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  1. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    A pin on my old system's All-in-Wonder 9600XT weird 29 pin video out connector broke and I can't find a replacement video out cable anywhere so I thought I'd get a PCIe video capture card for my new system instead.


    I remember reading about the limitations of initial HD capture cards here, can you tell me about how things are now. Any recommendations for cards to capture HD with? What features do you guys look for now?
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  2. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Solutions differ by source. No one device does it all.

    Over the air ATSC?
    Cable NTSC?
    Cable QAM?
    Off cable/sat box outputs?
    Baseband composite/S-Video?
    Baseband analog component SD?
    Baseband analog component HD?
    HDMI?

    Then, PVR software will also influence choice of hardware tuners.

    MCE
    SageTV, BeyondTV, GBPVR
    MythTV (Linux)
    Other
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  3. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Thank you for posting. This would be to capture things from TV/DVR/Satellite boxes to make DVDs from captures, documentaries. cartoons. Will not be using it to actually watch TV from.

    The post was useful because I guess I would need HDMI to capture things in HD. What are cable/sat box outputs, just regular RCAs? I suppose to capture standard TV from my DVR I would still need S-Video.

    Any links to reading up on new capture card functions and upcoming models and features? Or I guess since I don't need a remote control/tv watching/recording software and related, I guess maybe I should just concentrate on trying to find out capture quality?


    So for capture only, I would need, what, HDMI, single RCA video and S-video and then try to see if anyone can tell me about capture quality of new cards... am I forgetting anything in my approach?
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  4. Member edDV's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by c627627
    Thank you for posting. This would be to capture things from TV/DVR/Satellite boxes to make DVDs from captures, documentaries. cartoons. Will not be using it to actually watch TV from.

    The post was useful because I guess I would need HDMI to capture things in HD. What are cable/sat box outputs, just regular RCAs? I suppose to capture standard TV from my DVR I would still need S-Video.
    Much more complicated than you think because they don't want you to capture HD. HDMI capture is mostly blocked by HDCP (see link below). Most cable/sat companies use HDCP by contract, some don't bother. So... yes back to capturing standard def over composite or S-Video. For this reason, SD capture hasn't changed much since your All-in-Wonder 9600XT. Hook up S-Video and audio the same way.

    Since HDMI is mostly blocked, that leaves analog component which can be capped but this is an extreme geeky thing that you can Google. Expect heavy investment in $$ and time geeking up.

    If your goal is to cap HD, then erect an antenna and cap over the air. This is quite easy if you have a signal. Get an ATSC tuner.

    For those on cable, modern upgraded cable systems are supposed to allow tuning local DTV (SD and HD) without the encryption which is typical for cable only channels. For that you need a clear QAM capable tuner.

    Cable companies aren't happy being told by the FCC to offer HD clearQAM. They won't help you. Expect the cable companies to bribe the current Hollywood driven Congress to eliminate HD clearQAM all together.


    Originally Posted by c627627
    Any links to reading up on new capture card functions and upcoming models and features? Or I guess since I don't need a remote control/tv watching/recording software and related, I guess maybe I should just concentrate on trying to find out capture quality?
    ATSC and clearQAM quality can be quite good if the TV station and cable company tech are good. If not, quality can be as terrible as they make it. Note that local TV stations get very high quality network feeds before they downgrade it for broadcast. The issue is how badly they downgrade it. Best to take a job at a TV station and watch the feed there before they ruin it.


    Originally Posted by c627627
    So for capture only, I would need, what, HDMI, single RCA video and S-video and then try to see if anyone can tell me about capture quality of new cards... am I forgetting anything in my approach?
    Easy way is to do it just like you did with the All-in-Wonder 9600XT. There are similar cards you can buy new or you can buy another 9600XT on ebay.


    Ref: http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=wiki+HDCP&aq=f&oq=
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  5. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Awesome post. So ATSC tuner to get over the air HD and ClearQAM to get (for now) cable/sat HD. Check.


    I did not even see any cards with HDMI. It appears I had a choice of
    • AVerMedia: http://www.avermedia-usa.com/AVerTV/product/ProductList.aspx?IID=5
    • Hauppauge: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/prods_hvr_internal.html
    and
    • ATi: http://ati.amd.com/products/multimedia.html


    I chose this one: WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual Tuner PCI Express
    since neither AVerMedia or ATi could match its dual everything, two analog tuners and hardware encoders and two digital TV receivers for ATSC or clear QAM. Plus out of pocket cost for me will be $99 and change after coupons/discounts etc.
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  6. Keep in mind that the only channels you are likely to get via clear QAM are the same channels you can get over the air via ATSC, and a few others like the local cable access channels. If your TV has a clear QAM tuner plug it into the cable coax and see what you get.

