How-To: MacOS X Firewire HDTV recording - Page 2 - AVS Forum
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post #31 of 2181 Old 04-04-2004, 05:22 PM
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I have a couple of Maxtor 250GB USB 2.0/Firewire external drives, 7200 RPM/8 MB cache. I have taken some advice to use a fast external drive over the internal drive. I did two recordings of the same program from a cable channel that doesn't ordinarily glitch. Though not conclusive, I did not have any overruns via the external while I had 7 overruns via the internal.

Regards,
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post #32 of 2181 Old 04-04-2004, 06:01 PM
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Using the PG G3500 with my LaCie 250G Firewire and about 40 recordings, I can say that I never had an overrun. On my internal, overrun was 100% within 2-5 mins. Usually 2 min.

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post #33 of 2181 Old 04-04-2004, 06:27 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by rcliff
How-To: Guide to MacOS X firewire HDTV recording

...
NOTE: If you only have a cable box without the AV/C protocol implemented you should still be able to record manually. You'll need to first find the correct firewire channel that your STB is outputting to. This is selectable in Virtual D-VHS and it can be one of 64 channels between 0 and 63. Trial and error will tell you which one. Just select a channel and hit the record button in Virtual D-VHS. If the bitrate shows 0 you know it's the wrong channel. It's most likely channel 0,1 or 63 so try those first.
...


Cliff,

Here is what I have learned from trial and error. Without Apple's AVC Browser, I would not be able to use VirtualDVHS to record....

The Motorola 6200, for example, lacks AV/C protocol implementation; so, Apple's AVC Browser from the SDK is required to initiate connection. Using the right Firewire channel in VirtualDVHS without using Apple's AVC Browser to initiate connection will yield an empty file when recording off a set-top-box that lacks AV/C protocol implementation.

On the other hand, set-top-boxes with AV/C protocol implemented should not require the use of Apple's AVC Browser, meaning that VirtualDVHS should be all that is needed on the Mac. The remote control combined with the set-top-box menus should drive the recording and playback.

Regards,
Joe


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post #34 of 2181 Old 04-04-2004, 07:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by jsb_hburg
Cliff,

Here is what I have learned from trial and error. Without Apple's AVC Browser, I would not be able to use VirtualDVHS to record....

The Motorola 6200, for example, lacks AV/C protocol implementation; so, Apple's AVC Browser from the SDK is required to initiate connection. Using the right Firewire channel in VirtualDVHS without using Apple's AVC Browser to initiate connection will yield an empty file when recording off a set-top-box that lacks AV/C protocol implementation.

On the other hand, set-top-boxes with AV/C protocol implemented should not require the use of Apple's AVC Browser, meaning that VirtualDVHS should be all that is needed on the Mac. The remote control combined with the set-top-box menus should drive the recording and playback.

Hmm... I'll also do some testing with this. It would be great to have a clear list of capabilities of the various available devices. I should be getting a new Scientific Atlanta firewire box tomorrow and am very curious to see it's operation.

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post #35 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 12:21 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by rcliff
Does anyone have any thoughts on a mechanism for changing channels on the STB? ie if you wanted to record a program on HBO-HD and then SHO-HD a couple of hours later without manually changing the channel on the STB. It would be great if there was a way to initiate the channel change via firewire but this doesn't seem possible. The only solution I can think of is to use a universal remote with timer functionality but that seems far from ideal.

How about writing some AppleScripts to control the KeySpan USB remote?

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/remote/

Couldn't we just send IR commands to change the channel before firing the record AppleScripts?

I don't have this yet, but I was about to get one.

On a related note, my PowerBook has IR, maybe that could be used instead.

Jeremy

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post #36 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 12:29 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jsb_hburg
ere is what I have learned from trial and error. Without Apple's AVC Browser, I would not be able to use VirtualDVHS to record....

The Motorola 6200, for example, lacks AV/C protocol implementation; so, Apple's AVC Browser from the SDK is required to initiate connection. Using the right Firewire channel in VirtualDVHS without using Apple's AVC Browser to initiate connection will yield an empty file when recording off a set-top-box that lacks AV/C protocol implementation.

Can you expound on this... IE What do you do in the AVCBrowser to initiate recording? I've tried it and it only lists the firewire devices.

