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TV tuner Capabilities and HDTV in a Nutshell

by infosaturated / June 12, 2009 5:49 AM PDT

I never even realized that there was such a thing as external TV tuners. For years and years I was annoyed that TVs came in one piece instead of in components like stereo systems. Low and behold,I stumbled across an explanation of how to turn an old monitor into a TV. I'm still confused because googling leads me to explanations on the pros and cons of various hook-ups while I am still not clear on what it makes possible. My only excuse is that I'm 55.

Currently I don't have cable or satelite TV. I use old fashioned "rabbit ears" and just watch local TV on a big ol tube tv. I am in Canada so I still have access to analog signals until 2011. I have a cheap VCR and a separate DVD player with speakers connected to my TV. I also have a 4.5 year old laptop which I like to use while I am watching TV.

Both size and money are an issue for me. Whatever I get I use for a very long time so cheapness isn't the only factor. I have limited space.

My first question is would my antenna still work with HDTV signals (assuming I have the converter box everyone is supposed to buy)?

Am I wasting money buying a converter box for an old TV?

If I stay with just the antenna can an external TV tuner and separate monitor still work? Does it work just like a normal TV only with separate components?

Sometimes I watch TV on my laptop but if I go to full screen the picture degrades substancially. Could I use the same external monitor and would the same thing happen?

I will probably switch to a desktop when I have to replace my laptop because they are cheaper. What's this stuff about internal TV tuner cards? Does it allow you to recieve regular TV signals? Even from an antenna?

Any information or advice would be much appreciated.

PS. I an no computer whiz but I can install my own system and other software and I did change a power supply in an old computer. With some confusion, frustration and lots of time I hook-up all my own stereo/TV equipment as long as I have a manual to follow.

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"My only excuse is that I'm 55";
by ahtoi / June 12, 2009 9:49 AM PDT

You better come up a better than that!

1. The old antenna will still work.

2. Wasting money with a converter box? yes and no.
No need for you until 2011 and the box is in the U.S.

3. Will tuner work with monitor?
My guess is that it won't because the tuners that I have seen have only
usb connection (and I have never seen a monitor with usb connector) but
it certainly be ok with your laptop (I would think).

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by infosaturated / June 13, 2009 11:54 AM PDT

Thanks for the reply Happy

I'll keep checking if anyone else has advice.

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