Monday, March 20, 2006

TV Card Frustrations

I find I have to type my posts fast - Blogger insists on me logging in every few seconds, even though I have selected "Remember me" several times. Irritating.

I've been having a full-scale war with my Leadtek TV card since the day I bought the thing. Ok, let me rephrase that... the TV card SOFTWARE. Sure, it autoscans all the channels - just fine... if you have a signal! Granted, much can be blamed on the el-cheapo cable that a shop managed to sell me. I cut the cable yesterday, only to find that the main cable is half the thickness of our antenna cable, with a few strands of copper for "insulation". I'm not sure what it's trying to insulate - the humming of a mosquito maybe?

It could've saved me much heartache if the TV card software's fine-tune feature had been advertised on another page other than the hot keys list. Who looks at hot keys anyway? Here I was manually entering frequencies, hoping that the signal would improve... And thanks to the software adjusting the picture only after a few seconds, I was left screaming with irritation. It went like this:

"Ok, so it's picking something up at 835MHZ. Let's try better that with 836... "
"Hmmm, no change? Let's try 800? Hang on, the picture didn't change!"
"How about 200? What? Why isn't the image changing? Back to 835..."
"Wait, now it's not working, I'm only getting snow on a frequency that was previous working!"

Etcetera... Now I can use CTRL + and CTRL - to adjust on the fly! Wow! The configuration settings are a headache to figure out as well, but I won't go into that.

Anyway, due to low signal strength, I splashed out on a booster. Too bad the thing doesn't even power on. So back to Mica to get a replacement, and hopefully it will do the trick now. I also need to find all the different connections required... Didn't help that I cut the cable on the wrong side ("All these connections are female? I could've sworn there was a male here. Hang on... I cut the male one, didn't I? DAMNIT!")

That was a few precious hours wasted. It's pretty sad that I had more fun cutting cables, adding the connections and fiddling with cable setup than I did one minute of trying to use the Leadtek TV card software. I wonder if they've heard of *cough*Usability*cough*.


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