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convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 3:21 pm
by gychang
I have 19" desktop monitor with VGA input with build in speakers in storage. I am interested in converting it to a live HDTV using my outdoor TV antenna (no cable box).

I have used RPi2 to install android and linux, I am not sure how to implement it if needed.

can someone give me idea on how I can do this?, is there a commercial TV tuner box or can RPi2 used in some way?

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:10 pm
by W. H. Heydt
It would almost certainly be cheaper just to get an inexpensive wide aspect monitor with HDMI or DVI input and use that. That said, your project can probably be done, but it won't be particularly cheap (despite the existing monitor) or easy. You have to get from whatever the output of your antenna is (COAX?) to some sort of tuner, which is likely to have HDMI output, and then convert that to VGA including separating out the audio and (I suspect) converting the audio to analog.

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 4:46 pm
by chuckc192000
Silicon Dust has a tuner called HDHomerun that receives ATSC signals over the air and converts them to an ethernet stream (not sure about the format of that stream). You might be able to use that with an RPi but the RPi might not have the horsepower to decode and display that stream in real time.

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Thu Dec 08, 2016 10:02 pm
by thagrol
USB TV tuner/receiver and Gert's vga666 add on for pi?

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Fri Dec 09, 2016 5:25 pm
by alex_becky
Will it require any media converter ?

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 8:29 am
by gkreidl
Sometimes I'm wondering how many people answer to a post without any experience regarding the subject.

If the antenna TV is digital (DVB-T etc) and does not use H265 (either MPEG2 or H264) it can be done easily and doesn't cost much.

An USB DVB-T tuner costs about 20-30$. Just make sure you get one which is supported by the linux kernel. You may have to download firmware for the USB tuner.
The OP also needs a VGA adapter which also supports audio (9$).
For MPEG2 support you need the MPEG2 license.

Most people use TVheadend to access and stream the video (HDHomerun functionality included). To watch it you can either use kodi or omxplayer(GUI).

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:23 am
by B.Goode
I don't have any experience with this, so this is a further question rather than an answer.

Can a display that is driven by a VGA interface produce an image that fulfills the description "HDTV"?

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 9:37 am
by rpdom
B.Goode wrote:I don't have any experience with this, so this is a further question rather than an answer.

Can a display that is driven by a VGA interface produce an image that fulfills the description "HDTV"?
I believe the VGA interface can go even higher than that, although I'm not sure of the quality. Someday I'll dig out my HDMI->VGA converter and plug it into the VGA input of my HD monitor and see what happens.

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 10:19 am
by mfa298
gkreidl wrote:Sometimes I'm wondering how many people answer to a post without any experience regarding the subject.

If the antenna TV is digital (DVB-T etc) and does not use H265 (either MPEG2 or H264) it can be done easily and doesn't cost much.
For regions using DVB-T/DVB-T2 there are also DVB-T2 dongles which cover those streams, although I think linux support for them can be a bit more hit and miss. I did get a couple of relatively cheap DVB-T2 dongles that seem to work with libreelec and tvheadend on my pi though and can stream UK HDTV channels around my network)

The other thing to note is that there are a few different standards used around the world, notably the US (and I think Canada) use a different standard to most other places, so you need to choose a suitable device for your location.

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 11:24 am
by gkreidl
mfa298 wrote:
gkreidl wrote:Sometimes I'm wondering how many people answer to a post without any experience regarding the subject.

If the antenna TV is digital (DVB-T etc) and does not use H265 (either MPEG2 or H264) it can be done easily and doesn't cost much.
For regions using DVB-T/DVB-T2 there are also DVB-T2 dongles which cover those streams, although I think linux support for them can be a bit more hit and miss. I did get a couple of relatively cheap DVB-T2 dongles that seem to work with libreelec and tvheadend on my pi though and can stream UK HDTV channels around my network)

The other thing to note is that there are a few different standards used around the world, notably the US (and I think Canada) use a different standard to most other places, so you need to choose a suitable device for your location.
In some countries (e. g. Germany) DVB-T2 is using H265 codec. This won't work on the RPi.

Re: convert PC monitor to HDTV

Posted: Sat Dec 10, 2016 2:22 pm
by noggin
The answer will very much depend on where the original poster lives.

If they are in the US, Canada, Mexico or Korea - then OTA TV is broadcast using 8VSB ATSC standards. There are some USB tuners available for this (though choice is more restricted and prices higher than those for other standards). Alternatively there are network tuners like the Silicon Dust HD Homerun, but they aren't cheap. US OTA broadcasts are in 480i, 720p or 1080i MPEG2. With an MPEG2 licence the Pi has no problems with this format - though for high quality 1080i deinterlacing a Pi 2 with overclock or a Pi 3 will deliver better results than a Zero or a Pi A/A+/B/B+ (as they drop to a lower quality deinterlace on 1080i)

If the OP is in Europe/Aus/NZ - then most of Europe uses DVB-T, with some areas also using DVB-T2. Most countries are using MPEG2 or H264 compression which the Pi can handle. Germany is the exception as they are transitioning from DVB-T MPEG2 (which any Pi with the right licence can cope with) to DVB-T2 with H265/HEVC compression (which the Pi can't handle in hardware, and software decode pushes it too hard) Germany is also using 1080/50p for some HEVC/H265 channels (which the Pi definitely can't handle with HEVC software decode) In Europe 576/50i, 720/50p and 1080/50i are being used for H264, with 576i being also used with MPEG2. Same advice for deinterlacing 1080i as above (though 720/50p needs no deinterlacing and is great on a Pi first gen or a Pi Zero - so in places like Sweden and Norway which are 720p and 576i there is no deinterlacing issue on Pis with the single-core SoC)

It the OP is in South America - then most of that continent is using ISDB-T (a modified Japanese standard) that uses H264 compression. There is some support for ISDB-T USB tuners, but because fewer people use them, it may not be as easy to set-up.

If the OP is in Japan - don't bother. Although Japan uses an older version of ISDB-T, all Japanese OTA broadcasts are, I believe, encrypted and require a viewing card. I don't think this is in scope for current Pi-based solutions.

A good guide for DVB/ATSC/ISDB tuner support is the Linux TV wiki : https://www.linuxtv.org/wiki/index.php/ ... nformation (NB ATSC and ISDB-T tuners are included in the DVB section - as DVB digital tuners arrived first I think)

For VGA output then there is a choice of a cheap HDMI to VGA converter, or a Gertboard. I suspect the HDMI to VGA approach may be easier.

In software terms, LibreElec with a built in TV Headend front-end will probably do a pretty good job, as I think it includes both ATSC and DVB-T/T2 drivers and compatibility - though I would check specific support for the USB tuner you consider buying before buying it.