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External USB TV card for Laptop

Community Veteran
Posts: 17,468
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Registered: 06-11-2007

External USB TV card for Laptop

OK... I am looking for a External USB TV card/tuner (whatever it is called) to watch TV on my laptop...
Must be under £40.  (got my birthday money to spend ! ! )...
do I need to buy an aerial?  If so, any recommendations..... ?  It would need to be small(ish) to be able to transport it with the laptop, yet good enough for medium strength signals..
Any helpful advice/information would be useful
Thanks
9 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,313
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Registered: 08-01-2008

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Make sure it's digital!!
I bet there's a lot of less scrupulous sellers out there still trying to offload analogue tuners which will no longer work in many areas and soon will not work anywhere in the UK.
Many come with an 'Aerial' bit it's like a small knitting needle on a little stand, if your signal is good enough for a preper TV to get decent reception using a knitting needle then this will suffice, otherwise you pretty much need some sort of additional aerial, beware some USB tuners use a miniature coaxial aeriel connector and may not always provide an adaptor for a proper aerial plug.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,468
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Thanks for that..... just the sort of info I need......
Any more gems around?
Community Veteran
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Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

I use a older variant of the Hauppauge WinTV NOVA-T-Stick.  Only issue with its newer software,  it has a pause-replay option so caches constantly so makes a mess of you HDD and on a laptop thats a pain if its not a fast spindle speed.  So I stick to the last version 6 which doesnt have it, version 7+ do.
I'm in a poor reception area so have to use a booster and its off the main aerial not an indoor.
Unvalued customer since 2001 funding cheap internet for others / DSL/Fibre house move 24 month regrade from 8th May 2017
Community Veteran
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Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

One thing to be aware of... the need for a TV licence. If you have a TV licence for your home that's fine as it will cover out of home usage, if not, you will need to get one.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,468
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Thanks for the info on the pause replay, and constantly cache ....
will only be using it occasionally, so hopefully wont be a big problem...
Yes, I do have a TV licence,,... so again... no problem
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,468
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Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Got me a dongle off ebay,,  less than £10 inc postage !.... plugged it in, and plugged in my external (house roof) aerial..... found 69 channels and works well...
can`t get a signal on the little aerial supplied, despite being less than 25 miles from the Rowridge, I.o.W. transmitter.... 
will give it a go when out in the car, and see what happens...
198kHz
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Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Quote from: Peter
One thing to be aware of... the need for a TV licence. If you have a TV licence for your home that's fine as it will cover out of home usage...

...so long as the out-of-home device is running on battery power.
Remember you are unique - just like everyone else
Community Veteran
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Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Quote from: shutter
can`t get a signal on the little aerial supplied, despite being less than 25 miles from the Rowridge, I.o.W. transmitter.... 

'knitting needle' - told ya so!  Cool
Best bet really is to invest in a 'boosted settop aerial' with a 12V input (ones sold for caravans are ideal), youl'll get the best chance of a decent signal short of finfing a proper aerial wherever you are.
Call me 'w23'
At any given moment in the universe many things happen. Coincidence is a matter of how close these events are in space, time and relationship.
Opinions expressed in forum posts are those of the poster, others may have different views.
Community Veteran
Posts: 17,468
Thanks: 1,476
Fixes: 16
Registered: 06-11-2007

Re: External USB TV card for Laptop

Yes. Not many people realise the "caveat" about battery power...
Thanks for the suggestion on the boosted 12v aerial ..... something else to carry around in the boot ! ! ...
cheers guys  Wink