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Question about the AIW cards

Last response: in Graphics & Displays
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July 22, 2004 6:21:59 AM

What is the best way to get a small libriary if VHS tapes (History channel type of stuff) onto DVDs using a DVD burner on a computer? In terms of video capture, exactly what is needed? I need to get my mother set up, and I am thinking of an AIW 7500 or 9000, but the AIW cards are new to me... can you play a tape in a VCR and record it to your hard drive? Can you record a tv movie on your hard drive? How much HDD space does an hour of tv video take up? Is she better off just keeping her regular ATI 7500 and getting a different type of capture device? I actually have an extra firewire card here, but she will need to connect to her tv and VCR...


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a b U Graphics card
July 22, 2004 7:10:04 AM

First, if she already has an R7500, then forget an AIW 7500 (or any other for that matter really). AIW includes another graphics chip you don't need, plus a TV tuner you don't need, unless you want to record FUTURE programs as well (if that's what you meant about TV-movie on HD).

Get any capture card (pinnacle, hauppauge, ATI, etc.) all should do the basic trick. The you just want to consider editing/capture software. The amount of space it takes up on your hard-drive is very quality&format related. Likely your VHS tapes will do ok on VCD (200mb-500mb/hr) or Super-VCD quality (mpeg-2 lower res) (500mb-1gb per hour), full DVD quality (1-2+gb/hr) is likely not needed even though it is being transfered to DVD because your starting point is low quality VHS. Some companies like ATI have their own compression algos which work well and offer a good balance of quality and size. The best trade off of quality and size for free is Windows Media Video IMO (even though I hate M$), surprisingly good quality for small files. MPEG4 can be ok if space is REALLY a concern, but even compared to VCD/MPEG1 the quality can be iffy on MP4.

Since you have a firewire port/card, you may have another option. If you happen to have or can borrow (or rent cheaply) a DV or Digital-8 camera, most of the time you can simply use the analog-digital converters built into the camera and capture through the firewire directly to your computer. The quality is suprisingly good (sometimes better than cheap add-in cards). If' you're doing it you may want more flexibility, if your mom is doing it, I think the DV pass-through may be easiest. In any case if you have a DV camera laying around the house, then it's definitely a free test-run starting point.

For a good quicky review of recording/compression algos/codecs at Extremetech;
<A HREF="http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1546482,00.a..." target="_new">http://www.extremetech.com/article2/0,1558,1546482,00.a...;/A>


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July 22, 2004 6:31:08 PM

She is going to want to record future shows directly to the computer... she uses the dual monitor ability of the R7500, and, ya, a new card may not be the answer...but I started seeing the 9600 AIW for $130, so that got me thinking... I have seen ATI pci capture cards for $50, but they get mixed reviews...

<font color=red><b>NF7-S/Mobile Barton 2600+
208x11.5 1.82v SLK900A
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
Built By ATI 9800 Pro</font color=red><font color=black>
NF7-S/Barton 2500+
200x11.5 1.76v
512MB XMS PC2700
Sapphire 9500
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a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2004 7:18:44 AM

I don't even think the AIW9600 supports dual monitors like the AIW9600 Pro and XT do.

I'd just get a cheap TV card with S-Video input and a decent chip. See what's available at <A HREF="http://www.softwareandstuff.com" target="_new">http://www.softwareandstuff.com&lt;/A>

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July 23, 2004 8:35:50 AM

Thanks... but there was not much there... I will go back to newegg and brouse... but what would you consider a "decent chip" to be?

<font color=red><b>NF7-S/Mobile Barton 2600+
208x11.5 1.82v SLK900A
1GB Corsair XMS PC3200
Built By ATI 9800 Pro</font color=red><font color=black>
NF7-S/Barton 2500+
200x11.5 1.76v
512MB XMS PC2700
Sapphire 9500
a b U Graphics card
July 23, 2004 9:17:12 AM

I can't remember much about the chips, I used to know...

If you look up some reviews of some old ViVo cards (GeForce3, etc), you'll find a lot of information. Those same ViVo chips are available on TV tuner cards and video input cards.

I saw some cheap cards at the site I mentioned earlier but I'm not sure about the quality. Remember that AGE and unknown brand name have less affect on quality than price.

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