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Thread: Video Capture Boards - Which One?

  1. #1
    :helpsmile:Okay, there's a total confusion on my part and probably most of the manufacturer's sites as well. I've spent days trying to decipher the minor differences and the major price scale describing all the features of their pci boards.

    My specs: P4 2ghz w 400mhz bus, 1gb PC2100 DDR Mem

    Hardware: Pri hd - 80gb 7200rpm, Sec hd - 120gb 7200rpm, Multi-DVD writer,(reads and writes all DVD/CD formats inc DVD Ram), I'm also deciding which secondary optical drive has to go_my cd writer or dvd rom drive?
    I'm running a ATI 128mb Radeon 9200 for graphics and a 19" monitor.

    My question relates to the above hardware. I've visited several sites Hauppage, AVerMedia, Pinnacle, and several others and read as many reviews as I could find.

    However, I don't want upgrade too much further other than a good video capture card and sound card, and a combi usb/firewire card. I use DSL highspeed connection and sattelite for my regular tv usage.

    What PCI video capture/tuner card is best for my purpose, do I need a satellite version, I'm a newbie to video capture but am computer literate at most other things.
    </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>To be or not to be, I&#39;m just here for the beer like any true CANADIAN...uh ooooh??
    Sorry I just burped and farted and it really reeeeeeeks&#33;
    </td></tr></table><div class='signature'>

  2. Software & Hardware   -   #2
    Robert00000's Avatar Interweb Fantasist BT Rep: +1
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    Originally posted by jagger@6 February 2004 - 22:08
    :helpsmile:Okay, there&#39;s a total confusion on my part and probably most of the manufacturer&#39;s sites as well. I&#39;ve spent days trying to decipher the minor differences and the major price scale describing all the features of their pci boards.

    My specs: P4 2ghz w 400mhz bus, 1gb PC2100 DDR Mem

    Hardware: Pri hd - 80gb 7200rpm, Sec hd - 120gb 7200rpm, Multi-DVD writer,(reads and writes all DVD/CD formats inc DVD Ram), I&#39;m also deciding which secondary optical drive has to go_my cd writer or dvd rom drive?
    I&#39;m running a ATI 128mb Radeon 9200 for graphics and a 19" monitor.

    My question relates to the above hardware. I&#39;ve visited several sites Hauppage, AVerMedia, Pinnacle, and several others and read as many reviews as I could find.

    However, I don&#39;t want upgrade too much further other than a good video capture card and sound card, and a combi usb/firewire card. I use DSL highspeed connection and sattelite for my regular tv usage.

    What PCI video capture/tuner card is best for my purpose, do I need a satellite version, I&#39;m a newbie to video capture but am computer literate at most other things.
    You can buy a pinnacle pctv rave very cheaply. I have one and it records at dvd quality (with windvdr). It can do all the things you need.

    If you want to connect it up to your satelite just plug it in to the composite connector.
    Robert00000

  3. Software & Hardware   -   #3
    You can buy a pinnacle pctv rave very cheaply. I have one and it records at dvd quality (with windvdr). It can do all the things you need.

    If you want to connect it up to your satelite just plug it in to the composite connector.
    From what I&#39;ve seen for most reviews from users, the pinnacle was having lots of problems. Also ATI&#39;s TV Wonder Pro also had problems.

    The software that came with my writer uses BHA&#39;s Recorder Gold 5, B&#39;s Clip 5, Neo DVD, and PowerDVD XP.

    I&#39;ve heared that the AVERMedia card also uses NeoDVD. My question is more related to what card can I use for analog/digital capture, tv viewing and timeshifting, and the odd conversion to DVD or mp3 formats for my regular DVD player to play.

    I looked at hauppage&#39;s site and was totally put off with the lack of a wizard to suggest a product to consumers. Especially when they are one of the largest makers of these types of boards and no lack of choices.

    Also was looking at MSI&#39;s boards and again I found no clarity.

    With the above software, along with the TV viewing/pvr apps that come with cards, I shouldn&#39;t need extra software. Correct me if I&#39;m wrong.

