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Help with choosing capture card for DScaler

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by lisag, Jan 21, 2005.

  1. lisag

    lisag
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    I have a Panasonic TH37PW7, a shuttle PC running XPMCE2005, and a Pace Twin Freeview Hard Drive recorder.

    What I would like to do (following advice recieived on Plasma forum) is have my PC capture the video from the Pace Twin, then use DScaler to clean it up and output it to my plasma - looking all nice and clean and lovely!

    I have spent hours researching this, as I would also like to retain the live TV functionality within MCE2005, my current MCE2005 compatible tv card does not have an s-video in, just rf aerial in, and Dscaler doesn't recognise it anyway :thumbsdow

    Plus, I only have one PCI slot in the shuttle, and from what I can make out DScaler would not support a separate USB capture device.

    I have found one card that may work, The Hauppauge PVR-150-MCE for about £80. I am hoping this will work as a normal tv tuner in MCE2005, plus within windows desktop can run as an s-video capture card, using Dscaler to capture from the Pace Twin. Audio will be done via digital amp.

    I would really appreciate any opinions on this proposal, before I go and spend my money, and tweak for a whole weekend, and find out that it can't be done.

    thanks
    :confused:
     
  2. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Lisag

    You have a dilemma, ease of use of MCE but with compromised quality, or a more complex DScaler environment but with a better picture. From what you describe you are already considering switching between the MCE environment and back to the MCE xp desktop to run Dscaler, so why not simply run something like www.meedio.com as your complete user interface? You could then run any capture card you want that DScaler supports, giving you complete choice in terms of quality/price as you required.
     
  3. lisag

    lisag
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    Hi David,

    Yes that is an option, the thing is it has taken me so long to get MCE2005 working properly I am loathe to now abandon it.

    I have a huge collection of Divx/Xvid movies and I really like the way MCE2005 archives them and the playback picture quality is really good, and all works by remote control.

    The tv playback quality is rubbish though, so I could just abandon that and get a capture card for my Pace Twin that would run through DScaler, then turn that off and switch back to MCE to watch films?

    I have read so many posts about this, and haven't found an answer to a simple qusetion - what capture card would give best quality s-video capture from my pace twin and not cost a fortune (£50ish)

    :(
     
  4. philipb

    philipb
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    Not sure David that MCE2005 has to involve such a quality hit. With graphics and capture card drivers optimised for MCE Pq can be very good.

    How about the Black gold Digi TV card? Optimised for MCE and apparently good PQ (Lisag - you may end up preferring it to your set top). Costs about £80 and has s-video in (I think), so could be used to archive from the PACE maybe without dropping out of MCE?

    Not the Black gold, but i have tried a couple of Digi capture cards - Nebula and Pinnacle - in my PC and PQ was superb. No dscaler involved. These two cards won't work with MCE (yet) but I understand the Black Gold is an excellent performer.

    Lisag - why do you want to keep the Pace and the TV functionality of the PC separately? If you were to combine them you would have other better options open to you. Mind you, they would cost more money :)
     
  5. dan1979

    dan1979
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    You can get a Leadtek winfast TV card for £23 that has s-video input. I don't know of the quality yet because I bought it for someone else and haven't installed it yet but I think all of their line has s-video.
     
  6. philipb

    philipb
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    Typed my post before seeing the others.

    I suspect the s-video performance of all the cards is pretty much the same. Its the difference between s-video and RGB capture that really matters. But that needs a Sweetspot and that's well outside your budget?
     
  7. lisag

    lisag
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    OK, thanks, that has given me some pointers.

    What I am trying to achieve is the best possible picture quality of live freeview tv on my plasma, whilst retaining reliabile functionality of a twin hard drive recorder.

    I have heard from the plasma forum that dscaler could be a budget way of achieving high quality results?

    lisa
     
  8. philipb

    philipb
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    A suggestion.

    Buy a Sweetspot PCI card from Pluggedin-tv - cost with cable about £200 (I did say it wasn't cheap :blush: ). Install Dscaler, and the WDM drivers for the card. Connect Pace RGB out to the Sweetspot and get the best analogue PQ possible from a HTPC. All this software comes on the CD supplied by those very nice Pluggedin people :D

    The point about the WDM drivers is that with one of the many capture software packages available - many free - you can capture from the Sweetspot to the hard drive in top quality. You can't watch TV and do that simultaneously of course, but what I do with Sky+ is record to the sky box then archive overnight by setting up timed recordings. Next morning all done :)

    BTW David - any views on my recent post about best version of dscaler and best settings? Quick answer or the compliments dry up ;)
     
  9. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Phil / Lisa

    My mce comments were really about using external capture cards, overall the quality and convenience is limited as they are SVideo at best, which most people dont have (unless they have Sky+ and therefore they already have a PVR), which leaves composite video, and then the mce box has to remotely control the set top box to change channel etc..Its all a bit clunky..
    Things are much better when you use an integral digital tuner card though, then mce starts to really shine..

    just my 2p worth :)
     
  10. mikeyavman

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    If you bought a sweetspot and the rgb cable so it could be used with telewest: could the card be used in the states with their tv system? I dont think they have rgb?
     
  11. hoyin

    hoyin
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    Does a nebula card work with Dscaler?

    It is not listed on their site as a compatible card. :confused:
     
  12. groovyclam

    groovyclam
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    You can't watch live TV from a Nebula card through anything but the Nebula's own DigiTV software.

    Nebula are supposedly going to release BDA drivers for the card this year ( please soon!!! ) and then you would be able to use other software to watch live TV - although I'm not sure DScaler4 can interpret live MPEG2 streams from BDA cards anyway - can it ? Someone shout.

    You can watch the MPEG2 captures/recordings from a Nebula card in any software that can play MPEG2 files.
     

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