D-VHS vs DVR for recording HD? - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 117 Old 07-05-2013, 09:00 PM
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Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post

Obviously, you've never read the manual.
Ron

Your resume is very impressive but aparently you have not read my posts either where I mentioned twice I am not interested in transferring from DV to DVHS and I used it just an example. I would appreciate your expert advise on creation/reencode and transfer from PC to DVHS thought. Thanks in advance and have a great weekend.
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post #62 of 117 Old 07-06-2013, 05:07 PM
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The best advice was from qz3fwd, use a Mac instead. I was never able to get DVHSTool to work reliably 100% of the time. The real-time constraints of transferring bitstreams on 1394 are way too stringent for a non-kernel application like DVHSTool to work in a robust way. Any time some other process runs on the PC during the transfer, there's a chance there will be a dropout on the tape.

Then there's the problem of creating good TS bitstreams. Pretty much all of the freeware or cheap programs for TS streams are junk. They do not create in spec streams that will work well for transfer to D-VHS. Your best bet here is to capture 19.39 Mbps streams from OTA and not touch them at all. They're already typically in spec and any processing is likely to make them worse, not better.

There are commercial TS multiplexers, but they're super expensive (like $4500).

http://www.manzanitasystems.com/products/transport-stream-multiplexer.html

So you're really fighting an uphill battle. All these issues, device incompatibilities and lack of support from Microsoft for PC's pretty much killed 1394 for A/V applications. Even though I was super involved with 1394 back in 2003, I consider it to be a footnote in my career now.

Ron

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post #63 of 117 Old 07-07-2013, 11:06 AM
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Back in the stone age before HD-DVR's, the only way to time shift HD content (what there was of it) was to use D-VHS via firewire. I did it all the time with a TWC HD receiver that had an active 1394 port. Also tape recorded a number of HD films from HBO, Showtime, and especially HDNetMovies - still got 'em. Then, one day in August of 2006 (odd that I remember it even now), I woke up one morning and TWC has pushed a software update that disabled the firewire port and just like that - snap - my expensive Marantz 8300 tape deck (a rebadged JVC 40k) became a doorstop. I pursued that issue for over a year with TWC and never even got them to admit it was even there to begin with, that is when I was able to get someone that even knew what the 1394 port was for.

I'm getting ready to move in a few months to a non-TWC area and would love to take off some of the 700 GB of programming I won't have time to watch on my SA8300HD-DVR's expansion drive to my D-VHS doorstop to take with me. If anybody knows how to do that, I'd love to hear it.
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post #64 of 117 Old 07-07-2013, 01:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Back in the stone age before HD-DVR's, the only way to time shift HD content (what there was of it) was to use D-VHS via firewire. I did it all the time with a TWC HD receiver that had an active 1394 port. Also tape recorded a number of HD films from HBO, Showtime, and especially HDNetMovies - still got 'em. Then, one day in August of 2006 (odd that I remember it even now), I woke up one morning and TWC has pushed a software update that disabled the firewire port and just like that - snap - my expensive Marantz 8300 tape deck (a rebadged JVC 40k) became a doorstop. I pursued that issue for over a year with TWC and never even got them to admit it was even there to begin with, that is when I was able to get someone that even knew what the 1394 port was for.

I'm getting ready to move in a few months to a non-TWC area and would love to take off some of the 700 GB of programming I won't have time to watch on my SA8300HD-DVR's expansion drive to my D-VHS doorstop to take with me. If anybody knows how to do that, I'd love to hear it.

If the 1394 port is turned off, then about the only way to capture content for HD sources would be the analog component of the Hauppauge HDPVR-1212 more info here---
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1055232/hauppauge-hdpvr-1212-owners-thread/0_50

I have Comcast here and the 1394 port still works and I did some comparing from firewire stream captures and analog component captures from the same HD-DVR and the HD-PVR H264 recordings looked pretty good, a little softer resolution but not bad. I did a few movie captures with the HD-PVR at max bit rate and then re-encoded to 1080P with a small amount of edge sharpening using the AVISynth A-Sharp filter and the result was fine.

The new HD-PVR2 has a HDMI port but I would assume that HDCP will stop you from using that method with the HD-DVR.

Mike T
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post #65 of 117 Old 07-07-2013, 08:56 PM
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Hauppauge 1212 is not standalone recorder. It is external capture card for PC which by false advertising managed to gain as many enthusiasts as critics.

