Dummies guide to setting up Vista to watch TV - 1

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  1. #1
    edx
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    Dummies guide to setting up Vista to watch TV - 1

    If you watch to watch over-the-air, now, and i-cable TV on your computer through a TVTuner card, this is what I've learned.

    First, your flat should have at least 1 outlet at the wall, with 2 wires sticking out, one for FM and one for TV. Our flat has 2 such outlets.
    Also, I'm describing setup for the cheap TV tuner card that came with my new computer.

    To watch over-the-air (analogue) channels like Pearl, World, Jade, etc., connect the TV wire directly to your TVTuner card. Or is you have i-cable, that connects to your tv, buy a splitter (about 5$HK) and run your i-cable output to the splitter, then buy 2 cables and from the splitter, connect one to your tv (a very short cable will do) and buy a long cable to connect to your computer. My computer is 30 or so feet away. Plug the cable into your tvtuner card, run Vista Media Center, tell it you have an antenna (NOT a set-top box), and it will scan and find 24 channels. These are the over-the air channels.

    To get now on your computer, buy a 'composite' cable, i.e, and ordinary Red/White/Yellow cable long enough to reach from your now box to your computer. The now box has as second set of R/W/Y outputs, so connect those to your TVTuner. Yellow is video, R and W are audio, but TVTuner cards and sound cards require the R/W nines to be combined into a mini-stereo jack, so you need to get one of these. Male stereo on one end, female R/W one the other.
    OK, go into media center and this time tell it you have it set-top box, it will find it right away and start playing whatever now channel you are currently tuned to. What follows is a mandatory exercise in technical insanity which I will describe in a reply to this message.


  2. #2
    edx
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    OK, continuing, Media center insists you set up a remote control. You can try saying you don't have a remote, but I said I did, and what follows is something so absurd I can believe. You are asked to glue an infrared receiver on your set-top box and run wires to your computer. My computer is a long way away, and the first time I tried this it didn't work. But by running wires across my flat and chaining the dog up and sticking the silly IR thing to now box, then going through a test I got stupid Media to accept that it can see now.

    The Windows Media Center Remote doesn't work, because I disconnected it, because I had wires floating in the air from computer to my now box, but I can watch now anyway, I just use the now remote to change channels.

    If your computer happens to be close to your TV, you can can just plug the thing that recieves the Windows Media Center Remote into a USB port, run a wire to your now set-top box, glue the silly wire over the IR reciever, and leave it like that. For practical and moral reasons, I refused to do that, except for long enough to get it set up.

    Because I have a cheap toy tuner card that only gets either analogue or digital but not both, at this point I can't see over-the-air TV, just now cable.

    Next - watching I-cable and the HD Olympics.....


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    Entering the realm of speculation - i-cable on the computer

    OK, at this point the output from the i-cable box is showing over-the-air TV, the output from the now box is showing now. But what about the i-cable channels, HMC1, HMC2, etc? Well, I didn't test this, but probably you unplug the now cables, put the antenna cord from i-cable back in, run setup again, and this time tell it you have a set-top box, and Media Center will ask you to glue the ir thing onto the i-cable box. I don't have enough leftover wires and adapters to test this, but think about it - what kind of technology is this!

    I have a dog and a wife! God forbid there were young kids running around about the living room while I'm trying to sort this out. This is NOT a mature or useful technology, but a low hack. It 'works', if your idea of 'working' is constantly plugging and unplugging cables, and glueing IR receivers on to boxes to intercept signals.

    Next up: upgrading my TVTuner card to recieve HD so I can watch and record the Olympics


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    Buying a new card to watch the Olympics

    So my cheap TVTuner card doesn't detect the HD signals that are coming down from my antenna. There seem to be many devices that plug into USB or IE1394 ports that do detect the HD signals, so I'm gonna go try to get one tomorrow. My machine (Dell XPS 420, 3 weeks old) can support at least 2 TVTuners, maybe 4. By the time I figure this out, the Olympics will probably be over, but I intend to by a TVTuner that supports HD, so that hopefully I can watch the free over-the-air channels.
    It has to be at least a dual card - meaning it can receive 2 inputs at once. For example - watch the free HD TV on my computer, and toggle over to now. If I get 2 dual cards, I'm thinking I can watch i-cable, now, over-the-air analogue, and over the air HD Olympics.

    Is this not so?

    Also, I need long cables or wireless, because we keep tripping over the cords.


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    You are aware that there is no free HDTV in English?

    There are two broadcast channels in English, ATV World and TVB Pearl, both of which are available in DTT (digital, but not HD) format if your building is wired appropriately.

    The 24 channels you speak of must include a number which your building is inserting from some other feed (some buildings have satellite or other feeds). There are only 6 or 7 DTT broadcast channels in total (including World & Pearl).

