I just finished a minor project that probably won’t interest many people, but I have benefited in the past from obscure posts on unlikely subjects, so I have decided to share it here for whatever it may be worth.
I wanted to fine-tune my LNB offsets but I have never found it worthwhile to buy a proper satellite finder. I just wouldn’t have enough use for it. Instead, I use a laptop. A TV would also work but it is hard to find one small enough these days.
The laptop is convenient for balancing on the ladder while making adjustments. I just plug it into the satellite receiver and tune to something on the satellite I want. Of course you can’t just plug a composite output into a laptop. I use a digitiser for that. I bought it many years ago to transfer some VCR tapes but it also works well for this kind of thing, and for anything else that involves viewing analogue signals on digital devices.
The digitiser I bought all those years ago is an EasyCap. Apparently it has a terrible reputation, which is at least partly deserved. It seems to be a fairly cheap and nasty device but practically everyone in the world seems to have one. It works after a fashion, once you get the driver problems sorted, and I have found it to be a convenient thing to have. But it can be a bugger to set up.
One problem is the enclosed USB extension cable. This usually doesn’t do anything and can better be left aside or replaced with something else. Nothing is more frustrating than staring at a blank screen when everything should be operating. It seems to be best when the device is plugged directly into the computer.
Another problem is the enclosed driver CD. This doesn’t work and apparently never has. Of course mine is very old and who still has a CD drive anyway, but as far as I know, EasyCap is still being sold, and surprisingly, still being bought, and the drivers, which may never have been updated, still don’t work, especially on more modern systems. Fortunately there are abundant drivers that will do the job, but it may take some trial and error to find one. Many claim to be what you need, but still leave you with a blank screen when installed. It is not particularly hard to find a good one, but it can take some patience. I have seen drivers specifically for windows 8 and 10, but I haven’t tried them myself. I wanted to use an old laptop with Windows 7, so here is what worked for me:
First, you should run the CD installation program to get things installed. This is easiest. I keep a pc with DVD drive for copying installation CDs to USB drives. After installation you can try to run the Ulead video editor, which has a capture section that is used by EasyCap, but if it works you will have experienced a miracle. For most people, the next step is to go to Device Manager and look for the USB 2.0 capture device, which will have a big fat warning sign next to it. Now you need to find a driver that actually works. Once it is successfully installed, you should be good to go, though the audio may or may not work. That is a completely different issue requiring more research and drivers, but it is not relevant to my purpose, which was just to get a usable picture. The driver that worked for me on Windows 7 was EasycapDC60_STK1160Grabber_32&64bit.exe. I found this on Softpedia, http://drivers.softpedia.com/get/TV-Tuner-Co/Others/EasyCap-DC60-USB-Video-Capture-Adapter-Driver-61070001.shtml.
Once I had the driver I finally saw the satellite receiver image in the window. Hurrah. Now I just have to go fiddle with the LNBs.