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PCI PVR card for use with Dish Network DBS?

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Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2004 12:32:50 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

I'm looking for a good video capture card to use as a PVR to record TV
programs onto my hard drive to play them back later through my A/V receiver
and 32" flat screen TV. Most PVR cards I've looked at have no audio INPUT.
Those would work OK for analog cable recording, but not recording off of
satellite. For recording from Dish Network, I will need to use composite or
S-Video video plus analog or digital stereo audio from connections on the
back of the satellite receiver. Note that I have considered Dish Network's
own PVR solutions and ruled them out. If I can't make a PVR out of a PC,
I'd rather stick with my trusty VHS format VCR. I need a good card with:

- PCI format expansion card (prefer internal rather than external)
- Analog video inputs, both composite (RCA) and S-Video. These two inputs
can share one connector with an included adapter, if necessary
- Analog AUDIO input
- Analog audio output
- Remote control
- connector for remote control sensor, and the remote control sensor itself
(obviously)
- Good software for time-shifting. When I say "time-shifting", I mean
schedule recordings to run while I'm asleep or not at home so I can watch TV
programs later.

I don't mind paying for the software separately, but I want software that
works WELL with whatever card I buy, without any extra "fiddling" with
firmware, updates, etc. I technically don't even need a TV tuner in this
card, though I imagine whatever card I buy will probably have one.

OK, does this card exist? -Dave

The system I intend to use for this has the following rough specs., though I
can change anything if necessary to make this happen:
AMD XP2500, 1GB Ram, Geforce4MX440 video card with TV out, nforce2 chipset
mainboard, 50GB of free hard drive space (was thinking of picking up a new
hard drive just for video recording, eventually), Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
sound card, Windows XP Pro.
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2004 2:08:57 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Mayby I'm misunderstanding you,but alot of video cardshave composite
video and stereo audio in. Some ATI cards have A/V inputs, the yellow,
red, white RCA jacks andcan record from them. See any ATI
All-In-Wonder card. Plus there's many add on accessories to capture
A/V.
On Sun, 20 Jun 2004 20:32:50 -0400, "Dave C." <mdupre@sff.net> wrote:

>I'm looking for a good video capture card to use as a PVR to record TV
>programs onto my hard drive to play them back later through my A/V receiver
>and 32" flat screen TV. Most PVR cards I've looked at have no audio INPUT.
>Those would work OK for analog cable recording, but not recording off of
>satellite. For recording from Dish Network, I will need to use composite or
>S-Video video plus analog or digital stereo audio from connections on the
>back of the satellite receiver. Note that I have considered Dish Network's
>own PVR solutions and ruled them out. If I can't make a PVR out of a PC,
>I'd rather stick with my trusty VHS format VCR. I need a good card with:
>
>- PCI format expansion card (prefer internal rather than external)
>- Analog video inputs, both composite (RCA) and S-Video. These two inputs
>can share one connector with an included adapter, if necessary
>- Analog AUDIO input
>- Analog audio output
>- Remote control
>- connector for remote control sensor, and the remote control sensor itself
>(obviously)
>- Good software for time-shifting. When I say "time-shifting", I mean
>schedule recordings to run while I'm asleep or not at home so I can watch TV
>programs later.
>
>I don't mind paying for the software separately, but I want software that
>works WELL with whatever card I buy, without any extra "fiddling" with
>firmware, updates, etc. I technically don't even need a TV tuner in this
>card, though I imagine whatever card I buy will probably have one.
>
>OK, does this card exist? -Dave
>
>The system I intend to use for this has the following rough specs., though I
>can change anything if necessary to make this happen:
>AMD XP2500, 1GB Ram, Geforce4MX440 video card with TV out, nforce2 chipset
>mainboard, 50GB of free hard drive space (was thinking of picking up a new
>hard drive just for video recording, eventually), Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
>sound card, Windows XP Pro.
>
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2004 4:10:42 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Dave C. wrote:

> I'm looking for a good video capture card to use as a PVR to record TV
> programs onto my hard drive to play them back later through my A/V receiver
> and 32" flat screen TV. Most PVR cards I've looked at have no audio INPUT.