    You likely won't be capturing anything but your own camcorder footage via HDMI (and, of course, you would be better off capturing this via firewire). Everything else will be HDCP protected.

    The Hauppauge HD PVR and Blackmagic Intensity Pro can capture analog component HD. The HD PVR doesn't obey to CGMS-A restrictions -- it records any component signal. I don't know about the Intensity Pro. Cable and Sat companies can disable HD component output any time they want. So these could become useless in the future.

    The HDFury2 can convert HDCP encrypted HDMI to HD analog RGB or HD analog component. Until its stolen keys are revoked (probably not any time soon).

    Another option: firewire. Cable boxes are mandated by the FCC to have firewire output ports. At least the local broadcast channels are supposed to be available on those ports (even so, many cable companies don't do this). It's possible to capture the video stream via firewire on a PC. Don't expect any help from the cable company.

    And one more: a CableCard based capture card. These can record encrypted QAM from the cable company. The files you record will be locked to your PC. Support for this from cable companies is very spotty.
    http://ati.amd.com/products/tvwonderdigital/index.html
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  7. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I see that the Hauppauge HD PVR is not a PC card and that Blackmagic Intensity Pro is $325-$350 (!) ouch. So why bother with them if this HDFURY2 you mention is $150 - I take it that's the best way to capture HD, through HDFury2 connected to a video capture card?

    And by the way, what do you think of the capture card I chose: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html


    I remember when my cable company TimeWarner first released the DVR boxes that customers could not use FireWire to transfer anything to PC, I'm pretty sure that has not changed, what about Sat boxes, can Firewire be used to transfer TV footage to be edited on a PC from them?


    I understand you're saying that CableCard based capture cards cannot be used to capture > edit HD documentaries > export to DVD so that's not an option for that (if I understand correctly.)


    P.S. *sigh* about all the limitations. My DVD player will not let me upconvert if I play my original DVD so I have to: buy a DVD, copy it and then only that copy can be upconverted. So my copy is thus viewed in better quality than my own original. This is crazy.
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  8. Originally Posted by c627627
    Thanks for the info. I see that the Hauppauge HD PVR is not a PC card and that Blackmagic Intensity Pro is $325-$350 (!) ouch. So why bother with them if this HDFURY2 you mention is $150 - I take it that's the best way to capture HD, through HDFury2 connected to a video capture card?
    The Hdfury2 only converts HDCP encrypted HDMI to HD VGA or HD component video. You need an analog component/VGA HD capture device to capture its output. SD capture devices will not work.

    Yes, the Hauppauge HD PVR is an external USB 2.0 capture device. It has a hardware h.264/AAC/AC3 encoder chip. You end up with TS or M2TS files on the computer.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    And by the way, what do you think of the capture card I chose: http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
    That card is fine for analog SD (composite, s-video) capture and unencrypted ATSC/QAM SD/HD. With ATSC/QAM you will get the broadcast MPEG stream.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    I remember when my cable company TimeWarner first released the DVR boxes that customers could not use FireWire to transfer anything to PC, I'm pretty sure that has not changed, what about Sat boxes, can Firewire be used to transfer TV footage to be edited on a PC from them?
    I don't know if any satellite tuners have firewire ports.
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  9. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Thanks. Finally just to confirm, this card is an HD capture device which works with HDFURY2, right?:

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
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  10. Originally Posted by c627627
    Thanks. Finally just to confirm, this card is an HD capture device which works with HDFURY2, right?:

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
    No, that will not work with the Hdfury2. The Hdfury2 outputs HD component or VGA. You need an analog HD component or VGA capture device. That card only captures broadcast digital SD/HD ATSC/QAM and analog SD via composite/s-video.
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  11. Member vhelp's Avatar
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    Just an FYI..bestbuy has the ATI All-in-Wonder (AIW) HD cards on sale $109 (last week it was half price) but you still can't beat that price, considering it is regulary $199 bucks. So, you might want to check out bestbuy and hop on the $109 price tag before its back to the $199 regular price.

    I don't know about the AIW card and what it is capable of capturing: component or hdmi or other. Maybe someone else with this card (and actual experience) can chime in.

