a few channels (maybe 4 or 5 out of about 70)where the picture is not quite as good as the rest. I don't know if I need to tweak something or if it is getting interference somewhere - I haven't had time to mess with it, and I don't watch those channels anyway. All the others work fine like I said above, but I gave it a 4 for not being "perfect." With the credit card offer it was a steal and super fast shipping.
I have this installed in a Vista Machine and it works great. No problems at all. I can watch and record Cable TV with the cable box and Over the Air HD from my antenna. The only issue I had was you have to reassign HD Channels under media center since the EPG information that media center uses is not completely up to date.
It wasn't easy!!!!2/28/2008
I spent several evenings before I was able to receive a single TV channel. And that was after throwing the several paragraphs of instructions that came with it out the window and scouring the internet for help. http://www.hauppauge.com/site/support/support_hvr1800.html was the most help but I'm still not able to receive nearly as many digital channels as my living room TV does. It records well and plays well it just doesn't do all it's cracked up to do. And too.... the remote is worthless unless you have a cable box. Maybe I'm wrong but I have not been able to get it to do anything. I'm going to keep trying to get more digital but right now it has me exhausted. I previously had a 1600 series so I thought this would be an upgrade but it really has not been. Good luck!
DO NOT BUY THIS!1/23/2008
If you're looking for just a TV tuner for basic cable or for use with an antenna there are A LOT cheaper and less hassle-free products. Support from Hauppauge is spotty at best and when you do finally get a person they are rude and unprofessional. I've dealt with several different reps and have gotten treated the same way, badly. The WinTV does not work with Vista no matter what they tell you! It will install but will freeze up your entire system when you try to search for channels and the S-video port does nothing! I will NEVER buy from them again!!!!
not clear picture, not easy to install drives, remote control not working. Not recommand