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Topic # 29042 20-Dec-2008 14:22
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OK so now that I have VMC with the TV pack working nicely and hooking into the Telstra STB I have found the HVR3000's somewhat lacking when it comes to quality of analogue.

I have always known that they used software not hardware for analogue capture but as I could not get that side working anyway it did not bother me.

So there are two main issues I have.

First off the picture quality of the captured analogue feed is crap. It is using composite at the moment but I tried s-video which looks quite good on the TV and is still looks like fuzzy vision via the 3000. I am also getting sound pops but I am sure hardware decoding would sort that out.

The other problem is that is squashes the 16:9 feed into a 4:9 box and there does not seem to be an option other then zooming each time you watch one of the channels from Telstra which is horrible.

So the question is. Are their cards that do a good job of analogue capture (I am expecting hardware must be better but how much?) and can you get it to handle a 16:9 feed??










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  Reply # 185337 20-Dec-2008 17:33
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the hvr3000 only has a soft encoder, as in the cpu of the machine does the encoding, not the tuner card.

I've used PVR500's and PVR150s in the past, and thought the reception off the TCL STB was ok.




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  Reply # 185340 20-Dec-2008 17:56
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I was just about to post a very similar question because I am getting ready to order my components and wondered about the difference between HW and SW encoding.

Specifically, I have Sky digital so I could get DVB-S and may or may not be able to get DVB-T (I have LOS on Sky Tower if that matters).  So I am trying to decide whether to just go the PVR-150 off Sky composite out; or go HVR-1300 which could (if I'm fortunate) also get me Freeview (and both those cards are HW encoding); or go HVR-3000 which could go any way I want (DVB-S/T and analogue).

Sounds like I may stay away from the HVR-3000.

BTW, I am planning this around an HTPC based on Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R, Intel G33, mATX  and Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, 3.00GHz.

So is HW encoding really better than SW?



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  Reply # 185353 20-Dec-2008 18:46
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I use a PVR250 via s-video on TCL cable. It's about as good as it gets (as far as capturing to the same level as the source).  With the PVR series and gbpvr you can set the quality of the recording (bitrate). I have it set to about 2G/hour and that seems to be good enough. Best thing about hardware encoders is the load on the CPU in minimal. I can record on the PVR250 and a Nova T 500 HD at the same time and still watch another show without missing a heartbeat (frame!)




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  Reply # 185355 20-Dec-2008 19:14
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Nety: The other problem is that is squashes the 16:9 feed into a 4:9 box and there does not seem to be an option other then zooming each time you watch one of the channels from Telstra which is horrible.

So the question is. Are their cards that do a good job of analogue capture (I am expecting hardware must be better but how much?) and can you get it to handle a 16:9 feed??



Just run your captured file through DVD Patcher to have it converted to 16:9 format.Smile

http://kickme.to/DVDPatcher

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  Reply # 185379 20-Dec-2008 21:27
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Zippity:
Nety: The other problem is that is squashes the 16:9 feed into a 4:9 box and there does not seem to be an option other then zooming each time you watch one of the channels from Telstra which is horrible.

So the question is. Are their cards that do a good job of analogue capture (I am expecting hardware must be better but how much?) and can you get it to handle a 16:9 feed??



Just run your captured file through DVD Patcher to have it converted to 16:9 format.Smile

http://kickme.to/DVDPatcher


I didn't think the Saturn Prime feed was 16:9 but the centre cut 4:3 that prime use for analogue? Have they changed this recently?

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  Reply # 185380 20-Dec-2008 21:39
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By way of explanation.

When I record anything that has been screened in wide screen format onto my PC's HDD using a WinFAst TV2000 XP Expert capture card, the file when played back, appears as 4:3 letterbox format.

To get the file to correctly display in 16:9 format, the file flags need to be changed, hence the use of DVD Patcher as mentioned above.

Clear as mud? Smile



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  Reply # 185395 20-Dec-2008 23:40
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sbiddle:
I didn't think the Saturn Prime feed was 16:9 but the centre cut 4:3 that prime use for analogue? Have they changed this recently?


