Those posts, regarding how each of us goes about starting a capture, are interesting...So, in mega-detail, here's how I do it:
I always set my recordings to start 2 minutes early and end 2 minutes late. One minute would probably be fine, but I like to err on the side of caution. If I'm trying to record several shows in a row (On Thurs I like NBC's Community, The Office, Parks and Rec and 30 Rock) I'll set the recording for the first show and have it add a bunch of time to the end. So in this example I'd set the recording for Community, and have it start 2 minutes early and end 2 1/2 hours late. This ends up recording two shows I don't watch (Perfect Couples which airs at 8:30 PM between Community and The Office, and Outsourced which airs at 10:30 PM after 30 Rock)...I just ignore those shows. To me it isn't worth micro-managing the recordings of these shows and tying up both of my tuners in the process, since I need to be able to also record Archer on FX at 10:00 PM (I'd sooner give up the entire NBC Thurs night lineup than miss Archer).
BTW, the reason I set it to record 2 1/2 hours extra instead of 2 hours extra is that I don't want the very end of 30 Rock to get cut off. Many of the networks now have comedy bits during the credit sequence and then start the next show immediately following the credits (no ad break, they want to keep you watching the next show). So I ignore most of that last half hour (which is Outsourced, a show that hasn't really hooked me).
When I'm ready to capture a show, here are my exact steps:
1. I go to channel 5
2. I hit the PiP/Tuner "Swap" button
3. I go to channel 6
(Both tuners are now on Standard-Definition channels)
4. I hit the power button to put the cable box into Standby
5. I wait for 30 seconds to a minute
6. I hit the power button to power up the cable box
7. I go to channel 8
8. I hit the PiP/Tuner "Swap" button
9. I go to channel 9
(Both tuners are now on different Standard-Definition channels)
Note: these are the exact channel numbers that I use. This is the exact "ritual" that I follow that gives me glitch-free captures in well over 90% of cases. I do not deviate from this even a little. The channel numbers themselves were chosen arbitrarily, but based on the success that it has provided me with, I adhere to this religiously. It was just by chance that I found that I got better results by changing the channels both before and after powering off.
10. I hit the "My DVR" button, go the "My Recordings" menu and start playing back the show that I'm trying to capture.
11. I use the 30-second skip button a few times until I see the beginning of the show.
*You have to program the remote to add the 30-second skip button. Here's
12. I use the 15 second back button until I'm roughly 20 or 30 seconds before the show begins.
13. On the PC, I press "Rec" in CapDVHS.
*I would already have made sure that the recording time in CapDVHS is set appropriately...for a 30 minute show, I have CapDVHS set to record for 32 minutes. That means I'll have about 20 or 30 seconds to remove from the beginning of the capture and about another minute-and-a-half to remove from the end. I never babysit the capture...I'm usually not even in the same room.
14. I let the entire recording play (unless it's one of those huge 2 1/2 hour recordings with multiple shows...I'll stop those once CapDVHS has finished recording).
15. On the PC, I open VideoReDo TVSuite v4 and open the recording.
16. I trim the 20-30 seconds of extra crap from the beginning of the recording and the approximately minute-and-a-half of extra crap from the end (I do NOT bother with removing ads at this point).
17. I have VideoReDo save the trimmed .ts file (I have CapDVHS save files with the .ts extension rather than the .mpg extension...but the contents of the file are no different, regardless what extension you choose).
*If there are firewire glitches in the capture, VideoReDo will mention it in the output dialog. Here's
what it looks like when glitches are present.
If no glitches are present, I then remove ads.
Instead of using VideoReDo, you could also use Mpeg2Repair to find out if any glitching took place (keep in mind that problems at the very beginning or end of the file don't count as firewire "glitches"...they are simply a very common occurrence of starting and ending the capture, and happen with all firmware versions). You could also try using the free TSSniper
to remove the beginning and end (plus ads).
It is very important to note that I re-do this ritual between every
capture that I perform.
When I capture several shows on Thursday, I will change channels back to 5 and 6, power off the stb, power it back on, and change channels to 8 and 9 before every one of them. And it almost always
results in a perfect capture.