Are Hauppauge cards the best for capturing from DTV?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by kev, May 17, 2004.

  1. kev

    kev Guest

    I've heard good things about the Hauppauge TV Tuner cards, but I'd like
    some advice from those who have experience capturing from sat tv.
    A friend of mine used one of the Canopus converters to capture from
    Satellite and the videos looked somewhat soft--loss of sharpness, I assume
    it's because of the extra DV compression. So, I think it would be best to
    capture with an excellent TV tuner card using HuffyUV, and capture the audio
    seperately to another HD so as to avoid sync problems, would that be the way
    to do it?


    Another question:

    Is there a need for filters on a Satellite capture? Being that a video
    captured from sat tv is 'clean', why would there be a need to apply noise
    filters? Can it just go directly into dvd burning?

    Thank you in advance.
     
    kev, May 17, 2004
    #1
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  2. I am about to scream, but alas, the DTV in that, the D stands for DIGITAL
    So, and the DIGIOTAL is in MPEG2 format.
    AND you can record that directlky to disk as a DIGITAL signal.
    So I never want to hear about this HuffyUV again, comprendere?


    Your authoring program would at least have to accept the MPEG2 and the
    digital audio, since I dunno where you are, AC3 in the US should work.
    In Europe it is mainly mp2

    Some DVD authoring programs may want to demux, that will make the process
    slow.
    The Hauppauge cards like the Nexus are OK, but they may change spec without
    notice.
    I can only speak for European DTV.

    If you use a converter to first get analog from the sat receiver, then encode
    it again in real time to mpeg2, you always lose quality.

    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 17, 2004
    #2
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  3. kev

    Ken Maltby Guest

    I can't speak to European DTV, but the DirecTv that is provided
    to the USA is not totally DVD compliant. So far, the "Digital" part
    is not easily available to a consumer. Even the "Linux" based "TY
    Files" that are placed on a "DirecTiVo" unit's hard drive, which are
    basically just the digital satellite signal and are MPEG in nature, are
    not DVD compliant, as I understand it.

    It would be great if an actual Digital Video output were provided
    from the satellite receiver, but I haven't seen any that do. It would
    be even better if you could input the same kind of digital signal back
    to the DTR's decoder, for playback. Then you could transfer the
    digital signal to your PC for manipulation/editing and storage; in
    some format that you would be able to playback as the original
    digital signal.

    For now at least, the "Digital MPEG" satellite signal must be
    "decoded" into an analog signal, before it is available to the user.
    (There are hardware and software "hacks" but not for many of
    the satellite boxes in use, including the "DirecTiVo units.)

    This isn't as bad as you might think, as the analog signal provided
    is consistently of a very high quality and makes for very good
    captures direct to MPEG.

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, May 17, 2004
    #3
  4. kev

    Jay Chan Guest

    I've heard good things about the Hauppauge TV Tuner cards, but I'd like
    I have just installed a Hauppauge PVR-250 / Beyond-TV combo in my
    Pentium 4 1.5GHz PC (from Dell) on last Saturday to capture TV shows
    from DirecTV. If I set the video quality to "Good", I can see that the
    picture can be a bit soft. But if I set the video quality to "Best", I
    can see that the picture becomes sharp; actually, I should say it is
    sharp "enough" for me; my eyes are just not that good to tell the
    difference between a very good picture and a very-very-very good
    picture. I have not tried the two "DVD Quality" video capturing
    settings yet; I don't know if these two settings will be better or
    less than the "Best" setting.

    Hauppauge PVR-350 comes with a S-video output port, and it comes with
    hardware MPEG decoder. But I heard that Beyond-TV doesn't support that
    port (as of now not sure if it supports it in the next version), and
    it costs more than PVR-250. If you intend to keep your video card, you
    may consider getting the PVR-350. But you need to compare the cost of
    buying Hauppauge PVR-350 and Beyond-TV separately, and the cost of
    buying the combo of Hauppauge PVR-250 with Beyond-TV. The latter
    option is much cheaper. You will have to work out the numbers.

