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Broadcast video from computer to television

Posted on 2006-12-01
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Last Modified: 2010-04-26
I have a computer down in my basement next to where the cable line comes in.  I was wondering if it would be possible to somehow plug my computer into it so that I could play videos from that computer on an arbitrary channel throughout the house.  Preferably without affecting the rest of the channels provided by my cable provider (Rogers).

Does anyone know what I might need to use/buy to achieve this?
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Question by:Terra_Nova
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Expert Comment

by:zephyr_hex (Megan)
ID: 18057343
you need a TV Tuner for your computer.  they make external ones, and internal ones.
http://www.circuitcity.com/ssm/Computer-Accessories-and-Add-ons/sem/rpsm/catOid/-13011/Ntk/All/Ntt/tv%20tuner/rpem/ccd/categorylist.do

the more expensive tuners offer more features, such as the option to tune to more than 1 channel
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Accepted Solution

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garycase earned 125 total points
ID: 18058564
Easy.   As long as you have audio and video outputs from the computer (many graphics cards have s-video outputs; and you can use the sound card's audio output), you simply need an RF modulator.   If you have multiple devices you want to "feed" into your cable system (VCR, DVD, etc.) you can simply buy a multi-channel modulator.   You simply choose channels on the RF modulator that are not used by your cable signal ... and combine the output of the modulator with your cable signal.   Then ANY TV in the house can tune to those channels and receive whatever you've modulated.   I've used this technique for years to add signals to our cable signal [VCR's, DVD's, security cameras, etc.].

A nice 3-channel modulator is fairly inexpensive these days (about 1/3rd what they used to cost):
http://www.solidsignal.tv/prod_display.asp?PROD=5435   If you want to modulate the audio signal in stereo it costs more ... you need a stereo modulator:  http://www.smarthome.com/7702st1.html

You can find lower priced brands ... or older models of the better brands (Channel Plus is a good choice) ... on e-bay for less.

If your graphics card has an s-video output; but the modulator requires a composite signal, you can use a simple adapter cable:  http://www.shop.com/op/~Startech_com_6_inch_S_Video_To_Composite_Vi-prod-14294762-20799390?sourceid=298    You can also buy modulators that accept s-video inputs => although if you're buying a multi-channel modulator it will probably have composite inputs, so you'll need one of these cables.

Finally, if your graphics card does not have a video output, you can buy one that does very inexpensively.  (~ $30)

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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 18058568
... You do NOT, by the way, need a TV tuner in the computer, since you're simply playing videos from it.   That would only be needed if you wanted to receive channels from your cable system.
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Author Comment

by:Terra_Nova
ID: 18059465
Thanks for the info garycase!  And yea, I knew a tv tuner was for cable input not output, but still thanks for the warning =)
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Expert Comment

by:garycase
ID: 18060010
You're welcome.  Enjoy the new channels.
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