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Is there a good PCIe DVR capture card that has at least 4 channels as well as the hardware encoding? It would have to have decent driver support in Windows xp or windows 7.

I have looked at various video capture cards as well as an integrated video capture card/motherboard from Huperlabs. But so far I have not found one with a decent review and that has good driver support that I can verify.

A really small card would be nice because I am trying to get a fairly small form factor. Huperlabs stuff is pretty awesome but they are slow to get back to me and they bundle their analytics software with the hardware (extra cost for nothing)

The dvr is being used for security.

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did you find a suitable card for this? –  deveneyi Mar 10 '11 at 12:26
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2 Answers

I use the same Hauppauge! HVR-2250 tuner card. I've used it reliably for digital over-the-air signals two years now.

One odd thing about it, is that every time iTunes pushes another update (like, about every five minutes it seems), Apple's embedded (required/forced) update of Quicktime disrupts Windows Media Center's recognition of the installed tuners for the HVR-2250.

I'm not sure who is at fault for this, but absolutely no other software updates have caused this problem (two years with my current set-up). Only Windows Media Center loses the handshake to the tuner card. The alternate media software (WinTV, which I don't like as much in other regards) never loses the recognition of the tuners. So I suspect Apple is just knowingly not bothering to play nice with Microsoft.

Reinstalling the drivers for the HVR-2250 takes about 30 seconds and often solves it. When it doesn't, I have to then go into Windows Media Center and do the tuner set up again; that can take a few minutes and is more of a pain. Again, I don't blame the tuner: it's Jobs' forced update of Quicktime that is laying down this layer of fine fertilizer.

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I generally stick with Hauppauge cards, as they have excellent driver support, both for linux and windows, and good reviews. WinTV-HVR-2250 Dual TV Tuner Can record up to two channels and is low profile ready, you might try two of those if you need to record up to 4 simultaneous channels.

I haven't seen anything that supports recording 4 streams on a single card, though I haven't looked.

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