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Cross-Platform Video Capture Cards And TV Tuners? 342

ePIsOdEOnline writes "This Christmas reminded me of the times when you were a child and your parents bought that new toy that says on the packaging "Batteries Not Included". Post-Christmas rituals always turn into spending sprees to get other things that will be compatible and complementary to the gifts we recieved. This past Christmas, I recieved a PS2 along with a mini-dv camera set. Well, now I'll need something to view these with since I don't have a television in my apartment. So, I was looking into picking up a TV-tuner card for my computer. What kind of cards has the slashdot crowd been successful with, and which ones should I steer clear of? I'd like to be able to use the card in linux and sometimes windows, to watch and record off of. What kinds of software/hardware should I invest in, and is it an easy, accomplishable task to delve into?"
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Cross-Platform Video Capture Cards And TV Tuners?

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  • by cepler ( 21753 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:15PM (#7818590) Homepage Journal
    Includes hardware MPEG encoder/decoder.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/html/wintvpvr250_datash ee t.htm
    • Click me! [hauppauge.com]

      I have a lower range Hauppage product which I had trouble finding Linux drivers for (and Hauppauge were very uncooperative)... make sure your system will work with anything Hauppauge or make sure you have a very reliably backup option.
      • Re:Clickable link (Score:3, Informative)

        by pantherace ( 165052 )
        ivtv.sourceforge.net [sourceforge.net]

        or for most other cards (bt878 or bt848) BTTV [bytesex.org] (included in the linux kernel)

        • Also I suggest you guys dig around on the hardware lists at freevo.org. People list what they're running and the success they're having with it. The WinTV Pvr 250 from Hauppauge seems to be really popular. Hardware mpeg en/decoding and linux support along with a low price add up to a winner.
    • These cards are good. I'm using a PVR-250 myself with Linux. The quality is the best I have seen in any analog consumer card (they totaly kick bt878 cards butt). It is very good. Linux drivers are good to.

      The newest avidemux make this card 100% easy for cutting unwanted commersial from what I record. Higly recommended.

      Linux drivers [sourceforge.net]
    • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2003 @06:00PM (#7818802)
      The Hauppauge 250 is a great card to watch and record TV, but because of the 2-3 second delay as the video stream is encoded into MPEG-2, it makes playing any sort of video game system through it virtually impossible. Beware.
      • ^ Mod this one up, was just about to post that issue myself. The delay pretty much negates using it with a ps2. In this case a regular bt848 based el cheapo capture card is the way to go. I've used them for the exact purpose the OP mentions (video game consoles)
      • True dat...

        MAy I suggest for the ps2 the article submitter get a ps2 to VGA adapter and a KVM or just Monitor switchbox =P

        *Shrug* oh and a cheap TV tuner card...

        Although if you want to do the brew your own pvr I'd check out the hauppage 250/350 the others have been pointing out...

        good luck!

        E.
    • is it worth it? (Score:4, Informative)

      by thanasakis ( 225405 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @06:45PM (#7818973)
      I 've been trying to find and buy the pvr250 for about two months (I live in Greece). My plans were simple:install the card and make a mythTV video recorder using my pc. But it seems that the local representative of Haupage here was not interested in selling any units so after a dozen phone calls to various stores (they kept telling me that there weren't any units available) I decided to just drop it, and went and bought a [philips.com]
      philips dvdr70. It may be more expensive than the pvr250/350 but:

      1)The price is roughly the same with the sum of the prices of a decent dvdr (~200Euros) for the pc and the haupage (~200Euros).
      2)If I was going to use the pc as a pvr, I would probably have to buy a small UPS too. Dunno about other countries but here in Greece, leaving the pc open always is a recipe for disaster. Add about ~120Euros minimum for that too.
      3)I believe a standalove product is more usable than a pc based pvr. In the later case I would be the only one in my family really able to use it.
      4)The standalone writer is really plug and play. Hell, it even learned the channels from my tv, so I did not have to do anything besides plugging it to the outlet and the tv set.

      Of course the pvr based solution probably offers more capabilities so someone may have no choice than to use it.

    • I saw a reference to Hauppauge on slashdot, and guess what ? I bought one PVR-350..

      Only to discover that it doesn't work with my MSI K7N2-L motherboard.. And when looking for the problem I found that Hauppauge does not recomment it's useage with VIA based motherboards (basically all motherboards with a AMD processor).

