[pvrusb2] First Impressions with a Hauppauge WInTV HVR-950

Mike Isely isely at isely.net
Sun Mar 18 20:15:17 CDT 2007

On Sun, 18 Mar 2007, roger wrote:

> I didn't like it for the simple reason there was no choice to use an
> onboard encoder (ie. Mpeg2 or Divx).  All video/audio encoding is done
> using the host's cpu resources.  And doing so, requires a 2+ Ghz cpu!
> Yikes.  (And the tiny device does use it if you're still wondering.)

It's bigger cousin, the PCI-hosted HVR-1600 does have a hardware encoder 
for the analog side.  However that encoder probably takes too much power 
and is too large to work in a device like the tiny HVR-950.  This is 
probably why it lacks a hardware encoder.

Now, there are some other hybrid USB devices out there which also do 
hardware encoding.  But they're not from Hauppauge and not anywhere near 
as commonplace.  Two devices I know of are of a size similar to the PVR 
USB2 and both require external power.

> I just hope, Hauppauge is just gearing up to do a HVR style pvrusb2
> device, and oh yea, pays Mike lots of money to both, manage it's driver
> and it's front end software. :-)

Nice thought.  But I don't think or expect that there's anything like 
that in the works.

> Another item on the wish list would be using a choice of codecs instead
> of only having an MPEG2 stream.

The encoder chip was not created by Hauppauge.  They purchase and 
include it in their product, same as a number of other vendors.  So 
Hauppauge probably isn't in a position to even try something like this.  

To be able to be flexible with the choice of codec would also imply a 
much more complex encoder chip - it already sucks down too much juice to 
be USB powered :-(


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