Quantcast Compare Different HDTVs and HD Capture Devices! - digitalFAQ.com Forums [Archives]
  #1  
08-28-2005, 10:58 AM
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As the age of HDTV is upon us, I am starting to compare different TV's and capture devices. There appear to be several capture cards on the market and discussions on broadcast captures and cable captures via firewire (on some set top boxes). There are many local stations here broadcasting in hidef (NTSC).

I'm primarily interested in a card to be installed in my computer, much like the PVR-250 I now use. I'm quite happy with the PVR-250 analog captures, but need a new toy!

Any suggestions / comments would be appreciated. I've read several discussions on various forums, but get no clear idea how effective HDTV capture is and which capture board is best. I'm sure other forum members are investigating this by now.
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  #2  
08-28-2005, 04:48 PM
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I'm not shure but I dont think that REAL HDTV will be broadcastet in the known analog way. As standard NTSC is still active 648x486 @ 60Hz @ 525Lines.
So I "think" you have to go for DVB and there you have DVB-T, DVB-C and shurely DVB-S. Here in Gemany DVB-T gots the worst Bitrates, followed by DVB-C via Cable and finally via DVB-S Satellite where sometimes Movies are transmitted as full HDTV Signal. The US are far more advanced in that as much more TV Stations do provide full HDTV (but I do assume NOT via the common analog way as its a digital technology).

If you want to get BEST quality including AC3 5.1 Sound, go via DVB-S as that one (at least in germany) provides best bitrates and in case of 1280x720p or even 1920x1080i mega high Bitrates are needed to receive such resolutions WITHOUT getting heavy DCT Artefacts.
Digital alone means nothing, only digital and high bitrates gives the quiality someone expects from digital TV

The SkystarII DVB Series Cards are known for best compatibility in case of HDTV as they aren't limited that much in their bandwith.

In case of DVB-T the low Bitrates do result from the transmitter as one transmitter using 14,75Mhz which was used for ONE analog TV channel before often is now used for FOUR digital TV-Channels.
Means....

14,75 / 4 = 3,68Mhz = 3.68 Mbit = 3776 kbit per channel for EVERYTHING, means for EPG, Audio, Subs, stuff and last but not least the video which often does result in 2500kbits to 3000kbits. But these are not the way encoded as we use to do it! Much more worse as a dynamical multiplexing and on the fly hardware encoder does its job.
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08-30-2005, 08:02 PM
Dano Dano is offline
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You mean ATSC. As far as I know there is no higher quality. If you live near a major city like I do, you will pull in several stations. I am quite pleased with my ATI HDTV Wonder. The price is right and you get an analog tuner as well. You will need a DX 9 capable card and a modern cpu. I have mine with a P4 2.4 and a Radeon 9800. I have also tried it in my Athlon 64 3200 with dual Geforce 6600GT's and it worked quite well there too. I don't think this card is manufactured anymore due to the broadcast flag so you might see supplies dry up. Best Buy was selling them for a mere $119 but I don't see them listed on their site anymore. If you go ahead and make the plunge I will be happy to help if need be. Beware, this could ruin your taste for analog capture.
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08-30-2005, 08:06 PM
Dano Dano is offline
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This is why I opted for an Over The Air (OTA) card.

