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Topic # 96868 5-Feb-2012 17:06
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Firstly I don't own a PVR yet but am looking, I really need to be able to do this. Apparently they all record in proprietary formats? Anyone know any which can record in regular old mpegs or something? Or how to convert?

 

I've found this Hyuandai model which can do it natively but it's a but pricier http://www.freeviewshop.co.nz/hyundai-combo-satterrestrial-recorder-p-495.html

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  Reply # 577601 5-Feb-2012 17:14
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Not sure what format mine records in (never checked...its a Digistar unit) but PC plays them quite happily via VLC.




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  Reply # 577617 5-Feb-2012 18:36
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If you want recordings on a PC either build your own HTPC with a DVB-T tuner(s) or buy a Tivo. The Tivo is the best right now at $199 and $99 or whatever it is for the home networking pack.

You're wasting your time with any other options, and most Freeview certified device won't allow this anyway since they a) prevent it as content owners don't allow it, and b) it's actually illegal as format shifting of video isn't legal in NZ.


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  Reply # 577633 5-Feb-2012 19:27
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You don't say whether you are after a satellite or terrestrial box, which makes it a bit harder to assist precisely. You have five main options:

1. As sbiddle advises, a HTPC. Satellite and/or terrestrial tuners. Easily the most flexible option, with pretty much no restrictions on what you can, an ability to put on lots of tuners, mix satellite and terrestrial, and have as much storage as you are willing to pay for. However, technically fiddly to set up if you are a novice, especially getting an EPG working for terrestrial broadcasts.

2. Buy a TIVO ($199 on sale plus $90 Australian for the networking package). Good price, good product, and fairly easy to set up. However, it's terrestrial only and (I understand - haven't tried it) that transfers off the box can be slow, esp using the wireless adapter.

3. Buy an unapproved freeview box with recording capability. Harder to find now - I understand Freeview have tried a few tricks and pressures to make life more difficult for retailers who don't limit themselves to approved boxes only (senior salesperson in HN advised this). Also, my experience (I had the Visione VE4000) is that the quality/performance on these boxes can be very poor.

4. Buy a disc-based recorder. Bog standard DVD recorder if you are connecting a satellite reciever, or recording terrestrial but don't care about HD. Panasonic sell a twin-tuner freeview model. Transfer from recorders hard drive to DVD, and rip to PC if you want it on a media device as well as disc. If HD is an issue, you will need the blu-ray recorder, but this is fairly expensive.

5. Buy a locked/approved box and transfer the material in real time. Component->capture device and composite -> capture device will work well for a satellite box. Compoonent -> HDCP stripper -> capture device required for a HD terrestrial feed (except off Tivo which appears to output HD over component). Slow, and you lose some quality on conversion/capture, but pretty bullet proof.


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  Reply # 577640 5-Feb-2012 19:39
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If you have a UHF aerial, though it will work with satellite too, then spend $23 and get DVB Viewer
Of course, you will need a TV card in PC

http://www.dvbviewer.com/en/index.php 

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  Reply # 577681 5-Feb-2012 22:29
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JimmyH: You don't say whether you are after a satellite or terrestrial box, which makes it a bit harder to assist precisely. You have five main options:

1..5

plus a slightly more expensive but elegant option The MagicTV MTV3600 patched (unofficial) version (see forums) allows transfer of files (via HTTP web interface) should you get one of these boxes

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  Reply # 577686 5-Feb-2012 22:55
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JimmyH:

4. Buy a disc-based recorder. Bog standard DVD recorder if you are connecting a satellite reciever, or recording terrestrial but don't care about HD. Panasonic sell a twin-tuner freeview model. Transfer from recorders hard drive to DVD, and rip to PC if you want it on a media device as well as disc. If HD is an issue, you will need the blu-ray recorder, but this is fairly expensive.