They don't have an audio input because that goes into the sound card. Even
most TV Tuner cards jumper (by audio cable) the demodulated audio into the
sound card.

> Those would work OK for analog cable recording, but not recording off of
> satellite. For recording from Dish Network, I will need to use composite or
> S-Video video plus analog or digital stereo audio from connections on the
> back of the satellite receiver. Note that I have considered Dish Network's
> own PVR solutions and ruled them out. If I can't make a PVR out of a PC,
> I'd rather stick with my trusty VHS format VCR. I need a good card with:
>
> - PCI format expansion card (prefer internal rather than external)
> - Analog video inputs, both composite (RCA) and S-Video. These two inputs
> can share one connector with an included adapter, if necessary

> - Analog AUDIO input
> - Analog audio output

Unlikely to find one with audio. That will be through the sound card.

> - Remote control
> - connector for remote control sensor, and the remote control sensor itself
> (obviously)

Ironically, the least costly solution will probably be a TV Tuner card.
They usually include an S-Video input and you might as well get one with FM
radio too.

> - Good software for time-shifting. When I say "time-shifting", I mean
> schedule recordings to run while I'm asleep or not at home so I can watch TV
> programs later.

Anything that is a PVR will do that as that's what PVR means.
"Time-shifting" refers to being able to go back and forward while viewing
the live broadcast (some portion, time wise relative to current, is
continuously stored to disk so you can slide back and forth in the amount
being stored)

>
> I don't mind paying for the software separately, but I want software that
> works WELL with whatever card I buy, without any extra "fiddling" with
> firmware, updates, etc. I technically don't even need a TV tuner in this
> card, though I imagine whatever card I buy will probably have one.

I'd suggest you get one that uses the BT8xx chipsets because those are what
the majority of programs are written for, including a decent amount of
freeware, which means you would not be 'stuck' with the manufacturer's
offering, with the exception of the remote control. I don't know of any
that use a 'generic' remote control which means if you want that to work
you will probably be stuck with what comes with it.

An alternative would be a wireless keyboard.

Another alternative is one of the IR receivers (plugs into serial port)
that work with 'any remote', but those require a lot of work to setup (at
least with the software they come with), sometimes create identical codes
for multiple buttons (meaning not all the buttons are going to 'work' if it
does), and can be difficult to integrate with programs. Interestingly
enough, Showshifter (not freeware) inherently works with those (IR Man) but
I got so used to the wireless keyboard that I never finished setting it up
and the sensor duplicates keycodes for some buttons on my remote, although
they claim to have a better version now that improves on that problem. The
main reason was lazy because I have a 'universal' remote that allows me to
change the codes it uses but I don't have to 'work' at it with the wireless
keyboard. Showshifter, of course, hasn't got a clue what the 'remote' is
with my other tuner card's built in one, though.


> OK, does this card exist? -Dave
>
> The system I intend to use for this has the following rough specs., though I
> can change anything if necessary to make this happen:
> AMD XP2500, 1GB Ram, Geforce4MX440 video card with TV out, nforce2 chipset
> mainboard, 50GB of free hard drive space (was thinking of picking up a new
> hard drive just for video recording, eventually), Turtle Beach Santa Cruz
> sound card, Windows XP Pro.

