[mythtv-users] Slightly OT? MPEG-2 Encoding Quality

Tom Gutwin tgutwin at webarts.bc.ca
Sat Mar 10 18:53:52 UTC 2007

The codec chips are the same.
When I went down this path I bought a 350 because I thought that I wanted the mpeg2 out.
As it turns out, I don't use it because i ran into trouble getting it set up to work and
my vid card was a dual head with DVI out it was easier to get working.  The 350's
framebuffer output is constantly asked about on the user lists because of problems.

Oh, the other thing is the developers building the drivers of these cards (ivtv drivers)
are planning on dropping support for the 350 because no one is maintaining the code.

Check out the ivtv driver wiki http://www.ivtvdriver.org/index.php/Main_Page
to get the full scoop

I never run into processor power issues having to decode the files with software through
my vid card.  If you are buying a new system you should not have any performance issues
decoding in software.

I should have got the PVR-500 because it has 2 encoders on 1 card.
It is essentially 2 pvr-150s.  I could record 2 shows at the same time.

I suggest the 150 or the 500.


Greg Kettmann wrote:
> I'm still pondering the many choices for building a MythTV system.  My 
> first choice for capture card was a PVR-150 but they're no longer in any 
> local stores and seem to be being phased out.  The PVR-350 seems like 
> another good choice and it's got the added advantage of having a Video 
> (S-Video and Composite) out capability.  This leads to a slightly 
> different question.
> Is there any difference in the quality of the MPEG-2 encoders? 
> One of the side functions of the MythTV box will be to take my old tapes 
> (family / camcorder stuff) and convert them to DVD.  There was a thread, 
> a week or so ago, discussing software codecs for better quality.  As a 
> general rule, are there differences in the MPEG-2 encoders in the cards 
> (IE a more premium card gives better output = the 350 over the 150 or 
> 250)?  Are there noticeable differences?  How about using a software 
> codec versus hardware? 
> I don't know if it matters but input will be either composite, through a 
> VCR (for a few) or S-Video from a Sony DV camcorder (both Hi-8 and DV). 
> Thank you, GGK
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