Need TV Tuner..but what's good!?
i'm looking for a TV Tuner card only. I have a ghetto pc...so, basically usb 1.0 (or maybe usb 1.1 with agp4x and pci slots.)
I have a video card already (Geforce 2, 64mb) and my CPU is basically the AMD Athlon 1.333ghz with 512mb ram.
I'm wondering, which TV Tuner cards a good out there? Which can do video recording (i guess all of them does it) and i dunno..what else!? haha
Also, what's the difference (quality/performance) when buying at PCI tv tuner, over a USB one?
Thanks in advance! =D
With your system you will definetly want a tuner card with hardware encoding. Look at the Hauppage cards or the Diamondmax Xtreme TVPVR 550. With your cpu, software encoding will push it to the limit, especially when capturing decent quality video.
PCI vs. USB is a personal choice. I don't know what the throughput on USB 1 is, but remember video takes quite of bit of width. I prefer PCI cards myself, but again that is a personal preference.
I personally have had the following capture cards, as well as quite a number of ATI All-In-Wonder video cards. ATI does a pretty good job and I would go with one of theirs.
Hauppauge cards will only output to MPEG2 only. The WinTV-PVR-150 card is the best as far as cost/performance ratio. Since your CPU is 1.33 Ghz, the Hauppauge card has an onboard MPEG2 encoder. If you plan on capturing at high quality DVD this may be the route you want to go. It's about $99.99. The software that comes with these cards is fine, nothing really out of the ordinary.
ATI All-In-Wonder cards will output to pretty much any file type, including, avi, divx, MPEG1, MPEG2, and a whole bunch of other formats, including any other codecs you install on your system. If your CPU is faster than a 1 Ghz, get the All-In-Wonder Pro. It's about $49.99. Since your CPU is 1.33 Ghz, it is no problem to have your CPU do all of the encoding, just stick with MPEG1, MPEG2 or avi capturing. Divx capturing takes quite a bit of CPU power and a 1.33 Ghz won't cut it.
One other thing I like is ATI's Multimedia Center software. Very easy to configure and schedule programs. One dislike I have is that every time you run the software with the All-In-Wonder Pro the volume settings get adjusted and I have to go back in and set them back to the way I like.
Another thing to consider is do you want to remove commercials? If so, you will want to capture in avi, edit the video to remove the commmercials and then re-encode. The other option would be to get a software package that can edit MPEG files without the need to re-encode. That way you can capture in a compressed format (saves a lot of space) and not lose any quality. The full version of Nero and another software package called Womble can edit like this. Nero works, but is not as easy to edit with. Womble is terrific, though like most programs, some people have troubles with it. I personally have never had an issue with it.
Just a note about capturing. Avi will capture at about 3 GB/min, MPEG2 in DVD quality is about 40 MB/min, MPEG1 in VCD quality is about 10 MB/min.
There is a avi codec out there called "huffyuv", this allows you to capture in avi format at about 1 GB/min. It uses lossless compression and is definitely worth getting if you plan on going the avi route.
Last edited by apocalypse; 09-26-2005 at 05:10 PM.
hey guys, thanks for the big tips.
I have a friend who works for ATi, and yeah, I can get cards at a pretty good deal.
However, looking into the specs of several ATi tv tuners, comparing to this Leadtek
seems like the leadtek can do more....and better!?
i just want to watch tv, have a variety of features and get quality broadcasting...
The link gives information on that card, but it seems to limit the formats you can capture in. It sounds like it has what you're looking for, and hopefully the software will be good as well, as that can really cause some pains.
An example is the new ATI TV Wonder Elite. The software doesn't let you choose any capture format or where the captured video is being saved at. I had it for about 1 hour and then returned it. I have a 300 GB drive partitioned as follows:
C-drive 20 GB - Operating System
D-drive 100 GB - File Storage
E-drive 160 GB - Capture/Editing
Since the software would only allow me to capture on the C-drive, I was limited to a few hours capture time.
Wow, don't you guys actually READ SYSOPT?
The TV-Wonder Elite is your TOP choice for standard TV viewing. Identical cards with cheaper remotes are also available from ATI's partners Saphire and PowerColor.
mobo57, shame on you. I've tested the Diamond PVR550, it's barely in the same legue as REAL Theater 550 cards, and you can read that review at Tom's Hardware.
Sorry Bud, but that's my opinion. Can google the same. ANY card that relies upon software is gonna be a real drag with that system. Oh yea, I own the following cards, Pinnacle PCTV Pro, Diamondmax, Avertc, ATI AIW 9600XT, DC10 and just a few others I can't remember off the top of my head right now. I bought them all with my own cash. I compared them all not only with viewing, but capture, system load, time to capture, capability etc.
Originally Posted by Crashman
With the specs on his system, he is going to sorely dissapointed with the performance with any tuner/capture card that relies on software en/decoding.
Shame on me, I don't rely upon some commercial website or magazine. I can afford to buy my own and throw the ones I don't like into the box in the back. Voice of experience. Send me a SAS and I'll sent you a few of these pieces of junk.
