[mythtv-users] hvr-1600 vs pvr-500 for capturing

Brian Wood beww at beww.org
Wed Dec 1 15:47:20 UTC 2010

On Wednesday, December 01, 2010 08:26:26 am mike at grounded.net wrote:
> I thought I would ask this question in this list before deciding on
> my next box. I have an hvr-1600 which I use for ATSC and I bought a
> couple of pvr-500 which I was going to use specifically for
> capturing.
> I built a system and was testing analog input into the hvr-1600. The
> colors are dim, and there is a sort of pattern on top of the video
> image. I haven't spent a lot of time on that yet thinking I might be
> getting a new box today.
> So what I was wondering, in order to know how many slots I'll need,
> is if there is a quality difference on the analog capture side
> between the Hauppauge hvr-1600 and the pvr-500? In other words, is
> one card better over the other?

I don't know, but some factors to consider are:

Even if the quality were the same, I think the main difference is PCI vs. 

Standard PCI slots are getting rarer and rarer, but I don't think they 
will completely disappear in the near future, though sometimes the sole 
PCI slot can get blocked by something like a fanless video card.

I try to stay away from USB devices when I can, they seem to use a lot 
of resources on Linux systems, and lead to to what can only be called a 
"clusterf**k" of cables, especially when they are not bus-powered and 
require yet another wall wart and its associated cables. Certainly 
external USB drives never seem to come close to the claimed performance.

To be fair, USB devices do not add heat to the case interior, or block 
airflow inside it.

I can't speak to quality issues, but I see no reason a USB device can't 
be as good as or better than a PCI card. I continue to be very pleased 
with the quality from my HD-PVR.

USB devices may be under more restraints to keep the size down (the HD-
PVR being a notable exception), and that might lead to quality issues. 
They also have little space for connectors, leading to dongles for 
baseband inputs, which is not desirable, at least not to me.

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