Author Topic: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?  (Read 1403 times)

ericr

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TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« on: February 16, 2009, 07:50:35 pm »
Hi,

I'm looking into getting PVR functionality into my LinuxMCE hybrid. But I'm rather confused about how best to go about doing it.
I have an HD receiver, but I'm willing to just record in standard def and from what I've read it's pretty much impossible to record at hi def at the moment. My TV provider encrypts the digital signal to the receiver which makes me weary about what sort of purchase I should make in terms of a card.
If all I'm looking for is PVR functionality in standard def (from my satellite), what kind of card should I be looking at? A TV Tuner or a Video capture card? What's more economical? If it's just a video capture card - what kind of functionality would I expect from MythTV? Anything?

I've read that the following are plug and play for Linux MCE for TV tuners:
WinTV PVR 150/250/500/USB2
Are these overkill for what I need? Am I paying extra for the digital cable in on the card?

Any help or suggestions is greatly appreciated in advance,

- Eric

posde

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2009, 08:29:09 pm »
Due to different broadcasting standards around the world, it helps, if you would tell us, where you are from.

ericr

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2009, 09:32:20 pm »
I'm from Toronto, Canada.
Bell Canada is my provider http://hd.bell.ca (warning flash and music plays).

posde

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2009, 12:01:12 pm »
Thanks for the additional information.

Unfortunately, I can't help you, as I am more familiar with the DVB-S and DVB-C used in Europe

seth

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2009, 01:48:23 pm »
 :)
First, welcome.

Now on to the topic. If you are using digital cable, the only current supported tuner/capture device is the Silicon Dust HD Homerun:
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815327005&Tpk=hd%20homerun

Now if you want your pay channels, like HBO, or Showtime and the lot, then you will need one of the one's you mentioned as they require a box for decryption.

I use 3 Hauppagge PVR 150 cards. Two of them are hooked up to Dish Network Satellite receivers, and the third is hooked up to my Roku Netflix Player.
I use a USB-UIRT to control all of it http://www.usbuirt.com/order.htm, and this, as far as I am concerned, is the best addition to my system, I currently have 3. They can learn any IR remote, and can control anything you can teach it. And it is plug and play.

However in these days of limited PCI slots, a better choice for a capture/tuner card will be a PVR500, they have 2 tuners, and with the addition of a fairly inexpensive add-on riser (its like $15US) you can have 2 A/V capture sources. This like the PVR150 its' an analog card, so digital cable is a no-go for a coax connection, but they have S-Video - Composite - and Red/White audio hookups for your set top box (back to the whole HBO/Showtime lot) and can capture the output of your cable box, and with the USB-UIRT control the channel changing.

So, to sum up:

If you have digital cable, and don't pay for any special channels that would require a box for de-encrytpion, then the Silicon Dust HD Homerun dual tuner (coax connection) device is for you.

If you have pay channels (HBO and the lot) that require a box, PVR150 or PVR500 cards are the way to go.

Both of the above options are plug-n-pray with LMCE, and configured for you by the system.
For the mythtv and livetv functions, you will need a channles.conf file or a subscription to http://www.schedulesdirect.org/ for your program guide info. This is a subscription of $20US a year, and provides for US as well as Canadian programming info.

Best of Luck To You,

And Regards,

Seth
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 01:50:07 pm by seth »
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ericr

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2009, 06:09:16 pm »
First of all, thank you all for your help so far. Things have certainly cleared up a bit. :)

However, I still have a few questions and stuff I'd like to clarify.

I'm subscribed to a satellite network where all programming is encrypted by HDCP and encoded in MPEG-2.
So from what I understand since all the programming is encrypted I should be looking at tuners with analog inputs. For plug-and-play results I should be looking at a PVR-150 (most economical for a single S-Video/Composite + red/white input), or a PVR-500 for multiple analog inputs. Correct?
Should I be concerned about different 'editions' of the same card? When I search I see 'MCE' added on to some card names. I'm looking specifically at this one:
WINTV-PVR-150-MCE-PCI-TV-Tuner-Card

Before I make a purchase however, I'd like to know why I should possibly pick a card with multiple capture sources? I can't think of a hypothetical situation where I would like to capture from more than one input? Having two capturing from the same receiver? Why?

- Eric
« Last Edit: February 17, 2009, 06:30:17 pm by ericr »

seth

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2009, 06:14:55 pm »
 ;)
That was more of a heads up on my part. My MD motherboards throughout the house only have 2 pci slots, the core in particular has 3 pci slots. In my current core configuration, I require 3 pci slots, but in most cases my mobo's only have 2, so the need for a pvr500 would be greater there, with more than 2 captured sources.

In a 2 pci slot config, I would need 1 PVR500 (dish tuner 1, and dish tuner 2, captured via svideo and red/white audio) and 1 PVR150 (roku netflix player captured via svideo and red/white audio)

Just a system builder's point of view. Number of capturable sources vs. available PCI slots.

Regards,

Seth
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ericr

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #7 on: February 17, 2009, 06:33:09 pm »
Thanks again! I think I'm confident enough now to go ahead and add a tuner in :).

thedaver

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2009, 01:08:53 pm »
Seth,
What's the logic on the PVR500 regarding capture from the two cable/antenna in ports and the SVideo/Audio ports?

Are the two MPEG decoders the limitation on the inbound video?  That would make sense, so then I have to assume that one antenna IN port is ignored if SVideo is hooked up? 

Can you maybe give just a couple more sentences on your config/use of that card and what it takes to get there?
THANKS!  D.

seth

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Re: TV Tuners vs. Video Capture?
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2009, 01:41:20 pm »
Well it is not so much ignored. You can have both s-video and coax hooked up on the same on each tuner/encoder, but you could not use both at the same time. I have never tested this, but there is not a "switch" to my knowledge, that disables one for sake of the other.

Regards,

Seth
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