Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Gadgets - an RF modulator and some of the components needed to feed your computer a TV signal

Modulator WiFi DTV_0217
Originally uploaded by gtveloce
Here's a pic of an RF modulator sitting on a PC (middle, left). In fact I use the modulator to get an old TV to work with a set-top-box and DVD player. If - like on this TV - you don't even have a composite (or 'yellow video connector') input then you need an RF modulator to send the video signal from the modern output device to ye olde RF connector instead.

It's not ideal but with some mucking around it does work. You will have to tune the TV to the frequency of whatever you hook up and you may get a distorted picture. Alternatively, upgrade to a newer TV with at least a composite input.

Also in the pic is a set-top-box on a stick (middle right). Well it's an HD Digital TV tuner with USB connection. With that little device I can use the PC as a TV and Personal Video Recorder (PVR). With a new-fangled HDMI connection we can easily hook the PC to a TV, too, and use it as a monitor. Or (as I did) we can use older-style connections to pump the signal out to the TV. You may however have to use an adapter to bridge between PC 'D-shell' and yellow composite TV connectors.

Lastly, that's a WiFi USB 'dongle' right up the back.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Audio/video switch

from PC to TV_0484
Originally uploaded by gtveloce
The sort of audio/video switch you can use to switch between 2 devices. The output goes to a 3rd device.

In this example I hooked up the kid's PC to an old composite-only analog TV via a VGA feed (a standard PC video connection) to an analog PVR (or personal video recorder - a box with a hard drive in it).

The sound is sent through a Logitech 5.1 amp/speaker system via a 2-in 1-out switch (pictured) to allow a swap between the DTV-B (digital TV - broadcast) STB's (set top box) audio and the PC audio-out. It works!

That's the audio switch. I could have switched video through it as well but I use the analog PVR to do that and just feed the main stereo audio through here, with the other speakers going direct.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Rob's CC IT Shop is now open

I have partnered with Amazon to bring you a range of quality electronics at decent prices. Bear in mind that some products and/or models are restricted to certain markets and may not be available in Australia, and further that warranties may vary between countries. Note also that $US may be quoted, in which case please ensure you have converted back to your local currency before committing to your purchase. 

Thursday, May 06, 2010

Networking Windows 7 with XP - setting the workgroup name

Here's a tip. Having just updated to Windows 7 I couldn't find where to set my workgroup name (which is the name you set for all computers on your network). Well it's not under Networks in control panel (which is where you might think it should be) but under System instead.

From the Start menu select Control Panel, System; then to the right of "Computer name, domain, and workgroup settings" click Change Settings. You can change your Computer Name here as well, BTW. Click Change settings and the workgroup option (which was greyed out) becomes editable in a dialog box. Set it to whatever workgroup name you use for all your machines (in XP the default was MSHome, I think... in Win7 it's just Workgroup. So it's not going to work out of the box, it just needs some help.)

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

If there's something wrong, please let me know.

I appreciate your business - if there's something amiss in any way please let me know.

Cheers, Rob.

Thanks for your business!

I just wanted to say that I appreciate your business and trust all is well. Let me know if there's anything else I can do to assist - your comments and feedback are always welcome.

Cheers, Rob.

Monday, May 03, 2010

Up and running

The new domain is registered - we are now registered as centralcoastIThelp.com. Not amazingly creative but let me tell you the angst I went through choosing from the available options... not easy.

By the way I registered that domain (as I have done for yonks) via virtualave.net (my web server supplier of choice) and Tucows. May as well own up, if you sign up via that link I'll get a small commission against my web hosting plan. Won't make me rich but helps keep the ship afloat. Same principle applies with any advert you see in this blog.