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Copying video from my Directv box - Capture card?

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 
My Directv box is on the verge of failing. I have some video on there where my wife appeared in an NBC news story about her and I don't want to lose it.

I looked at the Hauppauge unit, but it appears that it's hit and miss and there's more than a few unsatisfied customers of that product. So I'd like to try something else.

I can get video from the HDMI port on the DVR. My questions:

A. Is it possible to connect that to a video capture card and record the video to my PC hard drive?

B. If I have an HD video capture card, would the video be captured from the box in HD?

C. What card would you recommend to do this (the less expensive the better)?

Thanks ahead...
post #2 of 10
Output from the HDMI port is uncompressed and encrypted. You can't record it.

If you want to record the HD output of the box, then you'll need to look at the Hauppauge HD PVR component capture device. It's not the most reliable device in the world (for many), but as long as you are around to babysit the capture, you shouldn't have much trouble.
post #3 of 10
Thread Starter 
bfdtv, thanks for the input. It made me a bit more curious, though. I was looking at this card at Tiger Direct:

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applicati...203&CatId=3493

It says that it can capture high definition content and record it to the PC via HDMI. Am I misunderstanding what this card can do? (not that it would surprise me - this is a new area for me)
post #4 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by jjudson View Post

It says that it can capture high definition content and record it to the PC via HDMI. Am I misunderstanding what this card can do?

Yes.

That card captures unencrypted HDMI output, like that from a PC. That would be a good card if you wanted to capture gaming playback from a PC.

HDMI output from cable and satellite boxes is encrypted with HDCP, so cards like that won't work.
post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 
Thanks again bfdtv. One last question: Are there any other options out there besides the Hauppauge? (reading video from component connections)
post #6 of 10
Was the NBC news story actually filmed with an HD resolution camera? If not then I sugest that you just use a analog tuner card and use the SD S-video output from the STB to record it.
post #7 of 10
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I might have to resort to that. The news story was in high def. It was a two-part story, run over two separate days, and I have saved a bunch of the teaser ads for the story they broadcast as well.

Isn't there anyone who makes a capture card with at least component video inputs? It seems like it should be a decent-sized market with everything in hi def these days.
post #8 of 10
Look at this thread how to copy "legitimately":

http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?t=148760
post #9 of 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Yes.

That card captures unencrypted HDMI output, like that from a PC. That would be a good card if you wanted to capture gaming playback from a PC.

HDMI output from cable and satellite boxes is encrypted with HDCP, so cards like that won't work.

What you overlooked is that the AVerTV HD DVR card comes with a break-out cable featuring component in, so you can feed the card the component output from your set top box. For HD, it appears to record at a max bitrate of 15 Mb/s MPEG-2. The H.264 recording seems to be limited to SD resolution and a lower bitrate.

AVerTV plans to release a box similar to the Hauppauge HD PVR in March, called the AVerTV USB HD DVR, but it is unclear if it will do 5.1 surround, or be limited to only stereo recording. The USB external box version will do hardware encoding of the H.264 (probably same chip as the Hauppauge), while the cheaper PCI-e card that is out right now requires AVer software on your PC to do a software encode (you will need a fast puter).

There are claims now that 3rd party encoding programs are working with the AVer card, freeing you from the bitrate limitation. The latest version of FRAPS seems to offer uncompressed RGB capturing (if your PC/drives are fast enough to keep up).

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ieiuQsN45FI
post #10 of 10
I don't have DirecTV so I don't know about your box, but I was able to record encrypted channels via HDMI-in from my Comcast Motorola DCH-3416 using the AVerMedia HD DVR Capture card. The supplied software allows you to record 720p or 1080i, but unfortunately those clowns at AVer limit you to a max bitrate of 15000 MPEG-2. This might be enough for interviews, newscasts, and other footage where there is little motion, (I tested it out last night with acceptable results), but if you want to record video-game play or some really fast-actioned sports, 15000 is not enough for archival type quality.

FRAPS will grab frames (even the possibility of fully uncompressed RGB) from this card with top quality, but my AMD quad at 3.4 Ghz or my AMD HD3300 IGP, plus my badly fragmented hard drive and 1.75GB of RAM on XP SP3 were apparently not fast enough because I was dropping all kinds of frames. The frames that I did capture were excellent quality, but I couldn't get a full 60 FPS @ 720p smoothly. All I could get was in the 30s.
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