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Setup FM Radio With WinTV and a Hauppauge Tuner

When you have a home theater computer, Windows Media Center makes it easy to setup the television tuner and schedule recordings. This great and all until you decide that you want to listen to and record radio programming. Many of us have a favorite radio program. While buying a radio can be very cheap, it is possible that our home theater computer can also serve as a radio tuner as well. Burke Computers sells some computers with the Hauppauge tuner that can do this. In this article, we will outline how to setup WinTV to receive FM radio.

Before you begin, make sure you have your tuner connected to an antennae. Some aerial antennaes not only pickup television, they may also serve you well for FM radio. In our experience thus far, we have had a lot easier time picking up radio than television channels, though a signal booster can help with poor signal. At home, I have a signal booster on our antennae cable mostly for the television as this new digital television results in lost signal instead of going to static like it did back in the days of analog television signals. As such, my FM radio gets the boost in signal as well.

  1. Open WinTV.
  2. Right click on WinTV display screen to open menu. Select Configuration.
    • Alternative is to simply click on gear in lower left corner.
  3. Navigate to the Devices tab and highlight the device. For example, my personal home theater computer only has one device listed, WinTV-HVR-2250.
  4. Select Tuner Setup. This will open the Device Setup Wizard.
  5. Check the boxes for the types of channels you would like to setup by clicking on them.
    • Before you proceed, the box for FM Radio needs to be marked in order to be included in the rest of this setup.
  6. Select Next to continue.
  7. Choose your country. Default for me was United States so no change was necessary.
  8. Choose method of scan for stations.
    • Automatic Scan will scan for radio stations and generate a list that you can select from when complete.
    • Manual Entry is useful if you are only looking for a single channel.
  9. Select Next to continue.

If you selected automatic scan, you may have to wait awhile for the scan to complete before you can finish and close the wizard. Once this has completed, you are ready to listen or record radio programs using WinTV.

The following are the types of channels that were available with my computer when the Device Setup Wizard asked me to identify what I wanted to setup.

  • Digital ATSC
  • Digital QAM
  • Analog TV (Cable/Antenna)
  • Analog TV via Set Top Box
  • External Inputs (Composite/S-Video)
  • Analog FM Radio.

For your convenience, I will give a description here of what those refer to.

Digital ATSC is your open air television signals. All that news over the past few years advising people to have digital tuners for the digital transition, this is that. I have not setup WinTV for Digital ATSC as I find Windows Media Center performs this quite nicely and includes a few features that make it easier to use. If this was on Windows XP computer without Windows Media Center, then this would be a different story and I would have used this wizard for this too.

Digital QAM is your basic digital cable. Now many cable companies are switching to a new digital technology so a QAM tuner no longer suffices. There are special cable cards and their tuners that can bridge this gap, but I don’t know of any of these tuners that can pick up your local radio stations unless your cable company reserves some channels for those too.

Analog TV (Cable/Antenna) is television signals from before the digital conversion. Some areas may still be using these, though you may not find many channels still using analog signals. As for cable, it will probably only be your local stations if your cable provider even offers any analog channels.

Analog TV via Set Top Box is really what it describes. You have a set top box with the cable going to your computer instead of directly to the television. Selecting this option, it would be ideal to setup an IR blaster to allow the computer to control the set top box as well.

External Inputs (Composite/S-Video). This has been one feature I have enjoyed with our home theater computer. While there are dedicated capture cards, using the wizard to setup this “channel” has allowed us to record some of our VHS and home movies from the camcorder on our computer.

Analog FM Radio. Some radio stations have switched to a digital signal as well though I have yet to experience any problems yet using the analog tuner on the computer.

Why setup FM Radio on a home theater computer? You can either listen to a your favorite radio program live or schedule a recording. While Windows Media Center can be setup to tune in radio channels as well, currently it does not offer the ability to schedule recordings where WinTV this is also possible. Recording my favorite radio show(s) is what motivated me to learn this.

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