View Full Version : Where can I get a cheap tv tuner/capture?
06-08-2000, 05:56 AM
Can anyone tell me where I can get a cheap ATI TV Wonder card, or another card that is just as good (in the same price range) that's cheap? Thanks!
06-08-2000, 10:58 AM
hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha. just as good????? nothing that ati makes could ever be considered good in my opinion!!! haha. their customer service sucks!!! i went with a hauppauge win-tv card. works great, and their customer service is top notch! i have already gotten 3 replies from the rep in 2 days about a popping noise when changing channels.
06-08-2000, 11:17 AM
This isn't of much help for the original request, but yes, AVOID ATI at ALL costs. Their support is horrible, their drivers are worse.. the hardware itself is great, but if the software doesn't work worth a damn, what is it worth?
I've had an All In Wonder 128 for about a year now and it's been horrible. First one toasted my system (it blew out and somehow made everything else get corrupted in my Windows directory-- and I don't overclock!), second one is better but the software still sucks. Was just trying to record something off TV last night with it and it looked like it worked fine but when I went to watch it the files were corrupt.
[ok, sorry this is a rant now, the memories the above are just still fresh]
06-09-2000, 02:13 AM
Do you know where I can get a Hauppage win-tv or any other good tv tuner/capture card for cheap?
06-09-2000, 03:06 AM
I have one I'll sell to you if you want it (an ATI TV-Wonder that is). It's not that bad, IF you have the new drivers for it. The old software, sucked so bad I can't say here. The new, works great and you can even capture in real-time in mpg format (you may want a cpu faster than 400MHz, though).
$50, and that's shipped with a burned CD of the new software. You can get a (relatively) cheap version of the Win-TV about that price (no stereo, for example). The better version is closer to $100, but it's stereo and as a remote.
If you're using Win2K, there's no drivers yet for ATI (they should soon, just not yet). Win-TV does have Win2K drivers, I have no experience with them yet so I can't tell you about the quality.
Hope I helped?
06-09-2000, 04:19 AM
josetann, where did you get the new drivers? The ones I'm using I can't capture worth *&@%*&#@$*&@!!!
And at band camp. . . http://www.geocities.com/bandtour99
06-09-2000, 06:41 AM
Well, I know coleslaw knows his computers stuff, but can't speak for Justin.
Yet I have to disagree with their statements. I got an All In Wonder 128 after using Matrox for 4 years and I was very skeptical about ATI stability. True their website support sucks, but my card has been stable as hell and I'm running all kinds of stuff like medical imaging software and even a 2nd video card and 2nd monitor with no problems. My card captures fine on MPEG II on a [email protected]
Nothing short of a Matrox Marvel will do better than ATI for cheap video. Although they use an old PC to TV chip. Their new card in fall should have a new chip for awesome DVD playback.
I have a WinTV card (model 00404) from about 2 years ago when I had my Matrox G200. WinTV in my experience had horrible support and drivers 2 years ago (when they were new). Of course now things may have changed, but I'm not using the card so I can't say.
If you're interested in just doing still frames with the WinTV let me know. It seems about same quality level as my AIW 128 for still frame capture and on PC TV.
Ço£o§§ü§ - yeah you can read into it...
06-09-2000, 09:51 AM
yeah, and if you're into capturing streams that are compliant (VCD, for example), just buy a cheap card (you probably already know this) that captures avi, capture an avi using divx low motion with a high bitrate, and then convert it later using the panasonic encoder..on the fly capture of vcd compliant streams supposedly suck http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/frown.gif
that was the main reason i bought my aiw128 about 6-8 weeks ago, so it was a waste..oh well, I needed a decent 2d/3d card anyway (better than the s3 virge i had before)..btw, i'm using a p3 500, not overclocked.
06-09-2000, 11:35 AM
I also had an AIW and was fairly happy with it, however it did have some serious problems which eventually led me to get rid of it. I think you can have a bad experience with just about any manufacturer.
06-09-2000, 11:55 AM
Well, just for the record, my BS is in computer science, my Master's in information science and I work as a systems administrator.. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
It's definitely true you can have bad experiences with any maker-- but how the maker responds tells a lot. I have had to write the CEO of ATI *twice* now because of how upset I was with their support of my AIW 128. I'd send emails about problems, get a message back (2 weeks later) that had nothing to do with my original issue, so I'd send a clarification, get another message back being indignant that they understood what I meant, etc. The letters to the CEO help but as soon as one problem is solved another creeps up. (not so much stability issues, but "why do my video captures turn out corrupted?" and "why is there no sound?"... there's never an answer except reinstalling 10 different drivers until one takes)
I will say that it's about the only card that DOES do a decent "native" VCD capture, and that's a major hack to make work (but for how much I watch VCDs it's worth it to not have to re-encode). So it sucks-- I'm stuck with this card to make VCDs for my Apex and I hate it with a passion. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/wink.gif The drivers for the card suck horribly, check out the forums at http://www.rageunderground.com. If you don't do a major registry cleaning between driver installs it can corrupt your entire Windows install (I've had this happen to me twice).