TimeWarner delivered a Scientific Atlanta 3250HD with firewire. My TV and AVCBrowser both recognize the device, however I get no data from the Firewire port. Tried tuning to multiple channels, HD and SD, but no go.

I ran the AVCBrowser, but as I said all I received was a device info. What else can this program do? Anyone know what the other firewire programs do in the developer kit? And instructions on how they work?

-Pie

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post #37 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 12:37 PM
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Ah, "Open Device Controller" button... This opens an interface to control the selected AV/C device! Thought it opened a kernel device driver... d'oh!

Now, how about a list of AV/C commands and their Hex equivalents? And maybe an explanation of what the heck all this stuff is in the interface (or a reference document)!

TIA.

-Pie

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post #38 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 12:44 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by JeremyJ
How about writing some AppleScripts to control the KeySpan USB remote?

http://www.keyspan.com/products/usb/remote/

Couldn't we just send IR commands to change the channel before firing the record AppleScripts?

I don't have this yet, but I was about to get one.

On a related note, my PowerBook has IR, maybe that could be used instead.

Jeremy

This is a remote receiver to control funtions on your computer with an IR remote not an IR blaster to control AV components from your computer. Your need an IR blaster to send computer commands to the STB. I've done this with Girder on a Windows PC to control a Tivo remotely but don't think there's an all Mac solution.

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post #39 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 12:56 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by jsb_hburg
I have a couple of Maxtor 250GB USB 2.0/Firewire external drives, 7200 RPM/8 MB cache. I have taken some advice to use a fast external drive over the internal drive. I did two recordings of the same program from a cable channel that doesn't ordinarily glitch. Though not conclusive, I did not have any overruns via the external while I had 7 overruns via the internal.

Wow, I wish I could try this. Unfortunetly I have an G3 iBook and it only has one firewire port and one usb 1.1 port. Is usb 1.1 too slow for an external drive ? Is there anyway I can add another firewire port or replace my internal harddrive with a faster one ?


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post #40 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 01:00 PM
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BTW - I am using VLC for the Mac and a Roku HD1000 for playback. I stream the .m2t file from my Mac over the network using vlc and on the Roku I run an alpha version of MPegPSPlay to receive the file and play it back. Works great ecept when I run into recording glitches and audio gets out of sync with video.


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post #41 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 01:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by dozens
Wow, I wish I could try this. Unfortunetly I have an G3 iBook and it only has one firewire port and one usb 1.1 port. Is usb 1.1 too slow for an external drive ? Is there anyway I can add another firewire port or replace my internal harddrive with a faster one ?

One firewire port is all you need

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post #42 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 01:17 PM
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Originally posted by rcliff
One firewire port is all you need

Just to clarify, you would daisy chain your Set Top Box and all subsequent devices off the external drive which is connected to your one firewire port on the computer.

- Mike
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Man, you guys are making me wish I had a mac :-).


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post #44 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 01:41 PM
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Originally posted by miimura
Just to clarify, you would daisy chain your Set Top Box and all subsequent devices off the external drive which is connected to your one firewire port on the computer.

- Mike

So I can connect a firewire drive to my ibook and then connect my STB (6200) to my firewire drive and be able to record to the external drive ? If so, cool ! I need to stop at BestBuy on the way home. Any recommendation on a good (ie fast) firewire drive ? Are upgradeable ones just as fast ?


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post #45 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 02:12 PM
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I love my 250GB Lacie Firewire. Looks good too! It takes firewire 400, 800 and USB. I'm thinking of my future G5 with 800 firewire.

Lacie also makes a 500GB!! My next one!

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post #46 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 02:33 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by rcliff
This is a remote receiver to control funtions on your computer with an IR remote not an IR blaster to control AV components from your computer. Your need an IR blaster to send computer commands to the STB. I've done this with Girder on a Windows PC to control a Tivo remotely but don't think there's an all Mac solution.

Oops, you are right. All is not lost though, how about this Mac compatible solution:

Software:
http://www.filewell.com/iRed/

which works with this Hardware:
http://www.irtrans.de/english/index.htm

Jeremy

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post #47 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 02:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by dozens
So I can connect a firewire drive to my ibook and then connect my STB (6200) to my firewire drive and be able to record to the external drive ? If so, cool ! I need to stop at BestBuy on the way home. Any recommendation on a good (ie fast) firewire drive ? Are upgradeable ones just as fast ?

