which DVB/Freeview PCI/USB card .. ?

Discussion in 'DIY Computers' started by Alex Quant, Jul 15, 2004.

  1. Alex Quant

    Alex Quant Guest

    I'm tempted to invest in a PCI or a USB (2.0?) DVB Freeview adapter. Which
    is the best for the price :

    - Avermedia have a PCI card but I've read the software is terrible. I was in
    a queue at Maplin recenly with a frustrated customer returning one of these
    cards with a 2 page description of the problems they had!

    - Hauppauge have both PCI and USB solutions. They produced good gear a few
    years ago but the software seemed .. cobbled rather than polished, elegant
    and stable. I remember having a frustrating time installing a TV card, but
    eventually it worked reasonably well. Is the software with their DVB cards
    good, stable (with XP) and takes account of things like wide-screen, EPG,
    time-shifting?

    - Nebula : excellent from what I've heard, but expensive at over £100 and
    these rarely if ever turn up on eBay (probably because they are so good!)

    Opinions on any of the above would be great before splashing out (on eBay
    most likely). Target system is a P4 2.4GHz on an SIS ECS motherboard which
    seems stable with everything installed so far.

    Thanks!

    AlexQ.

    ~ Reply-to valid ~
     
    Alex Quant, Jul 15, 2004
    #1
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  2. Alex Quant

    Tone-EQ Guest

    - Avermedia have a PCI card but I've read the software is terrible. I was
    in
    Enough said! ;-)
    I did want to buy the Nebula DigiTV model but couldn't find it in stock
    anywhere, so I ordered the Hauppauge Nova-T PCI. At ~£67 it's £50 cheaper
    than the prices I've seen for the Nebula model.

    I've only just ordered it so I have no idea about the included software.
    However, I'm planning on using the following software. DigiGuide 7.0
    (http://www.digiguide.com) is a fully customizable "newspaper style" TV
    guide, downloads listings for all user selected TV channels (Freeview, Sky
    Digital, etc.) for a subscription of £8.99 per year. Also allows one-click
    and scheduled recording when installed with DTVRecord
    http://www.dtvrecord.com. Both have trial periods so it wouldn't hurt to
    have a look.

    The DEC2000 is another model worth taking a look at. It's a set-top box with
    a USB link so you can use it on both TV and PC.

    --
    Regards,
    Tony. (tony.cue(at)tiscali.co.uk)

    Discogs: building the definitive database of electronic music...
    http://www.discogs.com
     
    Tone-EQ, Jul 15, 2004
    #2
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  3. Alex Quant

    SteveH Guest

    We just got rid of a DEC2000. It was always overheating and locking up.
    Didn't think much of the USB recording software either.

    SteveH
     
    SteveH, Jul 15, 2004
    #3
  4. Alex Quant

    jaime Guest

    snip
    snip

    The best place to get the Nebula is from them directly -
    www.nebula-electronics.com.

    Jaime
     
    jaime, Jul 15, 2004
    #4
  5. Alex Quant

    Doug Ramage Guest


    I bought mine direct last August. Good but pricey - I use the USB2 version.
     
    Doug Ramage, Jul 16, 2004
    #5
  6. Alex Quant

    Alex Quant Guest

    [..]
    Thanks Tony. Report back on your experience of the card and software? :)

    Cheers,

    AlexQ.

    ~ Reply-to valid ~
     
    Alex Quant, Jul 16, 2004
    #6
  7. Alex Quant

    Tone-EQ Guest

    I did want to buy the Nebula DigiTV model but couldn't find it in stock
    OK, had both the hardware and software installed for a few hours now and I'm
    unimpressed. The quality of the hardware is very poor. I cannot view even
    half of the channels because the reception is so bad. Not a coverage issue I
    might add. I have had a rooftop aerial installed and have been using an old
    Nokia MediaMaster onDigital box for a number of weeks without any problems.
    After taking the cable out of the box and putting it on the PCI there is a
    worrying loss of reception.

    As for the included software, although not buggy, it does seem a little
    cumbersome and slightly confusing, and it takes forever to initialize.

    The third party software (DigiGuide and DTVRecord) I've tried is almost
    perfect. The two programs integrate well with each other and the quality of
    the recordings are excellent.

    Would I buy one again? I might just ebay this one and go for the Nebula
    after all!

    --
    Regards,
    Tony. (tony.cue(at)tiscali.co.uk)

    Discogs: building the definitive database of electronic music...
    http://www.discogs.com
     
    Tone-EQ, Jul 17, 2004
    #7
  8. Alex Quant

    Alex Quant Guest

    I'm sorry it didn't work out for you Tony :( I guess the old adage that "you
    get what you pay for" applies, and going by all the reports from owners of
    the Nebula there is no point in saving a few quid! If the reception problem
    was fixable, is the quirky software bareable - it seems from what you say
    Hauppauge are STILL hopeless at creating elegant and intuitive software
    after all these years!

