Re: Watching PAL TV programs
From: Stephen Neal (stephen.neal_at_nospam.as-directed.com)
Date: Fri, 17 Dec 2004 13:11:32 -0000
"Nik" <Nik@discussions.microsoft.com> wrote in message
>I just moved to Europe (Greece) with my Toshiba Satellite P25-S609 laptop
> computer. I tried to watch live TV with an Antenna connection, but I
> Is it because the TV tuner that comes with the laptop is only for NTSC
> signal. Is there a way I can set it to be able to warch PAL TV programs?
> not, what are some of the ways I can use to watch PAL TV programs?
For your laptop to receive PAL B/G signals OTA (as broadcast in Greece) it
needs to be able to do the following two things.
1. Correctly tune the System B and System G channels (B normally used for
VHF and G for UHF) This means it can successfully receive sound and video
signals. Your system will currently be set-up for System M tuning and
channels (with the different sound and vision frequencies this entails) and
will need to be switchable to PAL B/G. (You may find you get pictures but no
sound if you try tuning, or you might get nothing at all?)
2. Correctly decode the PAL 4.43 received colour TV signal to display it on
your laptop. Your laptop will currently be set up for NTSC 3.58 decoding -
if you try PAL reception in this mode, you might get a black and white
picture (with or without sound) or it might just not play ball at all.
Many PC TV tuners sold these days are able to do both 1 and 2. Some, older
ones, may not be able to do 1, just 2. Similarly some low-cost tuners sold
specifically for the US market may include a cheap single-standard tuner
(only System M RF spacings and audio), but have a multistandard TV decoder
chip (so would do 2 but not 1)
If you can do 2 but not 1 then if you are able to feed a composite video,
rather than RF/Antenna/Aerial feed into your laptop, then you might be able
to feed it the output from a PAL VCR or similar. (In this case the VCR is
performing the PAL B/G tuning and reception, and your laptop just has to
decode the PAL composite video) If the VCR is a standard European model you
will probably need a SCART to 3 x Phono Video Out lead. (Beware they also
come in a video in flavour - the most useful have either 6 phonos - to allow
you to go both ways! - or an IN/OUT switch)
If your Laptop can't be re-configured to do either 1 and 2 or 2 with a VCR,
then an external USB2 solution, like the Hauppauge PVR USB2 (which can be
persuaded to work using MCE 2005 - mine did!) will provide you with PAL BG
reception - but cost you.