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Decision time - My PC as PVR for sky+ or buy seperate PVR?

Discussion in 'Desktop & Laptop Computers Forum' started by Triggaaar, Sep 17, 2005.

  1. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    EDIT - ignore the misleading reference to PVR - sky+ will do all my recording, I'm just looking at a backup option.

    Before I go through my situation, will the new HD sky+ change any of this (ie, will it have a MUCH larger HD, or have different audio/video outputs)?

    My V1 sdi sky+ box can only record 20hours (not sure changing hard drive is worth it, given limitations of V1 boxes). I want to either record the sky+ programs to my PC, or a HDD-DVD recorder (I won't use either for dvd playback).

    Using my PC:
    PC is 10 metres away. I will have a video cable and 1 audio cable from the PC to the Plasma anyway. My soundcard has SPDIF in. Plenty of HDD space.
    To enable the PC to record and playback, I'll need:
    Video capture card (like Haupage)
    10m S-video or RGB cable to PC
    10m SPDIF dig coax (I realise it won't be able to record 5.1)
    optical to spdif converter
    Some software for playback (DScaler? - is this free, or how much?)
    Not sure what software I'd need to capture the audio at the same time as video?

    or

    Buy a HDD/DVD recorder
    Short cables to it, and back.

    Any suggestions on which I should do (and answers to the missing info above)?

    Thanks
     
  2. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Ok, I'm thinking I should use my PC.

    What card do I need to capture the sky+ output? Looking at the Haupage website, the products seem to have tuners of sorts, and PVR capabilities. I just want to capture the output from my sky+ recordings, like a vcr would, for archiving.
     
  3. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    Hi Trigaar

    as you have SDI already on your Sky box, why not use an SDI capture card to get lossless recording on to hard disc?

    this will go over the 10m distance no problem, you just need to look at getting your audio across.

    for software, as you are looking at archiving then iuVCR is a good starting point, it supports realtime compression, though you will need a lot of disc space. However, using a PC solution you can edit adverts etc etc and have full control over the resulting recording.

    A seperate DVD recorder is of course a much simpler solution, but less powerful.

    best regards
     
  4. Triggaaar

    Triggaaar
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    Hi David, thanks. One problem with SDI, is that I'd have to change the cable over every time I use it, as the sky SDI is going to my Lumagen, and I like it that way, as the TV (plasma) can be used by anyone without thought, even if the PC is playing games elsewhere. I know that the PC can do all your processing needs, but I made the decision to use traditional boxes a year ago, and I want to keep things that way - except for archiving, because I can do it once a month, rather than everyone having to rely on the PC all the time.

    Is iuVCR the software I'd want?

    Do you have any cards that capture the other sky outputs (s-vid & RGB I think)?
    I don't particularly want to pay extra for tuners I don't plan on using, but it is an option I guess. What sort of aerial do PC tuners need (it's going under the stairs).
     
  5. David PluggedIn

    David PluggedIn
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    no problem.

    The SDI issue is easily solved, a passive splitter can be obtained for less than £50 which will give you dual outputs from your Sky box, so no cable swapping.

    We certainly do have cards that will capture the analogue outputs, if you look for SweetSpot on these forums you will see loads of references to it..However, as you already have SDI, then that is the best possible format to use for archiving, and the extra costs of a spliter are probably offset by the money saved on cabling!

    finally, yes you are right, you dont want a card with tuners etc built in, they are not up to the quality that you are used to on your existing setup.

    if you need any more information then please feel free to drop me a line.

    cheers
     

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