Dual-TV cards: exotics or trend?
Japanese NOVAC updated its series of internal TV tuners with such an interesting "Dual-TV" solution NV-TV300D. This time "duality syndrom" touched even conservative TV tuners.
On the board that is slightly larger than usual (160 mm) there are two LG Innotek TALN-H202T modules supported by dedicated Philips´ 9-bit SAA7133HL ADC. PCI interaction is provided by PLX Technology PCI 6140 bridge. The device doesn´t support A2 and NICAM and is designed for BTSC, SAP and EIAJ, while selectors support only NTSC signals.
Summing up all of the above, what does the customer get? A possibility to work with two video streams simultaneously without additional contrivances. This finally provides natural PIP (picture-in-picture) and its derivatives, so now you doesn´t have to watch the same show you are recording. The board features two S-Video (RCA adapters bundled), but the manufacturer warns about the impossibility to record from two sources at once.
In Japan NOVAC Dual-TV sales will start on December 25 for about $120.
By the way, in European online stores they offer a higher-end WinTV-PVR-500MCE TV tuner from Hauppauge:
It´s interesting that radio units are now situated across the board. Besides the TV antenna input, the device also has a jack for FM antenna. But unlike NOVAC´s novelty, this "combine" supports simultaneous MPEG1/2 encoding from two sources! This feature is provided by a couple of Conexant CX23416-12 chips and a couple of buffers (Samsung memory chips). ADCs are two chips from Conexant, which are coupled with the same PCI 6140 bridge. As for audio, WinTV-PVR-500MCE has a couple of RCA connectors instead of a mini-jack.
According to the name, the tuner is designed for Windows XP Media Center Edition that supports up to 3 TV tuners per system, so this dual solution should not be a problem.
Another nice thing is that Hauppauge WinTV-PVR-500MCE can feature both NTSC and PAL modules (multistandard PAL I, PAL B/G, Secam), so we can use it in Russia as well.
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