      So my advice is to stay away from Hauppauge if you have a AMD CPU (like almose everyone I know).

      According to websites, the Hauppauge PVR can work with **some** VIA based motherboards w

  • Googled (Score:2, Informative)

    by JediDan ( 214076 )
    http://www.linuxquestions.org/questions/history/1 2 6250
    Crito says
    "brooktree/conexant chip based cards are supported by the bttv driver, ATI cards by the gatos driver, nvidia cards by the, uh, i forget, but there a driver for their framegrabber chip too. Problem with bttv is not all tuners are supported, so don't bet it'll work with any 878 card. There's a file called "cardlist" that comes with bttv that'll give you specific models it detects. Also, check the card manufacturer's website for hardware incompa
    • Re:Googled (Score:3, Informative)

      by Lord Kano ( 13027 )
      I have a brooktree card with a temic tuner, it is near impossible to find a Win XP driver that will work with it. As a result, my GF gave me an ATI TV Wonder VE card for xmas.

      The software is pretty good. It will download your local cable TV listings and you can schedule recordings based upon your local content provider.

      LK
  • Leadtek Winfast (Score:5, Informative)

    by tourettes ( 97445 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:18PM (#7818601)
    I purchased a Leadtek Winfast TV 2000 XP Deluxe [ncix.com] tv tuner, and I enjoyed it alot. It is not as expensive as other tuners available on the market, but works for all my needs. It has a stylish and easy to use remote control, as well as an FM tuner built in.

    I have written a TV Tuner Guide [linuxhelp.ca] for linux that focuses mainly on this tuner (but can be used for most tuners under linux.

    For the price, and the quality you get, in my opinion, this is one of the best tv tuners out there.
    • The submitter is asking for a cross-platform solution. One big caveat is that the most popular PVR software for Windows is Snapstream [snapstream.com]. According to their knowledge base, a number of cards, including the Leadtek Winfast 2000 XP Deluxe, is not compatible with their software.
      http://kb.snapstream.com/Kb.aspx?kbid=1049 [snapstream.com]

      I too am adding PVR functionality to my computer. Anyone know of what compromise card would be both Snapstream and MythTV compatible?
  • PVR 250/350 (Score:5, Informative)

    by rask22 ( 144831 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:18PM (#7818602)
    Under linux you really can't beat the hauppauge PVR 250 or 350. Both include hardware mpeg2 encoding, the 350 includes hardware mpeg2 decoding. You can find drivers at ivtv.sf.net [sf.net]. It's nice to record tv shows at 640x480 at 2% cpu load.

    The card is also well supported by mythtv [mythtv.org].
  • I own a Pinnacle Studio PCTV (BT848 based). I'm very happy with it, although it doesn't support very high resolution capture (max is 384x288 or so). The viewing software from Pinnacle for Windows is nice, and BT8x8 based cards (at least 848) are supported in Linux 2.4.x up.
    In general, from what I've heard, BT8x8 based cards are cheap, reliable, of decent quality, and widely supported.
    • by K8Fan ( 37875 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:46PM (#7818741) Journal

      Get a Brooktree chipset card, and download dScaler [sourceforge.net] and be knocked out at the quality. I've been through half a dozen different cards, and I'm currently using a I/O Magic PC-PVR card. Virtually every one of these cards uses the same reference design, and the only variation is how well they handle the signal path and grounding. I know how clean this card is because I'm using it to capture at 720 x 480 and scale up to 1280 x 720 using dScaler's amazing deinterlacing. Then I show it on my 90" wide screen.

  • by sakusha ( 441986 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:19PM (#7818605)
    Why does it need to be a card? I use the Canopus ADVC-1000 external FireWire DV converter for video captures, it will work on anything with a FW port.
    There are quite a few TV Tuner external boxes, but most of them are based on USB, which doesn't have sufficient bandwidth to do DV, so most of them use proprietary codecs with much lower bandwidth use (and lower quality). If you just want to make VCDs, they're probably fine, but all the USB tuners are of insufficient quality to do DVD quality storage. Of course, most of what you grab off the air or cable/DirecTV isn't DVD quality either, it's already been compressed more than the ~6:1 that DV uses.
    • Plus, if he goes with an external Firewire tuner, he can use one of the spare ports on his Firewire card to import from the camcorder (zero quality loss).

      If he's careful, he'll end up with a solution that not only works under Windows and Linux, but would be moveable to a Mac if he ever decided to make that switch.

