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Compro VideoMate S350 DVB-S PCI card - £26.11 Delivered at Dabs
Compro VideoMate S350 DVB-S PCI card - £26.11 Delivered at Dabs

Compro VideoMate S350 DVB-S PCI card - £26.11 Delivered at Dabs

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I have been looking for the cheapest way I can get the World Cup in HD and this is what I found, the Compro Videomate S350. It seems to review well on the web and integrates perfectly with media centre if you have Win 7.

Description

VideoMate S350 is a powerful digital satellite TV tuner card with analog video/audio capture. It accompanies Philips 9-bit ADC chip, the state-of-the-art silicon digital TV tuner, Compro Picture Purifying Technology, and Power Up Technology to provide superior HDTV video quality reception on your PC. Not only watching free-to-air high quality DVB-S TV shows on your PC as a regular DVB-S card, accompanied by Compro's exclusive Power Up Technology - it can automatically boot up your system from the Windows Shut Down (ACPI S5), Stand by (ACPI S3), or Hibernation (ACPI S4) mode and record your favorite shows, then ComproDTV 2 will automatically shutdown your system when recording is completed. Friendly Remote controlled power on/off - to enhance the home entertainment PC experience, users can power up and shutdown their PC with the bundled ergonomic design remote control.

More than these, VideoMate S350 supports DiSEqC V1.2, Transport Stream and MPEG-2 digital TV record/playback to get the best experience in DVB-S TV reception, moreover, S350 support 3rd party satellite TV PVR software as well. In addition, VideoMate S350 provides many useful and unique features in software: timeshifting, channel surfing, still frame capture, digital EPG, subtitle and Teletext, advanced picture in/out picture to watch live TV/playback video files at the same time and support up to 4 digital channel windows watch, customize channel order and my favorite channel list for more easy-to-use, Video Desktop to setup your live TV screen as wallpaper mode, customize brightness, hue, saturation, contrast, and TV audio in each TV channel. VideoMate S350 is also a video capture card that can capture analog video from S-Video or Composite for MPEG-1/2/4 formats recording.

Complete with a 37-key remote and bundled with Compro's exclusive ComproDTV 2, ComproDVD 2 and Ulead PhotoExplorer 8.5 SE software, VideoMate S350 gives users a complete and convenient control solution for easy DVB-S viewing and recording. By completely integrated the excellent hardware and software supports, and rich package, Compro unleashes the convenience of video technology to enjoy your life, and brings you the continuous innovation in high video quality experience. VideoMate S350 turns your desktop into a digital entertainment center and brings a world of enhanced TV services directly to your PC and definitely your best choice.

Features

Silicon digital satellite TV tuner with Philips 9-bit ADC
Watch DVB-S digital satellite TV shows on your PC
Compro Exclusive Power Up Scheduled Recording
Convenient Remote Controlled Power On/Off
Supports DiSEqC Version 1.2
Supports SDTV and 1080i HDTV (where available)
Advanced PIP/POP features up to 4 sub channels watching -- Video Desktop to setup the live TV screen as wallpaper
Customize Brightness, Hue, Saturation, Contrast, and audio selection in each TV channel
Digital TV supports MPEG-2 and Transport Stream recording
Capture analog video from S-Video and Composite
Analog video capture supports MPEG-1/2/4 formats recording
Analog video capture supports pause while recording and automatic spilt file size
Timeshifting, channel surfing, and still frame capture
Supports audio and language selection in available channels
Supports EPG, subtitle and Teletext (where available)
Fully functional IR remote control for TV and DVD playback
Microsoft BDA driver

This is the cheapest price I could find with delivery charges included, Overclockers and Scan are cheaper if you can get free delivery with them.

29 Comments

You need a DVB-S2 card for reception of HD TV channels.

Not necessarily, some HD channels are broadcast as DVB-S:-

bbc.co.uk/rec…tml

"BBC HD broadcasts use the DVB-S standard as do all the other BBC satellite services. At some point in the future, the DVB-S2 standard will be used, but no date has yet been fixed for this transition."

urbans01;8714864

You need a DVB-S2 card for reception of HD TV channels.


ITV HD and BBC HD use standard DVB-S (for now) so this PCI card will be fine.

I have one of these in my HTPC, it's a great card. Works perfectly with Win 7 Media Center and shows both BBC HD and ITV HD no problem.

