Video capture card

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Revision as of 22:39, 5 February 2006 by Digitalboy (talk | contribs) (Capture Card Matrix)

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A merge has just been completed. You can help by checking for duplicate information. --Gregturn 21:01, 5 February 2006 (UTC)

Video capture cards are used to get the picture from the cable, aerial, or satellite television source into the PC. 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 cx38882, 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

Like the Analog Hardware-MPEG cards above, these cards have a video processor onboard which compresses the tuned video signal into an MPEG-2 program stream before sending it into the computer. One example of such a card is the AVerMedia DVB-T 771.

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
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 VE bttv Y N Y ? Discontinued Unknown
AVerMedia M179 IVTV stable Y Y ? ? Unknown
AVerMedia DVB-T 771 bttv I believe Y Y ? ? WhyTey
DVICO Fusion DTVDVB-T ? Y ? ? ? DVB-T, more info Unknown
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 partial partial Has TV-out, CC partially supported (text is scrambled). If option to encode CC in MPEG datastream is enabled, PVR-350 output can pass it back out to TV. Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-250 IVTV stable Y Y partial partial IVTV partially supports CC (text is scrambled), however Myth doesn't decode it. Unknown
Hauppauge PVR-150 IVTV stable Y Y N N Unknown
Hauppauge WinTV-Go bttv Y N Y N Unknown
Hauppauge Nova-T bttv Y N ? ? DVB-T, Digital Terrestrial Unknown
Hauppauge Nova-S ? 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
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
Technicstat 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

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

  • ATI TV-Wonder Pro
  • 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 AirStar 5000)
  • AirStar 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)

Hardware Encoder cards

Software Encoder cards

DVB Cards

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

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).

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