Hauppauge HD PVR vs BlackMagic Intensity Pro - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 34 Old 02-24-2011, 05:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello everyone. I have many hours worth of HD recordings on my HD DVR that I want to backup onto my computer before I return my HD DVR to my cable provider.

I want to maintain the quality as much as possible, and I was leaning toward the BlackMagic Intensity Pro because it supports 1080p via HDMI inputs, and because this product does not require USB 3.0. However, I'm not sure if encryptions on anything that I've recorded to my DVR may prevent me from being able to backup the videos to my computer. I don't have movies that I want to back up, but mainly performances from late night television shows (Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, etc.) and other material that aren't from movie channels and all.

From what I understand, encryption is not a problem when it comes to using component connections, like with the Hauppauge, however the Hauppauge only supports 1080i.

The BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle unfortunately is not an option because my PC does not support USB 3.0. I feel this would have been the best choice since it supports both HDMI and component.

So I guess what it comes down to is if encryption might be a problem when it comes to archiving HD recordings from my HD DVR while using HDMI connections. What do you all suggest??

Much thanks,
Andrew
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post #2 of 34 Old 02-25-2011, 02:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AGrayson84 View Post

Hello everyone. I have many hours worth of HD recordings on my HD DVR that I want to backup onto my computer before I return my HD DVR to my cable provider.

I want to maintain the quality as much as possible, and I was leaning toward the BlackMagic Intensity Pro because it supports 1080p via HDMI inputs, and because this product does not require USB 3.0. However, I'm not sure if encryptions on anything that I've recorded to my DVR may prevent me from being able to backup the videos to my computer. I don't have movies that I want to back up, but mainly performances from late night television shows (Conan O'Brien, Jay Leno, etc.) and other material that aren't from movie channels and all.

From what I understand, encryption is not a problem when it comes to using component connections, like with the Hauppauge, however the Hauppauge only supports 1080i.

The BlackMagic Intensity Shuttle unfortunately is not an option because my PC does not support USB 3.0. I feel this would have been the best choice since it supports both HDMI and component.

So I guess what it comes down to is if encryption might be a problem when it comes to archiving HD recordings from my HD DVR while using HDMI connections. What do you all suggest??

Much thanks,
Andrew

Post your question in the HD PVR 1212 thread in the HTPC section for the best answer. Regarding the 1080i vs. 1080p issue, there should be no difference in picture quality. My HD PVR captures are almost identical to the source material.
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post #3 of 34 Old 02-25-2011, 02:54 PM
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If you're looking for true quality, you shouldn't be dicking around with either the Hauppauge HD-PVR (I own one) or the BlackMagic. Either one is going to lose quality due to MPEG recompression.

Just hook your cable box up to your PC or Mac using a firewire cable. You'll retain 100% quality. All cable companies are required by the FCC to provide a firewire output on the cable box that allows it to be hooked to a DVHS digital high-def VCR or a computer.

I, like you, save a lot of late night TV performances. They aren't protected by the 5c Copy-Once or Copy-Never flags. You can simply do a straight bit-for-bit dump from your cable box to your computer.

The steps are easy (somewhat dependent on what cable box you have):
1. Get a firewire cable (1394a 6-pin connector is what cable boxes accept)
2. Download and install the cable box driver and software package
3. Connect your cable box to your computer using the firewire cable (your computer could have the 6-pin or smaller 4-pin connector, so check that first before buying the cable)
4. Run the CapDVHS program (included in the download from step 2) while playing back the DVR recording that you want to capture.

It records in real-time, the same way that the Hauppauge or BlackMagic devices do. But, unlike those devices, this method gives you 100% quality.

You end up with either an .mpg or a .ts file, which is the same MPEG2 transport stream broadcast by your cable company.

