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Nebula DigiTV PCI or Hauppage Win TV?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by John21, Apr 6, 2005.

  1. John21

    John21
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    "I'd recommend the Nebula DigiTV PCI from Nebula at £116.00 inc. VAT. I've had mine for over a year and it's terrific.... I previously had a Hauppage Win TV which, was barely adequate."

    What is the difference between the Nebula and Hauppage since they both dump hardware encoded mpeg2 straight to the harddrive?
     
  2. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    In terms of picture quality - not much difference. Win TV is analogue so a fairer comparison would be between the Hauppauge Win TV Nova-T and the Nebula which are both digital (Freeview). Again in terms of picture quality there's not much difference. In terms of usability (and this is assuming you're not using Windows MCE) there's a huge difference. The Nebula is simply easier to use to record programs and the EPG is better. Also the software, in my opinion, is more stable. I used to own a DEC 2000T which uses the same software as the Nova-T (I think - EDIT: From the screenshots it appears the Nova uses the same software as the Win TV cards which is just as bad, if not worse, then the DEC 2000T software), and the software always used to crash. It was also far harder to record programs and the EPG was a bit of a joke.

    You're right in that they both essentially record MPEG-2 but it's how they do it that differs - it's like the difference between using Windows 95/98 and XP.
     
  3. John21

    John21
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    So is the Nebula only easier to use because of the software? If that's the case is there any other software out there you can get that would be better then the software they package the hauppauge with?
     
  4. Pbryanw

    Pbryanw
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    The only software I know is the showshifter program from this site:

    http://www.showshifter.com/index.htm

    which costs £30 and is more of an all-in-one media center solution then a straight replacement for the Hauppauge software. I'm sure there must be free alternatives around but none spring to mind. Anyone?
     
  5. Leporello

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    Yes the Nebula software is much less clunky than that provided by Hauppage. I dumped the Hauppage for the Nebula over a year ago and consider it one of the best upgrades I've done.

    I wouldn,t bother with any add on software with the Nebula.
     
  6. John21

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  7. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi John

    we would recommend the Nebula , if you want to do things such as play across a network of PCs etc. If you are a fan of Windows MCE, then SweetSpot MCE is a nice solution and supports dual tuners. So, I guess you need to have a look at the *software* that you want to run and then the choice of card becomes easier.

    good luck.
     
  8. John21

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    Mostly all I care about is video and audio quality and the ability to pause, f forward and rewind live tv, with it being a hardware encoder so it can jump backward and forward quickly, and the controller has to have all of the buttons on it.

    It also has to do analog. It sounds like the Nebula is for digital only?
     
  9. Skunkpipe

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    The nebula is digital only yes.
    The only card that does analogue and DVB-T that I'm aware of is the Compro VideoMate DVB-T300. I've not used one so couldn't comment on the quality. I'm not sure if you're thinking of used MCE, but it's worth noting, under the MCE front end you can only use analogue OR digital - you can't mix them. You can exit MCE to the OS and use whatever proprietry s/w though
     
  10. John21

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    Ah, well all I need it to do is analogue. And I'm using Windows XP.

    Since the Nebula only does digital, I picked up a Hauppauge PVR350, but the picture quality is pretty bad, even with tweaking. Before tweaking, the picture quality was horrendous. I'm going to try out the WinFast PVR2000 next I guess.
     
  11. Flimber

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    Ask the experts, ignore the experts, pay the price :)
     
  12. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    There are a lot of reports on the wintv PVR series ( PVR 150 , 250 , 350 , 500 . USB2)
    that say how great the picture quality is. I was toying with the idea of getting the USB2 for completisms sake ( already have a nebula and a sweetspot capture card but fancied something with hardware encoding).

    I'm surprised you're getting poor picture quality on the 350 ( not that I have any personal experience). I know that owing to cost issues the hardware mpeg encoder on this cut must be fairly primitive to keep costs down but I've never heard anyone describe the picture quality as dire ...quite the reverse.

    You say you tweaked already ( the moblur registry tweaks?) , are you deinterlacing when you encode? Best not to and deinterlace on playback in whatever app you use.
     
  13. jrpavel

    jrpavel
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    If you are using Windows XP MCE, suitable Nebula drivers will only be available later in the year.
     
  14. John21

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    Well they said the Nebula is digital only. If it can't do analogue then I can't use it.
     
  15. John21

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    Well I have a Leadtek WinFast TV2000 XP Deluxe that I bought about a year ago for 1/3rd the price and the live TV picture quality is much better then the Hauppauge. The live TV quality is what I'm referring to. That's why I'm interested in this Winfast PVR2000, because it's made by Leadtek so they probobly use the same or a better chipset and firmware.

    The problem isn't the encoding. When I record with the mpeg2 encoder set on 12 Mbit/sec it looks to be almost the same as live TV. You can tell there is a little bit of difference in picture quality when you pause live TV but it's not bad.

    The tweaking I'm referring to is just the troubleshooting methods they give in the manual. One of them is you can change settings in a program they give you called Primary. You can change the settings to 'allow VMR,' 'allow overlay,' etc. Without changing that setting there were vertical lines and artifacts all over the place especially when there was a lot of movement going on. But even with that setting as well as my attempts at tweaking with various PVR softwares the live TV picture quality still looks a little like it's a compressed recording.
     
  16. John21

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    No, I'm just running this on my regular Windows XP PC that I'm posting this message with.
     
  17. John21

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    Here is a screenshot that shows something like what I was talking about. I guess the lines were horizontal not vertical. This shot is without it being set to allow VMR.

    Oh, another thing. I thought that since this card does hardware encoding that it's not supposed to slow my PC down. But when I was recording or pausing live TV it slowed my system down a lot, sometimes to a crawl. Even if I was recording to a harddrive the OS wasn't on that wasn't being used by anything. It slowed my PC down even more then my other card that does software encoding.
     

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  18. ngchol

    ngchol
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    Wow. I didn't know TV cards had a "Francis Bacon" filter! :D
     
  19. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    What are you viewing the live TV in ? The app that came with the card?

    Looks like there is some sort of pulldown going on ( the image looks like 3 fields jammed together or at least more than two). What sort of refresh are you watching in? This might trigger some sort of half-assed pulldown that repeats fields then deinterlaces rather than the other way round. ( The nebula actually does pretty good pulldown.. bobbed frame repeats ).
     
  20. John21

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    I've tried using GB-PVR, sagetv, and the app it came with. It doesn't seem to make a difference.

    I'm using 85hz refresh rate in 1024x768 resolution.
     
  21. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    Try using a 75Hz (or other multiple of 25) refresh rate.
     
  22. John21

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    That seemed to help a little bit. Thanks.
     

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