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Need advice on which capture/vga card for system

  • Tuner Cards
  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
January 4, 2002 7:21:57 PM

Hi guys.

I've recently upgraded a few components in my pc, and I want to get a decent but cheap mpeg card that will capture from the tv to and allow me to burn as vcd's/svcd's to play in my dvd player (whichh does play these!)

My system is now as follows:
AMD T-Bird 1.4
Abit KT7A-raid mobo (but not in raid array)
512mb sdram cas 2
SBlive sound card
2 x IBM 40gb ata100 drive (one 5400 rpm and the other 7200)
Hercules Dynamite TNT 16mb card (agp 2x)

My graphics card is one of the only things I have not yet upgraded, and I don't know if the Hercules will be sufficient with a basic TV tuner/capture card. If not, should I get a cheap new AGP4x card and a seperate capture card, or am I better off getting a combined one, like the ATI Radeon 64DDR VIVO or All in wonder, etc? I don't play many games, so nose-bleed 3d performance is certainly not essential for me......!

If I am better off getting a seperate (cheap!) tv capture card, which should I go for with my system? I've had a good look round, and no-one seems to actually say which is best, and I've noted quite a few comments about mobos with Via chipsets (like mine is) causing problems with some cards.

As it's mostly for just recording the odd tv program to vcd, I'd rather a card that allows capture straight to mpeg, as I don't want to have to spend too much time
converting files between different formats. I also want to avoid usb capture devices.....

I think that's pretty much everything covered, so any advice, especially from anyone with a similar set-up would be much appreciated.

I'm in the UK, btw, so any card would really need to be available here.......!

Many thanks in advance......!

More about : advice capture vga card system

January 4, 2002 8:59:00 PM

Never buy a cheep Video capture card. it will only make you problems and give bad quality.
Also I recomend not getting a display card integrated with a Capture card such as the ATI Vivo/AIW or GF cards with TV in.
Find a good seperated card.

In the UK I recomend calling Ian fron <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> and ask him for suggestions you can also look at the <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A> in the computer Video forums. This are UK based forums and you will get very good support over there.
January 5, 2002 8:12:26 PM

if you want tv tuner, capture, hardware mpeg2 compress/uncompress capabilities & without high games performances with moreover a cheaper price, pick infos about the ATI All in Wonder Radeon 32Mo DDR (~200$).

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
Related resources
January 5, 2002 9:23:02 PM

Thanks for the replies......

Would the ATI all in wonder be better than the Radeon 64mb ddr vivo?
January 5, 2002 9:35:44 PM

there are 4 differences between those 2 cards.

1) the AIW have an onboard TV tuner, not the VIVO

2) the AIW have capture capabilities with hardware MPEG2 compression, not the VIVO

3) the AIW have 32Mo DDR@166Mhz with gpu@166Mhz, the VIVO 64Mo DDR@183Mhz with gpu@183Mhz
so the VIVO is a little more fast than the AIW for gaming

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 6, 2002 9:46:55 PM

Does the AIW have hardware MPEG conversion? I read at VCDHelper that it didn't, so you need a faster processer to ensure a good capture.....
January 7, 2002 11:13:38 AM

I will not try and use the AIW Mpg2 options. not if you want decent quality.
January 7, 2002 3:54:17 PM

What do you suggest?
January 7, 2002 7:30:50 PM

the real question is from where are you planing to capture ?
Normal home VHS VCR ? DV/Digital8 Camera ?

If you have a DV camera then get a dirt cheap fire wire card + a 25$ editing program like the Stoik Video Man and you are done.
If you are planing on analog sources then Look at the Pinnacle Studio AV version 7. It also come with the Studio editing program.

Don't go into integrated display and capture cards. It's just like a Integrated main board.
January 8, 2002 5:21:42 PM

I want to be able to capture from tv broadcast, hence the need for a tv tuner.

Ideally, I want to be able to capture and burn vcd's & svcd's, but if possible I'd like to get something that allows higher quality capture so that I can burn to dvdr when they become more affordable. I really need something that I can plug my tv aerial into and capture, but would like a board that encodes in hardware rather than depend on the cpu.....
January 8, 2002 6:01:21 PM

The problem is that boards that work in hardware and give good quality is a expencive thing.
Capturing directly from TV signal to computer then there are several TV cards on the market. Just look on other posts.

In any case, capturing to a good VHS deck and captring from it will normaly resoult in almost the same quality.
January 9, 2002 4:21:54 PM

See what you're saying, but through my vdr is not really practical. It would mean pulling it out of the TV/DVD cabinet everytime I want to hook it up to the PC upstairs. Plus I'd have to tape the program to vhs anyway, which defeats my objective.....

I'd rather get something that I can just plug the aerial into, but obviously at the best price with the best performance.....

May just be worth getting a cheaper tuner card like the Win TV or PCTV Rave for now and converting in software, though I didn;t really want to......
January 9, 2002 10:33:47 PM

Your system will be able to handle the software conversion easily, with lots to spare.

As for the seperate capture card vs. the All-In-Wonder, ask yourself how ofter you plan on upgrading your video card. If you upgrade once a year or less then get a seperate capture card (that way you can keep the capture card and go on upgrading the vid card all you want). If you plan on keeping this system as is until you sell it to get a new one then get a combo card.

You will definatly want one that has it's own TV tuner built in since you're going from cable to computer with no TV in between. Currently only the ATI All-In-Wonder series of combo cards includes a TV tuner. The VIVO's don't work that way (they need to use the TV's tuner). Almost all seperate capture cards include a TV tuner though.

