Thread: TV/Graphics cards
24th November 2006 #1
I'm really showing my ignorance now btu can someone explain graphics cards with TV-out to me and what a TV card is for a PC? Does it just pick up terrestrial TV and show it on your monitor? Do you need an aerial input like you would for a regular TV? Are they particularly memory/CPU hungry or could I use one to watch TV and surf the net, for example?
24th November 2006 #2
This company have been doing TV cards for many years now Mat
I've heard a few problems with them in the past, being a bit prone to crashing systems and a bit resource hungry, but I'd imagine they're better than they used to be.
My keyboard's running out of ink....
24th November 2006 #3
You can get both, one that provides TV, one that just gets the signal from satellite, etc, I use the latter. I don't use it much now though since I got Sky+
24th November 2006 #4
Graphics cards with TV-out are able to display the monitor image on a standard TV. They won't pick up TV signals.
TV cards are able to decode TV signals and display them on your PC.
If you have a TV card with TV-out you can display the decoded signal on a TV.
Some only pick up analogue signals while others are capable of receiving digital. You can also find cards that work as Freeview decoders too. With all the palaver about the switchover of TV, you'll obviously want to check these details carefully.
You can also get cards that will act as PVR's (you'll need quite a bit of disk storage available) and they come as normal internal cards that you put into an available slot, or USB sticks. Some may come with a remote control too.
You will need an aerial although some cards come with a small magnetic one. The performance of these depends upon the signal strength in your area. The best bet is to have your PC near your aerial socket or build an extension cable. You can get a small plug that splits the signal into two channels - one to the TV as normal and the other heading towards your PC.
Generally you'll need a higher-powered CPU to get the best from a TV card so a Pentium 4/Centrino (1.2 GHZ or higher) or AMD Athlon (2.0 GHz or higher). Like anything else you'll also need a lot of memory, 512Mb is probably the minimum you should be looking at.
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