    Also, I was thinking that, given the component or hdmi capturing ability of the AIW card, (if it can) that maybe there are other hdtv devices that are more relaxed in the current restrictions imposed upon today. I'm wondering if one can simple just hook the darn thing to an older hdtv receiver's component or hdmi and capture the output. I mean, remember the scare from last year, when a few members tried to record a certain event on regular channel, NBC (I think) and it was HDCP protected and you could not record it to tivo or other means. That was a pretty scarey thing, could put some out of business, and create hovic for consumers, etc. if that goes the norm (on regular channels) some day.

    -vhelp 5068
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  12. None of those cards will capture HD component. The HD PVR and Intensity Pro are pretty much the only affordable and easily available choices. There is a Japanese card called the MonsterX which is hard to get. And some pro cards that cost in the $1000 range.
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  13. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Thank you, things are so much clearer now.


    I wonder why you can get a standalone and thus more expensive HD PVR machine for coupla hundred bucks but no PC card that could do the same for less...


    Quick look at it suggests that it also has some limitations still so I guess we'll see what the followup versions will bring in the next year...
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  14. Originally Posted by c627627
    I wonder why you can get a standalone and thus more expensive HD PVR machine for coupla hundred bucks but no PC card that could do the same for less...
    Most of those require $10/mo subscriptions and long contracts. And the video is locked to the PVR. You might be able to record s-video output. If you're luck the s-video will be anamorphic 16:9, not letterboxed.

    And example of a $1000 component/VGA capture card:
    http://desktop.thomsongrassvalley.com/products/Pegasus/index.php

    I seem to recall reading about another HD component capture device like the HD PVR. I don't remember who made it or what it's called though. I'm pretty sure I read about it here at videohelp.com.
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  15. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    You can't transfer HD PVR to PC, I see.


    To the poster who mentioned the $109 + tax Best Buy deal for ATi All-in-Winder HD: I'm not sure if there are one or two versions of that card when it comes to HD connectors.

    I guess I didn't look much into it because I saw it offered regular video card GPU functionality which I didn't need with recording that I did.

    I don't know if I would be gaining or loosing overall when it comes to recording if comparing the AIW HD http://ati.amd.com/products/aiwhd/index.html with the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
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  16. The ATI cards do not capture analog HD. Only analog SD, and SD/HD ATSC and unencrpyted QAM. I believe they do offer the option of uncompressed or losslessly compressed analog SD capture.
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  17. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Hauppauge uses WinTV to capture,

    So when you capture video, this thing has no option for uncompressed wave audio capture? And you have to use 720x480, you cant modify it to 704 x 480 to capture standard TV and VCR resolution?


    When I used ATi, its own software captured video with best quality for ATi cards. But with this one, what are we talking about when it comes to freeware/commercial video capture software?
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  18. Originally Posted by c627627
    Hauppauge uses WinTV to capture,

    So when you capture video, this thing has no option for uncompressed wave audio capture?
    You didn't say exactly which device you have. But with Hauppauge's hardware MPEG2 capture devices There are no uncompressed options. MPEG audio and video only.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    And you have to use 720x480, you cant modify it to 704 x 480 to capture standard TV and VCR resolution? :(
    720x480, 480x480, 352x480, 352x240 are the options in WinTV2000 and my PVR-250. I'm not sure about other models.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    When I used ATi, its own software captured video with best quality for ATi cards. But with this one, what are we talking about when it comes to freeware/commercial video capture software?
    SageTV, BeyondTV, one or two others I can't recall. Most hardware MPEG capture cards work with relatively few programs.
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  19. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Hauppauge HD PVR captures to AVCHD (edit with Premiere Elements 7).
    Want my help? Ask here! (not via PM!)
    FAQs: Best Blank Discs • Best TBCs • Best VCRs for capture • Restore VHS
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  20. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    It's the new Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 card http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
    Is this an Upper field first or a Lower field first card?

    I'd like to capture 704x480 + uncompressed audio.

    1. Per your suggestion, I've installed Adobe Premiere Pro in Trial mode just to see and I can't find where/how to do that there.

