How to record via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) to Windows XP - Page 204 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #6091 of 6108 Old 02-23-2017, 12:16 AM
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Huge file size in firewire output from Motorola RNG200

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Originally Posted by dr1394 View Post
Comcast is currently converting HD channels from MPEG-2 to H.264 here in the Bay Area. I've been putting it off, but after the latest round of channel conversions, I had to replace my DCH-3200 with an RNG110.

The IEEE1394 port on the RNG110 is enabled, but it's operation is not correct. PAT and PMT is missing and there's a huge amount of stuffing packets on PID 0x1fff. No D-VHS box of any kind can ever work with an RNG110.

However, the video and audio streams are present. With some software trickery, I was able to capture a workable Transport Stream for both MPEG-2 and H.264 channels.

Ron
If anyone knows what's going on with my RNG200 DVR from Comcast, it might be you, Ron. I have an old DCX-3401 that I sometimes record stuff to my PC via the firewire port. I also do the same with my newer Comcast box --- an RNG200 (aka DCX-3501). So they are both Motorola critters. Now that most of the channels have been switched to H.264, I have noticed a huge difference in the file sizes when I record H.264 content from the RNG200, versus the DCX-3401.

For example, if I record a 2-hour movie from the Hallmark channel for my stepdaughter, using the DCX-3401, the file is a little over 3GB in size. If I record the same movie, same channel, using the RNG200 (DCX-3501), the file size is over 20GB!!! Usually about 23GB, actually. Both files are quite playable with the VLC Player app.

Ron, you say you have an RNG110 and you noticed "a huge amount of stuffing packets on PID 0x1fff" in the stream you captured to a PC. I am not sophisticated enough to look inside packets (although I do have an IT background), but do you think that what you observed might be what's going on with my gargantuan file sizes from the RNG200?

Larry
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post #6092 of 6108 Old 02-23-2017, 12:45 AM
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It's very likely that it's stuffing packets. An easy test would be to try and compress the large files with PKZIP, 7-Zip or whatever you use.

In general, trying to compress MPEG-2 Transport Streams usually doesn't get you anywhere (since the video and audio is already compressed). But since stuffing packets are almost all 1's, they will compress very well. So the 23 GB files should end up around 3 GB just like you're seeing from the DCX-3401.

Ron

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post #6093 of 6108 Old 02-23-2017, 10:41 PM
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Another easy test to see what's in the file would be to run it through (free) TSReader Lite, which would directly show how many of each type of packet it contains. The non-free, non-Lite version could create a new file with proper PAT and no null ("stuffing") packets. There are other freeware tools for null-packet stripping also.
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post #6094 of 6108 Old 04-04-2017, 06:35 AM
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The amount of packing on the RNG 200 boxes is absurd. Having been a MOTO capture guy for over a decade, I am thrilled I can still capture. However, I just captured a 30 minute program that is still an MPEG2 stream. Ran it through VideoRedo with no edits and left it same format:

Capture: 6.19 GB
VRD TS: 2.06 GB

That's a lot of wasted disc space.

The picture after the MP4 switchover is soft with more blocking than before. Really a disappointment for the hassle they made us go through.
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post #6095 of 6108 Old 07-06-2017, 11:18 AM
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I still do some firewire recording from a Comcast Moto RNG150N but am looking to switch to FIOS. The box they''d be supplying is a CHS 335HDC which I see it has a firewire port. Anyone know if it's active?
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post #6096 of 6108 Old 07-08-2017, 10:05 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by etete View Post
I still do some firewire recording from a Comcast Moto RNG150N but am looking to switch to FIOS. The box they''d be supplying is a CHS 335HDC which I see it has a firewire port. Anyone know if it's active?
I fully expect that it is active. I also fully expect that the firmware is garbage, rendering it basically unusable. But hopefully I'm wrong on that last one.
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post #6097 of 6108 Old 07-08-2017, 10:16 AM
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Just like gummy bear packs get smaller and smaller in time to keep the price constant, same applies to all what cable companies are doing, shoving more and more programming w/commercials into same bandwidth, which obviously reduces product quality.

Trouble is I can always get two bags of gummy bears when I feel like it. Can't do better quality with cable though.

Sent from my SM-N910T3 using Tapatalk
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post #6098 of 6108 Old 07-08-2017, 05:59 PM
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Appreciate the reply!

The more I think about it Firewire capture is is beginning to be less of a deal killer (but it can at least let me feel even better about it).

