TV Tuner PCI cards: Which of the three?

A friend of mine has three brand new TV tuner PCi cards. He’s giving one to me for free and I get first choice. However, I don’t know what specs I need to look out for. Here are the three:

V-Stream Creator TV-MCE 100 Pro…ag=ut

Hauppauge WinTV-GO model 190…specs

Avermedia AVerTV GO 007 FM Plus…g=nav

I’m thinking about the Avermedia one just because it can receive/record FM radio while the other two cannot. The V-Stream and Avermedia have remote controls but the Hauppauge does not. The Hauppage does have a program called “SoftPVR” and the box says that it uses the PC’s processor to record TV and that it uses video memory without “creating overhead for the CPU.” I’m not sure if the Avermedia and V-Stream also have this capability. However, I’ve seen bad reviews for the AVermedia.

What I basically want to do is record TV shows like TiVO and then burn the shows without commercials to a DVD that’s playable on a home DVD player. I also want the capability to take a recorded show and make it a computer video file so I can load up a whole lot of TV shows on a DVDR to watch on my laptop when I travel. Most TV shows that are downloaded are typically 350mb per episode (1 hour episode that’s about 42 minutes once the commercials are cut out).

The card I select will be going into one of three computers: Either a Pentium III 933mhz with 384mb PC133 RAM/40GB hard drive/32mb GeForce AGP video card, a 1.8ghz Celeron with 1GB PC2700 RAM/40GB + 80GB hard drives/onboard video, or an Athlon XP 2500+ with 512mb PC2700 RAM/120GB hard drive/128mb GeForce FX5200. All three are on WinXP Pro.

All opinons/tech lessons/advice are appreciated. I’m just trying to be more computer literate but all this tech mumbo jumbo gets intimidating at times.


I’d go for the Hauppauge, as there is something like support from the manufacturer :wink:


Hauppauge is the most widespread type for software alternatives, mostly free, should you not like what is bundled as software with the card.

I’d go for some card that uses Philips chipset, they give the best picture, and they are well supported by third party software. Find out what chipset these cards are using, and go for Philips chipset. Hauppauge uses Conexant chipset, i think, and don’t have stereo sound. I would never buy a TV card without stereo sound. And put the card in Athlon XP 2500+ machine, recording on software encoding cards needs a lot of computer power.
Avermedia AVerTV GO 007 FM Plus has got 9-bit Philips chipset, so i’d go for that one. If software that came with the card is bad, i recomend GB-PVR.
KWorld also uses the Philips chipset with hardware MPEG encoding, but as far as i know KWorld has bad reputation, so i would avoid their products.

Get a DVB card for crying out loud, you’ll get [B]much[/B] better picture and they dont need much processing power either like the analog ones. Just be sure to get the right “type” of card… AVerTVHD MCE A180 is one example, I know ATi has one too in the US.