*Beginner* getting sky on my laptop.. how?



Hey guys..
i was looking at a few forums on this site and iv noticed u guys seem to know what your talking about :thumbsup:
anyway.. im a total n00b about all this so please ignor this post if its been asked before...

in the next couple of months i will be going to uni, and being a tv watcher (isnt everyone?) i want to watch tv when i go away..
of cause i could take my tv, buy a tv licence and watch the 'exciting' 4 channels... to me this doesnt seem worth the £131 tv licence

iv looked into getting a tv card or tv usb stick... possibly a hybrid one so i can get analogue and digital signals?
i have a laptop (so it will possibly have to be external) with xp and what i believe to be a quite high spec
therefor i can pick up freeview channels and serveral hundred foreign channels
(or so iv been led to believe) which seems alot better.

then looking in some of your other posts iv noticed that there is a way of getting sky with one of these tv cards/usb sticks (in some cases, free sky)
which seemed very appealing to me..
unfortunetly it was a bit over my head and didnt quite understand it...

i was hoping that someone could:
explain all what iv said is true/false and correct me of my ways..
tell me what my options are in the way of free television using a laptop
explain what i will need hardware/software

thanks in advance and sorry if this has already been covered in another post



Well-known Member
you still need a TV liscence (TV cards in PC's is something they know about and are cracking down on)you need a sky box for sky you can get satellite PC cards which get you free SAT channels (still need a dish unlikely to allowed in halls) a DTT/PAL-I Digital, analogue TV card is your best bet for the laptop


awesome... yeah proberly cant get a dish.. but just trying to keep my options open..
i knew i would need a tv licence i was just seeing what more i could get out of it instead of the 4 lame channels..
what would i get out of a DTT/PAL-I Digital/analogue TV card?
would that be external or internal..? and what sort of antenna would i need?

thanks for the reply though. =)



Distinguished Member
There are lots of 'Freeview' digital terrestrial (DVB-T) adaptors which can attach to your laptop by USB. You will then get BBC1-4, E4, ITV1-4, Film4 etc - which should fill your brief times between studying! ;)

The USB adaptor range from cheap 'sticks' for £20-30, or external boxes costing £50-70. My personal recommendation is the Avermedia AVerTV USB 2.0 which will set you back £65, but is a classy bit of kit.

You will have to experiment with aerials though. If the know the postcode of your digs at Uni you can check the Freeview website to see how good the signal might be.


Novice Member
The aerials supplied with Freeview USB/PCI cards are generally rubbish.

You can't get something for nothing. A much larger internal aerial will only get freeview in a very good reception area so the small ones supplied with these will always struggle.

I managed 3 years at uni without watching TV and strongly suggest you do too - of all the things you might regret missing once you've got job/mortgage/wife/kids/no life 3 years of Big Brother won't be it.

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