Using Laptop as a TV

Discussion in 'Continental Touring' started by Mushroom, Feb 12, 2008.

  1. Mushroom

    Mushroom Deleted User

    OK - Norman new boy here. Motorhome (Wohnmobile here in Germany) ownership is something I've never given much thought to in the past. Now however, having just entered into retirement with plenty of time on our hands, the wife and I are giving it some serious thought.

    Prior to jumping in at the deep end, we have decided to rent a MH for 3 weeks in August/September for a trip south to the Tuscany area of Italy. The first question that my wife has thrown in my direction is - "we will be taking the TV along won't we". My initial thoughts were just to say no and be done with it but prior to committing myself to eternal hell thought I'd take a look at other options first.

    Someone told me a good while back now that it is possible to use a Laptop as a television set although to be quite honest, as I wasn't really interested in the subject at that time I was only half listening - oh how I wish that I had. Could someone kindly explain what one would need in terms of equipment to get this setup up and running? Along with the MH I also have the option of a free standing satellite aerial, a device to auto locate a sattelite and a small decoder/receiver. And that just about sums up my knowledge of the subject.
    How and where does one connect all this to the Laptop, is a special adaptor of any sort required.

    Thanks in anticipation of anyones help. :thumb:
     
  2. Lampie

    Lampie Read Only Funster

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    Your rental MH will come with TV , take them up on the dish maybe it comes with Sky free sat. Our sky system worked great in Italy last year.

    Regards


    Lampie
     
  3. 2escapees

    2escapees Deleted User

    If you go all the way to Tuscany just to watch TV then you are missing out on what could be a great trip. You won't miss that much in 3 weeks!
     
  4. Mushroom

    Mushroom Deleted User

    :Rofl1: My sentiments exactly but try convincing the wife of that. No, seriously, I am a serious photographer so the laptop will be going along with us anyway, Shooting several hundred images a day I am then able in the evenings to review the days shots, delete the one's that just don't cut it and then backup the keepers to an external hard drive. This leaves me free to wipe the cards from the camera for the next days shoot. The wife is one of those types that just simply has to keep up with world news so it's not as though she'll be missing her daily edition of Coronation Street for example. :tears:
     
  5. Thepips

    Thepips Trade Member

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    TV tuners for Windows based laptops are readily available nowadays and fairly inexpensive. I'd recommend an analogue/hybrid tuner USB device. Analogue is the quickest and easiest method of connecting a satellite dish and the digital is a bit of future proofing. I've personal experience of Hauppauge and Avermedia so can recommend them. Unfortunately Avermedia and their UK distributor parted company last year and they're not as easy to find now. Terratec was a pain to install and I found the cheaper brands to be ummm....worth what you paid. Others have good reports on them though.
    One of the benefits of a computer based tuner is that they are global standards. So are so simple all you need do is enter the country and it'll set itself to the correct standards. You can also use your laptop as a PVR. Again some products will wake the computer up to record a program.
    The only other issue are the speakers. Laptop speakers are often pretty weedy affairs so you may want to invest in some external ones. Again I'd recommend USB powered speakers.
    Hope that helps

    Regards
    Doug
     
  6. Tony Hunt

    Tony Hunt Read Only Funster

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    Adding to the last post. The tv stick is the way to go but make sure its capable of receiving Analogue signals as well as digital. The ones that only do DVBT or whatever they call it (digital capable of getting freeview are a waste of time abroad because you will only get the local digital channels and nothing in english.
    Another thing if your Laptop is working on Vista tread carefully because there arent many tv sticks that are compatible yet. I managed to find one on ebay but it took ages and several returns to places like maplins who claimed they should work on vista but didnt.
    The best way to get over the volume problem on a laptop is a small set of plug in hi fi speakers or if its only the wife watching a set of headphones. Ive been down all these routes myself lately and have got it all working tickety boo. The beauty of laptops is most have DVD drives so you can always watch a film if theres nothing on the box.
     
  7. N Luyetund

    N Luyetund Deleted User

    I have a K World DV3... works fine on XP but not on Vista.

    Do you know which ones work on Vista Tony?
     
  8. JayDee

    JayDee Funster

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    We don't use the laptop for TV but we do watch the occasional DVD and also use it as a music source. I've had the MH stereo modified to accept a 3mm (or is it 3.5mm) mini jack (as in the ones that plug into the computer sound set-up and a lot of MP3 players), so we push the sound through the MH sound system. Saves extra speakers and gives more sound than USB speakers.

    I take USB speakers when we are poshing it in hotels and resorts using the car. They work well but don't produce a huge volume (no doubt to the relief of the people in adjacent rooms. :BigGrin:)

    John
     
  9. Mushroom

    Mushroom Deleted User

    Lots of very useful info - many thanks to one and all for posting it. Sounds as though the wife is going to be able to follow the evening newscast after all - me, I'd rather not know it all being bad anyway. :thumb:
     
  10. Tony Hunt

    Tony Hunt Read Only Funster

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    Graham. Its not got a name on it its a DV3T Terrestrial digital TV stick. It works fine on my Vista. I found it somewhere on Ebay. I think it might be one of the K world ones but not sure. Google DV3T and see what comes up. I had to get an analogue one to use with my sky box and that was the only one at the time vista compatible. I think from memory I might have had to go on their website and download vista drivers.
     
  11. N Luyetund

    N Luyetund Deleted User

    Thanks Tony, I'll get No.2 son on to it:Wink:
     
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