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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm a little confused about some things regarding the PixelView PlayTV PVR card. When you record, does it encode it straight to MPEG-1 or MPEG-2, or does it capture as AVI?


Assuming it does capture directly to MPEG-1 or -2, is this done in hardware or does it rely completely on your CPU?


Finally, does this card now work with DScaler? The PlayTV PVR is listed as a compatible card on DScaler's site but no details are given as to how whether is fully works with the program.


thanks
 

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You need Dscaler version 4.16 which does work with the PVR. I don't use the Pixelview software, so not sure what options it has (I use VirtualVCR, free on the web, to make AVI files). All the compression would be software based.
 

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No, I like to trim commericals and do other processing, so I record with the Huffy codec, then process the file with VirtualDub, and encode with the Vidx codec, which I find gives me good compression and good quality.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
So you record as AVI, then compress it later. Is it your experience that real-time MPEG encoding comes at the expense of quality?
 

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If you are not doing any special processing, and your hardware can compress on the fly, then you generally would want to, since it's quality should match that of compressing as a separate step. If the quality is the same, compressing on the fly saves you time, and requires less disk space (you don't have to first create the very large uncompressed file).


If, however, you wish to do some processing on the file, then you need to do that before compression or the resulting picture quality will be degraded (more so than if you do the encoding first).


Imagine I'm trying to sharpen an image. The sharpen filter looks for edges, and emphasizes them. If I were to encode the file first (say with MPEG), some of the quality is lost, which would make it harder for the sharpen filter to find the edges, so it wouldn't sharpen as much. I would instead want to first run the sharpen filter when the image is at it's best available quality, so it can find all the edges, then encode it. Of course it's not going to look as good as the original, but it will look better than if you first encoded, then sharpened.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the info. Do you know of any RT encoders that at least have as good a picture quality of the flyvideo while viewing? I'm not talking about picture quality when viewing the recorded file, but picture quality that you see while you're just watching TV or a tape being fed into the card.
 

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I've not tried any others. The WinTV 250 seems to be a popular choice due to it's use in the MS Media Center. If I were buying, I'd be sure to get something that is compatable with Dscaler, as you will see your greatest picture improvements (while viewing, not recording) through the use of that program...
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I went ahead and got the FlyVideo 3100, and upgraded my hd from 20GB to 120GB. Now I'm not so worried about large capture sizes. I have plenty of space now to capture uncompressed video.
 
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