Originally Posted by floridakiwis
Yeah, I found the LiveUKTV site. Has anyone had any experience with this service?
Can I somehow redirect it to my bigscreen and still have a decent picture quality?
US digital Cable TV allocates about 6 Mbps (Megabits per second) to each channel, and a typical DVD also employs a bitrate of approx 5 Mbps (though it can go up to 9). So good quality video 'requires' about 5 Mbps (HD is a whole other story).
Typical Cable Data service gives you anything from 1 Mbps-5 Mbps, depending on where you live, how many neighbors are hooked up, etc. DSL service is more predictable but often does not go above 1 Mbps.
This site will measure your 'actual' bandwidth: http://www.speedtest.net/
. I just tested mine, and I got 15 Mbps download, which is way more than I usually get - but it is 2am!
The LiveUKTV site says they recommend a minimum of 512 kbps (0.5 Mbps); this suggests they are streaming at about that rate, which is about 1/10th the quality of broadcast TV and DVD. I would guess that 512 kbps should look 'ok' on a computer screen, but if you hook this up to your big-screen TV, it's not going to be as good as a DVD or broadcast TV. It may still be tolerable, and they offer samples prior to subscription, it seems.
In theory, you could have a friend in the UK capture and encode a signal (using a hauppauge capture card and some software such as videolan - http://www.videolan.org/
), and upload it on the fly, but in practice, this is going to take a techie on both ends to setup and keep working. I struggled to get it working reliably from one room in my house to another, and I'm somewhat proficient at this stuff.
I would expect the 'liveUKTV' process to be a frustrating experience, with interruptions, dropouts, glitches, delays, etc - but you could always try it for a month. Even hooking up your laptop or desktop to the TV can be fun, depending on computer model, age, TV type, etc. The very latest computers and TVs make this a lot easier.