What's the best TV Tuner out there???

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Salvador, Apr 8, 2002.

  1. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    i currently have the ATI TV-wonder PCI card that i'm borderline satisfied with. I'm just upset that ATI still hasn't updated the TV-wonder drivers so that it would be compatible with XP. Thank goodness for dscaler as without it, i would have probably just throw this card away. Image quality is so so with normal cable TV. When it comes to plugging in my n64 or playstation 2, forget about it! The graininess is just unbearable and sharpness is lacking.

    So i'm pretty much in the market for a new TV-tuner. I've read about the new silicon TV-tuner that's included in the ATI 8500DV all in wonder but i'm not ready to shell out $500 CAD for that. Plus i still have gripes with ati and their poor driver support. Any recommendations? I really want outstanding picture quality and stability in winXP.
     
  2. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    You can check out the forums at Rage3D, an ATI fan site, they have numerous posts.
    You might want to consider the 7500 for a lot less money. While it does not have the silicon tuner, many of the posts seem to prefer it. The real advantage of the 8500 comes for gamers and fps; a disadvantage of sorts is that the silicon tuner runs very hot.
    Rage3D Board
    Also you can search for reviews at:
    ReviewBooth
    [​IMG]
     
  3. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    thanks, but I'm not liking the idea of the onboard tuner since i'll have to replace everything when i replace the videocard.
     
  4. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    Salvador,

    I'm not sure I understand what you are looking for. I thought you wanted to replace the ATI TV Wonder with a TV tuner card that will work with XP. But now you say "I'm not liking the idea of the onboard tuner".

    Why would you have to replace "everything" when you replace the videocard?

    Maybe I need another cup of coffee.:b
     
  5. DeathStar1

    DeathStar1 Producer

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    I've been wondering this myself. I just found out that I have close to $200's in my bankaccount that I apparently wasn't told about(probably because I would spend it [​IMG] ), so I can upgrade my TV tuner.
    Right now, as with the Above poster, I have an ATI All in Wonder 8MB Pro PCI card that dosn't work all that great with Windows XP, hence part of the reason for the dual boot. I'm thinking of upgrading to the All in Wonder Radeon 64MB AGP card, but wondering if it's worth the money.
     
  6. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    Stop wondering and get out your checkbook![​IMG]
    I have the original All-In-Wonder Radeon and have been really happy with it. But the bug is nibbling away for the 7500, especially when I saw that the TV output on the 7500 is 1024x768 whereas mine has 800x600 (surprisingly the 8500 is also only 800x600). The real clincher would be if I could do video captures from the remote, haven't found the answer to that yet.
    Seriously, that would be a major move up from the 8MB Pro.
    Good source with good price is
    NewEgg
    Good luck and I'll be envious if you end up with one before I do.
     
  7. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    Carl, what i meant was since the TV tuner on the 8500 all in wonder is embedded on the video card itself, if i want to upgrade the video card to say a geforce 5 down the road i would have to take out the 8500 thus loosing the TV tuner capabilities as well.

    I want a separate tv tuner card, not one embedded in the ATI all in wonder cards.
     
  8. CarlDJr

    CarlDJr Stunt Coordinator

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    Salvador,
    OK, now I understand.[​IMG]
    Here are two sites that you should check out. The first is a very good general pc-tv site and the second is one of the major tv-tuner only card sites.
    Ruel
    Hauppauge
    These should go a long way in helping you make a decision.
    Happy hunting!
     
  9. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    I also have an ATI Tuner and am about as satisfied. The drivers do work in XP, they're just not certified. I guess different people can have different experiences though.

    The software is what bugs me the most though. The picture appears scrambled almost everytime I start it (forcing me to switch color depth to fix it, which can start to get annoying), the recording is not reliable and quality is pretty poor (this is part, slowish spec hardware on my part, and part bad software) and the GuidePlus is just all round annoying.

    After downloading and trying a number of crappy software packages, I gave Cyberlinks PowerVCR a try and have been very happy with the results so far. No scrambled picture, fairly reliable recording, and Time Shifting abilities (being able to watch, pause, and record live TV on the fly) which is missing from the TV Wonder Multimedia suite. It's not perfect, but I'm much happier.

    I have seen a Happauge WinTV, and the quality is the exact same, as is the tuners that Samsung builds into some of their LCD monitors. I'd be interested to see a comparison of the tuner on the 8500. I usually watch TV in a window, so the quality is fine in that respect, but I have also tried to play games, and while it does work, the quality is terrible. SVideo helps to clean it up quite a lot, more than it probably should, but it's stiff pretty bad.

    I looked for reviews before I bought this, and all I could find was the ATI, Happauge and HDTV tuners. The ATI almost always had higher ratings, but there doesn't seem to be much competition.

    If you find something, let us know.
     
  10. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    Graeme, have you tried dscaler??? The video quality of dscaler is much better than the quality of ATI MultiMedia Center. But dscaler still doesn't help when i plug in my ps2 or nintendo 64, as you said it's just plain horrible.
     
  11. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    I have used the lots of pc tv cards. just about all of them. The ATI TV Wonder has the best picture quality hands down of any I have seen.
     
  12. Salvador

    Salvador Second Unit

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    David, what other cards have you tested? From my experience with my TV wonder PCI, i find it hard to believe that it has the best picture quality out there.
     
  13. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    That's rather depressing David.

    Salvador, haven't tried it yet. This thread is the first I'd heard of it. Will give it a try.

    And scratch my recommendation of PowerVCR for now. There are known issues with the TV Wonder and audio not working (which I'm experiencing). Patch should be out soon.
     
  14. Rob Lutter

    Rob Lutter Producer

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    If you don't really want to watch TV in a window... the Viewsonic VB50 is highly regarded as a good VGA upscaler. Instead of looking worse... your TV would probably look BETTER on your monitor (although I haven't seen it myself).
    Here is a thread about it from AVS forum.
    http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ewsonic+scaler
     
  15. BrianB

    BrianB Producer

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    Did you ever buy one, Rob? I'm still weighing up pros & cons - I really need PAL conversion, so I may end up with one of its competitors.
     
  16. David Proud

    David Proud Stunt Coordinator

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    Cards tested

    Stealth 2002TV Integrated TV Tuner - "2nd worst picture Quality"

    ATI-TV Wonder "Best picture quality, poor video capturing"

    WinTV "Haupings card" right spelling? - "4th worst picture quality, haven't tried capturing"

    Pinacle PCTV STUDIO Pro "3rd worst picture quality, haven't tried capturing

    Bear in mind all these test where down on Nvidia and ATI video cards. The overlay window that most of these cards generate may look better with different video card combinations.
     

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