adding tv card to xp home to watch freeview

  always learning 14:29 15 Aug 2004

Hi guys/gals, I have a surplus desktop freeview tv receiver and I want to use it via a tv card on my pc.I am using geforce 200 in my agp slot and have 2 spare pci slots.As usual I need the advice I always get from this forum.Will I need to uprate my graphics card to 8x agp ? plus any recomends on a tv card(without to high a cost Pensioner !!)got 512 ddr with xp2400 and good cooling.All idesa and experience welcomed. thanks

  Stuartli 15:17 15 Aug 2004

A PCI TV card can be as little as £30 or under.

I would presume that running a co-axial cable from your Freeview set top box to the co-axial plug on the TV card should work.

Of course the set top box will require a TV aerial signal. Getting one to it and also to retain one for your second set top box box can be done using a two co-axial output TV signal amplifier; this should cost under £15-£20.

You shouldn't need to upgrade your specification in any way re graphics cards.

  TomJerry 15:48 15 Aug 2004

You can get Freeview channel using AVer DVB-T click here. Fantastic picture quality, program can be recorded in native MPEG2 format.

If you use your Freeview box with an analogue TV card, then Siginal needs to be converted twice. Digital to analogue (by Freeview box) and analogue to digital (analogue TV card), so quality will be lost during conversion.

  TomJerry 15:51 15 Aug 2004

for viewing TV.

  TomJerry 16:06 15 Aug 2004

You can get a good graphics card which has video in capability, link FV box to the graphics card's video in port (normally composite video or s-video).

Two suggestions:

Sapphire ATI Radeon 9200 128MB DDR VIVO (Video-in & Video-Out) Lite Retail Box £51.96 click here

XFX Geforce Fx5200 Personal Cinema 128MB DDR VIVO AV Box DVI With Remote Control Retail Box £92.64 click here

  Stuartli 16:49 15 Aug 2004

always learning states, quite clearly and emphatically, that he/she is a pensioner and doesn't want a solution at too high a cost.

Why "throw away" a perfectly good Freeview set top box and spend a three figure sum on an equivalent TV card?

You still need to get a second aerial signal to the TV card, so the end solution involves similar principles.

By the way, for your information, all a Freeview box does is collect the digital signals through your aerial and then convert them back to analogue for viewing on your television.

That's why people who claim they get superior sound and vision on Freeview are deluding themselves.

  Stuartli 16:55 15 Aug 2004

Like always learning, I also have a GeForce2 graphics card (32MB MX 200) and Hauppauge WinTV card (terrestial) TV pictures are excellent.

  Mikè 17:02 15 Aug 2004

"That's why people who claim they get superior sound and vision on Freeview are deluding themselves."

Untrue in some cases. The Freeview box can in some instances extract the digital signals (multiplexes) from an aerial system that gives a less than ideal analogue signal. The result would be that the freeview picture has less noise than the analogue.

  Stuartli 17:59 15 Aug 2004

You may well be right. However, although we can actually see Winter Hill by going about a mile into open land from where I live, most people's greatest boost was to get Channel 5 up to the standard of other terrestial stations using ON/ITVDigital.

Even so quite a few people, including myself some five years ago, had to upgrade to a wideband aerial in order to get the original ON/ITVDigital channels in the 30-40+ range.

Freeview, however, uses stronger signals than the original system. along with a smaller number of TV channels, so it's less of a problem.

ONDigital really was a mixed bag regarding reception. My mate runs an independent audio/visual/appliances retail outlet.

Often he would find that some of his customers on one side of a street could pick up ONDigital and some of those on the other side couldn't..:-)

On top of that, if one particular station was proving particularly popular at certain times, ONDigital used to "pinch" some of the pixels supply from the more obscure channels.

That naturally led to these channels providing very blocky pictures for the few left viewing them.

  SEASHANTY 19:14 15 Aug 2004

Also on Winter Hill transmitters. Greater Manchester area. Freeview signal is at least twice as good on BBC channels and ITV channels and even better still on Channel 5 multiplexed channels. In fact channel 5 on analogue signal normal aerial is at times unwatchable. We have had this arguement before that
Freeview is no better than the normal analogue channels - well - that arguement is nonsense.

  TomJerry 20:25 15 Aug 2004

Analogue TV card cost £40.

With digital TV card: digital to digital into PC and then display on monitor with digital to annlogue. One conversion involved.

With freeview box and an analogue TV card: digital to analogue (freeview box), analogue to digital (TV card) into PC and finally display on monitor with digital to annlogue. Three conversions involved.

A/D and D/A conversion always lost quality due to quantization. Less conversion is better. So, £30 difference and one less box.

Take you pick.

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