Can I connect the TiVo to a PC monitor?

Discussion in 'TiVo Series 1 - UK' started by clivegriffiths, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002

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    Hi all, I've used our TiVo in the main room of the house with Sky/Virgin/Freeview over the years, but we are just getting Sky installed again and are going to go with a Sky+ box. Now I'm certainly not ready to pack up my trusty TiVo and would like to use it in the bedroom. However, at the moment, the 'TV' in the bedroom is actually a Vista PC with media center.
    So what I wondering is whether it possible to connect a TiVo to a PC monitor?

    At the moment I have a Dell 20" Ultra sharp wide screen monitor, but I am thinking of upgrading to this 24" monitor http://www.ebuyer.com/product/133517 thoughts?
     
  2. ciper

    ciper Active Member

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    Nov 4, 2004
  3. tonywalk

    tonywalk New Member

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Broadbottom,...
    Quite a number of the 24" monitors have a range of inputs usually including a composite video connection. Both my Dell 24"'s have them. With a Dell if you buy the optional soundbar (from eBay is waaaay cheaper than from Dell) then you can put the audio from the Tivo straight into that. So just a scart to composite and audio socket converter and then a composite video cable and a left/right phono to 3.5mm jack cable. Easy peasy.
     
  4. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002
    okay, I'll check out my monitor, one question tho, how would I switch between the TiVo and the PC?
     
  5. mikeyp

    mikeyp New Member

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    Dec 22, 2005

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    you want this :)
    http://www.maplin.co.uk/SEODynamicPages/module.asp?ModNo=45227

    it takes a vga / svideo / pc signal and outputs to a vga monitor.
    this one even has a tuner.

    we actually use the version with 4 composite inputs as we switch many devices output to a projector.
     
  6. ciper

    ciper Active Member

    2,012
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    Nov 4, 2004
    What is wrong with my option? It even lets you do picture in picture with the Tivo display right next to your browser loaded up to TCF!
     
  7. verses

    verses TiVoTiVoTiVoTiVoTiVo

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    Nov 6, 2002
    There's normally a button on the front of monitors, (both the Dell's I'm using at the mo have it) which has a rectangle with an arrow pointing into it from the left. Pressing this tells the monitor to switch between it's various inputs.

    HTH,

    Ian
     
  8. ...coolstream

    ...coolstream New Member

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    Dec 9, 2005
    SCOTLAND
    I prefer your option because the video router option introduces one more link to the chain and also uses more electicity use.

    To follow your route also has more benefits:
    Based on the fact that clivegriffiths already has a media centre, he doesn't need a tuner, he is going to get more options using media centre and the sound will be coming through the speakers he already has.

    For TiVo use, the Dell and soundbar combo will be ideal (however NOTE that to continue to use TiVo as a recording option, you will need to also have a source-so use a freeview box if you have one spare). Sound from the TiVo can be sent to the soundbar which is powered directly by the monitor.

    A third option to ponder would require less kit and is to connect TiVo via Scart ->component+audio cable (seearch eBay) directly to the PC (most TV cards have external source input ability) and then you can watch TV that way without changeing your monitor and using the speakers you already have.
     
  9. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Okay I've checked my Dell monitor and it has a S-video and VGA input. So I could just get a scart to S-video lead for the video and then the audio with a soundbar?

    Actually I have these speakers and sub-woofer, would there be anyway to connect the sound from the TiVo and the PC to this (audio cable splitter?)
     
  10. tonywalk

    tonywalk New Member

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Broadbottom,...
    Video-wise, you select the input by way of buttons on the monitor (on my Dell anyway). Audio would be more tricky. Whilst you could use a double adaptor to have the two plugs go into the one jack, you would have the problem of both outputting audio at the same time. Perhaps there is a cheap adaptor with a switch.
     
  11. tonywalk

    tonywalk New Member

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Broadbottom,...
    Yes, splitter to allow two inputs. You would still get the same issue with double audio though - obviously you could unplug cables but that would obviate the need for a splitter.

    I do not know if Tivo outputs an S-Video signal over SCART - I would double check this.

    I note that the monitor you want to buy has speakers built in. It appears to take a direct L/R phono input as well as the composite video input so seems good to go (you would still need the spitter and get the double audio problem though).
     
  12. AMc

    AMc Active Member

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    Mar 22, 2002
    East of England
    Nope, composite or RGB only.
    You could buy an RGB>S-video convertor but it sounds like an expensive cludge.
     
