I want to watch TV on my PC and also capture video from digital camera and VCR so that I could make my own VCDs. I am looking to purchase a TV tuner/video capture card for my new computer P4 1.8GHz, Win XP, GeForce3 Ti200.
I have done quite a bit of research about various cards that are available on the market today. I am particularly interested in the Hauppauge PVR (Personal Video Recorder) but I need some opinions before I make my decision. Is the card good as it sounds? There are three main features which I am interested in this card:
1) It's maximum resolution (for viewing TV/video) is 1600x1200. All TV cards from hauppauge have this resolution. No other card on the market (from popular makes like ATI, Pinnacle etc.) have got a resolution of higher than 768x576.
2) It can capture at a resolution of 768x576/MPEG1 and 768x576/MPEG2. No other TV-tuner card on the market can capture in MPEG2 unless they use another software to encode MPEG1 to MPEG2.
3) It's got a built-in hardware encoder on the mainboard, which is much faster than the software encoding and it also encodes to MPEG2 (Layer 2) with a compression ratio of 100:1.
There are also some drawbacks.
1) I quote this from a website which says the folowing in its conclusion for the Hauppauge PVR:
"This is a good board if you mainly want to do time-shifting, your budget is limited, and you don't have a powerful enough CPU to run the ATI All-in-Wonder. If you're after high-quality video captures, the AIW is a far better product: with both boards the highest quality is obtained by capturing to AVI, then using a separate encoder. The AIW should also produce a somewhat better AVI, since it's a better-specified board, with fewer video problems as a rule than WinTV boards. And given a fast enough machine, the AIW will produce far better MPEG output than the PVR. The AIW is also a better overall value, unless you already have a good 3D card.
On the other hand, if you're willing to go beyond 3 Mbit/s for full-D1 video, the PVR might look better to you. Like any half-decent encoder, it can produce good video at 8 Mbit/s without trouble."
Is it true that the AIW produces better Mpeg and AVI files than PVR? (Can anyone verify this?)
2) It doesn't have a video out! (well thats what I read anyway, can anyone verify this too?)
The ATI-AIW does look like a good card too but the problem is that it also has a built in graphics card. I already have one of the best graphics card on the market today, the nVidia GeForce3 Ti200. I simply want to watch TV on my PC, and capture video from digital camera and VCR so that I could make my own VCDs.
My friend has got a Pinnacle PCTV Rave and he always tells me all the wonderful things the card can do. I have considered this card too but it is quite basic, I want to do a bit more.
I once bought a Hauppauge WinTV Primio for my IBM Cyrix computer (ancient I know!), but due to a compatability problem, I had to return it back. I could never watch TV in full screen, but I did manage to watch it in a window although my computer used to freeze up at the same time. So I do have a good idea of how the picture quality of WinTV Primio is like when viewed in a window (which was very sharp). I also have a good idea of how the software is like that comes with Hauppauge TV Cards (I didn't like it that much). I heard that the PVR comes with a similar sort of software with not much else (verification please.)
PLease leave your comments.
<i>When the cup is full, no more can be poured -
When you're full with your opinions, no more wisdom can enter.</i>