Digital TV Tuner

October 21, 2011 at 14:33:06
Specs: Win XP Pro
Hi there,

I have had a LG 3D LED Full HD monitor with no TV. I am trying to convert my monitor to a TV to enjoy the HD and normal channels from my existing TV and Broadband provider Virgin Media and Sky. What device you recommend me to use externally?? Any link to browse the items?

Win XP Pro is installed on my Asus desktop with 1.5 GB Ram
Win 7 is on my laptop with 2GB RAM
Your help is much appreciated. Thanks.

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October 22, 2011 at 13:20:15
I like the silicondust products. They cost a bit more but have a somewhat OK reception on fringe areas. No computer tuner seems to be as good as the cheapest tv tuner. Dunno why they all stink. Seems like it would be a sales point.

If you are very close to a tower you can use almost any usb type to aquire a signal and use windows media center to control it all. Use your output from the computer to the monitor to watch if you want.

Dunno about those providers. You may have to get a special card that has a decoder or maybe some specialized product to convert to rf to then record with.

1/3 of highway deaths are caused by drunks. The rest are by people who can't drive any better than a drunk.

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October 22, 2011 at 14:19:21
I recommend TV tuner products with ATI chipsets. The better ones have a ATI Theatre chip model that has a PVR feature that requires very little CPU activity. They usually also have drivers available that allows them to be supported in XP MCE 200x versions, or in Vista or Windows 7 versions that have the Media Center feature, in Media Center. The ATI TV program for them is quite good - you use that if the OS doesn't have Media Center.
If you have problems, there's lots of support on the AMD web site.

My experiences have been mostly with AIW (All-In-Wonder) cards - both an ATI chipset video adapter and an ATI chipset TV tuner on one card, but the following probably applies to TV tuner cards and USB TV tuner adapters too.

AIW cards / TV tuner cards / USB TV tuner adapters usually if not always do not have the ability to amplify a video signal that is not strong enough. TVs almost always have that capability.

If the source of the video signal is connected via a coaxial cable connection....

- the fewer video splitter boxes you have inline between the video source and the TV tuner card or adapter the better. E.g. a 1 input to 2 outputs splitter has half the signal strength available at each output. If you need to connect the video source to several things, make the connection to the TV tuner card or adapter come from the output of the first splitter, preferably a 1 to 2 splitter, for the best chance of the TV card or adapter having a strong enough video signal.

- I have had to use a video signal amplifier in some cases with other people's computers between the source of the video and the AIW card or TV tuner card being used. Usually the cheap type meant for amplifying a cable TV signal works fine (e.g. Walmart has them). You get the best result when the amplifier is connected via one of it's connections directly to the TV tuner card or adapter. A one input one output amplifier is most likely to yield the strongest video signal to the AIW card or TV tuner card or adapter.
(There are also cheap video signal amplifiers avaialable that have more than one output, but the outputs are usually sharing part of the total amplification - e.g. if it's 1 input two output, half of the total amplification is available from each output.)

If where the computer is located is in a large building that has many possible connections to the same video source, it's likely you'll need to use a video signal amplifier if you connect to that source.

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October 22, 2011 at 14:58:24
Hi Jefro,
Thank you very much for your information. I am interested in what you recommended me. That being said, I am also interested in what Tubesandwires recommended me in terms of the price. Can you confirm for me if I go with HD Homerun HD Silicondust, my existing memory 1.5 GB on a desktop and 2GB on a laptop (Clockspeed 2GHz) is more than enough to get it run??? ( The software came with is compatible with both Win XP and 7??)

Thank you very much again for your help.

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October 22, 2011 at 15:01:41
Hi Tubesandwires,
Thank you very much for your help. Good to hear from you. I will go with one of your recommendations. Thanks again.

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October 22, 2011 at 15:58:33
Check the minimum system requirements for the TV tuner card or adapter

The better the TV tuner chipset is, the lesser the load in places on your system (your CPU) - the better it is, the more processing work the chips on the card or adapter do themselves.

If you intend to use the PVR feature (Personal Video Recorder, or sometimes called DVR - Digital Video Recorder) you need to have enough free space available on one hard drive partition or another to store as many recordings as you think you're likely to have at any one time before deleting them once you've seen the recording. .

All modern TV tuner chipsets stream the TV output - if you compare the video output to that of a TV that's on the same channel, the output from the TV tuner card or adapter is delayed slightly from what you see on the TV, the better the TV tuner chipset, the lesser the delay. Even if you don't intend on using the PVR feature to make recordings, you need at least a minimum amount of extra free space on C (or whatever drive letter of the partition Windows was loaded from - for XP or for a multiboot system that can be other than C ) to be available other than the minimum that is needed for Windows otherwise for the streaming to work properly.
Like when you use a VCR, you can Pause, Rewind, even when you haven't made a Recording, or .Pause, Rewind, or Fast Forward if you have made a Recording.

The free space for the PVR recordings doesn't necessarily need to be on the partition Windows was loaded from, but the streaming and the PVR recording prgram are often optimized such that they work best if the free space is on a NTFS partition rather than a FAT32 partition.
(If you use the drivers for Media Center for the TV tuner and use it in Media Center, at least in the XP MCE 2000x versions, when you specify the recordings are to be placed on a FAT32 partition, you get a message from Media Center that that isn't recommended.)

However, I don't recommend that you specify that recordings are to be stored on an external drive's partition - the data transfer rate to and from a external drive is probably too slow for the streaming or the playback of the recording to work properly .

TV tuner cards / adapters have one drawback - you can't watch a channel from it other than the one you're recording when you're recording it, unless the card or adapter has more than one TV tuner built into it.
There are some of them that have more than one tuner built in,. or you can install two of the same cards or adapters, or different cards or adapters that are using the same TV program.

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