usb tv pvr

I have an Inspiron 9300 with MCE 2005. What is the best usb tv tuner/pvr? Thanks for any input.
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  1. Pinacle makes one that's USB 2.0. They were one of the first, there are others offering USB 2.0 as well.

    USB is too slow. You probably don't believe that because USB tuners have been on the market for a long time, but the thing is, those makers were hoping you'd accept poor performance with glee over the fact you could do TV through USB. You REALLY need at least USB 2.0 to get "good to great" performance.

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  2. Thanks for the response Crashman. Since this notebook has no integrated tv tuner, I have to use a usb 2.0. Would you recommend the Pinnacle over the newer Hauppauge product? I'm new to these and am unsure about built in mpeg-2 encoder and interface with Media Center 2005.
  3. I've heard that the Hauppuage and Pinnacle models do just fine. ATI has the TV Wonder USB 2.0, and it seems to be a good performer as well.

    If all you want to do is to covert the VHS tapes to digital, an alternative would be to use a miniDV camcorder with composite or svideo in, and the camcorder will convert it and record the video to digital tapes. Some miniDV camcorders allow pass-through from the VCR through the miniDV to the computer hard drive in the same process (so I've heard). This would be analog cable from the VCR out to the camcorder video in (composite or svideo) and 1394 cable from camcorder out to computer in.

    I just bought a Panasonic PV-GS120. It is a 3-CCD unit with composite, svideo, and 1394 port in and out. However, Panasonic is discontinuing these models with 3-CCD models that eliminate all but 1394 port video in. After reading the manual, it looks like the GS120 model can do the pass-through process. I'll try it when the unit is delivered.

    Sears Liquidation Center at eBay has been auctioning the Pannie PV-GS120 for about $400 or less.
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