To add to this...
The Panasonic Freeview recorders can connect to your computer via DLNA, allowing you to copy the Freeview content off it - directly to your PC.
I use Twonky on my Mac to see the files, then, in turn copy them to my desktop.
I then use VLC to play them, and finally, Handbrake to convert them so they play in iTunes.
A nice solution, plus you can use the box to record external sources via the analogue loophole - like video cameras, Sky decoders, VCR's etc. The content will be SD at best, but it's a hand feature to have IMHO.

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  Reply # 577896 6-Feb-2012 17:20
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To add to this...
The Panasonic Freeview recorders can connect to your computer via DLNA, allowing you to copy the Freeview content off it - directly to your PC.
I use Twonky on my Mac to see the files, then, in turn copy them to my desktop.
I then use VLC to play them, and finally, Handbrake to convert them so they play in iTunes.
A nice solution, plus you can use the box to record external sources via the analogue loophole - like video cameras, Sky decoders, VCR's etc. The content will be SD at best, but it's a hand feature to have IMHO.



That's very interesting. Might not have bothered with a Tivo if I had known about it. I had always understood that one of the main "features" of DLNA was DRM to stop you doing exactly this, so I never bothered with it. Strongly interested now as, as well as transferring material to the PC, it opens up all sorts off options like streaming a from a recorder in the living room (connected to a rooftop aerial) to a media player in other rooms with no aerial connection.

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  Reply # 577899 6-Feb-2012 17:35
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JimmyH:


To add to this...
The Panasonic Freeview recorders can connect to your computer via DLNA, allowing you to copy the Freeview content off it - directly to your PC.
I use Twonky on my Mac to see the files, then, in turn copy them to my desktop.
I then use VLC to play them, and finally, Handbrake to convert them so they play in iTunes.
A nice solution, plus you can use the box to record external sources via the analogue loophole - like video cameras, Sky decoders, VCR's etc. The content will be SD at best, but it's a hand feature to have IMHO.



That's very interesting. Might not have bothered with a Tivo if I had known about it. I had always understood that one of the main "features" of DLNA was DRM to stop you doing exactly this, so I never bothered with it. Strongly interested now as, as well as transferring material to the PC, it opens up all sorts off options like streaming a from a recorder in the living room (connected to a rooftop aerial) to a media player in other rooms with no aerial connection.


If you are after the greatest flexability you're never going to beat a PC based option, especially if you want to tie in in with a HDHomerun as your tuner. You can then stream TV around the house to anything that supports IP streams.

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  Reply # 578022 6-Feb-2012 23:42
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sbiddle: If you are after the greatest flexability you're never going to beat a PC based option, especially if you want to tie in in with a HDHomerun as your tuner. You can then stream TV around the house to anything that supports IP streams.



Yep, I know. I have been toying with an HTPC build for a while, to accompany a move to MySky and HD in general for my setup. I have been accumulating some of the key bits I need for the setup already. Planning a box with 2-3 terrestrial tuners, 2-3 satellite tuners, a blu ray drive, and the ability to capture in high definition, a NAS hanging off the network for storage, and media players to play content. Also plan to use it over a VPN for Netflix, Hulu and the BBC iPlayer - colleagues at work have this hooked up already and it works great.

The media players are already hooked up and working. On a shelf I have an HDMI matrix splitter, HDFury2 and Hauppauge HD PVR waiting to be connected when I do the build. Next step is the NAS, which will be a 4-bay QNAP box with 4x3TB drives in RAID-5, as soon as drive prices get back to saner levels. The HTPC itself probably won't be in place until at least Christmas - the constraints aren't financial, more time and other priorities.





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  Reply # 578974 8-Feb-2012 22:04
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Sorry, I am after recording from the televison set (as in, the monitor) via plain old composite cables. If that helps at all.

The setup would be Sky->TV->Recording device

Some good advice here, thanks guys

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  Reply # 579059 9-Feb-2012 06:30
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Richard7666: Sorry, I am after recording from the televison set (as in, the monitor) via plain old composite cables. If that helps at all.

