Have been using the following capture methods for the past year with Win7 (and many many more with XP):
1. CapDVHS/firewire from cable box
2. MyHD MDP-130 for OTA
Since both of those options are a bit clunky when used with Win7 I'm looking to move on. Thinking my future should comprise -- Comcast Cable Box >> HDMI Splitter >> PCI-e Cap Card >> WMC. So far I'm eying the ViewHD 1x2 HDMI Splitter mated to one of the AverMedia PCI-e cards. A bit of reasoning for the choice of these two items would be the fact HDCP is becoming ubiquitous, even for non-premium content. Also figure if the splitter becomes obsolete I might be able to fall back on the AMC HDMI HDCP PACK.
My intent is to continue capturing raw HD content (TS/TP/etc) with no transcoding taking place. Since I find no reason to capture more than one cable channel at a time I really have no need for a multi-tuner M-card device. I'd really appreciate if you could offer opinions on which hardware you might choose to fill my needs. As always, cost is a consideration.
Dedicated capture computer:
Windows 7 32-bit
AMD Athlon II X2 245 2.9GHz
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My HTPC Specs:
Windows 7 Home Premium 32-bit
Athlon II X2 250 3.0 GHz
1 x 500 GB HDD
1x 2TB HDD
ATI Radeon HD 4200 integrated video
Samsung SH-S223L DVD RW Drive
MSI 785GM-E65 Motherboard
Hauppauge Colossus HD-PVR 1414
4 GB RAM
ViewHD 2 Port 1x2 Powered HDMI Mini Splitter
NextPVR for PVR guide-based recording
NextPVR can still control my Comcast cable box via FireWire even though FireWire recording is no longer possible for me using CapDVHS or anything else. Note that as far as I know, none of the AverMedia devices enjoy third party PVR software support, including WMC.
[Edit]I forgot about the "capturing raw HD content (TS/TP/etc) with no transcoding taking place" bit. That is not going to happen using an HD capture card. Raw HDMI captures are beyond gigantic in size and require a dedicated RAID array or SSD. You need real-time encoding of some kind, either hardware or software. I suggest hardware, given your PC is fairly low-spec, as is mine. If you can still use FireWire recording with WMC, that is great. However, Comcast could easily disable FireWire output the next time they remotely upgrade the firmware on your box or 5C copy protect every channel.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Nov 2014 at 12:26.
Thanks for the reply usually_quiet. Still appreciate the help you provided nearly a year ago when I was configuring CapDVHS to work with Win7 via firewire. Still works very well but I'm finally looking for the additional flexibility of WMC, that which neither of the current capping options support.
Hmm, that's interesting. I was under the impression WMC was compatible with nearly all PCI capture cards or might you just be speaking of channel changing, not cap-ability? I also have to wonder if my terminology may be differing from yours. I consider the TS files generated using CapDVHS and MDP-130 to be raw files. CapDVHS does no encoding/transcoding nor do I have the MDP-130 configured for such. With this I can capture two simultaneous TS files to an external USB 2.0 "green" drive with no errors. These files average 5GB/h to 8GB/h each per recording. I'll be really depressed if you enlighten me to the fact I've been degrading my captures with encoding I was unaware of.
Getting back to your statementI forgot about the "capturing raw HD content (TS/TP/etc) with no transcoding taking place" bit. That is not going to happen using an HD capture card.
NextPVR was modified to support these particular Hauppauge capture devices directly without a plugin.
[Edit]If you want to capture MPEG-transport streams as-is you must to bypass your cable box or DVR and get a CableCARD tuner. Comcast charges about $7.45 a month for CableCARDs where I am, if the subscriber already has one or more cable boxes. (The charge is the additional outlet fee, minus a $2.50 customer owned equipment credit.) The first CableCARD is free if there are no set-top boxes
Last edited by usually_quiet; 26th Nov 2014 at 17:25.
Although you make me a sad man I have to thank you kindly for being one of the very helpful contributors of this forum. You guy's do very well in explaining (with ample patience) that which we minions don't know.
There are no cards like that because, other than Firewire, none of the connections on a cable box can provide a transport stream to capture.
...but HDMI video is not an MPEG-2 transport stream. It is made up of of uncompressed digital frames.
If you want to capture MPEG-transport streams as-is you must bypass your cable box or DVR and get a CableCARD tuner.
Now after just going back over yours and jagabo's replies to my year-old thread it looks like I have two options. Either I source an external CableCARD tuner with HDMI-out or, to double the process, get an internal CableCARD tuner and later use a loop-back into a capture card. Both of those options would require an HDMI Splitter inline.
Btw, might as well ask -- Is WMC's WTR simply a wrapper? If so in what format is the content? Could this possibly be a candidate for a simple wrapper swap via VideoReDo?
Last edited by Golem; 26th Nov 2014 at 20:40.
Last edited by Megahurts; 26th Nov 2014 at 21:29.
