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July 2000

Hauppauge WinTV GO card

By Bill Esposito ©July 2000

Bill's Homepage: http://cereal.mv.com
Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc.:
StWTV: http://home.t-online.de/home/stefan.milcke/stwtv_en.htm
YADTV: http://www3.mb.sympatico.ca/~lsunley/index.html

Television for your Warp Desktop

Did you know that in 1958 Elvis was inducted into the army, the US shot off their first satellite, and the United Arab Republic was born? The only reason I do is because now whenever I sit down in front of my computer, I turn on the History Channel, not on a TV, but on my computer! For years my computer room was sequestered away from the TV room and I've always wanted to try one of those TV tuner cards but just didn't think that the driver support was there. Then about a year or so ago, John Rodriguez from Hauppauge announced that Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc, along with Abbotsbury Software, would be working on creating a "polished" driver. Well, in my opinion they are well on their way to realizing that goal. The latest release of the Wincast drivers, v1.42A, worked very well on my OS/2 box.

Ok, so here's the scoop. First off you will need a Video Card that supports either DIVE or GRADD, with DIVE being the protocol which works best at the present time. I'm running an old 2 mb Elsa Winner 2000ProX. I purchased the WinTV GO card by Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc. at COMPUSA for $49.95. This is a PCI card. The hardware installation was as easy as just installing the card. The only wiring you will need to do is to connect the sound output from the WinTV card to the Line In of your sound card, and connect the cable or antenna input. The sound connection is made by using the supplied cable to externally connect the two cards. Once the card is installed, boot your computer.

If you haven't already, go to the WarpTV page (www.os2tv.com) and download the latest WinCast/2 drivers. Unzip them into a directory, and run minstall from that directory. You will be able to select the driver for installation, and complete the installation. The minstall driver installation also provides for checking the hardware. I selected that option and evidently my hardware passed the test, I do not know what it would report if the test had failed. Next reboot the computer.

If all went well, and mine did, the next thing to do would be to open up your OS/2 System folder--> OS/2 Setup folder and click on the Multimedia Setup object. If the driver installed properly you will find a "WCAST" tab, select it. Using the +/-, go to page 2 of the WCAST tab. Expand the "Source" list box and select "Tuner". Expanding the "Region" list box will show you a list of region files from which you select the appropriate one for your area. A hint here. Since the region files are loaded alphabetically, every time you run your TV, the AUS.RGN file will be the default. If you are not in Australia, then you will have to go through this setup each time. The solution is to rename the region file for your area to something which will alphabetically be loaded first. I changed the USACATV.RGN file to read AMERICANCATV.RGN, and it loads as the default. For the "Video Format", select the appropriate type, NTSC for us yanks. The next four pages of the WCAST tab contain various preferences which I won't go in to since the defaults all work out of the box.

Next go to the x:\MMOS2 directory and create a program object for DIVETV.EXE, using the parameters "wcast 1". Once done, click on the icon and you should be presented with the DIVETV application. Hopefully the screen will be blue indicating that the drivers are talking to the TV card, if not, go back to the Warp TV page and read the troubleshooting FAQs. If the screen is blue, click on the TV menu Item and then CONNECTOR and then select TUNER. It is possible that at this point you will actually have sound and video. Next click on the TV screen with the Left Mouse Button and a remote control will pop up. You can change channels by using the arrows. One bug here is that every time you click on the TV screen, a new remote control pops up but the old one is still there. No harm is done so just close the extra remotes. I find that on my PII 400 with an average of 53 tasks, 87 processes and 380 threads that including TV running at 30fps, Object Desktop shows the CPU utilization at about 15%.

As for quality of display, using DIVE and averaging 30fps, I find the 320x200 display to be perfectly acceptable for watching TV. Seldom does it pause or hiccup and only with heavy disk activity on my IDE drive. I have not tried GRADD as yet because that feature, although available, is not ready for prime time. There are also several bugs with driver, none of which affect the normal TV watching operation but are documented in the FAQs on the OS2TV page

There are also at least two 3rd party TV applications from Lorne Sunley (YADTV) and Stefan Milcke (StWTV), both of which work well.

Hmm, also in 1958 Nikita Khruschev was elected both premier and party boss, the Brussels Worlds Fair was opened, Prince Albert of Monaco was baptized. Alaska became the 49th state, the USS Nautilus crossed under the North Pole, and the NY Giants and Brooklyn Dodgers went West. With a WinTV card and the Wincast/2 drivers you too could clutter your mind with these facts. :-)

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