Spec me a Tv card/usb.

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I'm looking to get a Tv card and was just wondering is it better to get a PCI one or USB.

Was hoping to spend ~ £40.

Thanks.

/edit: sorry if this should be in the graphics card section, if it should, could a mod move this thanks.
 
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I bought the MSI one, but can't get it to work. The aerial that comes with it is a bit pathetic and can't pick up any signal.. Think it needs to be plugged into an external aerial to work. Also I found the software that came with it wasn't that good either.. Had to hunt around for a better program to use.
 
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PCI are by far and away the best. A large part of reason for this is the amount of heat these things produce- They ROAST!
Avoid Freecom at all costs- No BDA drivers (Will only work with thier rotten app & not MCE compatible).

IMHO, by far & away the best of the cheap cards is the Lifeview Duo series- Analog/ digital tuning, halfway decent software (Currently supplied with a cutdown version of Power Cinema) and the best reception I've found.
Only problem with these is that they are harder to find than some of the other cheap brands, but they are much better.

You will never get any sort of a picture with the included aerials unless you are living right next door to the transmitter; Carp ;) A decent indoor aerial will do in many cases, but you may need to go to the full outdoor variant to get properly working digital.

-Leezer-
 
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Thanks for the input.

I have been looking at Ocuk's range and saw that they stock a lot of Hauppauge ones.

Thinking of buying the cheapest one here (top one).

Thoughts, opinions?
 
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Hauppauge cards are well thought of, in general, and the one you mention is in many a MCE rig.....can't go too far wrong with it :)

For me, I have found the Avermedia hybrid and Terratec Cinergy 2400i DT the best I have used (NB Terratec is PCI-e only)......stay away from Kworld cards and my recent attempts to get the Leadtek DTV2000H to play ball failed :(

Would always recommend a PCI/PCI-e card over USB.....dongles invariably require a proprietary adapter to plug an aerial in (until you lose/break it !!) and I figure the tidiness of an internal card is perfecto.......
 
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Three main problems with that card-
1. Software decoder; Will place more load on the CPU & is likely to be a little worse quality.
2. Freeview only. Dunno if thats a problem or not, but I would personally go for the option with analoug as well.
3. No remote.

Its also pretty old tech, not sure how that will affect anything though.

Review:
http://www.tv-cards.com/nova-tpci.php

(You may want to have a ferret round that site)

-Leezer-
 
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Software only is not too much of an issue with Freeview/DVB-T as the stream is MPEG2 already......and thus more or less native to the PC.

Agreed, it is older tech, the HVR 1100 is only a few quid more for quite a bit spanglier.....and the HVR 1300 bring hardware coding to the party.....but is many a swift half more......
 
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So it sounds like hardware coding is better. Does the HVR 1100 use hardware or software?

I may spend the extra and buy the 1300 if hardware encoding is better as I've seen it around for ~£60 and the 1100 for ~£45. Good price?
 
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Nebula Digitv cards are the best out of the lot. The software is unmatched, just read the reviews and see for yourself. I've got the Digitv USB version because theres so much EMI noise in my pc that it caused older analogue cards to suffer from noise on the tv picture.
 
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drunknmunky said:
So it sounds like hardware coding is better. Does the HVR 1100 use hardware or software?

I may spend the extra and buy the 1300 if hardware encoding is better as I've seen it around for ~£60 and the 1100 for ~£45. Good price?

Hardware or software it doesn't matter its mpeg2 decoding it doesn't put strain on the cpu.
 
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Just bought a Leadtek DTV1000-T to go alongside my OEM LR6650 card (same PCB on both) and they run fine in a dual tuner setup in Windows Media Centre. Neither of them have any of the dodgy "No Signal" problems of my Compro T200 either and run flawlessly. The Leadtek app isn't too bad for a bundled program either, but MCE is alot better :)
 
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Energize said:
Hardware or software it doesn't matter its mpeg2 decoding it doesn't put strain on the cpu.

Rot ;)
Software decoding uses the CPU, hardware a built-in chip on the card.
Just as a reference point, anything under about 2ghz will suffer with software decoding &/ OR a USB stick.

-Leezer-
 
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leezer3 said:
Rot ;)
Software decoding uses the CPU, hardware a built-in chip on the card.
Just as a reference point, anything under about 2ghz will suffer with software decoding &/ OR a USB stick.

-Leezer-

No it wont, pcs have been playing dvds since pentium 2, you dont need 2ghz or anything like it to decode dvds, my cousins ancient p3 550mhz can play dvds fine with nowhere near 100% cpu usage.
 
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Energize said:
No it wont, pcs have been playing dvds since pentium 2, you dont need 2ghz or anything like it to decode dvds, my cousins ancient p3 550mhz can play dvds fine with nowhere near 100% cpu usage.

If I might point out, a digital video broadcast is extremely differet from a DVD. There are a huge number of extra factors that have to be dealt with when decoding a digital broadcast, just for instance:
*Different channels on the mux- The correct channel has to be selected & played backm as opposed to the single content source of a DVD.
*Signal levels- The signal level of a digital broadcast can vary pretty substantially from minute to minute (Find an app with a signal graph). The decoding has to cope with this, again opposed to the single constant bitrate of a DVD.

-Leezer-
 
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A dvd doesn't use a constant bitrate its variable and it is in fact higher than tv broadcasts which only use between 3-4Mb/s. Anyway its irrelevant it hardly uses any cpu power I only have a 3500 at stock and it uses less than 10% cpu power decoding a broadcast with software, thats including bob deinterlacing. Theres no reason not to select a card because it doesnt have hardware decoding, a lot dont.
 
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