How Can We Receive OnDigital via PC?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Branxx, Nov 18, 2000.

  1. Branxx

    Branxx
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    I spend some time trying to find out how to receive digital terrestrial TV (DVB-T) signal (a.k.a. OnDigital) via PC and watch it projected on a big screen. Assuming that the whole reception-to-display cycle is kept in the digital domain, I am convinced that the picture quality would be significantly better than anything currently possible using the PC TV cards receiving analogue terrestrial TV transition.

    Introduction of similar cards for the reception of terrestrial HDTV DVB broadcast (from Telemann, Pinacle) are about to hit in the US shops for Christmas, and they are technologically more demanding that what we have in UK/Europe.

    I can see three ways of bringing DTV into a PC:
    1. Preferred option would be to have a dedicated PC DVB-T card which would receive and decode DVB signal and send video to the graphic card and audio (Dolby Surround) to the sound card; This should be the next logical step from analogue PC TV cards (for example Matrox Marvel G450 eTV, ATI All-In-Wonder RADEON, Hauppauge WinTV Theater, AverMedia AverTV STUDIO TV/FMStereo, etc.). However, I have so far failed to find anyone offering similar cards for DVB-T in Europe. Although, for a while Digitra Systems had on their web pages PVD-500T card which was recently withdrawn.
    2. Receive and decode signal via and an external STB, but feed it into PC as a MPEG2 digital stream in a similar way digital video cameras transfer images and sound, using FireWire port. There was a news item few months ago about a London firm Function Communication Ltd offering a modified PACE OnDigital STB to output digital signal via SDI interface. SDI is a professional serial digital interface and is not used in consumer market, however, similar modification with FireWire interface maybe possible. The time the price quoted for a modified STB was £1,200 (they would supply the original STB).
    3. Receive and decode signal externally and feed it to PC as s-video or composite video. This is possible immediately albeit with resulting degradation in picture quality. Well, this is what I have to do for now.
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      I believe that a properly decoded DVB-T signal would yield a picture quality at par to what we can see from DVDs. My impression is that the PC Cards manufacturers do not see a move to DVB-T as an important market.

      Does any of you Home Cinema and HCPC enthusiasts have any more information in this area?

      [This message has been edited by Branxx (edited 18-11-2000).]
     
  2. ReTrO

    ReTrO
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    I beleive Hauppague(?), who makes loads of PC-TV cards are now making two DTV cards. One that is Sky Digital compatible, and will also support Internet-via-satellite stuff, and another that is just a standard DVB card. Last price I saw for this was about £150, but that was a few months ago now.
    There should be some somewhere.


    Rick

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    'I am just a figment of your imagination.'
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    Work Site: The Sound Gallery
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  3. Branxx

    Branxx
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    ReTrO,

    The Hauppauge WinTV-D card is just launched in US and is meant for reception of terrestrial HDTV and analog NTSC broadcasts both of which are incompatible with ours. Few days ago I send an e-mail to Hauppauge UK asking them about the availability of a similar card over here and got the following replay:
    The card you have in mind is probably WinTV DVB-S which is for receiving the digital satellite broadcast and would not be of much help with OnDigital.
     

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