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lehpron
Topic Author
Posts: 6846
Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

PC TV Tuners?

Sat Feb 05, 2005 11:58 am

I'm thinking about getting an external USB TV/FM tuner for my laptop.

  • Is it worth it buying it sooner or later to wait for price drops even if the FCC switch-over to HD from analog happens in like a year?


  • Have any of you folks tried this type of product, how's the reception even if you're plugged into a standard cable land line? I hear te screen size can be small, I hope not embarrasing...


  • Will it eat away at your memory/HD space? I have like 6 gigs empty.


  • I read lots of specs from different brands, is the claim that high-end spec compluters are recommended but not required against my WinXP, 2.0GHz Celeron w/ 640 ram and 64meg integrated graphics?


  • I think as long as I'm not running anything else, I'm okay.

    The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
     
    Springbok747
    Posts: 3993
    Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 9:13 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:32 pm

    Um...not a good idea.

    I bought a Hauppauge WinTV-USB-FM (model 621 see http://www.hauppauge.com/Pages/products/data_usbfm.html), it was a bad buy. The reception sucks, and there is some weird problem with the sound. There are times when I can't hear anything, then suddenly the audio spikes up...almost blasted my eardrum..lol.

    The radio reception is ok, but on the whole, it was a waste of 150 bucks. You're much better off buying a small TV + antenna on its own.
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    lehpron
    Topic Author
    Posts: 6846
    Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:36 pm

    Hmm, were you expecting a lot? What kind of system did you have?
    The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
     
    Springbok747
    Posts: 3993
    Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 9:13 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 12:45 pm

    I wasn't expecting a lot, but I thought it would be similar to normal TV reception, but nothing like it turned out to be. I can hardly make out anything on the screen, its so blurry and skips and jumps all the time. I got much better reception when I connected the antenna to a normal TV set...so I guess there was nothing wrong with the antenna.

    I have a 2.4GHz, P4m HP Omnibook laptop, with a 64 Mb video card, and 512 Mb RAM, running WinXP. Also tried this on an Alienware 3.2 Ghz laptop....the reception was slightly better, but nowhere close to a TV set.
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    dan2002
    Posts: 2024
    Joined: Tue Dec 17, 2002 7:11 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 1:22 pm

    Dont expect too much out of an external TV tuner. Internal is the way to go, definately, and 6Gbs will be eaten away just like that. I would suggest atleast 60 or 80gB.


    -Dan
    A guy asks 'What's Punk?'. I kick over a trash can and its punk. He knocks over a trash can and its trendy.
     
    DeskPilot
    Posts: 704
    Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:02 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:18 pm

    I've got a Pinnacle PCTV TV tuner card. It's PCI based (so it wont work on a laptop), but it works fine - good picture, sound and digitising oto video.

    I'm a bit dubious of the external USB variety, but no proof as to why.

    Sorry to see your purchase worked so badly Springbok - can you swap it for another brand/model ?
    By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
     
    Zone1
    Posts: 895
    Joined: Sun Jan 09, 2005 4:47 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 3:45 pm

    I would look into the ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0. It is USB 2.0 so you will get the best quality video out there. Basically it can support uncompressed video transfer, so you lose almost no quality. Check it out here.
    /// U N I T E D
     
    Springbok747
    Posts: 3993
    Joined: Sun Nov 14, 2004 9:13 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 4:19 pm

    DeskPilot,

    Unfortunately, I bought that in the USA. There is no way I can exchange/swap it here in Australia  Sad

    Do you get all channels with your Pinnacle PCTV card? My friend has one of those, and for some reason he can only get Ch 7 and 10, but not Ch9, strange...it's driving him nuts.
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    yokohama1970
    Posts: 196
    Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:50 pm

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sat Feb 05, 2005 6:36 pm

    Lehpron

    "Is it worth it buying it sooner or later to wait for price drops even if the FCC switch-over to HD from analog happens in like a year?"

    Just remember, High Definition TV (HDTV) is part of the Digital TV (DTV) format. The FCC requirement is for TV broadcasters to send programming in a Digital format. http://www.dtv.gov/whatisdtv.html

    Why not wait for portable TV Tuner technology to evolve. Most major PC manufacturers are now offering Multi-Media portable Notebooks. Toshiba Qosmio, HP Pavillion ZD8000 & Sony Vaio A Series. There may be others, too.

    Tom

    http://www.ati.com/products/tvwonderusb20/index.html

    http://www.qosmio.com/

    http://www.shopping.hp.com

    http://www.sony.com
    Thank You Derek! Good Luck with the LA Dodgers
     
    lehpron
    Topic Author
    Posts: 6846
    Joined: Tue Jul 10, 2001 3:42 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sun Feb 06, 2005 7:06 am

    Springbok747: I guess the issue I have with a fullsize TV is bulkiness. College students that can afford to lug a TV likely have their own car, I was in an accident last year and can't buy another car.

    That what I thought Yokohama1970, there is an HDTV external tuner out which is like US$300, and I'm like, I don't think so!  Laugh out loud

    Zone1, I saw it and like it except that it has no radio, but it is being considered mainly because of the name brand. ATI and Nvidia (sp?) I heard have the best viedo cards for desktops.

    Dan2002 & DeskPilot, guys I'm not about to go out and get a desktop computer, my laptop just turned 18 months. I know, I was planning on a desktop by the time I graduate. My school has this deal with Dell, I figure take advantage of it before I leave, which is not for another year.  Smile



    The meaning of life is curiosity; we were put on this planet to explore opportunities.
     
    yokohama1970
    Posts: 196
    Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2004 3:50 pm

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sun Feb 06, 2005 1:29 pm

    Lehpron

    Yeah, I agree with you. Your laptop is still young & spending $300 for a DTV tumer is too much! HDTV is highly addictive, trust me. Once you own an HDTV, standard 4:3 display is painful. Save your $300 & put it towards a 26" or 30" CRT HDTV. Makes a great Desktop PC Monitor.

    Tom

    Link to my HDTV:

    http://product.samsung.com/cgi-bin/nabc/product/b2c_product_detail.jsp?eUser=&prod_id=TXP2675WHX%2fXAA
    Thank You Derek! Good Luck with the LA Dodgers
     
    DeskPilot
    Posts: 704
    Joined: Wed Apr 07, 2004 8:02 am

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sun Feb 06, 2005 3:53 pm

    Springbok747, I get all channels, although SBS is not the best.
    By the way, is there anyone on board who knows how to fly a plane?
     
    bill142
    Posts: 7866
    Joined: Wed Aug 04, 2004 1:50 pm

    RE: PC TV Tuners?

    Sun Feb 06, 2005 8:03 pm

    I have a pinnacle pctv pro and found that it has many issues with XP pro but works fine with XP Home.

    Food for thought.

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