How to Record TV and Encode it into smaller file - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 26 Old 04-28-2013, 03:49 PM - Thread Starter
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Like the topic suggests, I'm trying to learn how to record live TV, then encode it into a smaller file. For some reason, there aren't many guides on this at all. The only ones I found were from 2005-2008. Nothing recent at all.

I did find a couple people asking about it in 2012 but I'm guessing things have chance since last March 2012.

My goals are this:
Record live TV
Encode into 720p mkv file that isn't too large (1.2 gigs or less for 1hour shows).

What do I need to record live TV and encode it and what are you guys using to do this if you are.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 26 Old 04-28-2013, 04:11 PM
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Not much has changed. HandBrake is still the weapon of choice. Plenty of guides on how to use it.
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post #3 of 26 Old 04-28-2013, 05:32 PM - Thread Starter
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That doesn't remove the commercials though.

I'm just looking to see how people have theirs set up really because I've never had a cablecard or tuner before and it seems like there area LOT of obstacles when recording cable TV.
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post #4 of 26 Old 04-28-2013, 06:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post

That doesn't remove the commercials though.

I'm just looking to see how people have theirs set up really because I've never had a cablecard or tuner before and it seems like there area LOT of obstacles when recording cable TV.
That's true, but that's also not what you asked. Personally I think removing the commercials is a waste of time. That's what the 'skip 30 seconds' button is for. For that matter shrinking them is a waste of time to me too. There's not much on TV worth watching more than once or twice, IMHO.
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post #5 of 26 Old 04-28-2013, 09:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Well that's your opinion. And there is no way I'd use skip 30 seconds. After watching TV shows without commercials, i'll NEVER go back. Just crazy to do so. I've rewatched a lot of shows as well.

I don't really see why the information isn't available in a simple guide. High quality 720p torrents of tv shows are available right after they are aired, not sure why there isn't a guide on how to reproduce the same content. You can record 4 TV shows at once with a Ceton card, so not sure how I can't find it but no google searches turn up what I'm looking for.
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post #6 of 26 Old 04-29-2013, 03:05 AM
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MCE Buddy can do what you want: mcebuddy2x.codeplex.com

There's a guide somewhere on that site, but it's pretty straightforward to use. The show will need to be completely recorded before MCEBuddy can start (that's going to be true of any option to reencode a file.
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post #7 of 26 Old 04-29-2013, 01:13 PM
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Yes mcebuddy. You just need to do a few test runs to see what encoding option you want to use. Another neat feature is you can set it up that once you delete the file off of your htpc Recordings folder it can also delete the file off the server where it was encoded.

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post #8 of 26 Old 04-29-2013, 10:16 PM
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Yes MCB does a reasonable job but has a few flaws with the add removal software.

I did a guide on the freeware way of doing this a while ago as I used to do this myself if you do a bit of a search you should find it on the forum from memory it took about 3 to 4 steps to get the job done.

Now I use Video Redo TV Suite but you have to pay for it its not free but does an excellent job with windows 7 recordings. You can also re-encode with this as well but I then bulk process the edited files with Handbrake which I think is faster and easier to set the settings for.
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post #9 of 26 Old 04-29-2013, 11:27 PM
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My only experience with mcebuddy wasn't an especially positive one. I couldn't find the right settings that would make it strip commercials from a .wtv file and leave it in the recorded TV folder. It always converted to mp4 or some other kind of file that caused playback errors.
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post #10 of 26 Old 04-30-2013, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post

Like the topic suggests, I'm trying to learn how to record live TV, then encode it into a smaller file. For some reason, there aren't many guides on this at all. The only ones I found were from 2005-2008. Nothing recent at all.

I did find a couple people asking about it in 2012 but I'm guessing things have chance since last March 2012.

My goals are this:
Record live TV
Encode into 720p mkv file that isn't too large (1.2 gigs or less for 1hour shows).

What do I need to record live TV and encode it and what are you guys using to do this if you are.

Thanks!

What kind of TV? OTA or Cable?

Cable may or may not be encrypted, and may or may not be copyright protected.

