[mythtv-users] Looking for capture card and IR blaster upgrade advice

Joe Auty joe at netmusician.org
Thu Jun 11 18:24:57 UTC 2009

I'm looking for some general upgrade advice as I'm not confident I'm 
understanding the language used in advertising specs for capture cards 
in particular.

My current setup includes an Hauppauge PVR 250 and a serial port IR 
blaster which I need to change channels with my IR based satellite 
receiver. This gear is pretty old now, and now that my satellite itself 
includes a digital input and some HD channels I'm sort of kicking the 
tires on some upgrade options.

The dual tuner support for recording one channel while I watch another 
would be nice, but I'm most interested in the picture quality aspect of 
this particular upgrade. I believe that the PVR 250 is purely analog? If 
so, what sorts of capture options would you suggest I look into? They 
don't have to be Hauppauge, just something that will work nicely with 
MythTV :)

Also, as far as inputs go, which will be my best bet? I'm using S-video 
with my PVR 250 currently, and I notice that the new Hauppauge capture 
cards offer a coax and S-video. Will the best digital signal come from 
the coax input?

Secondly, occasionally my programs will record on the wrong channel due 
to the IR blaster skipping a number. I notice that when I change 
channels there is a temporary CPU spike. I'm using a shell script and 
not a perl script and have played around with changing nice values and 
stuff like that, but I'm wondering if a USB based blaster would work 
better and would be more accurate and reliable? I know that serial ports 
are not really built for speed!

Thanks in advance for any general thoughts and advice you have for me!

Joe Auty
NetMusician: web publishing software for musicians
joe at netmusician.org

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