Quantcast Advice for capture from DVR (maybe with HD-PVR) - digitalFAQ Forum
  #1  
03-23-2010, 09:52 AM
TARfan TARfan is offline
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DVR from cable co is Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC.

Want to move some recorded programs (I mostly record HD channel when it's an option, and I believe those are 1080i) to a more permanent location (one that is better than current method of VHS :-).

Would the Hauppauge HD-PVR be the best way to capture HD stored programs from the DVR?

What is the "right" way to capture these DVR programs? Does the HD-PVR come with good/appropriate capture software, or what is the "right" software for the job?

Not sure if it matters or helps -- my future viewing of any captured program would be on PC>HDMI>monitor(1920x1###), or BluRay>HDMI>TV(1920x1080p).

Thank you.
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  #2  
03-23-2010, 11:33 AM
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Just to verify, you're wanting to keep it as 720/1080 HD material?
Is 480i DVD not an option?
You had been saving them to lower-than-DVD quality on VHS tapes.

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  #3  
03-23-2010, 12:44 PM
TARfan TARfan is offline
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Yes, all prior material has been saved to VHS. I'm interested in having a better method (not via VHS) going forward for DVR stuff that I decide I want to keep.

I guess it seems like I should try to save at as close to the highest quality I have available (the HD recordings). I understand that the HD-PVR (and maybe all other comparable options, too?) use component at best rather than a digital signal. Not sure what quality I can expect to get by capturing the DVR playback.

My gut reaction is I do not want to 'only' go with DVD level. If it matters in this equation, I also have VHS/Hi8/miniDV stuff that I plan to work on getting to a better/more-convenient format. Was trying to keep this DVR question simple and not mention those items, but maybe knowing that will help in your opinion.

edited to add: regarding the upcoming project(s) to convert vhs/hi8/minidv stuff, I view that as a standalone project separate from any future DVR/HD saving programs. Just threw it out there in case there is some good approach/solution that would work well for both the DVR/HD-type stuff *and* the vhs/hi8/minidv stuff. But I suspect maybe they will each need their own solution/approach/equipment/etc.

Last edited by TARfan; 03-23-2010 at 01:00 PM.
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  #4  
03-25-2010, 06:30 PM
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You're going to need a capture card capable of HD recording. To my knowledge, most of those HD PVR cards are only good at recording from unencrypted coaxial input, be it cable QAM or ATSC from antenna.

For this reason, most people simply record a downconverted standard definition signal (SD, standard def), over the s-video, into a traditional capture card or DVD recorder.

HD is only transmitted over component or HDMI, so you'd have to get a card capable of that.

The Blackmagic card comes to mind, and has become VERY popular in the past 4-5 months. It really snuck up on people, much how the ATI All In Wonder AGP Radeon cards did back in 2001-2002.
You're looking at about $250 total -- really good price, to be honest. The ATI setup was $300+ when it came out. This is one of the lowest-cost options for HD capturing.

You'll also want a really powerful computer -- a dual-core at minimum, but a quad-core would be better.

In terms of component vs HDMI -- it's not an easy answer of "HDMI is better". Indeed, there are MANY instances where component gives a more visually appealing picture. All things considered, there's not that big of a difference. HDMI/DVI often just shows more of the digital pixel noise than anything else. As is the case with other connector/wire types, not all connectors and wires are made equal. A really good component port/cable will easily surpass a cheap and crappy HDMI port/cable. Use what looks best because it looks best -- not because it's the accepted dogma of a self-proclaimed video purist!

Hope that helps.

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  #5  
03-25-2010, 08:09 PM
TARfan TARfan is offline
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Thanks so much for the reply/info.

I've been doing more research the past few days and had come across that Blackmagic Intensity Pro. So it was reassuring to hear you mention it as an option.

My thoughts on it are -- I do not have a RAID drive setup so would not be able to handle the uncompressed HD capture, but the compressed HD should be doable, along with SD in uncompressed or compressed. My PC is Vista64, Core2Duo 2.67Ghz, 4GB RAM, single HDD w/ ~300+GB free.

I was leaning toward the Blackmagic Intensity Pro instead of the Haupp HD-PVR, but was balking a bit at the price being a bit higher, and not sure which might be better for the VHS/Hi8/miniDV project that I will be tackling soon. Thoughts on that aspect of it?
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03-25-2010, 08:23 PM
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I've not yet had the opportunity to use this card, but people I know have -- and they're satisfied with the results. These are knowledgeable folks too, several of who work in a studio. Upgrades to this card are on our 2010 to-do list, along with full Blu-ray spec work.

However, it would be inexpensive to add a SD-only card, for your standard def formats: VHS, 8mm. Consider the ATI 600 USB capture stick, which works quite nicely for either MPEG-2 capture (via the included Catalyst Media Center), or for lossless/uncompressed AVI via VirtualDub.

miniDV transfers across Firewire anyway, you don't want to analog capture it.

If it were me, I'd use the Blackmagic for HD capturing only, and then use the ATI 600 for SD work. It's just easier than way. Not that I like to throw money around, but $60 for that card is cheap, cheap, cheap. I keep this card in my laptop bag, for any on-the-road incidental work that may be needed last-minute and unexpectedly.

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8300hdc, capture, dvr, hd-pvr

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