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what's a good Video capture card?

 
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Joust



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 2430
Location: Almonte, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Marquee 8501LC


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:15 am    Post subject: what's a good Video capture card? Reply with quote


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I just got this Spiffy new 0.5Terrabyte hard disk and want to start recording stuff on it.
I have satellite receivers to pipe stuff into the HTPC and also i'd like to use the PC to burn PVR recorded material to DVD.
Is this possible?
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25396
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Which PVR?

I use a Happapauge 350 card. A 150 would be suficiant.

http://www.hauppauge.com/pages/products/data_pvr150.html

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Joust



Joined: 05 May 2006
Posts: 2430
Location: Almonte, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Marquee 8501LC


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

is S-video the best input we can take? can't input HD? VGA perhaps?
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AnalogRocks
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Joined: 08 Mar 2006
Posts: 25396
Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

TV/Projector: Sony 1252Q, AMPRO 4000G


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 3:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you want HD then you're into $1000.

DeckLink HD Extreme $995

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/hd/

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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If you just want OTA HD then lots of cheap cards out there $100 or less....Analog in (VGA) get very pricey and probably not very good.

Mike

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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 11:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Didn't someone advertise HDMI input cards a few months back?

http://www.hdtvsupply.com/hdmivideocard1.html

Actually, there is a lesser model for $249:

http://www.blackmagic-design.com/products/intensity/techspecs/

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 2:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

First of all, you'd need an HDCP stripper to use the Intensity with a satellite box, because a sat box will almost certainly have HDCP enabled. So, there's another couple hundy on top of the $250. You're up to $450.

Next, something like an Intensity card really isn't practical for everyday recording of TV shows or movies. The intensity card is going to see the real-time uncompressed digital video signal... and record it to disk. We're talking monster files. You need at least a 2-drive (probably 3-drive more reliably) RAID 0 to handle the bandwidth (I think you can use a 3-4:1 intermediate codec). Plus, you'll need massive storage - the spiffy new .5 terabyte drive is probably only good for 5 hours of recording. Then, after you've recorded your 1-hour show into a 100-gig file, now you have to compress it to MPEG 2 or MPEG 4 or something else for archiving... which will take several hours on fast machine, and you're ending up a with video that's been compressed, decompressed, and compressed again.

You need to either capture the already-compressed MPEG stream or not record HD. It's that simple. Nothing else is really practical. It's the satellite thing that really complicates matters. Like, Mike said - OTA easy - satellite not.

The inability to capture is what drove the hackers to hack satellite receivers. That's what I have - a hacked HD DirecTV Tivo, and I pull the individual recordings as MPEG-2 transport streams, right off an ethernet interface. 1-hour shows are 4-6 gigs, 2-hour movies about double that.

SC
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SC, since when did any of the cable or satellite boxes output compressed video? Makes no difference if it is analog or digital, its outputting on the video output ports as uncompressed. If the capture card accepts accepts its going to be expecting uncompressed video stream. BTW, any SATA][ system should be able to handle the necessary bandwidth. I'm dreaming about building a 9x500GB (Abit AB9 Pro) using the intel Matrix RAID setup--someone already did it and create one heck a large single volume.

I'll grant you the aspect of the HDMI may be with certain HDCP constraints, but I have not followed any of the latest and greatest DBS threads and whether or not they are using HDCP on the digital-side. My old Samsung SIR-TS160's DVI is HDCP capable, but the MPEG-2 coming out of it is HDCP-free. Thanks, DirecTV. My point was to eliminate the DA-AD process, only. Of course, the OP could just directly extract the saved videos on his DVR--unless he just has plain receivers only.

Sounds like someone needs to be OEM-ing some of these Intensity cards and adding a little bit of love to them. Smile

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aspec2



Joined: 10 Apr 2006
Posts: 548


TV/Projector: Maquee 8500


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 4:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Get cable, use firewire.

Walt
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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 6:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

WanMan, WTF are you even talking about? I didn't say the output was compressed - I said it was UNCOMPRESSED! That's the goddamn problem! The DVI on your TS160's, as well as any other cable or satellite box with an HDMI or DVI connector is going to be outputting a digital video stream running in the neighborhood of 160 MEGABYTES per second for 1080i or 145 MEGS per second for 720p. How the f*ck are you going to record that with an SATA drive? The answer is you CAN'T. You need a big SCSI or SATA array. At LEAST a 4-drive RAID 0. Blackmagic recommends Ultra 320 SCSI with (6) 10k drives or 4 15k drives. I don't know what you're thinking about recording with an SATA drive, but it AIN'T UNCOMPRESSED HD.

That's why a shitload of guys have resorted to pulling the compressed streams off the box via network, or grabbing the compressed stream out the 1394 port (assuming a cable box) - because there ISN'T a good way to record uncompressed HD on the fly. Period.

