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joeyboy 05-09-2007 12:50 PM

watching basic TV stations on a computer
Just noticed there's a home theater section here, so maybe someone would be able to help me out with this.

My home theater is completely PC based. I have speakers, monitor, and a projector all hooked up to my computer, which is where I have all of my media. I do not have any regular televisions, or anything that would accept a coax connection. This is fine as I never watch regular tv.

That changed though, as now there's a show on ABC that I like watching... Yet the only way to watch it is for me to buy the show from itunes the day after it aires.

I just got to thinking - if ABC is a free channel to watch anyways, are there any ways for me to somehow stream that through my PC in real time? If so, how is the quality? (I have a fast computer and fast internet connection, so those shouldn't have much lag, but I don't know how well the feed would be, if what I'm describing even exists!)

Nhrafan 05-09-2007 01:58 PM

There are a lot of options for watching free programming on your PC.
Check out this link first:

and this one:

I have the ATI All-In-Wonder installed on my PC for years now. With it you can watch TV, get an on-screen program guide, can record programs and much more. The quality looks better than most TV's I've seen.

Good luck.

joeyboy 05-09-2007 03:52 PM

actually I was wondering more about a program that I could watch them through the internet, rather than connecting a coax to my PC. Does that exist?

elementx440 05-09-2007 03:55 PM

no it does not, the bandwidth usage would be enormous. You'll need a tv-tuner card. they have usb ones, they work pretty nicely. some of the software lets you apply the video as your desktop "image" or even let's you change the opacity so that you can see the video while you can see your work as well... very cool.

robertcdf 05-09-2007 09:43 PM

Most shows are also shown on thier broadcasters website the next day and its free. Did you try going online and seeing if you could watch it there for free? I know someone who bought the whole season of a show on the itunes store and did not even know he could go on and watch it for free.

Beren 05-10-2007 02:29 PM

You will be happier, long-term, with using your HTPC as a HDTV node with a tuner card and antenna. There are options other than Linux/MythTV, but that's what I've been using lately. It's amazing how nice over-the-air HDTV programming looks! The latest card they're selling supports both HD and SD.

I'll be buying a second card soon. This way I can record a show at the same time I'm watching another one, or have two input sources - OTA HDTV, and basic cable.

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