Consumer HDTV editing / archival system - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 10:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Greetings,

We are in the process of building a consumer HDTV editing and archival system around Linux.

It will be a standalone Linux system that interfaces with Windows HTPC HDTV cards (AccessDTV, HiPix) that allows you to easily capture, edit and archive HD programs to tape.

We'll be offering software and possibly packaged hardware systems based on demand.

We'd be interested in hearing what features you'd like, what you'd pay for a software or packaged hardware solution, which Windows cards you'd like supported, and any other feedback that would be appropriate for this product.

We look forward to hearing from this austere group!

Best regards,

Morris Meyer
morris@surfworks.com

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post #2 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 10:50 AM
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I would be looking for a stand alone box similiar to TIVO but HD



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post #3 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 11:09 AM
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My partial wish list

1. Archiving of the MPEG2 stream instead of the transport stream to save disc space.

2. Software playback with interchangeable directshow filters (is that possible with Linux?) to allow upscaling to 1080p, diferent refresh rates, or whatever.

3. Multiplexing software to convert any MPEG2 stream into a transport stream compatable with HIPIX or dumping to D-VHS decks.

4. Point and click software to set up recording times.

5. As far as editing, something quick to just take out commercials.

6. DVD playback

All that to me (software only) would be worth $500.00 - $1000.00

Joe
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post #4 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 01:53 PM
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My guess is it will depend on what you mean by a packaged soft/hardware solution. If the software is just to edit and archive Hipix and AccessDTV recordings, I am not too sure it can sell too well since most hard core archivers already know how.

But if you are to provide a software utility to make Hipix or AccessDTV a Tivo like HD PVR, I will be willing to pay up to $100 depend on the features and stability.

If on the other hand your soft/hardware solution can provide high quality deinterlacing of the recorded 1920x1080i files, and burned on DVD diskes in 1280x720p, the potential may be unlimited. Or to put it this way, an "HD DVD Solution" right here right now would be a killer app.
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post #5 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 06:45 PM
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My wish list:

1. Divx 4 integration.

2. 3:2 pulldown detection and/or removal for 1080-60i to 1080-24p/1080-60p/720-60p conversion.

3. Glitchless audio and video editing so that no ausio pops occur after editing.

4. D-vhs back-up potential.

5. Smooth DIVX playback

6. Simplicity.

I don't really need DVD playback mainly because it really isn't permited on Linux.

What most of us are currently requesting isn't that new; but if you turn it into one integrated package that would be very nice.

My personal goal is to take a two hour 16 GB 1080i recording and make it a 9GB 720p Divx recording of superior quality that could fit on two DVD-R's. (superior because of the 3:2 pulldown detection and interlaced to progressive conversion. Yes, a little picture quality would be lost in the actual MPEG2-HL to DIVX conversion.)

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post #6 of 21 Old 03-11-2002, 08:08 PM
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Hi Morris,

I'm not in the US so my requirement is a bit different.

All I want is to make a PC with a 1394 port to act like a hard disk recorder to a external HDTV STB/tuner via 1394.

I've no need for those US HD PC card such as HiPix, AccessDTV etc. I know there are next to none US ATSC standalone STB/tuner with 1394 but there are TONS of Japanese BSD HDTV tuner with 1394. And that is the system I'm using.

The recent DVHS/PC linking development in the forum almost make these all happen. We can now freely copy/dump between a external DVHS to a PC via 1394 both way.

All I need is a driver on the PC 1394 to act as a proper storage device (DVHS, HDR) for a external HD STB to see and use it. And a proper user interface on the PC side to easier archive, edit, jump around, backup and playback to the external STB including normal viewing feature such as index, chapter, search etc.

For a complete software package, I can pay upto $300 for the system. Thanks in advance.

regards,

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post #7 of 21 Old 03-12-2002, 06:15 AM
 
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"We look forward to hearing from this austere group! "

austere: stern and cold in appearance or manner.

I hope that's not how we come across. August would be more flattering. Smile!!:)
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post #8 of 21 Old 03-14-2002, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by MorrisMeyer
. . .
We'd be interested in hearing what features you'd like
IMHO this has the best shot at success if it integrates PVR and NLE (Non-Linear Editing) functionality. Given that folks here on the forum are working on DVHS import/export using XP, extending existing NLE packages to support the resulting HD MPEG files may not be too far off. And, if the focus were solely on editing, this would mean that (realistic or not) your features would be constantly compared to existing NLE packages. But, having an easy way to schedule a recording to disk, then archive selected recordings to DVHS with easy (even automatic) basic edits to eliminate commercials and bumpers or to build multiple segments (e.g. episodes) to one tape would be unique. So, my suggestions are...