Encrypted is OK, copyright protected you are SOL. There is nothing you can do with the file that has been copyright protected, you can move it to a different machine, but it will only play on the machine it was originally recorded on. You can't edit it, or remove commercials from it.

So, you end up with Terrabytes of storage, like us. 17 Tb!

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #11 of 26 Old 04-30-2013, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

What kind of TV? OTA or Cable?

Cable may or may not be encrypted, and may or may not be copyright protected.

Encrypted is OK, copyright protected you are SOL. There is nothing you can do with the file that has been copyright protected, you can move it to a different machine, but it will only play on the machine it was originally recorded on. You can't edit it, or remove commercials from it.

So, you end up with Terrabytes of storage, like us. 17 Tb!

I'm actually trying to do EXACTLY what you have set up. I have Verizon FIOS, and I want to record and save as much TV as possible. I don't want Copyright protected material though. If I can't play it on another machine, it makes zero sense to have it to me. No reason to have huge WTV files of a television series that takes up 100 gigs for a season or something crazy. I'm simply trying to figure out how to record TV, compress it into something similar to what all the release groups do with torrents (it can be a little bigger than those files since I know I'm doing it myself and don't have the same setup). The problem is so much information is outdated so thats why I came here. Following a guide from 2008 is great and all, but a ton of technological advances have happened since 2008 and 2013. It's surprising to not find a recent guide on ripping TV to small but high quality files.

I have no intention of throwing out my other boxes (Well it's my family), but I do want to make the tv watching experience better for everyone so that's why I'm trying to figure this out. My mom has no clue how to DVR a show and then pull it up. I'm hoping if I can set this up to automatically record all of our favorite shows and import them into XBMC, that she and the rest of the family, won't have to worry about understanding DVR or ondemand. EVerything will just be there.

I'm currently only at 6TB of space. 4TB drives though are under 150. I plan on picking up more of them as I need more space.

I really want to understand how to make high quality encodes though similar to ones people download off the internet. I don't see a reason anymore of downloading TV when I could save the bandwidth and just get a Ceton Quad Tuner for 200 dollars. I'd rather use my bandwidth to play games and for other things haha.
Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzo17 View Post

Yes MCB does a reasonable job but has a few flaws with the add removal software.

I did a guide on the freeware way of doing this a while ago as I used to do this myself if you do a bit of a search you should find it on the forum from memory it took about 3 to 4 steps to get the job done.

Now I use Video Redo TV Suite but you have to pay for it its not free but does an excellent job with windows 7 recordings. You can also re-encode with this as well but I then bulk process the edited files with Handbrake which I think is faster and easier to set the settings for.

I don't mind paying an upfront fee if I have to. Besides, if I really don't want to pay for software there is a way around it. I'll take a look into it.
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post #12 of 26 Old 04-30-2013, 01:28 PM
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I believe the reason you don't see too many guides is because what you suggest is not the most efficient way to do it and not many people do it anymore.

Bit torrent releases are fast because they either record straight to h264 format on the fly (using real time encoding devices) or they capture already encoded h264 streams (Dish network uses h264 to encode their HD feeds so it arrives to your STB already to go). Either way re-encoding is not necessary, just some basic editing and packaging in .mkv (takes about 10-15 minutes after the show is done airing).
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post #13 of 26 Old 04-30-2013, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
I really want to understand how to make high quality encodes though similar to ones people download off the internet. I don't see a reason anymore of downloading TV when I could save the bandwidth and just get a Ceton Quad Tuner for 200 dollars. I'd rather use my bandwidth to play games and for other things haha.
It takes practice. And lots of reading. Start here: https://trac.handbrake.fr/
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post #14 of 26 Old 05-01-2013, 07:46 PM
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If you want the freeware option use MC TV converter its freeware and converts the WTV files to something that MPEG Streamclip can use (to cut adds) also freeware then Handbrake. Its all possible with freeware just takes more time and the learning process is longer.

