Well, I wanted to give the PVR-250 a try, so I installed the card. I'm running WinMe. The PC detected the card fine, and I installed the drivers for the card. However, the capture software and even the hardware detection software cannot see the card that is installed and is listed in my hardware list to be working fine. After reinstalling the drivers many times, and removing all other video capture software, I can still not get the capture software to talk to the card, and display any video from the card.
So, I reformated the hard drive and reinstalled WinMe. Same results, the card is detected and the drivers are installed from the CD-ROM. However, the capture application does not know where the card is. So, I moved the card to another slot, same results. The PC detects the card just fine, assigns an IRQ, and installs the drivers. So, my last attempt, I downloaded the beta driver, no change.
So, is there a major flaw with this card/software? Has anybody got the card working under WinMe? Does anybody have any other suggestions? I have run out of options to try...
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skittelsen, when you get it working are you planning to put up a review at your site? that would be cool. why are you running win me anyway?
If I get it running, I can surely make a review.
Since I will not install XP on my PC (never), and Win2K is not any faster or better than WinMe, I prefere WinMe. Win98 does not have the nice interface of WinMe, and some other nice features. So, WinMe is the best choise. Also, Win2K and WinXP does not have support for VFW, and I really hate WDM drivers! If I can't get a piece of hardware or software to work under WinMe, it will not work under any other OS eighter. (I have tried several times when something doesn't work) When someone says it doesn't work because you're not using XP, that is just plain BS!
Well some of what you are saying you do have a point there.
Now this ture WinXP doesn't not have very good support for VFW becuases MS remove the code from WinXP, But Win2000 dose still have VFW support code.
The drivers that come with WinTV-PVR 250/350 are WDM there is no VFW drivers for this card.
I agree with here (When someone says it doesn't work because you're not using XP, that is just plain BS!).
I think you just got a bad card and no matter what OS you try it still not going work.
OK, after a few hour napp, which was very nice, and helpfull to stay sane, I thought I'll give it another try.
So, I tried something stupid, which sometimes does the trick. I never connect a antenna cable ot cable TV to my capture card(s), I only use composite and S-Video. Well, the WinTV PVR-250 WILL NOT WORK unless you have an antenna connceted with a good signal. It does not matter if you have a composite signal connected or not, without a good antenna signal, the card is dead!
So, I now was able to get the card working. However, the PCI card works just like a USB Box, everyhting you do you have to wait a few seconds for it to react. Changing the channel takes several seconds! I do not know why this should not be instant with a PCI card. Anyway, here are a few points I heve learned so far:
* very slow functionality.
* this is not a AVI capture card, no VFW and WDM drivers.
* You cannot preview or view TV as uncompressed 24 bit video. No matter what mode, you are watching a mpeg compressed video stream
* the audio and video is delayed because you're ALWAYS watching a mpeg stream.
* all video is de-interlaced. This does knock down detail in SVCD and DVD modes.
* there seems to be a video gamma error. Video seems extra dark in the dark areas.
* No sharpness control or video filter control that the iCompression chip features.
* VCD capture is as expected poor. Nobody will ever make a better chip than the Winbond chip for VCD captures. The PV-231 is the king of the hill for VCD captures, always...
* DVD captures seems good, but picture is soft.
* SVCD captures are OK (more testing needed)
* sound is captured on the TV card, no audio record level control (as far as I can tell)
So, after only playing with it for a few hours, I have mixed feelings about the card. Quality is not great, but it seems to be at the level you expect today from a one chip mpeg compressor.
A few good words
It comes with Ulead DVD Moviefactory SE and Nanocosmos mpeg-1/2 editor. That is a savings of $100 in software (unless you haven't already bought it). It does come with a remote control that seems to work. If you want to use your PC as a TV, the remote does the normal things for you. And since all video is de-interlaced, video looks fine on a PC monitor as long as you select DVD full resolution as the capture mode. Remember, the card is ALWAYS in capture mode, sending a mpeg stream from the PCI card to the player software. Even with a P4 running at 1.5GHz, I get some jerkyness in the video from time to time. The player (CPU) is decoding a DVD mpeg stream for TV viewing!
You mean tell you never setup the SVideo/Composite channel to have it auto load.
Yes it dose to come WDM drivers
To get this Diagnostics dialogue menu you need hold down on CTRL button on the key board and right click on the video preview window.
I went through the channel scan many times, BUT I do not have any cable or antenna at my PC, so it never found any channels, of cource. Only composite video is connected to my video capture card. However, this does not work with the PVR-250. You HAVE to have a cable connected with a good signal, otherwise the card does not work (even if composite video is connected). Every time I open WinTv2000, it always tunes in a cable TV channel, it does not remember that I used composite last time. This is obviously a bug in the software.
Also, there is NO WDM drivers installed on my PC. Amcap or Vidcap does not find ANY drivers. I do no know where you got the WDM drivers from for the PVR-250.
