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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm setting up a pc for my X1 that I recently ordered. I'm looking to order a good tv tuner card so i can take the RF cable directly to the pc and output vga to my projector for dvd's and tv. I'm also interested in recording t.v. onto my hd. Could someone please point to the best deal right now on one of these cards?
 

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I'm not sure what an X1 is... but in general the ATI all in wonder cards do a pretty good job. You can find 7500 AIW cards well under a hundred bucks, and you get a decent rf remote. If you want HDTV I don't know what to tell you...
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I'm already using an ati 9500 card in my pc. would that work if I had both the cards in the pc together? What about the myhd card? will that do the job and allow me to add HD in the future?
 

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Well there are plenty of PCI add on cards that offer the functionality for normal tv/catv viewing... most are very affordable and work with your current AGP card, usually regardless of brand. Some come with remotes, some not. Some have PVR like software, some not. Most of them use the same chipsets so they are all pretty similar. If you're in the US (I think they ship to Canada) - Newegg.com rocks and they have some under 50 bucks with a remote. It's all about money and function. Good PVR ones seem to cost more, basic PVR with the winfast xp 2000 one and it's 48 bucks.


Again, HDTV, yeah there are add on cards and they only have to get cheaper in the future, but I'm not the expert on that. I'd like to know something about it, having a good htpc and a nice mits 65" hdtv, but being flat broke and exploring the world of hd tuners doesn't seem to go hand in hand for me right now.
 

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Follow up, on newegg.com :


MSI [email protected] Master Model MS-8606 Retail


Can't direct link. It's under Video Device & Add On, sells for 59 bucks and offers time shifting PVR (to several formats) + remote.


I think you'll be happy with any of these cards and they should all work with your exisiting AGP card - but if your PVR expectations are high you should expect to have to try a few of these to see which software and hardware quality floats your boat. I think 60 dollars minimum for anything with any kind of acceptable recording quality.


Then again, I drink alot, so hey.
 

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I have the MSI [email protected] I use it mostly for Dscaler as my capture card from a DirecTV box to scale/deinterlace SD broadcasts. It works pretty well.


It doesn't have Digitally Signed drivers, as is the case with most of the Taiwanese cards it seems, although they seem to work OK. The Software Bundle (PVR functions) is pretty easy to use, although if your're using any type of cable box or D*, you have to set the recording operation twice. I've found both the Tuner app and the PVR to be a little buggy under WINXP, but really haven't used them that much since I really wanted this for to use with Dscaler. Mkae sure you download the latest software and patches from the MSI website after installing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Anyone else finding problems/solutions with winxp? that's what I'm using right now so I'd like to avoid any issues. Otherwise if this is what you all recommend, I found a site that's selling it for $50.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I've been reading some good reviews on some vendor sites for the leadtech tv2000 card. Can anyone comment on this card?
 

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You said that you were going to use the runer on the card. You are much better off to use a VCR for a tuner and bring the composite video in from the tuner. The onboard tuners tend not to be up to snuff becuase of noise issues.


As for card, Xcapture and FlyVideo2000 are both well regarded cards on this forum. I have both, its a toss up between them altough only the FlyVideo tuner is supported by dscalar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I was hoping that by going directly into the pc, and then output T.V. to my projector with the VGA cable, it would give me a better image. But would I be better off by going composite from the vcr to the projector?


What would be the point of using a tv tuner card in a computer??


Regarding the xcapture and flyvideo cards, could you point to where they are sold?
 

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The primary reason to use a capture/tuner card is so that you can take its output and run it thru Dscaler-which will deinterlace and "process" the video-which your Video card will then scale to the projector's native resolution-i.e., it will look much, much better for most sources unless you have a good onboard scaler in your PJ (like the X1 does). Dscaler likes powerful processors (I was maxing out my Athlon 2400+ today).


What IUnknown was saying above was to simply run a video out line from your VCR to use its tuner (Tuner cards always have a capture function) because the VCR's tuner won't be susceptible to all the random elec noise inside a computer case-plus, I think most of the tuners on these cards are kind of suspect-they are really more for cable only. Plus, your VCR remote will work better.
 

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I wouldn't get the MSI if you want all the features. If you use DScaler, it works fine for composite and S-vid, but the tuner isn't supported isn't supported yet. Other 3rd party software has little support for it either. Plus, it was flakey half the time I had it. It would make my computer reboot or freeze up. I returned it for the Flyvideo 2000 and much better support, especially in DScaler. Though, I think if you wait 6 months or so for better software, the MSI card maybe a good deal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
What if I'd like to use my pc to record programs for me during the day, like the tivo? i'm assuming that to do so I would need to go directly into the tuner card and allow the software to sort through the channels and find the shows. Am I correct, or is there a way around this while still allowing the vcr to do the tuning?