    Appeciate the feedback you've give on this :) Hope you get your money back
    on eBay.

    AlexQ.

    ~ Reply-to valid ~
     
    Alex Quant, Jul 18, 2004
    #8
  9. Alex Quant

    Lockon Guest

    Hi - I've got the WinTV Nova PCI card which after initial teething
    problems is working fine. Not overly impressed with the software I
    have to say and you have to disable the software firewall for it to
    function at all. Downloaded the latest software off the H web site and
    it works as does the Teletext. I get the same range of programs I do
    on my TV and set top box and it helps to know what your local
    transmitter is to save time when tuning the card during set up. I had
    to have a new aerial to get good reception too.

    Quality is good in my opinion but then I used to record using those
    old ATI All In Wonder cards which were crap! The recorded video is
    very reasonable with good speech sync, the recorded file sizes are
    large and if you are intending to useit as a PVR and store stuff you
    will need lots of HD space - I store mine on a SATA raid array for
    speed of transfer. Would I recommend it - well took a bit of effort to
    get it working and the documentation is not very helpful - their
    online support were not the speediest but identified the problem with
    the firewall correctly. 6/10
    Regds Lock
     
    Lockon, Jul 18, 2004
    #9
  10. Alex Quant

    Alex Fraser Guest

    You what? Any idea why this was a problem?

    Alex
     
    Alex Fraser, Jul 18, 2004
    #10
  11. Alex Quant

    Lockon Guest

    Well apparently it's a well known problem as it was H tech support's
    only suggestion as to why I couldn't tune any channels even with a
    strong signal. Now it may not affect all firewalls but the two I have
    used (Kerio and F-Secure Internet Security) certainly scupper
    reception - all I do is disable the firewall et voila it works!

    I have just got hold of the well reviewed Kaspersky
    (http://www.kaspersky.com/) firewall to try as I have been very
    pleased with their excellent anti-virus (bomb proof can't recommend it
    too highly) so we'll see how it goes with that - no big deal though
    to temporarily disable a firewall. I generally don't access the net or
    use other programs during a recording session just in case it
    interferes with the recording as I keep it set on highest quality in
    case I want to burn the program to disk later.

    See the H website if you have any questions as they have a forum which
    can be of use.
    http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/board/search.php?searchid=680
    will give you a little info about firewalls.

    HTH
    Regds Lock
     
    Lockon, Jul 18, 2004
    #11
  12. Alex Quant

    Tone-EQ Guest

    Hi - I've got the WinTV Nova PCI card which after initial teething
    I've just tried disabling Norton Internet Security on my PC and it hasn't
    made a blind bit of difference, which doesn't surprise me!

    I can get BBC 1, 2, 3, 4, BBC News, Sky Travel, Sky News and Sky Sports
    News, UKTV Bright Ideas and UKTV History. Every other channel is
    unwatchable. Some channels have no picture but perfect sound, some have no
    picture with distorted sound and most don't have either!

    I've ordered the Nebula to see if it's the Hauppauge card that is at fault.
    I don't understand why this card cannot receive most of the channels while
    my digibox can, which has now been donated to another member of the family,
    connected to the same aerial, and still works fine! :-/

    One positive point though, I downloaded the digital teletext add-on from the
    Hauppauge site and it works a treat.

    --
    Regards,
    Tony. (tony.cue(at)tiscali.co.uk)

    Discogs: building the definitive database of electronic music...
    http://www.discogs.com
     
    Tone-EQ, Jul 18, 2004
    #12
  13. Alex Quant

    dslr Guest

    You sure it's picked up the right transmitter/multiplexes?
    I couldn't get all the channels on mine that I can with a set-top box - upon
    investigation it transpired that the preset list of frequencies for each
    transmitter didn't include the recent (well, three months ago) change on
    Rowridge to bring the ITV MUX down into the range that an ordinary aerial
    can get.
    I told the Nova card to have a look around what I guessed was the frequency
    of the new MUX and bingo, all the missing channels jumped into life.
     
    dslr, Jul 18, 2004
    #13
  14. Alex Quant

    Tone-EQ Guest

    Hi - I've got the WinTV Nova PCI card which after initial teething
    Just one more thing to add to this ongoing saga...

    Ditched the Hauppauge card in favour of the Nebula and I haven't looked
    back! I can now receive as many channels, if not more, as I did with my
    digibox. The software has five times as many options and settings with a
    much better layout.

    I should have known not to try and save money and go for the cheaper model.
     
    Tone-EQ, Jul 21, 2004
    #14
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