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  1. Newbie, sorry if it's been asked 1000x, please don't flame.

    I have a Hauppage Colosssus 2. I'm wondering what is the best capture rate for 720p?

    Through the satellite box I have a 2Tb hard drive connected, initially it could store I think right around 500 hours of programming. I don't know if it's recorded at 1080i or 720p but I set the output to 720p, don't think that matters though.

    So I calculated the bitrate recording on the HD 2Tb=2,000,000 Mbytes = 16,000,000 Mbits. Now divide that by the number available hours in seconds (500 hours = 500 *3600 seconds/hour) = 1,800,000 seconds. Now put it all together and I can find out what the satellite box is recording at 16,000,000 / 1,800,000 = 8.88 Mbits/second

    So does that mean to get a 1:1 recording quality I would need to capture at 8.88 Mbits/second? Isn't there wasted headroom? I mean the recommendation for recording at 720p is 5Mb/s. I recorded at 5Mb/s and didn't seem to notice anything. I even bumped it down to 3Mb/s and even 2Mb/s. It wasn't until I went all the way down to 1Mb/s did I really notice any pixelation (now this is on a 20" monitor - maybe it would be different on a 40" TV set to 720p?)

    Does recording at H264 make it even better quality to record at 3Mb/s? Maybe it's already recorded at H264 on the HD attached to the satellite? I'm not sure.

    I've heard some people get great quality recording at 3Mb/s so is the recommended 5Mb/s for 720p a little overkill? I don't want to record more than I need to without any loss in picture quality from the original.

    Any help from anyone would be appreciated.
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  2. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    I did not know that satellite DVR's compress while recording, I though they just record the stream in it's native format. Can't you transfer recordings to other media when the internal HDD is getting full? It will helpful if you give some infos on the satellite DVR you have.
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  3. Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    So does that mean to get a 1:1 recording quality I would need to capture at 8.88 Mbits/second?
    The only way to get 1:1 quality is to download the satellite stream. Any reencoding with a lossy codec will reduce quality. Different video requires different bitrates depending on many factors including the amount of action, noise, flicker, etc. With modern codecs you don't get blocky artifacts until bitrates get really low -- because they include deblocking filters. You are more likely to see loss of small details (like film grain) and posterization artifacts.
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  4. I don't know if satellites compress or not. But even streaming directly from the satellite has to go through the capture card and, as I would think, gets encoded.

    Additionally I did some more quick scrutinizing and did a quick recording at 3Mb/s and noticed some pixilation on a plane with a black sky background (not much but some) then I did one at 5Mb/s and in the time I had didn't notice any perceivable difference but there still maybe a little. So it's possible that 5Mb/s would be fine especially for documentaries. And maybe 9Mb/s would make it exact as long as nothing lags in my computer power.
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  5. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    If it's a payed satellite service, then any 1:1 recordings on the DVR is going to be encrypted most likely. Which is why people use the Colosssus. Personally I watch FTA Satellite channels which allows me to record the actual .TS stream 1:1 without recompressing. Pay satellite does not allow for that.

    Should also say that not all H.264 encodings are the same. Broadcasters might use really nice and expensive hardware encoding equipment that's not retally available in consumer encoding hardware. I've handled recordings from the first Hauppage Colosssus and was not really impressed by the encoding quality of 1080i @ 12Mbit. My biggest problem being blocking in fast moving areas and heavy blocking in dark areas. Maybe things have improved but there was no way of getting close to 1:1 on the first Hauppage Colosssus.
    Last edited by KarMa; 22nd Jan 2018 at 17:11.
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  6. I'm impressed with the quality of the colossus 2 so far through HDMI. I also have the hauppage Win-TV 1250 internal card recording OTA antenna programs, coax input, using WIN-TV ver 7. I can't recall right now if there was a ... actually just discovered this very moment that WinTVv.7 says "For analog cable TV using the built-in hardware MPEG-2 encoder, the quality of the video recording is set to 6Mbits/sec" it's unchangeable but those recordings are very good.

    I think with the blockiness in dark scenes Hauppauge has improved a lot, based on what I'm seeing so far. I'll have to do some more testing.

