Recording with a TV Tuner card. Help!!

Discussion in 'Video Games and Technology' started by Hook, Oct 25, 2008.

  1. Hook

    Hook Out of Options Veteran

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    I've had this Mercury PCI TV tuner card sitting in the bottom of a drawer for years now and finally decided to install it today.

    The TV tuner works great, although the included software looks kinda outdated. I tried recording TV shows with it, but it produces HUGE files and the picture quality isn't great.

    Any suggestion as to what software I could use? I've read that some software offer realtime compression while recording?

    Any info would be appreciated.
     
  2. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    If you have MCE it should provide all of the software required (outside of drivers) to run the card and record.

    If not, you might want to consider some third party freeware MCE-like programs. Such as: SesamTV Media Center - free home media center software

    Or maybe updating the software (Mercury's website has some of the software on their site located here: Mercury - Expect More)

    I wouldn't expect miracles out of the picture quality either... TV Tuner/Capture Cards are great, but the quality depends on the hardware in the card and the machine itself. Plus, considering the age of the card, I'd imagine it's analog only, and to be honest, there's going to be some degradation during the encoding process.

    I have a HP ExpressCard TV Tuner (ATSC/NTSC) and the picture quality is pretty good, no doubt, but it's not perfect, and there's a lag sometimes due to my computer being just above basic requirements. Don't get me wrong, it's worth the money I paid for it, but the quality does suffer, and I've checked Google several times and everything pointed to "Eh, you're gonna lose a bit of quality."

    You could try downloading WinTV 6 or WinTV 2000 (which is what I use) and see how that works for you. (WinTV is made for Hauppauge cards (which is what mine is, HP merely rebranded it.) but you can download it free on their website.)

    There's also Orb. (I forget how it works, but it works with TV Tuner Cards.) MyCast your digital media with Orb 2.0 remote pc access software

    I hope some of this, any of it, helps.

    One more thing... my card records in SVCD or DVD formats, if you want better quality, you'll need to set it to DVD, but it's going to record upwards of 6 gigs or so for an hour's worth of video. (This is why HD DVRs with 80-120 GB HDDs fill up so quick.) SVCD will lose some quality, for sure, but the file size won't be nearly as large.

    That's one of the prices of turning your TV in a media center, it requires a lot of power, a good program, and a lot of space.
     
  3. ShortCircuit

    ShortCircuit Decepticon

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    I dunno.

    Never messed w Pci tuners.

    I was reading some posts from 2004 about mercury and its a cheaper card but it does the job nicely. Also it said something about the capture "chip" on the card if it was a good one or a bad one and that plays a role in capturing.

    But I was also reading something about AVI's, freeware shareware, I think theres alot of stuff out there but be careful dling junk you might get a feeware virus somewhere when your frustrated and you just want a program that works lol.

    I think you are more interested in softwae that will capture in a format you might be used to using like for instance, if you have XP, windows media player capturing to a WMV so it suits media player might be the better choice. Or download a different media player all together. Or else I think you might have to do 2 stages, convert AVI into WMV to play in your player.

    I hope Im not just jutting out garbage here and you already kinda know this stuff.

    digitalFAQ.com | How to Capture AVI
     
  4. Mixmaster

    Mixmaster logh ghot SIS yoD TFW2005 Supporter

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    I used mess with PC TV tuners. Getting stable drivers that functioned correctly was always a pain in the arse. Never again.
     
  5. Hook

    Hook Out of Options Veteran

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    Thanks for the info, guys. I've installed and uninstalled several different applications this weekend, but I think I've found one that does a pretty good job so far. Right now I'm using InterVideo WinDVR.

    Anyone familiar with it?
     
  6. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Will Titan TV interface with Mercury?
     
  7. AnimatedFan

    AnimatedFan Banned

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    This should have all of the info you'll need about it, or at least a rough idea.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/InterVideo_WinDVR

    I have no idea, since this is the first I've heard of Mercury, but if he has MCE (XP or Vista) it has it's own built in EPG, eliminating the need for Titan TV. (Although I love Titan. It's really handy.)
     
  8. Smasher

    Smasher HUNKY BEATS

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    Yeah. I work with MCE for a living and have never heard of Mercury, but I am working from an assumption.

    I'd be interested to see if MCE had hooks for it.
     
  9. Weirdwolf

    Weirdwolf TFYLP Podcast Founder TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've got a Tuner card related question, maybe someone can help.

    I've got a Hauppauge HD Tuner, PCI-e, that just won't seem to work right. I mean, I can pick up video, it'll record video, and playback is fine. I just can't watch live feeds because the video and audio is extremely choppy. I've updated all the drivers and such, but nothing works. My computer is a 2.2Ghz AMD Athlon PC with 2GB of RAM, and I have a 256MB ATI Radeon graphics card, so I don't think power is the issue. Any help?
     

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