PVR features:[list=1][*]"Commercial Advance"-like auto bypass of commercials on playback (& on dubbing to DVHS).[*]Integrated guide (downloaded via broadband if the user has DSL or Cable Modem), with quick setup of recordings (e.g. double-click to use defaults or a right mouse menu to record with other options). I realize that multiple providers are more work, but would recommend being able to choose alternate guide sources. This is particularly important with HDTV since so many of the guides report incorrectly on which programs are actually in HD. I think if you were able to design a nice extensible interface for this, you'd get plenty of people (myself for one) willing to contribute new guide integrations.[*]Storage Management - look at what ReplayTV does (pre-allocation of space so you can make intelligent choices before the program is recorded; show-by-show decisions on how many episodes to keep and whether guaranteed or not).[*]User upgrade-able storage. While a formatting step or some other setup is fine, this should be integrated and (as long as the transfer bandwidth requirements are met) transparent as to whether the disk is internal or external, SCSI or IDE or FireWire.[/list=1]
NLE features:[list=1][*]NLE! :)
Seriously - any NLE support is great, but I wonder whether it doesn't make more sense to offload some of this to other software. If this package offered basic cuts to eliminate commercials, ratings screens, etc. and a basic merge to output multiple programs to a single tape, I think that would be great (and meet 98% of the requirements people have). If you were able to develop the appropriate plug-ins/drivers to allow the video to be easily imported into an existing NLE package (e.g. Premiere) by moving the files across a LAN, that would address the occasional desire to do fancy things.[/list=1]
UI/Display requirements:[list=1][*]A single display with UI appropriate for use via remote control from across the room. I think this is very important to foster wide adoption. Use of a keyboard should be supported, but completely optional. As a later feature, support for a dual monitor configuration might be desirable. This would facilitate using a keyboard & mouse, with a more computer-like UI appropriate for sitting close to the monitor.[*]3:2 pull-down processing for HD material. 24p is part of the ATSC standard, yet 24 frame material is consistently being converted to 30 or 60 frames by the broadcasters.[*]Scaling to a display's native resolution when playing back material from disk. It would be desirable to scale material as it is being streamed in from tape, as long as this didn't interfere with PVR recording functionality.[/list=1]
Quote:
what you'd pay for a software or packaged hardware solution
IMHO, we need to look at this in the context of today's PVR and NLE prices as well as the expected pricing of forthcoming HD PVRs from JVC and Echostar. These HD PVRs will undoubtedly be in the sub-$1000 range (and include 1 or 2 satellite tuners as well).

NLE software today is priced anywhere from sub-$100 for basic packages to $500+ for something like Premiere. PVR software ranges from $0 (e.g. bundled with tuner cards) to $50 (ShowShifter & SnapStream PVS).

Software alone might command a $199 price point if the feature list were compelling.

I think a bundled package would expand the market beyond the HTPC and die-hard HDTV entusiasts. Even as a die-hard HDTV (and Linux) enthusiast, I would find it very valuable to be able to buy a pre-configured HD PVR+NLE system to add to my HT gear. For this I'd pay $2000. I also think it would make support a realistic possibility as well.
Quote:
which Windows cards you'd like supported
My suggestion here is to support HiPix (they seem to do the most to push the envelope, and are the most open) and Hauppauge (most likely to be around for the long haul).

I would strongly urge you to look at using FireWire input from an STB as an alternate input. This could help expand your market as well. The Windows cards do not allow most people (those without Dish 5000s) to record from satellite channels. The forthcoming PVR from JVC will not include an OTA tuner, and it is likely that the Echostar 921 may not either. Since these units will have FireWire i/o for archiving to DVHS (and E*'s may support FireWire expansion disks as well), this would provide yet another source of material. Even those of us with the Panny DST 50/51 tuners might choose not to use a tuner card if there were an effective integration.
Quote:
and any other feedback that would be appropriate for this product.
[list=1][*]Good integration interfaces for guides, peripherals and control of the app.[*]Even better, good integration interfaces and an open source license![*]Release early and often. Get the hardware design in place to allow addition of lots of features, then release with software supporting only basic functionality. Arrange for the software updates to be downloaded, and take advantage of the ready-made community of beta testers you have available here at AVS Forum.[*]The hardware (yes, I'm assuming that a hardware/software package is the way to go) needs to integrate easily into the two major configurations for home theater gear - stacked components or rack mounted. Perhaps a slim (2U) chassis with removable rails or rack-mount ears would be the best way to approach this.[/list=1]

Peter
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post #9 of 21 Old 03-14-2002, 03:41 PM
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Excellent post and summation Peter!