From Memory I think I used MC TV converter and converted the files to transport stream, The problem is the WTV files there is no freeware program I am aware of that can just edit the adds which is why I switched to Video Redo.
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post #15 of 26 Old 05-02-2013, 10:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tential View Post

I'm actually trying to do EXACTLY what you have set up. I have Verizon FIOS, and I want to record and save as much TV as possible. I don't want Copyright protected material though. If I can't play it on another machine, it makes zero sense to have it to me. No reason to have huge WTV files of a television series that takes up 100 gigs for a season or something crazy. I'm simply trying to figure out how to record TV, compress it into something similar to what all the release groups do with torrents (it can be a little bigger than those files since I know I'm doing it myself and don't have the same setup). The problem is so much information is outdated so thats why I came here. Following a guide from 2008 is great and all, but a ton of technological advances have happened since 2008 and 2013. It's surprising to not find a recent guide on ripping TV to small but high quality files.

I have no intention of throwing out my other boxes (Well it's my family), but I do want to make the tv watching experience better for everyone so that's why I'm trying to figure this out. My mom has no clue how to DVR a show and then pull it up. I'm hoping if I can set this up to automatically record all of our favorite shows and import them into XBMC, that she and the rest of the family, won't have to worry about understanding DVR or ondemand. EVerything will just be there.

I'm currently only at 6TB of space. 4TB drives though are under 150. I plan on picking up more of them as I need more space.

I really want to understand how to make high quality encodes though similar to ones people download off the internet. I don't see a reason anymore of downloading TV when I could save the bandwidth and just get a Ceton Quad Tuner for 200 dollars. I'd rather use my bandwidth to play games and for other things haha.
I don't mind paying an upfront fee if I have to. Besides, if I really don't want to pay for software there is a way around it. I'll take a look into it.

Well, copyright protection is not up to you, me, or the provider, it is mostly the content owner that sets the protection. Whether the re-broadcaster, like Verizon follows it or not is somewhat gray area. Verizon has not been flagging anything, but I got a letter saying that they will start to enforce copyright protection rules.

If your mother or your family can use XBMC, they will most definitely be able to use WMC, without the added layer of having to convert anything. You just have to get extenders (cheap compared to the cost of HTPC), and not additional PC's to play content on multiple TV's in the house.

6 TV's in the house on FiOS and we only pay $4.99/month to connect them all!!! Power to the CableCard and WMC7!!!
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post #16 of 26 Old 05-03-2013, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blueiedgod View Post

Well, copyright protection is not up to you, me, or the provider, it is mostly the content owner that sets the protection. Whether the re-broadcaster, like Verizon follows it or not is somewhat gray area. Verizon has not been flagging anything, but I got a letter saying that they will start to enforce copyright protection rules.

If your mother or your family can use XBMC, they will most definitely be able to use WMC, without the added layer of having to convert anything. You just have to get extenders (cheap compared to the cost of HTPC), and not additional PC's to play content on multiple TV's in the house.
Verizon does flag the premium channels, but nothing else. With that being the case you can use individual PCs at each TV instead of extenders. It's more expensive but it gives you the most flexibility. You can play any show recorded on another PC on any other PC since there's no copy once flag involved. You can add the RecordedTV folder from another PC to the one on a different PC so all recordings show up in a single folder, regardless of which PC it was recorded on. The one area that extenders provide an advantage is the ability to access the scheduled recording list and modify it remotely. You can't do that with individual PCs. If you're like me and have a media server you can play any type of files you want on any PC. Extenders are extremely limited in what they can play other than recorded TV shows. I have XBMC on all of my PCs and use it to play DVDs and Blu-Rays ripped to mkv files using MakeMKV. I've used just about every kind of extender ever produced and they all pretty much suck, IMHO. The UI is extremely laggy and sometimes doesn't respond quickly enough to remote commands. You don't have that problem with standalone PCs. A mini-iTX PC or the new Intel NUC would make a nice remote PC.
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post #17 of 26 Old 05-06-2013, 03:08 PM
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Originally Posted by captain_video View Post

The one area that extenders provide an advantage is the ability to access the scheduled recording list and modify it remotely. You can't do that with individual PCs.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but I thought Ceton's "my media center" app did that (http://cetoncorp.com/products/companion/)? I believe it works in a network tuner configuration as well.
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post #18 of 26 Old 05-08-2013, 09:19 AM
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VideoRedo (not free)
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post #19 of 26 Old 07-28-2013, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dazzo17 View Post

Yes MCB does a reasonable job but has a few flaws with the add removal software.