    Need help selecting a low to medium priced pci board and software required.
    </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>To be or not to be, I&#39;m just here for the beer like any true CANADIAN...uh ooooh??
    Sorry I just burped and farted and it really reeeeeeeks&#33;
    </td></tr></table><div class='signature'>

  4. Software & Hardware   -   #4
    Lick My Lovepump
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    Quite a while ago, like 5 or 6 years, I bought a Hauppage WinTV card.

    It was fine to use, just a couple of driver problems.

  5. Software & Hardware   -   #5
    Robert00000's Avatar Interweb Fantasist BT Rep: +1
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    I use a pinnacle pctv rave, but not with their pctv vision software. I have downloaded windvdr, which is much better, it can record in mpeg2 format (dvd complient), so no conversion needed.

    I would recommend this card because does everything you would need. There were problems before i upgraded the drivers, but these have long been resolved.

    One draw back is with windvdr, it records at about 8mb/s (bitrate), which takes about 3 gig of space per hour of recording. I normally use tmpgenc to reduce the bit rate (using vbr) so can fit 4 hours of dvd quality programmes on one dvd-r disk.
    Robert00000

  6. Software & Hardware   -   #6
    -Robert00000
    I use a pinnacle pctv rave, but not with their pctv vision software. I have downloaded windvdr, which is much better, it can record in mpeg2 format (dvd complient), so no conversion needed.
    I searched several sites for reviews from users of pctv video capture cards and what I found was the following.

    Pinnacle only does biannual driver updates and customer driver problems, especially sound were substantial

    Hauppage&#39;s total lack of support to solving customer complaints leaves may buyers disgusted

    MSI support next to none and even hinted at dropping their pctv boards altogether.

    Whoa, hold the fort&#33;&#33; This is getting uglier all the time. I got most of these negative results from reading reviews in tv card forums, video capture, ect.

    Now I have even more confusion and more questions.

    Do I need a digital sat kind of board to get stereo or better from sound or is this just another booga boo. Couldn&#39;t I just hook up composite-video from the card to the satellite receiver. (note receiver also has S-video port)

    My satellite receiver is not HDTV but I still want to hear playbacks in stereo when those channels which are in stereo, are being viewed. I&#39;m using Bell ExpressVu as my sattelite service. But I like my DSL setup for highspeed internet.

    P.S. Heard the Rave was only in mono
    </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>To be or not to be, I&#39;m just here for the beer like any true CANADIAN...uh ooooh??
    Sorry I just burped and farted and it really reeeeeeeks&#33;
    </td></tr></table><div class='signature'>

  7. Software & Hardware   -   #7
    Robert00000's Avatar Interweb Fantasist BT Rep: +1
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    You will experience sound problem (like i did) but can easily overcome this by lowering the sound input level.

    The reason people have problems with sound on the pinnacle is because the default input sound is set too high, so you need to adjust it (down to 15% for best clarity) through the TV viewing software.

    I get stereo sound on my recordings, so there is no problem there. The TV Card doesnt determine the sound input (if you use composite, not antenna) because the sound is plugged into the pc&#39;s sound card, so its independant of the TV card, just as long as you don&#39;t use PCTV Vision (pinnacles own bundled viewer/recorder). I would recommend downloading windvdr instead.

    If you plug in the antenna into the card then you may only be able to get mono sound because normal analogue tv is broadcast in analogue (in the uk at least).

    What i do is use a scart to phono converter to connect my digital tv reciever to my pc, using the composite connector. This way i get digital quality picture and stereo sound. If your satellite broadcasts in stereo then you will get the sound in stereo if you connect through the composite and audio in connectors of the card (not tv antenna).

    The drivers at the pinnacle site now work very well, i&#39;ve been using them for about 6 months now without any problems.

    EDIT: Download driver version 5.5 or above for pctv.
    Robert00000

  8. Software & Hardware   -   #8
    Robert 00000

    You will experience sound problem (like i did) but can easily overcome this by lowering the sound input level.

    The reason people have problems with sound on the pinnacle is because the default input sound is set too high, so you need to adjust it (down to 15% for best clarity) through the TV viewing software.
    The Rave is a little dated I think. Should I go up one to the stereo version or is this just a simulated stereo card. Have you ever used pvr functions or are they really any good?