Also, with my situation where I am using a projector with good internal scaling (infocus X1), would there be any benefit of using the dscaler program?


(and could someone please tell me where to buy the flyvideo card??)
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Tino D'Voe
... take the RF cable directly to the pc ...
By RF cable do you mean the signal source is a cable TV provider or could it be an antenna? I'm asking the question because if it is cable TV then what I'm suggesting would not work currently. Cable systems use QAM modulation and these cards decode 8-VSB. If it is an antenna you could use a Fusion card from Dvico or the myHD card. Either would allow you to capture and record digital OTA TV. However, I'm not certain what the situation is in Vancouver. Do you have digital TV stations on the air like they are in the US? The picture quality for digital stations is excellent and downright spectacular for HDTV. The software for these cards continues to be a work in progress.


Even if it is cable TV, Dvico is planning to release a card that handles QAM as well as 8-VSB modulation so it would work with unscrambled cable stations.


Just as an example of the quality of picture these cards provide I was going to attach a screen shot. But its size is 960 x 544 which is more than the maximum pixels allowed. Suffice it say the quality is better than you'd expect from OTA. In fact for HD it is distinctly better than DVD.
 

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I would like to do the same thing as the original poster and I am considering the LifeView 2000/3000 cards. I would also like to be able to capture in MPEG 2 at 720x480 (dvd). I have read the specs and I don't see anywhere that these cards support this resolution for capturing.


Can anyone confirm that LifeView 2000/3000 will in fact capture at 720x480? Or do I need to capture raw and then convert to MPEG 2?


Thanks,

Rayden
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
As far as I know, the situation here in vancouver is that we have one cable provider, shaw, and we can get either the regular analog cable or buy a digital box and get the same thing in digital. There's also two other satellite providers. As for over the air transmission, I don't know of anyone who's tried this method and I have no idea how I can find out if it works. Either way, i live in an apartment and there's no way for me to attach a big antenna anywhere.


Currently I have the basic analog cable system running, but what is the best solution for what I'm trying to do in my situation? Can I switch to digital and then use my pc to do the tuning?
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by rayden
Can anyone confirm that LifeView 2000/3000 will in fact capture at 720x480? Or do I need to capture raw and then convert to MPEG 2?


Thanks,

Rayden
Yes, they can capture at that rate. I was unable to get audio which was acceptable. There are different ways to do the capture. Its has not really been a priority for me. The included software is adequate but not all that good. I think its only MPEG1.


Another fine quality of the FlyVideo board is that it can be used directly with Windows Media Encoder. This will allow you to capture to a DVD quality image. The image is as good as live. The options for Windows Media Encoder allow things like real time compression and streaming over your internal network etc. I don't remember if I could get the tuner to work in this configuration or not.
 

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Quote:
I'm looking to order a good tv tuner card so i can take the RF cable directly to the pc and output vga to my projector for dvd's and tv. I'm also interested in recording t.v. onto my hd.
Try the ATI Technologies TV Wonder VE. I think its less than $50. You can directly plug-in your cable TV to the card and also has a programable software that allows you to record TV to your HD. I bought one myself and I am very happy with it.


If you want to connect your comp to your TV or projector, you have to use your video card's video out because it doesnt have any.
 

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wait.. dont do anything until you start looking at hardware encoding cards that work with dscaler. I have the msi [email protected] and it works great.. works with dscaler outside of the fact no sound.. so the best solution right now would be the haupauge pvr250 350.. they work great.. worried about interferance or heat then use an external source..


my setup is also with an x1 and it is too sweet with dtv .. but i use my dish pvr with svid and it looks good as well..
 

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Quote:
Try the ATI Technologies TV Wonder VE. I think its less than $50. You can directly plug-in your cable TV to the card and also has a programable software that allows you to record TV to your HD. I bought one myself and I am very happy with it.
A lot of people *do* like the ATI TV Wonder and All-in-Wonder cards, particularly the type of user who's just going to be using the included ATI MultiMedia Center software and not some of the more advanced third-party options. I used to be a big fan of the All-in-Wonder series myself, and the MMC software is nice and easy to use.


However, they do leave much to be desired for anyone wishing to use third-party software or get the highest capture quality possible. The Rage Theater and Theater 200 capture chips used on the All-in-Wonders give picture quality inferior to that provided by older BT8xx chips, as you can see in some of these images:

http://geekwes.virtualave.net/ati-vs-wintv/


The TV Wonder line uses better capture chips, but the drivers are their downfall for using them with much of the more advanced third-party software. The TV Wonder VE is particularly limited in that it's only got mono sound and the drivers work terribly with most of the third-party stuff that many cappers of high-quality encodes like to use.


That said, some people who do great caps swear by ATI's capture cards. But many are dissatisfied, so one should look at the negative reviews of them here, at the ArsTechnica forums, and elsewhere before purchasing one.
 
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