Our cable company's feeds are MPEG 2 video and AC3 audio, 4 to 6 GB/hr for HD channels. Your TV feed doesn't count against your monthly internet data cap, even though it arrives over the same wire. The main reason cable companies have those caps is to dissuade you from canceling your cable TV subscription and going all internet streaming. That really scares them.
We use Windows Media Center with a SiliconDust HDHomeRun Prime and CableCard at the main TV (other WMC computers in the house can watch too). WMC records the cable company's transport stream remuxed into a WTV container (easily remuxed into other containers). On our system only the local broadcast channels (and a very few others) are stored unencypted. You may be luckier.
Last edited by jagabo; 26th Nov 2014 at 21:35.
If you have any additional questions don't hesitate to ask, I'll offer what I can.
Comcast tends to have most channels marked "copy freely". Premium channels like HBO are the main exceptions. (WMC does not encrypt recordings made via a CableCARD tuner as long as the channel is marked "copy freely".)
If someone knows how to get into their cable box's diagnostics menu, it is possible to check the copy protection flags used for the channels that they are most likely to record and find out if they are marked "copy once" or "copy freely". I was able to find out how to do that for my Pace box. I don't have that information handy. I will add to this post later after I locate my notes.
[Edit]The directions below work for my Comcast Pace box. Comcast's Motorola boxes may be similar.
- Power off the cable box.
- Within 2 seconds hold down the OK/Select button on the remote until the Diagnostics Dashboard menu appears.
- Press the left arrow button to bring up the Diagnostics Menu.
- Select "Current Channel Status" from the list.
- The item marked CCI under CCI/SOC lists the value of the copy control flag
To go back to the Diagnostics Menu, press the left arrow button. Press the left arrow button again to return to the Diagnostics Dashboard. To exit, turn off the cable box.
- 00 — copy freely
- 01 — no more copies
- 10 — copy once
- 11 — never copy
Using WMC, a PC with a CableCARD can record virtually everything that a Comcast DVR would allow you to record. However, CableCARD tuners don't offer interactive functions like a cable box/DVR and won't let you do things like rent movies, view TV shows "On Demand", or order pay-per-view events.
If Comcast marks the channel you want to record "copy freely", then the WTV file is not encrypted and all you need is a CableCARD tuner. WTV files from channels marked "copy once" are encrypted, and would have to be re-recorded with an HDMI capture device to make them portable.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Nov 2014 at 00:04.
Hey jagabo! Great to have you holding my hand again along with usually_quiet.
Do believe I may be making this much more difficult that it needs to be. Guess where I really stumble is assuming that anything I capture through an HDTV capture/tuner card will be of lesser quality than that of my current CapDVHS TS files of 5GB/h-8GB/h. The HDMI capture cards I see state a possible 20MB/s bitrate which exceeds that of my current TS files. Since many of those cards capture to MPEG-2, which the TS files are, I have to think the transcoding process will produce like quality files.
If the above is true and I adjust my requirements a bit shouldn't I be able to use the fore mentioned method -- Comcast Cable Box >> HDMI Splitter >> PCI-e Cap Card >> with full understanding that whatever capture software I choose I'll benefit from timer record but without an auto channel changing option? Although based on what usually_quiet noted earlier I still "may" be able to employ something like NextPVR to schedule channel changing via the current firewire connection.
Your diagnostics access info worked a charm. I did check a few channels and as suspected a few actually had "02" flags. Unbelievably one of them was A&EHD. I have no premium so not able to verify.
Yeah, I was looking earlier for HDMI-out CableCARD tuners and as you've noted, there are none to be found. As mentioned above, if the original capping method is a viable option it seems to be the simplest frills-free way to go while also providing the multiple benefits of "the" splitter and retaining cable box only options.
VideoReDo TV Suite H.264 if you currently use VideoReDo Plus and need to edit H.254 captures.
The Hauppauge HD-PVR 2 1512 and Hauppauge Colossus 1414 are the best fit to your needs that I know of. They work with third-party PVR software as well as what the manufacturer provides. These devices have IR blasters to control your cable box. I use FireWire with NextPVR because it is more reliable and doesn't dislodge as easily as an IR emitter. The Hauppauge HD-PVR 2 1512 and Hauppauge Colossus 1414 allow recording either 2 channel AAC or the original AC3 audio if the cable box set up to pass through the original audio via HDMI or optical S/PDIF. Recording 2-channel AAC can work out better if the channel being recorded tends to have too many transmission errors.
Since you have been looking at AVerMedia capture devices, be aware that a large percentage of AVerMedia's HD capture device product line is geared towards game capture and uploading to the web. These don't record interlaced video, or don't record it as interlaced video and may do a poor job of de-interlacing if they frame decimate. If you decide that you want an AVerMedia capture device, look over the specs very carefully to make sure that the device records interlaced video as interlaced video. However, let me repeat: There are currently no Avermedia HD capture devices that work with third-party PVR software. The AVerMedia HD DVR C027 does record interlaced video, but uses software for encoding. The HDCP hacks for the C027 may or may not still work. I read something indicating that AVerMedia changed the design of the HD DVR C027's PCB last year and the HDCP hacks might not work with the newer version.
jagabo has the Elgato Game Capture HD, which can produce very high quality captures, but it does not work with any software other than the manufacturer's. The manufacturer's capture software (it comes with capture software, not PVR software) has relatively high CPU usage in spite of the device having a hardware encoder.
