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If you want to watch digital television, one of the way to do this is use your PC. There are three main options, starting at around only 20.
Option 1: USB box
If you have a laptop computer, or do not wish to take your computer apart to fit a card into it, the most straightforward way is to use a USB box.
Once you have purchased the box, you first need to install some software on your computer. This will come on the CD with your USB package, or you can download the latest software from the company's web site. As a general rule, the on-line software will be a more up-to-date version.
You then plug the box into your roof-mounted aerial connection, and attach the USB cable to one of the USB ports on your computer. If you have USB 2 ports you should use these to get the best possible results.
Now start the "Digital TV" software. The first time you use it, you will need to scan for the Freeview channels. This can take several minutes (a lot longer than a Freeview set-top box).
Once this has completed, you will be able to select from the Freeview channels that are available in your area.
The software that comes with these boxes has two drawbacks: the channel numbers are not the standard Freeview ones (in the example, BBC News 24 is on channel 2 rather than channel 80), and there are no interactive services. This means you cannot view BBC Parliament at all, or have the graphical screens when listening to the radio channels.
On the plus side, these boxes do support the full 14 day Freeview programme guide. You can use you PC as a PVR (personal video recorder) as the software will record the Freeview transmission and save them as MPEG-2 (.mpg) files.
Option 2: PCI card
Another option is to use a PCI card. This will keep the equipment within your PC, but does require the confidence to open up your PC.
To install a PCI card you MUST first ensure that your computer is unplugged from the mains. It is not enough to switch it off using the button on the front; you must ensure that it is disconnected from the mains.
Locate a free PCI slot - you will need a screwdriver to remove any blanking plate.
You must ensure that after seating the card firmly in the slot that your digital TV card is securely fastened into the slot. The thick television aerial cables are sturdy and can easily rip out a card that is not firmly fixed.
Once you have replaced the case of the computer, you can then attach the aerial connection to the appropriate connection.
The software installation and operation of the digital television software is otherwise identical to a USB box.
Option 3: Media Center
Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 has full personal video recorder support, and if you have this version of Windows you do not need to install any software, just one or two PCI cards.
One requirement is that you must have installed some DVD playing software before you can watch the programmes.
The set-up is slightly more complicated than the above, but this results in a easy-to-use programme guide and sophisticated recording facilities.
Another advantage of using the Media Center software is that all your recorded TV can be watched by any other PC connected to your home network and by any Xbox 360 you may have.
There is now full support for the Freeview digital radio channels, but there are no red button text facilities. However, there is a full BBC News player in Media Center's Online Services menu.
Your comments are always welcome. Please use the form below to add your thoughts or questions to this page. We will get back to you as soon as we can.
robert Tuesday 16 December 2008 12:14AM Stoke-on-trent
Briantist: Yes i could do that, but when it comes down to it im just satisfied that what i want i have.(and it seems it wasnt just a non-working card,just both hauppage cards would not do channel 4 programs) I have said this before, but thank you, the answer took time to come but without your advice and comments i may still have been going round in circles,you made me think and in the end a result.keep up the good work.As an addage to anyone reading.......TRY AVERMEDIA FIRST!!!.I learned the hard way
a) I have an aerial into a Humax PVR then to an lcd TV with inbuilt Freeview, via either UHF or Scart or HDMI cables. Which of the three is a digital input to TV? Or none??
b) I have also a Sony VGC-LN1M PC/TV with Win Vista+Media Centre and inbuilt Freeview tuner.
As the aerial was poor, I got a Sky standard sat box into it. As the Sony has no Scart, it is linked via UHF cable and the quality is not too good, worse than with Freeview.
I live in Tenerife (Canary Islands) there are transmitters here for BBC/ITV, can i download your software, will it work over here and coming off from the local transmitters here on the island through my pc.
HOPE THIS CAN HELP SOMEONE !!
hi all i live in ireland and have a usb dongle with blaze-media also and seems to work well & even better with WMC .. all the channels i for were
setting my banwidth at 8 (not auto)
THEN GO TO ADVANCED SETTINGS and tick it
QAM 16 or 64 (no difference for me)
guard interval 1/32
p.s no special aerial just the same one for years(rooftop) and i get
also i found this too on my info hunt
[ILUG] Re: DVB-T and Dublin ?