£24.44 at Scan if you have free delivery or can collect. Still a good price for the majority. :thumbsup:
scan.co.uk/Pro…gle

I have one of these in my HTPC, does the job nicely. Its running Windows 7 x64 and picks up all the Freesat channels in Media Center, including the HD channels. Quality is fine and card has never failed on me. A wise buy at this price, voted hot. Worth pointing out though the supplied remote and software is pretty poor, your best of using the Media Center built into Windows 7 and a Microsoft remote.

urbans01;8714864

You need a DVB-S2 card for reception of HD TV channels.



This is misleading and not true

DrRamtop;8715020

I have one of these in my HTPC, it's a great card. Works perfectly with … I have one of these in my HTPC, it's a great card. Works perfectly with Win 7 Media Center and shows both BBC HD and ITV HD no problem.



Whats the SD picture quality like as i know some of the freeview tv cards are poor?

nwo;8715161

Whats the SD picture quality like as i know some of the freeview tv cards … Whats the SD picture quality like as i know some of the freeview tv cards are poor?


It's fine. I have 4 DVB-S cards of various types and I can't see any difference in quality between them.

The video card and software produces the picture, freeview TV cards usually simply pass the MPEG stream.

I wonder if there is any Linux support for this card, hmm.

so what input does this need? aerial or sat or both?

Original Poster

tragictramp;8715258

so what input does this need? aerial or sat or both?



You connect your sky cable (or equivalent) to it.

nwo;8715161

Whats the SD picture quality like as i know some of the freeview tv cards … Whats the SD picture quality like as i know some of the freeview tv cards are poor?



It depends on the playback software. The TV card does not process the incoming DVB-S signal - it is merely a receiver. Software such as PowerCinema 6 can process the picture. It is a bit more tricky in Windows Media Center but software such as Media Control (damienbt.free.fr/ind…php) in conjunction with ffdShow will allow the ffdShow pre and post processing to be applied to Windows Media Center. If using PowerCinema 6, ffdShow only will suffice.

good price

Will this work with Vista and Media Centre?

not a bad price, pretty much the going rate for a while now. one thing that may be of intrest is that i had to move my motherboard to get the card into my lian li case. the way it has been designed with the areal input is at the top of the card making it akward to get in. this will be case specific probably. did anyone else have similar problems?

coleaj;8716037

Will this work with Vista and Media Centre?



Vista Media Center does not support the relevant Codecs for HD transmission (Freesat HD is encoded in MPEG4). There are unofficial workarounds such as the TV Pack and modified DLLs to overcome this issue.

do interactive work on this as well? need summat for multi choice when wimbledons on. oh yeh and what about 5.1 surround?

ElliottC;8716569

Vista Media Center does not support the relevant Codecs for HD … Vista Media Center does not support the relevant Codecs for HD transmission (Freesat HD is encoded in MPEG4). There are unofficial workarounds such as the TV Pack and modified DLLs to overcome this issue.



Thanks.


I wonder if it's worth upgrading to Windows 7 just for this .....

Original Poster

coleaj;8717999

Thanks.I wonder if it's worth upgrading to Windows 7 just for this .....



AVForums says you can use DVB Dream with this if using vista.

coleaj;8717999

Thanks.I wonder if it's worth upgrading to Windows 7 just for this .....



Upgrading to Windows 7 is the only current option to allow HD channels to be viewed natively within Windows Media Center without modifications. Compro's supplied software will allow you to view the HD channels but of course this is not within Windows MCE. As I mentioned, the Microsoft TV Pack would allow you to view the HD channels in Vista's version of Windows MCE but I will leave it to you to search for it as I am not sure of the legality of using the software and furthermore, once it is installed it is extremely difficult to remove. Using 3rd party applications such as DVB Viewer/DVB Dream suffers from the same disadvantage in that the application runs outside of Windows MCE but they can take advantage of ffdShow for picture enhancement but so can Compro's own software (which has its own post processing included).

If you are going to be spending money on Windows 7, you may be better off purchasing AverTV Satellite PCI (Model A706) since I believe the supplied software can be set up as a plug in for Windows MCE and allows the HD channels to be viewed on all editions of Windows Media Center. The price of the tuner is a lot more though, at around £50-£60 but it means you are not required to purchase Windows 7 if you do not need it. If you take this route, you will need to confirm with Avermedia if its Windows MCE plugin will allow for viewing of the HD channels, but I am fairly certain that this is the case.