      Since cross platform compatibility was a major concern for the OP, I'd say PCI cards should be ruled out from the start.
    • Can it do both ways simultaneously? That would be nifty for PVR use, the only downside being a non-integrated tuner.
      • Not simultaneously. It has a switch on the front panel for digital>analog / analog>digital . Personally, I use the tuner on my VCR. Results are pretty good, though obviously (given the tuner) not maximum quality.
    • the only problem with them(external usb tv tuners) being that they suck.

      and tend to use properiaty stuff for transferring the picture..

      there should be literally shitloads of old bt* cards supported by the bttv around though, several of which are from companies that have dropped the support 4-5+ years ago on windows side(but that still work as good as ever, with svideo in & etc, but some of them were made by companies that don't even have websites or even existed outside of that one product based aroun
    • I second the recommendation of a DV bridge. Make sure to get one with locked audio (e.g. ADVC-100). Most "TV in" cards have serious audio sync problems because they do not lock the sample rate of the audio to the incmoing video frame rate.

      I assume the 1000 is a typo, the ADVC-1000 is a professional high-end product ($2000), the ADVC-100 is the consumer model ($200-$300).
  • bt878 (Score:2, Informative)

    by WWWAvenger ( 625119 )
    I've had a ot of luck using the drivers for Brooktree 878 chipset based capture cards on FreeBSD and Linux.
  • Windows (Score:5, Informative)

    by Doomrat ( 615771 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:20PM (#7818612) Homepage

    For people trying to get a strange video card working with a later Windows OS such as 2000 and XP, these generic drivers are life savers.

    http://btwincap.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]
    http://www.iulabs.com/drv/index.shtml [iulabs.com]

    • Parent is Spot-on.

      I got a generic BT848 card with an RCA video in and a 5V DC output on it. No vendor name. The little camera that came with it says US Robotics, but there is nothing about this card/camera combo on their site. The Linux 848 drivers worked well (once I figured out that it ran in NTSC Japanese format), but for the longest time I could only use it in Linux. The btwincap drivers work under win2k.
    • You sir are a scholar and a gentleman. I'd like to purchase an evening with an escort for you. I've been looking for something like these drivers for no less than two years.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:21PM (#7818614)
    You can find a reasonable TV set for $15 at the local thrift shop. Make things easy on yourself.
  • by Doc Ruby ( 173196 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:23PM (#7818633) Homepage Journal
    Why not use the PS2 Linux [playstation2-linux.com] distribution? The Linux1394 project [linux1394.org] offers strong support for FireWire, especially DV gear. You could use your gifts to get your video on the TV, with Open Source editing tools. Along the way, you'll get your PS2 on the network, and much more portable gear in the PS2 formfactor. And you'll support the OSS FW and DV communities with your feedback.
    • Wasn't the question "How to I hook this up to my pc, since I have no TV?"?
      The ps2-linux kit is a great expansion for the ps2, but it wouldn't solve his problem.

      I think he's on the wrong track, wanting to connect his ps2 via a tv-tuner, though.
      The DV-camera is no problem, just get a firewireport in the computer and you're there...
      Or you could get the ps2-linux kit and use the fw-port in the ps2, but that would probably be more expensive.
      But the ps2 really should be connected directly to the monitor with one
  • I like the AIW (Score:2, Informative)

    by Utopia ( 149375 )
    There are several good TV Tuners in the market today. However the good hardware is not accomanied by good software.
    ATI All-in-wonder is a pretty decent tuner card with a good sofware suite.
    Unless you are getting a Microsoft Media Center PC don't even consider hauppauge cards.
    Internal cards are better than external cards.
    TV recording requires lot of bandwidth which USB or serial ports can't provide.

    Also, check out some the comments in neowin.net
    • Indeed, still trying to get my ASUS 9600XT/TVD to work with the ATI multimedia center, claims it can't find the tv components. Oddly enough, windows Media Encoder works fine, and the enclosed ASUS tv tuner software works, but without close captioning(rather important for someone deaf like me)

      Tried to email ASUS tech support about it, and their mail system bounced the email because their mail system is misconfigured and won't accept the redirect they use to a real account.

      ATI wants 2.99 a minute or someth
      • Re:I like the AIW (Score:2, Informative)

        by Platupous ( 316849 )
        I also rely on the closed captioning, as I am nearly deaf.

