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Archiving Sky+

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by adwhitworth, Jan 9, 2004.

  1. adwhitworth

    adwhitworth
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    I have been looking for ways of getting some of our stuff we really want to keep from Sky+ on to a PC. It doesn't have to be burned to a CD or DVD but will stay on the HDD. I know that you have to play it back so the encryption stuff isn't a problem.

    I was looking at a Shuttle barebones and wondered what the easiest, cheapest but trying to keep the quality way was.

    Any ideas?:cool: :)
     
  2. AndyH

    AndyH
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  3. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    The Cameo looks very promising. I curretly use a Vidac Vmagic hardware MPEG1/2 encoder from http://www.vmagic.de connected to Sky+ via s-video.
    When used at DVD quality the output is exactly as the original, viewed on 42inch plasma, and is already in MPEG2 format for archiving to DVD if required.
    It ignores Macrovision,so even box office can be successfully copied, and also acts as a hardware transcoder to convert .VOB files to MPEG1 (VCD) or MPEG2 at lower bitrate for DVD-R in less than real time.
    As it is hardware encoder, a low spec PC is adequate even for DVD quality capture.
     
  4. adwhitworth

    adwhitworth
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    How much are these and can they be sourced from a UK Supplier?
     
  5. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    You need to be careful here.

    You will generally find two types of capture/encoder.

    The Terratec is a software encoder. It uses your PC to do the MPEG encoding. Results can be reasonable to good but not good enough for me.

    The Vmagic is a hardware encoder (hence cost of £299 euros - about £200). It uses the onboard encoder to encode in realtime into MPEG2. As stated the results are generally better. You get what you pay for.

    I have tried the following with success:

    I have a £30 capture card (has the Philips SA7130 chip). I use software called virtualdub to capture the svideo input on my capture card as AVI format to my HD. I then use TMPGenc (more software) to encode it to MPEG2. This is the only satisfactory way I have found of doing it on the cheap using software.

    As you can imagine this takes a lot of time and I have given up doing it because I have a life.

    Choices are all dependant on much spare time you have and how much you want to pay.
     
  6. adwhitworth

    adwhitworth
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    Thanks for the info. :) I do not need to convert to MPEG since it won't go on to DVD's but can the quality still be kept with AVI?
     
  7. drummerjohn

    drummerjohn
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    Problem with AVI is file size. 10mins = approx 2gb. Thats why MPEG compression is used.

    I should have mentioned that instead of spending at least £200 on a hardware MPEG2 encoder you could just get yourself a DVDrecorder deck which not only will encode in MPEG2 realtime but will burn it too DVD for you. Problems with that are you wont be able to record Macrovison protected programmes.
     
  8. adwhitworth

    adwhitworth
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    Cool. The VMagic card looks interesting. Which one is it you actually need just for capturing (don't need TV tuner) and are they available to buy in the UK?
     
  9. gab2001uk

    gab2001uk
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    I also have a Phillips DVDR1000 DVD recorder, which has been shelved. The idea is OK but they are unreliable and get progressively worse with age. Mine will now give disc errors nearly every time it is used. Sky+ is the business.

    The Vidac card is only available from the German website. Email them in English sales@vmagic.de and they will give instructions how to purchase by direct bank transfer.

    The TV version is PAL-G so the sound is not available in the UK. If I were buying again I would get the VMagic Movie Ultra, as it does all you need, including transcoding, and has a Plug-In for Adobe Premier as well.

    Regards time and effort involved to make an archive, capture in real-time, run through PVAstrumento to correct errors (select input/output file and click start about 5 mins) load into Ulead DVD Workshop, ignore menus etc and select Make Disc (5 mins + burning time). If you had no intention of producing a disc, then no further processing is required, simply leave the files on HDD, at approx 3GB per hour, depending on your chosen quality (or burn to DVD as data) and view with PowerDVD, Media Player etc.
     

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