The card/hardware is *great*, the drivers/software/company behind it suck. So it all averages out, I guess. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/rolleyes.gif
06-09-2000, 12:11 PM
My 2cents, FYI:
I've used a DC10+ and am now using an AllinWonderPro. The ATI video quality and capture is superior to everything except Matrox's high-end stuff. On top of that, My computer is very overclocked and the ATI card is solid as a rock. Do note, however that ATI's TV Wonder will prolly have some compatability problems if your primary display is not made by ATI or something they tested the TVW with.
Also: beta Drivers for Win2000 can be found in the "special purpose" drivers area of the ATI site.
06-09-2000, 06:24 PM
If you're just looking for cheap video-in, and don't need a new video card or a real tuner, you might just want to pick something like the <A HREF="http://www.compgeeks.com/cgi-bin/details.asp?cat=MultiMedia&sku=205-7401">Connectix/Logitech QuickClip</A> available at computergeeks for $16.25 for the parallel-port version and $24.50 for USB. They also sell a <A HREF="http://www.compgeeks.com/cgi-bin/details.asp?cat=MultiMedia&sku=205-4447">generic PCI capture card</A> for $19.00. I used to use one of these myself, before I got the ol' ASUS card with video i/o. Since I've got digital cable, a tuner doesn't do me much good, I'm stuck with either Channel 3 or video-in anyway, so something with a tuner and a remote is overkill for me. The s/w is crap, but for $20 you can't complain. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif I paid closer to $50 on the grey market. Can't tell you anything about the external boxes, as I haven't used them.
06-09-2000, 06:29 PM
Hey Justin42, mind telling me how you got "native" VCD capture (i'm assuming you meant on-the-fly, obviously)? I've been dying for a way to do that! That's the main reason I bought this aiw128..
06-09-2000, 08:23 PM
I have an extra STB one that came with my comp and I had already bought a WinTV. I will be willing to sell you the STB. It has svideo output and stereo output and input jacks. It also has a bult-in FM radio. It works great and I have the original driver cd. contact me if interested:
06-09-2000, 08:36 PM
Ok. I really didn't want to vent, but I have to agree. I was thoroughly disgusted with my ATI card. Afterwards somebody begged me to put one in their system so I did. The TV out was so bad it was almost unusable... and lets not talk about bad drivers... Anyhow, my dad bought a Studio DV+ and the software really has some bad issues with memory leaks and so-forth. He called and they told him there is no explicit warranty with the software (which they provide with the card)! Now that is bad service.
06-09-2000, 10:44 PM
Civic: Yep, you can do native VCD capture (straight into VCD compliant MPEG1) with the AIW 128.. just takes some persistance, and Multimedia Center 6.2.
Depending on when you bought you card, it came with either MMC 6.0 or 6.2 (you can tell by what it says when you start the TV). If you have 6.0, go to http://www.ati.com/forms/ATIMMC/mmc_form_original.html and they'll send you a 6.2 CD eventually.
Once you have that, install it (I installed it over 6.0 despite their warnings; uninstalling 6.0 first trashed my system!) and then go into the MPEG settings for video capture. (it's 2-3 layers deep in the Setup) Now, the important part: click "Default" and then click OK. DO NOT CHANGE ANYTHING ELSE. If you even TOUCH another control, and hit cancel, it will need to be reset (by clicking default).
This gives you a VCD-compliant MPEG1 capture in real time, with Motion Estimation of 3. (which is horrible) Depending on your CPU, you should set this as high as possible-- but you have to edit the registry. Go to:
HKLM\Software\ATI Technologies\Multimedia\Features\TV\Video Capture\MPEG\SizeGroup8 and change the MePerformance key to a higher number (between 1 and 20)-- on my P3/450 I can use 17. Be sure you enter it in hex.
If you have a faster CPU, try setting it up to 20-- if your video stutters when you play it back, kick it back a notch and try again, until you find a motion estimation that works well. (higher=better quality, 20 looks near VHS quality)
Again, you CANNOT change your capture settings without having to do all this again! But it does work, I've done it multiple times, and it DOES do a very nice job capturing.
(I wasn't sure if I should post this, but since it seems there are other ATI users here, this would be good to know since ATI has told me multiple times this is impossible!!! [to make VCD streams])
[I guess I should add to capture whatever using the normal methods, and the resulting file should work fine in VCD authoring software-- I use VCD Creator from the Easy CD Creator Deluxe 4 package, and while it's a bit roundabout, it produces good results.]
[This message has been edited by Justin42 (edited 06-09-2000).]
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