SC
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MikeEby



Joined: 24 Jun 2007
Posts: 5236
Location: Osceola, Indiana


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 8:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I agree with SC. The processing power and storage requirements are HUGE...Then we need to get the audio and video back together again. Its just not worth all the effort to watch DBS that already is compressed like crazy.

You could buy a hell of a lot of Bluray disks for the cost of all those drives and hardware.

Mike

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ecrabb
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Joined: 13 Mar 2006
Posts: 15909
Location: Utah

TV/Projector: JVC RS40, Epson 5010


PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yep. Editing and demuxing the uncompressed stream would be all kinds of fun.

Then, I forgot to even mention that you'd likely need/want to use a pro-NLE (non-linear editor) package like Premiere Pro, Final Cut or Avid with the Intensity card. There's another grand (plus). You don't just edit commercials out of an uncompressed HD stream with some freeware or open-source app.

After all that, you'd still have to compress it to an MPEG-2/4 or DiVx stream or something for archiving and playback - which is horrendously CPU-intensive. We're basically talking full-on HD editing and production. You might as well go into business doing HD post work since you'd have $5000 worth of equipment.

This is what I used to hack my Hughes HR10-250 HD Tivo:
http://www.dvrupgrade.com/dvr/stores/1/instantcake.cfm

Then I use VideoRedo to edit the transport streams:
http://www.videoredo.com/en/index.htm

If I really have some time and it's a keeper, then I can make a 'mini HD-DVD', or HD-DVD on DVD-R with Ulead DVD Movie Factory.
http://www.ulead.com/dmf/

SC
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WanMan



Joined: 19 Mar 2006
Posts: 10261



PostLink    Posted: Sun Jan 13, 2008 10:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ecrabb wrote:
WanMan, WTF are you even talking about? I didn't say the output was compressed - I said it was UNCOMPRESSED! That's the goddamn problem! The DVI on your TS160's, as well as any other cable or satellite box with an HDMI or DVI connector is going to be outputting a digital video stream running in the neighborhood of 160 MEGABYTES per second for 1080i or 145 MEGS per second for 720p. How the f*ck are you going to record that with an SATA drive? The answer is you CAN'T. You need a big SCSI or SATA array. At LEAST a 4-drive RAID 0. Blackmagic recommends Ultra 320 SCSI with (6) 10k drives or 4 15k drives. I don't know what you're thinking about recording with an SATA drive, but it AIN'T UNCOMPRESSED HD.

That's why a shitload of guys have resorted to pulling the compressed streams off the box via network, or grabbing the compressed stream out the 1394 port (assuming a cable box) - because there ISN'T a good way to record uncompressed HD on the fly. Period.

SC

No need to get so emotional, SC. Even 200 Megabytes/sec is only 1.6Gbps, right? Are not the SATA][ interfaces capable of 3 Gbps? And would one expect a reasonable return for a RAID 0 striping to add to this performance? I presume this is also capable across the PCI backplane as PCI Express is capable of 8 Gbps.

Of course, I am not speaking from experience, but drawing some naive conclusions based on Bose marketings. Very Happy And no, I didn't stay in a Holiday Inn last night. Thumbs Up

Ok, checking into a Holiday Inn as I write this (not to my HDD):

http://www.tomshardware.com/2007/03/05/understanding-hard-drive-performance/page7.html#write_transfer_rates

It would appear at the time of writing that article there was some considerations of not actually fully utilizing the interface performance, nor the actual write performances being claimed. Also, I have to wonder if they were conducting multi-file write tests instead of just large monolithic writes. I guess this is where RAID-0 comes into play.

If i could generate a large enough file, I could test this. I am building a new PC for the wife, which is based on the Abit AB9 Pro and the Intel Matrix RAID system. I'll be striping two WD 500GB SATA][ drives, but I could also load a couple of additional ones into another striping and conduct a volume-to-volume transfer test to simulate monolithic write performance.

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unkyjoesa



Joined: 13 Dec 2007
Posts: 84
Location: Marion TX


PostLink    Posted: Mon Jan 14, 2008 10:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You can get a component capture card for about $350 no HDCP from DirecTV on component and never will be, its called the analog hole.

The name escapes me but it is Black something.

Check the forums at sagetv.com they are discussing using it now with sage. It is working and since most broadcast stuff is 720p or 1080i they claim they are getting excellent quality off of this card, it does require some tweaking but it is working, check out the Hardware forum, they are discussing this and the Hauppauge USB device there.

Then there is the Hauppauge USB HD Component capture device coming out soon for around $$250, it is all over CES now.

Capturing raw uncompressed HD video requires huge amounts of storage space, but convert that stream to h.264 and it is not such a problem.

I believe direcTV actually uses the h.264 encoding for thier HD stuff now, in other words this is what is in the datastream, they dont compress it at the STB. So Dig to Dig is a bit of a misnomer, the signal has allready been compressed.

One more thing, for SD captures I use the Hauppauge 150pvr card, it is a great little card, and there PVR software is pretty darn good as well.

Hope this helps Smile

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