Should I bother with D-VHS? - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 155 Old 03-10-2006, 09:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hyrax
The other option you might want to consider for timeshifting HDTV is a HTPC.
I know I'm just jumping into an older thread, but definitely recommend a HTPC. With 500GB HD's now available, you can put one in an external USB or 1394 enclosure, and use an HD tuner card or external unit to save the .ts (.trp) to the HD. For the HD (ATSC) tuner, I use an OnAir that connects to my laptop via USB. (there's an active and long thread on this unit). I'm not affiliated with the company in any way... I bought one of the first production units about a couple years ago and it's been great. I don't know of any better USB ATSC tuner. btw, they sell it on copperbox.

So, forget the tapes... imho, this is the best setup for recording/timeshifting HD now:

1. OnAir USBHDTV -- USB --> Laptop/PC
2. Schedule Recording/Timeshift to HD

What could be simpler? The only downside, for me, is I have to use the s-video out on my laptop for watching on tv (I don't have an hdtv, so not a big deal, but the s-video isn't that great). I guess if I had an hdtv I'd use the VGA out. Or if a different graphics card, then whatever (I suppose component) outs it has.

I also only do OTA -- don't have cable or satellite. The OnAir is supposed to work with cable, but I really haven't paid much attention to these capabilities, so if that's important, then anyone interested should read the thread.

-- rc
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post #92 of 155 Old 03-11-2006, 07:16 AM
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Does the OnAir record HBO and other encrypted cable channels?
Can you archive HD to Double Layer DVD?
thanks
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post #93 of 155 Old 03-11-2006, 09:15 AM
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locomo - Here's the lengthy thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...ighlight=Sasem It's an active thread, and a tech rep from OnAir, rpertusio, frequents it and provides great support.

He, or others, should be able to answer your question about HBO. My rough understanding is that it'll work with unencrypted channels. If a channel is encrypted, then I don't know what would work -- I suppose (I'm no expert on this) a device that also supports copy protection (i.e. copy once or somesuch). It also has composite and s-video inputs, so in cases where digital channels won't work, at least analog will... i.e. ouput from another atsc tuner or device such as a dvd player.

I have an antenna coax connected to my OnAir, and it hooked up to my laptop w/ a USB cable.

[Zenith Silver Sensor is a great indoor antenna; ideally, for much better reception, use an outdoor 4 or 8-bay bowtie from antennasdirect or channelmaster -- and _also_ for either, use one of channelmasters antenna preamps... the CM 7777 is highly recommended... makes a huge difference for getting signals. I don't want to go off on too much of a tangent, but I spent a lot of time on this and like to share. Even if I had cable/satellite, I'd want to take advantage of OTA... I've been watching free HDTV for a couple of years... there's some excellent broadcasting esp. in any major metro area, getting better all the time. And it is a viable alternative to paying out the nose for cable.]

Back on topic... yes, you can archive to double-layer dvd... you can do anything you can do with any file on a pc. HD stuff is saved in a .trp (same as a .ts) transport stream file... you can change the extension if that's a preference. These files can be viewed with OnAir's program or HD editor... I've viewed them w/ MediaPlayer (there's some freeware somewhere for this). I had a problem w/ the latest version of WinDVD (I think v. 7... stay away from it)... but there are players, and more all the time, that'll handle these files. The files are very large... roughly, looking at a sample clip, it's 282 MB for 2 minutes... so about 1.4 GB for 10 minutes... let's see... 8.4 GB for 60 minutes. So, it looks like a dl dvd would be just right for an hour. A 500 GB HD would then hold some 40 plus hours.

OnAir has been releasing new versions of it's software for the past 2 years -- and is owned by a different company than the original Sasem. Previously, support was minimal (just the latest sw) from a Korean site, but there's now good support. You can timeshift and schedule recordings. The latest version even picks up program info from OTA digital broadcasts.

Bottom-line, this works great on a laptop/PC (you do need a relatively decent machine w/ good graphics card... I have a Dell Inspiron 8600... couple of years old with nVidia FX 5650). You can download samples from them, and I think a time-limited HD editor, to see how HD will work on your system... shouldn't be a problem w/ a fairly new, decent system. On mine, cpu utilization is about 40% and I can watch hdtv while surfing the web -- it doesn't hog up the system.

