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Anybody copied Sky+ to PC?

Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by fremar, May 18, 2003.

  1. fremar

    fremar
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    I'm thinking of trying to connect my Sky+ box output to a PC to try and use the copy facility to download to my PC rather than a VCR. I was hoping to eliminate buying an HS2.

    Has anyone got such a setup and if so what are the recommendations for the PC side. i.e. video capture card and software?
     
  2. Starburst

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    I use the SKY+ s-video output to feed my PC's capture card (Leadtek Winfast 2000 XP, around £50) with audio routed to the PC soundcard via my AV amp.

    Apps worth looking at..... Dscaler for image capturing and Power VCR II for video capture. My capture card also comes with it's own apps which are very capable and of course most video editing programs have multimedia capture facilities built in.
     
  3. fremar

    fremar
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    Thanks for the info Starburst, just what I needed

    Whats the quality of the resulting files like? are they suitable for burning onto a DVDR for archiving?
     
  4. Rasczak

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    I have been down this path and whilst the quality was good enough for VCD it is not really upto DVD-R archiving.

    Firstly your PC needs to be pretty good - and I don't just mean parts of it. You ideally need fast DDR RAM, a decent processor (faster the better) and fast HDD with a high sustainable read/write speed. If you don't have this you will start to drop frames.

    And all this before you even think about your capturing device! All the 'affordable' cards are aimed at the home user not someone serious at archiving. Fine for watching on a PC monitor but the quality will be relatively poor when watching on a TV set.

    You'll get much better results (and alot less heart ache) by purchasing an E50 to record from your Sky+ unit in RGB on RAM disks and then copy to your PCs HDD whereby you can edit, add chapters and burn to DVD-R.
     
  5. Starburst

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    I've recently added a Pioneer 105 writer and I am producing some very nice DVD material, just recently I captures "Down Periscope" off the BBC in w/s and put it onto a DVD-R and it looks very nice indeed. Editing the recorded material is a doodle on a PC and is the menus and chaptering but as Rasczak says you do need a reasonable spec PC and a standalone DVD recorder is good alternative but my setup is far from state of the art and I get very good results.

    My little corner of the web for video caps , however due to space limitations they are all mpeg1 or avi. Maybe one day hosting gigabyte sized caps and users have proper broadband will be the norm:)
     
  6. fremar

    fremar
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    Starburst, I've had a look at your video caps and they seem to be decent enough. Do you have any problems with lip sync or dropped frames as pionted out by Rasczak?

    If there is a large amount of post capture editing issues, I will probably look at the easier solution described by Rasczak.

    This would mean more outlay on an E50 and a DVDRAM reader for my PC(any recommendations?) which is precisely what I was hoping to avoid.
     
  7. Starburst

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    During video capture I have no problems with lip sync or dropped frames, obviously my capture card and sound card along with my CPU are more than adequate for this process without the need to invest in £500+ dedicated addon card (Which I would love to do).

    You only have to do as much editing as you want to do, trimming video to remove adverts/titles/replacing audio/adding transitions etc etc.
    Is a standalone DVD recorder (Ram, -R) easier?
    Yes it is and I would assume a unit with an integrated HD recorder would vastly improve it's capabilities. Certainly buying a standalone is far more future proof than buying PC hardware and of course within a few minutes all the family can use it, you can't say the same about a PC based system :)
     
  8. Rasczak

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    If you already have a DVD burner then you may not have to invest in a RAM reader. Both my laptop and desktop PCs read RAM disks (which I was quite surprised with considering I didn't make any mention to it when I ordered them). Failing that you can get a cheapy Toshiba DVD-ROM drive for around £35 that will read RAM disks no problem (just remove them from the caddy). If you don't already have a DVD burner I suggest looking at the Panasonic or LG 'Multi' burners that burn to DVD-RW/-R, CD-RW/-R as well as reading DVD-RAMs.
     
  9. Rasczak

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    If you do opt for the 'PC as a PVR' then have a look at this article on Toms Hardware page:

    http://www6.tomshardware.com/video/20010524/index.html

    This 3 part article will give you an idea of all the considerations you need to think about.

    Whatever if you do opt for archiving down this road ensure your capturing device has RGB in (S-Video is inferior) and ensure it can handle full resolution video (many home user capture devices reduce the resolution to fall within a suitable data transfer rate).
     
  10. fremar

    fremar
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    Rasczak
    Having digested all the info I recieved from this thread, I've decided to go with a standalone solution.

    Now whats it to be? An E50 + a DVD-RAM reader? or an HS2 + a DVD-RAM reader?

    If I go for the first option, how difficult is it to remove adverts etc on a PC.
     
  11. DaveP

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    Go for an HS2, you won't need a Ram reader. Record to the HDD and then edit. Dub to DVD-R and bob's yer uncle!

    DaveP
     
  12. Rasczak

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    I don't think you'll regret this decision - it makes life so much easier. I am a great fan of using the PC to author the title but not to capture it.

    Well I'm sure I don't need to tell you that the HS2 is the better machine - it goes without saying. It's more flexible in that you can do all the editting on the HDD, then copy to DVD-RAM whereby you can transfer the files to your PC and author. You can also burn off DVD-Rs of your recordings quickly (for sharing your recordings). The HS2 will also allow slightly better picture quality as you will loose the adverts etc on the HDD meaning the core programme is copied onto the RAM disk taking up the whole 4.7GB.

    The E50 shouldn't be immediately discounted though - it is £150 cheaper. It is relatively easy to get PC editting software - there is tons about some of which is free. Thus you could record to RAM disks and either edit on your PC (which would avoid lip sync troubles) or edit on the E50 and use VirtualDub to realign audio. If you have the time this is a perfectly acceptable solution (in fact in some cases editting facilities can be much better than the HS2) but bear in mind it WILL TAKE TIME.

    Personally I use the HS2 and PC DVD burner solution. I work away alot so time is (relatively) short. I used to use the E20 and PC DVD burner which was quite acceptable (the lack of RGB input on this early model was the main reason I upgraded).

    What do I suggest? Well if you have limited time (i.e. you don't see this becoming a hobby) go for the HS2/DVD burner. If time is no issue go for the E50/PC DVD burner. But my bottom line would be if cost is no issue go for the HS2/DVD burner.

    I should add anywhen in the post you can substitute HS2 for the Toshiba RX3 - they have exactly the same functions (bar JPEG reader).

    You should have no worries here - there is loads of video editting software about. Some of it is very powerful as well.
     
  13. Rasczak

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    Thats very true and I'll just emphasis that just incase you didn't realise fremar. The HS2 (or Toshiba version) is an 'all-in-one' solution - you can record to HDD or DVD-RAM and dub to DVD-R. There's no need for anything else.

    Of course having a PC burner as well enables you to add custom menus, add subtitles and all the other tweaks/fancy tricks that can be done on a PC etc.
     
  14. fremar

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    Thanks a lot to everyone who contributed, but especially Rasczak.

    An Hs2 or Tosh it is then. I'll put a DVD-RAM reader on my Fathers Day wish list.
     

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