    I don't know anything about HuffyUV.

    I don't know anything about capturing video and audio separately. I
    just use the "default" setting, and I don't hear anything unusual
    about the audio. But I am no audio-expert.
    I don't know. Hopefully, experts in this area can help you with these.

    Hope you will get your PC-PVR working soon. As of my PVR, I am still
    testing it. At this point, I am not sure whether I should recommend it
    or not to other people. But I know it works for me, and I intend to
    keep it (and retire the VCR).

    Jay Chan
     
    Jay Chan, May 17, 2004
    #4
  5. No. Get a Canopus ADVC (I have the 100 one) along with good quality
    cables (I have MIT cables, see www.mitcables.com). If you are going
    to be editing and burning onto DVDs, you really want to capture to DV
    anyway. I don't think the Hauppauge's do that.

    K
     
    Kiriakos Georgiou, May 17, 2004
    #5
  6. kev

    Morrmar Guest

    Dish Network is exactly the same. The signal is mpeg'd in some weird
    format that is totally unusable in it's native form and is unavailable
    to the end user.
    I think even with the Tivo hacks, the raw mpeg data is not available to
    the end user. Even if it was, it would still have to be re-encoded to
    DVD format to be burnable so you're still going to have to re-encode.
    Absolutely. I have seen no info on any built in filters for the Hauppage
    or any other video capture cards in the consumer range for that matter.
    They're simply not needed for satellite transmissions. The disadvantage
    of using the Hauppauge cards is the data is automatically mpeg'd so
    anything beyond basic slice and dice editing available with Womble or
    other MPEG editors is exceedingly difficult. The advantage of using the
    Hauppage cards is if the computer being used is underpowered or has
    limitied disk space, then the hardware encoder takes the processing
    strain off the processor and automatically encoding to mpeg saves disk
    space.

    Jan's comprende' comment aside, I always capture uncompressed Huffy avi
    to my hd, edit/manipulate with Premier Pro and encode in dual pass vbr
    mode with ProCoder. I'm exceedingly happy with the results. Nothing like
    adding video/audio fades, crawling/rolling titles and adding my own
    commercials before encoding to DVD's for viewing. <g>
     
    Morrmar, May 17, 2004
    #6
  7. kev

    Hactar Guest

    HuffyUV

    I've seen this written this way several times in this thread. I believe
    it's "HuffYUV", as in "Huff" from "Huffman coding" and "YUV" like the color
    model.
     
    Hactar, May 17, 2004
    #7
  8. On a sunny day (Mon, 17 May 2004 13:26:18 -0500) it happened "Ken Maltby"
    For a card like the Nexus http://www.hauppauge.de/prod_nexus_s.htm
    there exist software both for MS windows and Linux to record mpeg2.
    One such soft program for windows is Multidec.
    One for Linux is VDR
    The signal is transmitted in what is called 'transport stream'.
    This is a sequential stream with in it audio (ac3 or mp2, depends
    on where you are), and mpeg2, and other info.
    Some of these programs DO have an option to extract the mpeg2.
    In fact you can go much further, I use for example a SkyStar1 card,
    a lot like the nexus, and on http://ip51cf87c4.direct-adsl.nl/panteltje/dvd/
    you can see how I can record 8 PIDS at the time in Linux, and author to
    DVD all digitally of cause (and network broadcast too).
    Some simple tools to extract the mpeg2 or pes, or demux are there too.
    Using the nexus there should be no need to go analog.
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 17, 2004
    #8
  9. No offence ment.
    I write my own subs, and add these, with effects if needed, to the digital
    mpeg2, but in such a case I demultiplex (to mpv es).
    http://ip51cf87c4.direct-adsl.nl/panteltje/subtitles/
    In fact I made many many DivX 720x576 CDR in the past from the sat stream.
    Womble should work OK on the video stream, but the version I tried
    lost AV sync on the mpeg2 pes (av bitrate problem?), no prob, I process
    sound separately, decode the mp2 here, make multichannel multiple languages
    (in sync !) and add subtitles and for that recode to AC3 if more then just
    2 channels.
    See also the link to my DVD page from there.
    For the US stuff... I have not done it, cannot get it here, but
    NTSC or PAL pes should both work.
    I have feedback from the states from people using the stuff I wrote that
    it works there too, so I believe that.
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 17, 2004
    #9
  10. : I've heard good things about the Hauppauge TV Tuner cards, but I'd like
    : some advice from those who have experience capturing from sat tv.
    : A friend of mine used one of the Canopus converters to capture from
    : Satellite and the videos looked somewhat soft--loss of sharpness, I assume

