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The DVB-T card lineup


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#51 madpilot

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Posted 26 November 2003 - 02:39 AM

Linux Support: No information, presumed not supported. The card uses the Microtune 7202D frontend.

I can confirm that it works under linux - I'm watching it right now... :blink:

I've got a EPIA M10000 and since MPlayer doesn't support the MPEG decoder yet, it's a little jumpy (CPU ~ 100%) It's still pretty cool..

Though you all might like to know

#52 Piddy

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 04:36 PM

Is this still being kept up to date or is there another thread like this that I should be looking at? I'd like something like this to be a sticky or permanent web page as it's very useful for the prospective buyer (me) :blink: ).

#53 goshen

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 08:02 PM

...and me!

Actually, what are the card(s) that use the DigiBox DVB-T Software?

#54 renura

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Posted 10 December 2003 - 08:14 PM

Actually, what are the card(s) that use the DigiBox DVB-T Software?


Hi goshen,

Currently DigiBox (or DigiVisionHTPC as the next version is going to be called) supports only the VisionPlus range of cards (DVB-t, DVB-s and DVB-c).

Cheers

Renura

#55 Campster123

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 11:53 AM

Hadn't updated this for a while but just did a small update for anyone who's interested :blink:

#56 rumpole

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Posted 14 January 2004 - 12:04 PM

That's a great idea to update the info now and again.

A classy HTPC program for windows called 'Showshifter' now works with the Nova-T and Dpanda cards.

It works for the Nebula card in the UK as well but not yet in Oz for some reason ?

#57 Bradley

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Posted 15 January 2004 - 11:38 PM

I am, along with many others, trying to work out which card to buy.

This forum is a great resource, however it is difficult to make an informed decision when many of the comments here seem heavily biased and disclaimers by those with an interest are few and far between (There is a notable exception, you can tell from his moniker!). Also, there is a lot of off thread discussion which adds to the noise.

There are five threads I am following:
-Best HDTV(1080i) DVB-t Solution
-The DVB-T card lineup
-Chaintech or VisionPlus?
-cheapest purchase?
-Avermedia < Vision Plus < Nebula

Each topic is slightly different but really they are all asking the question "Which Digital TV Tuner card should I buy?". None of the threads are kept up to date or complete, which is understandable as it is time intensive task. I'm hoping the first post in this thread can be further developed to tie everything together. Particulary with respect to known issues and advantages and disdavantages of each software package. Further, it doesn't hurt to include the lowest price, just include the date that it was updated so people know if it is current. Also a general "last updated statement" would be useful. With that said, the four options I am looking at are:

-Nebula
-VP (Vision Plus) with Digivision
-VP (Vision Plus) without Digivision
-Chaintech.

Hardware
Hardware wise I doubt there is any quality differences. I have not seen anyone identify any hardware quality differences. Hardware features can be summarized as follows:

Nebula:
-antenna pass through
-includes a composite analogue input (although audio is only mono) which would be useful for me (Briz31, camera and UHF security camera) but not necessarily a deciding factor.
-can be optioned with a 4 in 1 learning remote with a JP1 header, again not a deciding factor as I have other plans for a remote (iPaq PDA).

3rd party software development support:
Nebula - limited support for 3rd party Windows software development, linux seems to be ok.
VP/Chaintech - much more suited for development of 3rd party software.

My Requirements
So it is the application software that will decide the purchase. As far as software goes, I am looking for the following essential features:
-Flawless viewing, recording (including scheduled recording) and playback of all DTV formats in their entirety (audio and video).
-Picture quality must be perfect, that is my main reason for going for digital HDTV in the first place. I will be viewing this on either a LCD or CRT projector as well as a 19" CRT monitor.
-Minimum crashes
-Fast channel changes

Known Issues to avoid:
SDTV Stutter - workaround watch HDTV or use Reclock
SDTV motion blur - workaround watch HDTV or use Reclock

Other important features to consider:
-PIP (Picture in Picture) preferably using any available tuner cards (preferably analogue as well) and file sources.
-FF/RW x1.5 and > x8 preferably x1.5 with sound and preferably pitch adjusted.
-Skip forwards by a preset time (good for avoiding ads).
-Scheduled recording (one off, daily weekly, etc).

Future/Maybes
-Integrated DVB-S as there are two FTA satellite channels that I want but I don't even know if I can receive them yet. This is not a deciding factor.
-Muliple tuner support (including analogue).

Eventually I want a set-up that allows me to control all media (Digital TV, Analogue TV, music, DVD, other video/audio files) from my iPaq PDA (for example via Bluetooth). This must be simple, ie select source then press play. I don't think any software supports this, a third party app would be required.

