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Using a PC to Record TV Programs?

Discussion in 'Digital TV & Video Players & Recorders' started by Jon, Mar 23, 2004.

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  1. Jon

    Jon
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    Hi, i was wondering if its possible to use my PC to record programs from my digi box? Is it possible to get some sort of lead and card that allows me to conect my PC to my digi box and record programs? The reason I ask is that I am fed up with Video quality and am not in a possition to get sky plus yet, any suggestions? Cheers Jon
     
  2. Starburst

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    Yes it's quite possible to us a PC to record the analogue output of a digibox, just not very practical unless you intend to spend a lot of time and money tweaking it to match the performance of off the shelf solutions which will be a fraction of the price.

    I use a cheap TV capture card which takes the s-video output of my SKY+ and the audio is fed from my amp to the soundcard. You could use RF but quality wouldn't be much better than VHS so with a standard digibox a RGB to s-video converter would give you the best picture possible (Scart isn't used on PC capture cards). There are however USB devices that have various inputs for adding video/audio sources, these then can take some of the load off the PC hardware so you won't need a fast CPU, ton of ram and large/fast hard drive.

    If you can not get SKY+ for financial reasons then a DVD recorder is probably also out of the question but that would give you better quality recordings than VHS. How about a SVHS recorder, superior picture resolution and not the huge premium they used to be compared to traditional VHS decks.
     
  3. Jon

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    Thanks for that Starburst! I have a pretty good PC, its a dell dimension 4500. i am about to get a fairly decent Graphics Card with an svideo out. Am i right in saying that all i need now is TV Capture Card and the appropriate scart to svideo cable? Could you recomend a card that would be suitable please? Also what software do you use to view the programs in? Many thanks for your help, its very much appreciated!

    Cheers

    Jon
     
  4. FlimsyFeet

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    If you are only capturing from the digibox you don't actually need a TV tuner card, you could use a VIVO graphics card instead.

    I have an ATI TV card, the software that came with it is easy to use but the quality is limited.
     
  5. Jon

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    Cheers Mate!
     
  6. Starburst

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    Certainly won't do any harm when buying your new graphics card to make sure it is VIVO, at least that way if you decide the results weren't upto expectations you are not out of pocket.

    A good quality RGB to s-video converter will be quite expensive however there are cheap and cheerful adaptors (£10ish) but the quality is variable. If the VIVO graphics card has RCA phono input for composite video that might be worth a try although lower quality then s-video.
    It would make it so much easier if you had a digibox with s-video output:)

    I personally use a Winfast 2000XP capture card, couple of years old now and it's been replaced on the market by LeadTek twice with updated cards since I bought mine. I use the supplied WinPVR software (latest version) which is reliable and does everything I need it to but there are plenty of other applications for viewing and recording an external video source.
    Dscaler is excellent for viewing but has limited recording and no time shifting ability.
     
  7. MAW

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    I've got a Hauppage USB TV/video capture box with the Hauppage software you could make me an offer for, don't use it any more. Be warned that Starburst knows exactly why not. For me, it was too clunky, I spent too much time fiddling with it, it uses a shedload of hard disc, and the output to the TV at the time was dubious. Now have a projector, which changes things, but it doesn't change them as much as a Pace twin.
     
  8. philipb

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    Just browsing this thread reminded me of something.

    the higrade mediastation PC has twin scarts on the back, one of which is input for capturing video to the hard disk. Not offering this as an expensive solution to Jon's problem, just wondering what's going on inside the box to get the scart RGB signal onto the hard disk. My guess is the RGB converts to s-video.

    Anyone know?
     
  9. Jon

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    Cheers Guys! How much space does a hours worth of yv take up on your HD?

    Thanks

    Jon
     
  10. FlimsyFeet

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    Depends on the capture quality, but assuming your capping direct to MPEG-2 good quality, I would guess roughly 3GB?
     
  11. MAW

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    There is also an RGB capture card on the market, you need to visit the HCPC forum for details. It's not cheap either.
     
  12. Jon

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    It looks like its going to be easier and cheaper to get sky plus, thanks for your help everyone!

    Cheers

    Jon
     

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