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Notebooks Netbook revival

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by javaman, 21 Aug 2012.

  1. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Since getting my 13" Laptop my netbook has been gathering dust in the corner. Apart from a holiday where it made a nice extra storage for pictures it has remained unused. I have considered selling it but as a back up device (like holidays) and problems with the OS, it is still usable. I was thinking about possible uses for it and came up with the idea of getting a USB TV tuner and using it for recording TV at home. It will be hooked up to either a dish or the roof ariel and left on, a good use if possible.

    1. Are usb tuners any good?
    2. Can an intel atom handle recording TVin any form
    3. Should I upgrade the OS? XP has Rundll32 error (definitely not a virus or malware) and I've no way of fixing it since the genius people at acer thought it was wise to provide an install disk never mind the fact I don't have a dvd drive anyway. While annoying, the netbook still limps along. Would using a tuner with linux be possible or should I bit the bullet and add ram and get windows 7 (or wait till windows 8)?

    While I know spending money on a netbook is a bit of a waste, it does seem an ideal use for it apart from the occasional trip. All input welcome.
     
  2. Krikkit

    Krikkit All glory to the hypnotoad! Super Moderator

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    1) In my experience, no. They need quite a bit of processing power, which makes them frustratingly slow on low-powered laptops. The last one I used was on a P4 Celeron and it was near-unusable.
    2) See above, no imo. They're not well powered at the best of times.
    3) If you can Linux, do it, otherwise just get the repair partition out and restore it as-is. Win8 might be worth a look at some point, although a £100 licence for £100's-worth of netbook that has an OS seems a bit mad.
     
  3. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Cheers krikkit. Yea, its insane to spend so much on a netbook for windows 8 heck even the tuner idea is pushing it. I could of used it for spotify but with orange I get deezer which is pretty much the same thing. Apart from the occasional trip, I can't really think of another use for it. Even with SD cards as big as they are, it usually takes a couple weeks of trying to fill an SD card.
     
  4. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    Usb hdds and make a nas. Media server. I have a net book and I have a usb tv tuner. I could try the 2 together tomorrow if you like?
     
  5. alpaca

    alpaca llama eats dremel

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    Don't think a TV tuner is such a good idea in this case.

    A small fileserver? Intelligent domotica project? I had an old netbook run our central heating (a little program i wrote myself) but that is maybe not really applicable to you?
     
  6. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    That would be excellent dancingbear. Whats your experience and opinion with using USB tuners in general? I looked at the NAS idea, Was continuing to hold off until disk prices fell a tiny bit more and was looking at just buying an out of the box device tho I will look at that possibility.

    EDIT: That's pretty cool Alpaca, do you have any more information on the project like inspirations, ways to get started on something like that.
     
    Last edited: 21 Aug 2012
  7. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    To be honest I've never used it. It is sat on my desk at work I plugged it in once to test it worked and that about it. I had a pcmcia mini thingy card that worked well in vista but after upgrading to 7 it stopped working. Then I found I didn't get signal at home, plus I have sky, or travel enough to make it that worthwhile. I may try again in win 8 but I'm not optimistic it will work.
    I'm happy to try the usb tomorrow though. What software are you looking at?
     
  8. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Do you mean software for the tuner? I was looking at Hauppauge since they seem to get good reviews all round on xp or possibly linux. Ubuntu seems to be the best supported but alot of threads say jolie cloud is a good flavour.
     
  9. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    Sorry, yes tuner. I can't remember the brand of the one on my desk. The box is neon orange though. My netbook dual boots ubuntu and xp so I can try both for you if you like.
     
  10. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    That would be excellent dancing. I fear Krikkit is gonna be right but there's no harm in trying. From memory the Hauppauge boxes are a yellow/orange colour. I think most come with some sort of bundled software tho if it works without it, or with another solution it would be perfect regardless. I owe you a huge one for this dancing :thumb:
     
  11. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    He probably is, but hell experiments are fun. They are the only way to learn stuff in my opinion.
     
  12. alpaca

    alpaca llama eats dremel

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    It just started with this and then i started experimenting. And then we needed something more intelligent for our central heating. I learned java with that project.
     
  13. phuzz

    phuzz This is a title

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    I would give this a test for you with the no-name USB tuner I have here, except in this house I get no bloody TV signal at all with the mini aerial, and there's no aerial socket in the entire house (we have cable, guess the people before us did too). :(
     
  14. okenobi

    okenobi New Member

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    My sister currently has my old Socket 939 machine with my old Avermedia USB tuner and it runs sweet.

    If a 6yr old Athlon X2 can do it, I reckon an Atom will be ok!
     
  15. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    You'd be surprised. Athlon's were surprisingly powerful back in the day. Atoms never were. Sure they are great for Web browsing and basic tasks. If it works well as a tv tuner it gives me a few ideas, first and foremost a net top box for the tv in the bedroom so I can enjoy netflix on a screen bigger than 4.2" if it doesn't work then it is back to the raspberry pi plan.
     
  16. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Thanks for the offer Phuzz lol I've heard those wee aerials are abysmal at best. Athlons trounce atoms. If it was a single core athlon it might be closer http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/Atom-Athlon-Efficient,1997-9.html yep atom really that bad lol.

    There where quite a few atom media centers on the go but non from memory had tuners and they relied on ion chipsets. Later atoms where better tho an underclocked i3 or pentium was considerably more efficient. Reading your comment made me wonder about raspberry pi tv tuner lol. Definitely impossible id reckon tho if programmed right it would have less OS overhead etc.

    Cheers for the link Alpaca :thumb:
     
  17. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    Definitely possible, I seem to recall a nokia handset back in the day having a tv tuner, can't remember the model now but it would have been running on something arm based most likely
     
  18. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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  19. dancingbear84

    dancingbear84 error 404

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    So...
    Card works great under win media centre on my laptop.
    Doesn't work on the netbook in xp or ubuntu. Doesn't find any stations. I don't know if it is driver or software in xp. Ubuntu is definitely driver issue. It is a compro videomate vista u100 FYI. So I can't be much more help I'm afraid. Sorry mate, I tried.
     
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  20. javaman

    javaman May irritate Eyes

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    Np Dancingbear. Thanks for trying =)
     

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