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View Full Version : OT: Anybody here know about DVR's (Digital Video Recorders)



DICKEYBIRD
08-12-2009, 11:48 AM
The type that the cable companies want you to buy/rent for time shifting that I assume record to an internal hard drive?

I have some irreplaceable VHS/S-VHS tapes I want to archive to hard drive and DVD discs plus make a few copies for family members.

A while back I borrowed a DVD recorder from a friend and copied some of the tapes to DVD. I even bought a time-base corrector to smooth out the 2nd generation edited videos. The original DVD's played OK on several players I tried them on but after I ripped them to my PC hard drive, the DVD copies I made were "jumpy" in several areas.

Do the cable co. DVR's record in a format that is transferable to a PC hard drive and DVD copies burned from that? The tapes I want to do this with are not commercial copy protected videos, strictly home movie type videos.

mochinist
08-12-2009, 12:01 PM
I have a dvr through DISH networks, without hacking it there isnt anyway I know of to get the video off of the internal harddrive onto your computer. I do believe it is possible with the standalone DVR known as TIVO, but have never done it.

I know a few people that have tried doing what you want to do and they all say it was a huge pain in the arse, thats all I can offer on that though.:o I would guess that you had some sort of encoding issue when you transfered the video onto your harddrive from the DVD.

lazlo
08-12-2009, 01:16 PM
Do the cable co. DVR's record in a format that is transferable to a PC hard drive and DVD copies burned from that?

No. Tivo records in MPEG-2 which is then stored on a proprietary encrypted Linux file system called Media File System.

DirecTivo and DirecTV's DVR archive the satellite's video stream (MPEG-2 and MPEG-4, respectively), where it's also saved in an encrypted filesystem.

You can pull the videos off a Tivo by hacking the filesystem -- I've done it: Google TyTool and TyStudio. But it's a huge PITA, definitely not worth it.

Dragons_fire
08-12-2009, 02:16 PM
Both the Satellite and IPTV PVR set top boxes that i work with will not work with a computer. no PVR from a cable company that i have seen have inputs either so im not sure how you would get the video from the tape into the STB.

I still think the best option is one of the hard drive/dvd recorders. you can record shows onto the hard drive and then edit the video and burn it to a dvd.

some computers also have video inputs or you can but a USB video "adapter" that would allow you to hook the VCR or cable outputs into it and then it would show up on your computer. then you would be able to record it onto your computer hard drive and burn to a disk.

Dragons_fire
08-12-2009, 02:21 PM
heres one example of the USB adapters.

http://www.bestbuy.ca/catalog/proddetail.asp?logon=&langid=EN&sku_id=0926INGFS10081833&catid=20397

you do have to realize that there are limitations to something like that too though.

kc5ezc
08-12-2009, 04:32 PM
Hey guys, I am using Roxio's "Easy DVD Copy 4 premier" to decoding TIVO stuff and burn itto DVD. Don't know what I am doing, but it seems to work. Just followed the instructions. Seems to take a lot of time though. It was about $60 bucks if I remember correctly. That included a CD of the program that I had downloaded. YMMV

lazlo
08-12-2009, 04:59 PM
Standalone Tivo has an analog out archiving feature, so you're recording an analog copy of 480i to DVD.

Dickey's trying to make a bit accurate digital copy, which requires hacking -- the content providers don't want digital copies of high definition movies floating around...

mochinist
08-12-2009, 05:15 PM
Standalone Tivo has an analog out archiving feature, so you're recording an analog copy of 480i to DVD.

Dickey's trying to make a bit accurate digital copy, which requires hacking -- the content providers don't want digital copies of high definition movies floating around...So where do the HD tv shows I may or may not :p download with bit torrent come from? Just a curiosity thing, some of the shows come up pretty fast and the nicer pirates remove the commercials

DICKEYBIRD
08-12-2009, 05:21 PM
Thanks for all the info guys; the video world has certainly advanced since I made the tapes back in the late 80's on "prosumer" S-VHS/VHS editing equip!

Robert & all: I'm not sure exactly what I need/want other than a clean copy of the original 30 minute videos, saved to my hard drive so I could burn a few DVD's when I need them, quicker than a real-time dub. Does that make sense? I was hoping there might be a simple way to do it with borrowed/rented or inexpensive equipment. That may be an impossible task.

lazlo
08-12-2009, 05:31 PM
So where do the HD tv shows I may or may not :p download with bit torrent come from?

Like I said, you can get to the raw Tivo video, but they make it very hard to do. I notice that the DirecTV DVR now has a time-limit on HD pay-per-views: they disappear after 2 weeks.

The major networks are broadcast OTA, so those are easy to upload. A lot of high-def cable is broadcast unencrypted over QAM, which is how you get Hi-Def SciFi and Disocvery Channel et al.

HD HBO and Showtime requires hardware or software hacking of the set-top box. Blu Ray was also cracked -- that's the highest-quality source of digital HD material.

lazlo
08-12-2009, 05:37 PM
A while back I borrowed a DVD recorder from a friend and copied some of the tapes to DVD. I even bought a time-base corrector to smooth out the 2nd generation edited videos. The original DVD's played OK on several players I tried them on but after I ripped them to my PC hard drive, the DVD copies I made were "jumpy" in several areas.

That sounds like the PC burning software botched the copy. I had that problem with TMPEnc (freeware). I re-mastered the video in Sony Vegas, and the jumpiness went away.

If you still have access to that pro VCR with TBC, I'd rip it again, keep the raw image (on DVD-ROM), and then re-master the video for a DVD-Video.