DVHS vcr us 5C compatible device so as long as your cable box has one active, recording in HD is easy.

There are available standalone HD recorders with not one but two HDMI inputs capable of recording onto embedded HDD up to 1080i without using any external computer, just like old fashioned vcr without the tape with one exception. All HD recordings are encrypted and can be only played using the same recorder or twin plugged into the same LAN. There is a lot of on this subject on avsforum.
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post #66 of 117 Old 07-08-2013, 02:45 AM
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For esdwa, I have a properly muxed stream that you can test with.

http://www.w6rz.net/advatsc.ts

It's 256,952,572 bytes, and the play time is 105.5 seconds.

Ron

HD MPEG-2 Test Patterns http://www.w6rz.net
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post #67 of 117 Old 07-09-2013, 03:40 PM
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Thanks Ron, I can't wait to try it as soon as I get back from vacation. Cheers
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post #68 of 117 Old 08-03-2013, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

Interesting, eek.gif
I just plugged my cable box (Motorola QIP7100-2) to this dvhs deck using FireWire and it records everything just fine in HD. No wonder lobbyist like TiVo would not be happy if dvhs decks were still available on market. But they are not and dvhs format is buried deep under.

*** Update:
I noticed that some programs shows pixelization in fast motion sections of the picture when recorded on my nos JVC HM-DT100U although I see no issues whatsoever when recording HD OTA in 1080i and 720p. It looks like dvhs deck is unable to handle cable bitrate. Does it mean HD stream on FireWire output of my Motorola cable box has higher bitrate for my DVHS deck? is that even possible? I heard by standard all modern cable boxes equipped with FireWire should output 5C compatible video stream. Comments?
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post #69 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 02:40 PM
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What you see during fast motion is the low bit rate from the cable box. The D-VHS is capable of recording everything that comes from your cable box. Bit rates have been going down and it is rare to find anything on cable with a bit rate over 12-14 mbps. I see plenty of problems from my OTA stations as the NBC station here sends 3 programs and the 1080i channel barely reaches 12 mbps and looks pretty bad on fast motion. Welcome to the world of low quality HD broadcasting.

Mike T
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post #70 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 03:57 PM
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So how can you explain the fact picture sent by cable box directly to TV looks perfect with no artifacts? At the same time recorded picture shows described issues.
On the note, the quality of my FIOS has been amazing with no artifacts as long as I remember.
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post #71 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 05:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

So how can you explain the fact picture sent by cable box directly to TV looks perfect with no artifacts? At the same time recorded picture shows described issues.
On the note, the quality of my FIOS has been amazing with no artifacts as long as I remember.

There are a lot of possibilities.
Are you recording in the HS mode on D-VHS?
Is the cable box set to output at the same resolution that you are recording on the D-VHS?
Some cable boxes have additional output processing to correct and conceal data problems in the stream.
Are you using the same HDTV to compare the video. and also using the same type of signal cable to the HDTV?
You really need to do a side by side comparison of the video playback and the cable box.
You are very lucky, I have never seen a perfect with no artifacts compressed HD video stream.

Mike T
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post #72 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 06:12 PM
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Are you recording in the HS mode on D-VHS?
- YES
Is the cable box set to output at the same resolution that you are recording on the D-VHS?
- YES 1080i
Some cable boxes have additional output processing to correct and conceal data problems in the stream.
- I am not sure what you mean by concealing data problems. One thing however is clear that Firewire output on my cable box outputs just motion picture without OSD graphics or text which I see when navigate through channels or stb menus. You may say it is "pure" video output likeit was made to be used with external recorder like dvhs.
Are you using the same HDTV to compare the video. and also using the same type of signal cable to the HDTV?
- Yes, HDMI from dvhs to TV, FireWire from STB to dvhs. I tried on 3 different HDTVs I have in my house, all are latest and greatest, full HD, etc. This is not a TV problem.
You really need to do a side by side comparison of the video playback and the cable box.
- I do compare as I record. During recording video from stb fed to dvhs through FireWire looks perfect, no issues. But when I playback later recorded video, artifacts appear. Again, this is not the case when recording from OTA HD broadcast through ATSC tuner.
You are very lucky, I have never seen a perfect with no artifacts compressed HD video stream.
- I think we might be thinking about different issues here. Below are two captures from same video, first one is perfect, second shows distortion under the cow's eyes and mouth when cow head was moving, this is recorded material. The distortion type shown on 2nd picture never shows up when watching without recording either directly from stb to tv or through dvhs as passthrough. If it was, I would never sign up for my cable in a first place.



