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View Full Version : Looking at buying a USB TV tuner



Renmoo
17-04-2011, 06:30 PM
What features should I look out for when it comes to buying a TV tuner? I'm considering buying this one: http://www.ifocus.co.nz/Video+Cards+%252526+Video+Devices/TV+Tuners+%252526+Video+Devices/LEADTEK+WinFast+TV+USB+II+Deluxe.html?osCsid=s4sr5 na9psktrvdlv15r6l7066

Speedy Gonzales
17-04-2011, 07:14 PM
Depends what you want.And whether you want to watch something like freeview on it

The one here, gets freeview, has teletext, schedule a recording, records in MP4, Has an EPG, can take snapshots of whatever. It also supports the freeview FM channels, PIP (not dual tuner, but watch a TV while you playback a recording). Thats all I need

bob_doe_nz
17-04-2011, 07:43 PM
You using a Notebook or Box unit?

Renmoo
17-04-2011, 08:05 PM
Freeview channeles - do I need to install a satellite dish in order to receive them via the USB dongle?

Renmoo
17-04-2011, 08:05 PM
You using a Notebook or Box unit?
I am using a laptop. I'm guessing all I need to do is to attach the antennae provided to the unit, then connect the unit to my laptop in order to receive the channels right?

Cheers :)

Speedy Gonzales
17-04-2011, 08:18 PM
Freeview channeles - do I need to install a satellite dish in order to receive them via the USB dongle?

Nope, not if its DVB-T. It uses an aerial. This one came with a mini-aerial. Works good as. Hopefully it comes with a program to get the channels.

somebody
17-04-2011, 08:20 PM
Renmoo: Are you sure the one you've linked to does DVB-T?

I can't see it anywhere in the specs. If it doesn't support DVB-T then it won't be able to get Freeview HD (via UHF).

Agent_24
17-04-2011, 11:54 PM
If you didn't have a laptop I would have said get one that isn't USB...

Well, you might be able to get an Expresscard one, or whatever card is that laptops have now...

dugimodo
18-04-2011, 11:53 AM
If Speedy got his working with the mini Aerial then He's obviously in a good reception area, in Hamilton I have to use an external UHF aerial (not a dish) or I get nothing at all. The supplied mini aerial sits on a shelf taking up space.

If you are running windows 7 all you need is a DVB-T comaptible card with suitable drivers, media centre takes care of the rest. For XP you will need 3rd party software which should come with the tuner, but when I got mine they hadn't sorted it out for NZ yet and the software didn't work. I believe this is sorted now.

Over on geekzone there are extensive threads on freeview and DVB-T tuners

Speedy Gonzales
18-04-2011, 12:04 PM
Yup its a LOT better than the outside aerial. As you can see in the attachments. I've got it hanging on a picture on the wall.

Renmoo
18-04-2011, 08:25 PM
Renmoo: Are you sure the one you've linked to does DVB-T?

I can't see it anywhere in the specs. If it doesn't support DVB-T then it won't be able to get Freeview HD (via UHF).
:o

I haven't got an idea what's DVB-T, nor have I got any idea what features to look out for. Basically, I am looking for a unit that allows me to receive TV channels (say, TV1, 2, 3, C4 and prime) without plugging a TV cable.

Let's forgo extra TV channels available only via Freeview for now.

Renmoo
18-04-2011, 08:26 PM
If you didn't have a laptop I would have said get one that isn't USB...

Well, you might be able to get an Expresscard one, or whatever card is that laptops have now...
My laptop does not have an expresscard slot, unfortunately.

Speedy Gonzales
18-04-2011, 08:39 PM
You'll still need an aerial of some kind. If you want to see anything. Whether its normal TV or freeview. Unless you're going to get one that needs a satellite dish

Agent_24
18-04-2011, 10:45 PM
:o

I haven't got an idea what's DVB-T, nor have I got any idea what features to look out for. Basically, I am looking for a unit that allows me to receive TV channels (say, TV1, 2, 3, C4 and prime) without plugging a TV cable.

Let's forgo extra TV channels available only via Freeview for now.

DVB-T = Digital Video Broadcast Terrestrial (Received with UHF antenna)
DVB-S = Digital Video Broadcast Satellite (received with satellite dish)

Either way, you are going to need an antenna of some kind! - Unless you are like Speedy and are in a good reception area and can use the included and very small antenna.

However if you are using it on a laptop, don't expect to get awesome signal everywhere. In fact while you're on the go it's going to be crap more than likely, which is why freeview pisses me off, they claim perfect reception, which is not actually guaranteed at all.

In worse reception areas you will get a more watchable picture with Analog because you'll just get ghosting, or a bit of a snowy picture. With digital the whole thing will cut out completely, turn to green\white squares etc.

Renmoo
20-04-2011, 09:00 AM
Right. By the looks of it, I have to either 1) connect a big external antennae to the unit or 2) connect the TV cable to the unit in order to receive the basic channels.

Aight, I think I will not buy that unit. After all, there is a TV in the lounge, but I was just toying with the idea of being able to watch the channels on my laptop. :p

Nomad
21-04-2011, 05:08 PM
Hmmm... someone here bought a Gigabtye USB tuner.

On the box it says a min of 2Ghz, suggested 3Ghz CPU.
Well, he has not yet tried for his Netbook - think it's too slow and or bad reception. We are about 10km north of Wellington CBD not far from SH1.

I tried it on my PC (Quad 2.4Ghz) in my room, the scan couldn't get one channel by using the included antenna.

So now .. I am on my laptop in the lounge, it did get a fix on a few but it was slow as mentioned. But now a re-run I couldn't get any channels ... will try the external VHF - would that work :confused: we don't have a UHF antenna here. We have a sky dish instead. We could also try the VCR and see if that gets anything, if my 1.6Ghz laptop is fast enough ......

dugimodo
22-04-2011, 12:40 AM
It may work, depending on software many pc's can use the graphics to do much of the work.

On XP using DVBviewer and power DVD ultra (just for the codec) I got freeview working on an Athlon X2 4800+ at around 10% CPU usage max using a HD4670.

Of course now using windows 7 I just let media centre handle it and don't much care how as there is power to spare.

You are almost definately going to need an external UHF aerial of some kind to get reliable reception though.

Edit: ext VHF is not the best, but will likely get more than the internal.

urbanguerilla
22-04-2011, 01:07 AM
I'm running a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR900H USB tv stick on my ASUS UL80VT(duo core 1.3ghz + Nvidia G210M) laptop, and it runs fine on WMC.

Different story if I switch the graphics back onto the Intel GMA 4500MHD chipset though...

IMHO the bare minimum of running dvb-t is at least a dual cpu of at least 1.2ghz (or a singular CPU of at least 2ghz) AND a gfx card/integrated gfx chipset that is able to take most of the processing load off the CPU.

Nomad
22-04-2011, 01:06 PM
The device he has only has digital source. So maybe that was why ext VHF didn't work. This device didn't have a capture device functionality.

With the rabbit ears which might be VHF/UHF that increased the signal - reported as 10%. Before with the mini antenna we got 0% signal. Will take it to the city over the weekend perhaps and see if the mini antenna works .....