Did you buy a Geforce 5200 Video card? Read the great reviews also elsewhere.....
Hey and wth Crashman??? You selling something?? You got an opinion, jump in and express it. Don't shame on me for my opinion. I've been there and gave that t shirt away along time ago. Read my post's here and elsewhere. SIUYA
Last edited by mobo57; 09-28-2005 at 12:49 AM.
I found a decent article which talks about all of the normal considerations to make when purchasing a capture card.
whoa guys! Thanks for the info!
I'll dig into this later this afternoon...i'll let you know what's my decision, if you guys are interested! haha
Thanks again! =D
Please post back what you go with. It will help people down the road who are planning to do the same thing you are!
Originally Posted by Kinmon
I thought I would post my experience with the ATI TV Wonder USB 2.0.
Easy to install and the software is as good as what comes with the All-In-Wonder video cards. The quality of the picture is as good as the 9700/9800 AIW Pro or the ATI TV Wonder Pro. However, it keeps making a skipping/popping sound even when I choose "composite" with nothing connected to the line-in.
I did have the ATI TV Wonder Pro and whenever you would watch or record it would screw up the volume controls. Well, this one doesn't do that, but unfortunately the skipping/popping are too much of a problem and I'll be returning it.
Now if I can only find another card that will capture in AVI and MPEG formats.
The hunt continues...
I don't think his system has USB 2.0 apocalypse. And 1.1 is too slow for decent TV viewing.
I've tested enough TV products that I have confidence in my recommendation for ATI's TV-Wonder Elite, and the cheaper versions using identical hardware from ATI partners.
ATI also updated the software with GuidePlus+ support, and my latest Catalyst/MMC software also supported it (unofficially).
after doing an extensive research and hearing what sysopt peeps suggested, I have came to decide....I will not be getting any TV tuners..lol
It might sound stupid, but here's what I have found out from my researching (incl. reviews and users' opinions) ...and i'm quite picky P=
ATI or Nvidia or HAUPPAUGE TV Tuner cards?! (about PCI TV Tuners only....)
Hauppauge has been around for AGES and they are known to make quality tv tuners. Most of their cards are rebranded under different company names, such as Asus, Leadtek Winfast...etc... In several reviews I have read, Hauppauge (when compared to ATi and Nvidia), they are considered the best for "features & package content" and they have less CPU load compared to Nvidia cards. As for picture quality, it all depends on the chipset in that TV Tuner. Economical tv tuners tend to have the pvr1500 chipset, and they lack quality when viewing..however the economical ones are very responsive when tuning to other channels (less than 1second wait time) compared to their higher end pvr chipset....
ATi Wonder Pro -> SOFTWARE EMULATION!....no hardware EMU...therefore, for ppl like me, it would DRAIN my computer like a m0f0! This results in extensive usage of the CPU. This was a big downside for me therefore I moved on to other ATi tuners.
ATI Wonder - Elite -> FIRST HARDWARE MPEG2 decoder/encoder on their tuner cards. As for CPU load when recording, they are LESS CPU extensive compared to the HAUPPAUGE cards (props right here) and they have the BEST quality YET, because ATi made their own MPEG2 decode/encoder, compared to hauppauge, which uses third-party decoders/encoders. ATi's Wonder Elite outperformings the Hauppauge tuners both in performance AND quality! This is the new "king" in the TV tuner arena, HOWEVER for ALL ATi tuners....most concerns are related to SOFTWARE issue. Although this card has "strong" hardware performance, their software is buggy as hell! There's a lot of restrictions with ATI software. For example, you cannot record your video files to "other" drives, except to the "C DRIVE!!!". Also, ATi software limits which format you can capture your video files in and at which bitrate, recording resolution you can capture your files in.
Nvidia...yeah, didn't really look into this one...but like "iceblue" said...from that link..seems like the eVGA NVTV did pretty well....
Matrox/Canopus/ etc...yeah, unless you're planning on doing some "HARDCORE" video editing, recording and need top of the line equipement (warning: for ULTRA professionals only), this is where you might want to look into..haha
So, as you can see, there were a lot of deciding factors. I was leaning either on the ATi Wonder Elite or the Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Expert, but due to ATi's buggy software/limitations and due to Leadtek's audio/video quality problems (but they can doo sooo much -> FM/Record/Capture in multiple formats/PiP/etc..) I seldom to choose any of them.
I was edging on going purchasing the Leadtek's Winfast, but due to my anal desires on video/audio quality....I will wait until the "next" big hit in the TV tuners market....
Let's hope that ATi will resolve all their software issues and add more features to their native cards. Then, i think it will be KING for sure. Else, let's hope that Hauppauge cards adds HDTV support or upgrade their chipset for better quality...then they will have me sold....
I guess this is it..Thanks peeps who have helped me out! =D
Oh, well, if you have the right version of ATI MultiMedia Center, you can use it with the TV-Wonder Elite, and pick your location as you would any lesser ATI card. Yes, the PowerCinema software is kind of like...****, sort of like Windows Media Center is.