Yes, the great thing about firewire is that you can daisy chain devices in any order and everything should just work. You could also use a firewire hub to increase ports but I doubt you'll need it. Just make sure you have all the cables you need with the correct pinouts.

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post #48 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 02:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by JeremyJ
Oops, you are right. All is not lost though, how about this Mac compatible solution:

Software:
http://www.filewell.com/iRed/

which works with this Hardware:
http://www.irtrans.de/english/index.htm

Jeremy

Cool, I'll have to check that out. I have a tira usb blaster that I've used on the PC. I wonder if that will work. http://www.home-electro.com/tira2.htm

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post #49 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 02:59 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by dozens
So I can connect a firewire drive to my ibook and then connect my STB (6200) to my firewire drive and be able to record to the external drive ? If so, cool ! I need to stop at BestBuy on the way home. Any recommendation on a good (ie fast) firewire drive ? Are upgradeable ones just as fast ?

Hello, you may need to put the 6200 at the end of your Firewire chain until the firmware is updated. I believe the LG 3410a has to be at the end as well, based on reading the manual, as another example.

Regards,
Joe


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Quote:


Originally posted by rcliff
This is a remote receiver to control funtions on your computer with an IR remote not an IR blaster to control AV components from your computer. Your need an IR blaster to send computer commands to the STB. I've done this with Girder on a Windows PC to control a Tivo remotely but don't think there's an all Mac solution.

Actually, there is...

Try this all mac solution: www . thezephir . com (this is my first post here and it won't let me post a url)

The OSX software is still in beta, though...and I can't give a review, as I don't have one. yet.

Zach
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post #51 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 03:18 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by EatingPie
Ah, "Open Device Controller" button... This opens an interface to control the selected AV/C device! Thought it opened a kernel device driver... d'oh!

Now, how about a list of AV/C commands and their Hex equivalents? And maybe an explanation of what the heck all this stuff is in the interface (or a reference document)!

TIA.

-Pie


Pie:


Check these links:

Manual to use VirtualDVHS and AVC Browser with iCal

Manual on how to initiate connection with Firewire STB using AVC Browser

Click on Connect button under Output Plug assuming there is at least one output plug as in this screenshot.


In the first AVC Browser window, you will see a list of AVC devices connected to the Mac. You should see one for your Firewire tuner. You should see columns labelled: Name, Type, GUID, In Speed, Out Speed, # in, # out and Out Base.

What is the number that you see under the column titled # out? Please let us know.

Regards,
Joe


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post #52 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 05:24 PM
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This is interesting stuff, and I'm interested in hearing success stories with the SciAtl 3250HD.

Having been away from the Mac-iverse for since the PPC days, a couple of questions. I'd be looking to dedicate the mac as a server in my media center, with network playback through the MyHD card in my HTPC.

- Powerbook G3s, do they all have built-in firewire, or would some need a pcmcia card? My quick stroll through eBay makes me think the latter, but I'm not sure. How noisy are they?
- iBook G3 clamshell, good enough? Enough firewire-to-network bandwidth? How noisy are they?
- That 266 biege, are there any mods to make one a _quiet_ mac?
- What's the min RAM and HD size for stuffing Panther on one of the older boxes? And are there any howto's to get through the expected quirks of using unsupported hardware?


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post #53 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 06:37 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by Fellini8.5
This is interesting stuff, and I'm interested in hearing success stories with the SciAtl 3250HD.

Having been away from the Mac-iverse for since the PPC days, a couple of questions. I'd be looking to dedicate the mac as a server in my media center, with network playback through the MyHD card in my HTPC.

- Powerbook G3s, do they all have built-in firewire, or would some need a pcmcia card? My quick stroll through eBay makes me think the latter, but I'm not sure. How noisy are they?
- iBook G3 clamshell, good enough? Enough firewire-to-network bandwidth? How noisy are they?
- That 266 biege, are there any mods to make one a _quiet_ mac?
- What's the min RAM and HD size for stuffing Panther on one of the older boxes? And are there any howto's to get through the expected quirks of using unsupported hardware?

