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We have recently bought a satellite and digital box, together with a small flat screen TV.
That's all fine and it works all right.
My question is, would we be able to set all this up to watch TV on a laptop in our camper van, rather than take the TV with us? The ;aptop would have TV out, but I gather that's traffic from the lap top to the TV rather than vice versa?
Can anyone advise on this?
Thanks for replying - much appreciated.
What additional hardware would we need? Is that the external TV tuner you mention?
I've never connected a TV and a computer before, so I don't know very much about this!!
Just use a USB TV tuner. Freecom or something like that. Nothing more to it really.
I'll go and check out USB TV tuners then.
It's a relief to know that it can be done!
You may find it easier to have a regular TV aerial and a freeview box for your campervan. Are you really going to want to dismount the satellite dish and remount it again for every trip?
You can get a freeview tuner for the laptop - without needing a normal freeview box plus a TV tuner. Less to cart about and set up.
Setting up a satellite dish is more complicated than a TV aerial, and needs a signal meter and a degree of patience to align it. I you haven't done it before, it's not a job for the faint-hearted and there are many pitfalls. Just moving about inside a campervan may be enough to upset the alignment.
A freeview box will have less programs than a Sky subscription, but still a good range (all BBC and ITV, and some more. Against that, in the UK, satellite reception is pretty constant - freeview might be a tad patchier. And you will still need to line up the aerial and probably retune the TV - though the lining up is less critical than with satellite.
Neither will work well, if at all, if you go abroad, depending of course on where you went to.
re your laptop TV reproduction.
We do go abroad to Europe and that was the whole point of using a satellite, rather than the digibox. Others use satellites to watch TV in their campervans successfully abroad, and we met someone in Portugal who had the same satellite kit that we have. It all comes packed in a box for campers. They were successfully watching various TV channels and getting the 'low down' on what the weather was up to in various regions, as well as watching films.
It did take a while to set the satellite at home, but that was the first time we'd ever done it. We think we could manage it a bit better now. The idea is that the satellite fits in the box for reception and we would place this outside the van, not on it, provided there are no obstructions i.e. we would need to be somewhere with an open vista. Not hard in the places we get to.
We were going to take a TV but thought it would be less packing if we could manage with the laptop. It seems we can!
I would welcome any other observations, advice and so on, and many thanks for everyone's help,
It sounds as if you have a Freesat system which is designed to be moved from place to place, e.g it's easy to take it with you when you go on holiday so you should be ok. You can get all the free to air channels in the UK by pointing your dish at 28.2 degrees east. But you can also point your dish in another direction such as 19 degrees and you can then recieve all the free to air channels in the country you're visiting. This is useful if you want to watch weather forecasts and news programs for the region you're in. click here for information about where to point your dish for the country you're in. Also if you go outside Europe, you will need a voltage converter for your equipment.
Thats OK - but you still need to remember that the further you go from the UK, the weaker the signal gets.
As a for instance, by the time you get to the Costa Blanca in Spain, you need at minimum a 2metre dish to get BBC/ITV (and then not for all of 24hrs) - plus the very best quality LNB (0,3dB noise figure) and a receiver with the most sensitive tuner (they're NOT all the same).
That's probably as bad as it gets before it becomes totally unobtainable - further South and West it gets better - you need to see the signal strength maps ("footprints") to see how the signal actually varies. It also varies from transponder to transponder on the satellite, so whilst some prgrams are difficult to get, others are easier. Sky News is a much stronger signal in Spain, for instance.
So as long as you understand all that, you will most times get some programs, as long as you don't get into a really weak signal area.
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