No it not a Bug you have to add the channel manuel for composite or svideo.
Add source to channel list
1: Click on CHAN button
2: Click on Add button pick the rigth source you need.
3: Give it Channel Number, Channel Name, Desription, Match the Preset with Channel Number, Pick the rigth Video format should look something like this.
Channel Number "0"
Channel Name "DirecTV"
Video format "NTSC M and SVideo box is check or uncheck for Compostie"
It not YUV WDM drivers it a MPEG WDM drivers, This card only stream in realtime MPEG format it not like BT878 which stream realtime YUV format.
The only down is it has to compressed the a few sec mpeg video before pass it long to the mpeg decode drv for display even Home DVD play and HW PC decode card work the same way when decode the video there alway a 2sec or more delay buff
If you had read my short WinTV-PVR 250 FAQ on my site you find what look for as 3rdparty apps.
I'll add the composite "channel" the way you describe it above. Hopefully that will make the card start in composite mode.
I have never heard of a Mpeg WDM driver before, so that is new to me. I'll look for 3rd party capture applications. WinTV 2000 is not the best application ever written!
Also, if someone has 20 Meg of web/ftp space, I can upload a VCD, SVCD and 1/2DVD sample from the PVR-250.
I was able to add the 2nd. composite input, and it now starts with this channel (210). Thanks for that tip!
However, there is no menu when you right-click in the preview window. It only turns the buttons on and off. Also, there is no RC control panel like there is on the original PVR model (at least, I cannot find it).
Here are two files from the WinTV PVR-250 card:
(right-click and select "save target as")
that vcd sample doesn't look too bad. not as nice as the pv231 but it still looks ok to me.
You wrote that the mpeg is de-interlaced. Is there an option to let let it be interlaced ? I'm planning on buying the card and only watching the output on a normal tv, so de-interlacing shouldn't be neccesary and therefore only result in worse quality then interlced.
Btw, thanks for putting up those samples
Hmm, If its done by the mpeg software driver then it shouldn't be a big problem to make it that it doesn't de-interlace. In that way you can still get a interlaced output to the tv-out of your graphics card, right ?
SHS, Your opinion about something.
Assuming that the pvr 250 driver will not be able to send out an interlaced signal to the tv-out, will the old pvr or the 250 be better then, if you only plan on using it as an vcr/timeshifting on a normal tv ?
it maybe getting a bit offtopic, but what are your thoughts about the following. Even if the 350 may send the live feed directly and therefore still interlaced to the tv out, as soon as you use the timeshifting abilty won't it use a recorded, de-intelaced temp file for playback then.
I think the recording will go the same as with the 250 and that is de-interlaced.
getting more and more offtopic, but I want to know if get it right now.
Is the following signal processing flow for the 250 correct ?:
for live feed:
- Antenna signal in tuner (interlaced) =>
- Video digitizer (interlaced) =>
- MPEG encoder chip (interlaced) =>
- MPEG decoding driver used by wintv application
=> decodes and deinterlaced.
For recording / timeshifting:
- MPEG encoder chip (interlaced) =>
recorded file/ temp timeshift file (interlaced) =>
-MPEG decoding driver uses by wintv app iwch
again decodes an de-interlaces the signal.
Will the 350 then send the compressed data to both the
wintv app (wich de-interlaces it to make it watchable on the
pc) and the same data to the decoder chip wich keeps it as it is (interlaced) and sends it to the tv-out ?
Oh I see you want pipe thur the graphics card TV output like nVidia GF3 or ATI Radeon or what ever it maybe rigth?.
I belive it just reg heck to turn off/on interlace mode there 2 3rdparty tools out there WinDVD Tweaker or DVD Genie.
I though you think about PVR 350 which has HW decoding TV output which also free up a lot CPU usage and dosen't use the InterVideo MPEG2 codec so mean it come out interlaced like you want, I was kind of hoping that Hauppauge had add VIP/VPE to the 350 but as it is min graphics card don't have a VIP/VPE 26pin header so only option make use some HW decoding that is found on some of ATI Rage, Radeon card newer nVidia GF4 MX card that have iDCT and MC but also mean they need update InterVideo ver 4.0 directshow driver which support dxva, hopeful in next generation of new graphics card that come out I hope they add better MPEG decoding.
I have agree with skittelsen 352x240 MPEG1 VCD capture dose look better then first PVR which has less mosquito noise in MPEG1 VCD caputure which are objects associated with movement.
I agree skittelsen I don't thing any body will ever top the winbond chip for VCD captures but with cost of DVD burner coming down in cost this maybe a better option in the long run would think so to skittelsen.
Skittleson sent link
I noticed at the bottom of the page in the Properties box under Audio encode that an option for AC-3 is grayed out. I wonder if they are considering this and how it would be implemented. I have a feeling that this option may be "left over" from a use of this driver for a more "advanced" HDTV card like their WinTV HD card with HDTV reception and recording. Anybody know?