There's a whole discussion on this here
(ignore some of the info in the older posts...things have changed. I just noticed that the first post in the thread claims that you can't record DVR'd shows, only live TV. This is nonsense. You can record DVR'd shows just as easily as live TV...in fact, it's much smarter to always record DVR'd shows b/c you can retry it if anything goes haywire)
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post #4 of 34 Old 02-25-2011, 03:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys thanks for the replies. I had asked on this forum here last year if there was any possibility of capturing the files from the HD DVR via the firewire port on the back of the unit and was told that the file types from the DVR were encrypted and could not be viewed with any sort of video player. This sounds a little more promising, so I'm going to try to scoop up a PCI Express Firewire card and see what I can do. Uncompressed footage would be awesome. I'll let you know if I have the same success as the rest of you guys as soon as I can give this a try. Thanks again!!
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post #5 of 34 Old 02-25-2011, 03:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsinger View Post

Post your question in the HD PVR 1212 thread in the HTPC section for the best answer. Regarding the 1080i vs. 1080p issue, there should be no difference in picture quality. My HD PVR captures are almost identical to the source material.

I should note that I generally find the picture quality of the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212 captures to be quite good. It's sometimes a bit soft, but generally good looking.

However, when I have it capture not-so-great-looking HD recordings, I am sometimes shocked by how much worse they look. I think it's mostly due to the recompression to MPEG4, but it could also be due to the Digital-to-Analog-back-to-Digital conversion that takes place. (it starts out digital in the cable box, gets converted to analog in the cable box and output via Component video, then gets converted back to digital in the Hauppauge and compressed to MPEG4)

I think the worst was when I tried recording a WWE Monday Night Raw segment...for whatever reason Raw never looks great in HD here in the Bay area. I don't know if it's USA network's fault, or the WWE's, or Comcast here in the Bay area. But it always looks quite pixelated compared to other HD programming. When I played back the MPEG4 file created by the Hauppauge, the pixelation looked notably more pronounced. Taking a seemingly already badly compressed signal and then compressing it further looked awful (quite a bit worse than the original).

That said, I happily use the Hauppauge to record protected content such as premium channels and it normally looks nice, but often softer than the original (yes, I've already altered the Hauppauge picture controls to reduce the softness...it still looks soft).
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post #6 of 34 Old 02-25-2011, 04:02 PM
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Originally Posted by AGrayson84 View Post

Hey guys thanks for the replies. I had asked on this forum here last year if there was any possibility of capturing the files from the HD DVR via the firewire port on the back of the unit and was told that the file types from the DVR were encrypted and could not be viewed with any sort of video player. This sounds a little more promising, so I'm going to try to scoop up a PCI Express Firewire card and see what I can do. Uncompressed footage would be awesome. I'll let you know if I have the same success as the rest of you guys as soon as I can give this a try. Thanks again!!

You're welcome.

And let me inform you of a couple caveats before you lose too much time on this:

1. For PC's, you must be running the 32-bit version of Windows XP, Windows Vista, or Windows 7. 64-bit versions of Windows are not compatible with the cable box driver. If you use a Mac, you can use either 32-bit or 64-bit and you can record using the Apple Firewire SDK.

2. If your cable box is the Motorola DCX3400, the firewire is broken...so you won't be able to use this method. In this case, use the Hauppauge HD-PVR or BlackMagic.
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post #7 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 03:53 PM
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Hmmm, I haven't noticed any softness when using the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212.
What bit rate are you using?
What are you playing the files back on?
Have you noticed when using the .mp4 format that the audio is out of sync?

In fact backup copies of dvd's look nicer than the original dvd does.
And this is on a 65" screen.
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post #8 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

Hmmm, I haven't noticed any softness when using the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212.

Unless the original is of rather low quality, you'd have to freeze-frame it and compare side-by-side on two identical HDTV's to notice.

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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

What bit rate are you using?

I only ever use the highest bitrate, which is listed as "13.5 Mbps Variable Bitrate", but in reality is higher.

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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

What are you playing the files bak on?

A Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player. I nearly only use dedicated video devices such as Blu-ray players or HD DVD players (or TViX or WD Live) to play back. General-purpose machines such as PC's/Macs are too electrically noisy and it's almost always easy to spot deficiencies.

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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

Have you noticed when using the .mp4 format that the audio is out of sync?