Yes, Comcast has really been cutting corners lately -- Most egregious is their switch to 720p for nearly every HD station, only the locals remain 1080i. They've only recently started to attach no-copy flags to the gratis premium channels (IFC. MGM, Encore) but, mostly, downsizing of nearly all HD lessens my capture/archive enthusiasm. With FIOS offering identical service for $52 (25%) less a month I'm hoping their 1 month trial period is boom, not bust. The only truly mitigating factor is I have an elderly mother using the service and I hate to make any changes to her "comfort zone".
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post #6099 of 6108 Old 12-27-2017, 01:34 PM
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Comcast - end of the road for firewire capture?

Long-time Comcast D-VHS capture user here, and it appears that I may have come to the end of the road, capture wise. After using a 6412 for 8 years, and a DCX-3400 for another 2, I lost power a few weeks ago, and after that, my Win7 capture machine was dead. Replace the power supply to get it back up and running, but after reinstalling the STB software, couldn't get it to connect to/capture from the DVR. After a couple of weeks of failures, it suddenly connected, and D-VHS was able to capture from all the same channels it could before (even those that have converted to H.264 BUT... now every capture is full of errors, dropouts, etc. - start to finish. Completely useless.

I can't tell for certain. Either the box is failing/has failed, or the latest (last) firmware for this one has borked the firewire port permanently.

Also, just got off the phone with Comcast support, and it sounds like they're unlikely to replace this DVR with anything but an X1 (which, as far as I can tell, does NOT have a firewire port, or allow stream capture in any form).

Are we reaching the end of the firewire capture era (for Comcast, anyway)? or does anyone have a suggestion I can try to fix these current stream capture failures?

Thanks for whatever suggestions you can make or insight you can offer. I hate to think that I'm suddenly completely out of luck, but ...
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post #6100 of 6108 Old 12-27-2017, 01:56 PM
 
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My firewire D-VHS Comcast system recording scheme went belly up due to their system a couple of years ago. I now use a Hauppauge HDPVR 1212 even though it is awkward and it transcodes from the native signal, but you select the quality and it looks pretty good.
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post #6101 of 6108 Old 01-07-2018, 11:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tiernan View Post
Are we reaching the end of the firewire capture era (for Comcast, anyway)? or does anyone have a suggestion I can try to fix these current stream capture failures?

Thanks for whatever suggestions you can make or insight you can offer. I hate to think that I'm suddenly completely out of luck, but ...
Unfortunately, I think you're right. It does look to be the end of the road for FireWire captures on Comcast (and Spectrum, too, at least in my area). The more recent DVR boxes do not include FireWire ports and it's been years since the cable companies have been mandated to provide a FireWire-capable set top box upon request.

That said, I also have used the Hauppauge HDPVR 1212, and it's pretty good. It transcodes, so it's not bit-perfect, but it can look (and sound) quite good.
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post #6102 of 6108 Old 11-10-2018, 12:29 AM
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I can't get Capdvhs to work in Windows 7 x86. It works in Windows XP. I wanted to do a dual boot with Windows 10 and Windows 7. I keep getting error 800705AA Cannot start capture. Can anyone help?
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post #6103 of 6108 Old 11-11-2018, 07:04 AM
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I didn't realize people were still using Firewire to capture video. Why not just use a TiVo and transfer the files off directly, take the DRM off and have a perfect bit for bit copy of what was sent down the wire?
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post #6104 of 6108 Old 11-11-2018, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BiggAW View Post
I didn't realize people were still using Firewire to capture video. Why not just use a TiVo and transfer the files off directly, take the DRM off and have a perfect bit for bit copy of what was sent down the wire?
If you truly do know all of the proper techniques implied in your recipe, and have actually done this successfully with copy-protect content recorded on a Tivo, please do share the technique in explicit detail.

(1) exactly what software/hardware/cabling/connection do you use and/or how exactly do you "transfer the files off directly" from a Tivo machine to a PC in bit-perfect digital form? What software running on the PC "accepts" this transfer, which presumably is at this point still copy-protected and encrypted (requiring cablecard to decrypt at time of playback)? What is the "extension" of the saved file on the PC... TS? TP? WTV? Something else?

(2) exactly what software or other technique/tool do you use to "take the DRM off" of the digital file copied from Tivo to your PC?

To the best of my knowledge there has been no successful workaround for the DRM copy-protection and encryption facilitated by cablecards (inserted into Tivo, DVRs, and Ceton TV tuner cards). But if I'm wrong, please elaborate what method you use to accomplish this.

For the decades that DVHS tape recording and 5C copy-protection mechanisms have been in place (to allow copy-once offloading from Motorola-family DVRs to DVHS recorders via firewire), and for as long as CAPDVHS has existed to support transfers of copy-freely content from DVR to PC or from DVHS recorder to PC, it has been impossible to work with copy-protected and encrypted content other than via the one-time offload from DVR to DVHS recorder (which allows playback from the first-generation DVHS recording, but not making a second-generation copy of that first-generation recording to a second DVHS tape... which is exactly what copy-once means).

