TV Tuner question


Striking Master
1 Jun 2005
So I'm going to be upgrading my TV Tuner rather soon since... well... I think it would be better to have Digital cable signal on it as well as the HDTV over air thing. The other thing is the Remote needs upgrading anyways.

So I have been looking at the new ATI TV Tuners that were released as anyone else, for the things I want, I either have to end up paying $160+ or something lesser from no help to know if its a good choice.

But then it occured to me, there were multiple types of the TV Tuners.

Currently, mine is a PCI slot TV Tuner.

I have a PCI-Express x1, but not possible to connect with my HD 2900 XT in the way.
I could put one in the PCI-Express x16 2nd slot, but I don't know how well that will affect air flow from the primary video card as well as the temperatures to the TV Tuner themselves.
So all that's left is a PCI or USB.
I have thought about it a bit, but I would want the opinions of others here. Would it be better getting a PCI or USB TV Tuner? In case your wondering:
I use FM radio when I want to listen to music over the air or radio shows.
Would prefer to have the Remote handy.
As long as the TV Tuner works, quality is somewhat optional. I would want around the same quality or Better than with my WinFast TV2000 XP Expert provides.
I do hook up 2 consoles to the TV Tuner.

I think that should cover it.
I have a USB Hauppuage TV Tuner, and the quality on it is not that great. Eventhough it is over USB 2.0, and it is hardware MPEG2 on the device itself, just watching TV eats up 50% cpu time, also in general it seems like you can see the individual dots that make up the image video stream. It never seems to look all that great, until I move away from my computer screen, and then it looks okay.

I also have a PCI based Hauppuage card, I don't know the model number. The only problem I have had with it is so far is the fact that none of the encoding is done on the card, so the 2.4 Ghz machine I have is no really beefy enough to do recording and re-encoding from raw video to mpeg2 and deinterlace. So now I record not having it de-interlaced, and the video it creates looks fugly until I do a re-encode into mpeg4 for example and turn on de-interlace so that it can remove it. But I bet the cards you can get these days will do it all on-board.

I would personally suggest you go with the PCI based card, since generally they are faster and are able to do a lot more on board, and even then they don't have to depend on USB 2.0 and or limiting the way they interact. Not a big fan of USB tuners.
So the USB reaches its limit.
Its funny though... my winfast program only uses 1-3% of my 1st core's CPU for the tuner.

And according to the ATI TV Tuner's:
ATI Theater™ Video Processing Technology
  • Hardware MPEG-2 compression
  • Motion Adaptive 3D Comb Filter
  • Automatic Color Control
  • Automatic Gain Control
  • Noise Reduction
  • Edge Enhancement
So it should have less of a strain on the system.
That tuner looks like it would do a better job than the two I currently own. Go for it!

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