2012-01-06, 06:26 PM
My apologies if this topic has been covered but I have a couple of questions about using the Gateway (and portal) on a computer.
Can I connect the portal to a computer?
Would it connect through the computer or only through the monitor?
If the connection is through the computer monitor - how would I switch between viewing TV or computer on my monitor?
Does having a Gateway (and portal) eliminate the need for media centre on a computer?
Finally - am I correct in understanding I would not need a TV Tuner [card] in my computer to watch TV this way?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience with a rookie.
1) Can I connect the portal to a computer?
Yes, if you have a TV tuner card in your computer, you may quite possibly be able to connect the outputs of your portal, to the TV tuner inputs. However, you would not be able to control the portal from your computer; you'd still need the remote to change channels.
2) If you had a TV tuner card, you might be able to connect it to the computer. If your monitor has an HDMI or component video input, you can connect the portal directly, but most monitors can't process audio, so you'd still need a sound system, or RCA inputs on your computer.
3) For most monitors, you'd need to physically disconnect & reconnect the cables, or use an "A/B switcher" box.
4) Having a Gateway would eliminate the need for PVR features on your computer. There are plans to add DLNA streaming video features in the future, which will allow you to stream videos from your computer (or other source) onto the Gateway.
5) If you want audio/video inputs on your computer, you need a TV tuner card. I don't see any benefit to doing it this way; if you want to watch TV on your monitor, you're best bet is to get a cheap HDTV with a VGA input, that you can use as a monitor, and change inputs on the TV whenever you want to switch.
2012-01-09, 09:43 AM
Tux - thank you very much for your response. This is exactly the information I was looking for but unfortunately could not get from Shaw Tech services.
2012-01-09, 05:01 PM
I have a Samsung 25.5" T260HD. It's my main desktop computer monitor. It has 2 HDMI inputs, component, DVI, PC/VGA, audio out. It has a COAX input for a (HD?) cable TV feed, but this doesn't work in Canada (you need a cable box, of course).
I have a portal hooked up to this monitor directly via HDMI, and I can switch back and forth between it and the PC. The built-in speakers aren't good enough. I have the headphone out of the monitor going to a stereo input on the PC such that the TV audio and the PC audio can both go out to the PC powered speakers.
As a PC monitor, it's "OK"; not the greatest though. The main thing is that you can't read the screen standing up and looking down at an angle. You have to be nearer to eye-level. Curiously, this doesn't seem to be such a problem when looking at video.
2012-02-04, 03:16 PM
tux is right, but I would like to add one thing.
you're best bet is to get a cheap HDTV with a VGA input
You don't need to use the VGA input to get switching in a monitor. 2 HDMI inputs can work as well. One HDMI for TV, one HDMI for computer. The key is "more than one input" for sure though.
I have been using TV's for a computer screen for about 6 years now. 42" Sharp LCD and now a 50" LG plasma. Most computers have DVI out, which with a $3 adapter convert to HDMI (which allows you to use a standard HDMI cable). My new video card even has HDMI outputs on the back.
I found that the HDMI output on the computer >>> VGA connection for quality into a TV. I know my Sharp had this and only allowed a low res 4:3 VGA input which used half the screen and text was almost unreadable. I used the DVI (to HDMI) with 1080 resolution and everything was crystal clear.
VGA itself can do high res, but see what resolution the TV can accept over VGA, which can be much lower.
2012-02-04, 05:13 PM
I have a portal hooked up to my computer through a Hauppage TV tuner card. I wouldn't add that feature now that have the Gateway; but I already had it set up that way; my computer (and my wife's computer) was my PVR before the Gateway. We had extenders at the TV's so we could watch content there.
The one I have is SD only; it comes with a VGA to S-video adaptor and so I have the VGA out on the portal going into the S-Video in on the tuner card.
The card comes with a IR blaster. When using the Windows Media Centre interface, my computer can control the portal.
I picked up two 24" monitors as door crashers on the NCIX Boxing Day sale. They are different brands (1 per customer on the sale) but both my monitors have HDMI inputs, and then on the back the have audio outputs (headphone jack) to allow you to get to the sound that the HDMI feed provides. I'm planning this weekend to run the portal HDMI into one of the monitors, and then when I want to watch TV and work I can have one monitor as a computer monitor and one as a TV. Cheapest TV ever; 24" widescreen for $90. :)
2012-02-06, 01:54 AM
I watch shows from my Gateway through an HD Slingbox. This allows me to watch it on any of the 4 computers in the house, my iPad, or my iPhone. The best part is that I can also access it when I'm out of the house (I once streamed a hockey game at my friend's place in LA, and watched it on his 110" projector screen - it actually looked quite good!).