"Excellent Addition for TV Capture"5.0 starson by Wolfie2k5
Pros: Dual Tuners/Hardware MPEG2 encoders
Cons: No Bundled TV/Capture App
Summary: I've had this card in my computer for about 6-7 months and I've had NO problems with the card itself - except for an outdated driver that came on the CD. A quick check of Hauppauge's web site and I found the proper revision of the Windows XP driver and it's been working great ever since.
As I am only using XP, the only complaint I had was that the card didn't come with any software. For what it's worth, a trial version of BeyondTV and/or Sage TV would have probably saved me a bit of hassle. The card, given the name contains MCE assumes that you will be using the MS Media Center Edition of Windows.
Fortunately, BTV and Sage are only a download away. Of course, having broadband helps given BTV is a hefty 26 MB download. I'm sure SageTV is right up there as well.
After getting the driver situation sorted out and BTV configured, I found the picture quality to be fairly sharp (given this is Analog TV) MOST of the time. The only exceptions can be directly blamed on signal quality from the cable company.Updated
The WinTV-PVR-500-MCE also has ONE very important bonus feature that some of the other cards in the WinTV line (like the WinTV 150) lack - Onboard hardware based MPEG2 encoding. This allows the card to do most of the work translating the raw cable signal into a picture or recording. Otherwise, the CPU would be working overtime to capture/display MPG files and live TV - especially if both tuners were in use.
Given the price, and the price of other boards, this card is the best value - even if you have to buy the software package to make it work seperately.