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Old 29th September 2002, 09:34   #1  |  Link
n00b
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the absolute BEST capture card?

Hi!

Which capture card is the best on the market (no matter price) for capturing from a digital satelite/cable source ?

I've heard that WinTV-Nexus-s(dvb) is the best, are there any newer hopefully better dvb-s cards out there?

All tips are welcome

//n00b
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Old 29th September 2002, 13:47   #2  |  Link
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Here's a tip. Obey the forum rules, specifically rule 12, third clause.
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Old 29th September 2002, 16:22   #3  |  Link
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wow this forum have really change, unfortanly to the worse..
we use to get positiv feedback fast, now i get this reply by a moderator..it's sad!

now,

"Do not ask "what's best" because this question cannot be answered objectively. Each and everyone has their own view about what's best in a certain area. The best is what works best for you!
"

i guess you're pointing out to that "rule", I were looking for tips.. so i can decide myself which solotion that's best for me, i didn't want a "this is best, not that" flaming thread which i don't think the ppl on this forum will start anyway
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Old 29th September 2002, 16:33   #4  |  Link
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Sigh.

A question for you :"The absolute BEST car?" .

Get the point?

IMO, you could also change your title to something meaningfull, like "DVB card wich with the best picture quality" or similar.

And when asking such questions you MUST give more infos. What PC do you have (hardware decoding or software decoding DVB card!), what do you want to do with it etc.

So, even if someone has tested all DVB cards (unlikely), with such a vague (to be correct, very vague) question he cannot give you a correct answer.

Cheers,

Mijo.
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Old 30th September 2002, 03:43   #5  |  Link
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Not the response you were looking for was it?? :-0 Unfortuanately it's correct.

However...i can tell you what card's not to get...that i think is a universal.

Any card that does not have stereo in...if it just's support's mono then fuc' that card. (i.e. ATI TV Wonder LE <-sux)

any non pci based card. External device's to capture video, they slow things down alot. They can give you better performance possibly...but most likely will only slow thing's down for you.

IMOP. I think that my hauppauge has soemthing over the Pinnacle PCTV. There is no PCI mastering slot involved with the Hauppauge.

I would not use a ATI Vivo. It does not have s-video in. Has good picture but not s-video in.

I would not use any card anymore that does not have s-video in, firewire, usb 2.0, or RGB)

That's soem scattered info for ya. My opinion of course. The rest is up to what you have to do.

Bottom line...don't buy a ATI TV Wonder LE...never ever. Now filter out the reast
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Old 30th September 2002, 07:48   #6  |  Link
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Well, the purest way is to capture the direct digital stream using Tivo or UltimateTV. There are methods described on the internet for doing such things.
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Old 1st October 2002, 00:27   #7  |  Link
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1. DVB cards are not capture cards. They simply copy exactly, bit by bit, the digital stream to the hard disk.


2. All real DVB cards such as Technotrend, Siemens, Nexus, Skystar are identical : the same dsp, the same mpeg2 decoder, they work with the same software.
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Old 1st October 2002, 00:38   #8  |  Link
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lee mu bai INCORRECT

ive already looked into this being it's so cheap to do. It's not a digital stream...here is a quote from the TivoHacking guide at
http://www.tivofaq.com/hack/faq.html

2.21. Can I zero out the drive by having TiVo record up to its max capacity of a static picture?

No, this will not help.
The reason being you are feeding a static ANALOG picture into the TiVo which is then decoding it with an Analog to Digital converter. Because of this you will not get static data from the MPEG compression.

Ive looked into everything just about with Tivo. If you know a way to due it "pure digital stream" let me know.

As far as what i have asked around the info from the hacking guide stand's true. I do know someons who does this but have not been able to contact that good friend due to his work habits(always in a different country). He's part of the dev team that is on the openprojects server on the irc.

I have not logged into that channel for i can offer no help in my hands on this subject.

I due know he say's the picture is near perfect. He, for me personally around here, is the man i trust the most about video content. His job is in the video compression field dealing with networks.

I due believe they would look better though. But better than what you can get with s-video??? NO!! If you find the right combo with the pc and card you can achive much better result's. You don't have as many lines of reas but that don't matter. TIvo is MPEG...not avi, and you and i both know NOBODY that is serious about digital video would preffer MPEG over .avi format. For the editing, filtering, capturing...the whole nine yards is a big NO.

That is mainly why you don't see that dumb, piece of zhit, horrible idea, who the f** came up with it, Sony MicroMV selling in a professional level...or every will.

Am i going to try this tivo method ? DAMN STRAIGHT :-)...but not until i have the way i really want it done worked out.

