Hauppauge PVR-250 TV Tuner Card

With the advent of Tivo I knew I wanted that functionality as well. While I don’t watch a lot of TV I do like the ability to have a season pass to a show that I do like and I like the ease of recording something interesting and not having to deal with tapes and all the other hassles that VCRs come with. Another great advantage of an HTPC is the ability to use Tivo like software. There are a couple to choose from, I personally went with a program called Sage. The version of Sage that I got came bundled with the Hauppauge PVR-250 TV Tuner Card which is the focus of this page.

I will discuss the software side of this bundle on the Sage page. The Hauppauge PVR-250 is a PCI card that is easily installed in any of your free PCI slots. Installation of the card was a snap. Just snap the card into an available PCI slot, boot the computer back up and install the driver and I was sailing. The card has been very stable for me, I haven’t had any issues with it at all.

The combination of the Sage and the Hauppauge PVR-250 allows me to pause live TV, time-shift TV and record TV my hard drive. It’s a very nice bundle.

Technically speaking the Hauppauge PVR-250 has a integrated MPEG-1/2 hardware encoder as well as a video digitizer. The benefit of having a hardware encoder is that it does all the encoding on the card sparing your CPU’s performance for other tasks. Many other cards, including the ATI All-In-Wonder cards use software to encode the incoming signal into a format the computer can use. By using software instead of hardware to do the encoding the computer must rely on it’s CPU and memory, this often results in decreased performance and sometimes poor quality. I notice little to no performance issues when my HTPC is recording something thanks to the onboard hardware decoder. Onboard analog connectors allow you to not only watch, record and pause TV, but they allow you to record from other sources such as VCRs and camcorders. The encoded MPEG-2 video is sent over the PCI bus, where it is stored on the PCs hard disk. The PVR-250 also features a coax, S-Video and composite inputs as well as a infared remote which I don’t happen to be using, Netremote handles all my remote needs.

Hauppauge PVR-250 Specs

Comments & Questions

If you would like to make a comment, or ask me a question, please fill out the form below.

If you want a personalized image to appear with your comment you need a Gravatar.
Sign up for a Gravatar today. It's free and easy

Name (required)

Email (required)



3 Questions/Comments/Trackbacks so far

  1. Posted by: george
    November 15, 2009 12:17 pm

    I have a IBM NetVista desktop,1.8 Ghz 832MB of RAM.Model 6792-22u.Which model of tv-tuner card from Hauppage can I install in PCI slot for me to be able to watch and record tv on pc?Video card has only 16MB RAm but could increase to maximum of 128MB.Appreciate your advice.

  2. Posted by: Moe
    November 15, 2009 4:36 pm

    George, here are all of the Hauppauge tuner cards http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/prods_hvr_internal.html
    When you click on the individual models it will tell you the system requirements needed. From a quick scan it looks like you will need to update your video card regardless of which card you get.