The only thing I'd want to check on is how to output from a laptop/pc to an hdtv. I only have an old tv, so use the s-video out from my laptop. If I wanted to do hdtv, I'd have to use the vga out... so would need to be sure an hdtv could handle that. Later laptops and other graphic cards may also have component out or other outputs (I'm not up to speed on this)... so that'd be another option... something to explore on htpc threads.

Sorry, I write long posts, but I try to share info... anyway this product is relatively inexpensive... mine has worked great for 2 years (and I have an early production unit). I don't know what advantage there would be to a D-VHS when you can get the same functionality and all the power of a pc w/ this htpc-type solution.

-- rc
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post #94 of 155 Old 03-11-2006, 07:23 PM
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jvc dvhs is a 5c copy protection compliant device so it will archive copy once flagged channels from firewire enabled cable box such as the motorola 6412. I dont believe this device can do so.
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post #95 of 155 Old 03-12-2006, 11:55 AM
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rconn2 wrote:
> I also only do OTA -- don't have cable or satellite. <

So you have no interest in film, then. No HBO, Showtime, Cinemax, HDNet Movies, Universal HD, Starz, etc. Do you think perhaps this might limit the relevance of your POV, with respect to this thread's topic?

> So, forget the tapes... <

For a very limited subset of the HD available.

> I don't know what advantage there would be to a D-VHS when you can get the same functionality and all the power of a pc w/ this htpc-type solution. <

Archiving films would be one that you're apparently unaware of. Or avoiding loss of 40 films when one HDD goes bad. Or, as Paul pointed out, recording of 5C content.

Your comments and experience on the OnAir are useful and interesting reading. I just don't think this is the best thread to share them in. Nor do they negate the value or usefulness of D-VHS in any way. And until HDD costs drop below $0.25/gig, D-VHS with one-pass used broadcast-grade S-VHS tape stock will remain significantly cheaper.

- Tim

- Tim
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post #96 of 155 Old 03-12-2006, 08:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VideoGrabber
rconn2 wrote:
Your comments and experience on the OnAir are useful and interesting reading. I just don't think this is the best thread to share them in. Nor do they negate the value or usefulness of D-VHS in any way. And until HDD costs drop below $0.25/gig, D-VHS with one-pass used broadcast-grade S-VHS tape stock will remain significantly cheaper.
- Tim
To Tim's points in favor of D-VHS decks I must also add that a D-VHS deck is much cheaper than a PC. You need a pretty powerful (and loud) PC to be able to watch quality HD material. It should also be mentioned that it is a lot easier to save material with a tape deck then with a PC. I do both, and tapes are by far the easiest method.
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post #97 of 155 Old 03-12-2006, 10:15 PM
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D-VHS = 50GB ~ $7/tape = $0.14/GB
HDD = 300GB ~ $120 = $0.4/GB

Still a way to go :)

Speaking of D-VHS storage, anyone ever hacked one of these to store random data, instead of movies? With ~20gb/hour, this beats some of the most outrageously priced tape streamers.
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post #98 of 155 Old 03-12-2006, 11:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timecop
Speaking of D-VHS storage, anyone ever hacked one of these to store random data, instead of movies? With ~20gb/hour, this beats some of the most outrageously priced tape streamers.
I haven't seen any programs to do this with D-VHS, but I have seen it done with DV/mini-DV tapes: Firestreamer-DV
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post #99 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 12:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timecop
D-VHS = 50GB ~ $7/tape = $0.14/GB
HDD = 300GB ~ $120 = $0.4/GB

Still a way to go :)

Speaking of D-VHS storage, anyone ever hacked one of these to store random data, instead of movies? With ~20gb/hour, this beats some of the most outrageously priced tape streamers.

Your figures are seriously flawed and I would state I have more of each than most people to make an analysis of it.

Depending on the bitrate from the source, you average 23-25 movies on a 250GB Hard Drive. More from HDNET and you fall to the low 20s.

Regardless, this averages around $4 per movie on HD as you can pick up your choice of 250GB Hard Drives from Newegg for less than $100.

A DF320 DVHS which will store 1 movie is well over $6.

If you need a 3hour and 20 minute DVHS, it will cost you over $16 each.

