Hauppauge cards tend to work out of the box with a recent enough kernel; when they don't, Hauppauge employees are happy to help you make the cards work. Other vendors cards require developer time to make work, and attempts to get the vendor to help tend to be fruitless (they have their own out of tree driver that doesn't work well, due to reinvention of interfaces, and don't understand why you won't simply rewrite your userspace to match their driver).
Developer time is hugely expensive, as we don't have much to spare; given the choice between a small amount of extra money per card (to the vendor), or developer time, we'd rather pay. If you're a vendor, looking to expand, this is a market, and it has money to spend on you.
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