Using old TV Tuner Cards on Windows [Tip]

Hello everyone! The artist FKA ritchse here, coming in with a new name.

I’ve been having huge trouble getting an ENCORE ENUTV-2 to work. Tbh it’s not even working a 100% well but I got closer with this idea so I thought I’d share since it might help someone else too, and might get a card to work fine:

Basically all the drivers I could find for this particular USB TV Tuner were 32 bits, completely unusable. Then I found some newer version online (newer as in different months of 2007…) that could at least make the video appear. But it was dropping frames heavily!

I googled my life off with this problem since in those small factions of time where the card worked well, it looked way better than my EasyCAP. So I started gathering information.

There were no other 64 bits drivers for this particular card. And I could barely find any information. One of those bits of information was the chipset being used inside the card! That lead me to find drivers for cards that use exactly the same chipset that worked at least a bit better.

Things to try if you have an old TV Tuner

… and if you haven’t easily found 64 bit drivers that worked

  1. Search for the chipset being used by the card. If you have a PCI card, you might be able to see it already on it! If it’s an USB card, you might open it. However, you might also find this information with some quick googling.
  2. Search for drivers for that particular chipset, or search for the company that made it. You can also try searching for different TV cards that use exactly the same chipset too! A good, safe place to search for Windows Drivers is the Windows Update Catalog. Remember to make sure the architecture is AMD64. Remember that even if its the same chipset, you have to search for either USB or PCI drivers, one wont’ work for the other.
  3. Install them! You can try to use the software called RAPR for this. RAPR can also help you identify more information that will be useful to assign the divers later.
  4. Plug your TV tuner card.
  5. Open Device Manager. Find the “Uknown Device”, right click on it and “Update Drivers”, then “Browse this computer for driver software”. “Let me pick from a list of available drivers…”.
  6. Search for the category of drivers, usually “Sound, video and game controllers”. Search for the drivers you’ve installed. There might be many of them, in my case there were 5 different drivers for different “USB TV Boxes”. If you see many drivers with very specific names and you’re not sure what to do… I wouldn’t recommend going forward TBH.
  7. Click “Next” to install, when prompted answer “Yes”.
  8. Check on Device Manager again if the device appears as such and it doesn’t throw an error. If there’s no initialization errors, try the device!
  9. If the device still doesn’t work, go back to Device Manager and uninstall it, and retry with different drivers until you’ve either exhausted your options, or got exhausted yourself :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope this helps someone out there trying to make one of these work. I got mine to work without visually noticeable frame drops but with an unpredictable latency which makes it very hard to do good feedback :confused:. Not sure why it might have very low latency for some moments but not for others, (I’m not glitching the signal, it’s coming straight from an HDMI2AV to the capture card) but the moments it’s low it looks great!

Here’s a DEMO of some of the results I got. In some parts I’m using Resolume’s Trails effect to smoothen up the effect of the latency.

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that looks pretty cool. to figure out whats going on with latency i would open up a graphical system diagnostic thingy (i always mix up what windoes/max/linux each calls them) and do a test running with the most basic video monitor you’ve got (vlc, obs) and just eyeball timings and stutters up with that. pci cards have their own dedicated buses but i don’t think (could def be wrong with newer computers) that there is any way to pipe pci video input directly into vram a graphics card. so possible bottlenecks could be buffering in system ram before hitting the graphics card or some general background os interrupts with higher priority on the cpu.