View Full Version : Time to Dump Creative for Hauppauge?
05-09-2003, 10:53 AM
I have been testing SageTV with both Hauppauge PVR 250's and Creative Digital VCR's. From my experience, it seems that the PVR 250 is a much better unit. The Creative cards are more prone to problems related to capture quality (noisy) and the infamous AV sync issues.
In addition, I found that when using a combination of both Hauppauge and Creative cards in the same system SageTV would lock up from time to time. Could be a mobo/resource issue I guess, but I don't want to spend days troubleshooting this problem.
So, I'm thinking it might be time to dump the Creative cards and go with just the PVR 250 model. I have enough slots to have 4 cards installed.
Anybody have a different experience? Any great reason to keep the Creative cards?
05-09-2003, 12:11 PM
This is from another post from Jeff...
"The best advice I can give you regarding audio/video sync is to use a card like the Hauppauge PVR 250 or 350 that has hardware audio encoding & multiplexing. The cards use hardware to maintain audio/video synchronization. Doing it any other way (like is done with the Provideo or Creative card, or any other capture card that's video only which is what every other PVR uses) is prone to loss of audio/video sync NO MATTER WHAT YOU DO.
This is because Windows is NOT a real-time operating system so it is impossible to maintain perfect sync if the responsibility is left to the software because there's no way to have guaranteed timing in the software. But as you can tell, the software can do pretty well even when running on a non real-time OS....but for perfection there is no substitute for hardware audio encoding & multiplexing."
Plus, I believe Creative is discontinuing the current version of the DVCR card. That would explain the drastic price cut (currently available for $60 on their website, down from $100) and the fact that our reseller lists it as discontinued. Who knows what the driver support will be if they discontinue this model. Maybe they are using a new chipset for a better version???
Hope that helps.
05-10-2003, 09:45 AM
Well that's totally up to you what you wanna do for your setup so it's kind of a personal choice. You can ask others what they think and have arguments back and forth but it still comes down to you're personal choice.
Personally for me im sticking with my DVCR it dispite what has been said works pretty well once the audio issues are addressed properly. Their have been some problems appearently getting the exact fix into each new release (I don't wanna speculate on why) But Jeff has been able to get the fix sent out to though needing it after it is discovered and it does fix the issues of that release. Now he has said that the final fix that addresses an issue that was in the prior fix but appearently got forgotten or something in this release will be comming that should finally resolve this issue.
As for the capture quality(noisy) i really haven't seen this on mine, For me the capture quality looks awsome compared to many other capture cards i have seen. At least for me i have gotten with sagetv quality that looks like DVD under higher capture settings so im pleased with that. It maybe some issue with your as you mentioned mobo or your video card.
I really can't say with the mixing of cards but their could be issues with doing that however as i recall Jeff has done this with thoughs two cards though i maybe wrong but he hasn't reported any problems. So you never know it could be your mobo or it could be some other problem like one of the cards sharing an irq with something that doesn't like it, You never know.
About the best reason i can say for useing DVCR is the price that and it comes with a much better default software than i have seen for any of the Hauppauge cards. I just could never like that wintv software. But granted the Wintv pvr 250 and 350 are much better cards with audio and video being all done in the hardware is a better way or easier way to do it but at 3 times the price i just can't on my budget swallow that kinda hit to my pocket book, If you can and don't want the hassles that it sounds like you would have to deal with then the choice sounds odvious to anybody. Get another PVR 250! I don't know why you even have to question it. Besides it's best at least to my mind to use 2 same type cards as it would make for less headaches with troubleshooting when problems pop up in general then it would be for two different type cards.
As for dkardatzke post of Jeff's quote yes he did say that but then Jeff did turn right around and do what he had said was impossible he got it to work in the 1.2.8 fix and for 1.3.2 fix so it can odviously be done and isn't impossible. But then again who am i to say what is or isn't impossible as far as programs or Os'es go, Im not a programmer im just a end user telling what im seeing on my system.
As for Creative discontinueing the card i really don't tend to take the word of resellers on things like that as they can be and have been on more than one occasion wrong. As for the price drop that is still more than i and others have paid for their DVCR's on sale with rebates which the card has sold at on several occasions in the last year so i hardly think pointing out a price drop as evidence of discontinuation of the card. Though one of the developers has mentioned that they were considering the possibility of maybe considering making another but that is still hearsay. Though even if they did discontinue the card creative has still made driver updates for other cards in the past that they discontinued before at least for a while. But even if they didn't that's not much of an issue not when demo can make a new driver like he has already so i don't really see that as a problem.
05-10-2003, 10:40 AM
I'm going to pick up a couple more PVR 250's this weekend. If they work without much hassle my Creative cards are history; might be the time to get an Ebay account ; )
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