aloges
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Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:48 am

Hello all,

I need some advice. My PC has a built-in TV tuner that I've so far been using for the occasional TV show that I wanted to watch. Just recently, I agreed to let the cable company send me a DVB-C receiver (digital cable TV) to try it out. Long story short, the only way to connect the video output from the receiver to the video input of the PC is via composite video (the yellow cinch plug) and I chose to connect the audio sockets via SPDIF (optical connection).

Now I've been looking for some software that can display the composite video input on my screen and reroute the audio data to my stereo, i.e. I don't need recording, editing, channel tuning or other capabilities... just a way to actually watch TV and hear the sound. So far, I've only been able to get a mute preview of the video signal I could record and to record the audio signal with that little recorder that comes with Windows. It's pretty frustrating, so I'd much appreciate if anyone could help. Otherwise, I'll have to send that receiver back.

Thanks!
aloges
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 6:59 am

Honestly, I don't understand your problem. Your TV software should be able to select the composite input as a signal source.
What kind of TV card do you have?
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 7:19 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 1):
Your TV software should be able to select the composite input as a signal source.

Key word: should... I'm downloading a trial of a later version, hopefully that'll work. I'll know by tomotrrow since it's a 90MB download on a 100kbps connection.  Silly

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 1):
What kind of TV card do you have?

Philips SAA7134 in a never-this-crap-again, I mean Medion, PC.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:11 am

Aloges, could you plese give me some more info? TV card brand, drivers, system you're running, etc...
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:49 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 3):
TV card brand

is this one:

Quoting Aloges (Reply 2):
Philips SAA7134

marketed as "Medion"

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 3):
drivers

version 1.3.3.1, dated Feb 3rd, 2006 and unless I overlooked something this afternoon the latest out there

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 3):
system you're running

Windows XP SP2, the video software is PowerCinema 3. That download I mentioned is version 5 of the same, hoepfully I'll find some better option in that. Version 3 gives me the mute preview when I select "record video" and then the composite input, I can't select SPDIF as the audio input... it's not exactly user-friendly.

Thanks for you time!  Smile I guess I'll have to try the newer software before I can continue.
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:19 am

How about try this one?

http://www.chris-tv.com/

Since the TV card comes with WDM drivers, you could try Intervideo's Windvr too. The card is not on list of supported cards, but i think it is worth trying.
Download the trial version here:

http://www.intervideo.com/jsp/WinDVR_Profile.jsp

Edit: typo

[Edited 2007-01-24 02:27:30]
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Go3Team
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:08 am

For the SPDIF input on my sound card, I have to click a setting on the sound cards settings after every reboot. You may have to do the same.
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 11:16 am

Quoting Go3Team (Reply 6):
I have to click a setting on the sound cards settings after every reboot. You may have to do the same.

Actually, I had to reset that after every attempt using PowerCinema 3... I wish things would just work.
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max999
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:26 pm

http://www.cisco.com/en/US/netsol/ns.../networking_solutions_package.html

I don't know if this is available to home users, but the Cisco IPTV product we have in my office is pretty cool.
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DL787932ER
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:36 pm

Maybe I don't understand what you're asking, but if you want your (external) stereo to play the sound, can't you just run your S/PDIF optical cable from the receiver to an input on your stereo and bypass your PC entirely?
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:41 pm

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 9):
can't you just run your S/PDIF optical cable from the receiver to an input on your stereo and bypass your PC entirely?

Alas, no, as the stereo doesn't have an S/PDIF input, only the PC.
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DL787932ER
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 12:49 pm

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 9):
Alas, no, as the stereo doesn't have an S/PDIF input, only the PC.

 checkmark 

So I assume by extension that your receiver doesn't have any audio outputs of the same type as your stereo has inputs? I still think bypassing the PC entirely (assuming you don't need record, edit, etc.) is your best bet.