        I have found that the ATI 7500 has met my needs for simple live TV playing, for about 2 years now. the MMC 7.X / 8.X suite by ATI is stll very buggy, and it frequently bungles the captioning (Never Clears the text, those of u who use CC know what I mean), and the recording isnt up to par. The DVD option is obtuse and never works right consistantly, I usually end up using my PS2 to play dvds instead of the ATI DVD player.

        I think that ATI's software
        • Someone gave me some url's for a few programs, but most were just for watching tv itself, none of them actually supported the close captioning.

          even found one that plugged into winamp(it didn't support the ATI chip though)
    • Re:I like the AIW (Score:3, Insightful)

      by parkanoid ( 573952 )
      Huh? The poster clearly asked for cross-platform solutions, with a heavy emphasis on linux. As far as I know, ATI does not provide a version of their software suite for linux.
      Hauppauge cards are supported by a variety of linux PVR software, as well as various commerical programs under windows. Microsoft Media Center???

      Further, most [formac.com] modern [tierranet.com] external PVRs use a firewire interface, and not USB or serial (yes, I am aware that technically many standards fall under 'serial', but I think it's reasonable to ass
    • Go search Google on ATI All-In-Wonder audio sync, and you'll see that there are problems, especially on long captures. There's no real reliable configuration to alleviate this problem, and ATI has refused to deal with this problem pretty much since the first AIW cards were released. If you have the time and patience to manually re-sync your audio to the nearest frame, be my guest. Otherwise, forget about this solution.
  • Hauppauge WinTV (Score:5, Informative)

    by MrP- ( 45616 ) <jessica@supj[ ]ica.com ['ess' in gap]> on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:29PM (#7818659)
    I got a Hauppauge WinTV with fm radio back in 1999 and i've been using it ever since. I love it. I've used it in windows, linux, and beos. I've never had any problems. I've recommended them to friends and they all love them too.

    http://www.hauppauge.com [hauppauge.com]
    • I got a Hauppauge WinTV with fm radio back in 1999 and i've been using it ever since. I love it. I've used it in windows, linux, and beos. I've never had any problems. I've recommended them to friends and they all love them too.

      Seconded. I don't remember exactly which Hauppauge card I got (it's been around 3 years, and I since gave it to someone to experiment with), but I think it was the WinTV-D (with digital TV reception, which I never tried). I too used it under windows (using the player and playing
    • Indeed,

      I still have a Brooktree 848 card sitting on my desk. Like others have said, its just narrowing down your tuner, which is generally labeled on the unit.

      I have also picked up a Hauppage PVR-250 card and it works well. I'm going to sell it and get a the 350 though. I want the TV out capabilities and not just vanilla capture.

      I also have a DXR3 mpeg decoder, but I do not recommend this unit. It works alright with Xine. I remember it being more trouble then it was worth, but for 10$....
  • by jeffskyrunner ( 701044 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:31PM (#7818677)
    I have the 8500 DV and i run my gamecube through it. It is not HDtv quality, but it is better then having to fit a tv into my tiny dorm room :) Plus, it has people turning their heads seeing me play my gamecube on my computer. Of course, the newest ATI Radeon All in wonder probably costs around 400-500 bucks....so go for an older one
  • by jafo ( 11982 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:32PM (#7818680) Homepage
    I find it kind of hard to imagine playing the Playstation on a computer display.

    Back in the late <gasp> '80s, I bought a 27" Sony TV, and declared that I wasn't going to do anything but replace broken video gear until HDTV came out. 15 years later, I've finally broken down and replaced the (still functional) altar to the entertainment gods.

    Nearly a year ago, we finally fell to the temptation of getting a projector. The thing that finally made this happen was the InFocus X1. This is a Not only is the price of the projector quite reasonable, the operating cost is down from $1 per hour (many projectors have $300 bulbs that last around 300 hours) to under $0.10 per hour (the X1 bulb is still around $300, but it lasts 10 times as long).

    So, while it's not a TV tuner card, I just had to provide some feedback. We love the projector, it doesn't take up much space, it's easily portable, it makes a 45" TV seem small.

    That said, I've heard good things about the Haupage tuner cards using the Brooktree chipset. I haven't tried any of them in over 5 years, so they've surely changed. However, they seemed to work great using Video 4 Linux drivers.

    Sean

    • I find it kind of hard to imagine playing the Playstation on a computer display.

      I play my PS2 through an ATI All-In-Wonder card. It's fine.

