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NVIDIA's new MCE device places two TV tuners on a single card

NVIDIA has launched the ultimate tool for Media Center Edition (MCE) PC owners. The NVIDIA DualTV, as its name implies, offers two tuners on a single card.

By having two separate tuners onboard, the DualTV tuner is able to record two shows at once or allow you to record one show while you watch another. And since the DualTV tuner is a full-fledged MCE device, you can transfer recorded material to a personal media players or portable game players. Live or recorded shows can also be streamed throughout the home to game consoles or Media Center Extenders courtesy of software from Orb Networks.

Other features of the NVIDIA DualTV tuner include:

  • MediaSqueeze compression technology
  • PureVideo technology
  • 3D comb filter
  • 3D noise reduction hardware
  • In-line TV amplifier.
  • Multi-stream hardware encoder

Scott Vouri, general manager of multimedia at NVIDIA adds:

"There are other TV tuners in the market today, but the NVIDIA DualTV tuner offers some key differentiators that make it stand out. Based on our internal testing it’s measurably the best picture quality of any dual tuner card and saves disk space. It’s easy to use and install, and is designed for people who want to watch what they want, where they want, whenever they want."

The NVIDIA DualTV tuner is available now for a suggested retail price of $169. You can also purchase the DualTV tuner with a remote and receiver kit for $219.

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By THEREALJMAN73 on 4/6/2006 11:29:02 AM , Rating: 2
I still havn't see any new HD Tuners released. Dual HDMI and HD cards would be awesome but no one seems to be making them.

By Alphafox78 on 4/6/2006 11:32:23 AM , Rating: 2
I know, I want to imput from my cable box highdef, but there are no tuner cards that input via the RGB cables that highdef tvs take...

By nordicpc on 4/6/2006 11:53:21 AM , Rating: 2
From what I gather, we're all waiting on Vista's HD DRM setup to enable things like that. I have seen very high end video editing cards that have Component inputs, but I doubt the user experience would be anywhere near satisfactory.

The big deal is that for some damn reason, the TV guys don't want HD to follow the same rules as older digital tv, or analog. Since there's more pixels, we need more DRM. BS in my opinion.

Vista should bring cable-card devices that will actually replace the set-top box instead of just pull video from it. In the mean time, you can do like I do, and use the FCC-mandated 1394 port on the back of the cable box to stream the MPEGs from the box. It did take me about 2 months to actually make it happen, but this is the forum that made it work out:

Good luck!

By BigLan on 4/6/2006 12:27:53 PM , Rating: 2
It's more of a technological limit than anything. Raw uncompressed component or DVI signals require more bandwidth than a PCI-e x1 slot can provide, and so would need a very powerful encoding chip on the card to do mpeg 2 or mpeg 4 compression in real time on the chip. At the moment there simply isn't a market for those types of devices outside the professional environment.

And don't count of firewire from your STB for too long - I think that the FCC no longer requires cable companies to offer it now that cablecard ready TVs are the mainstream.

By nordicpc on 4/6/2006 12:54:21 PM , Rating: 3
That's not entirely true. In fact the PCI bus has enough bandwidth to do HD. Look at ATI's HDTV Wonder for instance. In fact if bandwidth was an issue there would be no way I could record the MPEG TS's to my hard drive, which works effortlessly, btw.

The problem is with the DRM. These silly "Copy once, copy as much as you want, never copy" tags and the scale down of analog outs is what is holding back our innovation.

By masher2 on 4/6/2006 1:38:03 PM , Rating: 2
> "That's not entirely true. In fact the PCI bus has enough bandwidth to do HD..."

He said raw, uncompressed HD-- which has a bitrate of (usually) 1485 Gbps. More than PCI can handle and very tight for PCIe 1X, if you assume any encoding overhead.

By Wwhat on 4/6/2006 1:48:37 PM , Rating: 2
rubbish, that's 15MB. pci can do that easy (133MB), and PCI-e is 250MB for 1 lane, enough said.

By masher2 on 4/6/2006 2:13:40 PM , Rating: 2
I'm not sure where you get the 15MB figure, but its clearly incorrect. There are 0.92 million pixels in a 720p frame. Assume a frame rate of even 30 fps and 24 bits per pixel, and you get a bandwidth of 83MB alone.

But that's without any encoding overhead, and it also doesn't allow the display of signals such as 720p60. The HDTV standard SMPTE 292M specifies a bandwith of 1.485 Gbps, well above what PCI can handle.

Now compressed video can go far below this. But thats a different story altogether.

By z3R0C00L on 4/6/2006 3:46:50 PM , Rating: 2
1.485Gbps is not 15MB... it's 1485Mbps which divided by 8 is (8 bits = 1 Byte) 185.625MB/sec... above the PCI Bus's maximum of 133MB/sec but under the PCI Express x1 slots 250MB/sec maximum.

Still... it's variable... therefore it's highly likely that at times it may actually surpass the PCI x1 Bus's speed.. then you have another issue. I do not know of a single Hard Drive that is capable of writting at such a high sustained speed.

that's why we have MPEG compression.. ;)

By Wwhat on 4/6/2006 5:35:03 PM , Rating: 2
1920pixels x 1080pixels x 30fps = 62208000 times 24bit colordepth = 1,492,992,000 bps divided by 8 = 186,624,000 Bytes P/S.
But that's NOT variable since this is raw pixels uncompressed.
So 250MB is enough.

And yes, as you say, if you hardware compress it even 133MB should do it too, but of course the PCI system is shared resources so that assumes you have no soundcard or networkcard (nor onboard on the pci subsystem) nor RAID (onboard on pci) running.
Still mpeg compresses enogh to be way below 133MB, so theoretically even PCI could support it, although pci-e is much more suited and logical of course.

By GoatMonkey on 4/7/2006 7:54:39 AM , Rating: 2
I wonder if it would be possible for them to take advantage of the installed video cards to do the compressions. Suppose you had a pair of 7900 GTX video cards in SLI. That's a lot of processing power right there. It seems like you could take the raw HD stream in from a separate card, since I don't think many graphics cards have a coax connector. Then let the video cards handle the compression to MPEG4 or whatever format. What format does HD content come in as by default anyway? Is it MPEG2?

By masher2 on 4/7/2006 9:04:03 AM , Rating: 2
> "I wonder if it would be possible for them to take advantage of the installed video cards to do the compressions"

But the problem is to do that, you have to transmit that uncompressed data to the video card...and if your tuner card is on the PCI bus, you don't have the bandwidth to send it anywhere in that state.

By Wwhat on 4/6/2006 1:52:54 PM , Rating: 2
They could at least support digital tv, which is around all over the place.

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