I would never, even on my worst day, consider using the .mp4 format with the Hauppauge. It is a train wreck. I use the .M2TS format, which I'm mostly pleased with except that the Max Bitrate header in the file outright lies about the max bitrate, which messes up some programs (Nero, Ulead DVD Factory) ability to deal properly with the .M2TS file and causes them to re-encode the video, which should not be needed and seriously impacts the quality of the output).

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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

In fact backup copies of dvd's look nicer than the original dvd does.
And this is on a 65" screen.

That is insane. It is impossible for the original to be converted from digital to analog, output via analog Component, converted back to digital in the Hauppauge and then recompressed to MPEG4 and look better than the original (unless the original was really sh1tty to begin with and the softening made it look more pleasing)

The bottom line is that I'm almost convinced that there are no more settings that I can tweak to change this (and the softening is rather subtle...I scrutinize these things to the nth degree. I doubt 95% of people would even notice that it's softer). When you're doing on-the-fly encoding of high-def video, there's going to be at least a little drop in quality, guaranteed.

Most people tend to favor a slightly softer picture, which could account for why you prefer your DVD backups to the originals.

If I find some time later, perhaps I can get some screenshots to compare the original to the slightly-softer Hauppauge encode.
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post #9 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 07:51 PM
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I am using a Hauppauge Colossus and it can record from the HDMI output from my directv H21-100 sat box. It only need the one HDMI connection from the box so it reduces cable clutter. Also no need for an external box since its a PCI card
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post #10 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 08:04 PM
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I am using a Hauppauge Colossus and it can record from the HDMI output from my directv H21-100 sat box. It only need the one HDMI connection from the box so it reduces cable clutter. Also no need for an external box since its a PCI card

Holy crap! How can it record from DirectTV?!? Surely their HDMI output is protected by HDCP, isn't it?

That is awesome, but highly unexpected. Do you have some sort of modified DirectTV box?

*One benefit of capturing from HDMI is that you avoid the whole Digital-to-Analog-back-to-Digital conversion process. It stays digital the whole way. You still have to recompress it, but there's no way to avoid that (unless you have a whole lot of disk space and throughput).
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post #11 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 08:35 PM
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I've never really freeze framed to check.

DVD definitely looks sharper and nicer than the original, but I'm upscaling before recording and then when playing the files they are upscaled again. Good players and converters can do wonders. So much so, my wife noticed the same thing I did.

HD seems to be about the same as the original (at 1080i) or if any loss it isn't really noticeable or bothersome. On Avatar I could just barely see a little difference between the 1080P/24 and the 1080i/60 picture on my 65" Mitsu DLP.

I've mainly used the 9-11 variable rate as I don't see a whole lot of difference in the pic and it keeps the file size down to where I can burn a AVCHD disc if I want to.

I used the .mp4 because I had on order a Samsung 5500 bluray player and that is the file format it would play back - HERE, all I have to do is rename the .ts file to the .mp4 extension and it will play the .ts files. I haven't tried the .m2ts extension yet but I assume it would be the same. So no more .mp4 recording for me, I did contact Hauppauge to make them aware of the problem.

By changing the one setting from 3 (I think default) to 1 on both lines helped the sharpness ALOT. I don't have it on now so I can't tell you which one it was, I think it was the screen that you set your bitrate with and there are 2 lines with a number in.
AT the default setting, the picture was noticeably softer than the original - esp. HD.

The Sony won't read NTFS drives will it? Does it handle large files in fat32 alright?

Will the HD DVD toshiba's play files off of a hard drive?

I had the WD Live but returned it since the Netflix picture was lousy on it - worse than the Wii. The samsung 5500 puts out a nice picture on Netflix and plays the files off of the hard drive.