    The reason I want to move it off the satellite PVR is because there's no way to remove commercials, so if I port it through the colossus 2 then at least I can edit the commercials out and get more room on my hard drive. Maybe reduce the file size of the video a little to get even more space without sacrificing video quality too much if at all (at least noticeable quality).
    Based on what I've discovered so far my current idea is to go no lower than 5 Mb/s. I might bump it up to 6 and might even go to 9 Mb/s (no higher though) but I haven't been able to output it to my TV yet so I can't tell yet whether 5 is perfectly fine or not - I'll notice with the bigger screen to make a decision.
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  7. Member SHS's Avatar
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    With my Colossus 2 I used 8/13 under SageTV

    As KarMa point out
    Yes satellites is compress and no you can't copy the steam for that you switch to DVB-S or S2 Tuner which is a Free Satellite which not the same Pay satellite
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  8. Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    I haven't been able to output it to my TV yet so I can't tell yet whether 5 is perfectly fine or not - I'll notice with the bigger screen to make a decision.
    What matters is the size of the screen and how far away you view it. As far as resolution (the ability to resolve detail and see defects) is concerned, sitting 2 feet away from a 24 inch monitor is the same as sitting 6 feet away from a 72" TV. Or 10 feet away from a 120 inch TV.
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  9. Member SHS's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    I haven't been able to output it to my TV yet so I can't tell yet whether 5 is perfectly fine or not - I'll notice with the bigger screen to make a decision.
    What matters is the size of the screen and how far away you view it. As far as resolution (the ability to resolve detail and see defects) is concerned, sitting 2 feet away from a 24 inch monitor is the same as sitting 6 feet away from a 72" TV. Or 10 feet away from a 120 inch TV.
    It can depend on Satellite Service he has with Dish you may see video artifacts more so with cartoon channel where with DirecTV is much cleaner signal.
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  10. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    If it's a payed satellite service, then any 1:1 recordings on the DVR is going to be encrypted most likely. Which is why people use the Colosssus. Personally I watch FTA Satellite channels which allows me to record the actual .TS stream 1:1 without recompressing.
    So how much space does an hour of your TS steam use up on your HD?
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  11. Our cable TV transmits HD as MPEG 2 at ~5 GB/hr.
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  12. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Our cable TV transmits HD as MPEG 2 at ~5 GB/hr.
    5 GB per hour works out to 11.1 Mbits/s .
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  13. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Sorry to be a little bit of topic but this discussion about DVR turned on some nostalgia in me, I remember over 13 years ago when I had legally modified my 6000 dish receiver by nextcome wireless to record to my computer using a USB cable when HD was fairly new to the scene and MPEG2 although less efficient than MPEG4 the broadcasters didn't abuse it that much like they do now, I recorded a lot of movies back then and copied them to DVD-R's as HD MPEG2 TS files way before blu-ray was even available, a movie is divided into 3 chunks and put into 3 4.5GB discs, It was pretty cool and I still have those copies.

    I dropped dish when they started abusing the compression to cramp more channels in the same transponder, I have Netflix 4K now and I'm very happy with it the way it looks thru my 4K OLED TV, How those MPEG2 TS discs look now on the 4K TV? Horrible!
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Pay satellite does not allow for that.
    Not legally, at least.

    And then if you could get it, it's not a simple stream. Lots of other data, multiple wrapped streams, and weird interlace/fps issues mid-stream. It's ugly source.

    You want to re-capture it.

    Even FTA isn't necessarily any better in the weirdness dept. More complex, not straight-forward like a capture.

    Quality loss depends entirely on your settings.
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  15. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    And then if you could get it, it's not a simple stream. Lots of other data, multiple wrapped streams, and weird interlace/fps issues mid-stream. It's ugly source.

    You want to re-capture it.

    Even FTA isn't necessarily any better in the weirdness dept. More complex, not straight-forward like a capture.

