Originally Posted by mmortal03
They make an external box with analog HD component recording and remote blasting: http://www.amazon.com/Hauppauge-1212.../dp/B0018LX0DY
Sure, it records to AVCHD, but that's still a nice trade-off to get around the copy protection flags.
It records to MPEG-4. You have several options for the format: .TS, .M2TS, and .MP4 (though the .MP4 stuff seems to be buggy and is best avoided). What you choose to do with the MPEG-4 video file is up to you. I tend to use the .TS format and copy it to a USB thumbdrive for playback with my Sony BDP-S570 Blu-ray player. Sometimes I create a BD (Blu-ray disc) or AVCHD disc (which is almost the same as a BD except it uses a regular DVD, limiting you to only 4.3 GB or 8.5 GB for dual layer).
I own both the Hauppauge Colossus and the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212. They're both great, but I prefer the Colossus b/c it doesn't use USB; the USB can be picky, especially if you have USB filter drivers installed by Apple iTunes or VMware, etc. The Colossus is a PCI-Express card and is thus more stable (though obviously less portable...I can take my HD-PVR 1212 and use it on any of my computers very easily).It is very important to understand that the Colossus can record from both unprotected HDMI *and* from Component Video.
The Colossus also has the IR-blaster. In fact, the only thing the Colossus can't do that the HD-PVR 1212 does is record from S-Video and Composite Video. So basically you won't be able to transfer VHS tapes to BD or AVCHD. And, frankly, that's no loss at all being that the software it uses is not able to capture properly from a VCR without buying an ungodly expensive Time Base Corrector to work around the bug (without a TBC, video captured from a VCR looks really awful).
So really the only advantage that the HD-PVR has is easy portability, because it uses USB. But that brings with it some baggage...I have had good luck with it because I treat my OS *very* carefully and don't allow much software on the computer that I use the HD-PVR 1212 with, so there are no destabilizing USB filter drivers to contend with. But if you hop on over to the Hauppauge UK support forum
, you'll see that a lot of people have issues (and probably also have horribly maintained operating systems with waaayy to much trash installed on it...ultimately, most of those problems are likely not the fault of the HD-PVR 1212 and realistically will require a reinstall of the OS to overcome).
The biggest advantage that the Colossus has over the HD-PVR 1212 is the ability to record from uprotected HDMI (used by most customers to record from the xbox 360, which has unprotected HDMI output). With the HD-PVR 1212, your only option for HD recording is to use Component Video.
One theoretical advantage that the Colossus has over the HD-PVR 1212 is the ability to record to MPEG-2 (instead of MPEG-4). I say theoretical because the included software only allows you to use MPEG-4, but the Colossus hardware would be perfectly happy to record to MPEG-2 if compatible software would allow for that (and I'm not aware of any Colossus-compatible software that will let you record to MPEG-2). I would like to be able to do this because there are a lot of apps that work better with MPEG-2 than MPEG-4. For example, I'm mostly unable to get Nero 10 to burn the MPEG-4 files to BD without Nero insisting on re-encoding the entire file, which is unacceptable because it noticeably drops the video quality. Nero is far more lenient with MPEG-2 video and would likely not see a need to re-encode those. Currently when I need to create a BD (and Nero's being a pain in the ass about re-encoding), I use the freeware MultiAVCHD utility. It's a little harder to work with, but it won't force a re-encode, and thus it produces nicer looking BD's (although making attractive menu's can be a pain).
Anyways, unless portability is really important to you, I highly recommend the Hauppauge Colossus over the Hauppauge HD-PVR 1212.