Recording options with DVD Recorders now obsolete - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 05:55 AM - Thread Starter
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Recording options with DVD Recorders now obsolete

so with these dvd recorders being non existent anymore how does everyone record there tv shows/sports programming? and edit? I am guessing you stream to your PC and edit that way? How does that even work? i believe you need a capture card like an el gato and then editing software. is this the easiest way to go about this?
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post #2 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 07:27 AM
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I use Kodi with a VPN and the Exodus addon to download tv shows and movies (no sports). No editing needed, no commercials on the downloads which are mostly rips from discs or on demand services.
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post #3 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 07:31 AM
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post #4 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 07:31 AM
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Maybe check out the HD recording section - - a lot of this kind of question there. I'm no expert but you might find lots of advice there.
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post #5 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 01:07 PM
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It depends on your definitions.

For "recording" that will be deleted later (timeshifting) there are lots of noname boxes which record either the pre-compressed signal to files on a thumb drive or external hard drive.

For "recording" camcorder footage from (old) camcorders that still have signal outputs.. you can (capture) using DV, HDV or HDMI capture boxes which dump the finished file as a stream over USB to a PC or Phone.

For "recording" from a modern camcorder or phone, just use an SD card and copy the files and upload that way.

For "recording" from a legacy cable/sat/over the air box with signal outputs.. you can again (capture) mostly to DV, HDV, MPEG2 or HDMI.. it gets complicated depending on what you plan to watch the recordings on. MPG or (MPEG2) is best on older Tube monitors, Plasma TV or smart modern TVs that have better de-Interlacing technology. MP4 or MKV is "expected" for computers, web streaming and cheap modern TVs that can no longer handle old fashion Interlace video.. or handle it very poorly.

For "recording" from VCR or VHS tapes, VHS-C or Betamax, Laserdisc or any other Ancient source.. you have to plan ahead and (expect) to have to find a better than average tracking VCR for the tape speed and type of tape or cartridge shell that it comes in. Then you have to re-construct the video signals using a Time Base Corrector so that the (capture) device does not drop frames or drop audio samples and de-synchronize the audio from the video during capture or playback. Color and Levels (dark and bright) may need correction, and Edge enhancement to appear "watchable" on modern playback screen.. Ancient video tends to have fuzzy edges and be hard to watch on computers and large (average size) TVs post 2009. (That's 0-9.. not 2019).

A do all everything box really does not exist.

Modern converter or capture boxes generally (de-interlace and compress) the video.. and even if their chips have a TBC (built-in) it is deliberately disconnected from the circuit board by design since it interferes with capturing modern HD video.

Older to Ancient capture devices (may) capture "raw" uncompressed video.. but at about 35 GB per hour.. which even today most people won't accept.. even if its put on a double layer 50 GB Blu-ray disc. At that rate you can't even fit 2 hours of video on a single Blu-ray disc. Without compression.. people just won't tolerate it.

Recent to near death equipment like the 2017 Magnavoxes with ATSC tuners are soaring in prices on eBay nearing 1000 usd in some cases. Which only three years ago were going for 100 usd.

Buying new.. you can look at a Black magic Intensity Pro.. as lots of people talk about, and regret it.. or look at a Magewell USB3.0 capture device in the 200 to 700 usd price range.. or look at those 10 usd capture dongles which pump uncompressed video across USB 2.0 into whatever the capture software came with compresses it. They have a lot of problems with dropped frames and dropping audio from any signal that is less than perfect.

There are still a few tv tuner cards with optional capture inputs.. mostly from Avermedia or Hauppauge.. but they are mainly marketed towards online gaming capture from consoles.. or PCs and sacrifice a lot (if they are even tested with Ancient signal capture).

Network Tuners like Silicon Dust Homerun exist.. which basically scrape the ATSC signal for raw M2TS streams, catching the original program and stuffin it into a PC computer file.. which various players can playback later.

Windows Media Center is gone now.. some hacks exist to shoehorn an old version of it into Windows 10.. but more often its detected as an attempted virus attack and disabled or shutdown by an update.

OS X declared 32 bit drivers and apps dead and de-supported almost all capture hardware and tv apps with their latest release

So if your looking to use a PC or Mac for capture or watching.. it will have to be an older version, on older hardware.. everything is aligning to "force" you to use an online streaming service that costs money.

Over the air technology.. except for Avermedia and Hauppauge PC cards.. or a standalone dedicated capture box from China running Linux (Kodi "like") is all but outlawed or relegated to very experienced or clever people who perhaps pre-emptively call it "easy" for anyone to do.

There are solutions.. but it depends on specifically what you want to do.. and it probably won't stray far from (only) doing exactly what you plan to do from the very beginning.

Other considerations are:

(a) if Copyright, DRM or Copy protection will be an issue.. many sources pre-crypt, or mark video or programs with anything from (no copy allowed) to (one copy allowed, temporary expiring copy) or deliberately damage the video so that when played back on different equipment or into capture equipment the signal turns black, blank or unwatchable and

(b) if automation like time scheduled recordings, auto-record on signal detect, or season pass features are expected or required.

