Don’t want to carry monitors around anymore…

… so i purchased a Smart TV Card (PCMCIA/PCCARD) from The Sinovideo Company, which is actually a pretty strange name for a company who produces video hardware, this name can bite you in the hiney, Mr. See-No-Video. This time it doesn’t, actually the picture quality, while running Ubuntu opposed to Windows, is really stunning. This bargain (more or less €20) PCMCIA TV capture card really beats it’s expectation.

Actually it comes with Windows XP drivers only and while using that the picture gets a little jagged. Lacking Windows 7 drivers, i had to reformat my laptop anyhow. So i tried Ubuntu 11.10 and to my surprise the Smart TV Card was instantly recognized. After installing the TVtime application from the Ubuntu software installer it was party time!

Configuration was simple but i still have a minor problem: the audio isn’t working yet. As you noticed it isn’t even connected (only s-video is plugged in) as i already knew it wasn’t working ;-).

 

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Here i connected my modded C64 ‘Ragtop’ to a s-video cable, see here for the video modifications.

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Nice and clean cable layout

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S-video cable hooked up to the multi-video cable, which comes with the Sinovideo Smart TV Card.

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Next to the multi-input (s-video and composite) there is also an antenna connection (antenna included, but very useless ;-))

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Connector side, also very interesting…

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What do the instructions tell us?

Operation is subject to the following two conditions:

  1. This device may not cause harmful interference.
  2. Thos device must accpt any interference that may cause undesired operation.

Caution:

  • Do not drop,bend or crush
  • Keep away from moisture
  • Avoid high temperatures and direct sunlight

As if geeks like high temperatures and direct sunlight at the attic during the long nights of classic computing. 😉 Not crushing and bending this device makes a little sense. Also the interference part doesm’t make sense to me.

Even my 80 character scroll, which i did in 1989, is very readable. The 50 fps makes the demo really fluid with out annoying lagging or stuttering.

Click on the screen shot for a higher resolution. This result makes me really happy as i do not have to carry around (flat screen) monitor anymore to parties. As a backup device i can always use my Garmin Nüvi 5000 which also has video input, although this is very laggy and has a tiny 5.2 inch display.

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