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post #73 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 06:26 PM
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Is the first picture a playback from D-VHS or did you capture it some other way?

The second picture definitely has a problem and it does not look exactly like motion artifacts due to compression problems. Could be a firewire interface problem, you might check up on your cable box to see if anyone else is have problems using firewire.

Can you set up your computer to capture from the firewire port with channels that allow copy freely for 5C. Comcast here has every channel set to copy freely except for the premium movie channels so I can capture the stream to my XP computer, one of the reasons that I stopped using my D-VHS.

Mike T
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post #74 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 06:35 PM
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Both pics are captures from recorded dvhs tape. These are examples, I just wanted to make sure we talk about same thing. The issue like shown on 2nd picture shows just for split of the second.
I do not think it is interface problem because - I say it again - the video pass though dvhs is perfect. Only playback from tape shows issue. I tried two different tapes Panasonic and Maxell, both brand new recording perfectly from ATSC.
I agree next step would be to capture to PC to check if I see same issue there. What software is best for this purpose?
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post #75 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 07:26 PM
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Anyone that still records on DVHS happen to record any Blackhawks playoff Games? Looking for a few games.
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post #76 of 117 Old 08-04-2013, 07:28 PM
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In this same forum http://www.avsforum.com/t/403695/how-to-record-via-ieee-1394-firewire-to-windows-xp/0_50
There are no 64 bit drivers to do this so you have to use XP which I think is the easiest to use or 32 bit win 7 or I am told that a Mac works best for firewire capture.

I do remember that the Motorola DCX series of STB had firewire recording problems that was caused by a firmware update and I am not sure if it has been fixed yet and it has been several years. So it is possible that your box might be causing this problem and it might not show up until a recording is played back.

Mike T
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post #77 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 01:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

... What software is best for this purpose?
TSReader will show you any stream errors in realtime and also allow you to capture the stream, though as mentioned, not sure if it works on Windows X64 or only 32 bit versions of the OS.

Your other option if you have a mac is to D/L and install the Apple FirewireSDK 26 and use the tools there.

Things to check.
1. Cable length. Shorter is better. 15 feet is too long. 3 to 6 feet is best.
2. If you are playing back a tape, and the heads in the deck are dirty, this can cause errors.
3. If you have access to a Mitsubishi HS-HD1100 or 2000, they apparently have much more robust transport mechanisms compared to the JVC's. I have all JVC decks and all Mitsubishi decks sold here in the US.

As I recall, there was/is a JVC firmware update for specific decks I think to help some of these dropouts, though the discussion on that is way before I got involved in DVHS. You may have to send your deck into JVC for them to do the update.

If you have a slow/congested/full hard drive you are capturing to, then latency can cause dropped packets which will manifest itself in decode errors since the data is missing from the stream. Try capturing to a second hard drive if avaliable.

You can also check your anti-virus application setting (if any) as they can interfere with the file writes required to save the transport stream.

As mentioned, some motorola cable boxes have flaky firewire interfaces and will not output a clean error free signal. Only your cable provider can fix this through software updates. I have not had any problems with my Comcast DVR, but it is a couple years old......

Good luck.
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post #78 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 02:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

*** Update:
I noticed that some programs shows pixelization in fast motion sections of the picture when recorded on my nos JVC HM-DT100U although I see no issues whatsoever when recording HD OTA in 1080i and 720p. It looks like dvhs deck is unable to handle cable bitrate. Does it mean HD stream on FireWire output of my Motorola cable box has higher bitrate for my DVHS deck? is that even possible? I heard by standard all modern cable boxes equipped with FireWire should output 5C compatible video stream. Comments?

If the problems was 5C, you would see no picture when you capture to PC as the stream would be encrypted.
The DVHS deck is capable of recording 25-28 MBps whereas as others have mentioned cable used to cap out at 18, just like OTA.
Unfortunately many broadcasters have dropped the main channel to 8-14 these days with the resulting image quality drop.

The only way for the cable box to overwhelm the DVHS qeck is for it to send out an entire QAM channel which I think hits 32 MBps, but that is highly unlikely.