Biggest problem I have is I haven't been able to find which setting to set in the player to get HD audio to record in 5.1. Works fine with normal DVD 5.1 audio.
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post #12 of 34 Old 03-01-2011, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
I've mainly used the 9-11 variable rate as I don't see a whole lot of difference in the pic and it keeps the file size down to where I can burn a AVCHD disc if I want to.
I pretty much only record TV shows, not movies. So it'll still fit on the AVCHD disc, even at 13.5 Mbps Variable Bitrate. For movies I buy or rent the Blu-ray. Most of the TV shows I watch will never come out on Blu-ray, so that isn't an option for me.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
I used the .mp4 because I had on order a Samsung 5500 bluray player and that is the file format it would play back - HERE, all I have to do is rename the .ts file to the .mp4 extension and it will play the .ts files. I haven't tried the .m2ts extension yet but I assume it would be the same. So no more .mp4 recording for me, I did contact Hauppauge to make them aware of the problem.
Hauppauge has been told by many many people how messed up the .MP4 files are...my understanding is that it isn't their fault. It is the fault of TME. So nothing they can do will fix it, other than complaining to Arcsoft.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
By changing the one setting from 3 (I think default) to 1 on both lines helped the sharpness ALOT. I don't have it on now so I can't tell you which one it was, I think it was the screen that you set your bitrate with and there are 2 lines with a number in.
AT the default setting, the picture was noticeably softer than the original - esp. HD.
My Luma and Chroma Low Pass Filters are both set to 0.

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
The Sony won't read NTFS drives will it? Does it handle large files in fat32 alright?
I don't know...I always burn to either Blu-ray or AVCHD disc (this gives me more flexibility in where I watch it...many friends have Blu-ray players, but not ones that'll read off a hard drive...plus that stuff can be mighty buggy). My Sony Blu-ray sees my Sony laptop and allows me to play pictures, music and movies from it over the network, but I've never even bothered playing a video (I have played a few JPEGs and a couple of MP3's which worked fine, but I lost interest in it in less time than it took me to type this). Every experience I've had with such things has always been disappointing, with half-assed codec support, etc. leading to subpar A/V playback. By burning it to disc, I can avoid all of that and be guaranteed a very high-quality playback without the evening devolving into a geek-troubleshooting-fest (by that point I just want to joke around with friends, snack, and get drunk).

Quote:
Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
Will the HD DVD toshiba's play files off of a hard drive?
No, I have to burn it to DVD. It's been a while since I've bothered, but it worked fine. I do everything via Blu-ray now, as many of my friends have Blu-ray players and I can take it over to their homes.

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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post
Biggest problem I have is I haven't been able to find which setting to set in the player to get HD audio to record in 5.1. Works fine with normal DVD 5.1 audio.
I assume you mean you want to output 5.1 Dolby Digital to the Hauppauge and have it record in in 5.1 Dolby Digital. You'll need to make sure that the player is sending out a Dolby Digital 5.1 signal (instead of, say a DTS or PCM signal). If you have an AVR, it'll let you know what audio signal is being output.
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post #13 of 34 Old 03-02-2011, 02:59 AM
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TNO821: My sat box is not modified
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post #14 of 34 Old 03-02-2011, 10:48 AM
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TNO821: My sat box is not modified
Wow...that either means that your sat box isn't using HDCP (which is crazy!) or the Hauppauge is ignoring the HDCP (which I really, really doubt).

Either way, that is really cool!

*You could run a test by trying to capture something that most certainly is using HDCP: record the HDMI output from a Blu-ray player/PS3 (playing a big Hollywood studio movie, just to ensure HDCP would be used). Blu-ray players are required to deal properly with HDCP. If you are able to capture from it, then that would point to the Hauppauge ignoring HDCP. If this were the case, I would suggest you never update your Hauppauge drivers again
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post #15 of 34 Old 03-02-2011, 09:07 PM
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The Blackmagic Intensity Pro PCIe card only supports 1080i. Its a moot point anyway since ATSC can't do 1080p. The Intensity Pro captures uncompressed and uses your CPU for encoding to MPEG-2/4 or any codec you want. The HD PVR has on board compression.
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post #16 of 34 Old 03-02-2011, 09:22 PM
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Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post

The Blackmagic Intensity Pro PCIe card only supports 1080i. Its a moot point anyway since ATSC can't do 1080p. The Intensity Pro captures uncompressed and uses your CPU for encoding to MPEG-2/4 or any codec you want. The HD PVR has on board compression.

