help me play my xbox on my desktop monitor
January 24, 2008 11:22 AM   Subscribe

i am trying to take the RCA output from my original xbox, plug it into the RCA input of my Vista HP 'media center' desktop, and play xbox, watching on my new desktop monitor and listening through the audio out of the computers sound card.

ok, so i got this HP media center m7757c on craigslist. (windows vista - i know, i know)

on the front, it has a section with RCA and other inputs. the RCA has video, and audio (L/R) connections.

i assumed that when i plugged in any RCA-type audio/video signal to this handy 'media center' feature, that i would be able to watch whatever that signal was on my destop monitor.

is this not the case?

anyway, im trying to play my xbox (not 360) on my desktop monitor, through the RCA inputs on the front. (what i am assuming is) the tv tuner card on the back of the tower does not have an RCA video input, though it does have audio (L/R).

my xbox has RCA out, i plug it into the RCA in on the front of the HP.

how do i watch/hear the signal that is going into the tower? i cant find anything in windows to click on that works.

it looks like the manufacturer of the tuner card is hauppauge, but i cant find any corresponding software on the computer, and ive looked in program files, in all the HP folders, and i cant find anything. device manager says its working fine and has the latest whatever.

i stumbled upon a chat-with-an-HP-techie service, and after a lof of intermittent waiting, she

1. gave me this link to an article:

the article deals with the 360, and i dont have one. (didnt notice this until i got off the phone)

also, looks like a big headache, as when i started out, i just figured it would be simple to watch whatever the input was.


2. she told me i could go to Windows Media Center and 'search for channels,' and that whatever was plugged in would come up. but i have tried navigating that whole thing, to no avail.

can anyone help me, or maybe at least explain why this will not work fairly easily?

i assume there must be something i can do in windows that will let me watch and hear the audio/video being fed to it, right?
posted by gcat to Computers & Internet (13 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Are you sure it's an RCA input, not an RCA output, on the front?

(The tuner card probably has inputs, but I'm not sure why a PC would have OTHER video inputs.)
posted by rokusan at 11:24 AM on January 24, 2008

oops. well, i didnt get off the phone, but i closed the chat room.
posted by gcat at 11:26 AM on January 24, 2008

yeah, positive. theres a bar labled 'INPUT' that covers the S-video and RCA connections.

im not exactly sure why it would have other inputs, either, but i figured since it was a 'media center' pc (ha ha), then maybe the fact that there are, in fact, inputs, that would mean...well, you get the picture, i think.
posted by gcat at 11:30 AM on January 24, 2008

Yeah, have you poked around media center? Looked for a configuration/preferences for it?

Basically, you are using your tuner card to pass the xbox into the PC. The tuner will either tune TV channels, OR the composite input you have the xbox plugged into. You need to find how to switch to the composite input.
I haven't used Vista media center at all, only GBPVR (a freeware PVR application).

As a last resort, you may want to try DScaler. It talks directly to the TV tuner and you may be able to switch among inputs easier than the M$ application.
posted by ijoyner at 11:30 AM on January 24, 2008

(The tuner card probably has inputs, but I'm not sure why a PC would have OTHER video inputs.)

maybe the front section is somehow part of the tuner card?

(i dunno, i been out of date on computers for some time now)
posted by gcat at 11:32 AM on January 24, 2008

yes, ijoyner, i have tried everything i could find in media center. i never found any way to make it work. some of the setup procedures just flat ended when i didnt have a either a satellite or a cable box. so i couldnt get anywhere.
posted by gcat at 11:38 AM on January 24, 2008

Did you try poking around in the control panel at all? Maybe there are settings in there for media center or the tuner card. Did you try to just go into "live tv" and channel down from 2 and see if you get the composite input? can you right click and get any options?

If you're frustrated by Microsoft's "ease of use" by not giving you any options, download and try another program.

It also may be possible that the inputs were put on there to only import video into an editing app (although unlikely)
posted by ijoyner at 11:42 AM on January 24, 2008

Understand that even if you do get this working, you probably won't like the results. You are going to see some delay as the signal will come into the PC, get encoded into digital form on the input channel, then decoded and sent back out the output channel. For watching Tv, it's not noticeable unless you have a real TV alongside the pc-tv, but for a game, all your inputs are going to be a half-second too late.
posted by nomisxid at 12:03 PM on January 24, 2008

(what i am assuming is) the tv tuner card on the back of the tower does not have an RCA video input, though it does have audio (L/R).

You're assuming? Have you looked at the inputs on the tuner card itself? It may be that the computer/OS supports video-in and advertises as such, but the card installed may not, for whatever reason. I know that many Dell towers have a similar series of ports/jacks installed in a front drive bay, but sometimes not all of them are functional - e.g., there may be a firewire port there that is actually "dead" because the computer doesn't have a firewire card inside.
posted by iamisaid at 12:04 PM on January 24, 2008

I have a suspicion that the front inputs are linked to the tv tuner. Have u tried downloading softwarer for the tv tuner and setting it to "video 1" ie. switch to composite input? my hauppauge with winTV allows me to do so.
posted by mphuie at 1:22 PM on January 24, 2008

I suggest visiting the Hauppauge website and downloading the correct software for your card. I know they had a habit of bundling the wrong drivers for Vista. It’s mentioned several times in the user reviews on NewEgg.
posted by thewalrusispaul at 2:15 PM on January 24, 2008

As nomisxid has pointed out, you may not be very happy with the lag you get here. I haven't messed with this for a few years and technology might be fast enough to accommodate without a noticeable lag. I tried to play Super Mario World on my SNES through an ATI TV-Wonder card it was completely unplayable. Looked great, but the lag made it unplayable.
posted by nickerbocker at 5:35 PM on January 24, 2008

yeah, thanks mphuie and thewalrusispaul. i will try that, but it seems this might be more of a headache than i care to take on. i dont have THAT much desire to make it happen, i just stupidly assumed it would be simple to silly of me. the mentioned 'dead' inputs concept is so annoying...

ok, thanks for the help, everyone!
posted by gcat at 8:34 AM on January 25, 2008

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