Powerbook G3's - Some had firewire some did not. As I recall the models with the bronze keyboard have firewire

Not sure about the clamshell ibook. I was never a fan but if it has firewire it most likely is adequate.

I would say 256MB Ram as a rule but you might get away with somewhat less. Panther will fit on a 2GB partition with minimal options and about 900MB free but 4GB is a better choice.

Check out the xpostfacto link in the first post in this thread for tips about unsupported hardware.

rcliff
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post #54 of 2181 Old 04-05-2004, 06:49 PM
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Hi -

Great stuff in this thread. I am a Mac enthusiast, but I went over to the the dark side w/ the boys from Redmond, WA specifically for HDTV on my computer. Now that I read this, I'm back to Mac. Anyway, the MyHD card I use for HD on my PC would seem to be a viable playback solution, and if I can get Adelphia to upgrade me to HD (Moto 6200) I could finally record HBO stuff instead of just OTA. My question is about recording scripts. I think the interface w/ iCal is neat, but still not as slick as the Titan TV web page and the MyHD click to record function. For the Mac, I noticed a while back that there is a great feature in an awesome third party program called Watson. It is kind of like Sherlock on steriods, if you are unfamilair w/ it. Check it out at here With this program, there is a TV Guide tool for Watson that shows listings updated in real time. You select your provider (now I have it set for DirecTV) and it shows listings. For DTV, it even shows the HDTV channels. See here for an example. The cool thing is there are some function buttons on the side of the description of a program. One is to add the program as an iCal event. Cool enough, and may save a step with your process. Even cooler if we could modify it...there is a button for watch and a button for record with EyeTV. If that could be adapted to work with the Applescript for the VirtualDVHS, we have the most elegant solution there is for scheduling recordings (especially if it could also change the channel on the STB.) Do you think any or all of this is possible?

Here is the "about" info on the TV Guide Watson tool for more info:
TV Listings browses TV Guide's Web site to provide you a grid showing what's on TV, and performs searches for programs in the next two weeks. TV Guide covers the US (Broadcast, Cable, and satellite), Canada (cable), and a number of other countries' cable systems around the world.

Initial Setup

Before you can view listings, you need to establish a free account with TVGuide.com, and choose your location and service provider from their Web site. Watson will use the e-mail address you provided to them to identify yourself for accessing the TV listings.

After setting up your account, enter the same e-mail address that you provided TVGuide.com in the settings drawer, and click the Set button.

If your listings are inaccurate, or your area is not covered, please realize that Watson is only surfing TV Guide's site. You can verify this by viewing the TVGuide.com listings from your browser and, if there is a problem, Send them feedback.

Viewing the TV Grid

The grid shows two or three hours at a time (depending on your provider). You can change the timeframe or the date from the popup menus, or click the left and right arrow buttons (or (?-[ and ?-]) to move forward and backwards in time. Clicking Now will update the display for the current time. Clicking on a program item will load more information about that item in the detail drawer.

You can display all channels, or just your favorite ones. Check the checkbox to the left of each channel to make it your favorite. (Hold down the command key while clicking to select or deselect all channels; it might be easier to select all and deselect the channels you don't care for.) Select Favorite or All to change the viewing options.



Searching

Enter an actor's name or the title of a TV show or movie in the text field, and click Find. A list of shows matching your search terms will be displayed. If the results list is long, you can click More Results to continue searching. Click on the column headers to sort by date/time, channel, station name, or title. Click on an individual row to see more detail about that program.

Changing Providers

If you need to switch between one provider and another -- for instance, if you watch both broadcast and satellite TV -- then you have two choices. One is to register at tvguide.com with two different e-mail addresses, each set to a different set of preferences. From the settings drawer, enter the e-mail address that corresponds to the profile you wish to see. Alternatively, you can go to TVGuide.com in your browser (from the Tool menu) and click "Change Provider". (Afterwards, click the "Now" button in Watson to force it to recognize the new information.)

Viewing and Recording with EyeTV

If you have a digital video recorder such as El Gato's EyeTV, you can use Watson to view and record TV shows. After making a selection from the grid or search list, click the "eye" button to watch a show (only available if the show is currently airing) or the red "record" icon to schedule the show to be recorded. (If these buttons are never enabled, it is because your Mac OS X system cannot find a suitable application to open ".tvpi" and ".tvvi" files.) Thanks to Ben Hines for contributing this feature.

