Freecom Digital TV on a PC

  EFC1878 22:56 23 Nov 2005

I may be asking a completely stupid question here but here goes....

I have just seen an advert for a Freecom DVB-T Stick at £45.99.

It seems that the stick uses a 'mobile' reciever and this got me thinking as to whether it would allow digital tv to be captured and viewed/recorded ona PC without the need for a normal coaxial cable connection (as I have with the main TV downstairs).

So can anybody tell me (or alterntively I am asking a dumb question) if this is so i.e. will it work in this way?

Also does anybody have any experience of the proiduct and is this a good price?

Apologies in advance if I am barking completely up the wrong tree.

  GaT7 23:14 23 Nov 2005

PCA Forum threads about it click here, click here & click here

£42.29 at ebuyer click here.

User reviews click here & scroll down. G

  Totally-braindead 23:14 23 Nov 2005

Its not really a silly question, the item in question comes with its own aerial about 6 inches or so high, but how good the image would be I don't know, I would suspect that it would be nowhere near as good as a proper Tv aerial. Hopefully someone on the Forum will have one similar and comment on whether its worthwhile or not.

  Stuartli 23:49 23 Nov 2005

I have a TwinHan Freeview DTV-ter D+A PCI TV card and it requires a first class signal to work properly with all the Freeview channels in my area (Winter Hill).

Even then one of the Mux which handles ITV stations rarely uses a strong enough signal to bring in ictures to match the sound.

Ironically, tonight the signal is strong enough on this Mux to being able to enjoy pictures as well, but it can be frustrating if I'm using ITV2 to watch Champion League football matches.

I do have a Pioneer set top box, but this is linked to the main room TV and the other half rightly objects to being kicked out into the cold...:-)

  Stuartli 23:50 23 Nov 2005

I can see the Winter Hill transmitter, about 10-12 miles away, merely by travelling about a mile north to the open countryside area...:-)

  EFC1878 21:34 29 Nov 2005


Thanks for the links. Some interesting reading.

I am very interested but also at the same time apprehensive given that we live in an area wher ewe should not be able to get freeview but nevertheless can get it and with a better picture than the normal picture - however the downside is that from time to time (sometimes quite often) we lose the signal sometimes only moementarily but still it is an issue.

Therefore I am left wondering whether the small aerial will be ok to work on the pc in a room where there is no coaxial cable.

I am also interested in the functionality like the ability to pause shows and also to record onto hard disk then dvd.

On daft question - can you watch tv and also use the pc for other means e.g. go on the net?

  PaulB2005 22:27 29 Nov 2005

" the small aerial will be OK to work on the PC in a room where there is no coaxial cable." The small aerial might be OK but i found we needed a small portable aerial (£4 in Sainsburys) instead.

There is also a Time-Shift feature. The default is 10 minutes but you can adjust this. The instructions leave much to be desired but a bit of trial and error and you'll see how it works.

Recording shows to DVD. Well I'm currently recording a one hour weekly show on it and then burning 2 episodes onto DVD (single layer DVD-R) disks. The shows are recorded and then the beginning and ends removed with Nero Vision Express (i start recording 5 minutes either side). The resulting files are then burnt to DVD. I have to lower the quality one level to get two episodes on one DVD but you can hardly notice the difference (unless you REALLY look) when played back on a 28" Widescreen.

I have two monitors so it's easy for me to be on the Internet and watch TV at the same time. It can also be done with one monitor.

  EFC1878 22:38 29 Nov 2005


Thanks for getting back to me.

Could you explain what time-shift means please?

Also a draft question coming up.... You say that you record a weekly show does that mean you have to be present to start and stop the recording or can the recording be 'timed'?

  Stuartli 22:51 29 Nov 2005

Time shift is to break off watching a TV programme and the PVR records the section you miss - you can then resume from that point.

Yes, you can watch the Freeview transmissions and use your computer system as normal, including going on the Internet.

You can have the display either full size or reduce it as necessary in order to carry on using your monitor for other purposes.

You don't have to be present to record a programme or programmes - the PVR works just like a normal VCR's unattended recordings.

Some PVRs will allow you to programme the timer over the internet if you forget to set it and are away from home (the system will obviously have to be left switched on).

  PaulB2005 23:20 29 Nov 2005

Time-Shift - like pausing live TV.

You can also set multiple records easily. ie Monday 7:00 - 7:30 ITV Every Monday etc etc

  EFC1878 20:41 04 Jan 2006

An update on my earlier post to say that I treated myself to the DVB-T Stick.

I live in a postcode area where I should not be able to get freeview but we can - albeit it is somewhat flaky.

So when I tried the stick I was half expecting nothing to happen. However after a lot of time spent trying to find the best spoty to place the antenna I have settled (for the time being) for a spot where I can get 23 TV and 18 radio channles and have succesfully done some sample recording.

I did try to hook up the unit to the coaxial cable but found that the socket on the USB unit was larger than the standard coaxial cable end and so despite the Heath Robinson attempt - using insulation tapwe- to attach them I got zero via the coaxial route.

Does the unit not work with a standard coaxial cable?

Failing that any advice on how I might hook up the house aerial?

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