But if there is something new that has been developed to circumvent these copy-protections, please do share. Many of us would love to know all the details about this technique. Feel free to PM me if you want.
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post #6105 of 6108 Old 11-12-2018, 10:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSperber View Post
If you truly do know all of the proper techniques implied in your recipe, and have actually done this successfully with copy-protect content recorded on a Tivo, please do share the technique in explicit detail.
I used KMTTG, which will decrypt the .TiVo files. This does not work with copy-flagged channels (I believe they are copy once), i.e. HBO on Comcast, but it will work with all their cable and broadcast channels. Copy once channels like HBO should not be able to be firewire transferred either, unless there is a loophole in the system because everyone forgot that there even were IEEE 1394 ports on those older boxes.

Quote:
(1) exactly what software/hardware/cabling/connection do you use and/or how exactly do you "transfer the files off directly" from a Tivo machine to a PC in bit-perfect digital form? What software running on the PC "accepts" this transfer, which presumably is at this point still copy-protected and encrypted (requiring cablecard to decrypt at time of playback)? What is the "extension" of the saved file on the PC... TS? TP? WTV? Something else?
TiVo Desktop via the network. They are encrypted as .TiVo files, KMTTG decrypts them. If they are copy flagged as copy once, i.e. HBO, they won't transfer in the first place. However, on Comcast, any normal cable channel, i.e. Discovery, History, ESPN, CNN, etc. that is flagged as copy freely will transfer and decrypt just fine. You'll end up with the same pile of blurry trash, bit for the bit the same as when Comcast over-compressed it in Denver, and send it out to your cable headend, through your cable system, onto your TiVo's hard drive, and then you pulled it over Ethernet.

Quote:
(2) exactly what software or other technique/tool do you use to "take the DRM off" of the digital file copied from Tivo to your PC?
KMTTG.

Quote:
To the best of my knowledge there has been no successful workaround for the DRM copy-protection and encryption facilitated by cablecards (inserted into Tivo, DVRs, and Ceton TV tuner cards). But if I'm wrong, please elaborate what method you use to accomplish this.
No one has cracked CableCard itself, but TiVo's encryption is pretty easy, since it has to have the keys stored on the PC playing back the .TiVo files.

Quote:
For the decades that DVHS tape recording and 5C copy-protection mechanisms have been in place (to allow copy-once offloading from Motorola-family DVRs to DVHS recorders via firewire), and for as long as CAPDVHS has existed to support transfers of copy-freely content from DVR to PC or from DVHS recorder to PC, it has been impossible to work with copy-protected and encrypted content other than via the one-time offload from DVR to DVHS recorder (which allows playback from the first-generation DVHS recording, but not making a second-generation copy of that first-generation recording to a second DVHS tape... which is exactly what copy-once means).

But if there is something new that has been developed to circumvent these copy-protections, please do share. Many of us would love to know all the details about this technique. Feel free to PM me if you want.
It sounds like you've found a loophole for HBO and other copy-once premiums to be offloaded where they "shouldn't", and no, TiVo cannot do that, but for cable channel content, i.e. copy freely content, it works fine. I'm not sure why anyone would want to archive HBO content, since it's all available through various On Demand and other mechanisms at much higher quality. Last I had heard, however, Firewire transfers were also blocked for HBO and other premium channels, but that was years ago, as I didn't realize anyone was even using it anymore. I used to archive some cable shows via TiVo Desktop, and I have about a terabyte of them hanging around on another machine, but I have since cut the cord, and I no longer archive much, except for an occasional PBS show that is really, really good, and that's all OTA, so it's effectively the same as copy-freely on TiVo Desktop, even though it came in without DRM. I've decrypted one or two as tests, but most stay in .TiVo format so that I could stream them back to a TiVo from my HTPC if I wanted to watch them.

Also, echoing the other posters here, while I totally get the desire to copy bit for bit, I don't think there's much point in that anymore versus another capturing method, or finding and buying the content from another source, as Comcast's quality is so bad, and most other MSOs are going downhill as well, that you're not getting a good quality copy anyway, even if it is bit for bit. If there truly is content that's not available on Blu-Ray or through Amazon or other means, it's probably not high production value, high quality stuff anyway, it's probably somewhat of an over-compressed mess, and you should be able to run through the analog hole with no noticeable loss in fidelity from the mess that you started with. For example, if there was something on a premium channel that wasn't available elsewhere, a TiVo Roamio Pro can output to component as long as Comcast doesn't convert everything to IPTV, in which case you're probably limited to SD capture and a significant loss in fidelity no matter what method you're using.
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post #6106 of 6108 Old 11-12-2018, 12:07 PM
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Thank you for the reply. You've answered my questions.