  13. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002
    just had a look again and there is also a composite video input, not sure if this of use? Give the three input slots (s-video, video composite, vga) on my monitor and that the TiVo is scart, what would people suggest is the best way to connect the two?
     
  14. ...coolstream

    ...coolstream New Member

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    Dec 9, 2005
    SCOTLAND
    Use a Scart to composite+sound (scart to yellow, red and white phono plugs).

    I wouldn't recommend linking audio outputs to one input by cable alone but a device like this will allow you to switch audio
     
  15. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Why it is not recommended to link audio output? The only prob with the above is that I'd have to set up and switch the box over everytime I flipped to the TiVo from the PC. What about this lead but then using a jack splitter (so I can plug two jack sockets into the back of the PC) for the audio (Dell speakers and subwoofer connect to the PC via a 3.5mm jack). I'm not worried about the sounds interfering because if I was watching the TiVo, the only ocassional thing that might make a noise would be a incoming email alert, etc. However, I'm going on the assumption that inputting to seperate audio signals into one audio-in socket .. actually, I just thought, the audio connected between the speakers and the PC is the PC outputting to the speaker, so the above wouldn't work, unless I input the audio from the TiVo into the PC and then it gets output along with all the other PC sounds out through the jack to the speakers? There does appear to be a audio-in jack socket next to the audio-out, so if I got the above lead and connected the jack on the above lead to that then I should get the TiVo sound throught the PC, yes?
     
  16. ...coolstream

    ...coolstream New Member

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    Dec 9, 2005
    SCOTLAND
    The main reason for not just connecting cables together with Y connectors is that the connectors aren't smart and let signals go in any direction. Quite often you might find that volume drops because the signals are being split. A switch is like a connector but only lets traffic go in one direction at a time therefore no signal loss or interference.

    Now for your main question...

    if you are going to plug a 3.5m jack into the PC, make sure that it isn't for a MIC. There's a good chance that the output from TiVo will be higher than the MIC input expects and sound will be distorted. You should be looking for an AUX input. If your PC accepts 3.5m jack as AUX, then go ahead, but if it just has two phono (red and white), then use the cable I suggested.

    The use of a switch was an alternative so that both PC and TiVo sound could go to the monitor/speaker combo. Instead of plugging and unplugging leads, you could have them all connected to the switch and just select which one you wanted to hear.

    This is the same setup that I am using on this computer which has a freeview box and PC plugged into my Dell monitor and sound is passed via switch to speakers.
     
  17. clivegriffiths

    clivegriffiths New Member

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    Feb 24, 2002
    Okay, I've got the TiVo connected and at the mo its just video (scart to composite and audio leads). If I get a audio to jack adapter for the audio leads, can I definately INPUT the sound from the TiVo into the soundbar? Also, how is the volume on the soundbar controlled?

    ..actually, I see the sound bars get their power from the pc, if the jack on the speakers is going to the TiVo and not the PC, won't I then not having any power?
     
  18. ...coolstream

    ...coolstream New Member

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    Dec 9, 2005
    SCOTLAND
    The soundbar is powered by the monitor (see the jack near the video inputs) using its own cable.
    Volume on the soundbar is controlled by a knob at the side.
    Audio input on the monitor is all via one 3.5 jack, so you can input only one thing at a time.

    However, my solution is to do the mixing/switching before the signal reaches the monitor.

    If you don't want to have to keep plugging and unplugging, you can either use an audio switch with all the necessary inputs plugged into into the switch and one output from the switch to the monitor. (something like eBay item 360026470391)

    The solution I use is to have the sound routed from the freeview box to the external audio input on the PC. Switching is not necessary, all I do is to enable/disable that sound input via the PC mixer.
     
  19. tonywalk

    tonywalk New Member

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    Sep 10, 2002
    Broadbottom,...
    Certain monitors in the Dell range don't provide the power connection. The soundbars for these have a mains adaptor bundled.

    Of the two Dell soundbars I own, both have volume controls. The older one has it on the front whilst the newer has it on the right hand side. Both have a 3.5mm input so your's should just need the phonos to 3.5mm plug cable - whether you need plugs or sockets for the phono end will depend on your SCART to phonos cable. You can get a small phono adaptor with a socket at either end - handy if you can only get a 3.5mm to phono plug cable.
     

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