Video capture card

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Revision as of 08:12, 22 October 2006 by Juski (talk | contribs) (Capture Card Matrix)

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Video capture cards are used to get the picture from the cable, aerial, or satellite television source into the PC (compared to video display cards which provide output). It decodes and captures the video signal from the channel you want to record.

Types of cards

Analog framebuffer cards

These cards are usually based on a chipset like the Bt848/878 or Conexant cx2388x, and decode broadcast NTSC, PAL, or Secam television.

Analog Hardware-MPEG cards

These cards, currently the Hauppauge PVR-250 and Hauppauge PVR-350 and the AVerMedia M179, have a video processor onboard which compresses the tuned video signal into an MPEG-2 program stream before sending it into the computer. The tends to greatly reduce the load on the entire machine (with certain technical caveats), and these cards are recommended for.. well for all systems, really, but specifically, for systems with more than one, and especially more than 2 tuner cards.

Digital Hardware-MPEG cards

Digital broadcasting (for DVB at least) is in the form of an MPEG-2 transport stream, so unlike analog capture cards, there is no need for any kind of onboard encoding engine, the required program stream is extracted and handed directly to the computer for viewing or saving. Some cards have a hardware Program ID filter (hardware pid) which means the card can extract the required program stream from the transport stream itself.

In either case, the computer power required to save a DVB program (but not view it) is very small, being only what is required to shift data from the PCI/USB bus and save it to disk.

Capture Card Matrix

Here is a matrix, listing cards with their related drivers.

Card Driver Works with MythTV? Hardware-based encoding? CC Stream? CC MPEG2? Notes Reporter
Aimslab Video Highway Xtreme bttv Y N ? ? Non-standard internal audio-out pinout, but labeled on PCB. Requires BTTV Module parameters card=14 tuner=2 HeK
ATI All-in Wonder na N na na na Does not work with MythTV Unknown
ATI HDTV Wonder kernel >= 2.6.15, cx88-dvb Y N  ?  ? broadcast HDTV Unknown
ATI TV-Wonder bttv Y N Y ? Discontinued Unknown
ATI TV-Wonder Pro cx88xx Y N ? N This is the Conexant based card Lucidity
ATI TV-Wonder VE bttv Y N Y ? Discontinued Unknown
AVerMedia M179 IVTV stable Y Y ? ? Unknown
AVerMedia DVB-T 771 bttv I believe Y Y ? ? WhyTey
ComPro VideoMate TV PVR/FM v4l2 No No ? ? MythTV 0.19, Works with KdeTV Ola A
Compro VideoMate TV Gold Plus saa7134 Yes ? ? ? Audio capture from PCI bus works, see wiki writeup for more info Lynchmv 13:45, 2 June 2006 (UTC)
DVICO Fusion DTVDVB-T ? Y ? ? ? DVB-T, more info, also note Patch for 2.6.12 kernel Unknown
DVICO FusionHDTV5 Gold Kernel >= 2.6.17 P N ? ? Tested with 2.6.17. Read more at link Jason
DVICO FusionHDTV5 RT Gold Kernel >= 2.6.15 Y Y ? ? DVB Driver from linux kernel 2.6.16, Works out of the box on Ubuntu 6.06 more info. The analog tuner is visible by the kernel on the V4L driver and it's recognized perfectly as an analog tuner in Myth 0.19 Jylups
FireWire capture na Y na ?? ?? Caption stream is avail when playing through cable box, but not through mythtv Unknown
Hauppauge DEC2000-T ? Partial ? ? ? DVB-T, USB external tuner Unknown
Hauppauge Nexus S ? Y ? ? ? DVB-S, STV02998 based Mpeg Encoder Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-500 IVTV >= 0.4.0 yes yes no no Dual TV tuners, single FM Radio tuner. Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-350 IVTV stable Y Y Not supported in MythTV Y Has TV-out and if the option to encode CC in MPEG datastream is enabled, PVR-350 TV output can also pass it back to the television CC decoder. Not recommended for new purchases, as mpeg decoding does not support advanced myth functions (like fast-forwarding) and future versions of myth will use OpenGL, which will not work on this card Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-250 IVTV stable Y Y Not supported in MythTV Y Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-150 IVTV stable Y Y N N Unknown
Hauppauge WinTV-Go bttv Y N Y N Unknown
Hauppauge WinTV 38061 Rev B226 bttv Y N ? ? Use btaudio for sound Unknown
Hauppauge Nova-T bttv Y<=0.18.1 N==0.19 N ? ? DVB-T, Digital Terrestrial Unknown
Hauppauge Nova-T cx88-dvb Y N Does CC in UK DVB-T, Digital Terrestrial User:Fishter
Hauppauge Nova-S CX88-DVB Kernel >=2.6.15 Y N ? ? DVB-S, Digital Satellite Unknown
Hauppage WinTV PVR (Roslyn) na N na na na Does not work with MythTV Unknown
Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2 na N na na na Does not work with MythTV Unknown
K-World Xpert DTV - DVBT PCI ? Y DVB-T, has aerial passthru Unknown
Leadtek LR6650/ DTV1000 - DVBT PCI cx88-dvb Kernel >=2.6.12 Y DVB-T, has aerial passthru Juski
Matrox Rainbow Runner G-Series mgavideo Y Y,mjpeg N N Discontinued Unknown
pcHDTV HD-3000 kernel >= 2.6.12, cx8800, cx88-dvb, cx22702, or51132 yes no no no broadcast HDTV. User:rtsai1111
Plextor ConvertX wis-go7007-linux-0.9.7 Y Y N N USB external device (MPEG4) MythTV 0.18
Silicondust HDHomeRun MythTV >= 0.20 yes no no no ATSC Digital TV, Dual tuners, TCP/IP network User:jafa
Technisat AirStar HD-5000 kernel >= 2.6.x, dvb B2C2, LGDT330x yes no no no OTA and Clear QAM HDTV. User:digitalboy
Terratec Cinergy 400 ? Y N ? ? Unknown
Terratec Cinergy 600 ? Y N ? ? Unknown
Twinhan MiniTer DVT PCI kernel >= 2.6.8 N N ? ? DVB-T Australia. Provides MPEG2 stream from digital signal User:Bill

