Originally Posted by usmcblown4.6
I have played with it and the quality varies depending on your card. But I have yet to see any as good as an actual DVR. I can tell you that I saw a HUGE difference between my IDE and SATA drives. When I converted to SATA I was able to turn up the quality and not see as much pixelization.
SATA/IDE won't affect the compression quality. I think what you're trying to say is, because SATA is faster than IDE, you were able to record videos at higher quality (resolution, and compression), since the slower IDE bus was causing dropped frames.
Honestly though, IDE is fast enough, if you get 7200rpm and an 8mb cache (which is my setup). I do full frame NTSC (720x480) recording, mpeg2 compression, and I get a constant 30fps. It looks as good as DVD (because... ironically enough, that's the same resolution/compression used for DVD). I don't have HD video service, and most HDTV tuner's are for over-the-air transmissions, and won't record cable/satellite HD, so trying to do HDTV quality (1920x1080, 1280x720) is kind of pointless right now.
The real bottleneck is going to be CPU and RAM. I initially had a 1.5ghz system with 512mb ram. Trying to do DVD quality recording resulted in occasional dropped frames during recording/encoding. My current setup is a 3.0ghz with 1gig of ram. All that changed was the cpu, ram, and motherboard, all other components are the same from my initial DVR setup (same hdd, same tv tuner, etc)... and DVD quality recording is flawless.
In the case of a slower PC, SATA might help somewhat, but it's unlikely.