Typically a lot has changed in the long time since my last foray into getting previously recorded material off the Sky+HD box and I've largely forgotten the best way to do things on HDPVRC v2 let alone v3 that I'm now using. What I want to do is copy recordings from the Sky box onto the Mac, edit out the unrequired bits like intro, runout and commercials and then be able to play them on Mac, iPad and Apple TV v2 or v3. Seems simple doesn't it.
First of all, I've set the Sky box to output 720p as I believe iTunes will not accept interlaced. No biggie.
Then, encoding settings. I've found that 'Better' works OK and so I may experiment with higher quality settings, but audio is a problem. I want to take advantage of AC3 i.e. Dolby Digital where possible and most of the Sky output will be AC3. This works when played back on an TV3 through an AV amp that can utilise the AC3 audio. But when I try an TV2 to a stereo TV - no audio. I suspect this is because there is only AC3 audio and no 2 channel stereo that the TV can use (even though connected from TV by HDMI).
From this I deduce I need a hybrid audio that includes both 2 ch. and also AC3. I believe Handbrake can do this, but am I right in thinking HDPVRC cannot?
If not then that's a serious drawback as although I can post process each file in Handbrake, that makes the whole process a PIA. When HDPVRC does the conversion to MP4, it REALLY simplifies the workflow, but if it cannot do something sensible with the audio, then as I say, it's a real PIA.
Is there a solution to this or do I have to put up with this double processing and in which case should I throw the M2TS file at Handbrake, or have HDPVRC convert to Mp4 first. Which is better?
Then there's the editing. How best to top and tail the video and cut out the ads in the middle? Can iMovie do this, or is it better to use Streamclip and if so why? Any other solutions for this?
Finally, the beginning. How do others start the recording? I tried setting it up on pause at the start point I wanted, clicked record in HDPVRC and then Play on the Sky remote. This caused an audio glitch at the beginning and it never recovered. Either no sound at all on replay (in QuickTime) or after first clicking Play, there would be audio for a second or 2, then it would go silent. i think it was totally out of sync also, so not a good way to start recording then:-(
So I tried starting playback earlier and clicked Record in HDPVRC a bit before needed and it seems to get going OK, but I will need to edit the beginning to trim the rubbish which I was hoping to avoid. How does everyone else start a manual recording from playback of a previous recording on the STB? Is there a repeatable method that works?
Looking further into the audio problem, is there any way for HDPVRC to tell me beforehand what the audio is?
Having run a test I can now see that the original (on the Sky box) is actually 2 ch. AC3. In this case I should have selected the 2 Channel AAC codec which I think would then have played on the TV from the TV. But how can I know whether a particular recording on the Sky box is just 2 ch. AC3 or full 5.1 as that affects how I would want to set up HDPVRC, but I cannot see how to determine this prior to actually encoding it and I don't want to have to do everything twice.
However, my only option now appears to be either start again, or run the m2ts all through Handbrake to get the AAC audio, but what's the best video setting since Handbrake doesn't actually have to do anything with the video?
I then noticed that in HDPVRC there only appears to be AC3 or AAC codecs - BOTH 2 ch. only. Is there NO option to encode 5.1 audio? Or does that option only show up when it's currently receiving 5.1 audio? In which case, it would answer the first question.
Sorry, lots of questions.