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Cheapest Tuner Card for Recording

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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March 26, 2007 3:20:38 AM

What is the cheapest internal TV tuner that I can use to record standard resolution TV with good video and audio quality?
a b x TV
March 26, 2007 4:16:15 AM

Hauppauge Win TV PVR 150, not the cheapest but MCE 2005 ready and seems to work good. puts my pvr250 to shame.

Always look for hardware based so you can keep running your PC without a performance hit. And it never hurts to use a dedicated PVR drive(less fragmentation).

Hope this helps
March 26, 2007 7:53:49 PM

I'm actually going to be using it with XP, not MCE.
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March 28, 2007 3:48:42 PM

by far not the best card out there but gets the job done - ATI All in Wonder 200 - doesn't take up a slot for the video card either and can be had cheaply.
March 28, 2007 4:28:18 PM

Winfast TV2000 XP Expert
March 28, 2007 4:47:59 PM

I use a Hauppagge 150 with Xp and hauppagge's software and it works pretty well.
March 28, 2007 5:03:05 PM

I haven't used the Hauppauge PVR-150, but I've heard a lot of good things about it. Personally, I use a Sapphire Theatrix. It's essentially the same card as this one that uses the ATI Theater 550Pro chip.

I would also strongly recommend you look for a card with a hardware MPEG-2 encoder. That frees the CPU so that you can do other things with the computer while it's recording without dropping frames.
March 29, 2007 6:43:01 PM

Quote:

I would also strongly recommend you look for a card with a hardware MPEG-2 encoder. That frees the CPU so that you can do other things with the computer while it's recording without dropping frames.


I disagree. The advantage of using a software capture card is that it allows for flexibility in the capture format, minimizing the need for transcoding later. With the power of today's CPUs the performance impact of a software capture card is much less of an issue than it was in the past. For example, just one core of a lowly Pentium D 805 is powerful enough to capture high quality MPEG-2 (uses 60-70% of that single core), freeing the other core to do whatever you want. A software capture card along with a D 805 can also capture directly to DivX, while still leaving enough free cpu cycles to use the computer for small tasks (DivX capture is multithreaded, generally using 60 to 75% of both cores on a D 805).
March 30, 2007 5:03:49 PM

Hey guys, I'm in same situation as the OP. I need a cheap Hardware based TV Tuner. I would like to keep it under $50. I looked at the Hauppauge WinTV 150 but at $68, it's out of my budget. I looked at the ATI TV Wonder 200, and it looks pretty good, but I can't tell if it has a hardware decoder. Am I missing anything?

I also have another related problem. (sorry for the hijack) I have recently aquired a ExpressCard TV tuner from a HP laptop. Windows detects it fine, but because the card was made/designed by HP, they do not provide software for the card. Do you know of any FREE software I could use to use this card? (That's not a trial version. Currently using a 21 day trial of Beyond TV)

Thanks for anything!!
March 30, 2007 6:37:21 PM

How about this - Here I've ordered at least $2000 worth of stuff from them and they have good customer svc and they ship the order that day as long as it's in by lunchtime or so.
March 30, 2007 8:09:59 PM

Will the WinTV 150 really be better than the ATI TV Wonder 200?
April 10, 2007 5:24:42 PM

Try the Avermedia GoTV 007 FM plus. Costs $39 at Frys.

Works with both XP and Vista. (Minor problem, the remote doesn't work with Vista, but I never use it.)

The TV tuner and PVR work well with both operating systems.
April 10, 2007 6:04:51 PM

Quote:
Will the WinTV 150 really be better than the ATI TV Wonder 200?


Yes. I have upgraded a year ago from a Wonder 200 model (made by Sapphire) to a Hauppauge PVR-150 and couldn't believe the difference in image quality. Also, the hardware encoding in the PVR-150 helps a lot when the computer is slow because there are no dropped frames.

I also tried a Theater 650 product from ATI. The hardware seems good, the reviews are excellent, but the software that came with the card was completely useless so I returned the whole thing.
April 11, 2007 4:29:13 PM

what about ATI 550 theater? really good image quality,accordind to research last I seen it was selling for $65. at N.E. I just got the mce Visiontek version that came with the MCE remote. i got it open box,and only thing that was missing was that ATI purple box which Visiontek shipped to me for free! 8) As a matter of fact I'm getting ready to install today along with MCE 2005 w/o UR2 :wink:
!