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=574980
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08-31-2005, 03:20 AM
incredible incredible is offline
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Thats the main issue posted in the Link above:
Quote:
Cable and satellite companies are compressing HD video so they can fit and send more programming over their networks. Picture quality is being sacrificed and will continue to be sacrificed
HDTV in a QUALITY that equals the HDTV purpose is nearly impossible to be send via DVB Satellite/Cable/Air. If a transpoder would broadcast only one channel then this could be realized. But the reality is that "they" want to fit on one transponder in the Satellite as most channels as they can.
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08-31-2005, 07:12 AM
nicksteel nicksteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano
You mean ATSC. As far as I know there is no higher quality. If you live near a major city like I do, you will pull in several stations. I am quite pleased with my ATI HDTV Wonder. The price is right and you get an analog tuner as well. You will need a DX 9 capable card and a modern cpu. I have mine with a P4 2.4 and a Radeon 9800. I have also tried it in my Athlon 64 3200 with dual Geforce 6600GT's and it worked quite well there too. I don't think this card is manufactured anymore due to the broadcast flag so you might see supplies dry up. Best Buy was selling them for a mere $119 but I don't see them listed on their site anymore. If you go ahead and make the plunge I will be happy to help if need be. Beware, this could ruin your taste for analog capture.
My latest machine (Gateway dual core) has built in video (no separate card). Would I have to disable this and add video card?
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  #7  
08-31-2005, 05:35 PM
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I believe the lowest anyone has used with good results is a Radeon 9600. I think onboard graphics would be a problem.
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08-31-2005, 06:52 PM
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Just as a slightly askew point, ATI are due to release an X800 based All-in-Wonder card with a built in DVB-T tuner. Allthough silicon is around mostly for reviews, I would expect retail around 4th quarter. Of course this is only of use if you go down the DVB-T route, which in the UK isn't that bad, not brilliant, but not bad.
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  #9  
09-16-2005, 09:30 AM
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Am experimenting with downloaded HDTV capture sample clip. Wish to convert to 704 x 480 progressive.

Which settings should I use in DGIndex or DVD2AVI to create d2v acceptable to FitCd and TMPGEnc (via avs file)?

What settings should I use in TMPGEnc?

Clip information from Womble:

File Type: MPEG-2 Transport
File Size: 71.00 Mb
Clip Start Offset: 0.00 Sec
Clip Length: 29.12 Sec

Video ID: 224 <3713>
Format: MPEG-2
Size: 1920 x 1088 (9/16)
Frame Rate: 29.97 Frames/Sec
Bit Rate: 17050.8 kbps (Constant)
Total Length: 00:00:29:03 (29.13 / 873)

Audio ID: 189 <3716>
Format: Dolby AC-3
Channel: 2
Bit Rate: 384 kbps
Sample Rate: 48.0 kHz
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  #10  
09-18-2005, 11:05 AM
nicksteel nicksteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dano
You mean ATSC. As far as I know there is no higher quality. If you live near a major city like I do, you will pull in several stations. I am quite pleased with my ATI HDTV Wonder. The price is right and you get an analog tuner as well. You will need a DX 9 capable card and a modern cpu. I have mine with a P4 2.4 and a Radeon 9800. I have also tried it in my Athlon 64 3200 with dual Geforce 6600GT's and it worked quite well there too. I don't think this card is manufactured anymore due to the broadcast flag so you might see supplies dry up. Best Buy was selling them for a mere $119 but I don't see them listed on their site anymore. If you go ahead and make the plunge I will be happy to help if need be. Beware, this could ruin your taste for analog capture.

Went ahead and ordered ATI card today. Need antenna advice. I'm in "yellow" area (Houston), and within 30-50 miles of station (checked on requirements on antenna site). So many brands, etc, that I'm confused. I want best "bang for the buck" outside VHF/UHF that doesn't require rotor.

Also, need to find out more on encodeing the captures. I now capture with PVR-250.

Also, need to know if there is a site similiar to TitanTV that I use with WinTV Scheduler for my PVR-250. One that lists the shows and allows you to click on them to schedule recording.
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09-19-2005, 08:12 AM
nicksteel nicksteel is offline
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Have managed to load clip (see above message) into DGIndex v1.4.3 and save project as NTSC interlaced as no FILM is indicated. It does detect 16x9. In order to save audio, I have to set audio to AC3 in "Stream". Audio ends up out of synch.

