Hello. I would like to capture digital tv. Im looking for a good quality tried & tested combination of software and hardware.
TV here uses mpeg4.
What would be a good choice for hardware? PCI, PCI-E or USB?
What is the best software to record smoothly without freezing etc?
Can anyone suggest a good combination of both that works well?
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Digital tuners provide a transport stream which is recorded as is by PVR software. Assuming one has an adequate CPU and video card, freezing during playback is normally due to errors in the recorded transport stream, so it has more to do with the signal quality, the antenna, and the quality of the PC tuner than the PVR software.
I can't recommend a DVB-T TV tuner card because I live in the wrong part of the world. If your VideoHelp Computer Details are out of date and you have Windows 7, Windows Media Center is included and is worth trying. If you don't like it or are still running Windows XP Pro, NextPVR is one of the easier PVR programs to set up. Both Windows Media Center and NextPVR support a wide range of tuner hardware.
Thanks for your help! Just updated my computer info too. I am on Windows 7 now.
Do I really need a "PVR"? I was thinking of a software that just records the tv tuner source... I guess a PVR has many features. I only need a quality recording feature with some decent quality settings. Well, ok, a timer would be useful too. But that's all I need.
Software: Check this section. The best program is imo DVB Viewer, although like usually_quiet mentioned there are a few good free PVR programs. You will also need a program for removing commercials and cutting your recordings. Unfortunately I cannot recommend a good stable freeware, and I use VideoReDo H264. It's a bit overpriced but worth the money, and has very good support.
Hardware: I'd first of all look at good antenna and it proper setting. Best work passive directional antennas.
If you want a PC card then I'd recommend any of TechnoTrend or TBS product, like this dual DVB-T/2 tuner. You will find a lot of more external tuners, and best products are Technisat, Ferguson Ariva, Opticum, Kruger-Matz, Not Only TV.
Depends what is your goal - it can be simple DVB-T USB stick, it can be for example something from Dektec or Alitronika
Windows Media Center includes free program guide service in many countries, although I don't know if Greece is one of them. However, it is possible to set timers, or simply click on the "record" button to start recording a program from that moment until you decide to stop recording. Unfortunately WMC won't capture anything in the buffer prior to the time you click the "record" button. I almost always schedule recordings in advance, so that was not a significant problem for me.
NextPVR includes the ability to use a program guide too, but the guide service is not part of the program and some of the guide services it can use require paying an annual subscription fee. However, as I recall, NextPVR can use timers or manual recording, if you don't want to set up a program guide. I think NextPVR can record starting from the beginning of its buffer, although I'm not certain of it. I have not used NextPVR very often since I settled on Windows Media Center.
Some other PVR software uses the EPG data included in the DVB-T broadcast rather than downloads from a guide service.
[Edit]I forgot about quality settings. There are none to worry about for the recordings themselves. Because DVB-T is already digital, the recording software does no encoding and recordings should be exactly the same quality no matter which software is used.
Playback quality is another story. Decoders can be different depending on the recording software, and sometimes there are very few settings to control playback. As I recall, both NextPVR and Windows Media Center don't offer many settings for playing recordings. NextPVR records in .TS format, which is compatible with many third-party video players. WTV files are normally unprotected in most countries unless recording from a paid TV service of some kind and I have used VLC, Media Player Classic Home Cinema, and Pot Player to play unprotected .WTV files, although Windows Media Player itself is more reliable.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 21st Jan 2014 at 14:58.
Thanks everybody for the helpful replies! I really appreciate this!
What difference will it make if I choose an internal card instead of a USB stick?
I had a look on some PVR's. They will do the job but aren't they an "overkill"? I just want a lil proggy that I can select the source, set the quality and click REC! I opened WMC and it does a million things!
edit: just saw your edit. since quality is not the issue, well.. ok.. any PVR will do. So, I need to focus on finding some good hardware! Unfortunately there are not many choices in Greece. Some Avermedia USB sticks are popular here. But I can still order online...
Last edited by nick_gr; 21st Jan 2014 at 15:11.
Small USB-stick type external cards have only one tuner and are more susceptible to overheating because of the small enclosure. Larger external tuners and internal cards may provide more than one DVB-T tuner and are less likely to overheat.
Yes I know the Youtube policies. It's a very small local tv station and it's fine. There are tons of videos from it on youtube.
Is there e possibility of overheating when recording like 2-3 hours of video?
What are more than one tuners useful for? Recording 2 channels at the same time?
I ordered this http://www.avermedia.eu/avertv/UK/Product/ProductDetail.aspx?Id=447 for ~50$.
I see if it does the trick. If not I'll buy a more expensive one...
btw here is a youtube link showing its performance
It's not perfect but I think it's acceptable for this budget!
If you have good signal then this should be not a problem.
I must say - on your place i would go for 25 - 30E independent DVB-T tuner with USB and record capabilities, not sure what is available in Greece but in other European countries such TV Tuners are easily available and inexpensive. Inserting Flash USB drive make them PVR compliant, recordings can be open on PC without problems (and thus exported to for example YT format).
Such TV Tuner consume less than 8W, can be used multiple times, is self sufficient, do recording as programmed without bothering with special application.
Something like this: http://www.ebw.gr/en/product/45269/RWT-Opticum-HD-T50-High-Definition-Digital-Terrestr...eg-4%29-me-Ypo
Last edited by pandy; 22nd Jan 2014 at 07:23.
You won't be able to tell if that tuner is good enough until you try it yourself, and you will be much better off using a different antenna than the one included with that tuner
The Russian site ixbt.com has a page somewhere that compares tuner sensitivity but I think they only tested analog SECAM broadcast signal-to-noise ratio.
EDIT: I guess this page contains all of those articles:
The radio tuner is usually a separate piece used by both the analog and DVB sections, so shouldn't the results have some crossover? Or is the demodulator a significant factor in SNR?
Radio as in the part of the electromagnetic spectrum that carries TV transmissions.
Alright then. Just saw sensitivity mentioned and thought I was helping.