    • i thought projectors were bad with video consoles - something about the refresh i think
  • The short answer. (Score:3, Informative)

    by Raven42rac ( 448205 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:32PM (#7818684)
    Hauppauge [hauppauge.com] PVR/250/350 for Windows/Linux.
    Elgato's [elgato.com] EyeTv for Mac OS X.
    • I'd like to know if either the EyeTV or USB 1.1 WinTV work on Linux on PowerPC. I've been scouring the earth via google and can only find more questions. Are the WinTV drivers endian safe?

      Thanks :}

      • Hate to state the obvious answer, but did you try both companies' websites? The answer is maybe, Sourceforge would probably be your best bet to find crossplatform drivers.
  • by nomso ( 591062 ) <{hallgeir} {at} {hallgeir.no}> on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:32PM (#7818685) Homepage
    I would not recommend a TV tuner for anything other than watching TV.

    Your DV camera should have a digital output (IEEE 1394 (FireWire)) - use that. Additionally, if that DV camera is a nicer one it may have video input; meaning that you can connect your PS2 to your camera, which is connected your computer, which is connected to your display.... you may not need to buy anything?
  • I know the video capture card sounds like a more "complete" solution, but you might want to think twice about hooking a PS2 up to it.

    For a start I imagine there are some significant latency issues associated with video capture which, while fine for watching telly, might be a bit of a problem for playing games.

    Secondly, as this is more subtle, almost all the point of a PS2 is that it is devoid of hassle. Open door, put disk in, close door and you're there. Having to make sure the PC is on, you've got the c
  • Viewsonic makes a very nice one that I use. Plug monitor into box, box into computer, ps2/gamecube/xbox into box, switch with handy remote. I've never been happy with the resolution on tv tunder cards. if you're dead set on one anything from wintv is fine I suppose. Viewsonic VB50HRTV [viewsonic.com]
  • I play on my PS2 and N64 on my monitor, personally. My 17" LCD monitor has a built in TV tuner, including a bunch of fun little ports for me to plug things into. It has Picture in Picture as well, so I can play in a window or in full screen.

    VGA Boxes add a similar functionality to any monitor (well, anything using a standard VGA cable). They set you back more than a TV Tuner does, but you won't have any lag problems or even need to turn on the PC first! Doesn't matter about the PC OS... you get the id
  • by Rolman ( 120909 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:43PM (#7818733)
    If you only want to play PS2 you may not need anything else but cables and a Firewire card. I have a laptop, a DV camera and I'm a frequent traveler. I also tend to take my Gamecube with me to play some PSO (I take my GBA too, for those wondering).

    Sometimes in hotels the TVs don't have the means to connect a game console, so I just connect the GC to the camera, then to the IEEE1394/Firewire/iLink and watch the video on the laptop thanks to the great Video IN -> DV Out feature of this camera (I have used three different models of Sony Handycam with this feature, DCR-PC5, PC101 and PC330), and the quality is very high (720x480@24Mbps, 12/16 bit audio). The output can also be captured and encoded in real time either using Windows (Premiere or Studio) or Linux (dvgrab, Kino).

    Unfortunately, there are some minor issues. First there is some small latency on the video conversion that could be annoying in some fast-paced games (fighting games are definitely affected), and I'm sure this is the case with a lot of Video Capture hardware. The second issue is that it doesn't have a tuner.

    For me, those issues are not a problem because I mostly play PSO (an online action RPG with very mild latency requirements, but even Mario Kart is very much playable, only Soul Calibur II has given me trouble so far) and I stay in hotels, so there's no need for a TV Tuner either.

    Of course, YMMV =)
  • The AIW 9700 Pro card should be significantly cheaper than the 9800 Pro since it's about 1.5 generations behind ATI's current product set. Last I remember, ATI was providing Linux binary-only divers [ati.com] for the 9700 Pro which enabled accelerated video. The Gatos project [sourceforge.net]enables the TV tuner on these ATI cards.

    I'm currently on my third AIW card, the AIW 9800 Pro, and I'm not sure I'd want to use anything else.

    BTW, you don't need a TV tuner card to use your PS2 with your computer monitor. You can get a P [newandusedvideogames.com]
  • by Anonymous Coward
    A few months ago i bought the cheapest Hauppauge card i could find. At first i was disappointed by the picture quality, but I soon found out that the software that comes with it is some of the poorest i've ever seen. long story short, use Dscaler when in windows and tvtime in linux
  • I get a stellar picture from a Tivo or a PS/2 (and a dv cam) by running the video through a converter box such as the cheesebox [tvone.com]. It also has a switch/passthough on it to run your vga through. Sicne I have 2 vga monitors on my dual head video card, I switch out the 2nd monitor to watch the tivo output, or the ps2, at full screen, and then my pc still has the primary monitor going.

