Laptop as dvd recorder

Discussion in 'Blu-ray & DVD Players & Recorders' started by jimmyboy, May 8, 2003.

  1. jimmyboy

    jimmyboy
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    I have a sony viao laptop with TV out (no svhs), DVD RW and a DV input for camcoder input (I think a firewire- not sure). I also have a recent 36inch sony kv36fs76s (4 scarts + sep phono input V/Audio +sVHS).

    Can I assume laptop output is composite (to play DVDs- inbuilt radion 7500 32mb graphics card)- it works on a 14 inch portable tv with phono input leads for video/audio input leads but not on 36inch scart/phono inputs?

    Can I use laptop as a standalone dvd rec (I have a separate pc with dvd-RW but I wish to use the output from sat box or digital tuner scart to record the odd movie. There is no tv in lead- what software (if possible) and leads do I need- thanks.
     
  2. dean randle

    dean randle
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    I'm no expert at this, but I believe that you need a capture card to record onto the laptop, and laptops are not upgradeable. So I think you're stumped. Maybe someone else may have different advice though,
    Cheers,
    Dean.
     
  3. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    You can get USB capture boxes. But the USB port does not have any where near enough throughput capability to produce good enough results I am afraid.

    Its a non starter. If your laptop has a firwire port you can do it, but getting it to work right requires a load of HD space software and time setting it up and to use it. Then you have to spend the time archiving to DVD. No good in my opinion. It can be done but to give you my advice I have played with this and I dont think it is the route to go.

    Any small cost you make in hardware (You will still have to get the right software to make it work and it wont be cheap) will be more than be made up for in a load more work and great reduction in recording quality and flexibility.

    Do you really want to kill you laptops HD doing this sort of stuff ? Thats just an example, laptops are made for light use not transfering stuff from cable in real time.

    I dont think using any PC setup for recording normal TV is a good option. Thats why you dont see alot of people doing it.

    You can get a really good set top DVD recorder for £300. Save yourself a load of bother and disappointement and go for a proper DVD recording deck.

    ps

    I just saved you a weekend of messing around and disappointment !
     
  4. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Using a PC to capture analogue video is not currently a high quality method. It's presents a workable solution for Video CDs but not for analogue capture for DVDs.

    You need a high speed (and sustainable) HDD to be avoid dropping frame rates. Laptop HDD are still somewhat slower (5,400rpm norm) than the average desktop (7,200rpm norm). For large file sizes (and if copying to a DVD these files WILL be large) you really should have a second HDD. You also need a reasonable processor - really at least 1GHz - and as much RAM (preferrably fast DDR2) as you can possibly cram in.

    All this is before you even look at the capturing device. You can get a few now that are USB2 - and these can be as good as the PCI - but you can only get composite or S-Video - no RGB. Therefore the best quality pictures are denied to you before you even start. Then some of the 'home user' capture devices are exactly that - not for HQ use - the Dazzle series for instance look pretty dismissal on DVD-R. Fine for VCDs - useless for high quality DVDs.

    You are by far better using a set-top DVD Recorder to make the digital to analogue conversion (whereby you avoid all the problems mentioned above). From there you can copy the files onto your HDD (including your laptop) and quite happily use software to edit it, add menus/chapters and to author it before burning to DVD-R. Of course you will be throwing around 4.7GB files so the more memory, the faster you HDD and the better you processor the quicker and more enjoyable the whole process will be.
     
  5. jimmyboy

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    Wow!

    I am really impressed with the quick and detailed reply- I only just joined this forum- thanks to all.

    I spent an hour trying to obtain any info from my supplier and firms such as PC world/ microdirect ( they had NO info at all on the subject).

    In case you were wondering why I bought the laptop- it was through work, and I was trying to delay buying a standalone DVD player/recorder. I have a PC in my study with a Pioneer 105 drive. The lap top will play on DVD once I enabled TV out via control panel display setting, and the quality is ok (better than VCR - but not as good as a PC monitor via PC).

    I read many of your reply to forums and I am having problem deciding if I should buy a panasonic e50 or phillips 880?
    I think the panasonic is better but will I be able to use a firewire (laptop has IEEE connection for camcorder) to transfer from RAM disc to DVD RW disc on laptop( if I need to share recorded discs that are not DVDr for my PC/friends)?

    Some of the stores are selling for £399 for panasonic- any reliable M.R. units from websites (recommendations please)? Any new cheaper recorders due soon (should I wait)?

    Some of the stores have hinted at reliability problems with the Philips model.
     
  6. Mark Pitchford

    Mark Pitchford
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    How about a digital set top box like the Hauppauge DEC 2000:

    http://www.hauppauge.co.uk/tv_adapters.htm

    This has a USB port for streaming the audio and video to a PC.

    I've got one which I use with my laptop to record the odd program and it works a treat.

    Mark
     
  7. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    No. For a start you would need to choose between the Panasonic E60 and the Philips 890 as the cheaper E50/880 don't have Firewire input. Secondly I fairly sure both machines only have firewire INPUT, i.e. you can copy from a camcorder onto the DVDR but not back the same way.

    If you took the Panasonic option, i.e. the E50, you would have a number of possibilities. You might be able to read your RAM disks in your laptop's DVD drive (I can do this on my Dell Inspiron which rather surprised me as there are part of the DVD+Alliance). You could obviously then edit them and copy them to disk. Alternatively you could burn things you want to lend out to DVD-R (which can be purchased cheaply these days and will definetly work in your drive), copy them onto your HDD and edit as required etc. The Panasonic has the advantage of hybrid variable bitrate and flexible recording.

    If you took the Philips option you would have the increased likelihood that the rewriteable media will work in your laptop's DVD drive (whereby you could copy to the HDD, edit etc) but you would loose the hybrid VBR capability, flexible bitrate etc of the Panny. As you observed there have been some reliability issues with the Philips.

    This is all assuming you want to get one of the 'cheap' DVDRs. If your up to spend alot of cash then Sony have a DVD-RW machine on the market (that also writes to DVD+RW). However for less than the cost of this machine you can get an all-in-one box solution such as the Toshiba HDD/DVDR combo.
     
  8. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    This is a good device (and I notice this one has RGB in - something I haven't seen before on a PC device) but will not produce DVD quality pictures. I have a similar Hauppauge for my laptop which i use to watch TV on when working away. It provides a watchable picture but not something you would want to archive forever on DVD-R. You can tell the datarate isn't going to be that high by the fact it's only USB1.
     
  9. harrisuk

    harrisuk
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    I cant believe it. Rasczak agreed with something I said for once :clap:
     
  10. jimmyboy

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    Thanks-
    can someone recommend cheap/reliable sites on the net?
     
  11. Rasczak

    Rasczak
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    Did it :eek: I'll have to revise my post :D
     

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