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How-To: MacOS X Firewire HDTV recording - Page 73

post #2161 of 2181
I've always been curious as to whether a usb drive attached to the computer would be able to handle streaming from a firewire device. Have you tried that in the past?
post #2162 of 2181
sorry, were u asking me, wilsonsoohoo? no, i've not used usb as a video target.
post #2163 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by joaker View Post
Hi everyone,

I'm hoping someone here can help me with this. I'm having a problem with DVR playback stutter when trying to record via firewire. I don't seem to have this problem when I'm recording live TV.

What happens is that as the stream is being captured, the playback on the TV stutters occasionally (both video and audio). Occasionally is about once every minute or so. When I play the resulting .m2t file in VLC, the stutter is there too.

Thanks in advance for any help!

-J
Check your signal strength to the PVR for that channel. I usually do a live capture with no problem and record another channel at the same time. I could have a good signal on one channel and a crappy signal on another. Could also be a problem with the internal HDD of the DCH3416.

Quote:
Originally Posted by wilsonsoohoo View Post
I've always been curious as to whether a usb drive attached to the computer would be able to handle streaming from a firewire device. Have you tried that in the past?
I've been recording HDTV with 10.6 (Moto DCH3416) and a external USB 2.0 using FireRecord. Never had a problem with it. As soon as a fill a HDD, all I have to do is replace it with a fresh HDD.
post #2164 of 2181
Thanks, SKORPIO.

Welcome to the board.
post #2165 of 2181
I have a Mitsubishi HDTV with a Firewire interface. My Mac also has Firewire. Is there any way to use the TV as a display for the Mac via Firewire?
post #2166 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by dgaschk View Post

I have a Mitsubishi HDTV with a Firewire interface. My Mac also has Firewire. Is there any way to use the TV as a display for the Mac via Firewire?

No. Macs cannot do standard video out over FireWire. You can find developer tools to build code to stream files (search for SimpleVideoOut after registering on developer.apple.com if you're curious)

Depending on what vintage your Mac is you'll find a DVI, miniDVI or Display Port output and your TV will have HDMI, DVI and/or VGA input(s). Then find the right combination of adaptors and/or cables and you can connect them that way.

I use a 2007 MacMini that has DVI out, and my Sony TV has both HDMI and VGA in. I use a DVI->VGA adaptor at the Mac end and then a straight VGA cable to the TV. I could also use a DVI->HDMI cable between them but for reasons I won't bore you with I use the former. Either gives equally great results.
post #2167 of 2181
Hello,

I just signed up for Verizon FIOS service, and I have a QIP-6416 STB.

Others have reported getting the Firewire connection to work from the STB to a mac, but I've had no such luck.

When I connect via Firewire, my Macbook Pro (OS 10.6.7) recognizes the DVR, as does AVCVideoCap. It allows me to set up a recording, but never receives any packets. When the recording timer is over, there is no data recorded, though there is a file there.

Does anyone have an idea how I can work around this problem?

Thanks in advance.
post #2168 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by JPolin View Post
Hello,

I just signed up for Verizon FIOS service, and I have a QIP-6416 STB.

Others have reported getting the Firewire connection to work from the STB to a mac, but I've had no such luck.

When I connect via Firewire, my Macbook Pro (OS 10.6.7) recognizes the DVR, as does AVCVideoCap. It allows me to set up a recording, but never receives any packets. When the recording timer is over, there is no data recorded, though there is a file there.

Does anyone have an idea how I can work around this problem?

Thanks in advance.
Look at the copy freely/copy once/copy never field of AVCVideoCap.
If it says anything other than copy freely, then it means the STB is encrypting the firewire stream and your computer is not able to decrypt it for playback (and likely never will with public methods).
post #2169 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by timecop View Post

There's a separate AV/C Tuner specification.
It uses AVC Descriptors / objects and is a pain in the ass to implement as mentioned by someone else earlier.
I think it is highly unlikely that anyone will be able to "control the tuner" using hex commands from AVCBrowser.
Better off writing extra code for VirtualDVHS to set/change tuner channels.

I have the specifications, if someone is seriously interested in this, contact me I guess.

Necrobump here.

Yes-it is a pain in the ass to implement descriptors and info blocks, but maybe, just maybe some nut is working on it and will tackle it to support tuners/discs/bulletin boards/CA's missing from the Firewire SDK!
post #2170 of 2181
Hello,

I just want to update (bump) this thread in case anyone else is searching as I have been.

I have a Motorola DCH-3416 set top box (STB) with two 6-pin firewire connections in the back. This STB is connected to Cox cable.

