As I said on a thread, I don't mind spending some extra money to find a better quality device (as you and others state that Canopus use old technology).
You mentioned the TV Wonder 600. Do you have any idea if this
would have the same quality?
It's probably a newer version of the 600 series.
As it's not expensive, I may buy it to try.
Purely guessing, I would imagine so. At least for VirtualDub
use (AVI captures), I'd bet it would work the same. However, my question comes in the way of supplied MPEG capturing software. If it comes with ATI Catalyst Media Center (ATI CMC), then you'll be fine. This is the part I don't know.
ATI released a lot of cards, internal and external, in the 500-, 600- and 700-series numbers. Diamond had what appear to be their own versions of ATI powered capture devices, too. I've never been entirely clear on which versions of which cards shared hardware, nor what software comes stock. There can also be issues on Windows XP vs Vista vs Win7.
After AMD bought ATI, some things got more complicated. It's no longer easy to discern product lines, as it was from 2000-2006, when the classic well-known cards were out -- the cards that made ATI a name in video capture. Back then, you have Radeon AIW cards, and all came with ATI MMC (not CMC, but MMC). And then there were the lower-end TV Wonder cards. Now it's less clear.
I also lost some of my ATI contacts, so I don't have as much information as I had 5 years ago.
The difference between "good" and "crap" has long been the software ATI supplies (or doesn't supply) with their hardware. I would be wary of any card that does not come with ATI CMC, or does not work with ATI CMC, in the current generations of cards. There are some cards that were released with third-party software that just doesn't work well. It's PVR software, and it's buggy. (Most PVR software is buggy, so that's not saying much.)
Reading some reviews online, it appears this card comes with ArcSoft PVR software -- and there are many complaints. So it may not have the best MPEG recording/capturing experience.
I'd opt for the 600 USB card, if I were you. I know it works.
One thing I may not like is the lack of hardware encoding. So I will always be afraid of losing frames if I capture and keep using the computer.
Hardware encoding is overrated. There are various drawbacks, be it in quality (like the softness of Hauppauge cards), or inabilities to capture AVI easily. Most ATI "software" encoding is hardware-assisted, at least historically. Some sort of communication between the ATI hardware and ATI software maintains sync and prevents dropped frames, unlike pure software options from third parties.
MPEG capturing generally hasn't been an issue in years, not since passing the single-core 2.5Ghz range. In the era of multi-core computers, there are rarely issues -- plenty of CPU power to go around.
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