So? Set the BD player to output 1080i.
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post #17 of 34 Old 03-08-2011, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by bwooster View Post
I am using a Hauppauge Colossus and it can record from the HDMI output from my directv H21-100 sat box. It only need the one HDMI connection from the box so it reduces cable clutter. Also no need for an external box since its a PCI card
what? can you confirm and prove that? I would think hdcp play a factor
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post #18 of 34 Old 03-08-2011, 02:10 PM
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what? can you confirm and prove that? I would think hdcp play a factor
Yeah! Video or it didn't happen (kidding)

I've read quite a few claims (mostly at the Hauppauge uk website forum) that say the same thing: People are been able to capture from the HDMI output of various sat stb's.

This rocks, and I can only conclude that those devices which allow it are simply not using HDCP. Sooner than later, I imagine this will draw the ire of Hollywood.

Hauppauge would be in serious legal jeopardy if their device were simply ignoring HDCP, so I highly doubt they would risk that. The Cable/Sat manufacturers might not be sending HDCP b/c they're tired of all the compatibility problems that HDMI can have...HDMI handshaking can be a bitch without throwing HDCP into the mix.

My guess is that some sat/cable stb's aren't passing HDCP.
This is why I suggested someone set their Blu-ray player to output 1080i and see if the Hauppauge can capture a big hollywood movie...choose a Fox title, cause God knows they love to layer every protection known to man.

If you have a Sony Blu-ray player (or use the PS3), I would bet large sums of legal tender that it would properly pass HDCP.

As for being skeptical of people who claim they've captured from their sat stb's HDMI, I think we're past that. It's happening; now we just need to try and learn why it works and whether the device manufacturers could stop it (firmware update maybe?).
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post #19 of 34 Old 03-17-2011, 08:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bwooster View Post

I am using a Hauppauge Colossus and it can record from the HDMI output from my directv H21-100 sat box. It only need the one HDMI connection from the box so it reduces cable clutter. Also no need for an external box since its a PCI card

Please confirm...we all want to know if you are tuning all the D* channels--not just FTA or a bypass ATSC. I got the Colossus too and did not even try the HDMI b/c overwhelmingly expected the HDCP block. I will investigate my setup.
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post #20 of 34 Old 03-21-2011, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by NJRoadfan View Post

The Blackmagic Intensity Pro PCIe card only supports 1080i. Its a moot point anyway since ATSC can't do 1080p. The Intensity Pro captures uncompressed and uses your CPU for encoding to MPEG-2/4 or any codec you want. The HD PVR has on board compression.

Specs of the Blackmagic Intensity Pro: 1080i50, 1080i59.94, 1080p23.98, 1080p24, 720p50 and 720p59.94.

Am I reading the specs wrong? It appears to support Blu-ray 1080p24 capture from an encrypted STB via component cable.

What's up with the audio? 2 channel only? Will the Intensity capture 5.1 or 7.1?

D* has their DirecTV Cinema video feature to download 1080p movies via ethernet at $3-6/movie. It's not clear to me if there are 1080p movies downloadable "for free." This is one application of 1080p capture from encrypted source.

From D*:
Get access to 400 of the newest movie releases, with new titles added every week. Nobody brings you movies faster many available nearly a month before Netflix and Redbox. They're all in 1080p HD the same stunning format as Blu-ray and Dolby Digital Surround Sound.

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post #21 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

I've read quite a few claims (mostly at the Hauppauge uk website forum) that say the same thing: People are been able to capture from the HDMI output of various sat stb's.

This rocks, and I can only conclude that those devices which allow it are simply not using HDCP. Sooner than later, I imagine this will draw the ire of Hollywood.

Wow: My D* HR23-700 is passing HDCP for most channels: almost all HBO and other movie, 2-13, etc. I removed component connections to be sure. The History Channel and a few others were blocked. It is the same deal on DVR playback from the HR23. I have no idea why some channels blocked and most pass via HDMI.

