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PCITV first public release now wild

By Chris Williams. Published: 5th Mar 2004, 06:32:56 | Permalink | Printable

Boot up, tune in, drop out

PCI TV screenshotLast month we asked Simon Wilson as to where the hell his PCI TV card driver was. Well, now it's officially available to the RISC OS public and probably the first PCI driver for the Iyonix to be developed outside of Castle.

"PCITV is a driver and TV viewing application for RISC OS, bringing television and frame capture to the desktop for under 30 pounds, the cost of the card. The driver is free and protected by the GPL, meaning that the source is also available. I hope this will encourage others to create drivers for other PCI cards," Simon explains on his website.

"PCITV is able to show TV images at full frame rate at the maximum possible resolution of the TV image. It is able to show full screen video by changing to a mode closely matching the original resolution of the TV picture. No burden is placed on the processor and the TV image does not skip or break up when the processor is put under heavy load."

The first public release includes the PCI TV application, a diagnostic application and some extra software by Robin Hounsome. Simon's driver supports all PCI TV cards that use the Conexant BT848/849/878/879 chipset. The driver also features support for TV tuning, frame grabbing and full screen viewing.

Links

PCI TV card driver software for the Iyonix

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Discussion

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This looks fun.

Like many others, I suspect, I have no aerial available near my Iyonix. Can anyone comment on how good a signal is needed to get a usable picture. Would I get away with an indoor aerial sitting on a shelf above the computer? I know the answer to this is 'it depends' but what experience do people have?

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/3/04 5:49PM
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I bought the cheapest aerial Curry's could provide. It works quite well for BBC1, BBC2, ITV and Channel 4, (when oriented correctly) but it's a struggle to get much of a picture from Five. Perhaps a better aerial, or one with a powered signal booster, may help. I live in Leeds, which normally gets a good reception.

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 5/3/04 5:56PM
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I have mine connected through a split signal from my digibox downstairs, and then boosted on its way into the card. I have to say the picture is excellent, whether it is the satellite signal or the terestrial one. A fantastic product. Well done Simon. And Robin's remote utility is neat too.

 is a RISC OS UserBoroboy on 5/3/04 6:00PM
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finally got my order confirmation from pinacle today - my card should be here soon :-D

<reads email...>

2-10 days...

so I wont be fitting that during my Iyonix recasing this weekend

:-(

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 5/3/04 6:09PM
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Reception's fine here, with a an el cheapo indoor aerial (outskirts of Leeds). It was better in the next room, before we fitted out the new office, but it just needs a longer lead. Screengrab here: [link]

 is a RISC OS Userchrist on 5/3/04 6:13PM
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Will this PCITV card fit in the x100? If not, is there a plan to produce one?

cheers

George

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 5/3/04 6:15PM
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bucksboy: Surely that depends on the card you get? Castle ddn't say anything about removing the PCI bus; only the podules. The case is standard mini-ATX desktop standard, and you can usually get three PCI cards in those (I think).

 is a RISC OS UserSmiler on 5/3/04 7:31PM
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I've provided some more screenshots here: [link]

 is a RISC OS Usermonkeyson on 5/3/04 8:56PM
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When PCITV gets proper frame-grabbing support, the image quality of captured images will increase because it will combine fields correctly to produce an entire frame. The picture quality is a lot better than captured images would have you believe - when viewing TV, there are a lot of artifacts caused by signal quality and interference that may only show up in single frames, so when 25 (or 30) are shown per second, the quality seems to improve dramatically. Also, computer monitors are a lot sharper than TVs. TVs tend to blur poor images and make them seem higher quality.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 5/3/04 9:44PM
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Thanks all for the screen shots and aerial info - encouraging.

As to the X100: Last Saturday at the SW Show Jack L said that the PCI slots were still there but not the Podule slots. The latter are lost because there's no physical space for the backplane and cards. He did imply that there were some size restrictions around the PCI cards but I'm afraid the actual terminology meant nothing to me (WINTEL stuff, don't you know :-) ).

 is a RISC OS UserTonyStill on 5/3/04 10:24PM
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Pinnacle do a half-width TV card. However, the metal back of the PCI card which has the connectors on is full width. I've seen some PCs with space for proper half-width PCI cards only, including the metal back.

 is a RISC OS Userksattic on 5/3/04 10:28PM
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To Smiler & Tony Still: To quote from the Castle press release on the X100: '...future expansion is catered for by two low-profile PCI expansion slots...' Presumably this means a physically different (smaller) PCITV card is required.

 is a RISC OS Userbucksboy on 6/3/04 10:15AM
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PCI cards can be super long, presumably low profile means you can only use the ones the same length as the connector. Also are those slots filled with video card and USB? :) PCI cards can go all the way from the back of the case to the front, where there are guide rails on many cases. A bit like the old double width podules. Podules always seem more robust connector and backplate wise, but that is one thing PCI cards have a nice solution for - short IDE poduls always seem a bit wobbly.

 is a RISC OS Userjohn on 6/3/04 1:42PM
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Actually low profile PCI cards dont stick up as much from the PCI socket they can be the same length as any other PCI card.

 is a RISC OS Userajpullan on 6/3/04 3:04PM
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Great news on what hopefully is the first of many available PCI card upgrades. Well done Simon for getting this out to market. I have a Iyonix with two CDDrives in and read somewhere that additional PCI cards obstruct the sound inputs to the motherboard , is anyone able to verify this?. Still I only need one sound input and hopefully when the DVD software becomes available and we get a fast enconder i'll be able to convert my home video's to VideoCd or DVD.

 is a RISC OS Userbluenose on 6/3/04 4:57PM
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as to the issue with the X100 - the situation is this:

it uses a slimline PC case.

it needs to use 1/2 height PCI2.x cards.

If there is a TV card available that conforms to this physical standard (and the limits of PCITV) then it will fit.

I am waiting for my TV card to arrive - if it is 1/2 height then I'll let you know.

btw my 64MB xfx graphics card and the USB card in my Iyonix are both 1/2 height...

:-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 6/3/04 5:43PM
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Only 7 years after the first 848 cards for the PC then. All is not lost.

 is a RISC OS UserChimpy on 10/3/04 4:21PM
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Cards here :-D

it's a full height one so that'll preclude the X100...

I had wondered about those inputs fouling.

will be fitting this weekend - if my TRM comes...

probably a :smash: ;-)

 is a RISC OS Userepistaxsis@work on 10/3/04 8:32PM
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