Originally Posted by 9604me
Also, I'm VERY interested in any way to capture video/audio out via firewire...I came across alot of stuff searching around, my questions are: Besides some specific tape recording mechanisms, is there any device readily available that will communicate with the 960 via firewire and record output?
Recording of HD programs in original bit-perfect 720p/1080i HD quality including original digital audio present in HDTV content? Is that your desire?
There are no disc-based HD recording solutions (to transcribe programs to recordable media, as we use to do with tape-based VCRs) available in America, as "the Suits" don't want anything simple or user-friendly to allow home recording to the user-friendly BluRay media. There are PC-based solutions, including the ability to edit copy-freely content and then burn-to-BluRay blank media, but only for copy-freely content. You cannot do anything with copy-protected content (e.g. programs provided in encrypted form by your cable service provider) except for play it back through cable company hardware or through cablecard-enabled decrypting.
Although they are no longer manufactured, you can use DVHS VCR's (made by JVC, e.g. DT100U which also includes a built-in OTA/ATSC tuner if you have a roof antenna and can receive free local broadcast networks that way) which are still available on the used market. These can record HD digital content in bit-perfect digital form to DVHS tape (although they can also be forced to use SVHS tape in digital mode), either directly via their OTA/ATSC digital TV tuner, or fed with copy-freely content via firewire.
I myself have five of these DVHS VCRs (they used to get quite a bit of use in the old days), but today not one of which is still currently actively being used because they've become obsoleted ever since cable companies decided to encrypt 100% of their channels. But if you have roof antenna capability, you can still use these DVHS VCR's to make recordings of OTA/ATSC channels and then play them back to the 960 in true bit-perfect HDTV form... either via component video, or more preferably via HDMI.
As far as recording TO the DVHS VCRs FROM the 960 via firewire, that is also possible (using the 960's iLink 1394 connectors and connecting to the firewire connectors on the DVHS VCR) when the source is the 960's built-in OTA/ATSC tuner... as long as the original program content is copy-freely and not encrypted. The outboard DVHS VCR's are not cablecard enabled, and so possess no way to do the required decryption if necessary. Also, the DVHS VCR's are built to honor copy-once protection flags, designed to allow 1st-generation offloading of content from a DVR to a DVHS VCR via firewire (from DVR's that supported this, like from Motorola/Cisco). But the VCR won't allow you to connect a second DVHS VCR via firewire and make a digitally-perfect 2nd-generation copy to the second VCR, since that violates the "copy-once" notion.
I honestly don't know about whether cable-provided encrypted content that is fed to a cablecard-enabled 960 can then feed that content to an outboard DVHS VCR via firewire (same as a cable company DVR would) successfully. If it provided the original encrypted content then that obviously would not be usable, since there's no cablecard in the VCR. If it provided the decrypted content (thanks to the cablecard in the 960) then where is the copy-protection which still should be present? So I'm not sure if cable-provided content can be fed to the firewire outputs of the 960, but it doesn't seem plausible to me.
If so, would only tv channels be output via the firewire, or would also hdmi inputs(ps3, etc) output a recordable output via firewire?
Well for sure any TV channels from the built-in OTA/ATSC tuner in the 960 would be output via firewire.
However I'm almost positive that cablecard-facilitated content would not be delivered to the 960's firewire output, for the reasons I described above.
As far as external input (e.g. HDMI input) to the 960 that is absolutely not going to be sent to firewire. Remember that firewire connections are intended to carry the original MPEG-2 compressed content in its "relatively low bitrate", not the "high-bitrate" uncompressed video output delivered to the 960 via HDMI (where the decoding/decompression has been done by the source device and is delivered over HDMI to a secure HDCP-enabled device). Again, this is all an attempt to prevent 100% bit-perfect digital piracy.