Anyhow fire up TSReader and it will tell you the bitrate in real time coming over the firewire interface as well as a bunch of other information.
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post #79 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 02:46 PM
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My old memory says that the Mitsubishi HS-HD1100 or 2000 did not like 5C, I know it would not play D-Theater tapes but it seems like I never got it to record from my cable box. Yes I agree TSReader is a very good program to see what is going on and to list any data errors.

Mike T
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post #80 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 04:51 PM
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Thanks guys. I will check the stream parameters as soon as I get 6/6 firewire cable which is tomorrow. I do not want to speculate prematurely but I agree with @qz3fwd hypothesis about entire QAM channel being sent by this Motorola stb. It would make add up to the fact the passthrough picture (stb/1394-> DVHSdeck->HDTV has absolutely no drops where picture is stunning while recorded video has issues which is result of limited signal bitrate that can be recorded without image quality loss in HS mode.

I recorded various OTA HD programs throughout the weekend through ATSC tuner of my nos HM-DT100U and entire 4 hour recording has no single drop. The picture is perfect. So I tend to think it is not dvhs deck neither tape issue.

Will test my stb tomorrow. Cheers
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post #81 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 05:01 PM
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*** Quick update

While capturing recorded dvhs video to my PC using CapDVHS, I have noticed that OTA HD video shows 17.1944Mpbs bitrate - see below



while recorded video from my cable STB which shows issue described above shows 38.8Mbps - see below



Does it explain the distortion issue? I still want to test output from my STB as soon as I get the right cable.
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post #82 of 117 Old 08-05-2013, 05:40 PM
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The bit rate reported in CAPDvhs is not always correct. Try to find a free program called mpeg2repair and use it in the logging function and it will list any errors in the file and the accurate bit rates of the ts file. I use it all the time to check for any glitches in the streams from my cable box.

Mike T
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post #83 of 117 Old 08-06-2013, 04:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtallent View Post

The bit rate reported in CAPDvhs is not always correct.

CAPDvhs is just reporting the bit rate field in the sequence header of the MPEG-2 video stream, not the actual bit rate. Many cable systems will set the bit rate field in the sequence header to 38.810400 Mbps, which is the rate of a 256-QAM channel (actually, it's 38.810700 Mbps but the sequence header bit rate field is coded in 400 bps steps).

If you're willing to work with command line tools, I have a demuxer that will accurately display the video stream bit rate over time.

http://www.w6rz.net/xport.zip
Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

I recorded various OTA HD programs throughout the weekend through ATSC tuner of my nos HM-DT100U and entire 4 hour recording has no single drop. The picture is perfect. So I tend to think it is not dvhs deck neither tape issue.

That's a good sanity check. Most likely, it's some buggy firmware in your cable STB. Not all of the Motorola STB's work well, and many of the other brands don't work at all. What model STB do you have?

I have a Motorola DCH-3200 here on Comcast, and it works fine. I can capture hours of error free streams with it. I believe the Motorola DCX series does not work well for IEEE1394 transfer.

Ron

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post #84 of 117 Old 08-06-2013, 03:05 PM
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Anyone has XP drivers for Motorola QIP7100 P2 stb? I got the cable but lacking drivers. Thanks in advance for tips biggrin.gif
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post #85 of 117 Old 08-06-2013, 04:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by esdwa View Post

Anyone has XP drivers for Motorola QIP7100 P2 stb? I got the cable but lacking drivers. Thanks in advance for tips biggrin.gif

ExDues drivers may work:
http://home.comcast.net/~exdeus/stbfirewire/

Otherwise a member here has maintained a more up to date package and also rolled it up into a nifty windows installer.
Its somewhere here in the forums, just do a bit of searching and I am sure you will come across it in no time.
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post #86 of 117 Old 08-06-2013, 04:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by qz3fwd View Post

ExDues drivers may work:
http://home.comcast.net/~exdeus/stbfirewire/

Otherwise a member here has maintained a more up to date package and also rolled it up into a nifty windows installer.
Its somewhere here in the forums, just do a bit of searching and I am sure you will come across it in no time.
Look through the How to record via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) to Windows XP thread-I seem to recall him/her posting there many times.
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post #87 of 117 Old 08-06-2013, 07:49 PM
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post #88 of 117 Old 08-07-2013, 07:43 AM
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Thanks guys. I downloaded the driver and had to modify it manually to add my stb but it finally worked. I was even able to record channels to my HDD using TSReader Lite, no problem here, no dropouts either.

