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Hauppage WinTV-PVR-350 V 500MCE

Discussion in 'Microsoft Windows' started by dobbin, May 19, 2005.

  1. dobbin

    dobbin
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    Hi
    I am thinking about taking the plunge into HTPC and I have been using the Forums to get information and help in choosing the various components. I am currently looking at a TV card with PVR faciilities.
    The WinTV 500MCE is the same price as the 350 but offers dual tuners. Is there any other major differences between the cards and the facilities they provide?

    Dobbin
     
  2. iZombine

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    Hi,

    Will you still need 2 sky box's if you want to record one show off Sky while watching another?
     
  3. Chazthomas

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    Im undecided aswel mate, havent looked @ the 350, looked @ the 150 and 250. a 150 can be picked up for 30 quid on ebay. A 500 is £150 which is quite steep. Things you have to consider: You willl need alot of ram to run two encoders. And a fast processor. With a single tuner your computer doesnt need to have so much computing power. :hiya: Dunno dude, i dont think you need the best tuner as they all offer the same things. Another thing the 500 will probably generate more heat, and is bigger depending on how big the case ur using is this could be a problem. Although for me it shouldnt be because i intend to use a huge acrylic case hidden in the eaves. Hope this has helped but its only my view no fact.
     
  4. stuartmc

    stuartmc
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    MCE500 is an OEM card, 250 and 350 are retail so come with software, remote etc. The reason MCE is specific in TV cards is that the analogue tuners have to do the analogue to MPEG conversion in hardware. There will be a small overhead in twin tuners but nothing like as much as if you were trying to do the encoding in software.

    Also the MCE500 only has a single composite/stereo input on it so can't be easily used with two sky boxes. In the US Hauppauge have an add-on dongle that allows a separate input through a backplate but we can't get this in the UK.
     
  5. Muf

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    Stuart, just to put the record straight, my Hauppauge PVR500MCE has a second set of S/vid Composite/vid and L/R audio inputs on a separate backplate which connects to a header on the tuner card and in fact there are two such headers on the card so you could probably get an extra backplate and have 3 sets of inputs.

    Jim.
     
  6. Spacecat

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    dont get either!! get a ATI 550 PRO best there is at pesent.

    can be bought for £60 from overclock
     
  7. HSC

    HSC
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    i'm not so sure...if you read the htpcnews review of this card you'll see why.

    also i have heard reports of problems under MCE with the ATI 550
     
  8. Spacecat

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    well it is still in typical ATI stylee to be in early driver stage
    however under MCE its picture quality is superb, great colours , very good with high motion like sports etc and literally indistinguishable from my direct STB to TV picture.

    It will also get better with better drivers. Many other reviews say its the best though not by a massive amount at the moment. However at £60 its a steal compared to hauppage cards
     
  9. Spacecat

    Spacecat
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    BTW i am using under MCE 2005 via Svideo works perfectly for me
     
  10. HSC

    HSC
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    hmmm...
    might have to try one and find out...
     
  11. dobbin

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    Thanks everyone for the advice.
    Sorry I have been a bit late replying but I have been n holiday.
    It doesn't seem that anyone has any experience of the PVR350 in which to compare against the PVR500. Maybe the main difference is the 500 comes with no remote or software because that is handled ny MCE2005?
    Also StuartMC mentions that the UK version only has one set of inputs whereas Jim (Muf) says that he got two sets with his card (does the second set take up a PCI slot in the backplate?). Which is true for UK cards? Jim where did you purchase yours?
    I thought that one of the benefits of the 500 was that it would only take up 1 PCI slot. Now I'm not so sure.
    Thanks again. Any more comments or advice are welcome
    Dobbin
     
  12. Muf

    Muf
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    Hi Dobbin,
    I may be wrong but I don't think the 350 has MCE drivers so that would explain why it is less popular. The second set of inputs on the 500 do require a slot at the rear of the case but not necessarily a PCI slot. Most cases I have seen have a dummy slot just above the AGP slot and it is possible to use this as the cables are quiet long. If your case doesn't have this feature you could mount the plate elsewhere at the rear of the case but a bit of metalwork would be involved. There is just a small circuit board at the back of the plate about an inch deep. I will PM you with more details and could email a photo if you like.

    Jim
     

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