Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by TV-Cards, May 24, 2004.
I've reviewed the Compro VideoMate LIVE USB2.0:
Seems completely outpaced by the nebula digitv considering they are a similar price.
But they do completely different things, Nebula uses digital TV, and this is an analogue TV tuner.
Thats hardly completelydifferent things : they are both designed to give you access to TV channels via a computer and I personally cannot understand someone plumping for one of these over the nebula which also comes in a USB flavour if this is the issue.
Its not exactly what I'd call competative price wise especially considering it is as you rightly point out an analogue tuner.
an analogue card can capture anything you pump in to it.
A nebular can only capture channels that are free to air.
It makes an analogue card more versatile
If you can't get digital reception, can't get a new aerial or want to record sky one, then an analogue card is going to be top of your list
I'm not commenting on that perticular card.
The nebula also has an analogue composite capture stage in its PCI incarnation: but my point was about an RF tuner being the same price as a digital tuner.
You can get decent analogue tuner cards for £25 . Thats an awful lot of extra money to pay for going USB and if you really want a USB tuner for that price you may as well go with the nebula and enjoy the benefits of digital reception.
I doubt anyone who cared enough to consider dropping more than £100 on a tuner card is going to be happy capturing anything via an RF tuner stage.
As for not being able to receive freeview : for that money get Sky or cable and a decent svideo capture card rather than an analogue RF tuner.
The inherent quality available through analogue TV tuner cards is really pretty hopeless compared to that through a digital TV card -
piccies here - remember the later shots here are a set top box captured by a Radeon AIW, which is significantly better than an AIW card being a TV tuner.
You'd have to be pretty desparate to (or on a very small screen) to put up with the analogue TV cards I've seen.
Of course if you have external sources, its a very different story.
The analogue capture on the nebula is pretty poor, as it can only take a composite video feed.
I reckon it will still give you a better picture from a standalone source than an RF tuner card. Its a pretty decent philips chipset if I remember correctly
The newer s-video and composite capture cards are pretty good quality wise ( I used an Xcapture and an ondigital box for some time on a 7 ft screen and it was very acceptable) I now use a digiTV card which is noticably sharper , cleaner and has more contrast but the RGB capturing sweetspot card I use for my other sources has truly excellent picture quality for an analogue capture card.
The Xcapture and the PB TV100 type cards offer excellent picture quality for not much money ( £30 in the case of the PB TV100)
Certainly much better quality and cheaper than a £100 RF tuner card
I think we're missing the point here, it's not that it's just a tuner card, clearly a £30 PB-100 will be better, or a DigiTV USB for freeview, but more the fact that it has a hardware mpeg2 encoder, meaning that you could concievably build a fantastic little PVR using a mini ITX board, as there is no huge demand for CPU power, unlike recording to MPEG2 in realtime from an analogue source such as SKY and Cable services. On a side note, unless they're changed the input on the DigiTV, it's not the (relatively) new Phillips chipset, but the older bog standard 8x8 chip.
In my eyes, £120 is a little bit steep yes, but i'm sure you could find it for under £100 if you tried, which i think is a fair price. Yes DigiTV is still the king for freeview, but not everyone has freeview. And not everyone has a HTPC that is man enough to handle realtime MPEG2 compression from an analogue source, whilst still being able to be used for something else.
Of course i've no first hand experience of the card, and the quality could be rubbish, but don't forget you're not just paying for an RF tuner card, but also the MPEG2 encoder, which saves a lot of hassle in the long run (CPU power, audio/video sync just to name 2 common issues)
Ah yeas ok I missed the hardware mpeg encoder . It does say at the start of the review software mpeg 1 and 2 which doesn't help matters.
(still think its mince though!)
Doh, yes my mistake.
It's not software MPEG 1&2 but hardware MPEG2.
I'll edit the review.
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