Removed from matrix because I could not find any info at vendor websites (please re-add if you have info about these!):

  • Aver Desktop PVR

Detailed Information

Cards that work

ATSC (HDTV) cards

  • pcHDTV HD-2000 (V4L w/pcHDTV patch -or- dvb driver) (Terrestrial only) (replaced by HD-3000)
  • pcHDTV HD-3000 (V4L w/pcHDTV patch -or- dvb driver) (Terrestrial and clear QAM)
  • Air2PC (dvb drivers) (Terrestrial and clear QAM) (replaced by Technisat AirStar HD-5000)
  • Technisat AirStar HD-5000(dvb drivers) (Terrestrial and clear QAM)
  • ATI HDTV Wonder (dvb drivers) (Terrestrial, clear QAM?)
  • FusionHDTV 5 Gold or Lite (dvb & v4l cvs, mm kernels) (Terrestrial and clear QAM)
  • FusionHDTV 5 RT Gold (dvb & v4l. kernels >=2.6.15) (Terrestrial and clear QAM)
  • Silicondust HDHomeRun (MythTV >= 0.20) (Terrestrial ATSC and clear QAM)

Hardware Encoder cards

Software Encoder cards

DVB cards

  • Avermedia DVB-T (Bt8xx)
  • DVICO FusionHDTV DVB-T (More Info)
  • DNTV Live! DVB-T Pro (More Info)
  • Hauppauge WinTV-Nova-T PCI Cards
  • Hauppauge Nova-T (Digital Terrestrial)
  • Hauppauge Nova-S (Digital Satellite)
  • Hauppauge Nova-SE2 (Digital Sattelite)
  • Hauppauge Nexus-S (STV02998 based) Mpeg Encoder
  • Leadtek LR6650 DVB-T and other cards based on the Conexant 'reference' DVB-T design.
  • Nebula Electronics DigiTV PCI Rev 1 (Bt878, Nxt6000) Rev 2 (Bt878, Zarlink MT352) (Digital Terrestrial)
  • Pinnacle PCTV DVB-S (Bt878)
  • Technisat Sky Star 2 PCI
  • Twinhan MiniTer DVT PCI

USB Capture Cards

Cards that don't work

  • ATI All-in-Wonder cards

The ATI drivers provide a kernel module for basic V4L support which allows for capturing video from the device as it is playing. They do not, however, provide the tuner functions necessary for MythTV to select channels. Instead, they implement their channel tuning using the Xv extensions of X-Windows. A solution might be to patch the MythTV source code to recognize the ATI hardware and use Xv frequency changing to change the channel rather than solely relying on the V4L tuning functions. Then it would depend on whether the V4L support for capture is adequate enough in the ATI drivers for MythTV to work. It also might be possible to use an externally called Xv channel changing utility to change the channels.

The ATI All-in-Wonder card cannot (it is said elsewhere on the internet) send video across the PCI bus. It can only show video on the VGA output on the card. It is on this basis that neither the card nor drivers are appropriate for use with mythtv.

  • Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-Roslyn (P/N: 28552 on the TV Tuner).
  • Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-USB2 (MPEG2 encoder box with USB2.0)
  • Cards based on the Conexant cx23416 MPEG encoder chip not already supported under ivtv (e.g. PVR2000).. development work has been done but cannot be considered a good solution for mythtv (yet).
  • PVR-350 all functions work, but TV-Out isn't well suited for Myth, since it isn't accelerated and the MPEG decoder isn't well supported any longer.

External Links