    Other companies also make fancier switchboxes, and they mostly suck and cost more. Make sure you can return them, or else you
  • $48 with shipping [newegg.com].

    I love mine.

    You can record from the TV tuner, or the S-Video input.

  • Strange... (Score:3, Funny)

    by /dev/trash ( 182850 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @05:56PM (#7818783) Homepage Journal
    Who would buy someone without a TV a Playstation 2 and a Mini DV outfit?

    Secondly wouldn't buying a TV be cheaper and simpler?
  • This past Christmas, I recieved a PS2 along with a mini-dv camera set. Well, now I'll need something to view these with since I don't have a television in my apartment. So, I was looking into picking up a TV-tuner card for my computer.

    Who else thinks the crap we call TV deserves to be ditched for good? Yeah. That way they will probably start bombarding us less with ads and start broadcasting decent stuff.

    I do my part checking in newspapers (and the net) what I want to see and NOT keeping it turned on i

  • Mini-DV (Score:3, Interesting)

    by rf0 ( 159958 ) * <rghf@fsck.me.uk> on Saturday December 27, 2003 @06:04PM (#7818818) Homepage
    For the actual DV you might want to look at Kino as its a stable editor for raw DV footage

    Rus
  • By the looks of the sugguestions here, people are pointing out to the PVR 250 [google.com] and 350 [google.com] series that runs between $135-$200 on froogle.

    For that price you could pick up a decent Television [bestbuy.com] to watch your movies and TV while you're trolling on /.

    It would just make more sense to me.. unless you really want to turn your rig into a TiVo, i would just buy a TV. You'll most likely be using your extra hard disk space to rip movies from your camera anyway, not to save episodes of star trek. Let others do that and get
  • Multi-tasking. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by servasius_jr ( 258414 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @06:17PM (#7818866)
    Just get a TV for fifty bucks at a pawn shop. It'll probably either be stolen, or have been hocked by someone in desperate straits, so in a sense you'll be trafficing in human misery, but hey, can't beat the prices. That way you'll be able to surf porn while you're watching Letterman.
  • this card uses the bttv driver, and the remote works with lirc.
    the remote is really bad, if you ask me. I used lirc, a serial IR reciever and another remote with applications like mythtv and tvtime just fine. the stock remote IR reciever wont work with other remotes.
    I hope this is of some help to the /. crowd.
  • BTTV for Solaris! [sourceforge.net] It has drivers for Solaris x86 and Solaris UltraSPARC.
  • by omega9 ( 138280 ) on Saturday December 27, 2003 @06:43PM (#7818968)
    I've been using a Hauppauge WinTV PCI w/ FM for a few years now and have no complaints. It's got good sounding stereo sound and with a good enough antenna the FM reception is very good too. CPU utilization while watching TV depends on the app. With xawtv it's practically zero, with tvtime it sits around 10% (due to picture smoothing, etc..). That card is moving into a MythTV box at the moment.

    The Hauppauge PVR250 is on my current shopping list. MythTV supports the 250s hardware mpeg encoding, so you can record without putting pressure on your CPU. I'm sure the same is true for it's own Windows application.

    You might also look for a VGA converter for your PS/2. Lets you plug your PS/2 straight into your monitor. Pick up a KVM with it and you're set.
  • ...the Leadtek Winfast TV2000XP Deluxe [leadtek.com] seems to work better under Linux than it does under Windows. It's just another BT878-based capture card with TV/FM tuner and a remote control, but the WDM driver supplied by Leadtek sucks ass (try getting both audio and video working with it) and the capture/PVR software drops frames. This driver [sourceforge.net] and this capture program [sourceforge.net] work much better under Windows.

