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Searching for Good (Cheap) Card With TV Tuner

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  • Graphics
Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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February 29, 2004 5:46:15 PM

My system is a P3-666 running Windows 98SE. Although I'm getting flawless performance from my existing GeForce card, I'm thinking of replacing it with a card that allows TV-in so that I can play my PSOne/PS2/Gamecube over my computer monitor.

Secondarily, I'd also like to make video captures from my VCR and DVD player.

Does anyone have any recommendations as to the best low-end (translation: as cheap as humanly possible) cards are available on the market? AGP, PCI add on, USB... any and all would be fine.

Thanks in advance.

More about : searching good cheap card tuner

a b U Graphics card
February 29, 2004 10:26:29 PM

You might consider just getting a cheap TV tuner card, they have one at surpluscomputers.com for $14.

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March 1, 2004 11:22:08 PM

Thanks, but my research indicates that the $14 card you mentioned is a bad investment. Remember, I said I was looking for a *good* inexpensive card.

So, on the one hand, I'm not looking to go high end with one of those ATI All-one-Mother cards, but on the other hand I don't want to waste money on something just because it's comfortably priced in the K-Mart range. There's got be a happy medium.

Ideally, I wouldn't want to pay more than $40-$50, as that's what I spent on my NVidia GeForce2 MX.
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a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2004 2:31:56 AM

Lots of good quality tuner cards out there for $50. Google some reviews on the ones Newegg carries.

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
a b U Graphics card
March 2, 2004 10:20:04 PM

I read a review that said they were fairly good.

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 3, 2004 12:28:16 AM

This reminds me of a card trick, pick a card, any card. Pretty much all video cards come with Tv-Out, except for the really old ones I suppose.

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March 5, 2004 7:21:02 PM

Your responses are appreciated.

Incidentally, those of you with TV tuner cards, do you hook your cable directly to your video card, or do you attach it to your VCR and run a S-Video cable (or whatever it's called) from the VCR to your PC?

I understand interference from the PC sometimes distorts signals when the cable line is connected directly to the TV tuner card.
a b U Graphics card
March 6, 2004 1:01:05 AM

Depending on the signal strength, I use either. My VCR is capable of pickup up weaker channels than my TV tuner card.

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<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 9, 2004 11:36:33 PM

I've narrowed down my choices between the ATI TV Wonder Pro (PCI) and Hauppauge WinTV USB. Both are a bit over what I was originally willing to spend, but no problemo.

After doing more reading on TV tuners, I'm intrigued with the idea of turning my PC into a VCR. But with an "ancient" P3-666 and a low-end card, can my system even do the job?

Other questions: do the aforementioned cards have problems synching video and sound during playback? Also, how good are their picture quality controls?

As always, thanks in advance.
a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2004 1:21:32 AM

I wouldn't use either of those. First of all, the ATI TV-Wonder has some pretty horible drivers, especially if you're running XP. And any USB tuner is FAR too slow for quality capture, USB is only 1.2MB/s! That's 10 megabit devided by 8 to get megabytes. And to furhter your problems, neither of these offers hardware compression, and the PIII 667 IS too weak to compress that signal at resonable resolutions. And it gets even worse with USB once again.

Well, you could record at relatively low resolutions, like 320x240...and use a similar TV card from MSI or Leadtek, to get more universal drivers, since your budget doesn't allow for a hardware-compression card such as Hauppauge's WinPVR series.

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
a b U Graphics card
March 10, 2004 1:23:45 AM

Yes, VCD resolutions, LOL, but still with stuttering using USB, or driver issues using the TV-Wonder, why don't you recomend for him a card similar to the TV-Wonder but with better drivers?

<font color=blue>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to a hero as big as Crashman!</font color=blue>
<font color=red>Only a place as big as the internet could be home to an ego as large as Crashman's!</font color=red>
March 11, 2004 12:25:38 AM

(Groan.) Maybe I should hold off until I can afford a real tuner card.

For future ref: who makes the best TV tuner cards, whose cards blow, and what's the minimum I can expect to pay to get real bang for my buck?

(And, oh yeah, do you think my P3-666/Win98SE/128RAM system is sufficient for the job?)
March 11, 2004 12:51:02 AM

MSI TV@nywhere looks like a good buy

<A HREF="http://www.sharkyextreme.com/hardware/article.php/15532..." target="_new">Sharkyextreme review of MSI TV@nywhere TV-Tuner</A>

<A HREF="http://www.bjorn3d.com/_preview.php?articleID=282" target="_new">Bjorn3dD review of MSI TV@nywhere TV-Tuner</A>

MSI also has a deluxe version of the same card. The deluxe version has FM radio tuner

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March 12, 2004 8:47:30 PM

Thanks. It does sound like a great card for a great price.

Unfortunately... customer reviews at Newegg indicate the MSI @nywhere card has incompatibility problems with GeForce cards. Several reviewers complained they had to completely disable their NVidia driver and install the Windows generic driver instead just to get their GeForce card to work with MSI.
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