How to record from camera to PVR directly?

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by flyerkaz, Feb 21, 2013.

  1. flyerkaz

    flyerkaz
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    Hey guys, I know this may seem simple to you super tech-savy AV guys but I have a unique problem I'm trying to solve and hopefully you can help me.

    I own and run a flying trapeze business in Athens GA, Leap Trapeze and we are looking to get a set up where we have a camera recording the person doing the trapeze live, have it feed to a PVR/DVR/other device for the instructor to then rewind, play, pause, use slo-mo, etc.. to help critique the person who just went.

    Does that make sense? As an example, in the last trapeze school I taught at, they had a little rolling cart with a small flat screen TV, a tripod with old DV video camera (no tape inside) and an old Tivo box (no subscription)...

    The camera had the AV cables running directly to the tivo box, and from the tivo box to the TV. It was great except for two things; because we didn't have a tivo subscription, we could only record and go back the buffer amount (30 min).. and we couldn't save anything. Which was fine at the time because the person would come down after their turn, go over to the instructor that was running the tivo and he would replay their turn for them to help critique them. that would all happen within 5-6 min window.... but anything older than 30 min would automatically get deleted.

    Second, because it was an older camera and tivo set... the quality sucked.. (def not HD..lol)


    So what I'm looking to do is... connect an HD camera (feel free to suggest a good one here also) to a device (PVR/DVR/whatever) that will record the feed coming from the camera, and enable me to rewind, pause and have slow-mo to help me critique the flyer on a small HD flatscreen TV. I also would like to save the video for future use and to also have the ability to record from the PVR/DVR/whatever to another device (USB flash drive, iPhone, laptop) so that it can be shared or uploaded to youtube.

    I've thought about just getting a CCTV security system but in looking at those sample vids, the recording and video quality just sucks.. its all choppy and grainy.. I want clarity, color and smooth HD video. If there is a way to do it this way though... I'm all ears...

    Another thing, I know I can do this with a desktop computer but I don't want to drop that kind of money on a PC if all Im doing is recording and saving video... it just seems like too much of a tool for a simple task.. but again, I may be able to be talked into it if its easy or cheap enough.

    Also, this whole setup must be portable (fit on a rolling media cart) as the trapeze school is an outdoor activity so the cart will need to be rolled in and out of our office for use.


    So please AV Gods! Help me in my quest to solve my AV riddle! :smashin:


    Kaz
     
  2. nvingo

    nvingo
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    I know it won't be the cheapest option, but I would suggest a SLR camera (which can do the HD video bit) *connected* to a laptop computer.
    This is the kind of setup that photography studios (including those that travel to schools to do pupil portraits) use for stills. I would have thought it could be adapted to your purpose.
    The HD video files could be stored on the HDD (and archived to network when in the office) or written to DVDR - either as PC files or AVCHD (playback in most bluray machines).
    There may be second-user kit from a studio that's upgrading.
     
  3. flyerkaz

    flyerkaz
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    interesting... and a hella expensive setup! lol..

    I see though how that could work well though... one questions about that... would I be able to stream the content live? and can it still be recording while I look at previous stuff?

    I've been doing more research and have just a few more questions..

    I've been looking at security dvr's and I'm wondering if maybe these will work?
    Is it possible to hook up a "regular" camera to a 4 channel security dvr? I ask because all the security cameras I see have really choppy video and not really clear... I need at least 30fps to capture action and fast motion... 60fps if I could get it so the slo-mo will look better...

    I ask because I can find 4 channel security DVRs on ebay for sub-$200 all day... if I could hook up a camera and TV and have it work that would be great.. a nice bonus is all the security dvrs include remotes for playback and such.

    Look forward to hearing from you guys!

    Kaz
     
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2013
  4. Mark uk

    Mark uk
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    Security cameras are low definition and you get what you pay for to be honest.
    If it was me and I had no budget constraints I would buy a Panasonic or Lumix AVCHD camera recorder and a Panasonic PVR/DVD to do the recording but it wont be cheap. I think a good definition is essential for you.
    The good thing is they both will be compatible and do what you want.
    You would be able to do this cheaper secondhand but I dont know which models would be suitable off hand.
     
  5. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    Recording HD directly from a HD camcorder is going to be very hard. Doing it from the digital hdmi output doubly so. Apart from a few htpc video cards no kit will record from HDMI. A pvr won't work because it has no capability to record other than from it's internal tuners, A DVDR will record an external analogue source but only at SD (576i) resolution.

    The easiest way is to use a camcorders HD analogue component outputs paired with a Hauppage HD pvr (it's not a pvr incidentally). These are favoured by HD games console owners to record gameplay in HD.

    See

    Hauppauge Computer Works

    If you want to follow recording from HDMI

    Blackmagic Design: UltraStudio
     
  6. flyerkaz

    flyerkaz
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    Thanks for the response.. I've seen that Hauppage HD dvr and I even called the company to ask if I could do what I wanted to do and they said no.. because theres no hard drive in the unit and it has to be hooked up to a computer...

