Alaistairdent posted that bit about the tuner - that's what I was trying to avoid - does it in fact work without a tuner and if so how indeed do you switch channels? I will go to PC world site now
We have the hauppage USB thingy works very well -- picture is more stable than the Thompson box hooked tro the TV with our omni directional aerial.
The device is a tuner. Channels are changed using the keyboard. Got mine at currys for about £100. You need a 500 mhz plus PC. Ours runs on a 2.4 mhz P4 pc. On the old 450 mhz P3 it would lock up at times. You also need a reasonable graphics card. Mine is a 64 mb ge-force which is OK, but will update that (I have a SFF pc that can be upgraded more easily than a laptop) which wil allow me to plug two monitors in. One for aft cabin, one for Pilot house. will allow charting etc too.. least ways thats the plan.
All that is missing is the remote control really! It does need its own power source btw.
Before that I had an analogue card, but that was pretty ropey on the boat -- lots of reflections.
Thats great thanks for all the advice - the own power source - is that 12v?
I was thinking of geting a 15-17' flat screen for the tv side of it
Just got to work out if my present laptop is powerful enough -
It has 96MB of Ram and Neomagic Magicgraph 128xD... Not the foggiest what all that implies except it runs C-Map well but will it provide Breakfast TV? - any advice gratefully received.
In the USA most boats had circular disk shaped tv areials at their mast heads - do they sell that system here?
If you are already considering a 15-17" flat screen display for the laptop, why bother with theses add in cards. You could instead get a 17" flat panel TV with multistandard tuner, and a digital tuner for free to view that would also accept input from the laptop for DVD and as a display for the charts. Yes there is such a beast! see here
apart from the cost it needs 220v - the lap top solution is 12v and far less expensive - the larger screen would only be a add on if the thing works - on top of that I need Pal/Secam.....
I think TV into the laptop will satiate my wife's craving for soap whilst cruising...
Be aware that lots of people (including me) had trouble trying to get WinTV Hauphaug working, in my case on a high spec Sony laptop. I took mine back for a refund before it became fishfood. Sometimes it ran a whole hour before freezing, sometimes just 5 minutes. BTW you will need 2 versions to cover the UK/France/USA signals, it isn't just a software thing.
We have a very nice multi-standard 15" LCD TV that will run on 220v, 12v and 220v via inverter, also will double as a PC screen. Under £300 now but ours came courtesy of a load of Barclaycard/Nectar points cashed in at Argos. Be aware that some of these sets run on a nominal 12v DC via their supplied power supply box, but will not run directly from ships 12v or like Sharp's Aquos range lose their warranty if you do it. We have a Bush set that runs OK most of the time on 12v ship supply but occasionally gets a picture wobble which doesn't happen via the inverter which we now use all the time.
the reason we are going to buy a flat screen tv to our boat is that it has much wider viewing angle than laptop. and ofcourse dady can do some chartwork with laptop when children are waching Finding Nemo.
Before getting technical, where are you hoping to use this setup? On board or land-based? In the UK or in France or elsewhere? Are you wanting to receive analogue terrestrial, digital terrestrial, analogue satellite or digital satellite? The answers to these questions will significantly influence the final solution.
If you are cruising, there is a further option. We have a multi-standard TV on board and an analogue satellite receiver. However, the only time we ever use them is in port in the late autumn, winter and early spring. In the summer we are cruising and have neither the inclination nor the available amp-hours to watch TV. When we do use it, we normally watch videos brought from home. Whilst we are cruising our daughter records stuff she knows we like and whenever we come home we pick up another stack of tapes. It beats live TV any day as it is all stuff we like! With a new setup you could use DVDs in the same way and those you could play on you laptop without a tuner!
I do agree with Med Man. How much TV is a Brit going to watch in summer in the Med.
Last year in the Adriatic we managed to watch four DVD's on my daughter's laptop in a month.
From what I've seen of continental TV the town lights are more entertaining.
The main problem in the evening in a calm anchorage is power consumption!
We used to have a VSAT / Freeview system which we used to use in port
Allowed us High speed Internet access and also TV when we felt like it.
The thing was we never felt like it to many other things going on in the Med at night
High speed Internet was good though.
The lcd tv that I posted a link to is supposed to be a 15v dc input (via a transformer, so a dc/dc converter should do the job. It is multistandard -all PAL/NTSC/SEACAM and actually has two tuners - one for normal analog tv and another for digital free to view - you can get the same tele without the second tuner for less money.