I have a late 2011 MacBook Pro with Lion. I have downloaded Apple's FireWire SDK26 and installed the apps, they all work in being able to record whatever channel is currently playing on the STB. I have also downloaded FireRecord and that works in being able to set a scheduled recording time.

Apps that record from the STB write M2T files. I have not tried to record HBO as I do not subscribe, but I have been able to record from AMC and FX.

The M2T files are easily opened in VLC, MPEG StreamClip and HandBrake.
post #2171 of 2181
All,

I've recently been unable to record viable .mt filed using any common recording program (AVC Noodle, AVC Video Cap/AVC Browser, and FireRecord). AVC VideoCap does at least state the EMI value and I can verify that it's "Copy Freely" yet VLC will not play it back. It is exactly like trying to record from a scrambled station (HBO, Encore, etc.).

The most recent episode was when I attempted to record a non restricted channel, SD mind you, and I ended up with a 9Gb file! I had then noticed anything I attempted to record did so at the largest rate possible, making my file enormous, yet the file itself was unplayable.

I removed all files associated with any of those programs and redownloaded the Apple Firewire SDK along with VLC and the various cap programs. I no long have the enormous file issue, but still nothing plays back after a recording session. I also can not view a window of the STB tv show while using AVCBrowser, and never could if it was scrambled. Only the non scrambled channels ever showed in the browser window.

In the past, when I had a similar problem, I had called Comcast and asked if they were blocking all the channels now. Of course, the call handler didn't understand much of anything about this. After switching cables around, it seemed to start working again, but now no amount of cable swapping works this time. I don't feel that it's Comcast's fault. I'm leaning towards something on my computer changed, hence the effort of deleting all of those files and reinstalling. When that proved useless, I figured I'd look on the net for anything just like this problem, but nothing was found, so I'm adding on to this thread.

If anyone has insight, please help me.

Thanks
post #2172 of 2181
Can we rule out human error, i. e. that you have used all those programs to successfully record over firewire previously? If that's the case, ask yourself what changed in the interim? Has Comcast pushed a guide or firmware update through to your box? Have you updated your OS? If that's the case, then boot up from a Superduper clone, back from when your system was FireWire recording properly.

My suspicion is it almost certainly is Comcast's fault.

When did you last record successfully and are you recording to an internal drive? What Mac, OS and cable box are you using? Have you always recorded with the same Mac?

The only other things I'd suggest are sticking to the local networks in HD, the channels likely to be in the clear even for those on limited basic without any box, record only a few minutes at a time while testing just so you don't waste time, try playing your files back with something other than VLC, like XBMC, just to confirm it is not the player, and try a different Mac. So few people care about recording over FireWire (or recording software) anymore that your best bet may be to hook up with a neighbor or find someone else in your local recording HDTV thread who can confirm or deny your issue.
post #2173 of 2181
Chefklc,

Thanks for the reply. Interesting that you say people no longer care about FW recording. I've only just begun! Yes, I have been recording for several months now and have been very successful with it using VLC and AVC Videocap and on occasion, FireRecord. I am using...

Mac Mini 10.6.8 2.26 Ghz Intel
Lacie Quadra 2 1Tb external HDD
RNG110 (DCT-3416) STB from Comcast
VLC 1.1.1 (moved back to it from latest version after this problem to be sure)


My next thought was to install my OS onto and external HDD and boot from that, so I have a pure OS, since I can not imagine exactly what may have changed on my system since that time of problems. The OS has not been updated.

I've tuned to known unscrambled channels that I've recorded from in the past and still have no luck. I will try XBMC.

Thanks for the help.


btw.. I don't think my massive file size problem is gone. Maybe I was mistaken about that since I just made a one minute SD file that is 306.3Mb in size. Probably too big, I'd say, considering I made SD movie recordings of only 2Gb max.

ps I absolutely hate the XBMC interface, sorry. Never tested it...
Edited by dsg727 - 8/25/12 at 7:54am
post #2174 of 2181
Quote:
Interesting that you say people no longer care about FW recording. I've only just begun!

It's all relative, I'm sure there are some people still actively recording with it, it's just that the real interest in firewire was many years ago and whatever potential it had, ultimately, was never realized. I was as excited about it back in the day as you are now! I just checked and the last .m2ts I captured with FireRecord and my Comcast STB was in 2009. There was a brief renewal of interest in firewire from 2009 to 2010:

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1111561/avcnoodle-stb-recording-via-firewire/0_40

but, essentially, it was overtaken by a different method: recording HD via the component out "analog hole" with USB devices like the Hauppauge HD-PVR and EyeTV HD. In 2009 when El Gato added EyeTV support for the Hauppauge you had something much more polished and reliable than ever was possible with firewire. There are even decent alternatives in OS X like HDPVRCapture that are still being actively developed:

http://www.hdpvrcapture.com/cms/
Quote:
ps I absolutely hate the XBMC interface, sorry. Never tested it..

doesn't matter, my point was play your files back something else, anything else, just to verify it's not a playback issue. Use whatever else you have. I suggested XBMC because it plays .m2ts easily.

