Talk:Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-950Q

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User Experience

Overal Impression

This is my first video capture device and I really like it. It currently works great/excellent for ATSC (digital broadcast) but not so well for NTSC (analog TV/cable). I use WinTV-HVR-950Q on very modest hardware: on an old Dell Latitude D600 laptop with 2GHz/500MB connected to a 1080p LCD TV through a VGA cable. Both my TV and the WinTV are connected to an internal amplified antenna (TERK HDTVa). I have connected my satelite tv box to the composite input of WinTV, so that I can get HDTV and satelite TV at the same time without an external switch. This WinTV tuner is as good as my TV tuner: both found the same channels and have about the same video quality (even for 1080i broadcasts). (Note: the device has no impact upon digital video quality -- this dependent upon other factors like video decoder, rendering method, video drivers etc)

Note that it's crucial to have a fast video card. My card, ATI Radeon 9000 32Mb, is not supported by ATI anymore, so I had to use the open source radeon driver instead of ATI's fglrx. If you use the default settings for the radeon driver, you will get a pitiful 170FPS in glxgears, which is NOT sufficient for watching digital TV. But after I used this xorg.conf file[1], I got about 1100FPS, which was sufficient. Of course, I had to do the following to get the best resolution on my TV (and a blank screen on my laptop):

xrandr --output LVDS --off --output VGA-0 --mode 1920x1080

Basic Installation

Connect the WinTV to a good antenna. Then download some tools (using your distribution installer: yum, apt-get, etc):

yum install dvb-apps mplayer

Then scan your ATSC channels. For example, to scan ATSC channels in US do

scandvb /usr/share/dvb-apps/atsc/us-ATSC-center-frequencies-8VSB > channels.conf

Then copy the file channels.conf to the directory .mplayer/ and test it on of one of the channels listed in channels.conf. For example, if you have a channel called KERA-HD, you do:

mplayer dvb://'KERA-HD'

In my case, for a 1080i broadcast, I had to use the following parameters:

mplayer dvb://'KERA-HD' -vo x11 -framedrop 1 

because of my slow video and audio cards.

To watch an analog NTSC channel (US broadcast) without sound, say channel 3, use

mplayer tv://3

You can also capture video from the composite or the S-video input. Simply use mplayer tv:///1 for composite or mplayer tv:///2 for S-video. They give far better image than the antenna input. I used the directions on the mplayer page [2] to get sound for analog channels, but the sound is not synchronized with the video.

Update 5/20/2010: I finally fixed the analog video/audio synchronization problem: I had to increase the video buffer to 30MB. For example, to watch analog video from the composite input (input=1), I use:

mplayer -tv driver=v4l2:device=/dev/video0:input=1:forceaudio:alsa=1:adevice=hw.1:audiorate=32000:volume=100:immediatemode=0:amode=1:buffersize=30 tv://

To record the analog input from the composite input, do:

mencoder -tv driver=v4l2:device=/dev/video0:fps=30000/1001:audiorate=32000:adevice=hw.1:alsa:input=1:amode=1:normid=4 \
    -ffourcc DIVX -ovc lavc -oac mp3lame -lameopts cbr:br=1024 -lavcopts vbitrate=1800 \
    -endpos ${duration} -o ${file} tv:// > /dev/null 2> /dev/null

where ${duration} is the recording duration in seconds (eg, 1:00:00 for an hour) and ${file} is the output file name.

AV adapter

Could someone with an AV adapter please describe the pinout? I have an HVR-850, which has the port, but doesn't come with a cable, and $18 + shipping is a bit much for something this simple. (I just need the RCA connectors, not the S-Video.) Thanks in advance. :)  — SheeEttin {T/C} 22:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

response by djh - If you're going to buy the micro-usb connector, it should be trivial to figure out which pin the CVBS comes in on. It's then one that shows a TV picture in tvtime when you apply a video signal to it! Just hook up a VCR and iterate through the pins until you see a picture show up.