Having recently got a Hauppauge WinTV PVR 250 card, I finally tried recording something to the hard disk instead of just using it to watch TV on the computer. It’s brilliant!
The quality was miles better than the cheap VCR we have that gives wonderful interference patterns on the video and a high pitched whine on the audio – and what’s even better is that I could call the file something meaningful and be able to find what I’d recorded instead of having to guess what was on the video tape.
I can see how something like this would be really useful for capturing home movies into a digital format without requiring vast quantities of disk space that you’d need for a Digital Video (DV) device. The PVR has mpeg-2 encoding in hardware and even has a little IR remote to change channel, make it full screen etc.
In my opinion, well worth spending a bit of money on it if you’re likely to want to capture video as well as watch TV on the PC. Support under Linux – personally untested but some webpages mention both in the same sentence without anything extra like “complete disaster” or “does not support”