Thursday, August 11, 2011

Watching Satellite TV on PC Is Easier Than You Think

Plug your satellite TV receiver into your PC

Did you know that watching satellite TV on your PC could be as simple as plugging a lead from a satellite receiver into a socket on your PC? Yes it's as simple as that.

If you've bought a PC or even a notebook PC in the last few years the chances are that it's already satellite TV ready. You may not even have noticed the strange rectangular sockets on your computer that are your incredibly useful Universal Serial Bus (USB) ports. USB is what makes your PC satellite TV ready.

USB isn't just for Satellite TV

USB wasn't developed just for watching satellite television, it's an incredibly versatile interface capable of connecting to all kind of computer peripherals like monitors, audio speakers, cameras, keyboards, mice and a thousand other things, many of which haven't been invented yet.

There are two versions of USB in service at the time of writing. The oldest and slowest standard is version 1.0 (and 1.1) but it's version 2 that is the real performer. It's 40 times faster than version 1 and powerful enough to handle even high definition TV (HDTV). Some plug-in satellite receivers will work with USB 1 but you should try to use version 2 wherever you can. The vast majority of PC's manufactured in the last few years support USB 2.

What do you need to watch satellite TV for PC?

You need a computer with modest specification by today's standards, to take advantage of satellite TV on your PC. If you are interested in HDTV then your computer will need to be slightly more powerful. The following minimum specification should serve you well in all cases:

  • Microsoft? Windows? XP
  • Microsoft? Windows? Media Player 9.0 or later
  • Microsoft? DirectX9.0C or later
  • VGA card with at least 32MB memory
  • P4 2G MHZ CPU or above
  • 256MB RAM or above
  • One free USB 2.0 port
  • Sound card or on board sound chip

You will also need a satellite dish and LNB and a USB satellite TV receiver with DVB-S (Digital Video Broadcast for Satellite). You should get the dish and LNB installed by a professional.

How to connect the satellite receiver to your PC

When your satellite dish and LNB have been installed you can connect the cable from the dish to your USB satellite TV receiver. Then you should install the software that came with your satellite receiver onto your computer. When you have done that you can connect your satellite TV receiver to your PC using the USB cable that should come with your USB enabled receiver. You can plug the cable into any USB socket on your PC but try to make sure that it's a USB 2 socket. Some PC's have a mixture of USB 1 and 2 sockets so it's worth making sure.

Now start the software and start enjoying satellite TV on PC.

There is more information on watching satellite TV for PC in the article Watch Satellite TV on PC using USB

Steve is an engineer who has been interested in digital video for many years. For more information on sattelite TV please visit Use Your PC To Watch Digital TV at http://www.sattelite-television.thegrandfatherclock.com

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