A Few Inquiries Regarding HDTV Via A Converter Box

U

Unregistered

Guest
#1
I will detail my experience below and hopefully it will explain just exactly what my needs are...

First, my computer has a built-in T.V. tuner. I do not know the details regarding said tuner, but this is what the exterior of it looks like:



When I connect a simple "bunny-ear" indoor antenna or even a paper clip to the following converter box, and connect the converter box to the slot marked "DTV Antenna" on the computer, I receive remarkable HD signal of local channels. Note: the converter box is not even powered on (I don't need to even connect its power supply). I simply change channels using the features found in Windows Media Center.

The converter box:



An example of the quality yielded with a mere paper clip acting as an antenna:



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When this same set-up is configured (the only exception is that the converter box is plugged in and turned on unlike when used in conjunction with my computer) for our 48-inch or so Sony Bravia Full-HD television, the results are less than desirable--the picture is no where near true HD or what I receive on the computer with a mere paper clip. To my knowledge, the television does not have a built-in converter, so a converter such as the one already mentioned is required. We recently purchased this outdoor "HD" antenna. And though it hasn't been installed outside yet, the picture it yields is also not close to what I get on my computer:



Initially, we had configured it with a coaxle cable. When we instead hooked up the three color cables to the converter box and TV, the picture improved remarkably, but again, it is no where near true HD.

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What is allowing for this obvious discrepancy between picture quality on the computer and the television? What do I need to receive full-HD on the television? Are there converter boxes with HDMI inputs? If so, would this coupled with that outdoor antenna be the solution for the television set? Thanks much.
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#2
First things first, you do not need the converter box when connecting to the DTV antenna input on your PC. That is because the PC's DTV antenna input can already receive digital signals. Just connect the antenna directly to the PC tuner's input.

Secondly, unless your Bravia is an older model (meaning like more than 5-6 years old) it will have a digital tuner, so you can hook up an antenna there too and get digital signals. You may have to go into the menu and select "antenna" or "TV" as the input and do a search for digital channels. I believe the bravia has an automatic scanning feature. The KDL-52V5100 on the wall in our master bedroom has that.

Thirdly, you can hook up your PC to the TV and use media center as a DVR. Or you can get an XBOX 360 and connect that to the TV and use that as an "extender."

So the converter box isn't even necessary. Put it on one of your old analog TVs, perhaps in the guest room.

See this thread:

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-chat/46221-use-ota-tuner-turn-your-pc-into-tv-dvr.html
 
#3
First things first, you do not need the converter box when connecting to the DTV antenna input on your PC. That is because the PC's DTV antenna input can already receive digital signals. Just connect the antenna directly to the PC tuner's input.

Secondly, unless your Bravia is an older model (meaning like more than 5-6 years old) it will have a digital tuner, so you can hook up an antenna there too and get digital signals. You may have to go into the menu and select "antenna" or "TV" as the input and do a search for digital channels. I believe the bravia has an automatic scanning feature. The KDL-52V5100 on the wall in our master bedroom has that.

Thirdly, you can hook up your PC to the TV and use media center as a DVR. Or you can get an XBOX 360 and connect that to the TV and use that as an "extender."

So the converter box isn't even necessary. Put it on one of your old analog TVs, perhaps in the guest room.

See this thread:

http://www.dtvusaforum.com/dtv-hdtv-chat/46221-use-ota-tuner-turn-your-pc-into-tv-dvr.html
Thank you for the prompt response. I am the user who posted the OP...

Very interesting. The thought that the computer's tv tuner already had built-in mechanics thus making the converter box unnecessary never crossed my mind. With respect to the Bravia, it is newer than 5 years, definitely. I will try what you suggested right now. Question: What should be my next step if I connect the antenna directly as suggested, scan for channels, and do not receive a true-HD signal? In other words, connecting the computer to the television in our den is not an option and neither is the Xbox (I do not own one).

Edit: Just tried the suggested method for the computer: it worked. :) thanks much. Now I will give the tv a shot...

Edit #2: Correct again--the Bravia does indeed have a built-in tuner (silly me for doubting otherwise) and a quick channel scan through its menu yielded 100+ channels. The quality is leaps and bounds better than what we were receiving with the external tuner. Though it is not as clear as what I see on my 22-inch HP monitor, I believe the obvious size difference between the two monitors accounts for this difference. Still cannot complain about what this 20-something dollar outdoor antenna is providing. Thanks again for all your help.
 
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n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#4
You are most welcome! Glad we could be of help. :)

The next step of course would be to put an outdoor antenna if you can... that way you can receive even more channels!

You can also do the TV signal setup in media center and use it as a DVR. I use it for my whole house DVR solution. I have cable but I also mix OTA sources via additional tuners. As a result I have an 8 tuner whole house DVR which feeds 4 TVs. I can feed 6 TVs total since media center allows 5 media center extenders. I have 4 cable tuners and 4 OTA tuners. I can record all of primetime and pick and choose.
 
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