So TSReader is showing stream bitrate between 15 - 18 Mbps for pretty much all channels in my lineup. Interesting thing is that some premium channels are still available on firewire output while some not. It was too late yesterday to use my dvhs deck again so I will try it tonight.

One thing that was interesting is that there are 3 kinds of channels:
- type 1 which shows up the stream information and can be recorder to mpeg file using TSReader
- type 2 which shows up the stream info but It cannot be recorded with TSreader (mpeg file is very small)
- type 3 which shows no stream info with TSReader at all.
Any comment on this? Also, are there any functions of TSReader worth paying $99 premium? Just curious.
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post #89 of 117 Old 08-07-2013, 05:06 PM
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Not sure about type 1,2,3 as I have been on a mac machine for 3 years now, but in the transport stream there is sometime "private data" which can be used for pretty much anything, hence the name. You will see audio/video/null packets/and I think private data the demuxer doesnt know anything more about.

I had a full licence for TSReader Pro and thought it was well worth the money I spent, especially since it showed any transport stream erros (or hard drive congestion).
It does provide a wealth of information and Rod the author deserves the monetary reward for creating such a nice piece of software.....Just my opinion.

Haha-I am in the process of moving from an apartment to a house and was just packing up my DVHS decks last night. Thank god I kept almost every original box/packaging.
What a pain-but I am approcahing it in a slow and orderly fashion since it is soo hot this time of year, and move a few boxes every night temporarily into a storage unit.
I am not looking forward to moving the big furniture pieces and 3 flat panel TV's!

So, would you say your recordings are glitch free using TSReader?
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post #90 of 117 Old 08-08-2013, 05:39 AM
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So after checking several cable channels being dropouts and errors free per TSReader with bitrate of around 15-18 Mbps - which are being captured on PC with no issue, I have recorded it on mentioned DVHS deck. The playback of recorded material found to have the same issue, artifacts appearing regularly every 2 seconds (I noticed this regularity just yesterday after staring at the screen for so many hours). I also need to mention along with picture distortion, the sound also get distorted. It looks like there is some "throttling" going on either between stb and dvhs or inside the dvhs.
Here are few reasons which make me believe this is not a dvhs hardware issue:
- OTA HD through dvhs ATSC tuner recordings are "perfect", every time
- I also used 5U DVHS deck and this one shows exactly same issue when working with same stb
- I have tried two different stb's I have and the issue appears for both
- the dvhs "passthrough" (stb->firewire->dvhs->hdmi->hdtv) withouht recording is always perfect, no issues here on both decks and both stb's
however
- when taking a fact that recording from ATSC tuner are perfect while from firewire are not, it is possible that Firewire "input to dvhs" is screwed up? - but on both decks? - that is highly unlikely.

Naturally, after making test recording I was going to analyze recorded stream using TSReader, but I have found my dvhs deck is not recognized in my PC anymore as it used to. I think this happened after I installed Motorola stb drivers. I tried to reinstall dvhs deck drivers but Capdvhs is unable to capture the stream showing an error after error. Also, the TSReader is not showing anything coming out from the connected dvhs deck anymore. Will try to troubleshoot again to make dvhs deck working with PC again. It looks like it is either dvhs deck or stb driver installed at the time, both simultaneously are not working.

In the meantime, I have couple of questions:
- is it possible the stb is producing bistream which is not entirely compatible with dvhs recording causing described issue? (btw, the issue reminds me of "macrovision" copy protection effect for old analog vcr's, it is like its counterpart in digital domain, as it appears in regular time intervals)
- why dvhs deck is still passing through and recording all channels in the lineup including premium ones, while when streaming from stb to pc results in just some of them being actually available? Is it because dvhs deck is 5C compatible device and PC is not?

P.S. There is also one other possibility however unlikely that my FireWire cable is causing the issue. I am using different cable between PC and stb (6/6) and another one between stb and dvhs (6/4). Both are 6 ft. long. However even using 6/4 cable the "pass-through" without recording shows no distortion whatsoever that is why I said it is unlikely the cable is causing the issue.

Your comments are appreciated.
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