Video Capture Card? TV Tuner card? What's the difference?

By SCHUMIinSA ยท 11 replies
Jan 19, 2006
  1. I am currently thinking about making my pc also work like a TV and I was wondering about what I would neet to do that.

    I am guessing I would need a card with both TV Tuner and TV capture ability? TV Tuner for watching TV and the TV capture card, for recording things right?

    I would then probably also need a cable from my aerial, the same which plugs into the back of my tv, to plug into the card? Or would I have to have a tv connected?

    I am very unsure about all of this and would like some info and confimation on what I just said. Any and all extra info is also appreciated, on this sort of setup.
  2. netholio

    netholio TS Rookie

  3. Nodsu

    Nodsu TS Rookie Posts: 5,837   +6

    A video capture card does exactly that - it captures video signals. That is, the input is either composite or SVHS video signal (something you get from a VCR or a camera). Nowadays, many video cards come with video capture capabilities.

    A TV tuner card does exactly that - it can tune into TV channels. That is, the input is the RF from a television antenna. All TV tuner cards also have normal video input capability.

    If you have a video capture card, then you will have to use a VCR or something similar to do the actual TV tuning and then feed the signal to the video capture.

    If you have a TV tuner card, then you can plug your antenna directly to the tuner.

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 134

    I have been looking at a card, the Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Expert and it looks exactly like what I want.
    Is this TV Tuner any good?
    It seems to think that it needs 34GB free for a high quality capture for one hour is this realy true? If so why is it so big? Can the size be reduced?

    I currently have a 250GB HD with 150GB free, that means after every three or so capturing sessions I would have to delete everything? Granted lot's of the stuff I already have on there can be removed, about 70GB's worth, but that still won't realy help me.

    How on earth do people who don't have a 10 terrabyte hard drive actually capture stuff?
  5. Toad`

    Toad` TS Rookie Posts: 40

    yes, that card is the best one by far, me and my roomate both have one and we love it, it takes 34gb for the highest quality audio and video, yes theses settings can be reduced considerably, we both have it down to just over a gig an hour

    also this card, as long as u arent getting an oem, comes with some great software, i still have to do some online research to find the best codecs and compressers for the mpeg format it utilizes

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 134

    Wow, thanks for letting me hear exactly what I wanted to.

    Has the quality been compromised where you now only need just over a gig for one hour of capturing, or is it still the same?
  7. Toad`

    Toad` TS Rookie Posts: 40

    from wat i understand, the quality difference is so slight that in most cases, you cant pick it up unless you would be pushing the image onto a very large tv screen or through a video projector - so i guess the answer to ur question would prolly be no

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 134

    Is it a very difficult and complex process to change it from needing 34GB to only just over 1GB or is it something I should be able to figure out with a little practice?

    Also could this size then further be reduced if I change it to another format or is that as small as it can be?
    I have recently been doing that to some video files which were previously VCD with the extension .dat, but then I changed them to divX (.avi) files and they halved in size.

    Is using low quality capture on this card very bad and grainy or is it acceptable? Any chance you could provide some screenshots?

    What quality do use most of the time? How big is your hard drive?
  9. Toad`

    Toad` TS Rookie Posts: 40

    it wasnt that hard to compress it down, i dont know if it could be reduced more, we wanted to keep the quality
    as for a low quality capture card, i have never used a different one, so i would prolly research some reviews if i was you
    i dont really want to go through the work of taking SSs =P (im lazy)
    we use DVD quality and i have 2 160GB HDs
  10. SCHUMIinSA

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 134

    Actually what I had meant was setting the card to do a low quality capture instead of a high quality capture. I still mean the Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Expert, just using it's low quality option instead of high. I was just wondering how bad the quality would be then?
    It should however be no problem as I have enough space and really do want to use high quality capture only, but I am keeping my options open.
  11. YellowC4S

    YellowC4S TS Rookie Posts: 107

    If you want a tv tuner card, I would recommend the FusionHDTV. You'll be ok as long as you stay away from ATi.
  12. SCHUMIinSA

    SCHUMIinSA TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 134

    Oops I forgot to tell you guys. I have already bought the Leadtek Winfast TV2000 XP Expert, so this issue has been resolved. Thanks for you advice though.
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