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PVR for the PC

Discussion in 'Digital TV - United States & Canada' started by shakim, Dec 19, 2004.

  1. shakim

    shakim Regular member

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    I am interested in using one of my pcs as an additional tv and pvr. I know you need a tv tuner card. There are cards ranging in prices from $25 to $200. Some cards says pvr and other just say tv tuner. The ladder is cheaper. Which should I buy? I know I need some sort of additional software like snapstream and SageTV. Can I buy any tv tuner card that takes in my cable signal and use one of those software to turn it into a pvr or do I have to have a specific card that says pvr? Finally what is the difference between a card that says pvr and one that just says tv tuner?
     
  2. garyde

    garyde Member

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    Hi,

    You might be interested in the units carried by www.tigerdirect.com just go to their site and enter PVR or TV Card in the search option and you will find them. They have both cards PCI, and USB devices. Even one that works on USB 1.0. I think these devices have tuners built in.
     
  3. Stinky_1

    Stinky_1 Guest

    I am not an expert on this, but I have been researching it for a few days.

    From what I figure you can use eiher a TV tuner card or a PVR card. The PVR card has all the functions built in to function as a PVR, so you would not need additional software (thats why the extra cost) The cheaper cards can be used as a PVR with the purchase of other software. I just got my hands on windows XP media center edition 2005 and am testing it out. I just dont have the Tuner card yet so I am in the same boat as you. Since WMCE has all the built in functions I think I can just get a regualr tuner card.

    Some things to look for though are built in Mpeg convertion. If the card has it then it will take a HUGE load of the proccessor. If it doesnt have it then the proc has to do ALL the work, that means you need either a big processor or to start overclocking the one you plan on using. I wanted to convert my old P3 550 into a PVR so to make that even sort of work I need all the built in functions on the card itself.

    Hope that helps.
     
  4. shakim

    shakim Regular member

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    Well guys, after reading many forums and website reviews I ended up buying th WinTV -PVR 150. This card works great. It has all the software I need. But, I still ended up buying Sage TV. This works great. Also, I learned that you should buy a card that have built-in mpeg encoding. This will produce better video quality and work faster. Thanx
     
  5. Stinky_1

    Stinky_1 Guest

    doesnt that card that you bought have a built in encoder? Or is that what you mean?
     
  6. shakim

    shakim Regular member

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    Yes, This card has a built-in encoder.
     
  7. br8615

    br8615 Guest

    has anyone tried using "Orb.com" with any of these TV tuners yet? i see they just released a beta for win xp for people without media edition.
     
  8. Stinky_1

    Stinky_1 Guest

    when I look at that orb thing it sounds like a good idea. But my biggest problem is that ISP's will be complaining about extra bandwidth. My ISP just got mad at me this month for having 120 gigs of download + Upload bandwidth just for january. They expect me to be at no more than 30 gigs combined.

    Also they are going to charge me money to be able to connect to my home pc to watch tv on my laptop???

    I am sorry but I can download REAL VNC, have my pc setup as a server, and use the viewer on my laptop AND my palm pilot. Now I can access my pc from ANYWHERE in the world for free, and then boot into media center on my home computer remotly and do the same thing that ORB is doing. Not to mention that I can check my emails on my home PC so that I dont lose the document by downloading to a different pc, and I can fool with my wifes head by moving the mouse around on her and close windows while she is shopping on ebay! ( I do that from the living room with the laptop)

    Like I say, its cool technology, but I can do similar things for free.
     
  9. Stinky_1

    Stinky_1 Guest

    Also shakim, Why did you end up getting SageTV? The only thing I can see it having that wmce05 doesnt have is the network viewing. Which can be solved with that 700 KB program I just spoke of above.
     
  10. shakim

    shakim Regular member

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    I don't have Windows media center. I am running it on my Win XP pro machine. SageTV has the easy to use features like Tvio. Things like record shows, pause live tv, etc.
     
  11. Stinky_1

    Stinky_1 Guest

    ok, It makes sense then. I was just looking at the screenshots of sage tv and it is VERY similar to MCE anyway. And it really does everything that sage tv does.

    Regardless I downloaded a trial edition and am going to see if I like it better.
     
  12. Sears

    Sears Member

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    Hi. I am also looking around for a good pvr. Can they record a complete 2 hr. movie?
     
  13. shakim

    shakim Regular member

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    Yes and then some. With the PVR-150 you can record as long as you want. It is up to your Hard Drive size and the recording setting you set. They have from DVD quality to VCD.
     
  14. rebootjim

    rebootjim Active member

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    Sage is a nice app.
    Take a look at the demo's of Snapstream too.
    Another good one (for the hardware encoder Hauppauge cards) is GB-PVR (my preference), because it uses Zap2it programming guide, and I'm in Canada.
     

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