    Ok so lets say I go with the Hauppage unit... I have a mini DV camera with analogue outputs.. that goes to the Hauppage, and that has a cable going to a TV for passthrough viewing.. and I also need a computer/laptop hooked up to the Hauppage unit to do the actual saving/recording to the hard drive for the video feed yes?

    With this set up, will it still keep recording if I go back to look at previous footage?

    Thanks again!

    Kaz
     
  7. grahamlthompson

    grahamlthompson
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    To record the analogue outputs of a SD DV camera you don't need anything fancy. A standard DVDR with a HDD will do the job. The output will be SD only (576i) as will the recording. You should be able view any part of the ongoing recording while it continues the capture. My answer was based on recording 1080i content from a HD camcorder using H264/AVC in full quality.

    You can easily capture from a DV camcorder in full quality to a PC/Laptop all you need is suitable DV capture software and a firewire port on the PC.

    To do this with a laptop you would normally need a laptop with a express card slot to get a firewire port.

    Example Software

    ScenalyzerLive Page
     
  8. flyerkaz

    flyerkaz
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    Ok so going this route... what DVDR would you recommend as the best for my needs? (keep in mind I'm in the states so no PAL encoding)

    example- would this work? http://www.ebay.com/itm/Hantech-Markus-1TB-HDD-Digital-Video-Recorder-HD-Media-Player-Network-HDMI-USB-/290849660331?pt=US_DVRs_Hard_Drive_Recorders&hash=item43b7fd9dab

    or more something like this? - http://www.amazon.com/Magnavox-MDR535H-Recorder-Tuner-Black/dp/B009L04DCQ/ref=sr_1_8?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1361581203&sr=1-8&keywords=hdd+recorders

    Thanks a ton! You guys have been more than helpful.

    Best,

    Kaz
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  9. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Unless I'm missing something I think you are over complicating what you want to do.

    Why not just get a camcorder that records to an SD card, I see no need to record off the camera. Record the person and when they have finished remove the SD card and put another one in the cam to record the next person. Take the SD card that has the recording to any PC/laptop for playback. You have the SD card as a long term copy and can at any point burn it to DVD/BD as required.

    If you already have a PC/laptop then the only cost is the camcorder and plenty of SD cards.

    This also seems to be more related to camcorders & video editing than PVR's so it may be worth asking a moderator to move the thread to that section of the forum, ie Camcorders & Video Editing | AVForums.com - UK Online

    Mark.
     
  10. Gavtech

    Gavtech
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    Moved as suggested.
     
  11. 12harry

    12harry
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    This enquiry is complicated by the fact OP has a camcorder. Ok it's not the best video quality, but probably good-enough to evaluate the performers.
    Therefore as glt suggest you can use a DVDR to record directly from the camcorder (if this feature is allowed), the HDD recording can be played back either faster or slower (as req'd). In addition you can Edit the HDD recording (but it is destructive).

    Whereas Bob++ suggestion is good if you find you need better definition . . . but you need a camcorder to avoid the 20-min limit imposed with DSLR (DYOR). Also watch that some camcorders (even expensive ones) don't output to the HDMI connector except during playback. The use of flash-memory cards means that the files (one per "take" unlike Tape-based kit), can be editied non-destructively and some camcorders have dual-cards, so you can hand one copy to be edited, while still having a back-up should things go wrong. ((It being impossible to perform the act again, without there being some differences)).
    +SDHC cards load into a PC very quickly compared with tape and no waiting for "rewinds".

    The Market for this type of equipment is small (so v.Expensive) -and yet it's possible it may be available in Universities . . . I'd suggest you try a University that specialises in Sports . . . they will understand and no doubt be a useful contact . . .
     
    Last edited: Feb 23, 2013
  12. Bob++

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    There seems to be some comments missing.

    I don't see that the OP already has a cam (he asks for suggestions) and I think that Mark's solution is the simplest and best. No routine will take 20 minutes, so that's no problem. Just pop a new card into the cam for each one and then use a SD card to USB converter to look at the footage on a laptop. The *.mts files can easily be stored with a meaningful name and kept for easy access, and the cards just recycled.

    1 Record the routine
    2 Take the SD card out and replace it with a clean one
    3 Put the card into the adaptor and copy the *.mts files to a folder with a meaningful name
    3 Wipe the card
    5 Repeat as necessary.

    A further advantage is that really good performances can be edited and saved for future viewing.
     
  13. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I just think that the DVDR or PVR option just makes life a lot more difficault than it needs to be, and far less portable which was stated as being a requirement.
    Transfering a recording from the HDD in a DVDR will be more time consuming than a simple copying of an SD card and of course will only be SD where the OP really wanted HD. If going for a BluRay recorder the cost jumps significantly. But even then you are wasting the recording ability of the camcorder, so why not just use it and make the setup a lot simpler?

    As for what HD camcorder to look for, well I'm out of touch of what is available. But the main feature you really do want to make sure the camcoder has is manual focus - you don't want the camera constantly refocussing as the person you are recording moves into and out of the focus area.

    Mark.
     
  14. flyerkaz

    flyerkaz
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    Hey everyone!

    Thanks again for everyones responses.. I do have some corrections to make so everyone understands the situation a little better.