For hardware MPEG encryption you will have to pay dearly. With your system I wouldn't worry. Minimum specs are a 333 mHz CPU and 128 RAM

Knowan likes you. Knowan is your friend. Knowan thinks you're great.
January 10, 2002 1:53:54 AM

Just a samll Note,
Almost all capture cards DON'T have a TV tuner.
some of the new TV tuner cards have also capture options.

The upgrade thing is also a valid issue,
Maybe you will want to upgrade your display card ? Maybe you will love the Video editing so much you will want a ProSumer card like the Pyro or DV500+ ?
January 11, 2002 1:07:43 PM

of course, the AIW have <b>real time hardware</b> MPEG1 & MPEG2 compression & because it's hardware, you don't need an highly speed cpu to use it for capture.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 11, 2002 2:18:59 PM

I experessd my comments about the quality of the ATI Encoder more then one time.
And then is the question of Editing the material in native Mpg2. It's just a small thing that normaly require a Hardwere Mp2 read/display in order to do it in resnoble time.
About 1K for the simple models that work with Premier.....

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>
January 11, 2002 2:49:03 PM

AIW read DVDs with <b>hardware MPEG2 decompression</b> & it has ULEAD VIDEO STUDIO software for editing/modifying videos.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 11, 2002 3:13:36 PM

Regarding upgrading my graphics card, I probably do need to get a new one, as it's pretty out of date compared to the rest of may system, but it's not something I expect to do each year. I don't play games, so don't need the latest card, so perhaps the AIW is the better option, as apposed to getting a cheap graphics card & tv tuner.

I'm not too bothered about finely editing mpeg's for vcd, just as long as I can capture to a decent playback standard and chop bits off to tidy them up sizewise.

Thanks for the advice's interesting to see different points of view based on their systems and experiences.....!
January 11, 2002 5:12:47 PM


  I'm not too bothered about finely editing mpeg's for vcd

have a look to my posts in this string about.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 11, 2002 5:17:13 PM

do you know mpeg2 is used for commercial DVDs ?

do you think that commercial DVDs are poor video quality DVDs ?

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 11, 2002 7:23:11 PM

Yeah, thanks Labdog, I saw your posts..... I think I'll take you advice and go for the AIW....

Many thanks....
January 11, 2002 7:33:33 PM

There is a BIG diferance in the way the AIW encode to Mpg2 from the way it's being doen in commersial DVD titles.

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>
January 12, 2002 2:40:08 AM

yep, so try an movie AIW MPEG2 capture, transslate it in MPEG4 DivX format, write it in ONE CD-R & reread your CD-R on your TV by your gc tv-output & give me your opinion about video compress/uncompress quality.

you can have a lot of informations on this subject on the <b>THG Audio Video Guide</b>.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 12, 2002 12:36:44 PM

So what you are talking about is -
Capturing my video using a low end card directly into mpg2.
then recompress the video again into DviX.
And finaly use a display card with TV out to be able to play it on a TV ??????

I know my system is over most people budget but the minimum steps for quality need to be preserved.
I don't know how do you evaluate the final quality coming up on your TV but I like the picture to be sharp and to preserve the original colors.

BTW, THG is hardly the authority when it come to evaluate of video quality.

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>
January 13, 2002 1:05:13 AM

you can do all those stuffs with just the AIW. lol

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 13, 2002 3:16:33 AM

I know that I can do it.
But if I want quality that is exactly what I DON'T want to do.

If I must re encode to a format in low quality as DviX I want at least good quality for my original material.
If I have to capture using standard Mpg2 then I will use 15Mbit CBR and convert it aftter words.
If I can I will prefer capturing to DV or Mpg2 I-Frame or even Uncompressd YUV 4:2:2.
Then I know that my original material is free of noise - both signal as well as "Pixle dust" and that the DviX encoder can do a good job.

The reason Ripping DVDs give so nice quality is because the original material on a DVD is in good quality.
The Signal is "Perfect" since it come from a digital transfer and the picture is normaly clean from noise since the big studios are using Snell & Wilcox noise reduction systems.
With material at this grade you can get good quality in DviX.

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>
January 13, 2002 3:39:26 PM

if you capture DVDs in original format & convert to DivX directly, im agreed with you because you bypass the mpeg2 compression.

but you must have a very high capacity hd to capture the movie (still more if it's a 2h30 or 3h movie, this is not unusual for DVDs) & to convert its format to DivX.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 13, 2002 8:17:36 PM

I do have a nice drive, but using a normal one, capturing to DV and working your way from there will give you much better quality then working with Mpg2 capturing with a low level card such as the Radeon AIW or a TV card with capturing options.

Also editing in DV is more simple, Fast, high quality and the rest.

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>
January 14, 2002 1:33:46 AM

<blockquote><font size=1>En réponse à:</font><hr><p>working with Mpg2 capturing with a low level card such as the Radeon AIW or a TV card with capturing options<p><hr></blockquote><p>lol

you mix for capture a "simple" TV card & an AIW Radeon.
you think they are some craps the one as the other.
i think you have to teach a little yourself about. :) 

you have on the THG a complete article about the AIW at <A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

& anothers on Mpeg2, Mpeg4 & DivX at
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>
<A HREF="" target="_new">;/A>

have a look on.

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 14, 2002 6:03:37 PM

yeah!, go ahead & buy a $10.000 system to replace this "crap" of gc card. rol

if you know you don't know, the way could be more easy.
January 14, 2002 6:35:59 PM

The point is that there is a long way with lot's of options in betwin using a low quality card into using a compression mathod that reduce the video quality, and then ReCompress it even more to a 10K system.

BTW, if you find a Mpg2 PreFilter from Snell and Wilcox for only $10K Please contact me as I will probably be in the market.

Intel / AMD - <A HREF="" target="_new">IBM are still the best</A>