[mythtv-users] Capture Card... Suggestions?

Dave Bush hockeystatman at gmail.com
Sun Sep 5 16:44:44 EDT 2004

> I'd like to be able to record and watch live tv with pausing and
> rewind and all that goodness.  I've never built a MythTV box before,
> so I'm wondering what capture card will give me the most bang for my
> buck and if I'll need more drive space.  Also wondering if I'll need
> multiple capture cards to do the job.

I guess I'll answer your questions with more questions. :)

Do you plan on watching TV on your monitor, or on an actual TV? You
didn't mention your video card, so if it doesn't have TV out -AND- you
plan on watching TV on a TV screen instead of your monitor you should
plan on getting a video card that supports TV out.

As for a capture card - I sprung for a PVR-350 card and hindsight
being 20/20 - I wish I'd saved money and gone with a PVR-250. Don't
get me wrong - fantastic card, but from what I've heard the TV out
portion of the PVR-350 is a little clunky. With the TV out on my
system (A Shuttle SS40G with an SIS chipset) it works like a charm, so
I've never even tried TV out on my PVR-350.

Hard drive space is really a matter of taste. How much to you plan on
recording? (...and once you do you'll find that'll jump right up
because it's sooooooo convenient!) How much space do you have free
now? Do you plan on archiving much? FWIW I had an 80 GB drive in my
system before I put Myth on it, and when I decided to make the Myth
plunge I upgraded to a 200 GB drive.

There can be a lot of messing around with profiles to tweak things to
your taste and if you like super high quality video that 80 will fill
up fairly quickly. Frankly I've been looking at low-quality mode on my
Tivo for so long that a comparable mode in Myth is as good or better.
(I'm using about 1 GB per hour of recorded shows, give or take a bit.)

I think your system (other than maybe the hard drive) will be plenty
for a Myth box - especially if you put in a PVR-x50 card. FWIW I
started running Myth on a similar box, but an Athlon 2600 and just a
lowly WinTV Go card (ie: no hardware encode/decode) and it worked
fine. The system I'm running Myth on now is an Athlon 2200. Watching
videos with no hardware decoding while it records videos through the
PVR-350 gives me about 37% CPU utilization.

I'm rambling, but hopefully this makes sense. ;)

- Dave
Dave Bush <hockeystatman at gmail.com>

There are two seasons in my world - Hockey and Construction

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