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Thread: TV cards - any good?

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    TV cards - any good?

    Only required for Freeview, a bit of a sweetener to persuade others of the merits of various component upgrades. I could end up running it on Windows 7, XP or linux.

    Hauppauge and KWorld seem to be the main players but I havent looked too hard yet. I gather the hardware is generally good and the software generally bad. Also I can't decide between single or dual tuner as I already have a PVR.

    I imagine if it was used for recording then a dedicated partition/ drive might be advisable.

    Anything thoughts or advice welcomed - even if its don't bother!

    Thanks
    don't drink and derive

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    Does he need a reason? Funkstar's Avatar
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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Hauppauge cards are the most supported in third party apps as they are probably the largest manufacturer of TV cards out there. I won't say they are the best, but they are generally solid cards.

    Kworld are surprisingly good, especially for a budget brand. Should be well supported in windows and linux too.

    Some Pinnacle cards sufer from poor tuners, so reception can be a problem. When reception is poor on a DVB-T card, software has a habit of crashing. I don't know why this is, but I've heard of it on both linux and windows. I think the cards produce bad output that is difficul to deal with and handle correctly.

    You are right about the bundled software it's usually terrible or even unusable. DVB-T cards are pretty dumb, they don't actually do a lot, it's all down to the TV app you use with them. Windows MCE, or a FOS app such as MediaPortal is highly recomended.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    thingy i got, works perfectly with windows 7 x64 http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=110316997381

    cheap and you get a desent signal only i wouldnt bother with the ariel that comes with it. its useless other than that its a bargain

    i use windows 7 media centre for watching it btw not soft that comes with it so cant coment on that
    Quote Originally Posted by MadduckUK View Post
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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    also consider compro, i have a E900F and works perfect.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    I have tried a few, Hauppage and Terratec i would recommend.

    Pinnacle i wouldn't the one i had wouldn't pick up jack with a huge digital aerial plugged into it.
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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by mac124 View Post
    I have tried a few, Hauppage and Terratec i would recommend.

    Pinnacle i wouldn't the one i had wouldn't pick up jack with a huge digital aerial plugged into it.
    They are supposed to have good software according to a review I read, The only thing that put me off was they have Thompson tuners.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    A lot depends on the reception in your area
    a pc is a hostile environment for a TV signal
    but i use Hauppauge because they seem to work best for me
    I have tried Pinnacle (would not tune) Kworld (Kept reinstalling drivers for some reason)
    Avermedia ( old it worked sort of )
    this is based on experiance from 6-3 years ago
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Hey, thanks for the replies.

    Well it seems like a TV card may be a worthwhile addition as enough of you have seen fit to make recommendations. I don't think I would expect the thing to be bullet proof - we get a pretty good signal but even the PVR locks up from time to time and that hasn't got to do anything other than watch telly (over simplification, I know).

    I will go with an internal card rather than a USB stick and I reckon its probably worth going for a dual tuner (no analog required) because I will only end up cursing the first time there are two decent programs on separate MUXes at the same time.

    Currently leaning toward the KWorld PC160-2T which seems like remarkable value at £33.34 (SCAN dont seem to have the dual tuner WinTV Nova-TD 500 from Hauppauge).

    Is there any advantage between a PCIe card over one with a PCI connection i.e are transfer rates an issue here? Both slots are currently up for grabs - I can only think that a PCI card will give the graphics a little more air space.

    Most of the ~£50 cards (not Hauppauge), Compro and Terratec are PCIe but my god I thought my humax remote was fugly until I saw the terratec one!


    les objets du désir?

    And just to reiterate an earlier question, do you people give your tv cards a separate drive or partition - if its anything like PVR I can see the whole system being taken over with Simpsons re-runs and films that no one can be bothered to watch! Certainly a degree of restraint may be required.
    don't drink and derive

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Black Gold are probably the best, but they were about 1/3 more than the equivalent Hauppauge or TerraTec the last time I checked.

    I can't say about any of the manufacturers own software as, like most, I use a 3rd party app - the most popular of which is Windows Media Centre of course.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    http://www.team-mediaportal.com/
    is the software i use
    Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by jackvdbuk View Post
    also consider compro, i have a E900F and works perfect.

    I've got a Compro E700 it works ok using Windows Media Centre. It's own software never worked properly.

    The picture however is not as good as my old Nebula card was but, that was using Nebula's software so maybe it's WMC that is to blame for poor picture quality?

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sputnik View Post
    I've got a Compro E700 it works ok using Windows Media Centre. It's own software never worked properly.

    The picture however is not as good as my old Nebula card was but, that was using Nebula's software so maybe it's WMC that is to blame for poor picture quality?
    do you know how digital tv works? and what you said doesnt make any sense
    Quote Originally Posted by MadduckUK View Post
    now that i think about the word "throttled" in a certain light... its not so far different to strangled really

    our boiler broke so we has no heating or hot water, this is the bloody result ^^

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    Quote Originally Posted by Georgy291 View Post
    do you know how digital tv works? and what you said doesnt make any sense

    No, I'm a complete idiot.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    I've used many brands of cards, and tried various models from each manufacturer.

    In my opinion, Hauppauge are the best supported. Their WinTV6 software was atrocious (horrible, horrible buggy software) but the new WinTV7 is great and they're giving great support via their forum and in frequent driver and software updates.

    BlackGold make a lot of noise about how great they are but they're nothing special. They're over-priced, and their technical support is poor. They also make a big deal about being a British company but the cards are still assembled abroad. You could more accurately say that they have a UK sales and support office, but then the same is true of Hauppauge and others. Unless you're after a dual DVB-S + dual DVB-T card, there are better (and considerably cheaper) options out there.

    Pinnacle cards, I would not recommend at this time. They have been in limbo for about a year with infrequent driver updates and generally buggy drivers. They were bought out by Hauppauge at the tail end of last year and I believe that there will be some better drivers coming. The 7010iX is a cheaper alternative to the BlackGold 6-in-1 if you can find it.

    Compro and K-World are good choices for a budget card. Their software isn't as good as Hauppauge, but the drivers and hardware designs are fairly solid.

    Nebula, who were a truly British company (British designed, British manufactured, British sold & supported) are no longer trading. They did produce great cards at the time, but I would advise against buying one now.

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    If you are running it on Vista make sure it is Vista WMC compatible. Compro wasn't but my Hauppage is - big difference (ie the remote actually works!)

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    Re: TV cards - any good?

    I tried a Hauppauge card last year, the all singing all dancing WinTV-HVR-4000...the hardware is great the software is not constant issues with freezing and crashing and not exactly nicely designed menus either...still, some people must get on with them or Hauppauge would be out of business lol!

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