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Cheap DVR/PVR project


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#1
drmoneejd

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I work second shift and have some long nights of homework (I take my CCNA exam soon) causing me to miss some of my favorite shows. I decided to look for a good capture/tuner card to turn my pc into a dvr. I'm not big on "HD", just standard cable quality is fine. And because I will be recording off of my directv box, the tuning function means nothing to me. I simply need it to capture and save it as a file (preferably off of an analog phono/rca or coaxial input). I don't mind trying out ebay for used ones since this isn't a system critical part, I'm just tired of looking all over the internet to try and catch up on my shows. The main issue is I need something (hopefully cheap) either compatible with windows 7, or something that will work well with Linux, through like MythTv or a similar app. I prefer an actual card, but a usb device would do too. Any suggestions on something cheap (under $30)? I don't care about age or bells and whistles if it works well.

Also, is it unrealistic to hope for a software that can make it start recording at a specific time?

Thanks! :thumbsup:
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#2
Digerati

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Understand that a video capture device is NOT the same thing as a tuner card. Although a tuner card can be used as a capture device, a capture device cannot be used as a tuner.

If you are coming off your Direct TV box, and will not be needing the tuner feature, you can get by with just a capture device. I am afraid I have not done anything with capture or tuner devices in a few years. Then Hauppauge and ATI were pretty much the only players but now there are dozens so I am not any help in selecting a device.

My recommendation is to first determine the outputs your Direct TV device supports, then go from there, making sure any device you are considering supports Windows 7 - particularly important if running 64-bit Windows 7. While not necessary, and no guarantee, selecting a Windows Logo'd Product helps minimizing compatibility issues. When you find a capture device you are interested in, plug the brand, model number and the word review in your favorite search engine and read what is being said about that device.
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#3
drmoneejd

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Thanks for your input! And I had understood the difference in capture cards and tuners, I'm just looking at both because for some reason from what I've found on Newegg tuners are cheaper (and more plentiful) then just capture cards. But I guess even if I don't spend much on it, I'm going to have to spend some time finding the right one. I normally just search all around Newegg and TD, and then when I find one that suits me, I go look around ebay and amazon. But thanks anyways and I love this Site! In a few weeks I'm going to go teach some aspiring computer technicians at a local career center and I can't wait to tell them about this place :happy:
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#4
Digerati

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Good luck and thanks.
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#5
drmoneejd

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Just as a follow up, I bought a cheap hauppauge pvr-150 off ebay for 17 bucks, loaded Mythbuntu on an older P4 machine, and even though its been a learning experience, I smoothed almost everything into how I wanted it in 2-3 days.
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#6
Digerati

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Great! Glad it worked out for you and thanks for the follow-up.
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