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Discussion Starter #1
I'd like to do the following:


1) Remove the 60GB Maxtor that came in each of my two 3060 ReplayTV models.


2) Install external IDE drive housings with removable drive trays containing 120GB D540X Maxtor drives.


3) Get a couple of extra drive trays (also with 120GB Maxtors).


4) Install an additional tray housing in my computer (a P4 1.6GHz, 1GB RDRAM, Win 2K Pro machine).


5) Set up each of the drives with the program mix I want to record.


6) Swap them out weekly (this would mean that the drives would regularly be a week behind on program guide updates) and transfer the 3 or 4 items I'd like to save to my computer to 'edit' and convert to standard DVD format (to be burned using a Pioneer DVR-A04).


Now for the questions:


1) Is this practical?


2) Would I have a problem with having multiple drives being used in a single chassis on an alternate basis?


3) Would I have a detrimental interaction or conflict with my replay channel lineup and what is transferred back & forth with my.replaytv.com?


4) Would I have to be careful to match the drives to a particular chassis (in other words - be careful that the drives were always used in the same chassis rather than generically interchangeable)?


5) And finally, exactly what software/utilities do I need buy/download in order to be able to effect the transfer of the files and convert/edit them such that I can burn DVD-R discs?


Many thanks for any suggestions and/or advice.
 

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For a start check out this page.
http://www.pcphotovideo.com/misc.htm


It can be confusing using multiple drives. ie. you'd have to be sure to force a manual connect each time you swapped them, just in case the 2nd drive's guide data is out of date, different from the one you pulled. I used to do this before I got my RPTV 4000 which can have the mpeg's off loaded via your LAN. Much easier.


Browse around here and you'll find a lot of information on what you want to do.


Be sure to "pull the plug" on the replay any time you remove the drive.


Keep track of the guide and program selection on each of the removable or you may wind up missing a lot of programs.


Getting the RPTV mpeg in a format that you can use for DVD authoring is a bit troublesome with the non-4000 series (ie 2/3K units) They come with 32 kHz sound. You'll need 48 kHz to work with most DVD authoring programs. Most of us doing that sort of thing are using the Womble Mpeg editor. Very fast, very accurate and will re-encode your audio on the fly without having to re-encode the video.


Also the ReplayTV type mpegs do not conform to strick mpeg standards. There are often problems with header information that makes them almost impossible to edit. The people at Womble added a utility to their editor that will fix those broken headers in just a few seconds. Works with about 95 percent of the screwed up RPTV mpegs. These "header" problems don't show up when just reading them for play back. But when you try to edit them or use them for DVD authoring, it drives those programs crazy.


I almost never use my old RPTV with the external box any more. The 4000 series having the 48 kHz audio and the ability to off load them via the LAN has made things a lot easier.


One last thing. If you do go the external box mount .. you do NOT want to try any kind of "hot swap". As I said, you should shut off the RPTV before removing it's drive. In fact not just shut off, but actually pull the plug. Then of course you'll want to clear all the "power interruption" messages it'll make. Also don't try to use an external box's power. Route the RPTV DC power cable along with the IDE drive cable out the back of the RPTV box and use it. The RPTV will want to affect things like power down etc. plus you can get into problems with ground loops and such running connected drive/main board with different power supplies.


I did this for some time. Had several smaller (10 and 20 gb) drives I used to "archive" some shows so I could then plug them into my Win2K NLE machine for editing etc. And no, you won't be able to use the RPTV formatted disc for anything other than "extracting" the Mpegs. So your removable drives are only going to be used as a transfer medium.


Have fun ..
 
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