I am on a Spectrum (former Time Warner Cable) system, and ALMOST EVERY CHANNEL (including basic cable as well as premium) is marked 5C "copy once" (i.e. copy-protected) as well as encrypted (via cablecard). So you can only RECORD/WATCH any channel they deliver using their DVR with its recordings on internal hard drive (or through cablecard-enabled Tivo or Windows Media Center Win7 PCs with Ceton TV cablecard-enabled tuner cards). And there is no actual way to transfer the recorded files to the PC "via the network", other than the old firewire method (even then limited to only those older Motorola DVRs which had functioning working reliable firewire ports) which involved using CAPDVHS on the PCs (which also had firewire connectivity) to write the copied recordings to PC hard drive as .TS files (true "transport stream" copies including the 5C copy-protection flag and also still encrypted if so).

I didn't realize Tivo included its own "transfer software" capability. And certainly any such functionality obviously depends on the cable system delivered content not being totally copy-once copy-protected, e.g. as Spectrum does. I also have never known about KMTTG, which obviously could not be used for anything but .Tivo files.., and even then only for copy-freely content as apparently Comcast still delivers for basic cable channels.

Not me nor anyone (that I know of) has been able to overcome the inherent copy-protection in the .TS file, assuming you could actually use CAPDVHS and transfer the file from DVR to PC via firewire. But the design (and licensing) of the old DVHS recorders (from JVC) did support a first-generation offload from DVR to DVHS via firewire, which then allowed the DVHS recorder to decrypt that recording (from DVHS tape) for playback-only, even with its 5C copy-once flag and being encrypted. So in a sense the DVHS recorder served as a once-removed DVR, allowing you to make one personal-use DVHS tape copy (for playback only) of ANY DVR recording whose content was either marked copy-freely or copy-once. But this first-generation DVHS tape copy could, itself, not be further copied into a second-generation DVHS tape copy (nor fed to a PC via firewire).
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post #6107 of 6108 Old 04-18-2019, 11:35 AM
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Am I the only dinosaur left still doing firewire capture?

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Originally Posted by videohead5 View Post
I can't get Capdvhs to work in Windows 7 x86. It works in Windows XP. I wanted to do a dual boot with Windows 10 and Windows 7. I keep getting error 800705AA Cannot start capture. Can anyone help?

What kind of DVR are you trying to record from? Do you have Comcast?



I am still using CapDVHS successfully using a 32-bit Windows 7 machine. I also have an Windows XP machine that works. I have 2 Comcast Motorola DVR's, so I can record to a .TS file from either one of them. These DVR's are legacy machines that may not be available anymore --- I'm not sure of their status, so I hope mine keep humming along for the foreseeable future.


I record content from my local PBS affiliate and the Hallmark movie channel, mostly. My stepdaughter occasionally wants me to record a movie she likes on Hallmark. A lot of them have been Christmas movies. PBS sometimes has a show that I want to record and keep. I usually burn them to a Blu-ray. I don't have HBO or any other premium channel, so I'm not trying to record anything like that, which wouldn't work anyway.


I use VideoReDo TV Suite for editing out commercials or trimming off the beginning and end of a recording. I usually record on the DVR first, and then transfer to my PC by playing back the DVR'd content. PBS and the commercial broadcast networks like NBC, CBS, etc. still broadcast in full hi-def (1920 X 1080), so the .TS file is equal quality. I realize that most every other channel is 1280 X 720, but I think it looks pretty good.


Am I the only dinosaur left who is still doing firewire capture to a PC? I don't know whether this process still works on other cable systems or with non-Motorola equipment.
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post #6108 of 6108 Old 04-22-2019, 07:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by drnetwork View Post
Am I the only dinosaur left who is still doing firewire capture to a PC? I don't know whether this process still works on other cable systems or with non-Motorola equipment.
I still do since late 2004 with older Motorola PVR (DCH3416, DCT6412) with Windows XP. Currently with OS X Yosemite with a Xfinity RNG200N.
Used a same app to manually edit out the commercials. VideoRedo with Windows 10.
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post #6109 of 6108 Old 07-12-2019, 02:13 PM
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Apologies for bumping the thread but after finding a working driver folder it throws up this when I try to install it.
Spoiler!


Does this work for 64-bit Windows 10? Or should I install this in a VM? Thanks!
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