    I do have an old mini DV camera with the analogue outputs. The HD thing was just in case I wanted to upgrade sometime in the future to be able to record and save the content in HD. It seems if I want to go that route, I'll be spending considerably more for that feature... (like I'll be looking at professional AV tools and equipment/software vs regular consumer grade stuff)

    So for now... I'll just scratch that and maybe in a few years and the current "professional" grade tech trickles down to the common market, then I'll look back into it.. but for now.. its not a necessity.

    I do like the idea of using SD cards for saving and editing the content, but the only downside to that is the manually having to take the cards in and out for each persons turn... and to explain better I'll illustrate how the "tivo" thing worked in a regular trapeze class at my old school.

    When a person took a turn on the trapeze, they were being recorded with the camera feeding to the tivo (only with the 30 min buffer though) and after they landed in the net and came down, they would come to the instructor working the tivo for feedback and critique. The problem with the switching SD cards is, right after the person has come off the net to come to the instructor working tivo, the next flyer would be setting up and going... which is why its important that the camera and tivo would continually record the action. As I'm rewinding and showing the first flyers footage and giving feedback, the second flyer is taking their turn on the trapeze so the camera needs to be recording at the same time I'm showing the first flyers footage.

    Does that make better sense..? So by the time I take out the SD card and plug it in to the computer and begin downloading the video, the second flyer will already be in the air doing their trick.. thereby missing recording of that 2nd flyers turn.

    So to come to a successful conclusion, one of my co-workers bought a ReplayTV DVR and got it to work and also have the ability to save the vids so kickass on that front.

    I do appreciate everyones feedback and suggestions and I do have some very helpful and good info for what I might look for in the future when we want to switch to HD recording and saving.

    Thanks to all who replied and if you wondering what this whole thing was about and what I really do.. heres a great vid of some of my friends flying in NYC.

     
  15. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I takes literally only a few seconds to swap an SD card. So the next person can be filmed throughout their turn without any waiting around.
    The SD card put into a card reader on a PC can be immediately played with no need to transfer the footage to the PC first, so again no delays.

    An HD SD card recording camcorder can be bought from only a couple of hundred $/£/€ so is not an expensive option. Editing of the HD footage can easily be done with cheap consumer level editing software, I use Sony Vegas Movie Studio to do this and that can be bought for under £30. The only expensive part is a BluRay writer and its discs if you want a permanent copy.

    But if you are happy with what you now have then that is fine, just keep this advice in mind if/when you decide to upgrade.

    Oh and I do know all about how a TiVo works as I am still using a series 1 TiVo on a daily basis ;)

    Mark.
     
  16. 12harry

    12harry
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    From that clip, it looks like a nightmare to get anything like a decent image. It might be suitable to show your friends that you are doing well, but to use it to review the action, there is just not enough light. ((Yep I realise that may be due to the original footage and Internet, etc.)).
    So, maybe OP needs to review exactly what he's needing . . and maybe revisit my earlier suggestion (Post#11 last Para), that he makes contact with a University with a "Sports-Science" department.

    I wonder also that OP might be able to improve the lighting, by using IR, possible tiny light-sources near the points of contact (so small the Audience won't see), this could help if the operator needs to use a long lens . . .of course there is no reason a tiny camera like a GoPro couldn't be placed up in the roof (ie near the contact points), this would need some care in operation to retrieve cards!!! - but some cameras do support EyeFi (radio link in the memory-card).
    Much to consider.

    Good luck
     
  17. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Somehow I doubt lighting is going to be too much of an issue for the OP
    :p

    Mark.
     
  18. 12harry

    12harry
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    "not an issue for OP"...? Surely that's a massive problem, since our eyes are able to work over a wide rqange of light levels - but cameras do not like Low-light. To illuminate the "Big Top" would be horendously difficul;t and expensive - I'd suggest at 10kW of halogen lighting might provide some lift, but nothing like enough if the whole tent is to be lit evenly.
    However, bu placing miniature light units close to the action, the same levels could be achieved with much much less, esp. if it was LED, and therefore physically smaller and cool . . . requiring very lightweight wiring.

    Perhaps I didn't understand your quote about being an "outdoor activity" - I understood this to be a tent in a field. . . as in a traveling circus arrangement. ((see Post #14 Vid.)). . . . as I don't think the public could see much action if they were looking up to a daytime sky, for example...... perhaps OP can advise?
     
  19. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Well I wouldn't class being in a tent as 'outdoor'. I would say that it is an 'in the sunshine' venue so would have plenty of natural lighting - unless they are open at night :D
    Note the OP states that this is a training school and not an entertainment venue open to a paying audience. So any spectators being blinded by the sun are not their primary concern.

    But this is all :offtopic:

    Mark.
     
  20. Bob++

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    I still think that Mark and I are right. The cam would be best on a tripod (with the sun behind) and the laptop for viewing the action could be anywhere handy. It really does take a second or two to swap the cards so that shouldn't be a problem.

    Editing and storage is a simple matter if it was wanted and I suggest that it probably would. The ability to send the trainees home clutching a disc with a video of their efforts would be a big advantage.
     

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