    Wouldn't it just be a lot cheaper to buy a TV?


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    edx
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    >You are aware that there is no free HDTV in English?

    No, my impression was that I must through away my analogue TVs and replace them with digital screens.

    About the analogue channels:
    ok, one channel is from the management, one channel is the closed-circuitTV where you beep to enter, so 22. I'm getting a German(DTV), about 8 CCTV, a Korean, a Philipina, Bloomberg, the 4 HK channels, an Indian channel, now, French, and others. My TVcard is not hallicinating - my TV can see these channels too. PDLM, I value your advice, maybe we have different antennas, because these are over-the-air analogue signals. Any TV can pick them up.

    As for the new HD digital channels, they are also over the air. To my understanding, it is already coming down my antenna (my building supports the signal, as do many buildings). So, contrary to what you said, this signal is free. I need a TVTuner device to watch it on my computer, or a similar device to watch it on my TV, but it is over-the-air free. If I'm wrong about this, please correct me.

    I'm only interested in getting the Olympics at the moment, but in the long run, I'd like to throw away or give away these cathode-ray TVs, but at the moment, the wife refuses to upgrade the TVs, so she wants me to get the appropriate tvtuner card, record the olympic events from the free digital signals, share the files over the home network, loan her an extra monitor so that when she gets home from work, she can watch things like the amazing swimming event today while she does whatever it is does normally.

    Sharing files on Vista is no problem - I already worked it out. I converted all my CDs to my hard disk and she can play them. The question everyone is asking is:

    How do we watch the free digital HK channels without spending 40,000HK for a questionable flat-panel TV?

    The answer is - buy a cheap tvtuner card. No? If I'm wrong, correct me, please.


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    I'm not going to spend long on this since you seem determined to be wrong; it is traditional for experts to write Guides for Dummies, and for dummies to read them, not the other way round.

    In summary:

    - HD (high definition) is NOT the same thing as DTT (digital terrestrial television)

    - to receive DTT (which is free and includes one HD channel, mostly in Chinese) you need a DTT decoder. This could be integrated into a TV, or into the NOWHD box, or as a standalone set-top box (cost from about HK$800 up)

    - your particular building has a satellite feed which is supplies some of the analogue signals which you are receiving (all those except the 4 broadcast channels and the building camera). They are NOT coming in through the normal UHF antenna (what most people would call "over the air); they are coming in to a separate satellite dish the signal from which is then being put through an RF modulator and injected into the building coax cabling of your particular building. The building door camera system is being modulated to RF and inserted onto the cabling in the same way.

    You can watch the Olympics currently on your TV via its analogue tuner. If the picture quality is poor then you can purchase a DTT box which will decode the DTT signals on your building wiring and can be plugged into the TV via the best available video input (assuming your TV isn't so old that the only input is analogue RF). DTT boxes cost from about $800 up.

    You can continue your eduction here: Digital TV

    Last edited by PDLM; 11-08-2008 at 01:41 PM.

  8. #8
    edx
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    ok, you're obviously better informed than I am, I'm not determined to be wrong, just stupid and uninformed, so I appreciate your help.

    Let me ask a question - the DTT signals are HD or not? I thought some were, like Discovery. I thought all were, but ok, maybe not, I see now. DTT is just a better way to recieve ordinary TV?
    If I get a new TVTuner in Mong Kok that can pick up DTT, I can watch the extra DTT channels on my computer maybe, but not in HD? Right, or not?

    You are right that I have old TVs, CathodeRayTubes, 2 of them, ok, maybe I'll get a Samsung HDTV or whatever is best, but for now, I'm trying to get DTT on my computer, not my TV. Sure, I can watch the local analogue coverage from Pearl/Jade/World on my TV; are you suggesting the DTT signal can be shown by an older TV?

    Also, as you seem knowlegable, what do you think of the nowTV box? I'm gonna buy a flat panel TV thing, but I'd rather buy one with no decoder and use a separate box.

    For that matter, can you describe your system? (In layman's terms.) Do you have a computer connected?

    Your criticism of me was accurate, but I'm not trying to mislead anyone or appoint myself as an expert - I know nothing! I'm just trying to figure out how to get i-cable and now and DTT on my computer and on my 2 TVS, it seems simple enough, but I can't find anyone who knows how to do it.

    Are you available for consultation? I like to know what is going on, but I know when I need to hire an expert.

    I


  9. #9
    edx
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    PDLM is right, I know nothing.
    For FAQs, tutorials, forums, go here:
    Australian Media Center Community

    also, maybe one of these:
    The Green Button - Your Media Center Community
    HDTVTunerinfo Guy
    TV-Cards.com » News