Have you done requirements definition in a previous life?;)

I have a question for all:

There appears to be a significant cross-pollination between HDTV and HTPC enthusiasts. Would these individuals want separate platforms or one multi-function?

I realize that some have expressed interest in DVD, but to me HTPC implies more than the ability to play a DVD. Specifically, the ability to control the video timing and pixel resolution. The standard 480i/p 720p 1080i/p does not provide enough flexibility to maximize the display potential of a great deal of DLP/LCD/D-ILA/plasma/multi-scan CRT systems. This would also apply to HDTV content.

The real problem is one of hardware design(spoken like a true programmer).:cool: What we really need is a single card solution for high performance VGA and HDTV, but that should be the topic of another thread.:rolleyes:

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post #10 of 21 Old 03-15-2002, 01:03 AM
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Thanks, Dave.
Quote:
Originally posted by HTGeek
. . .
Have you done requirements definition in a previous life?;)
I've done a bit. :) More strategic planning than product management.

Interesting questions about HTPCs. I think you make a very good point about the true value being the resolution matching capabilities. However, even though this effort would be an outgrowth of the HTPC technology-wise, I think its success will depend on being effective as a stand-alone product (is the TAW Rock an HTPC?).

The HTPC is often a substitute for a DVD player plus a scaler. I don't know whether this device should have a DVD-ROM drive or not. I'm inclined to think that this should be looked at by how complimentary the activities are. Editing and archiving programming seems like a natural extension of recording & playing using a PVR. Playing DVDs "feels" like a distinct activity to me. More importantly, an HD PVR with editing & archiving capabilities would be unique and own its market segment. Adding DVD playback would increase the cost and put it in competition with both DVD players and HTPCs.

Thinking about this does bring up a few additional requirements. I'll add these to the previous post as well, so they'll all be in one place.

UI/Display requirements:[list=1][*]A single display with UI appropriate for use via remote control from across the room. I think this is very important to foster wide adoption. Use of a keyboard should be supported, but completely optional. As a later feature, support for a dual monitor configuration might be desirable. This would facilitate using a keyboard & mouse, with a more computer-like UI appropriate for sitting close to the monitor.[*]3:2 pull-down processing for HD material. 24p is part of the ATSC standard, yet 24 frame material is consistently being converted to 30 or 60 frames by the broadcasters.[*]Scaling to a display's native resolution when playing back material from disk. It would be desirable to scale material as it is being streamed in from tape, as long as this didn't interfere with PVR recording functionality.[/list=1]
Packaging requirements:[list=1][*]The hardware needs to integrate easily into the two major configurations for home theater gear - stacked components or rack mounted. Perhaps a slim (2U) chassis with removable rails or rack-mount ears would be the best way to approach this.[/list=1]
Miscellaneous requirements:[list=1][*]Release early and often. Get the hardware design in place to allow addition of lots of features, then release with software supporting only basic functionality. Arrange for the software updates to be downloaded, and take advantage of the ready-made community of beta testers you have available here at AVS Forum.[/list=1]

Peter
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post #11 of 21 Old 03-15-2002, 06:08 PM
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>> We'd be interested in hearing what features
>> you'd like, ..., which
>> Windows cards you'd like supported,

Please support Telemann HiPix cards...

Tools to repair damages streams.

Auto commercial detection and removal;

Creates a timeline showing markers every place
a "change" is detected. A "change" would
include different format (e.g.:1080i->720p),
big change in datarate (e.g.:14Mbit/sec-> 17Mbit/sec)
and hopefully when the content switches from
real 16:9 to 4:3 (in other words most
commercials have black bars on the left and
right side since they are still done in 4:3)

Being able to cut and past clips.

Being able to do title generation and
transitions effects (fades, wipes, etc)
between scenes.

(etc).
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post #12 of 21 Old 03-16-2002, 09:44 AM
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Please consider a unit that would allow those who receive HDTV via cable systems to use it. I'm desperate to find something that would allow me to time shift HD programs on my TWC system. I have NO interest in archiving said programs; I just want to watch them at convenient times.
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post #13 of 21 Old 03-17-2002, 12:13 AM
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I would love to be able to convert 1080i
upconverted NTSC(originally 4:3) content back to 720x480 MPEG2 data.

Basically cards like the HiPix record the full
ATSC 19.3Mbit datastream but some content was
just an NTSC upconvert. It is a shame to use
so much disk space for something that should
be modified to eliminate the side bars and
reduce the H/V res back to NTSC specs.
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post #14 of 21 Old 03-17-2002, 01:43 AM
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I don't know if this is possible, but here's an idea:

When building a library of archived programming, it is not practical to review every recording from start to finish. The alternative is to "check heads and tails" - reviewing just the beginning and end of the recording. While this will find major problems, a later viewing of the recording may reveal problems such as video breakup or audio dropouts.