    What signal does Satellite give you? If it gives an analog signal, then you
    should avoid Hauppauge 'cause their analog to digital converters are conexant.
    Conexant are not very good converters. I did compare Hauppauge WinTV with
    Huffyuv to Pinnacle DV500 DV and sure enough Pinnacle gave MUCH better quality.
    Canopus should be even better than Pinnacle.

    Another opportunity is to take Philips based TV Tuner card.

    However, if the signal is digital and Hauppauge card takes a digital signal as
    it is, then go with Hauppauge 'cause their drivers are pretty good.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, May 18, 2004
    #10
  11. kev

    Phil Guest

    Phil, May 18, 2004
    #11
  12. kev

    kev Guest

    Yes, analog.

    I guess I didn't research the Hauppauge cards enough. Actually what I want
    to do is capture *uncompressed* avi from the receiver to my HD, edit if
    necessary, then encode with something like TMPGenc or Procoder 2. Like I
    said, the video from DTV that he captured using a Canopus converter wasn't
    as sharp as it could've been. It didn't look terrible, but he was hoping to
    get a much better quality capture. We even saw some light artifacts during
    motion.

    Also, I'm not really trying to create a TiVo like set up, it's just for a
    few recordings now and then. So a simple card with no software will do, i
    guess.
    which is the best one in your opinion?

    Thanks
     
    kev, May 18, 2004
    #12
  13. kev

    kev Guest

    Morrmar, do you have access to binary groups? is there any way you could
    post a small sample of an mpeg2 clip from a sat capture?
     
    kev, May 18, 2004
    #13
  14. kev

    Morrmar Guest

    Morrmar, do you have access to binary groups? is there any way you
    could

    Yes, but without the original uncompressed file to compare it to, I
    doubt it'll give you the info you need to make an objective comparison.
    I'm jammed up now but in a couple of days, I'll record something off HBO
    and put up a small clip in alt.binaries.test.

    I'm getting ready to swear off Usenet for a while. <g>
     
    Morrmar, May 18, 2004
    #14
  15. One thing you might want to consider is time. Capturing to DV might
    sound nice but the time spent editing and then re encoding for DVD will
    equal that of the show you recorded where as if you capture in DVD
    bitrate and resolution you can make some quick cuts in the mpeg with
    Womble Mpeg Video Wizard, copy it back to disk and author the DVD right
    away.
     
    Chris Phillipo, May 18, 2004
    #15
  16. Confirmed, I use it all the time, there is even a statically linked
    Linux version.
    JP
     
    Jan Panteltje, May 18, 2004
    #16
  17. : I guess I didn't research the Hauppauge cards enough. Actually what I want
    : to do is capture *uncompressed* avi from the receiver to my HD, edit if

    Why uncompressed? Use Huffyuv! I actually tried uncompressed RGB with my
    older Hauppauge WinTV card and found that Huffyuv gives far better quality.

    : said, the video from DTV that he captured using a Canopus converter wasn't
    : as sharp as it could've been. It didn't look terrible, but he was hoping to
    : get a much better quality capture. We even saw some light artifacts during
    : motion.