That's what I did for a VCR-> DVD conversion I just sent to a member here :)

loose nut
08-12-2009, 10:14 PM
VCR's, put in a tape, press record, no hassles. Gotta love them.

psomero
08-12-2009, 11:40 PM
a cable/satellite DVR is not what you're looking for. you need a video capture device for your pc.

i picked up a hauppage brand coax to USB dongle recently that i've been using to rip all of my VHS stuff with. it's a bit of a pain in the butt to set up as the user interface is painfully slow, but once you get it up and running and it's recording, it turns out acceptable quality rips.

the one downside is that the files are HUGE. i haven't played with settings enough yet to determine how low i can push the quality settings and not lose any fidelity from the original VHS signal over ntsc, but a ~60 minute tape takes over a gig of hard drive space.

i've been planning on building a network storage drive device, but i haven't had the cash to pony up for the couple terabyte hard drives and enclosure that it'll take to satisfy my needs...

here's the device i got: http://hauppage.com/site/products/data_hvr850.html

i picked it up at radio shack for like $46. it even comes with a small antenna that you can use to pick up the over the air ATSC digital tv broadcasts that everybody's supposed to be using now...



addendum: as for getting it on DVD, i figure it's best to rip it directly to your HDD, then burn a DVD.

DICKEYBIRD
08-13-2009, 08:01 AM
Hmmm, that looks interesting & the price is right! Are you inputting the VHS signal through the RF input? I didn't see composite inputs in the link you posted. Is the quality good enough?

Thanks!

Evan
08-13-2009, 09:19 AM
I have two adapters from Deal Extreme. They work great and are dirt cheap at $12.69 with free shipping.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11267

I just used one on my wife's laptop to snag an image of the morning news.

http://ixian.ca/pics6/tv1.jpg

lazlo
08-13-2009, 09:24 AM
here's the device i got: http://hauppage.com/site/products/data_hvr850.html


That's an OTA (Over the Air) receiver for your PC -- it's not a video capture device. I have one on my shop computer, so I can have news and sports on in the background while I'm working.


I have two adapters from Deal Extreme. They work great and are dirt cheap at $12.69 with free shipping.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.11267

That's a Chinese copy of an old Hauppage product, and it uses composite video input, which is the absolutely worst way to capture video -- all the luminance and chroma is overlaid on a single low-bandwidth connection.

For much better video quality, you can get the authentic Hauppage video capture dongle with an S-VHS interface (that most modern VHS players have), for $20 at Fry's, Best Buy et al...

Here's one at Fry's with S-VHS input for $29. It's not on sale, but Fry's always has weekend sales:

http://www.frys.com/product/5480009

Evan
08-13-2009, 09:51 AM
This has S-video and stereo for $25.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26319

I doubt it's a copy of the Haupagge product, it probably IS the Hauppage product. As for being the worst way to capture video, the resolution of the device is better than the video. It will capture up to 740 x 480.

BTW, I have one of the Hauppage video capture cards in my computer and it isn't any better than the dongle. NTSC is so poor you can't improve it since the information isn't there. Most NTSC images are only equal to around 400 x 250 resolution after deinterlacing. That's lower than the lowest computer screen resolution.

HD is far better. This is a single HDTV frame from my new camera:

http://ixian.ca/pics6/tx1frame.jpg

lazlo
08-13-2009, 10:13 AM
This has S-video and stereo for $25.

http://www.dealextreme.com/details.dx/sku.26319

That would be better, but like most of the unbranded Chicom stuff they sell, I'd be concerned about the quality, and since it's drop-shipped from China, you can't return it.


As for being the worst way to capture video, the resolution of the device is better than the video. It will capture up to 740 x 480.

NTSC video is 740x480. If it's interlaced, like broadcast NTSC, it's split into two 240-line fields.


HD is far better. This is a single HDTV frame from my new camera

Of course. But HD always comes in digital format, so you don't need an analog ADC card. And Dickey doesn't have his videos in HD format, or he wouldn't have posted this thread.

Evan
08-13-2009, 10:29 AM
DX doesn't bother asking you to return the small stuff. They just replace it.



NTSC video is 740x480. If it's interlaced, like broadcast NTSC, it's split into two 240-line fields

NTSC standard is limited by the encoding format. It can only reach actual 740 horizontal resolution in an all digital record. S-VHS has a 5 mhz bandwidth limit on the horizontal scan which translates in the real world to a maximum decodable resolution of around 450 pixels per line at best. Even the $12 adapter is better than that.

lazlo
08-13-2009, 11:08 AM
S-VHS has a 5 mhz bandwidth limit on the horizontal scan which translates in the real world to a maximum decodable resolution of around 450 pixels per line at best.

That's the bandwidth of the luminance carrier (5.4 Hmz), which limits the horizontal resolution to 420 lines out of 480 lines in the NTSC resolution. That's still vastly better (60% better, to be exact) than the composite interface you were suggesting DickeyBird purchase.

And that's not being pedantic -- as anyone who has encoded VHS tapes will tell you, the resulting image is much better using an S-VHS interface (with separate luminance and chroma) than a composite interface.

mlucek
08-13-2009, 07:28 PM
TiVo has their own software - TiVo Desktop Server or something like that which allows you to retrieve your recorded shows to your computer. I've used it in the past and seems to work somewhat ok.

From there they can be viewed on your computer. My brain is a little foggy on this, but you may only be able to view those shows on Windows Media Player. Their software installs the necessary decoder into the player to play their sort of encrypted MPEG files.

Now there is a few open source utilities to remove the encryption wrapper from the TiVo video and resave the files as MPEG-2. Those file can then be played on any compatible player.

Yes, I've done that in the past, but has been 2-3 years since I've tried it.

Mike