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naripeddi 01-23-2014 05:59 AM

Hardware compression capture device for MPEG-2 and/or H.264?
I am planning to capture standard definition movies from satellite box using a hardware capture card that can directly capture in MPEG-2 and/or H.264. I am in PAL world. I have ATI 600 USB but understand it does MPEG-2 only for NTSC sources. The device should do compression on the fly in hardware.

Which card is suggested?

Source is usually through composite or component. I have been capturing capturing off satelite box with my Canopus ADVC 110 so far, but the added step of encoding the DV file to MPEG-2 is taking time and adding to the temporary space consumption. With the hardware compressor, I can do it on the fly since these are just TV captures and for later viewing/archival.

I am looking at Haupauge HD PVR 1212 since it has good reviews and can do SD as well as HD capturing using Component. My Satellite box is going to have HD soon as well (meaning, I will be exchanging my SD-only box with a HD-box. The HD box will NOT have S-Video, only Composite, Component and HDMI). I am not interested in HDMI capture at the moment (due to HDCP...etc) and am fine with capturing any HD programs with component.

I have both a laptop and a PC. I prefer capturing through USB.


msgohan 01-23-2014 11:08 AM

HDCP is easily defeated with a $25 investment in the US. I think in the UK the devices cost a little bit more. Not sure about other places in PAL-land. There's really no reason to deal with the bulky component cables and lower quality at this point. Look for the HDCP stripper thread on VideoHelp for many hardware suggestions.

I would exchange to an HD box immediately and look at the HD PVR 2, Elgato, and Roxio Game Cap HD Pro if I were you. There are others from AVerMedia too; I forget what their lineup is like for USB these days. They also have standalone devices where you put a HDD/USB stick or SD card in them.

naripeddi 01-23-2014 10:58 PM

Thanks for the reply.

I am not in UK (neither in US). Getting HDCP strippers is a bit tricky. Based on reviews on Amazon, Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 seems to be doing very well in terms of component quality (it has a HDMI Input as well). I also looked at its Aver counterpart (HD DVR) however, it lacks optical audio inputs.

I will have a look at Elgato as well.

msgohan 01-24-2014 01:47 AM

Amazon reviewers are hardly the standard of videophiles. But I don't know your personal standards either.

I have an extra HDCP stripper/splitter to sell but it's 1x4 instead of 1x2.

naripeddi 01-28-2014 02:08 AM

admin, lordsmurf...any inputs here? (except for BlackMagic, Aja Kona, Matrox cards...)

Jarvis 01-29-2014 10:51 PM

Capturing HD content to H.264 is simple and affordable, in my experience. I am also in PAL land, and my setup is as follows:

1. The most recommended and popular HDCP stripper, from ViewHD, purchased here:
I'd advise getting it directly from that link, since there are other variations around but I can confirm that one works 100% - and it's cheap. Very rarely it might play up, but simply disconnect/reconnect and it's good again.

2. Avermedia Live Gamer Portable - can record in PC-free mode to SD card. Very convenient, and great quality (as long as you're recording via HDMI). Bitrate and resolution can be set using software, then hook the device back up to capture at the desired settings. You can of course capture directly to PC as well, with even higher quality. Just find a good price.

3. USB SD card reader - optional, depending on your set up. For me it's necessary, since the LGP provides no way to watch recordings directly from it, and I have no SD card inputs on my TV or players. This is the one I use, beautifully made and affordable:

3. TMPGenc Smart Renderer 4 - This one's also optional, but if you ever want to losslessly edit/trim H.264 video it is hands down the best software around. Believe me, I've tried all the smart cutters; literally all of them to my knowledge, including the popular VideoRedo. No contest, this is the only one that works flawlessly, with good features - and it's nice to use too.

As a side note, the Avermedia LGP creates PS3-compliant H.264 files, and since I've found PS3 to be the most fussy of all media players in what formats it accepts, the files are sure to be accepted everywhere. You can literally record, cut and watch without any transcoding whatsoever.

My purposes are different however, as my setup is for recording games but it can apply to general HD recording. Though there may be a better capture device than the LGP for that, but I do know it is one of the few that can record without the assistance of a PC. Wouldn't hurt to do some more research on this topic. Everything else on the list applies perfectly though.

naripeddi 01-29-2014 11:08 PM

Jarvis, amazingly practical reply. Thanks for your inputs. I will do some research on those, though availability of some of them may be a problem in my country.

Jarvis 01-29-2014 11:14 PM


Originally Posted by naripeddi (Post 30063)
Jarvis, amazingly practical reply. Thanks for your inputs. I will do some research on those, though availability of some of them may be a problem in my country.

Thank you and you're welcome :) Though I can't imagine why availability would be a problem? Anyway best of luck.

kpmedia 01-31-2014 05:59 AM

@Jarvis: Agreed about TMPGEnc Smart Renderer 4 -- excellent program. I use it too frequently. My exact usage and need is different, but that just speaks well of how versatile it is!

Modern HDTV capturing isn't really capturing. It's not the same as it was in analog times. These days, it's really more of a "intercept and download" of the HD stream, with internal real-time post-capture transcode. It's not really capturing from nothingness. There's no way a non-pro capture card would do a decent job with raw H.264 caprturing. The processing power still isn't there for computers to realtime handle it. It's why AVCHD cameras still costs hundreds. The bulk of the price is the sensor and special hardware encoding chips. The rest of the camera is peanuts.

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