Can I turn my PC into a DVR?

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by maril, May 10, 2004.

  1. maril

    maril Guest

    I have a P4 3ghz PC with more than enough memory, HD space, and a DVD-RW.
    What else would I need to be able to record directly from, say, a satellite
    TV feed, then encode for DVD creation? What would be the best capture device
    for digital (satellite) and analog sources?

    Is the quality better doing it the PC way, or is it pretty much the same as
    using a standalone dvd recorder?

    Isn't a satellite video already encoded to mpeg2?

    Thanks in advance
    maril, May 10, 2004
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  2. maril

    Morrmar Guest

    I have a P4 3ghz PC with more than enough memory, HD space, and a
    All you would need would be a capture card. See here:

    I use an ATI All In Wonder card but if I were buying a new card I would
    probably get a Canopus ADVC-100. It all depends on how much you want to
    spend and whether you want to use it for digital video from a camera in
    addtion to capturing form the satellite.
    The final quality of the burn will be the same so since you already have
    a DVD-RW there is no reason to go out and buy a standalone unit.
    From DirectTV and Dish, yes. From a big dish C-Band system, no. If you
    subscribe to Direct or Dish, a better option would be to use one of
    their Tivo, or in the case of Dish Tivo-like, units instead of your
    computer. They have many more features and are quite a bit less
    troublesome than PC's configured for DVR usage. They can be had for free
    or $99 depending on who the provider is. Peronally, I use Dish's DVR to
    record shows and those I want to burn to disk, I capture on my PC with
    the AIW card, edit out the commercials and then burn.
    Morrmar, May 10, 2004
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  3. maril

    George Guest

    Get the DVD Xpress from ADS Technologies. It works via the USB port. Saw this at
    the Showbiz Expo in New York and it is fantastic. Variable bit rate (1 to 15
    Mb/s) allow you to select how much you will record vs the quality level. Even at
    the lowest setting the picture was more than acceptable. Even allows for title
    screens and menus as if you were authoring without any rendering needed. Costs
    less than $100 on the street.

    George, May 10, 2004
  4. maril

    Keith Clark Guest

    Keith Clark, May 10, 2004
  5. A satellite PCI card.
    For analog TV you will need an anolg TV card...
    Satellite in Europe (dunno where you are) is digital, and transmits in mpeg2.
    There is no quality loss.

    How to make multilanguage DVDs from digital sat transmissions in Europe
    using Linux OS is shown on my webpages:

    Jan Panteltje, May 10, 2004
  6. maril

    maril Guest

    So when you capture onto your PC from your Dish's DVR it's more like a
    transfer (no conversion), correct?

    maril, May 10, 2004
  7. maril

    maril Guest

    Thank you all for your help.
    maril, May 10, 2004
  8. maril

    maril Guest

    Please excuse my ignorance but what the heck is a big dish C-Band system?
    maril, May 10, 2004
  9. maril

    Morrmar Guest

    So when you capture onto your PC from your Dish's DVR it's more like a
    Yes. But when I burn it to DVD, then it's converted to DVD format. And a
    C-Band satellite system is when you use a big dish, about 12-16 feet in
    diameter, to receive the satellite signal. Cleanest signal you can get.
    Unfortunately, it's a dying technology for home users.
    Morrmar, May 10, 2004
  10. maril

    Ken Maltby Guest

    "Morrmar" I think you may have given "Maril" the impression that
    you are "transferring" MPEG off your DVR, as MPEG; instead of as
    an analog (probably S-Video) signal. I should point out that this is
    usually a very high quality analog signal, with very little if any noise.

    The quality of your source has a major impact on many parameters
    of your capture; not just image and audio quality but also the size of
    the capture file and efficiency of the encoding process.

    Ken Maltby, May 11, 2004
  11. maril

    Morrmar Guest

    "Morrmar" I think you may have given "Maril" the impression that

    Didn't mean to imply that at all but reading it back now, I see that
    might be the impression. To my knowledge, there is no way to take the
    raw mpeg data from any sat system and effectively use it without some
    type of re-encoding.
    I capture uncompressed AVI from the S-Video out of the Dish sat and
    encode with ProCoder. I occasionally capture AVI from the composite
    output of my C-Band system (which is not compressed) and encode with
    ProCoder. On my 32" Sony, it's indistiguishable from the Dish capture
    but on my brother's 65" monster, it's quite a bit better. If it wasn't a
    dying technology, I'd invest in a newer C-band system (my current system
    is over 13 years old) with S-video out as a larger screen size is
    definitely in my future.
    Morrmar, May 11, 2004
  12. maril

    maril Guest

    Thank you Ken
    maril, May 13, 2004
  13. maril

    maril Guest

    I didn't know you could use one of the Canopus AVCs to capture from
    satellite, I thought I would need a TV tuner/whatever, but as you
    recommended I'm looking into the Canopus ADVC-100. But if I decide on the
    cheaper ADVC-50 ( I found a great deal under $130), would that work just the
    same? (it has an S-Video input also), as I'm really only doing old VHS to
    DVD, AND capturing from DTV or Dish to create DVDs.
    maril, May 13, 2004
  14. maril

    Brian Guest

    All you need is a TV Tuner card and Ulead DVD Movie Factory.
    Make sure your hard drive spins at 7200rpm.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, May 13, 2004
  15. maril

    Morrmar Guest

    cheaper ADVC-50 ( I found a great deal under $130), would that work
    just the
    If it has an S-video input, it'll work just fine. Just make sure that it
    can also _output_ analog data as well, as you don't want to take the
    signal from the sat, compress it to DV format and then re-compress it to
    DVD format. The best thing about these cards is they have a feature that
    locks the audio to the video so you don't have synchronization problems
    that frequently happen with older VHS tapes. Good luck!
    Morrmar, May 13, 2004
  16. maril

    wilzon Guest

    Hi, I also wish to record directly on to my pc, so my question is: isn't the
    capture with an advc-100 an AVI that then needs to be compresssed to mpeg2?
    can you explain to me why you would need it to be able to 'output' analog as


    BTW, i have the advc-50 and it only has an s-video input.
    wilzon, May 15, 2004
  17. maril

    Morrmar Guest

    If it has an S-video input, it'll work just fine. Just make sure
    that it
    I don't have the card but I was under the impression that not only could
    it encode to DV-AVI, which is a compressed format, but it could also
    output uncompressed RGB AVI files as well. Their website mentions
    720X480 analog output in it's specs. So, as I said above, the original
    signal would only be compressed once (when converting to DVD), not

    So it only outputs with composite or RF connectors? That would not be
    good from a quality standpoint.
    Morrmar, May 15, 2004
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