Your setup should be fine. Just a note to not opt for an 'all-in-one' video
display/tuner combo card (unlikely that you would, having a Geforce, but
worth mentioning in case you get tempted) because you can't stream into AND
out of them at the same time, which limits the kind of software you can use
and entirely eliminates things like judder and noise processing filters
when viewing live broadcasts.
Related resources
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2004 11:06:31 AM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

> They don't have an audio input because that goes into the sound card. Even
> most TV Tuner cards jumper (by audio cable) the demodulated audio into the
> sound card.
>
> Ironically, the least costly solution will probably be a TV Tuner card.
> They usually include an S-Video input and you might as well get one with
FM
> radio too.
>
> > - Good software for time-shifting. When I say "time-shifting", I mean
> > schedule recordings to run while I'm asleep or not at home so I can
watch TV
> > programs later.
>
> Anything that is a PVR will do that as that's what PVR means.
> "Time-shifting" refers to being able to go back and forward while viewing
> the live broadcast (some portion, time wise relative to current, is
> continuously stored to disk so you can slide back and forth in the amount
> being stored)
>
> I'd suggest you get one that uses the BT8xx chipsets because those are
what
> the majority of programs are written for, including a decent amount of
> freeware, which means you would not be 'stuck' with the manufacturer's
> offering, with the exception of the remote control. I don't know of any
> that use a 'generic' remote control which means if you want that to work
> you will probably be stuck with what comes with it.
>

Thanks for the input!!! I somehow didn't think the PVR software would be
flexible enough to draw audio from one of bazillions of different audio
cards. But it makes sense to use the audio card for sound input, as it's
already there (usually). I'll definitely look for that chipset you
mentioned. -Dave
Anonymous
a b B Homebuilt system
June 21, 2004 5:03:08 PM

Archived from groups: alt.comp.hardware.pc-homebuilt (More info?)

Dave C. wrote:

>>They don't have an audio input because that goes into the sound card. Even
>>most TV Tuner cards jumper (by audio cable) the demodulated audio into the
>>sound card.
>>
>>Ironically, the least costly solution will probably be a TV Tuner card.
>>They usually include an S-Video input and you might as well get one with
>
> FM
>
>>radio too.
>>
>>
>>>- Good software for time-shifting. When I say "time-shifting", I mean
>>>schedule recordings to run while I'm asleep or not at home so I can
>
> watch TV
>
>>>programs later.
>>
>>Anything that is a PVR will do that as that's what PVR means.
>>"Time-shifting" refers to being able to go back and forward while viewing
>>the live broadcast (some portion, time wise relative to current, is
>>continuously stored to disk so you can slide back and forth in the amount
>>being stored)
>>
>>I'd suggest you get one that uses the BT8xx chipsets because those are
>
> what
>
>>the majority of programs are written for, including a decent amount of
>>freeware, which means you would not be 'stuck' with the manufacturer's
>>offering, with the exception of the remote control. I don't know of any
>>that use a 'generic' remote control which means if you want that to work
>>you will probably be stuck with what comes with it.
>>
>
>
> Thanks for the input!!! I somehow didn't think the PVR software would be
> flexible enough to draw audio from one of bazillions of different audio
> cards.

I can see why you were thinking that way but that's the purpose, and
beauty, of drivers and an O.S.. They bring the various 'implementations' to
a 'standard' API (application interface).

> But it makes sense to use the audio card for sound input, as it's
> already there (usually). I'll definitely look for that chipset you
> mentioned. -Dave
>
>

Having pointed out the 'beauty' of drivers and an O.S. it's important to
note there is nothing that prevents a manufacturer from writing drivers
that provide a 'custom' API for specialized things, and that's where the
BT8x chipset comes in because, even if the manufacturer wrote a 'custom'
interface for their whiz bang software, there are 'standard', generic,
drivers for the BT8x chipset which provide the windows standard WDM most
generic applications use. Odds are, however, that their drivers will work
as is and all you'd need to do is simply install whatever other program you
like.

The same, however, cannot be said of other chipsets, which are often
specific to their implementation with no generic alternative.

Here is a link to a source for generic BT8x drivers with this page being a
list of known supported cards (plenty of choices in there, but note the ATI
'wonders' are NOT the ATI "ALL-in-wonder").

http://btwincap.sourceforge.net/supportedcards.html

I use the ATI TV-Wonder VE in one machine but that was because it was half
height and I needed that for the book sized case it was in (so this is only
an example and not a 'recommendation'). My other card is a TView99 because
it was CHEAP, and with remote (also only an example).
!