I didn’t know where else to ask: Is the Convert-X M402U worth a try? I want to connect a digital cable receiver to my computer. I don’t have space for another PCI card, and all digital USB TV solutions are USB 1.1.
I’m using a ConvertX PVR PX-TV402U (the version wth built in tuner) occasionally to make my PC a digital video-recorder. IMHO image quality is ok. I don’t like the software very much (it works, it’s just not how I would do things, they probably never heard the word ‘usability’). Here are some good links for reading:
Thank you for the links. The device seems to be okay. Do you know if Pinnacle Studio will recognize it?
According to this: http://pinnaclede.custhelp.com/cgi-bin/pinnaclede.cfg/php/enduser/std_adp.php?p_faqid=11249&p_created=1109116754&p_sid=3MkG-y5i&p_accessibility=0&p_lva=&p_sp=cF9zcmNoPTEmcF9zb3J0X2J5PSZwX2dyaWRzb3J0PSZwX3Jvd19jbnQ9MSZwX3Byb2RzPTAmcF9jYXRzPTAmcF9wdj0mcF9jdj0mcF9zZWFyY2hfdHlwZT1hbnN3ZXJzLnNlYXJjaF9ubCZwX3BhZ2U9MSZwX3NlYXJjaF90ZXh0PXBsZXh0b3I*&p_li=&p_topview=1 Studio 9 will not work. Don’t know about 10.
i had tv402u & returned it because of picture quality problem & like other hardware based encoder tv capture/tuner cards, software support simply sucks
there are cheaper solutions are there with similar picture quality; if you don’t mind mce only driver, adaptec has a two tuner usb2 for around 200usd including a remote controller. based on my friend’s unit, the picture quality seemed like bit better than tv402u
max mpeg2/4 bit rates are low enough causing problems
i think there are two problems that caused picture quality problems
- lack of hardware deinterlacing (i am not even talking advanced de-interlacing features like de-ghosting & adaptive 3d comb filtering)
- low max bit rates for both mpeg2&4
in us, it’s difficult to find a good quality tv tuner, but if you understand either japanese or korean (both ntsc), you can find a very good usb2 capture board.
canopus advc300 dv capture board was the best i have ever seen (very pricy though ~500usd) & does not need much of any thing as it is a dv capture board (ieee1394a), but the capture files are really big
Thanks again. What I need is a clean mpeg-2 stream on my hard drive. I’ve been looking for an external DIGITAL cable-tuner AND usb 2, but to no avail. Usb 1.1 can’t put the high bitrates through, all usb 2 devices I’ve found so far don’t offer a digital tuner. This is weird: Why doesn’t anybody have the idea of putting a damned usb 2 inferface in such a box?
i have the M402U, but have only used it in limited capacity (i.e. haven’t transferred any VHS tapes to DVD in several months).
my big issue with plextor’s units are the crappy software and driver support by plextor…
Software doesn’t matter much; all I need is clean MPEG-2 streams. And because European cable tv doesn’t provide more than 6 MBit/s on most channels I wouldn’t care about the bitrate either. The mpeg streams are important. I’m planning on using Pinnacle Studio 10 for dvd authoring. (I know, don’t say anything, I’ve got it already, and I’m pleased with it. It offers more freedom of design for the menus than Premiere Elements, Video Deluxe and the like.)
Plextools Professional [B]XL[/B] (not the “plain” PlexTools Professional) also supports the Plextor ConvertX capture devices.
Hope this helps, maybe it’s worth a try.
I know, that is why I bought it yesterday. Do you know if the scheduler works with an external digital cable decoder, too? Do I have to order the PVR TV device, or is the plain m402u sufficient to work with the scheduler?
AFAIK the sheduler will simply let you select the source (and channel, in case of the TV unit) and record what the usb driver delivers at a given time period. Both the M and the TV devices are fully suported since 3.05. The changlog reads : “# Support for Plextor Video Capture Devices PX-M402U and PX-TV402U.” I guess you’ll have to record via the m402u and you’ll have to select channels manually on the decoder (is that a tuner too? if not the TV402u might be a better choice because it let’s you select channels via software)
In theory this should work with any video source (connected via M or TV unit). The feature list reads " Video Capture: streams AV from Plextor Video Capture Devices, Webcams and DV Cameras to the hard disk." I once tried PTXL 3.07LE and it even let me select the VIVO in stream of my ATI GFX card … Did not try if the sheduler puts limitations on this source.
Thanks for your reply, hwp. I just want to make sure that the s-video source can be used for scheduled recording. It will be a Nokia dbox2, i.e. a digital cable decoder, and yes, it will be programmed separately. I suppose the pvr tv402u will have an analogue tuner only … (Well, if I look at the price, it should have both …)
Just tried. It works with any of the two (three) inputs the unit has to offer: video, svideo (and TV). So an external decoder connected to the (s)video of the m402u should work with PTXL sheduler.
Thanks a lot.
Maybe a word of advice, when you’re recording from your sat.receiver with the 402 via the (s-video if possible) video-in, and you are recording a anamorphic widescreen transmission, be sure you set your sat. receiver as it was connected to a widescreen so you see on your 4:3 computer screen a 16:9 “sqeezed” picture, all faces look long, you use the max. amount of horizontal lines, read: max. horizontal resolution, when decoding to MPEG2, or authoring to DVD you must not forget to set the aspect ratio to widescreen,
this way you don’t loose any resolution, through the upper and lower black bars.
(This doesn’t work for channels that transmit the widescreen format within the 4:3 frame)
Yes, you should use PlextoolsProXL to capture (programmed) from the video in, the nice thing is, you can preview fullscreen with it ! (double click on the preview, or click on the icon next to it) you need to install the other software too,(that comes with the 402) for the drivers, but you don’t have to use it.
You also can use PlextoolsProXL to capture from your miniDV camcorder too, (using the Firewire connection of your pc) the material is in uncompressed DV format (well, DV is slightly compressed) using the analog input(s)(of the 402) would compress it too…
That sounds reasonable. Thank you.
The device has arrived. It’s the best tv card I’ve ever had. The s-video signal is not usable, but RGB => composite works fine, and the tuner delivers a very good picture. It’s almost as good as the one in my tv.
BTW, the bitrate you can get through PTXL is > 8 MBit/s, not 6. Peaks are at over 9.
you mean RCA => composite ? the 402 has no RGB…
S-Video not usable ? you also select the correct connection in the software, ? also be sure to select the correct tv-system format in the software, there are a few options
even PAL60 for converted NTSC vhs tapes…
The s-video signal shows some kind of chromatic abberiations, especially in the red and orange range. I have to use a scart to composite/s-video adapter, but somehow the signal doesn’t come out correctly. I’ve seen better images with the analogue input of the Terratec Cinergy USB stick. (Perhaps the reason lies in the Nokia dbox.)
The country settings are fine, and so are the tv system preferences. The composite image is not the sharpest but totally acceptable.