Digital TV and phonecalls via the computer?

  Molly Moon 21:18 24 Jul 2005

I am aware that you can watch tv on your computer but wonder if you can get digital tv this way too?

I am hoping to upgrade my state of the ark computer soon and we will shortly be getting broadband in our area.

I am sick of paying for sky tv - expensive for re-runs of old programmes - and wonder if I could use a new computer and broadband for viewing digitally? If so, what would my computer need to be fitted with and how would I go about it?

Also, our daughter works in China and I believe that, once on broadband, we can use a skype (?) phone to talk to her freely over the internet?

This, if true, sounds fantastic but, again, what would I need to do/buy to get this up and running?

  DieSse 22:41 24 Jul 2005

"I am aware that you can watch tv on your computer but wonder if you can get digital tv this way too?"

Yes, you can get freeview, and standard "free-to-air" recievers fo PCs. I don't beleive anyone offers Sky Digibox receivers for PCs - but you would, of course need a card, anyway.

There are very few TV programmes available on broadband - nothing that would replace Sky, or freeview, at the very least.

"Also, our daughter works in China and I believe that, once on broadband, we can use a skype (?) phone to talk to her freely over the internet?"

If she has broadband too - then you can talk PC to PC and have a camera too, using MSN Messenegr, which is supplied with Windows - no extra software required. Thee are many other similar programs also.

You don't need Skype to talk to each other (see above) - but if you want to call her on her telephone, you would need a service hat provides this - Skype is just one - there are many others. Sipphone and Gizmo, IMHO is better than Skype for this. You will have to pay for this type of service - you may find other was of making cheap calls to China that work just as well and as cheaply. Gizmo calls are 4.9cents/min to China. Sipphone offers free phone minutes every day to China, including to mobiles!

click here

I recommend you to get a USB headset (phones with mic) for making calls from the PC - and a webcam, for video calls - you'll never look back!

  DieSse 22:44 24 Jul 2005

PS - "I am sick of paying for sky tv" - Cancel your subs then. You will still get all BBC and ITV channels - plus Channels 4 and 5 - plus Sky News - plus many other free channels. I did and I don't miss it one little bit!

  tasslehoff burrfoot 00:19 25 Jul 2005

You need a tv tuner card.

You can get digital cards which will enable you to view freeview on your PC. Sky won't release their encryption to anyone else so there is no such thing as a PC Sky tuner card.

A better option (IMO) is to get an analogue card, this will obviously let you view terrestrial television but will also enable you to view digital TV with a set top box. That way you can watch freeview/sky/cable with it (providing you have the appropriate set top box). If you currently have a sky subscription you can allow it to lapse and the card you have will allow you to watch FTV and FTA channels.



  Stuartli 09:25 25 Jul 2005

You can buy a TwinHan VisionPlus DTV-ter Freeview PCI TV card from click here (see click here for details) for £35 plus VAT - it provides first class Freeview TV and radio channels displays and sound.

It brings in all the Winter Hill Freeview channels (80), in common with my Pioneer DTR 210 Freeview set top box used with the main TV set.

I also use Skype and make calls to one of the offspring who lives in BWI - they are free and the saving on normal phone calls is staggering.

However, Tiscali is experimenting with its own version software for ViOP (NetPhone) and I am one of the beta testers...:-)

  joesoaps 13:28 25 Jul 2005

Cancelled mine 6 months ago and not missed it one bit,the top package is now £40+ per month and not worth the money (for me anyway).

If you cancel tell them you want the subscription free package,you will find there are still plenty of channels available,movies included.

  Molly Moon 21:07 25 Jul 2005

Wow, came back from work today to all these amazingly helpful responses, thank you!! :)

Roll on getting the new computer and broadband and I may be back on line with lots more queries!! :)

  Stuartli 00:36 26 Jul 2005

It has never ceased to amaze me that people will pay hundreds of pounds annually to Sky for staggering numbers of digital television channels and only be able to watch one (perhaps two if they have the facility) channel at a time...:-)

Many of the very same people complain bitterly about the cost of a TV licence which, incidentally, provides the right to also receive TV and radio transmissions in the first place, whether terrestial, digital or satellite tranmissions.

  puma22 12:14 26 Jul 2005

If you have a TV card in the PC, is it possible to record TV programmes onto DVD so that they can be viewed on a TV rather than the PC?

  stalion 12:23 26 Jul 2005

yes you save them to your hard drive first then use the appropriate software to convert and burn them to dvd

  Danoh 13:53 26 Jul 2005

Be sure to burn your DVD in a format which can be read by your separate DVD player which is connected to your TV.

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