TV tuners on your notebook

Submitted: Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 08:51
ThreadID: 57321 Views:2617 Replies:16 FollowUps:7
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Hi

I have decided I am not going to buy a dedicated lcd tv for the caravan as its a bit of a waste of money when you only use it occasionaly. So I have decided to get a tv tuner for the notebook and see how this gos. I have seen probably a dozen different types on ebay and wondering if anyone has found a good one that works well out and about (I realise some areas there will be bugger all reception, but the FM channels might still work).
You can either buy the pcmia or usb ones and they look pretty good option instead of a tv.

cheers look forward to some feedback

regards

Justin
Geelong
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Reply By: Member - Olcoolone (S.A) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 08:58

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 08:58
We have a MSI Digivox A/D usb tv tuner.

This one does analogue and digital tv where most of them only do digital.

If running of a laptop make sure it is a newer one with good amount of memory and a fast cpu.

Regards Richard
AnswerID: 302277

Reply By: Ray - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:01

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:01
I have tried a couple of these but none have been very successful
AnswerID: 302279

Reply By: Notso - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:03

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:03
I've got a Fly DVB DUO PCMCIA Card Tuner, works great, tunes HD, SD and analogue TV, You can record programmes.

Don't use it much as we have a LCD in the van.
AnswerID: 302280

Follow Up By: Mainey (wa) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 22:58

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 22:58
second that....
Fly tv tuner does the lot

Mainey . . .
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Reply By: Philip A - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:46

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 09:46
I have one and used it with limited success.Mine is a basic Compromate Videomate U3.
My theory is to save weight etc, but you really need a big or amplified antenna to get a good signal in many places.
My wife was able to watch a sought after show at Chelsea Heights in Melbourne using rabbit ears only , and that is pretty close to the transmitters. I had no signal at Delicate Knobby south of Crescent Head, but then I had no mobile either.
I did a brief search but could not find any 12v signal amplifiers, so then it becomes even more limited to 240V powered sites.
At home in the bedroom, hitched to my amplified antenna, it gets perfect picture even on HD.
The aerial that comes with them is useless unless you are right next to the station.
The one I have takes about 5 minutes to do a channel search when turned on , so it is pretty tedious.

Regards Philip A
AnswerID: 302288

Reply By: Member - Sam (NSW) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 10:27

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 10:27
Have a look at www.digitalnow.com.au. No affiliation, but they have a reasonable range and under the support section there is a link to the DVB Owners forum which has a lot of info.
AnswerID: 302292

Reply By: MEMBER - Darian (SA) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 11:58

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 11:58
My ASUS came bundled with a USB tuner (USB MyCinema 3000 - Chinese) - when it goes its very good, but reception is the key - a really good antenna needs to be in the mix - the little 150mm twig supplied is worthless IMO.
I have heard here and elsewhere that the PCMCIA card types are much superior overall (and can access analogue too - mine doesn't).
AnswerID: 302301

Reply By: TerraFirma - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 12:16

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 12:16
Asus My Cinerma U3000 - USB HDTV Tuner $62

http://www.mrgadget.com.au/catalog/asus-mycinema-u3000-mini-usb-tv-tuner-p-4616.html

I have played with this before and works fine, don't forget you will need an aerial.
AnswerID: 302302

Reply By: Member - Lewis K (QLD) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 16:01

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 16:01
Justin,

Have just gone thru the same process for my new HP as I also decided that a TV in the van is really a waste of money. Much searching on the net has convinced me to stay away from the USB type as they are no where near as good as the card version. As stated elsewhere a good antenna must be in the mix to make it worthwhile
AnswerID: 302339

Follow Up By: justin71 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:28

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:28
Thanks Lewis, did you decide on a model?
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Reply By: Member - Douglas M (SA) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:05

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:05
Hi Justin71,
We have an Acer with built in analogue,hd,sd tuner which is great when plugged into a decent antenna. The antenna that came with it doesn't work very well. If you are into movies and/or music I would suggest that you also get a small pair of portable speakers (not the $15 ones that come with desktops) that will operate from 12 volts as the sound from most laptops is pretty dismal. When we are on the move mostly we don't bother as it is a hassle to set up the antenna and tune in to the local frequencies.
Doug
AnswerID: 302372

Follow Up By: justin71 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:29

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:29
Yeh, speakers are a a must, the new hp compaq, I can hardly hear movies on it although the speakers look bigger than the old notebook. Will have to check out ebay for some. Thanks Douglas.
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Reply By: Mark-n-Troods - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:31

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:31
G'Day Justin

We have an AVerMedia TV Hybrid + FM PCMCIA Cardbus, installed on our Compaq Presario Laptop, we can run analogue and digital TV as well as fm radio. Just spent a few weeks camping in Exmouth at the Lighthouse Caravan Park, and was able to watch TV from our laptop successfully just from the small aerial provided with the TV card. We also have an omni directional antenna that works well, in case the smaller aerial is not as successful.

