recommended combination video capture/tv tuner card?

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Is anyone using a combination video capture card that also includes tv
If so, what card are you using and are you happy with it?

All replies welcomed!   Aaron in N. Hollywood

Re: recommended combination video capture/tv tuner card?

On 24 Mar 2006 09:35:33 -0800, ""

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The two most popular ones are Hauppauge 150 and the plethora of cards
that use the ATI 550 chip.  These include the ATI 550 and Sapphire ,
Power Cooler , etc versions.

Technically the ATIs have the most advanced stuff on the card that
supposedly give it cleaner image and even has a 16 meg buffer I think.
In practice the difference seems minimal between it and the Hauppauge
150. When it came out some guy uploaded clips from both and some
people on various websites thought the 150 looked better and others
the ATI but it was a draw at best.

The other thing was at the time which was I think 6-7 months ago
though I may be off , cant remember when it was intro-ed --- the ATI
had some bugs and wasnt as supported by 3party software. The bundles
stuff is criticized even now like most bundled software. I think they
use Power Cinema the new program made by the people who made Power VCR
in the past which is considered outdated now. Power VCR though works
great for the older BT878 cards without hardware compression.

The top software for capture /TV tuner cards is WIN MCE which everyone
seems to love --- STILL havent tried it. And Beyond TV which everyone
loves.  A lot of people also like SAGE TV.  You can get Beyond etc at
their website or at a store I think for 50 bucks or so. All the top
newest software tends to only work with cards with hardware
compression nowadays though theres still some new software that works
with non-hardware encoding cards I think like WINDVD etc and older
stuff like POWER VCR.

If you want to watch a program AND record you need a DUAL tuner card
or two cards. There are dual tuner cards like the Hauppauge 500 for
around $130 or so.

Right now months later I would have to say from the reviews -----
theres a slight edge for ATI 550s. Reviews point out the image is a
bit cleaner though it wasnt all that apparent when I saw the clips too
and I saw posts of problems with the ATI 550 so I got the Hauppauge
150. But since they were close to a draw then and I assume they fixed
many of the bugs early on AND it seems to have wide support nowadays
PLUS the fact theres tons of versions of the 550 (sapphire , etc)
which makes the price a bit lower for the RETAIL PACK theres a slight
edge for the 550 now with subsequent reviews saying the image is a bit
cleaner though it may be hard for most to tell.

You have some choices though.

Hauppauge 150
White box version -- MCE card which is the basic card with FM tuner
NO remote or software except drivers sold at (UGH) Amazon and
and many other places for $65-75.  Go with they have free
shipping usually to and are slightly cheaper and Im having horrible
problems on SLEAZY level with Amazon right now. They advertised an
offer FROM AMAZON ----- audigy 2 for $15 after rebate. The stupid
rebate doesnt match the product they sold.  Theyve since taken the
rebate off the page and are claiming they know nothing of the deal and
are saying its not their problem. Probably the sleaziest thing Ive
ever seen a major firm do ever. A lot of us are still trying to get
Amazon to do something about it.     Hauppuage also has a full retail
pack which goes for $90-100 Hauppauge 150 plus remote plus software .
Dont know what software. No radio though. If you get the whitebox
version with no software ---- theres a free program at which is amazingly good and professional looking. You can
download and use it and get scheduling infor from the free server after registering.

ATI 550 --- the main advantage even if you think the quality is a draw
is with all the version they sell them as low as 75 or so to 100 full
retail pack now with remote and software. But like I said a lot of
people bash the software power cinema that comes with it.
Another enticing thing---- its the ONLY card I know right now that has
ONE version in PCI express 1x format to use one of those USELESS PCI
express slots the industry hyped was the next big thing thus freeing a
PCI slot where most new boards are limited to 3 precious slots.
Unfortunately only Power Cooler makes it in that format with the 550
chip and its selling for 90 lowest price very high. Someone else
should come out with it to drive the price down to 79 or so.

And of course you know the basics right? You only get the 125 analog
channels through the card tuner from the coax input.

If you have digtial cable with more channels you need to input it in
the Svideo input or composite on TV cards. Then the tuner onboard is
bypassed so you have to change channels with the cable digital box
tuner.  So you have 125 analog channels showing up on your software
and a Svideo in channel where anything connected to in shows on
screen.  So you really need BOTH connections --- analog coax and the
Svideo+two sound ins from the cable box.

The Svideo in can be used for anything on cable and  anything else
plugged in. Its really the best way to record. Even the stuff on your
analog channel tuner though you can record it that way easily you
should try to get the same channel via Svideo input of your digital
box cause itll probably be cleaner than the analog feed.

A really fast and easy to use editor for editing out commericals ----
Mpeg Editor by the same TMPGenc makers.  Its super basic and crude but
easy to use. You can only manually move through the video strip and
cut slices out and then reglue the parts left. Thats pretty much it
but its fast and doesnt render the whole strip each time you cut so it
doesnt bog your system down like programs I used in the past like
pinnacle. Maybe theyve all updated and use the smart rendering system
now or whatever its called.  Also Womble editor is much praised which
I havent used yet. I think Mpeg is the cheapest though around 40
bucks.  If you have something else like pinnacle etc you can use that
too obviously.

Theres also the HDTV cards ATI has one that uses an antenna to get OTA
HDTV.  I think you have to get both a HDTV and analog card for the
other channels but Im not sure as I havent tried a HDTV card yet.
These have really fallen and are as low as 70 bucks on sale nowadays.
Theres the Fusion series of cards by some asian firm that gets QAM.
This is a software encoding card so its hard on the system but if you
cable feed get unencrypted QAM feeds you can just plug it in and get
all the channels that way. Ive read some cable regions get ZERO
channels this way while others get surprisingly large amounts of
channels - HDTV.

Re: recommended combination video capture/tv tuner card?

Dear J:  WOW , thank's for your exhaustive informative reply!   Aaron

Re: recommended combination video capture/tv tuner card?

On 25 Mar 2006 07:52:44 -0800, ""

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Good luck trying to decipher all my rambling incoherent sentences and
typos . which were typed with very little sleep. Still havent slept
yet in fact. I think Ill probably pass out pretty soon though. Its
around noon here.

Re: recommended combination video capture/tv tuner card?

On Sat, 25 Mar 2006 05:10:50 GMT, wrote:

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To clarify some points --- both the 150 and 550 cards all have
hardware encoding/compression.

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When i say watch and record requiring two cards/dual tuner card I mean
WATCH ONE CHANNEL and record a DIFFERENT channel. You can of course
watch one channel and record the SAME channel with one card/one tuner.

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