(c) if remote control (to) satellite or cable box will be required

(d) if being remote controlled (by) a satellite or cable box will be required

(e) if online steaming download (and possibly recording online streaming sources.. online timeshifting..) will be required or expected, Amazon, Netflix, HBO Max, Roku ect..

(d) if automatic archiving and publishing to personal libraries (like Plex, Kodi ect..) will be expected

(e) if away mission "mode" (Slingbox like) features will be required, and if transcoding is a desireable feature (as part of the box or outsourced to a local recorder.. Tivo-ish)

there are so many things people think (impossible) or (never done) that are even today still possible and common place.. the options are mind boggling..

.. but it all comes down to.. what are your requirements, expectations.. and nice to haves.

Last edited by jwillis84; 01-07-2020 at 01:39 PM.
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post #6 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 01:37 PM
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Along with my old outdated DVDRs I use my new Avermedia HD HDMI recorder to record streaming and HD. The Avermedia device can edit but saving the file takes quite a bit longer than my simple SD DVDRs.
Note the Avermedia does obey CP but I was able to purchase a older 4-way HDMI splitter than allows me to record whatever I can see. For SD or component recording I believe the old SD DVDRs are stilll best, if you can find one
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post #7 of 7 Old 01-07-2020, 03:10 PM
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Jeff is absolutely right for SD video.

If your recording content from a VCR, Betamax Laserdisc it will be mostly SD content.

If you prefer SD resolution, or can get a converter box from HD to SD the you can also treat that like SD content.

For example:

I use a TivoHD with Lifetime subscription to record Over the Air HD broadcasts, or Cable using a cable card.

Then deliberately "play" that out the SD outputs in 480i so that I can test old DVRs and equipment like that.. its a beyond normal, perfect signal that is broadcast quality.. because its going from Digital to Analog locally.. and it has no Time base errors or dropouts.. looks perfect

I then capture that signal with DVRs other things like USB or Firewire Ananlog to Digital converters to test those and can see when my PC or the capture device can't keep up.. independent of frame drops and audio sample drops due to signal problems.

DVRs are great for MPEG2 capture.. since that was the chosen format for Motion Picture definition for the Home, and for Blu-ray in many cases.. its DVD-video "quality".. saves Interlace format and Color depth.. and work on PAL or NTSC signal types.

DVRs are perfect for that "era" signals.. for distribution.

And for (simple) editing Dan's VideoRedo TVsuite can "edit" MPEG2 without massive generation loss like some NLE editors when cutting out commercials and things.

Simple editing doesn't have to be frame accurate.. so its fine.

Extracting the raw MPEG2 from a DVR recorder that has a hard drive is an easy thing to do for certain brands and models.

Kicking it up a notch.. if you need to capture and edit a signal "frame accurate" because you are composing a Motion picture like the fast and the furious.. you need to go beyond MPEG2 and capture in Uncompressed or "losslessly".. (it means the same thing).

But when you cut things out every millisecond is precise and you can splice it together with minimal losses and no generation loss.. until you make the final shipping copy to the customer.

A compressed MPEG2 or DVD-video can be 1-2 GB per hour, and fit on a DVD. An Uncompressed video is usually 35 GB per hour.. and barely fits on a single Blu-ray, two hours won't fit on a single Blu-ray.

But computers and modern TVs can't playback Interlaced video.. they have to "compress" it into frames called "Progressive" video.. which are like the frames in a reel of film.. one whole picture after another.. and that compression leaves behind a fingerprint in the image called "Artifacts" which are unavoidable.. it makes the picture worse. The conversion from Interlaced to Progressive can be done quick and dirty, or slow and precise.. but mostly its done quick and dirty by a TV and looks sub par.. overall its best to leave that decision up to the end user.. and send them Interlace video .. if they can handle it.

For phones and over the "Web streaming" you can't tell if the end user will be able to do the de-Interlacing.. and often do it for them by making the conversion first into a format that has the file extension MP4 or MKV.. its an awful format for people who want high resolution or quality from an old Interlaced signal.. but all modern cameras and sources start out Progressive anyway and don't have an issue with Interlaced Artifacts.. so they default to the modern compression standards.. and totally ignore testing or support for old Interlaced video.. making it all the more important to use "old"equipment for old signals.

MP4 and MKV are "containers" (you can put anything into them.. but people and programs have assumptions) much like Quicktime will balk at anything not labeled .mov and refuse to play many formats. If you don't put whats expected into them.. they won't play. You (can) stuff Interlaced MPEG2 into an MP4 or MKV.. its just not the "norm". Some will spend a lot of time debating this situation into a frenzy and can confuse a lot of people.

Young people (under 40) generally say whatever.. and compress all Interlaced video capture to Progressive.. or never learn how to turn off the default compression in their modern "game capture" or modern "digital tv tuner card" and end up with a chunky blocky "Artifact" riddled mess from an HD or HDMI capture dongle. and give up capturing SD video in short order.. for them.. overall.. the best option would be to find a DVR, capture it to the DVR hard drive, extract the MPEG2 video to computer files as MPEG2 and try different playback programs until they find one that handles Interlaced video well.. and declare victory.

