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Discussion Starter #1
The visual quality, I mean.


My specs:


XP Pro

Asus P4P800

Pentium 4/2.60/800 FSB/blah,blah...

1 gig RAM

Seagate 120/8MB

ATI All-in-Wonder 9800 Pro/tuner manufactured by Phillips

ViewSonic A90f+


When I hook up my digital cable line to my regular TV set, the quality is fine.


Another thing I've noticed: The smaller the window for the TV is minimized, the better the quality. But WTF? Who wants to watch tv on their monitor, that is the size of a business card?
 

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Due to EMI/RFI, the inside of a PC is a terrible place for a TV tuner to be located. You will get much better results if you can use an external tuner such as a set-top box or VCR as your tuner, and connect it via composite or S-Video to your capture card.
 

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Are you comparing similar things at all? If you are comparing video on your television compared to video on your computer monitor, keep in mind that your computer monitor is a) much more revealing compared to your TV, and b) progressive.
 

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One other thing worth mentioning is that on the AIW 9700 cards the tuners are notorious for bad reception on channels 2-6. I'm not sure if they fixed this on the AIW 9800.


Most people fixed the problem by adding a signal amplifier.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally posted by helzerr
Due to EMI/RFI, the inside of a PC is a terrible place for a TV tuner to be located. You will get much better results if you can use an external tuner such as a set-top box or VCR as your tuner, and connect it via composite or S-Video to your capture card.
"EMI/RFI"?...Uh...I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to all-things electronic- seriously. I'm just a step above whatever demographic Dell and the like advertise to. I, at least, know better than to buy systems that contain components by manufacturers whose brand names don't even appear in advertisements.


Anyway, I'm not sure if I need a signal amplifier, because the single cable line that has been split between three other tv sets in my home, all get better reception or quality than my monitor.


What I've tried so far, is changing the resolution of my desktop from 1024xsomething to 800x600, and, still, no change. I've also run a disk error check, and nothing's wrong.


My system is only a week old, and I've used it, I think, less than ten times.
 

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Standard TV's are much more forgiving than a computer monitor... a computer monitor is going to show every little flaw, where on the TV ya might not see it. For decent quality on your computer, I'd guess you'd need a HDTV card or something similiar... I'd do lot's more research... this website is a good start! Take care...
 

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EMI = electromagnetic interference

RFI = radio frequency interference


The inside of a computer is a rather noisy environment and i'm continually amazed at how good the analog outputs can be.


Since all you are saying is "it sucks" and you aren't really describing why it sucks it is hard to diagnose what's going on.


The only hint you've given so far is "The smaller the window for the TV is minimized, the better the quality." which indicates to me that this is the first high resolution display you've seen NTSC video on, i.e. there is nothing wrong, you're just seeing what NTSC looks like when put on a relatively good display seen from up close. How does the video look when you have it full screen but look at it from 5-10 feet away?
 

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Anyone know of a brand and model number for an old VCR that has an S-video output. I want to test it for use as an external tuner for my HTPC setup. I am using a MSI [email protected] presently. I have experimented and have found it records a better picture from an S-video input than it does from the internal tuner (EMI/RFI I expect). Both the old VCR recorders I have around the house only have composite out. I have seen some DVD/VCR combo machines advertised but it appears they only provide S-video out from the DVD section. I can't find a manual so don't know if this also includes the TV tuner signal also. Anyone with any suggestions?
 

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The DVD/VCR combos I've looked into in any detail have S-video only for DVD--but I obviously haven't seen every such combo on the market. However, there is reason* to believe that all DVD/VHS combos would not allow S-video from the VHS side which is where the tuner is almost certainly located as well. You'll probably have to look into S-VHS VCR. The very lowest end S-VHS VCRs are now under $100.


* My understanding is that part of the licensing agreement for VHS is that S-video input and output are reserved for S-VHS VCRs, in order to stratify the market.


Good point helzerr
 

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For use as an external tuner, a cheap VCR may not look any better or may even look worse via S-Video. It all depends on the quality of the comb filter, and a cheap VCR isn't likely to have a good one. Chances are, composite will work fine.