Audio volume is low. Reconfigured tuner for HDMI. Captured with various datarates. Audio still low...not sure why.
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post #22 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by junzi View Post

Wow: My D* HR23-700 is passing HDCP for most channels: almost all HBO and other movie, 2-13, etc. I removed component connections to be sure. The History Channel and a few others were blocked. It is the same deal on DVR playback from the HR23. I have no idea why some channels blocked and most pass via HDMI.

I'm not sure I understand...are you saying that some channels are allowing you to capture via HDMI and other channels are not allowing this?

If so, that's interesting...I was not aware that HDCP was so granularly configurable.



Quote:
Originally Posted by junzi View Post

Audio volume is low. Reconfigured tuner for HDMI. Captured with various datarates. Audio still low...not sure why.

That's odd. I would have thought it would be the same volume level that was transmitted...I wonder if the colossus (or the BlackMagic, or whatever device you're using) would let you capture the audio via optical toslink connector and only use the HDMI for the video.

Also: if you have VideoReDo TVSuite v4, there is an "Adjust Audio" feature that would be able to correct this.
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post #23 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 01:27 PM
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Yes, the Colossus is capturing AV on most channels with the HDMI cable connected directly b/w the D* STB and Colossus. It appears that almost all HD channels are passing, while the SD channels are not. For instance, 2, 4, 7, 11 in HD pass AV, but 2, 4, 7, 11 SD are blocked. PBS passes audio but no video. HBO HD passes, but HBO SD blocked. The History Channel HD is currently passing, but a recorded HistCh show passes audio and vid only for a moment when I stop it. Not sure what is going on...but I like it.

ArcSoft capture shows ACC 2ch audio with HDMI on HD program with 5.1 DD. Not sure what the audio quality is. AV in HD passes with both WinTV and ArcSoft.

The volume via HDMI is lower than the RCA, but it is not a major concern. Perhaps my hardware or Fry's HDMI cable. Yes, I can choose to use SPDIF, RCA, or HDMI for the audio, so I will play with it.
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post #24 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 06:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by junzi View Post

Yes, the Colossus is capturing AV on most channels with the HDMI cable connected directly b/w the D* STB and Colossus. It appears that almost all HD channels are passing, while the SD channels are not. For instance, 2, 4, 7, 11 in HD pass AV, but 2, 4, 7, 11 SD are blocked. PBS passes audio but no video. HBO HD passes, but HBO SD blocked. The History Channel HD is currently passing, but a recorded HistCh show passes audio and vid only for a moment when I stop it. Not sure what is going on...but I like it.

That is wild! You're saying that your sat STB is blocking you from capturing standard definition channels, but it is allowing you to capture high definition channels?!? That rocks, but seems very much backwards.

I would have to wonder if it may be something to do with Hauppauge's software or driver...if that is the case, I would recommend that you never update that software ever!!! I'd go so far as to make a disk image of your Windows partition


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Originally Posted by junzi View Post

ArcSoft capture shows ACC 2ch audio with HDMI on HD program with 5.1 DD. Not sure what the audio quality is. AV in HD passes with both WinTV and ArcSoft.

Ack...AAC 2ch is not cool. Give me DD5.1 or give me death.

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Originally Posted by junzi View Post

The volume via HDMI is lower than the RCA, but it is not a major concern. Perhaps my hardware or Fry's HDMI cable. Yes, I can choose to use SPDIF, RCA, or HDMI for the audio, so I will play with it.

I use the Hauppauge HD-PVR and using SPDIF (optical toslink) give really great DD5.1 audio. I wouldn't bother with RCA (best you could get would be Dolby Pro-Logic).
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post #25 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 10:44 PM
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I used the updated drivers available on their website. Note that I am also using a relatively older system with a Dec 2005 build...The system was not stable until I downloaded the March.15.2011 Colossus driver set, which I downloaded on Mar.16.

