TV cards again, and the X2VGA adapter

I’m looking for recommendations for a good TV input card, to be used primarily for playing my Xbox without actually owning a TV, but with occasional use for watching TV. Features relating to capturing video are nice, but I’m not launching into any big video editing projects any time soon.

I remember a while ago there was a lot of support for one of the Leadtek cards, wasn’t there? Best forty-something dollars that someone spent, if I recall correctly. Is that card, whatever it was, still the way to go? What are my other options, what kind of features should I be interested and what’s just marketing stuff?

Any help is appreciated.

I don’t really know which capture cards are the best, but I know that you want a card that is compatible with DScaler (www.dscaler.org). It has much better deinterlacing than the simple line doubling most software that comes with the capture cards offer.

I use a ATI TV Wonder Pro to capture the svideo and the sound routed to my speakers seperately. There is some ghosting in the picture that I imagine is the TV Wonder’s fault. But i would still say it looks better than a regular TV.

Of course, if it’s mainly for the XBox you can’t go wrong with the X2Vga adapter (http://www.x2vga.com/). It looks amazing, since it shows the output progressive scan on your monitor. The downside is that interlaced video is all but unwatchable. The xbox dvd player outputs only interlaced, and there are one or two games that don’t have progressive scan.

Snowmyr

Truth be told, I was actually considering purchasing the X2VGA adapter and a TV card. I’d still need the TV card for all my other consoles, otherwise I probably would go with just the X2VGA.

Speaking of that, anyone know how well a VGA signal holds up and how many things I can link up before it really starts to degrade? I’m already running from my video card into my Dreamcast VGA switch before the signal gets to my monitor.

Oh wow. Even as I typed that last post, and hit the bit about the Dreamcast VGA and signal degradation it dawned on me that the faint ghosting I’d become aware of about a month ago could very well be related to that. Sure enough, I just took the Dreamcast VGA switch out of the loop and the ghosting is gone. It wasn’t bad enough that I noticed it immediately when I first plugged the DC adapter in, but in a discussion about refresh rates a few weeks ago I started really paying attention to my monitor and once I noticed the ghosting I’ve been painfully aware of it all the time. It never dawned on me that it was the adapter, I just thought my monitor was getting flakey on me.

Does anyone have any first hand experience with the X2VGA adapter? Any similar problems? Is intereference like that more often caused by poor cables, the quality of the device, or just the fact that the monitor signal has farther to go? What I was seeing with the Dreamcast adapter plugged in I could live with, but I’ll leave it out since I’m not actively playing the Dreamcast right now. So some slight quality loss would be accceptable for the Xbox adapter as well.

I have the X2Vga and it works fine but I have to manually plug the monitor into it every time I want to use it, and switch it back to the PC when i’m done. THere is no pass through connection.

If you have other consoles you might want to look at getting something like this http://www.lik-sang.com/info.php?category=219&products_id=4233& instead of the x2vga. Converting progressive scan component input into a vga signal. I have no idea how good it looks, or how many non xbox games support progressive scan component output. Theoretically it should look the same as the x2vga. It wouldn’t work for non-progressive scan signals so you would still need a TV card. And it’s a bit more money PLUS you would have to buy the component cables for each console.

Just a thought,
Stephen

The Leadtek card is the Winfast PVR, and it’s pretty freaking sweet. I play my PS2 on it, and though when fullscreened it has these black bars on the edges giving me 95% of fullscreen, but it’s still definitely worth the $40 at newegg.

Theoretically is right. I had such an adapter (component-to-VGA) from Copperbox, putting the signal into our home theater video projector (which is really an office projector that we got at an ex-dot-com auction, and has only VGA input, no component). The Copperbox adapter worked sketchily at the best of times – sometimes the projector would need to be turned off and on a few times to get it to sync to the signal. And when KOTOR came out, it failed completely – something about KOTOR made the Copperbox very unhappy.

Fortunately (FORTUNATELY!!!) the X2VGA had just shipped like the prior month. I ordered one and it worked like a complete champion. Haven’t had ANY image / sync / signal problems.

If you are going to try to get a VGA signal from your XBox, you would be a fool to do it any other way than with the X2VGA. My experience, fwiw :-D

Cheers!
Rob

Ok, I’m pretty sold on the X2VGA at this point. As for TV cards, my problem is still that when I look at a page like Leadtek’s card options, I really wouldn’t know what was supposed to be the better card if I wasn’t at least reasonably confident that the better ones cost more. I still don’t know important features from marketing bullet points. Any help?

Just get a VGA switcher box(need 2 VGA cables also but removes the hassles of switching it all the time).