TV on PC - good quality picture?

  georgemac © 07:42 16 Jul 2005

I want to get rid of the TV in son's room and let him watch TV on the PC on his 17" TFT screen. I once had a TV tuner card before (several years ago), but thought the quality was poor so binned it.

I have now bought a Pinnacle PCI PCTV pro TV tuner card, and have fitted it, thinking things must have improved, but still find the picture quality extremely poor, and also need to fit a soundcard to get sound via the line in cable.

Is there a good way to get a high quality TV picture on a PC or TFT screen?

Perhaps I should have bought an LCD TV which could then double as a monitor input?

I thought this would be better as a discussion subject than a helproom subject.

  Lettervanman 23:18 16 Jul 2005

I have media center (sic) 2005 and agree that the picture is not very good when viewed at normal computer distance. However, it is meant to be viewed from a greater distance and when some 10/12 feet away from a flat panel it is good.

  Stuartli 22:47 17 Jul 2005

I have a TwinHan VisionPlus DTV-ter Freeview PCI TV card from click here and the picture quality and stereo sound are superb; in fact the radio output is generally superior to DAB because of the high standard of transmissions.

As with any TV set or TV card, a good signal is essential and I use an amplified co-axial cable feed from the back room's main TV aerial output to the front room and my computer system.

It brings in all 80 Freeview TV and radio channels currently available from Winter Hill (some of the TV stations are, obviously, encrypted TopUpTV channels).

  georgemac © 07:43 18 Jul 2005

Looking from a distance with full screen it is watchable but still poor quality. The teletext function is excellent.

I have a good analogue signal (do not get freeview here) and the feed is from an amplifier which sends the TV signal all around the house. The signal to the other TV's is excellent and higher quality than what I am seeing on the PC.

I have ordered a sound card, this will at least enable me to get sound.

Away back to work tomorrow for 2 weeks so will get back to it when I come home.

Stuart, your card click here looks excellent, I am sure if I had the freeview digital signal my picture may improve, not sure if the analog capabilities of this card would ne better than the PCTV pro?

  Stuartli 09:24 18 Jul 2005

You've got the wrong TwinHan Freeview card...:-)

This is the one:

click here

I've now got the D + A (did a swap) but have regretted it as it uses completely different software in Cyberlink's PowerCinema. Useless in this case.

TwinHan is intending to change the software shortly and this will be downloadable from its website.

The idea behind the D + A card is that people who cannot yet get Freeview can still bring in the five terrestial channels along with FM stereo radio and then do a switch to Freeview when it becomes available.

You can't get Teletext in the UK yet on computer TV cards although the means is there; however it acts as a Personal Video Recorder recording to the hard drive, has EPG, remote control etc.

If you are prepared to temporarily put up with the crass Cyberlink software (for the purpose it is used in this case), then the D + A version can also be used to both view and record outside sources including a video cassette recorder, games console, music etc.

An additional bonus is that both TwinHans are already HDTV compatible and, for that reason, are very popular in Australia.

Have a look at click here for some of the remarkable TV cards both internal and external it is offering.

The D + A also has remote control, EPG, PVR etc.

  Stuartli 09:32 18 Jul 2005

There have been a number of e-mails exchanged between myself and TwinHan in Taiwan regarding the D + A's software...:-)

The retail outlet, Vadim, has been brilliant throughout and fully supportive; it exchanged the original card without quibble when it developed a very minor fault after nine months and agreed to do the swap for the D + A at the same time.

Vadim says the TwinHan range (which it sells far cheaper than other outlets) has been one of its most reliable products to date and that returns have been at a remarkably low figure; however, some people have naturally been disappointed with the D + A's software and have returned their purchases.

I've stuck to the task of getting it to work properly and am about 90 per cent of the way there, even though Cyberlink's lack of Help instructions has meant much of it has been pure intuition.

  georgemac © 18:05 18 Jul 2005

I will not be changing yet - regarding the teletext it works perfectly with the Pinnacle PCVTpro - I was scrolling through it a couple of days ago.

Bit busy at the moment with other things and off tomorrow - will get back to this when I come back home.

  Stuartli 18:29 18 Jul 2005

I'm referring to digital terrestial Teletext (i.e. Freeview) and not terrestial TV Teletext.

Freeview Teletext services, although available in other countries, won't work in the UK with TV cards and a point made by TwinHan.

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