    2. I understand GB-PVR, SageTV, BeyondTV do not allow you to capture 704x480 + uncompressed audio from a DVR/VCR?


    ATi Multmedia Center was a pain to figure out but at least it could capture 704x480 + uncompressed audio, I hope I'm not stuck with Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 of not being able to do that, how can that be
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  21. Originally Posted by c627627
    It's the new Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 card http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_hvr2250.html
    Is this an Upper field first or a Lower field first card?
    Digital captures (ATSC/QAM) are straight downloads of the broadcast MPEG stream so the field order will be whatever is broadcast. Usually TFF in my experience. Analog caps are probably TFF (my PVR-250 is TFF). But this is easy enough to test for yourself.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    I'd like to capture 704x480 + uncompressed audio...
    ATi Multmedia Center was a pain to figure out but at least it could capture 704x480 + uncompressed audio, I hope I'm not stuck with Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 of not being able to do that, how can that be
    The difference is that the Hauppauge cards have a hardware MPEG2 encoder chip whereas the older ATI cards capture as uncompressed YUV video and encode in software (the software can do whatever it wants). With the 2250 you are stuck with what its encoder chip and drivers output. You cannot get 704x480 or uncompressed audio out of it (unless the 2250 is different from the 250 and 1250 that I own). Why are you so obsessed with 704 pixel wide caps?
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  22. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    ....Because I take it 704x480 is the perfect capture resolution for capturing standard TV, VHS, etc whereas DVD is 720x480.


    But I need to capture uncompressed audio so that when I make a DVD, I can compress it to ac3 audio and depending on space, I can select the compression level of ac3.

    But all right, if I capture video at 720x480, how can I capture uncompressed audio to go with it instead of mpeg audio which I can't use to make a DVD....
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  23. Originally Posted by c627627
    ....Because I take it 704x480 is the perfect capture resolution for capturing standard TV, VHS, etc whereas DVD is 720x480.
    The only difference between the two is that 720x480 has 16 pixels of padding (~8 on each side) in case the frame isn't perfectly centered.

    Originally Posted by c627627
    if I capture video at 720x480, how can I capture uncompressed audio to go with it instead of mpeg audio which I can't use to make a DVD....
    You can't capture uncompressed audio with that card. You might be able to capture video with the card and uncompressed audio with your sound card with the right software (not WinTV). Worst case, you could do the two separately and mix later.
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  24. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Then how would I perfectly synchronize it if I capture with two separate programs?

    Can this card at least capture ac3 audio since it's fully compatible with DVD players in the US and mpeg audio isn't?

    Wow, this sucks. I mean I'd like to capture uncompressed audio that way I can have better audio if I choose, I can't believe that's not an option for me with this card.

    Also their max mpeg audio bit rate is 384 kbps, not 448.

    How about this: if I capture 384 kbps mpeg audio, is the conversion from that to say, 320 kbps ac3 the same quality as WAV to 320 kbps ac3?
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  25. Member edDV's Avatar
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    So now you know the detail, you are back to capping the complete stream (ATSC, ClearQAM, or IEEE-1394) or taking the SD analog outputs (the old AIW-9600XT or Hauppauge PVR) or you fool with capping analog component and separate audio.

    For the latter many side issues compound. You need RAID or realtime encoding, sound sync becomes an issue, editing becomes an issue depending on codec used, and so on...
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  26. Originally Posted by c627627
    if I capture 384 kbps mpeg audio, is the conversion from that to say, 320 kbps ac3 the same quality as WAV to 320 kbps ac3?
    No, but you probably can't tell the difference.
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  27. Senior Member c627627's Avatar
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    Just to confirm, software can capture MPEG video and uncompressed audio if you have an ATi card but for some reason,
    there is no software in existence that can capture MPEG video and uncompressed audio if you have a Hauppauge or AVerMedia card?


    In conclusion, to make a 100% compatible DVD - I'm stuck with capturing mpeg audio and converting in to ac3 audio unless I have an ATi card.
    Does that about sum it up?
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  28. Member edDV's Avatar
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    I don't understand the 2 channel "uncompressed" audio capture from broadcast AC3. The compression losses have already occurred. Better to get the 2.0 to 5.1 AC3 directly off your AC3 decoder.

    After June, all broadcast audio will be AC3 or mpg over cable.
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  29. Originally Posted by c627627
    Just to confirm, software can capture MPEG video and uncompressed audio if you have an ATi card but for some reason,
    there is no software in existence that can capture MPEG video and uncompressed audio if you have a Hauppauge or AVerMedia card?
    It depends on which Hauppauge and AverMedia card you have. Hauppauge has (or used to have, I haven't looked recently) cards that capture uncompressed YUV video and PCM Audio and compress with software. The PVR 2250 can't. The 2250 uses a hardware MPEG encoder chip that only delivers MPEG2 video and MP2 audio from analog sources. Capturing ATSC or QAM will get you MPEG 2 video with AC3 audio.
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