I did a guide on the freeware way of doing this a while ago as I used to do this myself if you do a bit of a search you should find it on the forum from memory it took about 3 to 4 steps to get the job done.

Now I use Video Redo TV Suite but you have to pay for it its not free but does an excellent job with windows 7 recordings. You can also re-encode with this as well but I then bulk process the edited files with Handbrake which I think is faster and easier to set the settings for.

Hey, dazzo17, which version of Video Redo TV Suite do you use? The $75 one or the H.264 version?
I'm asking because as far as I can see, the cheaper one can't import WTV files directly (according to the feature comparison list). So you still have to convert the recording to DVR-MS or TS files b4 editing. If that's the case, I don't see the point of buying it as opposed to using Streamclip (free). Does it have a better interface, or is it somehow easier or faster? I can see getting the $99 version if you also edit H.264.

Also, what is your workflow? Convert to TS, edit, then encode with Handbreak?
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post #20 of 26 Old 07-29-2013, 10:21 AM
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As many others have said, MCEBuddy is great for what you want to do.
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post #21 of 26 Old 09-07-2013, 05:34 PM
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Well, at the moment I don't have anything better to do than to beat a dead horse.
I tried VideoReDo. It works "OK", but I can't see paying for it since I still get that issue with some commercials where VideoReDo complains something about different frame sizes and locks up. I'm sure it's a problem with the recordings (HD WTV files to begin with), but no other software I have complains so as far as I'm concerned, if the people who produce VideoReDo can't get their program to ignore this, and other companies can, I'm not paying 50 bucks. I'll just feel like a moron continually having to restart the program after paying for it.

I tried Mpeg Streamclip, but there must be a problem with my setup: HD video is shown only as a still frame. When I play the stream, the counter advances, but not the picture (also no sound). When I hit pause, the still frame advances to wherever the "play head" is. Also, there is no timeline and no play head, so I can't see where I'm clicking on.

Grrrr....
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post #22 of 26 Old 09-07-2013, 08:55 PM
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Something to try in videoredeo is quickstream fix select the file you want to keep it goes through file and cuts out those parts so hopefully will ignore the parts that are causing issue.
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post #23 of 26 Old 09-07-2013, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by springmaker View Post

Something to try in videoredeo is quickstream fix select the file you want to keep it goes through file and cuts out those parts so hopefully will ignore the parts that are causing issue.

I've tried that. The new file triggers the same error at the same spot. Whatever VideoReDo doesn't like isn't getting fixed.
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post #24 of 26 Old 09-13-2013, 10:19 AM
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For the past few days I've been trying out the higher end trial version of VideoReDo (TV suite .264). So far, it has not complained about the area of the files the lower end version did (a commercial break).

This version can also convert into other formats, like MP4. It could eliminate my need for using Handbrake. However, so far I cannot get the final result to be as good as the output from Handbrake.

I have raised the bitrate up so the PQ is almost as good (contrast is still not quite as good), but there is a frame rate issue. Throughout the videos, there is a very slight jumping forward, as if a frame or two were missing. The frame rate shows the same as the source file (59.97). But the Handbrake files show various frame rates, typically averaging 45 fps.

Anyone have an idea of what I should check?

Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk 4
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post #25 of 26 Old 09-15-2013, 06:25 AM
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My experience is the same, VideoRedo is not as good as some other tools when it comes to re-encoding to H264. It does a decent job with a clean source, but if I want better results or need to do something like IVTC on a film source that was captured at 29.97 fps, then I'll use another tool, i.e. MeGUI. In that case, I'll edit the file with VRD, then convert with MeGUI.
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post #26 of 26 Old 09-17-2013, 08:36 AM
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I found VideoRedo to be easy and fast to trim the beginning & end of recorded tv encoded in h.264. I did not like it for re-encoding h.264 sources.
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