From what he's told me the TIVO approach is for those who really just want to replace a vcr...not archive as good as possible.

I could be wrong with all this, yes, but i trust him over anybody i ever met and he is still the only person i know that has tried TIVO in this fashion.

I hope to GOSH you CAN convience me, put it in my face, let me see a still of this method. But from what i hear it's just a different approach from s-video.

I HOPE TO GOSH you CAN prove me wrong...for i have always wondered and still have not seen a cap from this method. I will make it a full approach to see his cap's the next time i hear he's back.

regardless of all this...tivo is still capture's video @ 480x480 at 29.97fps (svcd). So you might just want to stick with a good s-video setup to your capture card so you don't have to upsize. In other word's tivo is loosing atleast 160 lines. Also i think Tivo captures audio at something likee 33.9khz or something...so if you did do this method your better off capturing the source else where...but synch might become a issue aswell. Although on the other hand...the 33.9khz stream (or whatever it is..33. something) is encode at 224kbs...so it's good quality...but unusable for the most part.

Any other's that have tried this yet??? It's intersting to say the least...i just have not seen a cap to convince me to buy a 120gig hdd and a phillips tivo set to try it...cost's around 400usd to upgrade to all that is need from the regular direcTV. Well the lowest i have found is 380usd soo...


also there is a new hinsdale guide just released yesterday about this method...

http://www.newreleasesvideo.com/hins...to/index9.html

has some interesting stuff posted there that cancels out a whole lot os zhit i awhile ago.

Last edited by \AX; 1st October 2002 at 01:02.
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Old 1st October 2002, 08:46   #9  |  Link
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i'm not completely sure what you're saying, but you might want to read up on Directivo and UltimateTV. Those units record the direct digital stream from the satellite receivers. A regular Tivo connected to a satellite receiver records the analog signal, but not Directivo. At least that is my understanding. Getting the encrypted videos off the units' hard drives is the tricky part. i don't think that UltimateTV has been hacked in that capacity yet. Check out the following comparison chart:

http://www.tivonews.com/features/comparison/

also, i know nothing about the DVB cards, but in the US you need access cards to receive DirecTV or DISH. Do the DVB cards have slots for these access cards?
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Old 1st October 2002, 09:46   #10  |  Link
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DVB cards don't have any slots, but they have CI options .

Also, DVB cards won't work with DirecTV because DirecTV signal is not DVB compatible. _Might_ work with DISH.
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Old 1st October 2002, 11:22   #11  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herske
1. DVB cards are not capture cards. They simply copy exactly, bit by bit, the digital stream to the hard disk.


2. All real DVB cards such as Technotrend, Siemens, Nexus, Skystar are identical : the same dsp, the same mpeg2 decoder, they work with the same software.
thanks!
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Old 1st October 2002, 21:05   #12  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herske
1. DVB cards are not capture cards. They simply copy exactly, bit by bit, the digital stream to the hard disk.

2. All real DVB cards such as Technotrend, Siemens, Nexus, Skystar are identical : the same dsp, the same mpeg2 decoder, they work with the same software.
Er, are you sure about this? Please, take a look at this. It's in german but it should be understandable...

http://ookami.videoxone.de/QPIC01.JPG (save the picture then look at it with a viewer like Irfan view)

(Table from the german computer magazine c't 9/2002 page 154,155 art. by Laurenz Weiner)

And if your "everything is the same" would be correct, then n00b just have to buy the cheapost one, right?

Cheers,

Mijo.
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Old 1st October 2002, 23:01   #13  |  Link
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if everything is correct with what Herske is saying...then why would n00b buy a DVB at all??? from what i understand a DVB board won't work with DirecTV..and might with Dish (Doubt it because i ran that for a month before Direct)

But stillnone the less how would you go about capturing from a digital source??

Could we patch in before it hits the digital to analogue decoder and feed that somewhere...somhow??

Are these stream's encrypted still after your box has picked them up??? Like right as it is picked up...but right before it hit's the analogue conversion. Is between these 2 points a encrypted stream?

I would imagine the stream get's decrypted while it is still digital right??? so there must be a gap between that point to and the DAC

Last edited by \AX; 1st October 2002 at 23:03.
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Old 1st October 2002, 23:27   #14  |  Link
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>Er, are you sure about this?

Yes.

> Please, take a look at this.

Yep, nice pic and it has all the relevant details. Seems like an interesting test.

>And if your "everything is the same" would be correct, then n00b just have to buy the cheapost one, right?

Nope .

I said real dvb cards. In your picture, that would be: WinTV Nexus and the card from Siemens. (these are also the cards originally supported by the LINUX DVB project - now they support also win tv nova and maybe pinnacle).