The setup would be Sky->TV->Recording device

Some good advice here, thanks guys


This is a totally different problem to the questrion you posed in your original post.

Are you wanting to copy files from a Freeview PVR or just Sky from your Sky STB to a PVR?

Most PVR's don't have A/V inputs, so your best option is a PC with tuner card. Secondly you would really want to bypass the TV in this process, Sky STB's have multiple outputs so there is no need to go via the TV.


You'll also need to deal with the copy protection on the Sky video signsls that are designed to prevent recording. If you do get a PVR with A/V inputs you will face issues recording some channels, a PC tuner card will typically get arond this as it will ignore the copy protection.

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  Reply # 579066 9-Feb-2012 07:22
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JimmyH:
sbiddle: If you are after the greatest flexability you're never going to beat a PC based option, especially if you want to tie in in with a HDHomerun as your tuner. You can then stream TV around the house to anything that supports IP streams.



Yep, I know. I have been toying with an HTPC build for a while, to accompany a move to MySky and HD in general for my setup. I have been accumulating some of the key bits I need for the setup already. Planning a box with 2-3 terrestrial tuners, 2-3 satellite tuners, a blu ray drive, and the ability to capture in high definition, a NAS hanging off the network for storage, and media players to play content. Also plan to use it over a VPN for Netflix, Hulu and the BBC iPlayer - colleagues at work have this hooked up already and it works great.

The media players are already hooked up and working. On a shelf I have an HDMI matrix splitter, HDFury2 and Hauppauge HD PVR waiting to be connected when I do the build. Next step is the NAS, which will be a 4-bay QNAP box with 4x3TB drives in RAID-5, as soon as drive prices get back to saner levels. The HTPC itself probably won't be in place until at least Christmas - the constraints aren't financial, more time and other priorities.




I am on my third HTPC upgrade at the moment, and thought I might chip in on some stuff I have learnt in the process:

1) VPN's are OK for playing overseas content, but can be slow depending on the service.  Look at unblock-us.com which re-points your DNS and runs at full line speed (but may or may not work depending on your ISP).  And as far as I know, you will have to change the VPN if you switch between US and UK sources

2) RAID5 is CPU intensive, if you can go for RAID 10.  It offers faster write speads and gives better redundancy.

3) If your a Microsoft fan, and are going to use Windows Media Centre, then investigate Windows Home Server instead of the QNAP.  It integrates fully into Media Centre, meaning recordings will automatically be copied to the server.  Plus there are apps such as MyMovies and MediaBrowser which give great interfaces over media libraries, including artwork, episode guides, etc.  Additionally disks will be in NTFS format, not some format limited to QNAP etc, which can help in recovery situations.

4) Great you mention both satellite and terrertrial tuners, as I use the EPG from the DVB-S service to fully populate my EPG, which in DVB-T is very limited.  Plus you can get SBS from Ausi

I am interested in what you are going to hook into the HDFury2, is it a Sky box?  And can you tell us more about the HDMI splitter - are you going to push HDMI around the house ot multiple TV's?



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  Reply # 579211 9-Feb-2012 12:07
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Lots of fancy ideas here. Mine is a lot simpler but it works well for me.

I don't use Media Centre but I do have a non-approved terrestrial STB with PVR. It's an Orton, if anyone cares. This works pretty well for recording high definition with surround sound from TV1, 2 and 3, though the EPG is useless. I use a USB enclosure for the recordings, which are in transport stream (.ts) format. No problem playing these back on the computer with modern (free) media players like Classic Media Player or VLC as long as the necessary codecs (also free) are installed.

I keep my recordings on a hard drive in another USB enclosure and when I want to watch anything on the big screen I just play it back through the STB. I also have the H.264 version of Video Redo on the computer for editing out commercials and changing formats. This is a brilliant product and it works flawlessly. It can read and convert anything, so it doesn't matter which propriety format the STB uses. If you are recording standard definition, Video Redo will turn whatever files you have into ordinary mpeg almost instantaneously. It can also create DVDs, but re-encoding anything, especially high definition, naturally takes a lot longer. 