HDs are clearly cheaper than DVHS at this point.
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post #100 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 06:18 AM
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Err... no. You can pick up H471S used SVHS tapes on Ebay for around $1 each or less if you keep your eye out. That's so far cheaper than even the best HD deals it's not even funny. You know that as well as I do HDFan ;). If you want to compare retail cost to retail cost then you can't use a hard drive on sale and not use the tape equivelant.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #101 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 08:57 AM
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Forget about the price, I can't record anything from my cable box to computer using firewire but DVHS works fine, so how is that for a better reason to use DVHS, at least for some people like myself?
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post #102 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 08:57 AM
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It seems HDFan doesn't know that S-VHS tape is a viable alternative to D-VHS tape. Either punch another hole on the tape, perform pin surgery, or just press the D-VHS button on your VCR to get it to work. I prefer the hole punching method, but hey that's me.
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post #103 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 09:19 AM
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The BIG DEAL is that a computer is not a "5c copy flag" compliant device. You will not be able to record any content that is flagged "copy once". You will not be able to record (with a Tuner card) in a PC any "scrambled" QAM channels. You will not be able to record any "copy once" flagged cable channels on a PC at all. Almost all HD channels on cable that show movies without commercials ARE flagged "copy once". The only devices (at this time) that can easily record "copy once" flagged programming are D-VHS recorders. Most of us (myself included) are interested in archiving Movies in our home libraries. A D-VHS deck connected to a firewire enabled HD Cable box can do this with excellent results.

If for some reason you can NOW record all HD channels from cable on your PC, it is only because your local cable company has not quite got all the "copy flag" issues worked out for your market area. They will eventually get the "flags" set, and that will be the end of you being able to record premium content on your PC.
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post #104 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 09:20 AM
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Since I come from an OTA perspective, I didn't think about the issue of recording premium content from cable. The OnAir won't record encrypted content -- so if DVHS can do that (even copy once) then that's that. It may be of interest that it does apparantly has some DVHS capability -- I've never used, but DVHS is listed in the drop-down for source (i.e. digital, analog, file, dvhs).

Re: my posts not being appropriate to this thread... I only post to share when I think useful (to at least some)... and the topic is questioning dvhs... I suggested an alternative I use... and as pointed out, one that has minuses to go w/ its pluses... so I get to learn too.

-- rc
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post #105 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 11:50 AM
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rconn2-
No real need to apologize. Your post was on topic. I think it is basically a shame that more people don't understand how easy it now is to record HDTV with a D-VHS deck. For example, I've been told you can plug a D-VHS deck into a Sony SXRD via firewire and record HD much like you used to record SD.
To me it is not that much a cost of media, it is an easy of operation issue.
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post #106 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 11:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconn2
Since I come from an OTA perspective, I didn't think about the issue of recording premium content from cable. The OnAir won't record encrypted content -- so if DVHS can do that (even copy once) then that's that.

Re: my posts not being appropriate to this thread... I only post to share when I think useful (to at least some)... and the topic is questioning dvhs... I suggested an alternative I use... and as pointed out, one that has minuses to go w/ its pluses... so I get to learn too.

-- rc
Your thread is quite appropriate. The deal is, that it is a snap to make D-VHS tapes of HD programs IF you have a firewire enabled Cable TV set-top box from almost all HD channels, whereas with a PC you are limited to just a few "copy freely" channels, and the set-up and implementation of recording on a PC is far more complicated, and you are limited to your available Hard Disc space. With tape, you have no limit to storage space. As long as you have room on your shelves to store the tapes.

Another thing I should mention, is that even though D-VHS is "tape" it is not "analog" if you are recording a HD bitstream, it is "digital" and should have a very long shelf-life. You will not see image degradation by repeated playback like you possibly could with conventional analog tape technology.
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post #107 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 12:15 PM
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Dumb question: but if you have a firewire enabled cable stb, why aren't there hard drive solutions (instead of just tape solutions)? Or are there? Or ideally, a DVHS device w/ a HD and able to copy back and forth.

I'm thinking... I have a HD+DVD player/recorder... for High-Def, there's no DVD recording capability (not enough to be useful) until Blu-Ray, HD-DVD... so tape would be the substitute. So.... a tape/hard-drive device...

In any case (rambling) I guess it'll all be about control -- the cable and media companies... and what products and features they'll provide or allow.

-- rc
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post #108 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 12:38 PM
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Because no one has built a 5c compliant hard drive solution to the best of my knowledge. Probably due to the concerns that a hard drive is pretty easy to pop into a PC.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #109 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phototone
Your thread is quite appropriate. The deal is, that it is a snap to make D-VHS tapes of HD programs IF you have a firewire enabled Cable TV set-top box from almost all HD channels, whereas with a PC you are limited to just a few "copy freely" channels, and the set-up and implementation of recording on a PC is far more complicated, and you are limited to your available Hard Disc space. With tape, you have no limit to storage space. As long as you have room on your shelves to store the tapes.