We will soon be in the market for a caravan and because of the success we have had with this laptop, are going to do the same thing, and not buy a dedicated TV, but continue using the laptop, for the few times we will watch TV.

Happy Caravanning :o)
AnswerID: 302374

Follow Up By: justin71 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:32

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:32
Nice success story ). Ive got a compaq as well, I guess you would have watched analog tv, not digital? Does the fm tuner work well also?
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FollowupID: 568680

Follow Up By: Mark-n-Troods - Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 00:05

Saturday, May 10, 2008 at 00:05
While in Exmouth we were watching analogue, but in the metro (on the boat) we get digital. Fm tuner works well too. :o)
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Reply By: DIO - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:43

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 18:43
I have a DVICO USB (and a PCI card for the PC) and although they only receive digital signals I very happy with them. I believe that they are considered one of the 'premier brands'. They provide frequent upgrades for the software and they are readily available for download. Link If you are going to do a lot of remote area travelling I suggest tha you stay with analogue for the time being at least until regional centres get up to speed with digital. BTW you will need a good antenna for the laptop/TV combo.
AnswerID: 302380

Reply By: RustyHelen - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 20:55

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 20:55
Like Mark n Troods we have AVerMedia TV Hybrid + FM PCMCIA Cardbus. Works well. Purchased ours on the recommendation of an aerial seller at one of the shows.
Rusty
AnswerID: 302401

Reply By: Axel [ the real one ] - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 21:00

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 21:00
Got a V-Gear MobiDTV Trio usb stick running on an Acer aspire5100 with a "happy wanderer'tv antennae ,, , have had no trouble picking up tv everywhere on this trip so far , obviously some places have zero tv except sat ,, but for everywhere else ,, work fine.
AnswerID: 302403

Reply By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 23:52

Tuesday, May 06, 2008 at 23:52
Hi Justin,
I bought a Geniatech C8000T DVB/Analog PCMCIA card. Has turned out to be pretty useless on my 2yo Compaq, and has been relegated to the rubbish bin. Digital works ok if one can get it to initially lock in, but that's difficult. Analog is useless. All this from line-of-sight to the tv transmitters.
Not much help from the supplier who referred me to the tech support unit with the manufacturer, which has ignored all email requests for help.
Gerry
AnswerID: 302425

Follow Up By: justin71 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:34

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:34
Ahh that sucks, I wonder why you cant pick up anything yet another guy had success with a similiar combo for watching tv. Did you try updating the drivers for the card?
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FollowupID: 568682

Follow Up By: Member - joc45 (WA) - Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 00:22

Thursday, May 08, 2008 at 00:22
Yeh, tried that, no change.
Basically, I don't think the computer is fast enough for the card (the CPU is a Sempron 3000, with 700-odd mb of RAM), even tho it's much faster than the minimum speed quoted as required for the card. It would usually crash while trying to lock into the HD channels. Ran Sisoft Sandra on the laptop to check its speed, and it was running fine for type of CPU.
But I bought it in good faith based on my laptop specs and the card specs.
Another issue was the config files supplied on the install disk were wrong for Aust analog TV frequencies. I corrected them and then I was able to receive analog channels, but badly tearing.
Would be interested talking to anyone else who has bought this card, as the manufacturer is not interested in talking to me. Was advised by the supplier to pay for a computer tech to sort it out. This would cost more than the card is worth.
Gerry
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Reply By: justin71 - Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:21

Wednesday, May 07, 2008 at 22:21
Thanks for the input guys! Have to pick one up before the next long weekend, Im all for piece and quiet but last two trips with no tv to amuse the kids was a bit tough!
Will try to make an informed decision based on the information, cheers.
AnswerID: 302592

Reply By: Member - Lewis K (QLD) - Friday, May 09, 2008 at 12:42

Friday, May 09, 2008 at 12:42
Justin,

I ended up buying a HP supplied one as I have a HP machine. Not sure if it will work in other machines. I had a chat with the guys at HN on the Gold Coast but they only kept the USB models. Just be a little careful if when you buy as the different countries have different requirements
AnswerID: 302863

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