It would be tremendous if there were software able to analyze a recording on disk to identify flaws and flag these spots for review. This would, IMHO, make the PVR/NLE combo indispensable.

Imagine being able to easily schedule a recording, choose to view it from disk or archive to tape, knowing that you've got a good recording (or, seeing that reception problems impaired the initial capture, immediately reschedule a fresh recording)!

Peter
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post #15 of 21 Old 03-17-2002, 08:03 AM
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Peter, since I just had this exact problem watching a DH1000 Svhs tape last night, I totally agree it would be neat if this could be made to happen.

dave
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post #16 of 21 Old 03-17-2002, 02:04 PM
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Peter,

I was hoping you'd reply here, thanks.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #17 of 21 Old 03-18-2002, 09:11 PM
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I think supporting editing and storage on networked PCs / servers (in the basement) will be key given the space requirements. .

As far as editing goes, I'd like to be able to check if a recording is good, remove the commercials and any overlap at beginning and end. If it's got blackbars, remove them (must maintain high re-encode quality) save in a format that is hipix playable (in future will want to save as standard mpeg-2). I'd like to be able to remove SD multicasted channels as well. It would be nice to support high quality downconversion to DVD compliant MPEG-2.
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post #18 of 21 Old 03-18-2002, 09:13 PM
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Oh and while we are in the marketing requirements mode (asking for the world) include pvr functionality -- Combine tivo and the replay4k and make it work with HD!
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post #19 of 21 Old 03-18-2002, 09:34 PM
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Ken -

Thanks. I'm going to be travelling for a while, so I'm glad I saw this thread before being off the forum for a bit.

Now, if only we'd hear from Morris Meyer again! :)

Peter
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post #20 of 21 Old 03-20-2002, 08:05 AM
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I might be the only one here to say this , but I am certainly glad you are going with a linux environment for the box, but I can certainly do without the Windows interface. I try and stay away from using Microsoft products as much as possible. If this box could be designed to interface with an X-window Linux box, or a Macintosh it would be great.

I love editing my own camcorder footage, adding soundtracks, and other neat stuff. There's a real market for something like this. The biggest two problems that have kept editing out of the home market is first, most editing product are too hard to use for the typical person...they can't even set the timer on the VCR, much less edit footage with it! The second is that multi-generation copied tended to degenerate rather quickly. VHS can only be copied perhaps once before the quality gets too shabby to watch.

An NLE system, or another system that used DVCAM or DVHS should go a long ways toward eliminating the second problem, but in order for an NLE to sell to the home market, it must be intuitive and easy to use. Speaking from a history of Windows fighting (used to be in the computer business), it may be best to make this unit into a stand-alone box that connects directly to a TV or projector, not one that connects to a PC(then to the display device), This will increase the reliabality considerably, and make it easier to use....then again most people these days have gotten used to their computer crashing on a daily basis
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post #21 of 21 Old 03-20-2002, 05:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by foundation
Oh and while we are in the marketing requirements mode (asking for the world) include pvr functionality -- Combine tivo and the replay4k and make it work with HD!
Although I think this may be obvious to some, I'd like to expand on what features of each I would find a good combination:

1. Need to have season pass recording, so recording of shows is automatic if it changes time slots. A conflict resolution scheme that involves a user-defined priority list goes hand-in-hand with this.

2. Need to have easy program navigation like ReplayTV (30 second skip, advance or go back xx minutes).

3. Shows should be organized primarily by show title like Replay Channels.

4. Guaranteed/Non-guaranteed space management (ReplayTV).

5. Manual Recordings should be able to be labeled (I think the Replay 4k has this feature).

6. Ethernet connection (RTV 4k).

7. All the usual UI features common to both TiVo and Replay (pause live tv, instant replay, padding, theme/keyword recordings, etc.)

8. Negative Padding - ability to start a recording late, or end a recording early (I think TiVo has this already?). This should also only be invoked in order to avoid a conflict. For example, say you want to begin recording program A 1 minute early and end 1 minute late. Program B normally begins immediately after program A, so you set your PVR to begin recording program B 1 minute late. If program B's time slot is changed, and there is no other program which would cut into program B's time slot, then program B should begin recording at its usual time. If its time slot is changed again, or some other program's slot changes which would create a conflict, program B should return to starting its recording a minute late.

9. To Do List (TiVo).

That's not too much to ask, is it? :)

GO LAKERS!!!
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