    Well, I'm pretty sure you can tweak settings to make it sharp. I don't believe
    that Canopus wouldn't give you such an opportunity.

    :> Another opportunity is to take Philips based TV Tuner card.
    :>
    : which is the best one in your opinion?

    I have FlyVideo 3000FM. And I use it with:
    Native Philips drivers
    Fly2000 capture software that was designed for this card.

    This capture software is $25 and can work in 2 modes:
    1. Native WDM drivers - less control with this mode. Same as iu_vcr or VirtualVCR.
    2. Direct mode - bypassing some of the WDM drivers capabilities. This gives
    much more control and options such as GAIN.

    The only problem is that the USA TV Tuner is only working if you install
    LifeView drivers and use WDM mode. However, s-video and composite work fine.

    A year ago I was also thinking what to get:
    Canopus ADVC or Philips based capture card. I went with Philips 'cause Canopus
    didn't support SECAM format. And I needed it. Now they support it, but I don't
    think I'll go with Canopus set up unless they have a really better ADC.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, May 19, 2004
    #17
  18. : One thing you might want to consider is time. Capturing to DV might
    : sound nice but the time spent editing and then re encoding for DVD will
    : equal that of the show you recorded where as if you capture in DVD
    : bitrate and resolution you can make some quick cuts in the mpeg with
    : Womble Mpeg Video Wizard, copy it back to disk and author the DVD right
    : away.

    Capturing in MPEG-2 in realtime with a capture card is a very bad idea. You win
    in time - you lose in quality. If time is important, than get Canopus card
    that capture directly in MPEG-2. However, one trick. It only captures in MPEG-2
    so you won't be able to separate streams. When I author DVDs, very offten I
    need an uncompressed LPCM soundtrack. With Canopus card that captures in MPEG-2
    you can't do that.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, May 19, 2004
    #18
  19. kev

    Ken Maltby Guest

    Oh to the contrary, Leonid; it's a very GOOD idea, if done
    properly with good equipment. Capturing a DTV source it is
    even more so, as the analog output is quite clean and compresses
    well.

    Capturing to MPEG-2 does not preclude essential streams, or
    capturing video and audio separately. I don't know if the OP's
    card/capture software can or not, but my old Adaptec AVC-2000
    with Movie Mill (260 version) can. Even if not, I'm unaware of
    any significant loss associated with de-muxing a MPEG sys/prog
    stream.

    I don't know why you would "need" uncompressed LPCM, but
    it wouldn't be my choice for the audio on a DVD made from the
    output of a satellite receiver. If for no other reason than it takes
    up an enormous amount of space.

    The softening effects the OP's friend saw from the Canopus card,
    probably come from the settings for its extensive prefiltering set
    of features. It even has a TBC component.

    Luck;
    Ken
     
    Ken Maltby, May 19, 2004
    #19
  20. : Oh to the contrary, Leonid; it's a very GOOD idea, if done
    : properly with good equipment. Capturing a DTV source it is
    : even more so, as the analog output is quite clean and compresses
    : well.

    You're going to have a software compression. If your system powerful enough,
    I guess you could do it with just your regular TV Tuner. But I haven't seen
    such systems. Mine is Athlon 1.2GHz and I can successfully capture in MPEG-2
    at 352x480 (not 704x480) in WinDVD MPEG-2 codecs. The only problem is that
    the video is not going to be interlaced.

    : I don't know why you would "need" uncompressed LPCM, but
    : it wouldn't be my choice for the audio on a DVD made from the
    : output of a satellite receiver. If for no other reason than it takes
    : up an enormous amount of space.

    You may not need it capturing from satellite receiver, but if you decide to
    capture from other sources like LaserDisc, it is a good idea to have an audio
    uncompressed.

    --Leonid
     
    Leonid Makarovsky, May 20, 2004
    #20
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