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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have read conflicting reports about HDTV and winTV-D...


If the card cannot decode HDTV signals, what happens when you tune into a HDTV broadcast (like college football in the fall)?


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macdaddy -


I have one of these. It can decode HD signals just fine but it displays it at a maximum of 480i resolution, with no apparent attempt to deinterlace.


It would be a good card for the price for someone that just wants conversion and does NOT have an HD display. It also looks good in a window on the desktop except for the weave artifacts.


With software from the Hauppage web site it can also record the ATSC stream, though that is still somewhat beta quality.


I also have the Hauppage WinTV-HD and would recommend this one instead unless you can find more of the WinTV-d's on sale at $50 as they were recently. The rumor is this will also shortly have recording.


You might try searching on the HTPC forum for more info.


- Tom


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[This message has been edited by trbarry (edited 05-04-2001).]
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
What about using the card in conjunction with dTV-I thought that was the purpose of that program?


You mention recording. Is it possible to use a program like virtualDub to do the capturing?




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The card works great with dTV on the analog channels because it has lower noise than some cards. I still use one for dTV development on my test machine.


Be aware though that it has only composite input, no s-video.


It will work with VirtualDub on the analog channels only.


Again, there's been a lot more discussion of the various HD cards on the HTPC forum. I don't have one but the AccessDTV currently seems to be the most popular there, because of its Tivo-like features. This may (or not) change if the WinTV-HD releases a good recording capability.


- Tom


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trbarry -


I am curious as to how the WinTV-HD card works.... I mean, it obviously cannot decode Dish or DirecTV transmissions, can it? Is it just like hooking up an antenna and picking up OTA HD transmissions? How many channels are you picking up with it?


Can the WinTV-HD card also act as a capture card from an s-video source? Did I understand you correctly that currently the WinTV-HD card does NOT allow for recording?


Thanks!


Lord British
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I've got digital cable coming into the house. The converter box (Motorola dct 2000) is plugged into my Radeon 64 (composite in). The video works well, although it looks washed out to me; I haven't found the perfect video settings, yet (related post: http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/Forum12/HTML/010242.html SB live! platinum line-in takes the dual RCA output of the Motorola box. From what I have read, dTV does not work with Radeon input, and the program tells me the hardware is incompatible. If I plug the composite-in of the cable box to a winTV-D card, will I be able to use dTV?



@Lord British:

check out the winTV-D specs here (you need acrobat installed):

http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/html/wintv-d.pdf


I do not know much about the HD version of the card...browse through the manufacturer's site (although I have not found the spec.pdf)...


From what I understand, HD recording is still in its infancy, and is not reliably supported.


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[This message has been edited by theREALmacdaddy (edited 05-04-2001).]


[This message has been edited by theREALmacdaddy (edited 05-04-2001).]


[This message has been edited by theREALmacdaddy (edited 05-04-2001).]
 

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To make sure we are not confusing the WinTV-d and the WinTV-HD:


The WinTV-d is the cheaper one that displays only 480i. It is also compatible with the dTV software since it uses a BT8xx capture chip. It has somewhat primitive but functional recording software that can be had from the Hauppage site.


Macdaddy: Yes, you could hook up you cable box like that. I do myself, but thru an A/V Receiver.


The WinTV-HD does full HD display at various output resolutions, including 1080i and 720p. It is not compatible with the dTV open source software since it uses a different chip. However I also have another inexpensive TV card in my HTPC that works fine in an adjacent slot for dTV. The WinTV-HD does not yet have recording software and I was beginning to despair, but scan the HTPC forum for recent news in the last couple days. Apparently Hauppage support has said it will be available in a couple weeks. It would be worthwhile to call them and ask before buying.


As far as reception is concerned, I think both are about the same. I live in Southfield MI which is fairly HD friendly. On most days I get 6 digital OTA stations (though UPN is sometimes iffy) using a fixed midsize rooftop antenna.


On good days sometimes there is even something in HD that I would like to watch. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/wink.gif


Neither card can directly receive satellite signals. I'm not aware of any US card that can, though there are DVB cards in Europe I think.


The HTPC forum also has many fans and much discussion of the HiPix and AccessDTV cards, two other HD candidates.


- Tom


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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
@trbarry


You mention you have your cable box hooked to the a/v receiver before the computer. What is the advantage of doing it that way (rather than going cable box->computer->receiver)?



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[This message has been edited by theREALmacdaddy (edited 05-04-2001).]
 

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Tom is using his computer capture card along with dTV to ack as a video deinterlacer + scalar. If you don't understand the significance of that, then you are not using the HTPC to it's full advantage. You may want to read the archives to get a more complete understanding of the important tradeoffs between HTPC and standalone video processors. One easy benefit of the HTPC is that you get top notch DVD playback that would require several thousand dollars worth of stand alone equipment. Of course, all of this is a moving target as the recent thread about progressive DVD playback with "very well known" video deinterlacing chip built in has proven.


Passing the signal through the receiver first allows the receiver to serve as the AV switcher which is exactly what it was designed to do. http://www.avsforum.com/ubb/smile.gif


Reading up on dTV would be something you might want to do also. dTV is attempting to do with commercial off the shelf components, what would have cost at a minimum $600 just last year. The very best video deinterlacer and video scalars from "very well known" companies will still set you back many thousands for $$$$. Of course you get what you pay for. But since dTV is free, who's complaining???


When it comes to HDTV, this is brand new ball game. It's only a lucky happenstance that the WinTV-D uses a version of the BT878 for analog video. In fact the WinTV-D is based on a reference design from Philips, so it's not a one off design, although Hauppague did make some specialized modifications to the reference design. The WinTV-HD is based on a completely different design from Teralogic. As such, the software used to interface with the two cards is very different. dTV currently doesn't work with the WinTV-HD in any way shape or form, but as mentioned before it's just luck that it can work with the WinTV-D.


Recording HDTV is really just recording the RAW data being transmitted by the TV station. This is actually pretty easy. Recording analog TV turns out to be more difficult since the CPU of the computer must compresses each frame of video in real time. At present, MPEG-2 demands a very fast CPU for ever standard definition video capture. Compressing HD video in real time would take about a 6 Ghz CPU.


One last thing to keep in mind is that the HTPC is by far the most flexible and cost effective platform for building a top quality home theater. All of the this flexibility does come at the cost of actually needing to know some of the details of how all this technology works. If that isn't interesting to you, then HTPC may not be the way you want to go with your home theater.

 
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