ElliottC;8719868

Upgrading to Windows 7 is the only current option to allow HD channels to … Upgrading to Windows 7 is the only current option to allow HD channels to be viewed natively within Windows Media Center without modifications. Compro's supplied software will allow you to view the HD channels but of course this is not within Windows MCE. As I mentioned, the Microsoft TV Pack would allow you to view the HD channels in Vista's version of Windows MCE but I will leave it to you to search for it as I am not sure of the legality of using the software and furthermore, once it is installed it is extremely difficult to remove. Using 3rd party applications such as DVB Viewer/DVB Dream suffers from the same disadvantage in that the application runs outside of Windows MCE but they can take advantage of ffdShow for picture enhancement but so can Compro's own software (which has its own post processing included).If you are going to be spending money on Windows 7, you may be better off purchasing AverTV Satellite PCI (Model A706) since I believe the supplied software can be set up as a plug in for Windows MCE and allows the HD channels to be viewed on all editions of Windows Media Center. The price of the tuner is a lot more though, at around £50-£60 but it means you are not required to purchase Windows 7 if you do not need it. If you take this route, you will need to confirm with Avermedia if its Windows MCE plugin will allow for viewing of the HD channels, but I am fairly certain that this is the case.



Many thanks for those comments.

I need to consider whether the other advantages of Windows are worth getting, plus the effort of installing a new operating system and re-loading all the software etc!

Is any one aware of a PC freesat card (non HD) that will work with Vista MCE, as that is another option. Another of the advantages for me of using Freesat as opposed to Freeview is that I can receive the local East Midlands TV news, which I can't do on Freeview, as I live too near the border of West Midlands and can only receive signals from their transmitter.

coleaj;8721159

Many thanks for those comments.I need to consider whether the other … Many thanks for those comments.I need to consider whether the other advantages of Windows are worth getting, plus the effort of installing a new operating system and re-loading all the software etc!Is any one aware of a PC freesat card (non HD) that will work with Vista MCE, as that is another option. Another of the advantages for me of using Freesat as opposed to Freeview is that I can receive the local East Midlands TV news, which I can't do on Freeview, as I live too near the border of West Midlands and can only receive signals from their transmitter.



The Avermedia A706 I mentioned earlier is fully DVB-S compliant and as I mentioned, it includes a plug in for ALL editions of Windows MCE which means you can view TV from the MCE interface. I am fairly certain that this includes viewing HD broadcasts within Vista MCE too but I'd rather you confirm that with Avermedia than take my word for it as I have not used this model.

As you have mentioned non-HD why not buy this Compro S350? It may not allow you to view the HD channels in Vista MCE but you certainly can view the SD channels. Also, almost every single DVB-S TV card on the market can be used in all editions of Windows Media Center for SD viewing because they use Microsoft's BDA driver architecture. A driver that is BDA conformant means that they have followed Microsoft's standards and essentially means that the software acts as an intermediary between the input signal and the OS. If this is achieved in the way mandated by the BDA specifications, then SD viewing will be fine in Vista MCE. Theoretically, HD viewing also works BUT the viewing software (Vista MCE) does not have MPEG4 to decode the signal that the BDA drivers have sent out.

Windows 7 does possess much better multimedia features such as CODECS for HD playback (but sadly no blu ray playback software), handling of HD video cameras and limited support for ISO files. Other enhancements are faster file copying, an imaging backup tool, touchscreen support, improved caching for faster startup times, improve performance of SSD drives (due to background erasing of paged data before a delete operation) plus others. I can't remember the other features. You can upgrade Vista to 7 without loss of personal data and in theory, your installed software but needless to say, it is paramount to have a backup in the first instance.

tragictramp;8717402

do interactive work on this as well? need summat for multi choice when … do interactive work on this as well? need summat for multi choice when wimbledons on. oh yeh and what about 5.1 surround?



Red button support is not available in Compro's software or any other third party software. Windows 7 Media Centre (and Windows Vista MCE with TV Pack) have documented support for the red button with DVB-T transmissions but undocumented support for DVB-S transmissions. That is, red button support can be enabled by a registry setting but as it is an undocumented feature it will not work properly.

ElliottC;8719868

Upgrading to Windows 7 is the only current option to allow HD channels to … Upgrading to Windows 7 is the only current option to allow HD channels to be viewed natively within Windows Media Center without modifications. Compro's supplied software will allow you to view the HD channels but of course this is not within Windows MCE. As I mentioned, the Microsoft TV Pack would allow you to view the HD channels in Vista's version of Windows MCE but I will leave it to you to search for it as I am not sure of the legality of using the software and furthermore, once it is installed it is extremely difficult to remove. Using 3rd party applications such as DVB Viewer/DVB Dream suffers from the same disadvantage in that the application runs outside of Windows MCE but they can take advantage of ffdShow for picture enhancement but so can Compro's own software (which has its own post processing included).If you are going to be spending money on Windows 7, you may be better off purchasing AverTV Satellite PCI (Model A706) since I believe the supplied software can be set up as a plug in for Windows MCE and allows the HD channels to be viewed on all editions of Windows Media Center. The price of the tuner is a lot more though, at around £50-£60 but it means you are not required to purchase Windows 7 if you do not need it. If you take this route, you will need to confirm with Avermedia if its Windows MCE plugin will allow for viewing of the HD channels, but I am fairly certain that this is the case.



