TV card for NTSC AND PAL?

Dear CDFreakers,

Now I’m living in US and I’ll move into Britain in a few months. If I know correctly, a normal TV in US doesn’t work in Britain. And anyway I don’t feel like to take all the hassle to move a TV across the ocean. So I sold my old TV. (Well… I can’t watch the Mets game when they finally broke out!!)

A natural thought of buying a TV card came up to me. Then it must have the ability to deal with both standards. I’m new to this area so I’m not sure if there’s many such cards.

Can anyone give me an advice? like popular models? It could be an all-in-one type video card because I’m also considering of replacing my old one. (Is all-in-one worse than two separate cards? Maybe it’s only my predudice.)

Really depends on what you want to do with the card as to what is the best recommendation. If recording tv programs is important to you, you might want a card with a built-in mpeg encoder, like the Hauppauge PVR 250 or model 980. A cheaper one would be the Hauppauge PVR 150, ADS PTV 305 or VisiontekTHXP 550P. All of these should handle PAL or NTSC.

If you just want a tuner and don’t care if the card has hardware encoding capability, then something like the Hauppauge WinTV401 would work. It will still do recordings, it’ll just use the computer’s cpu for most of the work.

HDTV requires different hardware, and if that is what you want to watch and/or record, I’d suggest going to or to research those cards.

I’ve never owned an All in Wonder video card, but there seems to be a fairly distinct rift between those who like them and those who’ve tried them and hated them. I think I prefer a seperate video card personally. You don’t get locked into an aging video chipset that way.

Got to thinking about the NTSC/PAL question, and I think there may be different models of the Hauppauge cards–one for each format. That’s too bad, since they are some of the most recommended cards. So better look into the specs of whichever tuner you get and make sure it can work for you. I know my old Leadtek TV2000 XP can tune either, but there are better tuners out now, like the ADS card I mentioned.

One good place to look for this type of info is at

What exactlly are you trying to do? If you just want to play media files a good software player can play ntsc or pal if I am not mistaken. You can also convert files between the two standards with software alone. If you want to output from your computer to a tv then that will depend on your hardware. I wouldn’t think you would need a tuner/capture card unless you are planing on recording tv on your computer. So what exactlly are you trying to do?
Fyi, maybe this might help. The sima ct-200 video enhancer can do an inline conversion (at least I’m pretty sure it can) from pal to ntsc and from ntsc to pal and can handle a svideo or composite video signal.

You can ignore the 170$ sugested retail. they are 100$ or less. I have seen them go for 70$ + 20-30$ rebates for final price of 40-50$ at compusa. I got mine for 50$ after rebate if I recall right (I have never used the conversion feature though).

A good model like my FireDTV (or the FloppyDTV) from DigitalEverywhere has no problems with PAL, NTSC and HDTV (dvb-s), but cannot deal with DVB-S2.

DVB-S2 is too new, only the card from KNC ONE virtually exists (if you have really luck to get one!).

Most important is to know which way do you will receive TV signals, via dvb-s, dvb-c, dvb-t or analogue…

I’m guessing that many capture/tuner cards can handle both formats. I have an old avertx stereo tuner/capture card that claims to support both (not sure about any kind of conversion which is why I asked what he was trying to do). It wasn’t a terribly epensive card. I seem to remember my old pinacle tuner card doing both too (tv studio pro if I recall right). Defanatlly check to see what the card can do before you buy, but I think that the format is mostly in the software and most hardware can do both (jusr guessing based on the cards I have used though). Also, while they may be able to handle one or the other, if you need conversion, I would make sure that the software can handle it because conversion may be seperate from being able to handle one or the other alone.

@ jk736
You might want to do some rearch for a DVB-T card, if I’m not mistakes most channels are FTA in UK.

Thank you very much for your advices.

To me, conversion or recording isn’t much an issue (I may try some for fun. But it’s not my regular activity). I may connect cable signal into my card but definitely I need a standalone tuner with a good antenna to watch TV realtime. (TV-out is an attractive option. Anyway monitor is fine for now.)

I’ll do my own research as you guys suggested. I was trying to ask the opinion of experts and know what brands and models they prefer. Also, I didn’t want to be a fool who buys something then realize it doesn’t have the basic thing you need even though it has 100 additional luxuries.