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Watching TV on PC?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by sceptic, Jun 1, 2005.

  1. sceptic

    sceptic
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    I'm replacing my old PC and would like to utilise the new flatscreen I'll be getting by enabling it to watch Sky TV.
    What's the best way to do this?
    I know I can go for a multimedia system but am not sure that I need all the sophistication it offers - or the expense.
    A cheaper option seems to be a PC with a TV tuner. It needs to be good with Microsoft Office applications too.
    What are my options?
    Any advice greatly appreciated.
     
  2. owain_thomas

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    If you want a prebuilt solution then you could do worse than look at the Aldi (don't laugh!) medion PCs. they are usually great value for money and come with what you need to run sky into your pc.

    There may be better (in terms of picture quality or features) ways of doing this but if you want a good value easy to use setup then they are worth a look.

    If you're after something a bit more DIY then let us know, there's lots of other options :)

    owain
     
  3. Andy_Lee

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    The only problem I can see with your solution is that the PQ will be less than good if you intend using the TV card to recieve the modulated RF output from the Sky box and would be a bit of a waste of your new TFT screen. The best option if your Sky box supports it would be to use a Svideo connection between the Sky box and the PC
     
  4. sceptic

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    Funnily, someone else has suggested the Aldi PC are worth checking out.

    I need to check the connections available for Sky. It's currently an extension to the bedroom from the main Sky box.

    I certainly want to avoid any DIY.

    Thanks for the help so far.
     
  5. sceptic

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    I checked the connection at the back oy my bedroom TV. It's plugged into the aerial socket of the TV.
    I guess that, if I had a PC with a TV tuner, the aerial would plug into the PC and another lead would go from PC to LCD monitor.
    Is this correct?
     
  6. owain_thomas

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    yes that would work. The problem with this would be that the RF output from the sky box is the worst quality of all the video connection types. Using a TFT (as Andy says) would show up the inadequacies of this solution.

    If you want better picture quality you'd need to use a composite (yellow phono plug) or better still svideo connection. All sky boxes can do composite but only some can do svideo (some grundig boxes and all the sky+ ones). Have a look at the back of your digibox and see if it has an svideo socket, if not then you'll have to go with composite.

    The other thing to consider is how far away the PC and sky box are, svid will only run over about 10m maximum so bear this in mind.
     
  7. sceptic

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    This isn't sounding good.
    My bedroom TV is connected to the Sky digibox with an extension lead so I guess I really need a second Sky box. In this case would a media centre be a better option?
     
  8. owain_thomas

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    hi sceptic,

    All this really comes down to what you're going to be doing with the PC once it can display sky TV for you.

    Do you want to just watch it or are you hoping to record/timeshift it as well?

    What distance will you be watching it from? If you're watching it in bed and its a fair distance away then you might find the RF option is good enough, if you're watching it at keyboard distance on a regular basis I doubt you would :(

    Getting a media centre PC won't make any difference to this problem, the limiting factor here is the fact you're using an RF connection which is poor quality. You could look at running a composite signal rather than RF, that would improve things somewhat.

    Any way, let us know how you intend to use it all and we can give you a better idea of what's needed :)

    owain
     
  9. sceptic

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    Hi owain

    I was intending to use it mainly as a PC but also watch it occasionally in bed - about 8 foot away.
    The picture is so good on LCDs that I thought it might double as a TV.
    Recording/time shift would be nice but not a high priority as I already have a DVD recorder.
    What would I need to run a composite signal?

    Anyway, many thanks for your help on this.
    :thumbsup:
     
  10. owain_thomas

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    In that case you may get away with an RF feed.

    If you wanted to try composite then you'd need to get a scart to composite lead and run that from the digibox to the PC.

    tbh I would suggest getting the PC and having a go (go on, you know you want it! ;) ). If you find the picture quality good enough then great, if not then I'm sure it can be improved upon without too much hassle.

    let us know how you get on and if you have any other questions,
    owain

    oh, yeah, timeshifting, this is (at the moment) quite difficult to get working properly. the only way I've done it with any real success is with a freeview card which I bought for my PC, this is great and gives a top picture but you'd have to install it yourself and they cost about £100 on top of the price of the PC.
     
  11. sceptic

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    I think I would need an additional digibox to do this as my bedroom TV runs off an extension from the lounge.
    I definitely need a new PC. I'm just exploring the option of utilising the LCD for TV as well.
    Thanks again for your help. :cool:
     

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