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TV Card - analogue or digital

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by jpfrost, Apr 26, 2005.

  1. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    I recently bought a PC with a TV Card. Great I thought. However, I soon found out that there was more to it than just having a TV Card!

    The card I have is an AverTV DVB-T (Freeview) which is not MCE 2005 compatible. I currently have ntl digital cable. My requirements are bascially to use it as a PVR aswell as playing home videos and mp3's.

    As I see it my options are:

    a) Keep the card and get an upgraded aerial and either Showshifter or MediaPortal
    Pros: Would allow me to watch one channel (ntl) whilst recording another (Freeview).
    Cons: Freeview has a lot less channels than my ntl cable subscription for recording

    b) Ditch my current card and purchase something like the WinTV-PVR-250 which will connect direct to my ntl box.
    Pros: Probably the cheaper option
    Better reviews from this card
    Cons: Would not be able to watch one channel whilst recording another.

    Is there a big difference in quality between the two options?
    When recording TV via the WinTV-PVR-250 card does it automatically change the channel on the ntl box or do you need to set the ntl to change channels aswell?
    I assume I cannot just plug the ntl box into the additional S-Video socket on the AverTV card?
    What is the difference between the PVR250 and the PVR250MCE version?
    What are peoples general feelings on which is the best way to go?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Skunkpipe

    Skunkpipe
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    The PVR250 is not DVB-T, but as you say will connect ot your NTL box and work with MCE.
    The difference between the PVR250 and the PVR250MCE is that the MCE version doesn't come with the remote control or bundled software - after all you have MCE and the MCE remote so these would be surplus to requirements. Another option is the PVR150 which is a cost reduced version of the PVR250, or the PVR500 which is a dual tuner version.
    We use PVR150 and PVR500's for analogue with good results.
    If you want Freeview on MCE then look at the black gold or sweetspot MCE freeview cards. You won't be able to connect you ntl box to these and use via MCE though as they have software MP2 encoders for video capture (MCE requires hardware encoder); although theres' nothing to stop you exiting MCE and using their bundled software for NTL capture.

    One last option (which I haven't had time to evaluate yet) is the Compro video mate DVB-T300 which supports freeview and analogue - although you won't be able you to support both concurrently under MCE.
     
  3. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    Thank you for your help.

    What is the main difference between the PVR 150 and PVR 250?
    Is the MCE remote as good as any others on the market or do you have to use this one?
    I am still abit confused how you use the PVR capabilities with ntl. When recording TV Shows will the ntl box automaitcally change channels at the correct time so the correct channel is recorded?

    Thanks again for your help.
     
  4. JonMace

    JonMace
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    For the PC to change the channel you would need IR emitters.
     
  5. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    So the IR emitters - is this something that most people have with ntl? Can you suggest a link where I might buy this?
     
  6. Skunkpipe

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    you get 2 x IR emitters with the MCE remote.

    http://www.scan.co.uk/Products/ProductInfo.asp?WebProductID=143741

    When you install your card and hook up your STB you'll be taken through the STB setup where you select your STB type.

    PVR150 uses the same chipset as the 250, and is essentially a new/cheaper version of the same; I'm not even sure teh 250 is made anymore; If you really want a 250 I have one boxed up somewhere...
     
  7. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    Having read the details on the MCE Remote - it suggests that the remote can only control the MCE program. Is this correct? Would it be a good idea to get

    http://www.usbuirt.com/

    so I can program it to control other apps? Is this compatible with MCE?

    Thanks
     
  8. Skunkpipe

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    don't know about that, but the 'ATI all in wonder remote' can control other apps/mouse. (~£20)
    My personal choice would be a MCE remote and Gyration Mouse, (total ~£100)
     
  9. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    Last question (i think!). My PC and ntl box are on different sides of the room either side of the chimney breast both facing towards the couch. Are the emitters powerful enough to bounce of walls etc. or will I need to move things around?

    Thanks again for your help, it has been much appreciated.
     
  10. probedb

    probedb
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    Scan actually do a card with both analogue and DVB-T tuners!
     
  11. JonMace

    JonMace
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    No they are wires that have little lights at the end and need to be stuck on the front of the STB.

    My question would be where would you pluh the IR emmitters in on your PC. ON my DMSII there are 2 3mm jacks to plug the emmitters into, these are not a standard PC socket.
     
  12. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    So how do the MCE IR emitters connect to the PC?
     
  13. JonMace

    JonMace
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    As I said on MCE PCs there are 2 additional port which look like headphone ports, these are not on normal PCs, maybe you can but a card for this not sure
     
  14. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    Just spoke to Scan and they say the Remote Kit comes with the ports to connect the IR blaster cables to. They also say that if the wires are not long enough then any headphone type cable will do. Does this sound correct?
     
  15. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi jp

    yes, the MS remote IR unit has 2 small sockets to connect the emitters to. You could extend the cable if need be.
     
  16. jpfrost

    jpfrost
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    Thanks everyone for your help.
     

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