Let us know if you figure this out and what it was...
post #2175 of 2181
Yeah, I looked into those devices but firewire is free, so... Did the clean install on an external HDD and had the same result.

I just got done talking to Comcast and they have deliberately blocked all channels through the port citing that "it was never supposed to be useable anyway" and that "sometimes things get through" as to why I could use it before. Apparently a software upgrade or some other kind of change has happened and I am now SOL completely. The port is active, so I guess it's not an FCC issue, but everything's blocked. Just more big industry control over the little guy.

At least I know now. Guess those devices are looking pretty good...

Thanks again.
post #2176 of 2181
Did a little more thinking about Comcast's response and it doesn't really sit well with me. FCC states that the 1394 port MUST be functional. Does that mean Comcast has the right to make all of their channels DRM protected (like HBO, etc...) so nothing can be viewed anymore? That doesn't seem right. What exactly does "functional" mean anyway? To be able to access the signal onto my computer, I would think! I can't do that! So isn't this a violation of the FCC ruling?

I found this...

http://www.1394ta.org/consumers/FCC_complaint.html
Quote:
FireWire and the FCC

FireWire

How do I file a complaint with the FCC if the 1394 port on my cable box is not working?

We recommend that you contact your cable company at least twice to resolve the issue before filing a complaint with the FCC. Keep a record of the dates of your phone calls and what the cable company said in response to your requests. Once it is clear that they will not activate the 1394 port on your cable box, here is how to file a complaint with the FCC.

Go to http://esupport.fcc.gov/complaints.htm

Select "Cable modem issues, cable signal leakage, cable customer premises equipment issues (such as CableCARDs, tuning adapters, and set-top boxes)"

You will be given several options on how to file a complaint.

We recommend that you select the " ONLINE FORM – Recommended Method," then fill out the simple form.

In question 5, please include the legal information below and what you asked your provider for, and what they said to you in response.

Make sure you mention that this is a violation of FCC rulings covered in "CS Docket 97-80" and that a working 1394 port is required by section 47 C.F.R. 76.640(b)(4)

The terms "CS Docket 97-80" and "section 47 C.F.R. 76.640(b)(4)" are important since this lets the FCC know more precisely which of their rulings are being violated by the cable companies.

Please send an email to Tina Lipscomb (tinal@1394ta.org) to notify her that you have filed a complaint with the FCC. Please include the details of your complaint. The 1394TA visits the FCC from time to time and we will make sure that they are aware of your filing.


Here's something else useful. This is a program I've never come across before in all of my research on computer PVR's...

http://www.redbuttonsoftware.com/

Quote:
Updated
August 2011


The RedButton Software PVR (RBP)

OVERVIEW

What does RedButton Do?

RBP gives PC users the ability to connect their computer to a cable set-top box and record video for play back later. Video recording may be initiated using an electronic program guide (EPG) from the Internet, or manually, without an Internet connection. RBP interacts with the EPG so recording can be set up using the mouse, with no keyboard typing. Multiple programs may be scheduled for future recording. When RedButton is running, your computer is an HD PVR; when not, your computer is in its original state. The recorded video may be played back under Windows or using the Video Lan Client (VLC) app included with RBP package.

What is Required?

HD Cable Box with a working FireWire port
Computer with a 1394/FireWire port
1394/FireWire cable
10 GB free HDD space
DVD R/W Drive
Software to burn an .iso to a DVD

What is Recommended?

USB Flash Drive (2GB or larger), with RBP installed
10 GB free HDD space per hour of video you’d like to record (depending on video type)
Read the Instructions and the User Notes before beginning

Getting Started.

It will take 45 minutes to an hour to download the 946MB RBP package .iso file from this website. Follow the 13 steps below, which will result in a bootable USB Flash drive. During this process, you will be required to burn the downloaded .iso file to a DVD ROM. Use care to make an .iso disc, not simply a data copy. While it is possible to run RBP from the DVD, it is recommended that you complete the installation instructions and install it on a 2GB or larger USB flash drive. Running RBP from a bootable USB flash device will store your settings and preferences. Running from the DVD does not.

VLC is recommended for video playback. It is included in RBP. Additional VLC documentation is available at http://www.videolan.org/vlc/.

Trouble Shooting.