ElliottC;8721383

The Avermedia A706 I mentioned earlier is fully DVB-S compliant and as I … The Avermedia A706 I mentioned earlier is fully DVB-S compliant and as I mentioned, it includes a plug in for ALL editions of Windows MCE which means you can view TV from the MCE interface. I am fairly certain that this includes viewing HD broadcasts within Vista MCE too but I'd rather you confirm that with Avermedia than take my word for it as I have not used this model.As you have mentioned non-HD why not buy this Compro S350? It may not allow you to view the HD channels in Vista MCE but you certainly can view the SD channels. Also, almost every single DVB-S TV card on the market can be used in all editions of Windows Media Center for SD viewing because they use Microsoft's BDA driver architecture. A driver that is BDA conformant means that they have followed Microsoft's standards and essentially means that the software acts as an intermediary between the input signal and the OS. If this is achieved in the way mandated by the BDA specifications, then SD viewing will be fine in Vista MCE. Theoretically, HD viewing also works BUT the viewing software (Vista MCE) does not have MPEG4 to decode the signal that the BDA drivers have sent out.Windows 7 does possess much better multimedia features such as CODECS for HD playback (but sadly no blu ray playback software), handling of HD video cameras and limited support for ISO files. Other enhancements are faster file copying, an imaging backup tool, touchscreen support, improved caching for faster startup times, improve performance of SSD drives (due to background erasing of paged data before a delete operation) plus others. I can't remember the other features. You can upgrade Vista to 7 without loss of personal data and in theory, your installed software but needless to say, it is paramount to have a backup in the first instance.



Thanks ElliottC. I will do some research on the AverTV Satellite PCI (Model A706), although I'm struggling to find a supplier in my initial searches.

coleaj;8723781

Thanks ElliottC. I will do some research on the AverTV Satellite PCI … Thanks ElliottC. I will do some research on the AverTV Satellite PCI (Model A706), although I'm struggling to find a supplier in my initial searches.



The A706 has only recently arrived on the market but I am unsure if it is yet available in the UK but should be soon. You can call 01344 668 461 to speak to them regarding UK availability dates and there is helpful tech support (albeit in a very difficult to understand Chinese accent) who will advise you whether the plugin (provided with the TV tuner) allows HD viewing in Vista Media Center. Typical Avermedia stockists are Media Atlantic and Pixmania.

Original Poster

Dabs now sold out. Next cheapest if you have to pay for delivery is Overclockers I believe.

Please Help. I bought one of these but can't get the HD channels (I got the sound only on BBC HD using Compro DVT 4). I'm running XP and dont want to pay to upgrade to windows 7 or buy ProgDVB Pro or DVB Dream.

Any suggestions?

dmjbill;8839317

Please Help. I bought one of these but can't get the HD channels (I got … Please Help. I bought one of these but can't get the HD channels (I got the sound only on BBC HD using Compro DVT 4). I'm running XP and dont want to pay to upgrade to windows 7 or buy ProgDVB Pro or DVB Dream. Any suggestions?



CODECs are the problem. The HD channels are using a video CODEC that is not supported by Compro's software, although the audio CODEC is supported. You may be able to remedy this by way of installing a H264 decoder (I believe that is the CODEC required) but whether Compro's software can make use of the H264 CODEC, I am not sure.

DVBViewer (dvbviewer.com/en/…php) should handle the HD content (but it can be troublesome to set up).

ElliottC;8839375

CODECs are the problem. The HD channels are using a video CODEC that is … CODECs are the problem. The HD channels are using a video CODEC that is not supported by Compro's software, although the audio CODEC is supported. You may be able to remedy this by way of installing a H264 decoder (I believe that is the CODEC required) but whether Compro's software can make use of the H264 CODEC, I am not sure.DVBViewer (http://www.dvbviewer.com/en/index.php) should handle the HD content (but it can be troublesome to set up).



Hi,

Thanks for your help, I'll check out DVBViewer.

(H264 decoder did not help the compro software)

:thumbsup:
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