    Still not sure on the connections. You explanation seems logical for the audio/visual aspect but my question still bears with the satellite receiver connections. Do I need a specialized satellite card or will regular cards work and clarify how I would get reception and be able to choose viewing on either the pc or my tv.

    Your answers have been great so far. As I said before, I&#39;m using the ATI 9200 so I probably could switch viewing with the ATI multimedia centre software I think but would this not interfere with the functions of the tv capture card software or not. The ATI software is very basic.

    My old ATI 7000 graphics card used the "Multimedia centre" and I was able to switch monitors eg CRT or TV but quality was greatly reduced.

    Should I go to the TV Wonder Pro for compatibility with my graphics card or the middle line Pinnacle and if so which one.

    Thanx

    :guinesssmile:
    </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>To be or not to be, I&#39;m just here for the beer like any true CANADIAN...uh ooooh??
    Sorry I just burped and farted and it really reeeeeeeks&#33;
    </td></tr></table><div class='signature'>

  9. Software & Hardware   -   #9
    P.S yes we do get stereo reception on several channels from satellite.
    </div><table border='0' align='center' width='95%' cellpadding='3' cellspacing='1'><tr><td>QUOTE </td></tr><tr><td id='QUOTE'>To be or not to be, I&#39;m just here for the beer like any true CANADIAN...uh ooooh??
    Sorry I just burped and farted and it really reeeeeeeks&#33;
    </td></tr></table><div class='signature'>

  10. Software & Hardware   -   #10
    Robert00000's Avatar Interweb Fantasist BT Rep: +1
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    I would always advise people to buy the best one they can afford. I was going to upgrade my card last christmas (to one 5 times as expensive), but i discovered the PCTV RAVE can do all the things i needed, by downloading windvdr, because i only use it to record tv programmes at dvd quality, and occasionally copy vhs recordings.

    PVR? , if you mean have i set the software to record automatically whilst i was away? my answer would be no, but with everything else it&#39;s yes.

    You can get the stereo sound on the pctv rave by plugging in the audio connector (from the satellite) into the PC&#39;s audio input (and not use the pctv card&#39;s audio output - which will be mono).

    Normally, if you plug in a tv antenna into the card the the audio output from the card will need to be plugged into the pc&#39;s (sound card&#39;s) audio input for you to get the sound when watching or recording on the pc.

    But if you connect from satellite to the tv card (it&#39;s the same principle as in my case - i connect a digital reciever to pctv card). The satellite/digital reciever has a scart connector, you will need to get an adaptor to convert this to phono, so you can plug the video into the pctv card&#39;s composite input, and the audio into the pc&#39;s sound input.

    As the sound comes into the pc through the sound card it will record this sound in whatever quality the source is (and the sound card can handle), so for example if you have dolby sound coming from the source and you have a sound card that card process this sound, you will get dolby sound on your viewing/recordings on your pc. The pctv card has nothing to do with the sound. It only processes it (in mono) if you plug in the tv antenna, but as you&#39;re using the satellite this isnt an issue.

    You do not need to purchase a satellite version, unless you want to be able to control the channel switching through the viewing software. The pctv rave&#39;s composite input can be used to plug the satellite (you will need an adaptor if it doesnt have phono sockets).

    Unless the satellite has twin scart connectors you will not be able to watch on both the pc and tv simultaneously, irrespective of what card you buy. So you need to swap the connections to the tv or pc from the satellite i.e plug the scart from the tv into you satellite - when you want to watch it on your tv, and the adaptor from your pctv card when you want to watch it on your pc.

    You can of course use the tv out function of your graphics card to watch anything you have on your pc on your tv.

    The 32 mb ATI graphics card on one of my old pc has simultaneous display feature, which means i can get display on both my pc and tv at the same time.

    The functins of your graphica card should not adversely affect your tv veiwing. I have PCTV RAVE cards installed on two pc&#39;s with graphics cards by ATI and Nvidia and have not had any problems.
    Robert00000

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