Also, the way I read your original post it sounds like your computer isn't playing the sound. If that's the case (and I apologize because I know this is dumb) have you checked all the cables, mute buttons, etc.? Cables are an easy thing to miss, even with fiber, and I know my computer has about five different ways to mute any given audio channel whether I want to or not. If your computer won't play the sound, I think fixing it would also let it reroute the sound back out to your stereo.
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 1:00 pm

OK... someone please figure this out. The download finished and I installed PowerCinema 5 from CyberLink as a demo version. Sure enough, this version allows me to choose composite as the video input. It works, however I'll have to find out how to adjust the brightness.

When I select composite, I don't get any sound on the stereo. But when I record a few moments of the exact same live TV feed and then replay it, I get perfectly sync sound! I've clicked my way through the audio properties and didn't find a solution, could it be that the (on-board, to make things worse) sound card doesn't support simultaneous input and output? Is there any hidden option to disable that? When I use the regular tuner and bypass the DVB receiver, it works fine, but that might be because audio input is via PCI in that case... I'm confused.

Thanks again everyone, I'll keep trying.

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
Also, the way I read your original post it sounds like your computer isn't playing the sound.

exactly

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
have you checked all the cables, mute buttons, etc.?

I hope so; the S/PDIF audio cable is brand new and obviously works as I can record video including audio.

Quoting DL787932ER (Reply 11):
I still think bypassing the PC entirely (assuming you don't need record, edit, etc.) is your best bet.

True, but that would mean one more new cable, and I'd also like to have everything in proper working order. Silly things, these computers!
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WSOY
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 9:43 pm

Aloges, think you should check out the VLC Video Player. It's free and it can play inputs from the capture devices and the internal video streams as well. http://www.videolan.org/vlc/

I did a search for an S/PDIF to analogue converter, but only found this DIY project, which in itself looks perfectly fine to me if you're an electronics builder. http://sound.westhost.com/project85.htm

 Smile
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WildcatYXU
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Wed Jan 24, 2007 10:07 pm

Quoting Aloges (Reply 12):
When I select composite, I don't get any sound on the stereo. But when I record a few moments of the exact same live TV feed and then replay it, I get perfectly sync sound!

Your S/PDIF input may be muted, or just the volume is pulled down. Open the volume control (small speaker icon in notification area). You'll get a audio mixer with all inputs. Find S/PDIF and uncheck the mute option and adjust the proper volume.
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Thu Jan 25, 2007 2:13 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 14):
Find S/PDIF and uncheck the mute option and adjust the proper volume.

Done that a million times...  Sad I took a cinch cable from my stereo to connect the receiver audio to the PC, that worked fine via the "line in" bit in the mixer. But I need the cable on the stereo, so that's a bit of an issue. The "line in" input had some strange option callled "1 monitoring" that needed to be checked for the sound to work, any idea what that might be?
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WSOY
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Thu Jan 25, 2007 5:47 am

Quoting Aloges (Reply 15):
I took a cinch cable from my stereo to connect the receiver audio to the PC, that worked fine via the "line in" bit in the mixer. But I need the cable on the stereo, so that's a bit of an issue.

So really you need just a simple "Y" splitter for your analogue sound? One branch for your PC, the other for your stereo. Available widely.
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aloges
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RE: Watching TV On A PC

Thu Jan 25, 2007 6:09 am

Quoting WSOY (Reply 16):
So really you need just a simple "Y" splitter for your analogue sound?

It would work, but I already had the SPDIF cable and wanted it to work that way. I can't see why the PC wouldn't do that, other than an unannounced restriction in the trial software (PowerCinema 5) I was using to get the composite video signal on the screen in the first place.

Quoting WSOY (Reply 16):
One branch for your PC, the other for your stereo. Available widely.

Certainly available, but I've decided to give up on it... revolutionary concept, I don't like being beat by my shoddy PC but it's done it before. Thanks everyone for the time, alas it seems my PC just doesn't like SPDIF input even with the latest drivers and applications installed. I'll spend the monthly subscription fee for digital TV on a faster internet connection instead, it's better used that way.
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