Scheduling with iCal

You can add a television program to your iCal calendar. After making a selection from the grid or search list, click the iCal button to add the program to your "TV" calendar. (If no iCal calendar called "TV" is found, it will use your "Home" calendar.) By option-clicking on the button, the program will be added as an event that repeats every week.
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post #55 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 09:43 AM
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Thanks for the Watson tip!

This is what I tried and it seems to work slick!

I use watson as my TV guide/calendar. When I find a show that I want to record I click the ical icon in watson. The listing appears in ical showing the start time and end time in the ical info window. I first use the launch and record script, make a second alarm and use the stop and quit script and set it for X minutes after. (to make a second alarm just put the mouse over "Alarm" and click. It will then give you a choice of using a second alarm.)

Simple and VERY quick!
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post #56 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 09:52 AM
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Does anyone want to check w/ Karelia to see if the SDK they have available would allow us to modify the EyeTV record button in the TV guide to launch these scripts? I do not know what .tvpi or .tvvi files are, but the info on the tool sates this what the application uses. I would be glad to help if I knew more about Apple programming.

Also, forgive me if this has already been covered, but does VirtualDVHS allow you to change the channels/ control on the Motorola 6200? And is anyone playing back the .M2T files on a MyHD card in a PC successfully? I think I will change from DirecTV to Adelphia cable w/ the 6200 if I can tie this all together to record HBO, etc....on my G4. I have networked hard drives, so I assume the Mac can save recordings to an SMB share?
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post #57 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 10:03 AM
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Here is what my ical looks like to record a program, see the two alarms.
http://www.warrguitars.com/ical.html
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post #58 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 10:08 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by mikemav
does VirtualDVHS allow you to change the channels/ control on the Motorola 6200?

No. Virtual D-VHS has no way of directly changing channels on the STB.
Quote:


is anyone playing back the .M2T files on a MyHD card in a PC successfully?

Yes, someone reported this to work.
Quote:


I have networked hard drives, so I assume the Mac can save recordings to an SMB share?

You may have a speed problem with this. Maybe not if your using gigabit ethernet. An external firewire hard drive would be ideal. You can connect that to the PC and if you get an enclosure with both firewire and USB2 you could also connect to the PC with USB. Just make sure you use a disk format that your PC can read.

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post #59 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 10:15 AM
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[quote]Originally posted by rcliff
[b]No. Virtual D-VHS has no way of directly changing channels on the STB.
Thanks for the info. That's a shame. Maybe this is a little to convoluted, but I wonder if anyone has tried a stand-alone TiVo with a set-up like this. If I understand the 6200 features correctly, it can output 480i as well as the HD picture. The TiVo could be scheduled to record the SDTV picture as a backup and would also change the channel on the STB to the correct program. Then you could schedule the HD record for the same time for those programs you want to capture in HD, and be assured the STB will be on the right channel (since the TiVo will change it for you.) Does that sound possible?
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post #60 of 2181 Old 04-06-2004, 11:08 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by mikemav
... Also, forgive me if this has already been covered, but does VirtualDVHS allow you to change the channels/ control on the Motorola 6200?...

I watch the discussion here to see what the reality of the situation currently is, but there is no technical reason why VirtualDVHS or some other program on the Mac should not be able to change channels on an STB. There are AV/C protocols defined for DTV tuners which would allow a program running on a Mac connected via FireWire to query the tuner about which channels it has available and to set which channel is to be viewed or recorded.

I believe even in the case of the Samsung SIRT165 the control resides in the STB so it sets the channel and sends AV/C commands to the DVHS deck (virtual or actual) when to record and stop. Does anyone know of any STB that responds to the tuner protocols?

If such protocol enabled tuners were prevalent it would be possible to make essentially any Mac serve as a convenient recorder for HDTV. Without those protocols it remains a hobbyist demo that is cool but unlikely to become mainstream. Add that one piece (and don't lock down FireWire with 5C in future STB's) and you have an HDTV recorder that could work directly with TitanTV, be controllable from anywhere in the world where IP is present, and possibly handle multiple tuners recording to user upgradeable cheap mass storage.
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