Some Recommendations for Choosing a Video Capture Device
Like most computer components, video capture cards and devices range in price from the very cheap to the very expensive. By buying a more expensive device, you are paying for better quality, more features, and the extras in which you may or may not be interested.
Sabrent is a company that offers low-cost solutions to your home theater and PC needs. You can buy the Sabrent TV Tuner for less than $25 at most retailers and it comes complete with PCI card format, coax input, S-Video, and both audio-in and audio-out ports. In addition, this card comes with a remote and remote receiver unit. For smaller and simpler Home Theater rigs, this capture device is both simple to setup and cost effective.
Hauppauge’s WinTV-HVR1600 Dual TV Tuner is priced higher at around $90 but offers more features and higher quality output. Like the Sabrent TV Tuner above, this capture device is a PCI format capture card offering coax, audio (in and out), and S-Video input connections. However, it also offers a Digital TV Connector for those devices that support digital output signals. It also features a remote and an Infrared (IR) jack for remote receiver signals.
Avermedia’s AverTV HD Volar USB 2.0 HDTV Tuner is a USB-variety capture device supporting High-Definition Television (HDTV) up to 1080i/720p. It also features widescreen support and ships with both 32-bit and 64-bit drivers depending on which type of operating system you have on your computer. At about $40, it packs many features into a small package. However, being a USB-format capture device, it only supports coax connections. Having to add patch cables or patch boxes (breakout panels) to this device may make it that much more convenient to add a PCI or PCIe card to your system if your computer has a slot available.