8.30.2011

Video capture card

Guys, this is one of the most awesome I ever had since quite a while that didn't have to do with programming or so. I'm speaking capturing your standard video/stereo signal from console output and display it on your computer screen. I always wanted to get rid of that annoying TV, all those battery-eating remote controls and so on... Really not what I want when playing video game (what a double-meaning Wii reference). As with a similarly priced external USB sound card, I watched out for Linux compatibility and atleast a binary driver for my current Ubuntu 10.4 setup. I found out that Hauppauge Computer Works also helps developing Linux drivers for their products, which's a good thing by default. More interestingly, the software provided by them (called "WinTV"( for watching and recording was the only one that didn't look some lame Youtube clone (I like the comparison). It has a reaaallly nice subset of functions, beeing a programmable video recorder and a realtime capturing for all kinds of analogue input I can think of. So I got myself a "WinTV-T Video Edition", which is a very compact little block with LEDs and connectors on it's site. It also has a DVB-T antenna (I don't watch any kind of TV), but that's just an extra compared to ability to finally not needing an additional power-sucking TV somewhere. It replaces the kind of stuff that always annoyed me when wanting to play a non-PC video game. And yes, I'm more than satisfied the hardware and the software as well. The player has a bit of delay here and there, especially when initializing (guess this has to do with certain driver access and USB latencies), but it's a fitting piece software otherwise. It has buffer-less record/capture mode, shows up the TV program and lets you play your recordings within whatever time you want. And even more stuff I don't need atm, but keeps quite a couple possibilities open.

And digitizing old videos you'll only find in horrible quality on Youtube is also seriously awesome. If you need a quality piece of investion, go get a Hauppauge device - it's worth it!

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