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2 posts

Wannabe Geek

Topic # 22586 1-Jun-2008 21:44
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Loathe me if you will for my stupidity and ignorance, I wouldn't ask if I weren't so lost.

Using a digital TV tuner card, (Specific model being the PixelView B1000 -- as pictured here:, is it possible to directly pick up Digital signals (DVB-T), through your standard UHF / VHF aerial without the need for a set-top box?

Yes, the question is that basic. I beg that you spare me the comments detailing your knowledge of my idiocy.

Further Detail:

I bought the card due to its advertising of its compatibility with Windows Vista x64. I soon found out all about large corporations false advertising when I contacted both the manufacturer and the retailer telling them of how the drivers simply wouldn't function. The manufacturer failed to respond three times, so I gave up. The retailer however, did respond, saying that they had contacted the manufacturer and that it indeed isn't compatible. They offered a full refund for the product on the conditon I would surrender it to them, at this stage I was fairly disgruntled about the whole situation and there was no way I was going to re-open my box, re-package their product and then pay the shipping to get it back to them, then go into the bank and cash the check.

So, I decided I would dual-boot Vista Ultimate x64 with XP Professional x86, as by doing this all I had to do was create another partition and install XP to it, then just switch which operating system I booted into, dependant upon which activities I had in mind. Simple enough, despite the initial learning curve surronding Vista no longer utilising the NT boot management, a small bump in the road.

There's the story thus far --- here comes the DETAIL, are you ready?
Ok so, under my XP install I used Power Cinema (Which was absolutely trashy, glitchy and all around hopeless and frustrating, I find it impossible to find anything about it which I would like to see replicated, Enough of the personnal critique of their software back to the DETAIL). So I used Power Cinema, now this managed to pick up Names of and Guides to all the Digital TV channels when directly fed into the wall socket (Leading to the Antenna), Which was good, with one or two minor errors, there was 1:) No Audio, and 2:) No Video.

However, this lead me to believe that what I had was a valid set-up, considering that I am able to recieve some kind of a signal related to what it was that I desired. So, having had enough of both having to re-boot to watch TV, and then having to use Power Cinema I decided it was best to swap to a x86 distribution of Windows Vista Ultimate, so aftering having run down to the "shop" and "purchased" it I re-formatted my Operating System Disk Drive (Still leaving both my archieve and Secondary Drives as they were) and made two partitions from it (After convincing myself that it would always be good to have a second operating system installed, a back up if you will) and installed both the x86 Vista and the same x86 XP.

At last, with a little bit of effort, I was now using a proper software suite (Ultimate comes with Windows Media Centre) and I was able to view Analouge signals at least anyway --- all without rebooting! Hurrah!  This lead me to ponder whether or not my previous set-up was valid, and whether or not I could also recieve Digital Terrestrial through my Aerial, without the need for a set-top box, and I stumbled upon this website which seemed to be full of people who knew what they were talking about.

On a side note: I have a satellite, and a digital box thingo, have been recieving digital for years before freeview showed up, and that's all set up and working fine on the main TV in the household. I don't think my card is combatible / capable of running DVB-S, plus all the wiring in the roof is rather higgilty piggilty, and I know that when I move my tv I have to adjust it all up in the roof, rather a painful operation, so it's not fed over the coax throughout the house along with the sky UHF and the standard UHF /VHF aerial. So I've concluded that to be an invalid option, realistically anyway.

While we're at it, let's discuss my geography. The house is situated on the opposite side of a medium sized hill which stands between me and the signal emitter, whatever that may be now-days, I think it's all located at the hospital (Hamilton), anyway this has predisposed me to recieve sub-par reception of a range of the channels. I'm most certain that the situation is not aided by the location of the aerial being inside the wall, centre of the house (Dear lord, do not ask me why). So my question that I'll pose to you is this: Does DVB-T get transmitted at a higher, or a lower frequency than VHF / UHF? -- I ask this due to it's relevance to the signals wave getting defracted as it comes over the hill, I'm most certain that a lower frequency is preferrable for reception.

My apologies for the life story, I would be most gracious if you could answer my few questions that have been buried herein. Do forgive my retardation.

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75 posts

Master Geek

  Reply # 134837 2-Jun-2008 00:58
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Ok, lets see if I can help you out. First of all, have you read the guide for getting freeview, written by fossie? If not, here it is:

First of all, you are going to have to buy some more software. Namely Powerdvd 7 ultra deluxe or its #8 counterpart.

After that, you get the monogram aac decoder from here for the audio.

If you want the new surround sound from tv3 you can install ac3filter from here

Then you need to get either:



or Media Portal

After that, you have to configure it as per Fossies instructions.

So, as you can see, it is not something to be undertaken by the faint-hearted.

If you decide to carry on, good luck.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 134885 2-Jun-2008 11:34
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before you buy PowerDVD, try FFDshow, apparently it works, it does for me anyhow.


2 posts

Wannabe Geek

  Reply # 134906 2-Jun-2008 12:54
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I've already got FFDshow, as well as ac3filter...As per my codecs package. This:
monogram aac decoder

I'm not entirely sure about.

I will pose one further question; What is PowerDVD's function precisely?
I thank you very much for your patience in both reading, and replying to me.

I'm sure this information will be invaluable to both myself and others that trudge their way through the pipes and stumble over it.

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Biddle Corp
Lifetime subscriber

  Reply # 134908 2-Jun-2008 12:59
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allstarnz: before you buy PowerDVD, try FFDshow, apparently it works, it does for me anyhow.

Unfortunately it doesn't do hardware acceleration though.

You really *do* need to use a codec that supports H.264 hardware acceleration and a video card such as a NVidia 8500 or greater that also supports this. Using software decoding IMHO is a complete waste of time and simply doesn't deliver a quality image.

Before people start jumping on me and saying "but ffdshow or coreavc work OK" I'm not saying they don't work, I'm saying that if you want a quality picture with decent deinterlacing you need to go down the hardware path. Software decoding of 1080i will max out most modern CPU's and simply does not deliver a picture that is anywhere near as good as PDVD8 + NVidia 8500.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 134932 2-Jun-2008 14:28
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allstarnz: before you buy PowerDVD, try FFDshow, apparently it works, it does for me anyhow.

Unfortunately it doesn't do hardware acceleration though.

etc etc

fair point, i was just saying more that PowerDVD is not essential, but more under the highly recommended category :)

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