3d video card w/VIVO or 3d video card w/VO + Tuner


Jul 14, 2003
I'm looking to take the dive into a HTPC. I would like it to serve two fuctions: game unit and "TIVO" unit.
I am probably going to get the Shuttle SB61G2, P4 - 2.4 GHz 800FSB, 512 MB RAM, and 80 GB HD. The part that I am not sure about is the video card(s). The video will be coming from my digital cable box through a RCA cable, so it will not need to support "cable tuning".

Which would be a better solution:
1. 3d video card with VIVO (GeForce 4 TI4x00)
2. 3d video card with TV out (GeForce 4 TI4x00) and a PCI TV Tuner, like a Hauupauge PVR-250 (or similar)

I would like to for it to have all the TIVO bells and whistles, save to HD as MPEG2, record to VCD or DVD, pause live TV (not too important), etc.

Just as a side thought, could there be audio syncing problems with a single video card solution as the audio and video are coming in separately?

I leave it to the experts, what do you suggest?

Thanks for the help,



ATI AIW video card does all that and work good for me here. Dont know about nvidia card.

-Always put the blame on you first, then on the hardware !!!


Former Staff
The PVR series are hardware solutions, which would take most of the load off your CPU for recording video. As opposed to a video input on a VIVO card, which would use software compression.

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Jul 17, 2002
The ATi AIW cards tend to give better video quality when it comes to captures as compared to Nvidia cards. If you want to go for high quality, you are better off with a software encoder and use an avi codec like MJPEG or Huffy. Then reencode it to MPEG2. You get higher quality like that. If you want to go just to MPEG2, get a hardware capture card as it will reduce the load on your cpu and minimize dropped frames.