Something else I should mention, if you want closed captions, HD capture devices won't capture them as closed captions. To have closed captions recorded as closed captions, your best option is a CableCARD tuner. The alternative is to capture the same thing with both an HD capture device and a PC TV tuner with composite capture capability, then make the CCs from the composite capture recordings into subtitles to use with the HD captures.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 27th Nov 2014 at 10:56.
Have you ever consider the XI100DUSB-HMDI(USB interface) or XI100XE(PCIe interface) made by Magewell. It can capture one channel 1080p/60Hz HDMI signal
Magewell: Seems over priced. But it's interesting that it looks like a webcam to Windows.
felixtime is just a shill who joined yesterday. He is spamming this forum to promote the products of one Chinese maker. I hope Baldrick will ban him soon.
It is highly suspicious that this company charges an arm and a leg for their products and still feels compelled to use forum spam as their primary form of advertising.
Thanks for all the replies! Just got back from an extended time-away and was able to do a bit more research.
Dang, was going to post a big Thank You and state I had this all sussed with the realization Colossus combined with an HDMI splitter (for obvious reason) was my only true option but now I'm not sure. Is it true I can achieve the same HDCP "result" using component interface to an external capture device such as the HD PVR 2 (no HDMI splitter)?
If the answer to the above is yes -- I see on the Hauppauge product comparison page it shows only Colossus being WMC capable. Is this true or is there a workaround? Also, are their HD PVR 2 products capped at a lower max bitrate than the Colossus card (14MB/s vs 24MB/s) or can it be tweaked in the registry or .ini files?
Btw, I do like the spec sheets of the Pro/Pro-sumer cards and their ability to cap and transcode to H.264 or MPEG-2. While my other computer would likely be capable of handling MPEG-2 on-the-fly I've come to realize matching or slightly exceeding the bitrate of my current direct stream firewire captures [average 9MB/s-14MB/s VBR (actual 3MB/s-36MB/s VBR)] will likely produce a very similar final quality of video.
Last edited by Golem; 3rd Dec 2014 at 14:19.
Also, are their HD PVR 2 products capped at a lower max bitrate than the Colossus card (14MB/s vs 24MB/s) or can it be tweaked in the registry or .ini files?
I've come to realize matching or slightly exceeding the bitrate of my current direct stream firewire captures [average 9MB/s-14MB/s VBR (actual 3MB/s-36MB/s VBR)] will likely produce a very similar final quality of video.
BTW, you actually mean Mb (megabits) not MB.
Last edited by vaporeon800; 3rd Dec 2014 at 22:28.
Elgato's Game Capture HD60 is the only hardware encoding capture device I looked at that captures 1080p60 as 1080p60, and the price is not outrageous.. (Supported input and capture resolutions are 1080p60, 1080p30, 1080i, 720p60, 720p30, 576p, 576i, and 480p, but not 480i or 1080p24.) However, Elgato says this device needs a 2nd generation Intel Core i5, minimum. That is likely thanks to Elgato's oddball drivers and Elgato's capture software, which is the only capture software that works with the device.
[Edit]I was tired last night when I posted this. I realized this morning that your question is possibly a smart-ass remark. If so, I'll ask you a question. The OP in this planning to record the output of his set top box with his HTPC. Why would someone who is not a spammer posting randomly in recent capture threads suggest $300 (or more) 1080p60 capture devices designed to facilitate streaming video (and use software to encode) just to do that? This is not the only thread this spammer posted in. Only one had anything to do with streaming video, and he proved in that thread that he knew what his employer's products are intended to be used for.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 4th Dec 2014 at 10:06.
Thanks for the reply!
I'm not aware of any way to exceed the defined maximum.
I posted some screenshots comparing Firewire to HDMI capture with the HD PVR 2 GE using its highest settings. Those settings include a higher H.264 level than Blu-ray players are required to play back. I had thought I posted the sample videos of this too but apparently not. I have to take back some of the praise I gave in that thread, as I think I posted that during the time I had my monitor misconfigured, causing everything to be softened slightly. I'm seeing artifacts now that I don't recall before.
BTW, you actually mean Mb (megabits) not MB.
Appreciate the reply!
In the end it looks like Colossus will have to be my choice. I do have an open PCI-e slot, the card comes with an and IR Blaster, compatibility with numerous 3rd-party PVR software options and, for that little extra, allows the highest bitrate transcoding of all Hauppaug products.
One would wonder, what is more annoying a poster occasionally mentioning his pet device or software or a poster who frequently feels the need to 'police' other posters?
Host Interface: PCI-Express x1, Low Profile, 200MB/s tranmission [sic!] bandwidth
HD Output Formats: 40×30-2048×1536, frame rate: 1-100 fps
Color Space: YUYV, UYVY, I420, RGB 24 Bits, RGB 32 Bits