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Watching TV On Your Computer?

Old 08-13-05, 02:43 AM
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Watching TV On Your Computer?

Before going back to school, I'm going to buy some sort of LCD TV (I always wanted one) for my dorm room. However, I got to thinking about an interal TV adapter or PCI TV card (not sure what they're called) for my computer so I could watch TV on my LCD computer monitor instead of buying a new LCD TV.

Would this be a good alternative for a regular LCD TV? Would the video quality the same on both products?

Here's the one I'm thinking about at Circuit City:
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Haupp...oductDetail.do

Here's the main specs of my computer
- Dell Dimmision 5100 Pentium 4 Hyper Threading (2.8 GHZ)
- 512MB DDR2 SDRAM at 400 MHZ
- 256MB nVIDIA GeForce 6800
- 160GB Hard Drive
- Windows XP Home Edition
- 16x DVD-ROM and 16x DVD+/-RW
Old 08-13-05, 03:17 AM
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Uhh...i'd worry more about the stuff that's coming IN to your dorm room. When I was at NYU, my cable feed was absolute CRAP. I wouldn't have recorded anything off of that.
Old 08-13-05, 03:23 AM
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You had cable? We had nothing, not even phone lines. There was one pay phone on the entire floor, and one TV in the TV lounge per floor. And this was in the late 80s, so there were no cell phones. Yes, you could use an antenna on your TV, but there was only one or two stations you could get (this was in the Ozarks).

But to answer the original question, just wait and see what other people have. If you have the money and inclination, you can just follow what they did.

Last edited by Heat; 08-13-05 at 03:26 AM.
Old 08-13-05, 03:26 AM
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that is a good card, the only problem is that you will have to use your mic in if you own a dell, or line in if you got a soundcard with your machine to be able to get sound out of the card. that is why i prefer this one

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16815116306

it has the option to use an internal sound cable to the aux on your mobo

up until a few weeks ago i would have said stay clear of ati's tuner, but the one in my x800xt aiw card is freaking awesome. your call though. either way that is a lot cheaper than a new lcd tv. the ati also gives you the most general ports to be able to hook up a cube, or xbox, or ps2
Old 08-13-05, 01:42 PM
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Are dorms have pretty good cable and phone line. I'm considering this TV adapter or LCD TV to save space in the room (not having a seperate TV stand).

Thanks for the opinions.

Last edited by poetic_power; 08-13-05 at 01:46 PM.
Old 08-13-05, 02:22 PM
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just make sure you invite the DVD Talkers to the college parties!
Old 08-13-05, 10:48 PM
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lol . . . will do!
Old 08-15-05, 11:55 AM
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Originally Posted by poetic_power
Before going back to school, I'm going to buy some sort of LCD TV (I always wanted one) for my dorm room. However, I got to thinking about an interal TV adapter or PCI TV card (not sure what they're called) for my computer so I could watch TV on my LCD computer monitor instead of buying a new LCD TV.
You know, a lot of people are buying TV tuner cards now so they can "watch TV on their computer"... Here's my problem with that:
a) It's not particularly cheap.. a good tuner card runs about $150
b) You don't really need it just to "watch tv on the computer".

If you want to RECORD tv onto the computer in an automated fashion (like using MythTV or something), then yeah, that would be what you would need.

But if you just want to be able to WATCH tv on the thing, then that nVidia 6800 video card you've got probably has a video input connection of some type (most of them do). And if you hook that to a VCR, the VCR has a built in tuner.

In other words, while it won't allow your PC to change channels by itself, with a VCR and the VCR's remote, you can use it as a TV quite easily without any additional hardware.

Just a thought. If the goal is "cheap TV viewing", then that may be something you can do without buying additional hardware.

Last edited by Otto; 08-15-05 at 11:58 AM.
Old 08-15-05, 03:50 PM
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yeah, if you're not going internal pci card i'd go viewsonic external box
Old 08-15-05, 07:04 PM
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I had a Leadtek WinTV2000 Deluxe when i was in college and it worked decently for me. Cost about 50 bucks and had a remote.
Old 08-17-05, 09:52 PM
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Otto, nice point. I'll try that.

Thanks guys for posting.
Old 08-17-05, 10:51 PM
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Along the lines of Otto's post you would probably get the best of both worlds combining a cheap video capture/TV tuner card with a cheap Tivo.

I haven't done that exact setup myself, but I have done the TV card/VCR route with a couple of systems. The picture quality connect from component connections is far superior to most TV tuner cards if you connect via coax, I imagine S-video is even better. Plus you get a free remote and recording capabilities. If your using satellite/digital cable than it's a no-brainer, since you will need a decoder box anyway.
Old 09-03-05, 04:19 PM
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Im having a similar problem. I just moved into my dorm, and there's nowhere to put my TV. Im looking for an external TV tuner for my laptop. Anyone have any reccommendations?
Old 09-03-05, 05:09 PM
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If you don't intend to record tv, I would recommend getting an internal card that is compatible with Dscaler. Any card based on the BT878 chip should work. Dscaler does a much better job of upscaling TV to your output resolution than any of the hardware based cards. If PVR fuctionality is a must I hear that cards based on the ATI theatre 550 chip are the top of the hardware based cards. Remember as the output resolution goes up (most LCDs are at least 1280x1024) quality of the TV will be diminished (TV scaled to 800x600 looks much better on my CRT HDTV than 1280x1024 on my 17" LCD)
Old 09-03-05, 09:44 PM
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Awhile back before my pc got fried I had an old hauppege(sp?) win tv card that worked very well and got for real cheap of anands trade board. If you want to record and archive stuff then yeah you need to spend a lot, but for simple tv watching you can go cheap. Or also the vcr route would work too. The quality wasn't the best, but was very serviceable for me. All I used it for was watching sports while playing a game (Ihave to be doing multiple things at once).
Old 09-04-05, 12:23 AM
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The Hauppauge 150 you have linked will work for what you want. I use two of these in my setup and I record a lot of TV with BeyondTV. If you plan on doing alot of recording you want to make sure that whatever card you buy has hardware encoding. If you are going to only watch TV live, you don't need to worry about the encoding.

D.

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