PVR-150MCE

The Hunter

Limp Gawd
Joined
May 29, 2002
Messages
414
I'm considering a PVR card for my system (just a desktop, not building a HTPC), and the PVR-150MCE looks like a good bet. I can get it for a reasonable price, better than I can find the non-MCE edition. I notice that the MCE edition doesnt have a remote (which is fine by me, since I already have an ATi Remote Wonder), but I cant tell if it comes with any tuner software or not. Can someone help me out with this one? If it doesn't, should I spend the extra money to get a PVR-250 (which I can get cheaper than the non-MCE 150), or is there good free Windows TV tuner software available (keep in mind, I'm not making an HTPC, just want to watch/record TV on my desktop). Also, is there really any difference in the 150 vs. 250? Just seems that the 150 uses a newer chipset or something.
 

FrothyByte

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 24, 2001
Messages
1,672
The Hunter said:
I'm considering a PVR card for my system (just a desktop, not building a HTPC), and the PVR-150MCE looks like a good bet. I can get it for a reasonable price, better than I can find the non-MCE edition. I notice that the MCE edition doesnt have a remote (which is fine by me, since I already have an ATi Remote Wonder), but I cant tell if it comes with any tuner software or not. Can someone help me out with this one? If it doesn't, should I spend the extra money to get a PVR-250 (which I can get cheaper than the non-MCE 150), or is there good free Windows TV tuner software available (keep in mind, I'm not making an HTPC, just want to watch/record TV on my desktop). Also, is there really any difference in the 150 vs. 250? Just seems that the 150 uses a newer chipset or something.
I can't speak for the availability of standalone tuners but I am pretty sure they exist out there.

Most of the free HTPC software suites include a tuner you just have to point at a card as the input source.

I know you aren't building a HTPC but the other features you can integrate such as time-shifting and scheduling in these suites is pretty enticing. They run just like any other application on your box so it won't turn your box into a single purpose HTPC.

As for the difference of the 250 vs 150 the 150 has a HARDWARE MPEG2 decoder. Therefore it requires very little processing power from your box's CPU to decode video. This in turn allows you to have a less powerful box than with the 250 where decoding is done in SOFTWARE. The rule of thumb in virtually any situation is if you can do it in hardware, it will be a hands down faster (but more expensive initially) solution.

I think the generally accepted view here and in other places is that the 150 is probably the better choice of the two cards in a side by side comparison. Although there are always exceptions.

Hope that helps.
 

Mok

Limp Gawd
Joined
Feb 19, 2002
Messages
222
The 150 is the upgraded version of the 250.

Basically they took 2 chips and integrated them into 1, saving space on the board, and saving on silicone. Cheaper to produce that way, and it ends up with marginally better picture quality.

the 250 doesn't have the decoder, only the 350 does, which basically gives you TV-out right from the PVR card, not going through your video card to a TV.

Both the 150 and the 250 have the hardware encoder though.

All this "should" be in the sticky at the top here.....
 

FrothyByte

[H]ard|Gawd
Joined
Jun 24, 2001
Messages
1,672
Mok said:
The 150 is the upgraded version of the 250.

Basically they took 2 chips and integrated them into 1, saving space on the board, and saving on silicone. Cheaper to produce that way, and it ends up with marginally better picture quality.

the 250 doesn't have the decoder, only the 350 does, which basically gives you TV-out right from the PVR card, not going through your video card to a TV.

Both the 150 and the 250 have the hardware encoder though.

All this "should" be in the sticky at the top here.....
Ahhh yes, I appologize for my mis-stating that it was the decoder. You are correct. It is the hardware encoder and NOT the decoder.
 

CrimandEvil

Dick with a heart of gold
Joined
Oct 22, 2003
Messages
19,671
1.) The PVR150 is simple an update to the PVR250 cards, the 150 has slighly better image quality but costs muchless. Only reason to go with a PVR250 is for Linux support.

2.) I don't beleive the MCE versions come with software (although my PVR250MCEs did) but regardless you can DL the software from Hauppauge's site.
 
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