When I said real above, I meant:

-hardware mpeg2 decoding
-CSA descrambler (CSA is the low level encryption algorithm for the DVB Standard).

In the picture above, those are the only cards with the DSP from TI: AV7111. There are five revisions of the board, the tuner module may be different, but the boards are alike, work with same drivers and the same software.

All the other cards rely on software filters in order to decode mpeg2 and can only be used for free to air programmes (these cards require a fast processor, from 600MHz and up for the optimal viewing).

The only exception to this is Win TV Nova, which has CI option. Also, a CAM (conditional access module) is needed in order to receive encrypted programming.

Relevant links:

http://www.odsoft.org/wdvblinfo_e.htm - check the "DVB CARDS" sections. These are the cards I was reffering to.

http://www2.arnes.si/~mthale1/dvb_english.html

Regards,
h.


PS. A small correction for the c't test: revision 1.3 cards (in the test: Siemens board) have RGB and S-Video outputs through the J2 connector. Details: here

Last edited by Herske; 1st October 2002 at 23:51.
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Old 2nd October 2002, 18:49   #15  |  Link
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Herske, thanks for the reply. Now I understand what you thought.

Thank you for your insightfull postings.

Another thing, how do you comment the picture quality difference between the cards (especially between the hardware mpeg 2 decoding based and software)? It is very interesting, for me, that some of these cheaper software decoding cards are, supposedly, getting a better picture quality (if you have a fast enough system, that is).

All the best,

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Old 2nd October 2002, 21:55   #16  |  Link
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Thanks Ookami.


To be honest, I wasn't exactly pleased by the image of skystar 1 boards. Maybe it was bad deinterlacing... Anyway, there is software (progdvb) which forces software mpeg2 decoding, using the filters from Elecard. The great advantage of this method is the possibility of decoding 4:2:2 dvb streams. (consumer recivers and cards decode only 4:2:0 streams)

For my home setup I'm outputting svideo from the sat receiver into my bt8x8 board - the software I'm using is Dscaler, those 2:2 pulldown algos are far too good.

It's extremely possible that other cards (the twinhan clones) may use better mpeg2 filters, I've seen in your pic that those cards use Intervideo WinDVB. Twinhan cards also have good 3rd party software support, whose notable feature is decoding 4:2:2 and HDTV (this software is free for anyone with a twinhan or broadlogic card). Unfortunately there are no HDTV streams in Europe, mostly are in US.

It's also worth to say that many free to air channels available on sattelite have an awful image quality: some are encoded at 352 x 576, using bitrates as low as 500 KB/s.

Best Regards,
h.

Last edited by Herske; 2nd October 2002 at 21:59.
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Old 3rd October 2002, 17:04   #17  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herske
It's also worth to say that many free to air channels available on sattelite have an awful image quality: some are encoded at 352 x 576, using bitrates as low as 500 KB/s.

Best Regards,
h.
Thank you for your great answer! Er, are the above mentioned channels watchable at all? I mean, bitrate of 500, only MS can make DVD quality with that .

Thanks again, and all the best,

Mijo.
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Old 4th October 2002, 19:13   #18  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herske
It's also worth to say that many free to air channels available on sattelite have an awful image quality: some are encoded at 352 x 576, using bitrates as low as 500 KB/s.
No way, this isn't a DVB standart !! But it's true that some networks are sending at 352x576 and the quality is excellent e.g Premiere Classica. The lowest bitrate I've ever seen was avg of 1,5 Mbps on ARD Das Erste (german channel) and quality was quite good.
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Old 4th October 2002, 21:47   #19  |  Link
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>No way, this isn't a DVB standard

Of course this is, if you want screenshots I can make some. Be careful, I said KB(capital B), kbytes, that is. (a byte==8 bits; 500 KB==4 Mbps.)

>The lowest bitrate I've ever seen was avg of 1,5 Mbps

That would be 192 KB.

Encoding artifacts are extremely visible if you know what you're looking for, ringing being the worst offender, IMO. Then follow:

-color banding
-macroblocks visible in fast motion scenes
-blurriness.

Also several stations broadcast with joint stereo. This is important because mp2 only supports IS not M/S.

Last edited by Herske; 4th October 2002 at 22:05.
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Old 4th October 2002, 22:41   #20  |  Link
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Quote:
Originally posted by Herske
>No way, this isn't a DVB standard

Of course this is, if you want screenshots I can make some. Be careful, I said KB(capital B), kbytes, that is. (a byte==8 bits; 500 KB==4 Mbps.)
Duh!
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