I don't recommend the Orton STB, it just happens to be the one I bought. Major issues I have had with it are an inability to remember channel settings when the power is cut, intermittent inability to remember sound settings (I have to keep changing each channel back to 5.1 manually every time I turn it on), screwy time and calendar, no EPG, FAT32 file system only. There are better STBs out there.

 




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  Reply # 579507 9-Feb-2012 23:14
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timbosan:

I am on my third HTPC upgrade at the moment, and thought I might chip in on some stuff I have learnt in the process:

1) VPN's are OK for playing overseas content, but can be slow depending on the service.  Look at unblock-us.com which re-points your DNS and runs at full line speed (but may or may not work depending on your ISP).  And as far as I know, you will have to change the VPN if you switch between US and UK sources

2) RAID5 is CPU intensive, if you can go for RAID 10.  It offers faster write speads and gives better redundancy.

3) If your a Microsoft fan, and are going to use Windows Media Centre, then investigate Windows Home Server instead of the QNAP.  It integrates fully into Media Centre, meaning recordings will automatically be copied to the server.  Plus there are apps such as MyMovies and MediaBrowser which give great interfaces over media libraries, including artwork, episode guides, etc.  Additionally disks will be in NTFS format, not some format limited to QNAP etc, which can help in recovery situations.

4) Great you mention both satellite and terrertrial tuners, as I use the EPG from the DVB-S service to fully populate my EPG, which in DVB-T is very limited.  Plus you can get SBS from Ausi

I am interested in what you are going to hook into the HDFury2, is it a Sky box?  And can you tell us more about the HDMI splitter - are you going to push HDMI around the house ot multiple TV's?



Thanks timbosan - some great davice there. At the moment I am working through ideas and picking up bits when I see what I want - actual build is some time away:

1.  VPN will be done later - toying with the idea at the moment.
2.  QNAP boxes have enough CPU power to do RAID, and given that is all they will be doing (ie no load on any computers) I am OK with that. Plus 2xeSATA ports compatible with port-multiplied enclosures provides adequate future expansion options. Files backed up to external USB hard drives as extra insurance.
3.  Undecided on mediacentre. Still mulling options over. Not interested in WHS.
4. Yes, that was one reason. Plus I am in a reception spot where the Kordia mux is flaky so (unless the frequency changes in June fix the issue) some channels will be satellite only.
5.  Plan is to get a MySky. HDMI matrix splitter has four inputs, two outputs. Key HDMI devices (MySky etc) will connect to it. First output will go to TV (effectively raising HDMI inputs from four on the TV now to seven). Second output will go ->HDFury -> Hauppauge HD PVR -->HTPC. TV and capture solution both permanently hardwired. The matrix splitter is from Jaycar (CAT. NO. AC1622) if you are interested.



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  Reply # 583612 19-Feb-2012 22:18
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sbiddle:
Richard7666: Sorry, I am after recording from the televison set (as in, the monitor) via plain old composite cables. If that helps at all.

The setup would be Sky->TV->Recording device

Some good advice here, thanks guys


This is a totally different problem to the questrion you posed in your original post.

Are you wanting to copy files from a Freeview PVR or just Sky from your Sky STB to a PVR?

Most PVR's don't have A/V inputs, so your best option is a PC with tuner card. Secondly you would really want to bypass the TV in this process, Sky STB's have multiple outputs so there is no need to go via the TV.


You'll also need to deal with the copy protection on the Sky video signsls that are designed to prevent recording. If you do get a PVR with A/V inputs you will face issues recording some channels, a PC tuner card will typically get arond this as it will ignore the copy protection.


 

The reason for recording from the TV was to avoid any copy protection crap from the Sky decoder. Currently my VCR setup for instance is Sky->TV->VCR.

 

Really, all I want is something hard-drive based (and that can be transferred to PC) to take the place of the VCR in that chain.

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