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It' a nice card and the output is fine and dandy. But that's exactly where my problem lies with this card. It's JUST fne and dandy. For the money you pay for hauppauge I expect a wonderful image, crisp audio, extra input sockets and a nice application interface. What you're getting is a bog-standard card, software with a very 'Visual Basic' interface and little else other than the name. Yes, the card will record to MPEG-1 Yes, the card has good audio Yes, the card has the standard COAX input Yes, the card obvisouyl has a quality build process behind it. Yes, the card is overpriced for what you get these days.
This has to have been one of my many risks i take when buying hardware. I bought this second hand, it's so old now you can't buy it new. What a waste of a tenner! First of all it's very poor when it comes to P&P it had to be tried in 3 different PCI slots before it worked, and no it's not just me i tryed it at a mates house he required two different PCI slots tried before it worked. That I can handle, conflicts happen. However the software, i downloaded the latest software from the manufactures website is very poor the remote is very blocky and requires a very straight line between it and the IR sensor. Now, to the main point of getting these, watching TV, Videos and playing consoles on your PC, all of these are possible and the tuning software is VERY good that much can be said! However the picture quality is horrific! It's just lots of lines next to each other but it is very easy to see the seperate lines! This make watching TV and Video not too fun as you can imagine, and laying a console on it impossible. The sound is surprisingly good for mono thats the only thing possitive i can say about this card. Final verdict go for a newer WIN TV card like the Win TV FM or Win TV GO!
I purchased a PC with a WinTV card about 18 months ago. I fiddled with the card for a while and got bored. I tried recording from our camcorder onto a CD with reasonable (but not exciting) results) and that was that. When I gutted the system 6 months later, I removed the card and haven't touched it until now. My computer room is now being turned into a nursery (btw, this is the 2nd time I've lost a computer room to a baby). It was decided, due to space, that we ought to combine the TV, video and PC and make one complete audio/visual experience. My first idea (which I am experimenting with at present) was to refit the TV card and connect our video to the PC. Along with a DVD ROM drive and 4-speaker surround sound system with bass woofer, the plan was complete. Now we don't get a decent reception in our house from the ariel, so the quality is now totally necessary. Last night I laid in bed and watched TV via the PC and found it an unusual experience, to say the least. After a 20" TV, the 17" monitor is a little smaller, however it's "do-able". The sound quality is unbelievable and I can cope with the acceptable picture (satellite is better via the card, so when I get the video connected it should improve things). My only gripes at present are I have no remote device for the card (if my wife's happy with TV card, I'll buy a better one with stereo, remote and radio) and the noise of the fans keeping my PC cool. The novelty of the whole thing is interesting and I'm going to try recording programmes with it sonetime (though with a video recorder connected that doesn't make much sense anyway). As a combined unit, being able to watch TV, video, DVD and listen to CDs is a great idea. At present, I am on the net, downloading an mp3 AND watching TV!
Even if the card is a bit older, it's one of the best cards you can get for this money. I bought it, because I hadn't enough space for a TV set and I was looking for an alternative. This card also still exists but it has the name WinTV PCI-FM and this version has a few more channels and the BT878A chip, that allows also to use the card a radio card. The rest of the card is still the same. The installation ================= It's a small act and it's also not difficult, but you have to look out, that you don't forget some small things that are relevant for the proper installation. Of course you'll need DirectX, the Version 3.0 should be enough, but I think, I don't need to tell, that no actual game runs with a DirectX version unter 6.1. :) Of course you'll have to open the computer, put the card into a free PCI port and install the drivers. After the installation there will appear two control windows. One of this informs about which IRQ, memory block, etc. the card now uses and the second one informs if something has gone wrong. At the best case you get the message 'Good News! A compatible VGA card has been found' and you may start now to search for the channels. If the screen on the WinTV program stays blue, you should check then if the antenna cable has been plugged. Now you can install the drivers for the remote control and the video text software. Don't forget to plug in the IR-receiver before you start to curse that the remote control is not working. :) You'll not need to configurate the remote control, because if you have installed already the drivers it should be configured then. The features ============= Like I written, you have a remote control, that is also pretty easy to use and allows to zap like on a real TV set. Unfortunatelly, it's not possible to navigate with this remote control the video text. You can use it either for antenna or for cable
TV and you may also plug in a video recorder over the composite / s-video plug. Another advantage is, that there is a possibility to capture the pictures with a resolution up to 1600 x 1200. Also video sequences are possible. You may choose between the different kinds of codecs that you have installed that even recording on SMR or Divx codecs is possible. The software for the video text lets you to navigate very comfortable and fast through the video text, but the software has also some bugs. You have there one surface for the whole video text and inside it there are small windows, every window for one site. You can navigate with arrows through the sites which have more than one site, so there is no need to wait for the next side. The compatibility ================== The card works on PC's up from P100 with 16MB RAM and a 2MB VGA card. If you have an older card, then might be wondering because Hauppauge indicates that the card works though with some types of VGA card, what might be not true. I tried out to run the card with a S3 Trio64+ and S3 Virge and the card doesn't work on both cards, even if Hauppauge claims that it should work. The software works on Windows 9x/ME/2000 and in mono on NT4.0, but if you look at the right places, you'll also find the right driver and BT878 compatible software for Linux but it's not authorised software from Hauppauge. The last few words ==================== Even if you have a 15'' monitor is the WinTV PCI a good alternative. The quality of the picture is much better then on normal TV sets what I'd also explain that even older monitors have a better aperture mask then a TV set. The software is also pretty easy to use and the remote control makes it possible to lean back on a couch and watch the TV as you are accustomed on a normal TV set. I can really recommend this card, but if you want only to use such a card as a toy, the
n I can recommend you a cheaper variant, the WinTV Go. (c)ewka - 16th Sept. 2001 on dooyoo Germany 15th Oct. 2001 - translated to english