Summary of deal breakers
This post is quite long so I'll sum up software here before you all get bored. The reason I would not buy the Nebula is PQ (Picture Quality) may be suspect and my system may not be powerful enough (P4 2.26GHz 512Mb Win XP SP1 16Mb ATI Rage 128 Ultra). The reason I would not buy the VP+DigiVision is it doesn't seem to support DD 5.1. I also need to confirm the feature set (I am hoping I can download a copy to test). The reason I would not buy the VP/Chaintech is DD 5.1 may not be supported and HD recordings are split into 4 Gb files. I will also try to download the VisionDTV or DigiTop software for a trial.

Is anyone in the Brisbane area willing to give a demo?

Despite what retailer/distributers may say there are multiple reports of people having problems.

I would like to hear of any known issues for any of the software mentioned. Alternatively point me to the bug list.

Software
I was looking for a summary of the features, exceptions and known issues for each of the software products but have yet to find one so I have compiled the information below. Maybe someone can put the info into a table format to be included in the first post. I have focussed on the negatives as this is what would stop me from buying particular software. Disclaimer: I have generally only included features relevant to me. Also I have spent some time compiling this and it is starting to give me a headache, so expect some errors!

So far I have amassed the following:

**Chaintech DigiTop (Is this the same as VP VisionDTV?)
System Requirements:
Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP, Linux (Optional)
500MHz/800MHz or above
128MB or above
With at least 8MB memory
Direct X 8.1 or above

Features:
Manufacturers website is not that clear, can probably assume that it is the same as VP.

Disadvantages:
-not sure if DD 5.1 is supported.
-4GB file size limit (may be corrected when software is rewritten based on the SDK), recordings longer than this will suffer 30 second data loss, not to mention the inconvenience of multiple files (big disadvantage for me)
-remote problem (but this seems to be a one-off)
-future support not guaranteed, but what is and who cares as long as it works now. In the future I'm sure there will be other 3rd party apps that support it.
-Manufacturer support is poor (response to problems and bug fixes are slow)

**VP VisionDTV software (Is this the same as Chaintech DigiTop?)
System Requirements:
-Microsoft Windows 98SE/ME/2000/XP
-500MHz minimum (SDTV) and 1.7Ghz minimum (HDTV)
-128M RAM or above
-VGA Card with at least 8MB Memory
-Sound Card
-Microsoft Direct X 8.1 or above

Features:
-HDTV recording supported.
-Scheduled recording
-Timeshifting
-Multi channel preview

Disadvantages:
-not sure if DD 5.1 is supported.
-4GB file size limit (may be corrected when software is rewritten based on the SDK), recordings longer than this will suffer 30 second data loss, not to mention the inconvenience of multiple files (big disadvantage for me)
-Manufacturer support is poor (response to problems and bug fixes are slow)

**Digivision software (Alliance with Digitalnow)
Cards supported: only VP bought from Digitalnow (could be wrong here)

System Requirements:
-Pentium 4 1.2GHz or above (2Ghz or above recommended if using multiple tuners and Picture in

Picture functions).
-DXVA supported graphics card (ATI Radeon or NVIDIA GForce FX recommended for HDTV and Picture in Picture functions) (How do I know if I have DXVA this?)
-VisionPlus DVB-t, DVB-s or DVB-s with CI. (Maximum of 3 cards of any type).
-Windows XP Only with SP1.
-Direct X 9.0b.

Notable Features:
-can record HD over 4 Gb
-PIP
-SPDIF pass through
-supports up to three of Vision Plus DVB-T, DVB-C or DVB-S with purchase of additional licenses.
-manufacturer support is reported to be excellent.

Disadvantages:
-only decodes DD 5.1 to 2 channels (big disadvantage).
-you need to buy multiple Digivision licenses to get PIP with multiple tuners as advertised.
-you are locked into cards with specific serial no., support of future tuner cards is not guarranteed.

**Nebula DigiTV software 3.104
Supported Tuner cards: Nebula

System requirements:
-Windows Operating System (98se/ME/2000/XP)
-Pentium III or AMD CPU running at 800MHz or higher (suggest P4 2.4Ghz+ for HDTV). Note: I've

seen it mentioned that 2.8GHz is required.
-64MB or more of RAM
-20MB or more of free hard disk space
-Graphics card (or onboard graphics) preferably AGP, capable of supporting 800x600 minimum resolution at 16-bit colour and hardware overlays
-Sound card (or onboard sound) and speaker combination.
-DirectX 7 or greater (DirectX 8.1b is included with the installation disk).

