The Risc TV podule from Irlam Instruments was designed to allow users of RiscPCs to watch television through their computers, displaying the TV image in a window on the desktop. Being a device designed and built in the mid to late 1990s, however, it predated the UK’s switch to digital TV by some time, so it’s hardly surprising that its tuner was analogue. This wasn’t a problem while we continued to have both analogue and digital television broadcasts, since the podule could still be used with the analogue signal – while there still was one.
Over the last few years this situation has changed as, region by region, we’ve seen the analogue broadcasts being switched off once and for all, leaving us with just the digital transmissions, and rendering those Risc TV podules all but useless.
Step forward Robert Sprowson, aka Sprow, who has come up with a way to modify the podules to enable them to receive and display digital transmissions. For a fee of £59.50, which includes the cost of postage, Sprow will send you postage-paid reusable packaging to send your podule to him, after which he will make the necessary alterations and return the podule to you, along with desktop control software and an instruction manual.
An additional £25 at the time of upgrading the podule (there is no option for this update at a later date) purchases a ‘keying upgrade’. This allows desktop windows to partially obscure the television image without it freezing.
For more information, and to order an upgrade, pop along to Sprow’s Risc TV digital page.