If you do encounter problems, it is recommended that you contact the developers at info@redbuttonsoftware.com. Cable boxes which lack full support for FireWire are potentially a problem. The RedButton developers can help you assess the nature of the problem you are having, and may be able to offer some direction to help resolve the issue.

If you are having problems with the 1394 port on your cable box, please click here to report the problem to the FCC. For more detailed instructions, please refer to this page.

Caveat.

RBP will NOT record DRM video (pay-per-view, many premium channels, etc.). You should have no problems recording broadcast programming.

Back to the HOME PAGE

Continue to the DOWNLOAD and INSTRUCTIONS



47 C.F.R. § 76.640 Support for unidirectional digital cable products on digital cable systems.

(4) Cable operators shall:

(i) Effective April 1, 2004, upon request of a customer, replace any leased high definition set-top box, which does not include a functional IEEE 1394 interface, with one that includes a functional IEEE 1394 interface or upgrade the customer's set-top box by download or other means to ensure that the IEEE 1394 interface is functional.

Edited by dsg727 - 8/25/12 at 8:39pm
post #2177 of 2181
Comcast claims they are in compliance with FCC regulations and that I should contact them now about it. Will do...
post #2178 of 2181
Well, they may technically be in compliance...in the sense that they 1) don't have to help you troubleshoot at all, so human error is still in play, and 2) they aren't required to enable FireWire on every one of their boxes...what they're supposed to do is give you a box with it enabled if you ask, and often that meant an STB model not a DVR model. Have you told them you're willing to return your DCT-3416 for a non-DVR model that is FireWire enabled? Back in the day I had very good luck with SA 3250 boxes, and some have reported it often took two or three formal requests to get a box that worked. Do you know what version of the software your box is running right now?

In a few areas of the country Comcast is testing encryption of all channels, meaning nothing in the clear at all, not even the locals, which you used to be able to get just by plugging a bare cable into an HDTV. So make sure you're not in one of those test areas. Check DSLreports or someplace like that.
post #2179 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by chefklc View Post

1) don't have to help you troubleshoot at all, so human error is still in play, and 2) they aren't required to enable FireWire on every one of their boxes...what they're supposed to do is give you a box with it enabled if you ask,

1) Troubleshooting is not a compliance issue regulated by the FCC mandate, so you are right and I've proved it's not human error on my end already. 2) It was enabled. I've recorded for months. They changed it. Nothing's wrong with the gear. They are blocking the channels and have disabled use of the port by the blocking.

The short of it is that I've filed a complaint to the FCC and by Comcast's own recommendation, no less. It comes down to what "functional" means.

"It depends on what your definition of "is" is..."
Bill Clinton.

Thanks for the input.
Edited by dsg727 - 8/26/12 at 12:02pm
post #2180 of 2181
Quote:
Originally Posted by dsg727 View Post

1) Troubleshooting is not a compliance issue regulated by the FCC mandate, so you are right and I've proved it's not human error on my end already. 2) It was enabled. I've recorded for months. They changed it. Nothing's wrong with the gear. They are blocking the channels and have disabled use of the port by the blocking.
The short of it is that I've filed a complaint to the FCC and by Comcast's own recommendation, no less. It comes down to what "functional" means.
"It depends on what your definition of "is" is..."
Bill Clinton.
Thanks for the input.
First of all you need to tell them you are using a dvhs deck and not a computer.
Once you mention computer, they think you are pirating content.
They are allowed to encrypt anything not broadcast OTA.
They are correct that almost all dvhs decks can record even encrypted channels and that they only support approved recording devices (which your mac is not 5C compliant) and they are not obligated to troubleshoot a computer to stb connection. (Hence my dvhs suggestion)

Worts case, once you talk to someone in comcast who understands firewire recording, if they are encrypting abc, cbs, nbc, fox then ask for their name and inform them you will ne filing a written complaint with the FCC. I did that and sithin 1 day (cbs in my case) was no longer encrypted. I never filed a complaint. Senf from my smartphone from a campground in Munising Michigan sitting by a campfire.
post #2181 of 2181
Thanks qz,

I've already stated to them I'm using my computer and that I'm only interested in non DRM content, so that's been made perfectly clear. They even went so far as to explain about their Xfininty app to view programming, etc. on the computer, so that's already been established. If it's blocked anyway, as premium channels are, pirating is not even an issue.

Again, there is no troubleshooting request on my part to Comcast. I've troubleshot it down to them causing this. All I ever asked of them was if they changed something. They did. They blocked all channels, as they've stated.

The FCC complaint's already been made since, as far as I can tell, all of the channels that (once again) worked just fine before, no longer work now. As you've alluded to, a complaint is the next order of business since NO channels are viewable. This has been done.

Thank you all for your help and knowledge on this.

Regards.
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