Being a geek, it is no surprise that my monitor (an Acer X223W) is bigger than my (Teac analogue) television. It therefore made sense that rather than upgrading my TV with a set top box, to investigate what’s on the market to receive HDTV on the computer.
The weapon of choice was a Gadget Geek USB HDTV tuner, purchased from Dick Smith for under $AUD 100. Not bad. Under Windows XP, it installed quickly and easily. The unit came with a mobile antenna and Blaze HD TV software, and on the first scan for channels, it found absolutely, yep you guessed it, nothing. So, out came the coax cable, and I plugged the USB HDTV tuner into the outlet in the wall (straight from the antenna – it was previously hooked into my stereo to receive FM radio). The coax cable only fared slightly better – receiving only the digital SBS channels. Just to be absolutely sure, I repeated the process on the other two coax outlets (yep, small unit and three phone lines and three coax outlets. I <3 my house. It will be even better when it’s CAT 6 wired). At most, I could receive 10% signal strength for one other digital channel.
Not to be deterred, I booted into my other operating system (Fedora Core 9) to see whether MythTV would fare any better. MythTV was a nightmare to install – it is not for Linux newbies. After spending four hours resolving dependencies in yum, I finally got the software to install… only to find that there are no Linux drivers for the USB HDTV tuner. Bummer.
Conclusion: I need a new antenna that can pick up HDTV signals. Well, it beats socks as an Xmas pressie 🙂