Announcing DCTRecordApp (Motorola 620x recording app for Windows) - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 57 Old 05-07-2004, 11:00 AM - Thread Starter
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UPDATE:
The source code to dctrecord has been released and is available for download at my home site linked below. I am not releasing source to the windows app since its pretty much a big hack job and needs lots of cleanup. dctrecord.exe was compiled using Visual C++ 6.0 and all the workspace files are included. DirectX development libraries are need and can be downloaded from Microsofts DirectX website. dctrecord uses the dump filter sample provided in Microsoft DirectShow filter programming samples. Feel free to use the source as you see fit but if you use it for any commercial gain or purposes, please let me know.


I've created a Window application version of dctrecord. This app has Zap2it support as well as the ability to schedule multiple recordings on a repeating basis. It only works with Motorola 620x firmware 7.09 or later and with the meidvhs drivers discussed on another thread here. It is called DCTRecordApp and can be downloaded from:

http://home.comcast.net/~brzez2/dctrecord.html

It is in beta form and will probably have a few bugs or issues but for the most part, it works pretty well for me. This is my first attempt at a Windows application and I concentrated mainly on simplicity and functionality rather than cool looks or advanced features. On the right side of it is a debug window. If you encounter any problems during use of this app or find a bug, I would appreciate a cut and paste of this window so I can thouroughly investigate.

To use the app with Zap2it scheduling you will need to go to:
http://tvlistings.zap2it.com/iEPG/zi...artner_id=iEPG

You can register or just go to the listings and find something you want to record. Before you click on the red "REC" button, you will need to go into Control Panel on your windows machine to make sure that the Zap2it files are associated with DCTRecordApp.

In windows do Start - > Settings -> Control Panel -> Folder Options
Click on the "File Types" tab and select the ASP file type. Change the association to now point to the DCTRecordApp.exe that you downloaded. This only needs to be done once.

After doing this, all Zap2it "REC" clicks will now launch DCTRecordApp.
Now you can click on the red "REC" button and it will launch DCTREcordApp (you may need to click Open if prompted) and the recording and program info should be filled in. You can also add your own and remove recordings as you like. The buttons are failry self explanatory.

You must keep DCTRecordApp running all the time for the recording to take place. If you close the app or "SAVE and EXIT", your recording will not take place. One of the enhancements I'm working on is to make a tray icon of the app as well as have it automatically add itself to the Windows Task Scheduler for its next scheduled recording. You can place DCTRecordApp in your startup folder so it is launched when your PC boots up. The app can also be minimized and will run in the background.

A couple of things to note:
1) When setting the dir for recording as well as the checkbox for the title to be a dir, whatever you set will become the default so all new recordings will show that. All old recordings will have whatever was set for them
2) A file size of 0 means that the recording will generate one big file. Make sure your system supports files greated than 2000 megabytes (NTFS file system does). If it does not, your recording will be stopped prematurely.
3) All recorded program file names will have a .tp extension attached to them and will follow the MyHD file naming format (ie title_nn.tp)
4) Two or more recordings that take place at the same time or overlap are not allowed


Currently channel changing is not working. Because of this, you will manually need to set timers on the 620x for each scheduled recording or tune the 620x to the channel that a recording is to take place on. Channel changing support is the main thing I'm working on now. It will probably take a while since it involves digging into drivers and other lower level firewire functionality under windows. If you'd like to support my development efforts, a Paypal link is provided on the download page.


-- John
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post #2 of 57 Old 05-07-2004, 01:48 PM
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I have several questions:

1) I assume Windows XP is required?
2) Can the recorded HD shows be displayed on to a TV or HD projector in 1080i or 720p format through the PC VGA or DVI output?
3) I checked my Comcast listing, many digital channels including HDs are missing. Is there a manual timer option?
4) I assume if I want to record an HD show, must leave my 6200 on that channel first?

Thank you.
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post #3 of 57 Old 05-07-2004, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
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jacmyoung,

Yes, this is only for Windows XP.

To view the recorded shows, you will need some HDTV playback program like Zoomplayer (with the right filters), VLC (VideoLan client), Sasem On-Air, or hardware player like MyHD or Hipix.

You can add your own recordings using the application. Just populate the title, month, day, year, start time, and end time or duration and add it and it will be scheduled. Another options is to put in a zip code or choose some other comcast area which has the channels and you can click on those and the recording will be added -- this assumes that those channel listings start at the same times as the ones for your area.

Yes, you must either leave the 6200 on the channel or set up a timer inthe 6200 to tune to that channel at a specified time. This will be the case until I get the channel changing functionality working.

-- John
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post #4 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 10:36 AM
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John,

Would it be possible to have a "one-touch" record button requiring only the file name? For testing purposes, I get a lot of errors on missing fields. When I start recordings, sometimes it does not take (no hd activity).