S-VHS and DVD are a different story because the video is stored as separate Y and C, therefore no comb filter is needed to take full advantage of the S-Video connection.
 

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dboothe- considering doing what I did and pay an extra $12 a month for digital cable. The cable box has S-video out and since it's transferred digitally to the box, it generally exhibits much less noise.


Alternately you can get an SVHS VCR that has an s-video output. I had good results with a $79 JVC refurb unit ecost.com sells from time to time. They're not available now but check back.
 

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Quote:
When I hook up my digital cable line to my regular TV set, the quality is fine.
Since you specified digital cable, what are you connecting to your TV or AIW? You must be usiong a cable box, are you using the baseband outputs or the RF output?



Quote:
My understanding is that part of the licensing agreement for VHS is that S-video input and output are reserved for S-VHS VCRs, in order to stratify the market
No, there is no point to using Y/C if the original source is composite.


Using an S-video VCR as an off air tuner wont net you much either as the original broadcast signal is composite.
 

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Scotty L - Cable, digital or otherwise, isn't available where I live. I use a combination of satellite and off-air for signal. I've been feeding the signal direct from the sat rcvr to my capture card via s-video but would like to use that sat rcvr output to go to my Sony LCD (50WE610). It seems to give a slightly better picture for SD than does the component connection (sat rcvr to LCD TV). I'm fairly happy with how it all works, finally, but there is always the next system tweak. Thanks.
 

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If external tuner is better, which one of these (S-media) would you recommend? These are the only tuner I find that tune up to 255 channels!


I'm currently using Winfast 2000XP Deluxe, but the tuning quality is not good, could be because of the internal interfearence. I'm thinking of invest an external tuner, use S-video and Dscaler to watch TV on my projector. Do advise. Thanks!
 

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--The only hint you've given so far is "The smaller the window for the TV is minimized, the better the quality." --


Something else to consider is that many TV Tuner cards will only put out a 640x480 picture (if using NTSC). If that 640x480 picture get stretched too large (like to 1024x768 or bigger) than the picture will look pretty lousy.


I dunno what ATI says, but Hauppauge (and others) recommends 800x600 max, unless you want to watch in a smaller window.
 

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kc_moses: if you have a VCR, give it a try--that'll give you an idea whether you might benefit from an external tuner.
 

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The All-In-Wonder series or any other tuner that does not support Dscaler software is simply not in the same league. It doesn't get any better than Dscaler for deinterlacing. However you must currently use a TV board with a Brooktree chip for compatibility. The developers are working on other chips but teh Brooktree chips are fully mature in feature and function today.


Gary
 

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My guess why your TV tuner sucks is because this market doesn't compete on quality. If Toshiba makes a better TV than Sony some magazine will review the competing models declaring the Toshiba the better TV and the public may buy more Toshibas and fewer Sonys. Sony then has an incentive to improve their TV. This applies to cars, washing machines, disk drives, CPUs, 3D graphics cards, etc. If there was a comparative review in a popular magazine or web site of Hauppage vs. AIW and Hauppage was shown to be the better capture card then people may tend to buy more Hauppage cards and fewer AIWs. Then ATI would have an incentive to improve their AIW cards. However, this mechanism is completely absent in the market. Try to find a comparative review of TV capture cards in some magazine or web site. Never mind a comparative review, try to find even a thorough review of the TV capture capabilities of any one of these cards that's not just a review of features. Some motivated shoppers might troll discussion boards for advice about which card would be better for them, however there would be few of these shoppers and the opinions they read might be conflicting or just plain wrong. So buyers don't really have a good way to make a decision on what to buy and the TV capture card makers haven't had much incentive to improve.


If a DVD recorder can give you broadcast quality PQ to your TV live and from a DVD recording then a PC capture card should be able to do the same.
 

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Quote:
Originally posted by Kayle
kc_moses: if you have a VCR, give it a try--that'll give you an idea whether you might benefit from an external tuner.
I don't have a VCR. Even if having S-Video into the Winfast gives good PQ, I still can't find external TV Tuner that has S-Video out.
 

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" I still can't find external TV Tuner that has S-Video out."


Thats because there is no point in converting a composite signal into Y/C in a TV Tuner.
 
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