We Have A Problem 075, 17/10/09
PC to TV OK?
just started to use the BBC iPlayer on my computer. Is it possible to run the
iPlayer programs (with sound) on my flat screen TV?
Butler, by email
probably… The best possible scenario is that your PC or laptop and TV are less
than a year or so old, say, and both have HDMI (High Definition Multimedia
Interface) ports. If so all you need is a HDMI connecting lead of the correct
length to connect the PC to the TV and this will give you the best possible
picture and sound quality from iPlayer.
says only one of them has an HDMI connector but all is not lost. Pretty well
all LCD and plasma TVs have a PC (or VGA) input sockets, and with a suitable
‘monitor’ lead you can connect it directly to the monitor output on your PC or
laptop. You’ll probably have to go into the TV’s setup menu and change the
input to PC or VGA mode, and if you have a laptop you’ll have to change the
output from the built-in screen to an external monitor, but it’s usually very
straightforward. The picture quality won’t be as good as HDMI but it should
still be comparable with digital terrestrial or satellite TV.
the picture from your PC to the TV but you’ll need another lead for the sound,
and this is where it could get a little complicated. The PC end is usually no
problem and on most models the audio line output is handled by a 3.5mm stereo
jack socket; on laptops you can use the headphone socket. On most large screen
TVs the audio input is through a pair of phono sockets, but on smaller models,
where space is at a premium 3.5mm stereo jacks sockets are often used.
Occasionally there are none at all and the TV’s audio input is routed through a
multi-pin SCART connector but once you know what type of audio connector your
TV has you can get a suitable connecting lead from your local high-street TV
and PC dealer.
websites that I visit use ActiveX, but I have been put off by the warnings that
it can cause harm. I looked it up on Google and nearly frightened myself to
death. I use the Internet largely for family history research, and there are
times when ActiveX would enable me to view the original entry on a document. I would dearly love to be able to do this as
I’m not in a position to get to see the original records.
tell me what the real dangers are, and if possible how to avoid them? Please
keep it as simple as possible!
isn’t in itself a security threat it’s basically a programming tool used to
create multimedia and interactive features on web pages. However, it can
provide hackers and virus writers with a means of infecting PCs with malicious
software. Security patches are normally released as soon as vulnerabilities are
discovered, and the latest version of Internet Explorer (IE8) has added
protection and ways of limiting the damage caused by infections but these
people are clever and always seeking ways to exploit loopholes. However, provided you have decent security software on
your PC, Windows is regularly updated, you stay away from iffy websites, never
click on pop-ups or open unsolicited attachments then you should be
reasonably safe and you can go ahead and install the necessary plug-in.
Bearer of Bad News
I am using
Three mobile broadband and I am now getting the following message every time I
try to connect: ‘Software activation has made 228 unsuccessful attempts over
WWAN bearer…’ Three have told me that
it is not a problem with its software or hardware. I'd appreciate any help you
Locker, by email
you get a fault like this, where a program that has been working properly,
suddenly starts playing up, the first things to do are use System Restore to
reset the computer’s system files to a date before the problem occurred. If
that makes no difference, completely uninstall the program then re-install it.
By the way, I would use a third party uninstaller, like Revo (it’s free and
there’s a link to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/56uydj),
which gets rid of all of the bits and pieces the program’s own uninstaller may
most Windows System and broken software glitches but broadband dongles have
spawned a whole new generation of problems. Many of them are directly related
to the ‘dashboard’ programs that come with the dongles. Network companies like
to create their own pre-configured dashboards, smothered in branding, fancy
graphics and features that you don’t need and will probably never use. The
alternative is to use the generic, unbranded dashboard developed by the dongle
maker. You can usually download one for your modem from the manufacturers
support website. Once installed all you have to do is enter your service
provider’s Access Point Name or APN (for Three use: 3internet) and the Dial
Number, which for most phones and connections is *99#.
Monk we know has made CDs of talks given by monks at his monastery. He would
like to copy several of these talks onto MP3 discs but does not know how to do
need special equipment to do this?
Group of Kendal, by email
need is a PC or laptop that can play and record CDs and a small, free program
called an audio recorder. Simply run the audio recorder and play the CD and it
will create an MP3 file that can be copied to a blank disc or a personal music
player. Normally I would suggest a program like Audacity but it’s a bit
over-qualified for a simple job like this, so try MP3myMP3; you’ll find a link
to the download at: http://tinyurl.com/5om5oa.
Maybury 2009 3108