1. Join Now

    AVForums.com uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

All in Wonder cards

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by webbp, Apr 16, 2003.

  1. webbp

    webbp
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    44
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    8
    Location:
    Cambridge
    Ratings:
    +1
    I am just starting to consider the possibility of building a HCPC, but am not really sure about the video part of the equation.

    I want to be able to have tivo-like functionality for when my tivo finally dies (thinking ahead). Plus be able to play downloaded mpg & Divx files in reasonable quality through my home cinema setup.

    I was considering using an ATI All in Wonder card as "on paper" it seems to be the quickest solution to all my problems. Escpecially when you consider the bundled software that gives it Tivo-like abilities.

    However, I am a bit scepticle for the simple reason that I never see you guys talking about them :)
    :blush:

    Can someone give me a heads up on the quality of these cards and if they are not so great then offer me a better solution.

    Of course we always have to remember ease of use (the wife will need to use it too) :zonked:

    Thanks in advance
     
  2. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +5
    I have an old version the ATI AIW 128, and using it as a PVR gives awful quality results.
    I would be interested to hear if others with more up to date cards fare any better.
     
  3. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    I tried an AIW card in a HCPC as well, now I don't think it a good idea. I have a separate TIVO now:blush:
     
  4. Jeff

    Jeff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,489
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +256
    The Radeon AIW was awful, I returned it back to the supplier in a jiffy (or was it a box?). Forget PC PVR solutions and get a tivo or sky +, you can still use the PC for scaleing /deinterlacing, just get a standard Radeon and a Packard Bell TV100 and use DScaler.
     
  5. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +5
    There really SHOULD be a PC alternative to the Tivo, after all the hardware is available in these stand alone devices, so why not in a PC card.
    My ideal card would use the same hardware that Phillips uses in its DVD+RW recorders, so the incoming video is converted to MPEG2 in real time, but recorded onto HDD instead of DVD. You could then archive the files to DVD when you want to with a PC DVD+RW burner.
    We live in hope...
     
  6. rbm

    rbm
    Guest

    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Ratings:
    +0
    This thread is interesting because I'm considering exactly the same video card (ATI AIW 9700 Pro) for PVR cababilities. I have a slight twist though which prompts this question.

    I have a satellite feed and not cable (so no Tivo). I'd like to replace my aging Nokia 9200 DVB digital sat tuner with a DVB card (Haupppauge Nexus for example) in the HCPC. Will I need an AIW card to get the PVR/time shift capability or will it be enough to install a standard ATI 9700 Pro?

    Are alot of the problems with the AIW card related to the card itself or are the problems related to HCPC processor speed? If I equip the HCPC with enough CPU and memory, will any capture problems with the AIW go away?
     
  7. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +5
    I do not think the processor/memory has anything to do with it, the method used to store the video is not good enough. I have a Pinnacle capture card which does a brilliant job......at 4GB per 20 mins! (.AVI file). So a 40GB SCSI disc only holds around 2.5 hours of video, which is nowhere near enough.

    The reason for referring to the Phillips DVD recorder, is that WHEN it works, HQ (DVD quality) MPEG2 video stores 1 hour in 4.7GB which fills a DVD disc, so a 40GB HDD would store around 8 hours, but more realistically the lower quality which is still very good would allow at least 40 hours on HDD.
     
  8. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    For the current state of the art I would avoid with PCs 'recorders'. The idea is great, most of us have been there, we all have wasted money. Perhaps in the future this will change but now, NO.:(
     
  9. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
    Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2002
    Messages:
    236
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    21
    Ratings:
    +5
    I have just received and installed the Nebula DigiTV card as featured in http://www.avforums.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=72780&perpage=15&pagenumber=1

    Although I have only played with it for a few minutes, I can confirm it does just what has been asked for in this thread. The recordings it makes are superb, and almost indistinguishable from the original. There is also a timer and EPG, which if you have a permanent internet connection is updated continuously. The help files state 1 hour uses approx 1.5GB of disk space.

    The reason this card works welll as a PVR is the incoming signal is already MPEG2 format, so is simply saved to disc as it arrives, no compression/decoding needed until you want to play it back

    If you can get Freeview in your area there is no need to have an analogue TV card such as the ATI and try to record from it. I was thinking of building a HTPC, so I bought the card to see how it performed, following upgrading my UHF distribution in the house, I had nothing to lose.

    Now I have made up my mind, I WILL be building a HTPC, and using this card in it. Forget analogue TV.
    Nebula are bringing out a Sky decoder in a few months, and as Sky is also MPEG2 encoded, the recording should work just as well for that.

    Also, if you want to archive the recordings, there is no need to author a DVD to be DVD player compatable if you intend to use the HTPC as your video source, as you can save the files direct onto CD or DVD and play them back as media files using the DigiTV software, which saves the time and trouble of ULead DVD Workshop or similar to create a DVD-vidoe compatable disc, but this can of course be done if required.
     
  10. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    All I need now is digital TV, digital radio, hey channel 5 might be nice as well. Still haven't seen that yet ;)
     
  11. Pootle

    Pootle
    Standard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2002
    Messages:
    149
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    18
    Location:
    Staffordshire
    Ratings:
    +2
    gab is right, the picture quality off any digital TV card is going to be far ahead of what you can get with an analogue tuner; I haven't seen any analogue PC TV card that get close to the quality of even a reasonable TV, but with a digital card - wow!
     
  12. Nic Rhodes

    Nic Rhodes
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 23, 2001
    Messages:
    17,133
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    133
    Location:
    Cumbria
    Ratings:
    +1,277
    Why does the BBC and every one else transmit analogue signals at FAR higher bandwidths in analogue than ANY UK digital signal then?

    Analogue at it's best has yet to be beaten, at it's worst it is dire. Digital on the other hand is okay most of the time but has huge choice of channels (if you can receive any). The decision to go Digital had nothing to do with quality (we would have gone HDTV if this was so which IS good) but purely on number if channels.

    Let's not confuse quality with a desire for more channels. I am sure these latest new digital cards are excellent (only seen this one once). What is does is get the BEST out of the digital signal but it is still a low bandwith, low quality digital signal.
     
  13. Jeff

    Jeff
    Well-known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2000
    Messages:
    5,489
    Products Owned:
    0
    Products Wanted:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    106
    Location:
    Basingstoke
    Ratings:
    +256
    A clean input is only half the story, you also have to deinterlace the video, which is where digital cards generally fall over. For the best picture quality you would use a FlyVideo 2000 card (or H3D if you can afford it) with DScaler being fed via svideo from a Sky + box or similar.
     

Share This Page

Loading...