Can anyone help me. I am in a building with no ariel connection, also in an area where I can literally recieve no signal. However I am on internet and do have a supposedly start of the art laptop all singing all dancing - cant do anything to help me get tv programme via the internet. I have a Toshiba Satelite P300 20H laptopwith windows vista and windows media center bought only 3 months ago. Can anyone tell me whether I already have the ability to recieve tv channels or do I need to buy something. Dont forget - no external ariel or signal (at all) on indoor ariel. Your help would be extremely appreciated.
the haupage ones are utter crap
i rang them+they claim yu canmt use ANY tv capture card/usb tv-while online!!!
these shops dont know what the hell they are on about.
second-the aeriels with usbs DO NOT WORK ANYWHERE-at least not in the southern half of the uk+trust me ive tried it!must have roof aeriel+a boosterbox or amplifier especially in east anglia.Haupage also wil disconnect yu from the internet+wont hav it with ie/google/ff/aol/or opera-yet they call it a tv capture device???? utter crap
briantist-yu will have to google some tv show other than that use justin/ustream/atdhe/iraqgoals etc etc therse loads+if yu can get online yu can get eztv`s site+d/l any tv show in record time+in hd-if ya got no signal fer aeriel then u need 2 look outside the box
Anybody having problems on PC cards since last weekend 12th/13th from Emley Moor?
I have 3 cards, different operating systems, different viewing applications & one machine is a clean development box (no AV/firewalls or apps to conlict. All viewing apps crash out now , but if I unplu the antenna, the apps don't crash. So has Emley Moor changed somethig that PC's don't like?
If I'm correct in my thoughts though, the percentage of those using PC are likely experiencing problems, & "very few" of that percentage would have access to different operating systems, tuner cards etc etc, so would be likely thinking they have, or some new software/update has, caused their issue.
I am using VLC, Compro Application & Avermedia Application. On Win 2k & XP. My Dev box is XP with no AV/Firewall etc etc.
Guy: It does still rather seem to me more possible that you have a local fault, than there be one with the transmitter. There is no fault in the bitstream that would cause the situation you say. It does sounds much more like local impulse interference to me.
Briantist & all. SOLVED!!! It's an MS issue. According to their explanation.- This problem occurs if a table section in the Program Specific Information (PSI) table that is embedded in the digital TV signal stream exceeds 255 bytes. In this scenario, the Psisdecd.dll DirectShow component does not process the PSI table correctly. See Windows XP TV tuner program stops responding or displays corrupted video One assumes this is the same in Win2k, how I will deal with that I have yet to discover. Possibly by manually un-registering Psisdecd.dll, replacing with the new one & then re registering. We will see. Thanks for your input though.
I just bought a DVB-T USB dongle receiver from eBay for Â£11.95 from NEW 2009 FREEVIEW DIGITAL TV TUNER USB DONGLE CARD DVB on eBay (end time 25-Jan-10 19:44:41 GMT) Since this was difficult to set-up, but ultimately successful, I will share my experiences. At first I tried the dongle with its included Blazevideo software and also DVB Viewer software without any luck â€“ it kept showing 100% signal 0% quality on both a good external aerial and the small supplied aerial using a variety of settings I researched for the Mendip transmitter, but showed 0 channels. I then tried out the dongle using Windows 7 Media Centre. I first installed the supplied driver and rebooted. Then, with the dongle connected to the good external antenna I used Media Centre to search for TV channels, entering my post code etc.. Result â€“ 77 channels at 71% quality. Recording works well to either .WTV or .DVR-MS format and I can then use AVS Converter to convert to many other formats including .AVI and editable .MPG. Picture quality seems just as good as my external Freeview receiver. The EPG also works well. One thing to note is that a blue LED lights up when a station is tuned in â€“ this is not mentioned in the documentation. It is possible that I could get this dongle working with Win XP and some other software using the settings displayed by Media Centre but I wonâ€™t be bothering â€“ I will use this as a reason to finally move over permanently to Windows 7. (BA16AX)
Can you watch analogue TV on a digital TV with an indoor aerial. My daughter wants to watch TV in her lodgings with no aerial connection. Or do we need an old analogue TV? Its only for a few months until September.
I've been trying to find the digital tv signal with BlazeDTV 6.0 S/W connected to
DVB-T: AF9015 BDA Filter portable antena and my PC, with no success at all.
During the scanning, Igot signal strength 100%, but Quality 0% (max spike is 10%).
Can anyone help please?
What setting I should use for:
I've done without rooftop antenna, just desktop with no success (even the signal strength is always 100%).
This afternoon I tried in the train from Reading to King's Cross London, got 15 channel detected (quality 80%)- but not finish yet as the train approached the station already, need to switched the laptop off.