I have no idea why HD is bypassing HDCP but SD is blocked...very strange. I think I will post a video to youtube to prove it b/c I don't think I would believe it if it didn't happen to me--not this easy anyway. Note that the system is not perfectly stable. In capturing, I have caught a few glitches, but they are few. It can also take upto 30 secs for the capture to begin rendering in my PC...it is like a battle is going on with the HDCP.

I have another Colossus and HTPC system to test the Mar.15 driver set on. I will post results soon.
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post #26 of 34 Old 03-22-2011, 10:56 PM
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Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post

If you're looking for true quality, you shouldn't be dicking around with either the Hauppauge HD-PVR (I own one) or the BlackMagic. Either one is going to lose quality due to MPEG recompression.

Just hook your cable box up to your PC or Mac using a firewire cable. You'll retain 100% quality. All cable companies are required by the FCC to provide a firewire output on the cable box that allows it to be hooked to a DVHS digital high-def VCR or a computer.

I, like you, save a lot of late night TV performances. They aren't protected by the 5c Copy-Once or Copy-Never flags. You can simply do a straight bit-for-bit dump from your cable box to your computer.

The steps are easy (somewhat dependent on what cable box you have):
1. Get a firewire cable (1394a 6-pin connector is what cable boxes accept)
2. Download and install the cable box driver and software package
3. Connect your cable box to your computer using the firewire cable (your computer could have the 6-pin or smaller 4-pin connector, so check that first before buying the cable)
4. Run the CapDVHS program (included in the download from step 2) while playing back the DVR recording that you want to capture.

It records in real-time, the same way that the Hauppauge or BlackMagic devices do. But, unlike those devices, this method gives you 100% quality.

You end up with either an .mpg or a .ts file, which is the same MPEG2 transport stream broadcast by your cable company.

There's a whole discussion on this here
(ignore some of the info in the older posts...things have changed. I just noticed that the first post in the thread claims that you can't record DVR'd shows, only live TV. This is nonsense. You can record DVR'd shows just as easily as live TV...in fact, it's much smarter to always record DVR'd shows b/c you can retry it if anything goes haywire)

I've never heard of this. I'll be trying this out sometime tonight or tomorrow. Saves me money and best quality. What's not to love?
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post #27 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 03:21 PM
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I don't see a reason to get overly excited about the Colossus. I don't see any particular difference in recording vs the HD PVR. The only difference is that one is internal hardware and accepts a different cable.
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post #28 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 04:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Antvinman View Post

I don't see a reason to get overly excited about the Colossus. I don't see any particular difference in recording vs the HD PVR. The only difference is that one is internal hardware and accepts a different cable.

There is a difference: The colossus stays digital the entire time.

The HD-PVR deals with analog component video. So your sat/cable box has to convert from digital to analog first, output via component, and the HD-PVR converts it back to digital and applies MPEG4 compression.

The Colossus would capture the digital HDMI output by your sat/cable box and apply MPEG4 compression; there would be no Digital-to-Analog-to-Digital conversion. The Colossus picture will be truer to the original.
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post #29 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 06:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TNO821 View Post
There is a difference: The colossus stays digital the entire time.

The HD-PVR deals with analog component video. So your sat/cable box has to convert from digital to analog first, output via component, and the HD-PVR converts it back to digital and applies MPEG4 compression.

The Colossus would capture the digital HDMI output by your sat/cable box and apply MPEG4 compression; there would be no Digital-to-Analog-to-Digital conversion. The Colossus picture will be truer to the original.
I guess the questions might be asked:
Does it really matter?
Is there any detectable difference between HDMI output and component?
Not that what you've said isn't true, but just is it really significant these days?

A.K.A. VOS
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post #30 of 34 Old 04-30-2011, 07:55 PM
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^ I don't know. As a purist, I like the idea of how the Colossus does it (though HDCP would be a problem for a lot of stuff...HDFury might be needed), but the devil's in the details...it probably comes down to the quality of the drivers and software. If the Colossus drops the ball on that, the HD-PVR could have a better picture.

I don't own a Colossus (I do have a HD-PVR), so I can't really say.
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