DGIndex "Stream" options are:

Detect PIDs: PAT/PMT
Detect PIDs: Raw (I am using this option to set audio to AC3)
Set PIDS

DGIndex "Video" options are:

Honor Pulldown Flags
Ignore Pulldown Flags (I am using this option)
Forced Film

DGIndex "Options" include:

Force open GOPs in D2V File (I'm not using, what is this?)

Which options should I be using in DGIndex?

I then load into FitCD v128 as 1920 x 1088 in, downsizing to 704x480.

Load Lancos resize line into AVS script and process with TMPGEnc.

In TMPGEnc, I am presently encoding as interlaced, 704x480, 4:3 out. The output look very good so far.

I then mux/author with DVDLab Pro.

Any advice (especially about the audio sync) would be appreciated. I've never worked with HDTV captures before.
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  #12  
09-19-2005, 11:28 AM
Boulder Boulder is offline
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Did you try creating the project with honor pulldown flags enabled?

Why not encode as 16:9?
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  #13  
09-19-2005, 12:27 PM
nicksteel nicksteel is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulder
Did you try creating the project with honor pulldown flags enabled?

Why not encode as 16:9?
Will try tonight with pulldown flags enabled and will set 16:9 flag in TEMPGEnc.

Most of my problems result from my ignorance with HDTV. I've never had a non-analog capture before with my PVR-250. Also, when I tried to telecide/decimate, the film was jerky. It will not open in VirtualDub, so I couldn't check frame-by-frame for interlacing. Will figure it out, one step at a time. I hope the actual captures (ati board should arrive soon) will be good quality.

I have no idea how to set the following, so used "trial and error". It will certainly not create an AC3 without a stream audio setting.

DGIndex "Stream" options are:

Detect PIDs: PAT/PMT
Detect PIDs: Raw (I am using this option to set audio to AC3)
Set PIDS

I hope Incredible's new effort will be able handle these new sizes, as more and more people will be trying HDTV captures.
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09-19-2005, 12:35 PM
Boulder Boulder is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nicksteel
Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulder
Did you try creating the project with honor pulldown flags enabled?

Why not encode as 16:9?
Will try tonight with pulldown flags enabled and will set 16:9 flag in TEMPGEnc.
Don't just set the flag in TMPGEnc, you must also enable anamorphic in FitCD to get the correct resizing etc.
Quote:
I hope Incredible's new effort will be able handle these new sizes, as more and more people will be trying HDTV captures.
Not in Europe though..I even still have good ol' analogue TV and not DVB-capable. I don't want to watch the 3Mbps crap video they stuff out here.
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  #15  
09-19-2005, 12:44 PM
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Quote:
Don't just set the flag in TMPGEnc, you must also enable anamorphic in FitCD to get the correct resizing etc.
Yeah, I know to do that. Thanks. I agree that TV generally sucks and I still have analog TV's. Will be changing over to HDTV in a few months, mostly for DVD's. Just wanted to play with HDTV files for a while.
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  #16  
09-23-2005, 06:11 PM
Dano Dano is offline
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The easiest method for converting to 480p is to use ATI MMC Library to export to mpeg2. You can double click on one of the templates and edit to your liking. If you record as "SW" you will end up with multiple segments and this export step will be required, if you record as "HW" it will give you a single mpeg2. I sometimes end up with a corrupt file which I think are due to audio dropouts from a bad signal or maybe just severe fragmentation. I have found GB-PVR to give a superior viewing experience plus it has different mux options. I am going to try capturing the transport stream directly ".ts" and see if this helps to eliminate any errors encountered during processing. Regarding IVTC, you will need to do a fake IVTC for 720p since it is 59.94 fps progressive (or just convert to 29.97 to ensure no jerkiness) and run Pulldown:

selecteven()
decimate()

For 1080i you can run a normal IVTC.

