Advice please on tv card for taking in Sky

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by scookar, Mar 11, 2006.

  1. scookar

    scookar
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2005
    Messages:
    117
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Ratings:
    +4
    Hello,

    Want to do something quite simple with a tv card but don't really have a clue which one to go for. Am hoping someone on the forums might be able to suggest one.

    I want to feed the output from my Sky digi-box to my PC so that whatever i am watching on Sky is fed to the PC. Have quite an old sky box so the only ouput options I have are either scart or RF.

    I know some tv cards have an s-video in but not sure if my sky box will support scart -> s-vidieo. Even if it does, what happens to the sound? Do tv cards also have left and right channel inputs? Otherwise am I just left with RF in as the only option? Or can you buy tv cards with a scart or composite input?

    Would also like to be able to use the tv card with Windows media centre but i gather there are some compatibility problems with media centre and Sky? Alternatively i can just use whatever software comes with the card.

    My main reasons for wanting to do this are to use my pc for live pause and rewind and also be able to work from home with a sky window on my desktop.

    Any advice would be much appreciated.
     
  2. MikeTV

    MikeTV
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2003
    Messages:
    7,782
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    136
    Location:
    Ealing, London
    Ratings:
    +842
    A lot of people use the Sweetspot capture card for sky, because it supports RGBs inputs (ie. SCART). However, I'm not sure whether it fully supports PVR capabilities - like pausing live TV, ffd, rwd. For that kind of thing, sky+ would seem like the best/easiest option.

    Regarding the sound, usually you can feed the stereo sound to the inputs on your sound card (line inputs). You may need to buy a SCART "breakout" box, that will provide you with left/right stereo line-out connectors for connecting to the PC.

    Using RGB/Scart is preferable to using RF/composite video/s-video outputs from the sky box, in terms of picture quality (and s-video may not be supported anyway).

    The sweetspot card includes the DScaler software, which provides great deinterlacing (the software for most capture cards is usually inferior).

    But as hinted, the best way to get true PVR like usability, is via a separate box, rather than through capture to a PC. Some capture cards do have onboard mpeg encoding, that allows true PVR like functionality (hauppage, ati, etc). However, these cards do not support scart/rgb capture, and so you loose picture quality.

    The situation for digital terrestial TV is better than for sky, since you can get dedicated DTT cards which have good PVR like capabilities and, because it is digital end-to-end, good picture quality.

    You can also get dedicated satellite capture cards, which will allow you to view sky free-to-air channels (effectively turning your PC into a sky-box). These may offer similar advantages to the DTT cards.
     

Share This Page

Loading...