Perfectionists.. or Preservation Experts.. will chide them to (only) capture in Uncompressed formats and "frame accurately" prepare each program pain stakingly and correct any other defects in the video stream , like color problems, dark and bright problems, remove tracking noise at the edges by "masking" off bits with digital duct tape and copying the modded video to a new copy, saving the original "logged" source for reference later. For a Wedding, Graduation, Baby birth.. this might be appropriate.. if you have the skills.. or plan to develop them.. but most people don't have that much time in their life and will either give up the project.. or chuck it on DVD and never watch the video ever again.

DVD media is getting hard to find.. and piles and piles of discs can be hard to sort and store.. so tagging and leaving it on a computer hard drive is becoming more common.. database servers like Plex or Kodi are helping to turn "catalogs" into "search queries" and browser bookmarks to find and retrieve VHS tapes captured and filed long ago.. private YouTube clouds are becoming more normal.. though whether you expose your private collection to the audit of the copyright police in the cloud is a source of concern for some.

BTW.. there was a time when the "video files" were "extended" to include program information.. a kind of TVGuide "header" that told what was in the file. This lead to MS-DVR, WMA, and other file formats. The idea was to discourage people from using the filename as a database and endlessly labeling things with "run on sentences" describing the content. And that was all to avoid using a database or spreadsheet to catalog or keep track of everything.

The video file players, like Quicktime or Windows Media Player would understand these "enhanced" video file formats and pull out and display the "content information" before starting playback.. or display it while browsing a set of files in a directory.. as in Windows File Explorer.. pretty much that has failed.. and we're back to flat files and spreadsheets.

The MKV format has this extra info feature.. but few people pay attention and actually set the TVGuide type information for each video.. rather.. search engines are beginning to "identify" and automatically "tag" video files as they once did with music MP3 files.. which is where the Copyright violation police can enter your life.. if uploaded to a public cloud like Youtube.. we're still in an age where mere possession of something is like contraband and guilt is assumed.

Overlapping enforcement for different "kinds" of content can get you in deep trouble (like kid friendly or not, or other..)

One addendum:

(HD video 1.0) vs (HD video 2.0)

Near 2000 (Y2K) High-Definition video was declared to be 720i or 1080i over RGB (or YUV) cables. The "i" stood for Interlaced. The 720 and the 1080 stood for the number horizontal lines.. per picture frame when two Interlaced fields were combined into one picture frame (de-compressed). The horizontal dots per line were called TVL.. or the vertical line resolution.. it a long confusing story.. but this flipped 90 degree X-Y coordinate system is what it is.. and has been that way since.

Analog (is not) "digital" so "sample dots" is not strictly correct.. some will debate this metaphor to death.. and loose the audience.. but it approximately true.

720i and 1080i were sufficient for capturing all of the details of SD and turning it into a decent Progressive video by a (then) modern digital widescreen TV.

That was about HD version 1.0

Faster processors and video content that was never created as an Interlaced image.. like Computer graphics began getting mixed in.. until by 2008-2009... 720p and 1080p were considered "normal". By then RGB cables were not suffcient to carry the bandwidth or ever increasing resolutions and the combined audio and video cable HDMI was born.

This was about HD version 2.0

Along with HDMI came HDCP - HD Copyright Protection

(okay maybe "content protection.." but same thing)

People also got some odd ideas about (Upscaling) to "improve" SD picture quality.. this is a myth. Upscaling was merely digitally stretching and then de-aliasing to remove some "jaggies" .. information cannot be created from ('nothing')...placebo effects aside.. then capturing it at reduce SD resolution was only taking advantage of advanced de-noising and time base correction available in HD playback equipment.. still the practice and assumptions persist today.

Point being.. (old) HD capture can be very different hardware from (new) HD capture.. capturing with RGB cables is generally (old) HD capture and can sometimes do okay with SD signals. But its kind of rare today to find this equipment..

The Hauppauge Collossus version 1.0 card can do this, and has a special little known rectangle connector (special order) that can also do composite and s-video capture. The Hauppauge Collossus version 2.0 card cannot do this and is HDMI capture only.

The Hauppauge Collossus version 1.0 card also has a hidden registry key to turn back on Timebase Correction.. removed from the Collossus 2.0 card.

The point of those examples is game capture dongles and cards of today have explicitly "designed out" and "blocked" or "hacked out" any type of circuits for explicitly helping with SD video capture.. New capture stuff is not good for old SD capture.. it may be able to (sort of... kind of... maybe.. do it) but its far from optimal.. or as good as the original gear designed to do it.

I mention all of this in the DVR part of the forum to agree with.. go to the HD areas for HD capture advice.. its not appropriate for SD capture.. which DVRs are designed to capture.
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Last edited by jwillis84; 01-13-2020 at 11:05 PM.
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