Tuner card for watching vs for recording

Discussion in 'Computers' started by PhillJones, Aug 24, 2004.

  1. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    I've been looking into using a cheap computer and TV tuner for watching TV on a projector with a VGA in but no componant connections.

    I thought I read someplace here or on another forum that PVR cards like the PVR-350 aren't as good as a cheapo cable tuner card as the former compresses the video with mpeg and the latter just allows you to use the video card as a scaler and your done.

    Is this true or have I just made that up.

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  2. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I have never used a TV tuner card of any kind, but I have read that the best picture quality is from the FlyVideo 3000. I understand this card works with D-Scaler. It can be used to capture LDs for eventual transfer to DVD. I'm not sure how well it works for PVR.

    Any other info, or corrections to the above would be appreciated.
     
  3. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Nobody?
     
  4. Alf S

    Alf S Cinematographer

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    Apparently you didn't see the thread a few days back asking almost the same thing?

    HERE
     
  5. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Thanks for the pointer Alf.

    I had read that thread. It is informative but doesn't address the precise question that's on my mind.

    That being, do PVR cards, that is to say card that encode to mpeg, result in a lower quality picture than cards that are just TV tuners. Presumably, you don't actually need to compress the video unless you're planning to record it to harddrive? Perhaps a PVR card produces compression artifacts whereas a tuner card with no compression would not.

    I'm sure I read something to that effect posted some place before but I can't remember where.

    Cheers,
    Phill
     
  6. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    What am I, chopped liver? [​IMG]

    To answer your question, I understand that the FlyVideo does not compress the video. You have the option of saving it in the form of any compressed or uncompressed format, such as MPEG-2 (compressed) or HuffYUV (uncompressed). If you were to simply watch the video rather than save it, then of course no compression would take place.

    Again, I eagerly await clarification and/or correction from any FlyVideo users.
     
  7. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Flyvideo is probably the best bang for your buck but people who've had both say the PVR-250/350's have punchier colors. Something that's always irked me about my 9-bit fly2k is the colors never seemed perfect, but it is the best capture card I've owned out of about 5.

    Either PVR (250 or 350) can be used to scale without converting to mpeg-2. You'll be getting a raw RGB signal to work with (no compression!) when you play with the inputted video. Only problem is Dscaler doesn't work with the PVR cards. [​IMG]

    edit- the flyvideos use a Philips 9 bit SAA7130 chip
     
  8. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    Thanks, Scott. I'm in the market for one of these, too, and your info helps.

    Do you know if the Dscaler app has a "saturation" control, to compensate for the weak colors? Or is it possible to pipe the Dscaler output through the FFDShow filters?
     
  9. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    Rob to be honest I think I'm just exaggerating on the color issue. I'm just mad that a friend and I captured a segment from Jay Leno and his capture looked mounds better and he's not into computers at all, lol. I think it has to do with our cable companies (Comcast Digital sucks in my area) to be honest, but his cap looked very color rich while mine seemed washed out. I'll provide some screenshots when I get back from work comparing. I played with the saturation control on my recording program but it made the flesh tones redder, reminds me of the red push a lot, so I try to be conservative with it.

    Dscaler does it all and really made it look good, even has a color calibration mode (something I still have yet to figure out). Only problem was it always used 100% of the CPU so I just ended up piping the composite signal to my 4805 which has a Faruodja vid processor (S-Video to htpc), set it to Sharpest, up the color a tad, and it looks awesome. Hmm maybe I'll break out the digicam and take some comparing shots too.
     
  10. Rob Gardiner

    Rob Gardiner Cinematographer

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    I agree, there is tremendous variation in PQ from one cable provider to another. I would be reluctant to judge hardware quality by comparing captures from 2 different cable providers.
     
  11. PhillJones

    PhillJones Second Unit

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    Sorry Rob, recomendations are cool and I shall look into that particular model.

    Thanks for the heads up on Dscaler not working with the Haupage PVR cards, I thought that they did.
     

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