Notable Features:
-View, record and playback HDTV.
-Full Stereo and AC3 Audio
-can record HD over 4 Gb
-manufacturer support is reported to be excellent.
-10 programme Digital Video Recorder

Disadvantages:
-Picture quality is reported to be worse than VP (how does Nebula feel about this as they seem pretty keen to fix any problems). Recent comments indicate that this problem may be fixed.
-Previously on this forum audio problems were mentioned, I expect these are all fixed now.
-No PIP, although this is in progress.
-no SPDIF pass through, although this is in progress.
-Prone to crashing (reported 26 Dec 2003)

My comments
I have an intel P4 2.26 GHz, would I have any success viewing/recording/playback HDTV? Maybe I can overclock to 2.4GHz!

I downloaded the Nebula DigiTV software. It appears to have all the features I want and more apart from PIP and SPDIF pass through which I hear is coming. However I tested the software using an mpg file recorded using my Winfast 2000XP Analogue tuner and found:
-Severe breakup on video and audio
-Play was paused after pressing the skip forward button, not sure if this is normal
-Elapsed timer did not work.
Then I stopped testing.
I tried to play a 10 Mb .ts file of Double Jeopardy from nine HD but it would not play (plays ok on vlc).

I would be happy with this software if it would work on my P4 2.26GHz and it can be confirmed that there are no picture quality issues.

**DigitalWatch 0.33
Cards supported: VP, Chaintech.

Features:
?

Disadvantages:
-no multiple tuner support, although this is reported to be coming.
-Is there HDTV support?

**Webscheduler
-free
-does not support HDTV
-what is the audio support?
-no multiple tuner support, although this is reported to be coming.

**SDTVR
-free
-does not support HDTV
-what is the audio support?

I realise there are many other options available eg linux, VLC, etc so I apologize for the fact that this is still not a comprehensive assessment. Consider it a work in progress that will never be finished!

Regards,
Bradley

#58 rumpole

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 12:03 AM

I think the market is ripe for a HTPC show to be staged in one or more of the capital cities.

Imagine a large pavillion like that at darling harbour in Sydney with all the screen manufacturers, PC and media box sellers and DVB-T, -S, and -C dealers demonstrating their wares. Wouldn't it be great to be able to wander around and check out all the latest configurations.

10m plasma, dd5.1 sound, 1,000 watt bass, all coming from a tiny media box with a Nova-T !!

#59 nate

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 10:25 AM

**DigitalWatch 0.33
Cards supported: VP, Chaintech.

Features:
?

Disadvantages:
-no multiple tuner support, although this is reported to be coming.
-Is there HDTV support?

I updated the first post in the DigitalWatch thread on the VisionPlus forum with a basic list of features etc if you're interested.

**Webscheduler
-free
-does not support HDTV
-what is the audio support?
-no multiple tuner support, although this is reported to be coming.

**SDTVR
-free
-does not support HDTV
-what is the audio support?

WebScheduler and SDTVR are not for watching tv. They only record. The reason they do not support HD is because the WinDTV SDK doesn't support recording AC3 streams properly. If/When the SDK get's fixed then HD should work.

#60 peteru

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Posted 16 January 2004 - 11:56 AM

I think the market is ripe for a HTPC show to be staged in one or more of the capital cities.

There used to be an Australian CES (Consumer Electronics Show) where people used to show off their stuff. Last I remember the Sydney one was held at the Hordern and there was also one in Melbs. Funny thing was, the organisers had the audacity to charge and admission fee!

I attended once only and wrote it off as "slightly better than a StarTrek geek fest" type of affair. Then again, this was just after I moved back from living in Tokyo, so the latest gear here was obsolete crap to me at the time :blink:

#61 astroboydivx

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Posted 17 January 2004 - 10:29 AM

Bradley,

Great post mate. I think you've wrapped up the issues really well. I am not in the marketplace for a few more months thankfully, hopefully by then the software issues will improve a little. If I had to buy today I would have no idea - actually I would probably buy both the Nebula and the Visionplus but they both seem to have so many issues. All I want is one HD card that is bug free and can do it all perfectly. I'd be prepared to spend more than they're selling for at the moment for such a product.

#62 Simon21

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 06:06 AM

Which one is the best? How would you rate them?

Bye
Sim

#63 14all

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Posted 25 February 2004 - 08:11 AM

Which one is the best? How would you rate them?


A lot has changed. New software, new cards, different prices.

Need a proper re-evaluation!