    Under Linux, you can use the kernel bttv driver, the current CVS of lirc [lirc.org], and MythTV [mythtv.org] to make a PVR that works bette

  • There is the HD-2000 over at www.pchdtv.com it receives HDTV and outputs the ATSC bit stream which can be dumped to hard drive or piped into xine. It also claims to receive NTSC broadcasts, so I imagine it has an MPEG encoder on it (not sure yet). The drivers are 100% OSS for Linux, but someone will probably do a windoze port at some point. It does NOT have a cable tuner (only broadcast) so you need one of those antenna things. If you're looking to the future, you need HDTV - all my local stations are broad
  • I know that's probably not what a lot of posts are saying here, but since I'm not at home and am thus on a modem, I really don't want to sit here and pay to read all the comments, so here's my $0.02 for free ;)

    I have a Hauppauge WinTV PCI card, it's based on the bt878 chipset and it is perfectly adequate for watching TV on the not very good reception I get in my room. I have connected it to my PS2 before and, even in fullscreen (perhaps especially in fullscreen), the quality is disappointing compared to a
  • If you want to view your DV-video camera, a firewire card is going to give you a much better image than sampling analog output with a video capture/tuner card.
  • ...because the gatos project's goods just don't cut it. It's in permanent pre-alpha. You'll be lucky if you can get any of it working at all.
  • I have one of these cards, and it's Linux support is still in development. While it does work, it doesn't do audio, and it doesn't support overlay yet.

    These cards use a Conexant CX88xx chipset, so stick with like a TV Wonder VE or TV Wonder PCI if you want Linux support. The picture on the TV Wonder Pro is much better than the TV Wonder VE, but...

    You can follow the driver development at http://bytesex.org/cx88/ if you have one of these cards.
  • Easy answer is to it the hardware way. Pick up a video to VGA [svideo.com] box. Makes it so you computer doesn't even need to be on when playing games.
  • Ask DVDRHelp (Score:3, Informative)

    by Rufus211 ( 221883 ) <<gro.hsikcah> <ta> <todhsals-sufur>> on Saturday December 27, 2003 @08:16PM (#7819337) Homepage
    Ask DVDR/VCDhelp.com, they probably know far more. Also look through their Capture Card list [dvdrhelp.com] which includes a checkbox if it works under linux.
  • or you could just go to a pawn shop and pick up a used tv.

    You'd be amazed at how far $50 will go in a pawn shop.

    If the only reason you're getting a tv-input card is so you can view your PS2 and MiniDV camera on your PC then you're better off spending the $$ on a real TV.

  • by thelizman ( 304517 ) <hammerattack @ y a h o o .com> on Sunday December 28, 2003 @01:59AM (#7820515) Homepage
    For just plain TV (erm, cable too) I've been using an AverTV card (www.avermedia.com). It's no frills, PCI based, and you need to connect it to your sound card via a jumper. But, it's based on the Brooktree 848 card, which you can use with your native Kernel and the Video4Linux subsystem. For the tuner software, you can use the default XawTV that comes with most applications, but I highly recommend TV Time (tvtime.sourceforge.net). It's very high quality with high reliability, low system foot print, a tidy on screen display, intuitive features, and it interfaces with XML TV to display channel information. You can also add LiRC support and use a remote control. Now, I haven't had much luck getting PVR software (freevo, mythtv) but that's not the cards fault. Freevo has too much dependancy on other applications, particularly perl modules, and mythtv is handicapped by a shoddy python install. Rumor from the developer of TV Time is that it will eventually include PVR capability.

    AverTV is about the cheapest BT848 based unit out there, and they make higher models with stereo and dbx support built in, so you can check those out. I don't even own a TV, and havent for two years. I'm always in front of this damn machine. BTW, the Linux applications are far superior in stability, color, and frame rate than the included Windows software.
  • G400 eTV (Score:3, Insightful)

    by cgleba ( 521624 ) on Sunday December 28, 2003 @12:29PM (#7821913)

    The G400 eTV is a nice card:

    see here [matrox.com]
    • Dual-head with tv-out so you can have a movie display on the TV while working on your monitor
    • Very good high TV-out quality (some say it is one of the best out there)
    • You can pick it up cheap on ebay
    • Perhaps the best supported graphics hardware under linux
    • Special support in mplayer for beautiful movie display
    • Hardware MJPEG compression for capture
    • Nice break-out-box with RCA in/out as well as svideo in/out
    • All this in one AGP card

    Drawbacks:
    • Current Linux driver does not do DMA for plain v4l (non-MJPEG) capture -- it does memcpy() which is CPU intensive. I'm looking to add support to the driver at some point when I finish reading the SPECS.
    • Capture driver does not play well with the framebuffer driver. Again I'm looking to help fix this at some point


    The nicest thing about the card is that specs for most of the chips are avaiable if you wish to hack it.
    To see more about the linux support:

    See here. [sourceforge.net]

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