Another thing I should mention, is that even though D-VHS is "tape" it is not "analog" if you are recording a HD bitstream, it is "digital" and should have a very long shelf-life. You will not see image degradation by repeated playback like you possibly could with conventional analog tape technology.
I just purchased a DVHS for these exact two reasons, despite the fact that I have been recording HD on my HTPC without any major problems for well over two years now.
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post #110 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 04:51 PM
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So there's no High-Def Tivo or similar devices? And none on the way? No timeshifting/recording of cable digital, at least premium content, to anything but DVHS? And pay-per-view is pay-per-view now and that's it... except for DVHS (if that... is it even record once?). Couldn't one stream/write DVHS content to a hard-drive? Or are any such means/devices unavailable to prevent this? I wonder what the OnAir (sorry, I'm not affiliated w/ them... honest) would do if you selected DVHS and had one hooked-up to my fw? The DVHS would refuse to send copy-once content (changed to copy-never after having been recorded to tape) over fw? What a mess...

And so... essentially, HTPC's are being kept out of the loop (unless and until they're no longer even under our own individual control w/ more and more drm)?

In any case, I understand DVHS as filling a useful niche for now. What's confusing is I think of technology while it's really the maze of drm that needs to be understood.

-- rc
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post #111 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 04:53 PM
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"Dumb question: but if you have a firewire enabled cable stb, why aren't there hard drive solutions (instead of just tape solutions)? Or are there?"

Ya, there's a bunch of those its called AVHDD, and there's a number of places making/selling them - toshiba/rca/panasonic/etc. Check the indigita / symbio threads for more info.

These can be used for real-time timeshifting or saving content to HDD and later dubbing (if permitted) to DVHS.
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post #112 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:11 PM
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timecop: Thanks! I'll check those threads now... thinking an ideal would be a hdd-dvhs combo (or one of each), kind-of like a hdd-dvd-recorder combo for SD. And I guess if copy-once to i.e. hdd, then one could at least view and record a 2nd time to dvhs for archiving.
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post #113 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:19 PM
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I don't believe the AVHDD devices are 5c compliant though... unless that's changed and I missed it.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #114 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rconn2
Dumb question: but if you have a firewire enabled cable stb, why aren't there hard drive solutions (instead of just tape solutions)? Or are there? Or ideally, a DVHS device w/ a HD and able to copy back and forth.

-- rc

There is, it is called a HD Cable box with DVR. Such as the Motorola 6412. Most cable companies provide these, and they too have firewire output. I have one, and I use it for timer recordings, and I dub these to D-VHS. Some people think this should not work, but the built-in DVR is really for time-shifting, as it will only hold about 12 hours of HD programming.

There are NO D-VHS decks with any sort of Hard drive.
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post #115 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:39 PM
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AVHDD is very much 5C compliant
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post #116 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:49 PM
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Ah, neat. Thanks timecop. Didn't realize that.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #117 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 05:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by timecop
AVHDD is very much 5C compliant

And that could be a viable option if you want to only keep your recordings on THIS hard drive, as you will not be able to dub them to tape or HD DVD in the future, due to the "copy once" flag.
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post #118 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 06:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Phototone
And that could be a viable option if you want to only keep your recordings on THIS hard drive, as you will not be able to dub them to tape or HD DVD in the future, due to the "copy once" flag.
Hmmm.... there seems to be varying interpretations of "copy once." Some users on this forum report that the Comcast HD-DVR (6412) will allow an additional recording to a DVHS recorder on copy once material. But the AVHDD treats this differently?
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post #119 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 06:09 PM
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Yes. The copy once flag is a 5c thing which is only invoked when you use firewire. When you record to the hard drive of the DVR provided by the cable company you have not yet invoked the firewire path, so 5c is irrelevant. You can then dump to DVHS. The AVHDD on the other hand is just like a DVHS deck, it is hooked up with firewire.

Someday maybe I'll actually WATCH my projector...
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post #120 of 155 Old 03-13-2006, 06:56 PM
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AVHDD has a "MOVE" operation in order to deal with copy-once content. You are allowed to literally "move" a recording from AVHDD to DVHS (dub), with the DVR securely deleting the original once transfer is complete. Your newer TVs with firewire and AVHDD support should have a menu for performing this operation.
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