As far as an antenna goes, the one included with the HDTV Wonder is actually quite good, although, it sounds like you will need at least a signal booster based on where you are located. I am fortunate in that I am roughly in between two cities, Boston MA and Providence RI so I pickup a ton of channels. I will try to check back more often to help out.
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  #17  
09-23-2005, 06:21 PM
Dano Dano is offline
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Titan TV is supposed to work with MMC 9.08 but don't even bother with that version, it is easily the most messed up version ever released by ATI, stick with 9.06.01. Once you get it set up right GB-PVR is a breeze to schedule.

http://gbpvr.com/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/C...fineHDTVSource

It just dawned on me where you live and I hope everything goes ok with the hurricane.
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  #18  
10-04-2005, 11:29 AM
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Recently purchased an OEM ATI Wonder HDTV board to install on my Gateway dual-processor 2.8GHz with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005.

I understand that the board will only do HDTV under Windows XP Media Center without the existance of a second analog tuner card. This is no problem, as I wish only to record OTA HDTV on this machine. I prefer not to install an add-on graphics card on the computer. It will play downloaded HDTV sample files as is. I live in Houston, so have strong nearby stations. My primary interest is in HDTV captures.

The board came with a cd, cables, etc. I cannot find ATI Multimediacenter anywhere during the installation. I have downloaded "windowsxpmediacenter2005-kb873369-enu" from Microsoft and "hdtv-wonder-5-01_2026v2" from ATI.

Am completely confused by the installation information. Can someone who has installed this on Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 list the exact sequence of steps and software needed?

If nothing else works, will try to install the thing in my old computer along with the PVR-250.
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10-04-2005, 07:41 PM
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From www.avsforum.com

RogueWarrior 11-09-04 07:14 PM

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

After MUCH work (steps below) I have AIW 9800 pro and HDTV Wonder recording at the same TIME!! I can even watch a DVD while they are recording (or a previously recorded show!!) This thing ROCKS!! ATI MMC eats dust now

So steps:

1) Clean install of mce 2005 - while installing it will ask for disk two (insert disk 2). Then it will ask for "Windows XP Professionsal Service Pack2" - this is just disk one of MCE. Follow through the initialization and you are ready for step 2

2) Install MOBO drivers (sound, LAN, etc)

3) Run ALL updates - including mce 2005 rollup, etc. I mean ALL except for drivers (that comes later).

Things like .Net and the sort. Reboot after each install.

4) Now you will either see ? in the device manager for the HDTV wonder or you will not. If you do - unpack the cab file I have attached and use the drivers in the cab file. For each unknown device point the wizard to the unpacked directory and then reboot after all drivers are found.

5) Install the DTV Decoder from ATI's website: http://www2.ati.com/drivers/atiCDwiz4-0.exe It will ask you for the original CD that came with the HDTV Wonder - insert the CD and then follow the instructions. Then reboot.

6) Next get the kram hacked drivers for the AIW card from the following site:

http://www.xpmce.com/forum/ftopic88674.html

7) unpack the zip file and run setup from root directory - then after the setup is complete - Reboot

MCE will startup and ask for the drivers - point the wizard at the EHOMEAIW\WDM_XP directory.

9) Point the setup to this directory for all the drivers needed. Now you are good to go (reboot again just to be safe).

10) No more unknown hardware errors should occur and you should be good to go.

11) MAKE sure that the antenna cables are attached.

12) Start up mediacenter and go to settings TV and setup the TV Tuners.

13) You will first configure the AIW and then the HDTV wonder.

Hope that helps some people!

Alec:

1) This will answer question #1

2) You can only reference the AIW tuner and the HDTV tuner on the HDTV Wonder (have not tried to address the analog tuner - but MCE has not given me the option anyway - so I guess no )

3) I use the HDTV wonder remote and the plugin from this web site:
http://remotew.free.fr/plugins.htm#MCE

All the best!
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  #20  
10-09-2005, 11:42 AM
nicksteel nicksteel is offline
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Finally got my HDTV card running on my XP Home machine. As it records in .VCR (MPEG1), how do I convert to MPEG2? The book mentions a required conversion from the media library.

Never mind. Found out that you convert in media library.
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