Has been changed.. is now 16:9Cool







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  Reply # 185398 20-Dec-2008 23:45
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lchiu7: I use a PVR250 via s-video on TCL cable. It's about as good as it gets (as far as capturing to the same level as the source). 


So how close is it to being as good as the source? Telstra digital is now very good. Do you loose much of the detail? As a percentage say? 60% as good? 80%, 90%?

Idealy I would love to run all our TV though the media center. That way we can pause, rewind, record whatever channel we happen to be watching at the time but the quality I have seen from the 3000 means that is not an option.

Also how do you handle the wide screen bit?







Media centre PC - Case Silverstone LC16M with 2 X 80mm AcoustiFan DustPROOF, MOBO Gigabyte MA785GT-UD3H, CPU AMD X2 240 under volted, RAM 4 Gig DDR3 1033, HDD 120Gig System/512Gig data, Tuners 2 X Hauppauge HVR-3000, 1 X HVR-2200, Video Palit GT 220, Sound Realtek 886A HD (onboard), Optical LiteOn DH-401S Blue-ray using TotalMedia Theatre Power Corsair VX Series, 450W ATX PSU OS Windows 7 x64



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  Reply # 185399 20-Dec-2008 23:46
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Zippity:
Just run your captured file through DVD Patcher to have it converted to 16:9 format.Smile

http://kickme.to/DVDPatcher


Thanks for that.. I take it that would only work for recorded TV not live TV though?







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  Reply # 185401 20-Dec-2008 23:51
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Nety: Thanks for that.. I take it that would only work for recorded TV not live TV though?



Correct Smile

When I watch TV live on the PC, I can swap formats by right clicking on the Capture screen.

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  Reply # 185448 21-Dec-2008 11:00
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pcrosley: I was just about to post a very similar question because I am getting ready to order my components and wondered about the difference between HW and SW encoding.

Specifically, I have Sky digital so I could get DVB-S and may or may not be able to get DVB-T (I have LOS on Sky Tower if that matters).  So I am trying to decide whether to just go the PVR-150 off Sky composite out; or go HVR-1300 which could (if I'm fortunate) also get me Freeview (and both those cards are HW encoding); or go HVR-3000 which could go any way I want (DVB-S/T and analogue).

Sounds like I may stay away from the HVR-3000.

BTW, I am planning this around an HTPC based on Gigabyte GA-G33M-DS2R, Intel G33, mATX  and Intel Core 2 Duo E6850, 3.00GHz.

So is HW encoding really better than SW?




I can answer the last part, well, partially.

With the original analogue broadcasts, hardware encoding is paramount. I tried a number of solutions to overcome audio delay issues with a software encoded TV tuner card. All with no success. I then bought a 150MCE HW card, & all the issues disappeared. I still use the 150 for my analogue, even though I have an HVR2200: it's easier.

As for whether this is still the case with digital broadcasts, I do not know.




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  Reply # 185458 21-Dec-2008 11:07
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I can answer the last part, well, partially.

With the original analogue broadcasts, hardware encoding is paramount. I tried a number of solutions to overcome audio delay issues with a software encoded TV tuner card. All with no success. I then bought a 150MCE HW card, & all the issues disappeared. I still use the 150 for my analogue, even though I have an HVR2200: it's easier.

As for whether this is still the case with digital broadcasts, I do not know.


Agreed re analogue broadcasts plus if you are trying to record OTA then you really do need a tuner card with HW compression. For digital, no. Get a card that can capture DVB-S or DVB-T since they don't actually encode; just capture the MPEG2/H.264 streams and write them to your HD. Low CPU overhead and multiple channel support.

I now only use my PVR250 for those channels on TCL cable that are not FTA (like Prime, Food, History etc.). All others I use a DVB-T card.




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  Reply # 185472 21-Dec-2008 13:07
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Ichiu, can you please give me some idea of the quality you get from the PVR250? How much of a loss of quality do you get?







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  Reply # 185475 21-Dec-2008 13:25
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This is from TV2 at medium quality about 3500kbs
TV2 Capture

By way of comparison here is a capture from the same show from DVB-T (sorry not the same scene but you get the idea)

h




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