Rich
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post #5 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 11:05 AM
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brez,

I have spent a good amount of time reading the 20 page thread where people are discussion how to install the drivers for the 6200. But it seems there are 'bits of gold' spread throughout the thread, and it is hard to make sure I am catching all the gold nuggets. The www.ptie.org/bsd seems like a start, but many other tweaks are discussed in the thread and I am having a tough time adding them all together.

Has anyone created a good 'how to' that integrates the latest learnings for installing the drivers?
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post #6 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 11:16 AM
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I am also stuck & getting good diagnostics but only 0 length file records.

Tim

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post #7 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 11:18 AM
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this sounds really great and I am excited to use this program when it supports the SA 3250HD. But I have one question - can you only record non-premium channels? Or is this only for the basic ones?
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post #8 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 11:44 AM
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Thanks for the software!!

Finally I'm able to record via firewire, HOWEVER only SD channels. HD willnot capture!!!!!!!!!!!1

I have the TWC, Mot 6200 with FW 7.10.

Any tips on how to enable recording on HD channels?
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post #9 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 06:52 PM
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DVHScap works for me, but the new dctrecordapp won't capture anything manually. Nor will zap2it populate the fields. It captures zero-length files. I've tried both HD and non-HD channels.

I get this error from zap2it attemtps:
Could not open and Settings\\htpc.THEATER-4AIMKA0\\Desktop\\dctrecordapp.exe" "C:\\Documents and Settings\\htpc.THEATER-4AIMKA0\\Local Settings\\Temporary Internet Files\\Content.IE5\\1RAZLIMZ\ vpi[1].asp"
Could not read program info from TVPI file
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post #10 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
this sounds really great and I am excited to use this program when it supports the SA 3250HD. But I have one question - can you only record non-premium channels? Or is this only for the basic ones?
That depends on where your cable provider has implemented 5C flags. Right now, you may be able to record all channels with such a program, but ultimately, you may only be able to do so with locals.
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post #11 of 57 Old 05-08-2004, 08:45 PM
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Yep, I think that's the case in Boston. Only my JVC can record all channels, as it understands 5C. DVHScap can only record locals-- ESPNHD, INHD1 and 2 cannot be recorded.
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post #12 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 06:48 AM
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Well, you saved me a bunch of trail and error. 2 steps forward, 10 back.

myHD is a better OTA capture, unfortunalely, and it looks like the $15 RS is still the ultimate "timer" to DVHS.

Disappointing,
Tim

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post #13 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 08:20 AM
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Well, if my box ever gets upgraded I'll give it a shot. I'm all Firewired up to my PC and DVHS.

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post #14 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 08:57 AM
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brzez,
I can't seem to get your app to record anything. I am running my 6200 thru my JVC then on to PC. DVHScap gets all non-5C material fine, but your app records zero-file length data every time. I notice you have no pull-down to select a firewire source-- I wonder if your app is selecting the incorrect source?
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post #15 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 10:56 AM
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After I hit the record button and nothing happens (no hd activity), I occasionally have started the recording by saving/updating the profile.

I have recorded a non-encrypted channel at least once, so it does work.

Rich
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post #16 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 01:01 PM
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Rich4av,
Remember you can't record 5C coded data. Local recordings should work.
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post #17 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 01:46 PM
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I'm getting zero length on local (non-5c) also.

Tim
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post #18 of 57 Old 05-09-2004, 10:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Sorry for the lack of replies guys -- been a busy Mom's day weekend.

I've posted a new version (Beta 0.9.1) on http://home.comcast.net/~brzez2/dctrecord.html

Just click the download link for dctrecordapp.exe and you should be all set.

This version fixes issues with recordnow not recording all the time. You still need to enter a title and duration but it should work reliably now.

Rich4av,

I do not want to remove the duration or end time requirement since this would open up the potential to fill up your hard drive (if you did not stop the recording) which could lead to system corruption.

spears,

The issue you are seeing looks like a path issue with windows. Could you create a dir like c:\\dctrecord and place dctrecordapp.exe in it and then do the file extension association in folder options? After doing this Zap2it should work fine. With regards to zero length files, how many capture devices do you have in DVHSCap? If you have more than one, you will need to disable or remove the one that does not work in your Device Manager settings (Start -> Settings -> Control Panel -> System -> Hardware -> Device Manager). DCTRecordApp will chose the first one that it finds and if that one is not the right one, the recording will be a zero length file.


If any of you still get zero length files after trying this version, could you try the commandline dctrecord.exe as a test. If that works, then its a bug in dctrecordapp.exe but if that does not work, then there may be an issue with detecting the DVHS capture device. Could you also test with DVHSCap to see if that works.

