Moving to Europe from the US. What are the differences?

kutyafal

Standard Member
I'm running an HTPC here in the US but will be moving to Switzerland and kinda clueless about the source and connector types there. Anybody can give me a few pointers?

Basically, I want to set up my HTPC over there but what capture cards do I need? What can I capture? What kind of analog or digital sources are there?

Any help is appreciated!
 

MacBurp

Active Member
What do you have now?

Key differences I can think of are:
- screen resolution for SD is 575, not 480
- TV system is PAL, not NTSC
- DVB standards are the norm here - DVB-S for satellite, DVB-T for digital terrestrial (Freeview in the UK).
- TV connectors are SCART, not S-Video
- Widescreen TV is more common here than in the US.
- HD is only just beginning here.

A lot of the differences will vanish when HD arrives - but as I said, HD isn't really here yet.

I hope this helps.

regards,
Paul
 

kutyafal

Standard Member
Right now I have analog cable (coax) that is hooked to the TV and the PC directly via a splitter. No cable box. I get the free HD network channels (ABC, NBC, CBS, etc.) with the built-in QAM tuner. I can only record the analog channels. So is DVB-T recordable?
 

nmw

Active Member
Don't forget that Switzerland (and the rest of Europe) are region 2 for DVDs. So if you buy any in Switzerland or the rest of Europe they will be region 2. Check if you DVD drive is setup, or can be modified, for multi-region.
 

kutyafal

Standard Member
Thanks. Region is not an issue (or any software), I'm mostly interested in the hardware and connector differences. Plus, I guess the TV Guide in MCE wouldn't work over there? Or do I have to install the Swiss version of the OS ? Hmm...
 

Stiggy

Distinguished Member
The TV guide should work OK. It just uses the country you told Windows you were in at setup.

I have to ask my previous question again: Can you speak French/German/italian?
 

jaydee999

Active Member
Don't forget the voltage, either. Europe runs on 220-240V, whereas USA is 110, I think. My friend always needs to use a step-up adapter over here for all electrical items. I don't see why a PC should be any different, but someone with greater knowledge might put me right. I think you will need to replace the PSU in the HTPC. Or it might have a voltage switch on it.
 

treacle

Active Member
Plug connectors can vary too,a multi adaptor kit would be a help,

You'll probably be more likely to find them in the US than Switzerland.
 

Chris Muriel

Distinguished Member
Don't forget the voltage, either. Europe runs on 220-240V, whereas USA is 110, I think. My friend always needs to use a step-up adapter over here for all electrical items. I don't see why a PC should be any different, but someone with greater knowledge might put me right. I think you will need to replace the PSU in the HTPC. Or it might have a voltage switch on it.

Most "silver box" PC PSUs have a switch that can be enabled for either 220V/50 Hz or 110V/60 Hz.
The OP should check this on his HTPC.

Chris Muriel, Manchester
 

kutyafal

Standard Member
The TV guide should work OK. It just uses the country you told Windows you were in at setup.

I have to ask my previous question again: Can you speak French/German/italian?

Not yet, but I'm working on it. But then again some say I can't speak English either... :D

All my PSs are dual voltage, but you're right I'll stock up on plug adapters. Switzerland has the two round bar type of connector, right?

Hmm, just realized that my two APC UPS backups are 120V only... :(
I guess I have to get new ones over there.

Now what is recommended these days as far as LCD monitors at around 42-50 inch size?
 

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