Watch TV Using Winamp

Published Date
01 - May - 2005
| Last Updated
01 - May - 2005
Watch TV Using Winamp
After going through the TV tuner card roundup in this issue of Digit, chances are, you want to get yourself a TV tuner right away! Remember, though, that the TV viewing applications that TV tuners come bundled with provide only a few, basic features.

Winamp in contrast, is a free multimedia viewing application for which a host of free plug-ins are available. One such is Winamp TV, developed by Branimir Lambov. You can access the Winamp TV at,  moreover, it's only a      250 KB download.

The plug-in enables Winamp to be used in conjunction with your TV tuner card, as a TV viewing application, and an FM radio if your card has a tuning unit.

Winamp TV uses Microsoft's WDM streaming technology to play video and sound, and so requires WDM drivers-these come bundled with most newer TV tuner cards. Also, the next version of this plug-in will have the capture facility, which will allow you to capture audio and video to your hard disk.

Step 1. Installation And Configuration
You must download the installer and run it-it will install the plug-in to Winamp's plug-in directory.

Start Winamp and go to the preferences menu ([Control] [P]). Click on 'Input' under 'Plug-ins'. Next, select the Winamp TV plug-in, and then    click 'Configure'.

You can specify the stream size in the 'Video Size' box, and if your display card supports it, you can opt to use Video Mixing Renderer 9 (VMR9) for better image quality.

If you select 'Winamp Video' under 'Output Window', Winamp's default video output window will be used to play the TV video.

Step 2. Scanning For Radio And TV Channels
Click the 'Scan' tab and you can scan for TV channels as well as for FM radio channels. First-timers will find it easier to leave the settings alone and just click the 'Quick Scan' button.

Winamp TV will begin scanning for all available TV channels, and when the scan is complete, save the channels to a playlist by clicking 'Set as Playlist'.

If you find that you're missing some channels, you can try the 'Full Scan' option, however, this takes a lot more time than Quick Scan.

You can also scan for FM radio channels by clicking 'Scan Radio'. Again, save the scanned channels by clicking 'Set
as Playlist'.

Step 3. Final Settings
Click the 'Audio' tab, and select the appropriate mixer line, which lets you control the channel volume from within Winamp. This is usually Line-in, but you may experiment with different settings if it doesn't work.

Check the 'Capture Audio' checkbox in the 'Audio Capture' tab to enable the Winamp DSP plug-ins to process the TV audio. However, this feature is in the beta stage, and may cause Winamp's volume control to stop working.

Click 'OK' to close the plug-in configuration window, and then close the Winamp preferences window. You can now double-click a channel in the playlist to view it.

Click the volume icon in the system tray to adjust the volume. You can fine-tune channels by clicking the channel name in the playlist and pressing [Alt] [3].

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