[mythtv-users] S-Video capture card choices?

Michael T. Dean mtdean at thirdcontact.com
Tue Aug 30 23:24:06 UTC 2005

Blake wrote:

> On Tue, 30 Aug 2005 14:59:21 -0700, Michael T. Dean  
> <mtdean at thirdcontact.com> wrote:
>> Blake wrote:
>>>     Recommendations? I know it doesn't pay to go too cheap but I'd
>>> like to be  able to capture the kind of quality that comes over, say,
>>> digital HBO.  (Hi-def later!)
>> Hauppauge WinTV PVR-250 or 150.
> Isn't that also a tuner? Am I going to be stuck buying a tuner when I  
> can't use it? I'm assuming here that the s-video output is tuned to  
> whatever channel the cable box is on, just as a firewire port would 
> be. (?)

Am I going to be stuck buying a spare button when I can't use it?  The 
shirt only needs 6 buttons, so do I really have to waste money on a 7th 
button when I just want the shirt?*  ;)

NTSC/PAL (analog) tuner modules are dirt-cheap these days (been around 
for 50 years, so we've figured out how to make them inexpensive).  
Therefore, it's less expensive for a manufacturer to just add one to all 
its capture cards than try to design and support two variations of each 
card (one with and one without a tuner).  For example, in lots of 100, 
tuner modules will cost about $3US or less.  In lots of 1000, they're 
even cheaper...  (I wouldn't be surprised if Hauppauge is paying less 
than $2 for a tuner module.)

So, assuming that Hauppauge passed on the complete savings to you (as 
opposed to having to add to the cost of both models to support 
additional design and support costs), a PVR-150 with tuner would cost 
$70 after rebates and a PVR-150 without tuner would cost about $67 after 
rebates.  (Note, prices reflect a well-time purchase in the US.  Without 
rebates, the prices would be $99 and $96 or so.)

If you can't afford the extra $3, you shouldn't be wasting money on a 
Myth box.  ;)  So, basically, it's nothing to worry about.  I have a 
PVR-350, a PVR-250, and two PVR-150's and do not have any RF 
feeds--everything is fed over S-Video--and the quality of the Hauppauge 
PVR-x50's is good enough that I was happy to spend an extra $3 on 
something I'll never use to get the rest of the card.


* Note about the extra button thing:  I have to admit that I've never 
used one of those extra buttons in my entire life.  :)

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