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Freeview on a TV card

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Bogside, Jan 9, 2005.

  1. Bogside

    Bogside
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    My PC has a TV tuner card and I have a spare Freeview box. Will I be able to bring my outside aerial to the freeview box and then connect this straight to the r/f port on the PC in order to pick up the freeview channels? Or does it need a digital TV card?
     
  2. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    It depends on the Freeview box.
    Many Freeview STBs only have RF passthrough, but a few do output the DTTV signal via RF.

    Mark.
     
  3. Bogside

    Bogside
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    Thnaks for this Mark. I'm going to try to put it together tonight. I tried late last night with just an aerial to the PC but the signal was abysmal. So I'm concerned now that this might not be good enough anyway for the Freeview box. So I'm also going to add a signal booster to the equation to see how things go.

    I've understood your reply to mean that I need a box with DTTV output and I'll look for that on the box. But if not, and you think I don't need a digital TV card could you advise as to which would be the best thing to go for if this doesn't work: should I look for a Freeview box with the right output, or buy a digital TV card
     
  4. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    The thing to remember with digital TV reception is that it has nothing to do with the analogue reception. You could have perfect analogue and still get nothing with Freeview, and the other way around. My analogue reception is next to unwatchable, but I get fairly good reception on Freeview from a loft aerial.

    If you want to connect a Freeview box to a PC TV card via rf then you will need to check the specs of the Freeview box carefully as most of these boxes will only decode and output the Freeview signal via the scart sockets. The rf output will only pass through the analogue signal received from the aerial and not the decoded digital signal.
    If you add a Freeview decoder to the PC via an internal PCI card or external USB box then the PQ on the PC will be far better as rf is the lowest quality connection going, even lower than composite! If you are going to buy a Freeview box anyway then this would be the best way to go as long as the PC is the only thing you want to plug it in to.

    Mark.
     
  5. Bogside

    Bogside
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    I understand about the r/f PQ - it's just that the only connection to my PC curently available is r/f. (I'm tuned in to AV issues it's the PC ones that I'm out of my depth in)

    I have a Freeview box already and would prefer not to have to buy another one. Are you saying that I could buy a USB scart adaptor where I could plug in my Freeview box that way? And if so can I get away with this rather than buying a new TV card?

    PS Thanks for your responses so far Mark.
     
  6. Big Adam

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    What Mark means is that Freeview adapters fo the PC come in two flavours: PCI or USB.

    One of the best on the market is the DigiTV from Nebula Electronics. This is a superb card and once you use it (and it's excellent user interface), you'll never look back at your 'basic' freeview box again.

    Only downside of the DigiTV at the moment is that it is not currently supported under Windows Media Center Edition (MCE). Drivers are due out sometime soon. It is supported under Windows XP.

    The DigiTV's biggest rival is the Black Gold card. This IS supported under Windows MCE.

    I've never come across a Freeview box that outputs the decoded signal via RF....and if I did, I wouldn't buy it. It is waaay better to have one component handling all the necessary decoding and processing as well as the user interface.
     
  7. Bogside

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    So now I'm completely confused. Are you saying that the answer to my original question is no: I can't connect my spare Freeview box in any way to my PC in order to pick up the channels unless I buy a new digital TV card?
     
  8. msrx7mh3

    msrx7mh3
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    If it helps you, I have successfully connected my Philips freeview box to my Hauppauge WinTV card (via a scart-to-SVHS lead) and have also connected via the RF-out of my freeview box into the same card.

    Results were pretty good.

    If you're freeview signal is weak, try the signal booster (like I have done) and also look at swapping out a cheap RF cable with a higher quality one- it can make a difference!
     
  9. Big Adam

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    Yes.....and no.

    You cannot input Freeview channels via standard RF.

    You may be able to input via S-Video as msrx7mh3 has done IF your TC card supports S-video IN.
     
  10. Bogside

    Bogside
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    Excellent starting to get there now. I'm going to go to Maplin now and get a convertor for S_Video. If I get home tonight and that doesn't work I might badger you all again tomorrow!

    Thanks for your help so far.
     
  11. Big Adam

    Big Adam
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    Don't forget your audio connections! (may be included in the scart adapter)
     
  12. MarkE19

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    And check that your Freeview box has an S-Video output (most don't!), otherwise you will only get a B&W picture via an S-Video connection.

    Mark.
     
  13. jasi

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    My Thomson freeview box has a modulator so you can output the signal via RF - sorry if I got it wrong but it sounded like adam said it wasn't possible. You could connect yours to the PC if it also has a modulator but I must say the PQ on mine was awful when I tried it.
     

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