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Capturing video in HD to burn to a Blu-ray

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I'm not sure if this is the right forum so if it is not please feel free to move it to the appropriate forum.

 

I have a Blu-ray writer in my desktop computer and I have an HD PVR as well as two Pioneer DVD recorders. In the past I simply copied the video from the PVR and burned it to a DVD however would like to preserve the quality of HD recordings.  I can't use the DVD recorders as they are only SD. I don't know how to get the HD video from my PVR to my computer so I can write to a Blu-ray. I would appreciate any suggestions and would prefer to find some way of doing it without spending much more money than what I have already spent, but maybe that is not possible.

 

Thank you

post #2 of 11
What do you mean by "HD PVR"? If it's one of Hauppauge's many capture cards, you'd just copy the files from your PC to a BD-R with your disc authoring software of choice. If it's some sort of DVR, you'll need to tell us its make and model. Many of them are designed specifically so you can't copy HD video from them at all, although some of them will let you offload recordings in real time by connecting component cables to a PC capture card, such as those made by Hauppauge. If you're using a DVR with encrypted cable channels, you also have to worry about copy-once flags that cause DVRs to be even more restrictive than usual with their recorded files.
post #3 of 11
I'm guessing he means just a cable or satellite DVR currently connected to his DVD recorder via composite.

Jack, if you have cable, you may also want to consider a cable card tuner so you can actually do the original recording on your PC, and if not copy protected, convert and burn to BD. That being said, burning to BD is not really the best archiving method. Keeping your recordings on a hard drive makes them accessible on any device and requires no expensive blanks or space to store your discs. If you go the cable card tuner route, you can also save a lot of money because you no longer need a DVR at all or the fees that come with it.
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

I should have said DVR instead of PVR. I have a cable DVR as well as a satellite DVR. One is connected to a Pioneer DVD recorder using RCA inputs and one is connected using S-Video input. I haven't had any problems recording anything, be it from movie channels or whatever.

 

Currently I have 8 hard drives with video but all is SD. I would put HD recordings on hard drives as well but would also write at least some to Blu-ray as a backup in case the hard drive failed and also for portability so I can take my favorites along when I travel.

 

The other issue with hard drives is size and what will access them. I bought 2 three TB drives and loaded them with video only to find that the new Sony Internet Player ($200 cost) only recognizes drives that are 1TB or smaller. The Sharp Blu-ray player that was $125 only sees drives formatted in FAT32 and the Iomega Iconnect which connects to your router and allows 4 USB drives to connect only sees drives that are 2TB or smaller.

 

It has been many years since I have used a capture card but the last ones I tried were very inconsistent and often dropped frames and lost sync between audio and video.

 

I should also mention that I have nothing available that doesn't go through a satellite receiver or cable box so would need another cable box or satellite receiver dedicated to the capture card as I believe there is only one HDMI out on both boxes.

post #5 of 11
If you live in the US, you can definitely replace your cable box with a cable card tuner in your PC. You'd still need a capture device for satellite of course. But why would you need a dedicated box? Do your satellite and cable boxes not have component outputs as well? If you do have only HDMI, could you not get an HDMI distribution switch?
post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

From my understanding component is not HD or at least not 1080 HD but perhaps I have been misinformed? I hadn't looked at that type of HDMI switch but would it not degrade the quality to some degree?

 

I am still not sure what type of capture device I would need or that would provide or output quality video and audio.

post #7 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by jackdup View Post

From my understanding component is not HD or at least not 1080 HD but perhaps I have been misinformed? I hadn't looked at that type of HDMI switch but would it not degrade the quality to some degree?

I am still not sure what type of capture device I would need or that would provide or output quality video and audio.
You have been misinformed. Component goes to 1080p and beyond. The resulting picture is identical to what you get with HDMI. An HDMI switch does not degrade the quality in any way. It's digital, so the copied signals are perfect, bit for bit. But copying over HDMI is probably going to be a dead end anyway unless you can find something that strips out the copy protection. It could happen with component as well, but it was still working with a DirecTV receiver that was a few years old last time I did it.

BlackMagic, among others, make HD capture devices.

I still contend that a cable card tuner like THIS or THIS and MCEBuddy is going to be a heck of a lot cheaper and easier since it doesn't tie up one of your boxes. Something from DVBLogic may handle the satellite side depending on the type of service you have.

You'll probably find a lot of discussion about BlackMagic over at DBSTalk. I remember several threads from years ago.
Edited by mdavej - 10/4/13 at 1:36pm
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

You have been misinformed. Component goes to 1080p and beyond. The resulting picture is identical to what you get with HDMI. An HDMI switch does not degrade the quality in any way. It's digital, so the copied signals are perfect, bit for bit.
This is a bit unclear.

First, component is an analogue signal, so it is technically not identical to what you get with HDMI. It's true that the D-A conversion will probably not produce a visible degradation in quality, but it's still a lossy transformation. Recording from component requires D->A->D conversion, plus recompressing the output, so there is some unavoidable quality loss associated with it.

Unfortunately, there's unavoidable quality loss associated with recording from HDMI, too, because HDMI delivers the digital decompressed output of the video. Simply watching over HDMI does give you a bit-for-bit perfect replica of the original recording, but if you want to capture that video, it's impractical to leave it uncompressed, because the resulting file would be so large. As such, it's necessary to compress it again, which results in a loss of quality. Again, the quality loss may not be visible, but it's still best practice to avoid transcoding when possible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by mdavej View Post

But copying over HDMI is probably going to be a dead end anyway unless you can find something that strips out the copy protection. It could happen with component as well, but it was still working with a DirecTV receiver that was a few years old last time I did it.

This is the bigger problem. Recording from HDMI is usually limited to the output of video game consoles, as cable boxes use HDCP.

If you're serious about recording content in HD, you should follow mdavej's advice and set up an HTPC with a CableCard from your cable company. You can avoid any transcoding losses that way, plus you can save yourself the time of having to capture the video in real time over component, which you'll be forced to do if you want to save content from your satellite DVR.
post #9 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post

If you're serious about recording content in HD, you should follow mdavej's advice and set up an HTPC with a CableCard from your cable company. You can avoid any transcoding losses that way, plus you can save yourself the time of having to capture the video in real time over component . . .
Your initial caveat about cable content flagged as "copy-once" still applies. WMC will keep it encrypted and prohibit editing and burning to BD-R.
post #10 of 11
Yes, in which case archiving such content to BD-R may be impossible by normal means, unless his DVR will allow Macrovision-free component HD (or he buys a stripper to remove it).
post #11 of 11
Years ago I used to have an old Polaroid 2001G DVD recorder with component inputs that was blissfully unaware of Macrovision. I could record every blu-ray or DVD I threw at it. The caveat was the picture quality on the Polariod sucked. But you can still buy hardware that strips Macrovision, as Aleron said, at least on analog signals.

My cable company has either no copy protection or copy freely on every channel except premiums. So I can archive almost everything without doing anything special.

All that being said, there are far easier ways to archive or obtain archives of most things one would be interested in recording. I'll leave it at that.
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