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Old 02-22-2007, 10:53 AM   #1
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Default Turning Computer into TV

Looking for some guidance on this. My goal is to have Direct TV and computer use one monitor in my den. I'm not making this my home-theater or having any TV over 22-inches. Currently I have a Compaq Presario S4000V (3-1/2 years old). 2.2 with a 256 (it says I have 196 mg of RAM). I'm a lowly accountant, not a tech guy and mainly use my PC for working on Excel and surfing internet. Originally I was thinking of getting a flat-panel TV that had both connections. Then, while looking, the guy at CompUSA told me to buy a tuner and turn my computer into TV (recommended Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 ATSC/NTSC Hybrid Video Recorder/ TV Tuner) and using the LCD screen I have. Later I found out my computer may be too slow for a video stream. I looked to upgrade my 256 to something higher and a different CompUSA guy told me it'd be cheaper to buy a new computer. Now I'm totally confused (and know enough about all this to make me nothing more than dangerous). Not going HD any time soon. Just trying to have PC and Direct TV use one screen (and don't want to go overboard in technology and money spent). Any assistance is appreciated.
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Old 02-22-2007, 11:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Turning Computer into TV

As you said, you can get a monitor that has both connections so you can hook both your computer and you tv box directly to the monitor/screen. The TV tuner is a cheaper way, but like the guy at compUSA said, you need to have a decent computer to transfer the video feed to the monitor.
I was wondering if you could give us your computer specs so I can see if it is possible to upgrade your computer and not have to buy a new one. You can find out by right clicking on My Computer and going to properties. I need to know the CPU type/speed along with how much ram you have. The more information you give me would be better.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:15 PM   #3
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Default Re: Turning Computer into TV

Intel Pentium 4 2.20 GHz/400 MHz
256 MB DDR RAM/PC2700 (1 DIMM)
40 GB hard drive (5400 rpm)
48X/12X/48 CD-RW drive
Processor architecture mPGA478
Chipset SiS651
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:26 PM   #4
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Default Re: Turning Computer into TV

if you upgrade you ram, it should be fine. I would recommend a 1 gig chip (http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16820145086). Your computer seems more than compatible to run a tuner card. Just get more ram and you should not need to worry about anything else.
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Old 02-22-2007, 12:49 PM   #5
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Default Re: Turning Computer into TV

Thanks for all the help. In the end, is it really worth it to upgrade my computer memory, install a DVD drive and the tuner, plus get a new LCD monitor (Samsung 226BW at around $400 recommended by CompUSA guy), or just buy a TV that does both (can get a decent 23-inch for around $600)? Any pros or cons? Again, I'm just a bean-counter who's trying to conserve space.
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