With regards to capturing HD versus SD, DCTRecordApp does not make any distinction between the two. If you are able to capture both with DVHSCap then DCTRecordApp will do the same. Currently none of the PC firewire or DVHS capture utilities (including DCTRecordApp) can record copy protected content content (anything with a 5C flag will not be captured.. only JVC DVHS decks can capture that) -- not much can be done here unless someone figures a way around this. Its technically hard to get around it not to mention all the legal implications.

-- John
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post #19 of 57 Old 05-10-2004, 07:36 PM - Thread Starter
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A new version (Beta 0.9.2) of DCTRecordApp has been posted to http://home.comcast.net/~brzez2/dctrecord.html

It fixes a bug where if the filename included a non-alphanumeric character in it, the recording would not take place at all. The fix takes all non-alphanumeric characters in the filename and converts them to an underscore.

-- John
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post #20 of 57 Old 05-10-2004, 09:53 PM
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This is working great for me.
Thanks, John!

Comcast, Moto 6200, FW7.10, SF Bay Area

Carl
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post #21 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 09:03 AM
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John,
Now works for me. I disabled the first non-working firewire device, and your app now picks up the right stream. Very nice.
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post #22 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 09:04 AM
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John,
Question for you or others-- Are there ways to playback your files in software, besides DVHStools (which has no real shortcut keys to control playback), that will seamlessly concatenate the files?
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post #23 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by brzez
[Currently none of the PC firewire or DVHS capture utilities (including DCTRecordApp) can record copy protected content content (anything with a 5C flag will not be captured.. only JVC DVHS decks can capture that) -- not much can be done here unless someone figures a way around this. Its technically hard to get around it not to mention all the legal implications.

-- John [/b]
You would need to be a DTCP ("5C") licensee to get the cryptographic material necessary to authenticate yourself to the cable box and decrypt the content. This is not a garage shop project given that it is $15000 per year to be a licensee, you expose yourself to up to 8 million in liquidated damages if you screw up, and you first have to convince them that you have a hacker proof design and security procedures.
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post #24 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 11:45 AM
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I fail to see the requirement for 5C - unless the DCT won't even transmit the stream to the HTPC. The real problem seems to be that we need to be able to play the stream back thru the DCT (i.e. to avoid having to decrypt it in the HTPC). From what I've read, this isn't supported by any tool yet.
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post #25 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 01:07 PM
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I don't think you can even capture the encrypted content unless you snoop a connection already established between 5C compliant devices. Can a JVC 30k display a copy-once flagged program on its component output while NOT recording? Can a Mits Integrated TV connected to cable box only by firewire display the copy-once program? Those would be good streams to snoop.

Even then, you probably can't get a 5C device to play back that stream from a non-5C device like a computer.

- Mike
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post #26 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 01:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by edmc
I fail to see the requirement for 5C - unless the DCT won't even transmit the stream to the HTPC. The real problem seems to be that we need to be able to play the stream back thru the DCT (i.e. to avoid having to decrypt it in the HTPC). From what I've read, this isn't supported by any tool yet.
Two strikes. The DCT won't even transmit the stream to the HTPC, and in addition you cannot avoid having to decrypt it in the HTPC because it is sent from the DCT encrypted.
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post #27 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 05:05 PM
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Carl,

How did you get FW 7.10 in the Bayarea? I am in Milpitas and I still only get 7.07 which does not work with recording to Windows XP.

Did you pickup a 6200 already loaded with FW 7.10?

-- Alvin
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post #28 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 06:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by miimura
I don't think you can even capture the encrypted content unless you snoop a connection already established between 5C compliant devices. Can a JVC 30k display a copy-once flagged program on its component output while NOT recording? Can a Mits Integrated TV connected to cable box only by firewire display the copy-once program? Those would be good streams to snoop.

Even then, you probably can't get a 5C device to play back that stream from a non-5C device like a computer.

- Mike
The whole idea of encryption is that you can snoop the data all you want and it will do you no good. It would not matter all that much if you were to observe the session establishment.

As I read it a copy-once program can be put on the component output if it is downrezzed. A TV connected only by Firewire can display the program (assuming it supports 5C), but if it also puts the video on its outputs, it has to observe the rules applying to that.

And, trying to use the captured stream in another session would not do any good either (in crypto, this is called a "replay attack".)
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post #29 of 57 Old 05-11-2004, 09:25 PM
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Alvin,
I picked it up last week from the Fremont office and it already had 7.10 on it.

Carl
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post #30 of 57 Old 05-12-2004, 07:28 AM - Thread Starter
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spearse,

Glad you got it working. I do not know if any software that concatenates or plays these files seamlessly. I use the MyHD HDTV card. I have been thinking of modifying VLC to use my code and if I did that I would add code to VLC to do seamless playback. But that's something for the future. The big problem is that there does not seem to be any software that plays the stream back glitch or problem free on everyone's system.




I won't be touching any 5C stuff in this app -- this is not something I want to mess with from a legal standpoint.



-- John
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