Discussion in 'Sky Digital TV Forum' started by beolab, Oct 11, 2005.
Whats the best way of getting SKY+ connected to my PC so I can save recordings?
Buy a DVD recorder - much simpler
A standalone DVD recorder is the most elegant solution and not that expensive these days even if you go down the DVD/HD route.
As for a PC, well a TV capture card being fed composite or s-video is dirt cheap and the audio will come via your sound card connected via phonos from the digibox.
IF you have a fast PC with plenty of hard drive capacity and memory you can record in mpeg2 at a high bitrate or if you have a ninja PC then uncompressed video/audio.
Edit and encode if required and then burn to DVD, cheap if you already have the PC but very expensive if you have to upgrade components.
as Nick says, if you want simplicity then the DVD recorder is the way to go. If you want to get more features, i.e. use a piece of software to allow you to edit out adverts etc etc, then the PC route is better. All about fitting youre requirements
so, if PC is your 'bag' , then you need a video capture card to take the video, a soundcard input, and some software. The cheapest solution is a budget TV card for around £30, and Windows Movie Maker, a free download from Microsoft. The quality wont be great, but it will give you a feel for what can be done and whether or not the PC solution is best for you.
Most people already own a PC, in fact given this is the internet its a reasonable suggestion that the poster does, most people on these forums forget this. Sky+ has a svideo out, a cheap £15 PC card will have svideo input - as its made for the americans. Buy cable, set up software. PC DVD recorder drives are from around £25 if you need one, and a 120GB hard disc about £45 but I imagine you have a recent PC with these items already.
Starburst mentioned Standalone *HD* DVD recorder and cheap in the same sentence - other than that the post makes sense. I'd say try the PC route and see how you feel. A PC less than 5 years old will be fine, so long as you have enough free disk space and a clean windows system. A cheap svideo capture card will be comparable in quality to a cheap standalone dvd recorder, (from £89 in Asda/Tesco) if you are looking.
The biggest issue here is not to spend too much money - a £500 all in one dvd recorder will be worth £50 in two years time, even less if it lacks a digital tuner or has small capacity hard drives. The PC route will be more flexible, and HD tuner cards are available for less than £40 - try doing that on a standalone.
Edit: think all of us guys may be missing the point of the OP, are you having trouble doing this, need to know how to, or after other suggestions on what to do with your money?
I think you are assuming too much. Just because someone posts something on a bulletin board, it does not mean that they have a PC that's powerful enough for video capture. Some people are still using very sluggish Pentium III's for browsing the web.
Stand alone DVD recorders without HDD's are now very cheap - the Liteon 5006B is less than £125, and the Panasonic DMRES10 can be had for less than £160. Models with a HDD start from about £220, but a HDD is not essential.
Of course it can be done with a PC. I merely suggested an alternative to doing it with a PC, and I assumed that others would supply the information that I could not. I wasn't missing the point at all - I just didn't have sufficient know-how on this particular subject to give a definitive answer.
HD in this situation refers to Hard Drive, I'll use HDD next time
As you say people posting and reading here will have a PC but there is a wide range in performance in the installed user base. A PC that can capture in mpeg2 or uncompressed format without dropping frames or losing audio sync is even by todays standards still a pretty powerful machine. Not to forget that editing and even re-encoding are both CPU killers and Intel still has the edge for video work compared to AMD (the gamers favorite).
Go and buy a Tivo then put large hard disks in it and record at highest quality, then just ftp these to your pc
Ok, to be vaugly sensible now. To me buying a DVD-Recorder with a built in hard disk drive and reasonable software on it to edit out ads etc... seems to be the way to go.
It all depends on what you want to do i've spent years playing with editing on a pc, and frankly it gets rather boring after a while, it's a lot more convenient if you don't want to spend your life tied to a pc to use a recorder.
LoL! I must be getting old... P3 still sounds quite powerful enough for me.
You don't have to have an uber-powerful PC for video recording as long as you get a video capture card with hardware decoding / encoding. This shifts the bulk of the work off your CPU and on to the card. A 1Ghz machine with about half a gig of RAM would almost certainly be enough, methinks.
True, you can't beat having dedicated hardware encoding but perhaps it's an unusual path to take if you are not the sort of person to keep your PC at least vaguely upto date
Yep. But the cost of buying a card with built in decoder. You might just as well add a little more cash and get a DVD recorder.
I've been down that route - sit there for hours waiting for video to be converted to mpeg files, then mess about trying to edit the file, then burn onto a DVD - now I have a Panasonic DVD recorder with a hard drive, and it's all so simple, and my PC isn't "groaning under the weight" of all that processing. (And by the way, it's an Athlon 64 3500+ with 1GB of RAM), but I still notice the extra processor load).
Yep which is why in a post earlier in the thread I mentioned a standalone DVD recorder ahead of a PC solution
There is still no HDD/DVD recorder on the market that has digital audio input - so that you can record the Dolby Digital soundtrack which accompanies films on Sky Movies 1-3. Can this be done with a PC? How?
Just buying the DVDs may work out cheaper!
It can be done since a lot of sound cards and motherboards have digital audio input however exactly how this is done is beyond me, never needed to learn the ins and outs
I expect capture software which can access digtial audio inputs will be required and then you just specify video via one input and audio from another and away you go.
If you wait 6 months or so when £15 movies sell for well under a tenner (even 2 disc special editions) then I can no see a reason to copy movies from broadcast sources, yeah you save a few pounds but even now the results are still not exactly upto the retail standard.
Many DVD recorders have little foibles though. I used to have a nice Panasonic HDD/DVD recorder but it had plenty of niggles. Like not recording widescreen flags on standard DVDs and hassle when setting recordings from an external digital box (ie Sky box). In the end I sold it and used the money to buy a Sky+ box since I figured that the majority of my recording was simple timeshifting.
Maximum flexibity would be achieved with a DVD-RAM compatible recorder and a decent burner on the PC capable of reading said DVD-RAM. Just record off of the Sky+ onto DVD-RAM discs and transfer them to the PC for editing and mastering. However, whilst this may give the best flexibility it's a lot more hassle than most of us are prepared to go to just to make long-term recordings. For someone into recording and archiving lots of material off of the telly it might be worth it though.
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