    Quality loss depends entirely on your settings.
    Never had that kind of problem. You just have to scan for active frequencies (blind scan), then once you find active transponder frequencies you scan those frequencies for Program specific information (done automatically) to separate the single stream of data coming off the transponder into individual channels and to help mark which PID goes with each channel. Once that is over you can record each channel individually, even if there are different channels on that frequency. I use DVBViewer 99% of the time and have also had luck with DVB Dream and the bare bone DVB software that came with my TBS DVB-S2 Card. I don't re-capture/re-encode anything unless the playback device in question can't handle it. Over the Air ATSC can also carry multiple channels over one frequency but the software used for OTA is much simpler and user friendly, not to mention the easy scanning built into everyone's ATSC TV.

    As far as DVB-S/2 changing the video midstream, I've never encountered that. It might broadcast 1080 progressive content one hour and then the next it's interlaced or telecined because the source material changed but that's fine. As long as your auto deinterlacer can turn on and off depending on if it detects interlacing you're fine. I have noticed the audio change between AC3 5.1 and AC3 Stereo depending on the program that comes on, which I have never witnessed on OTA ATSC.

    Edit: Should also say that pay satellite channels tend to use lower bitrates for 1080i/p than the 12Mbit I stated, just because of the 100s of channels they try to cram on one satellite. So if I were to guess, your channels are probably below 8Mbit per channel. Using either MPEG2 or H.264.
    Last edited by KarMa; 23rd Jan 2018 at 01:45.
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  16. Member dellsam34's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Originally Posted by lordsmurf View Post
    And then if you could get it, it's not a simple stream. Lots of other data, multiple wrapped streams, and weird interlace/fps issues mid-stream. It's ugly source.

    You want to re-capture it.

    Even FTA isn't necessarily any better in the weirdness dept. More complex, not straight-forward like a capture.

    Quality loss depends entirely on your settings.
    Never had that kind of problem. You just have to scan for active frequencies (blind scan), then once you find active transponder frequencies you scan those frequencies for Program specific information (done automatically) to separate the single stream of data coming off the transponder into individual channels and to help mark which PID goes with each channel. Once that is over you can record each channel individually, even if there are different channels on that frequency. I use DVBViewer 99% of the time and have also had luck with DVB Dream and the bare bone DVB software that came with my TBS DVB-S2 Card. I don't re-capture/re-encode anything unless the playback device in question can't handle it. Over the Air ATSC can also carry multiple channels over one frequency but the software used for OTA is much simpler and user friendly, not to mention the easy scanning built into everyone's ATSC TV.

    As far as DVB-S/2 changing the video midstream, I've never encountered that. It might broadcast 1080 progressive content one hour and then the next it's interlaced or telecined because the source material changed but that's fine. As long as your auto deinterlacer can turn on and off depending on if it detects interlacing you're fine. I have noticed the audio change between AC3 5.1 and AC3 Stereo depending on the program that comes on, which I have never witnessed on OTA ATSC.
    You're 100% correct however some old cable boxes allowed recording from the firewire port but if the program is encrypted you would still record it to your computer or D-VHS deck but when viewing it you don't get picture, Presumably cable boxes allowed watching those recorded content again by playing them thru the firewire port to the cable box, never tried it myself. I've recorded satellite content before as I mentioned in my earlier post and the encryption is not there once it's removed by the receiver's card. The stream is a clean MPEG2 Transport Stream, Now it is all cardless and MPEG4 and cannot be read by computer even if you dump the contents of the providers's hard drive, and I think that's what lordsmurf meant except that FTA part he said is not technically correct.
    Last edited by dellsam34; 22nd Jan 2018 at 23:46.
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  17. Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    I use DVBViewer 99% of the time and have also had luck with DVB Dream and the bare bone DVB software that came with my TBS DVB-S2 Card. I don't re-capture/re-encode anything unless the playback device in question can't handle it.
    So how much space on your hard drive is taken up by a 1 hour program?
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  18. Dinosaur Supervisor KarMa's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    I use DVBViewer 99% of the time and have also had luck with DVB Dream and the bare bone DVB software that came with my TBS DVB-S2 Card. I don't re-capture/re-encode anything unless the playback device in question can't handle it.
    So how much space on your hard drive is taken up by a 1 hour program?
    Like around 5.5GB. Most of the satellite 1080i/p channels run 12Mbit (~11.6Mbit H.264 Video and AC3 audio summed together), animated kids channel runs 1080i/p around 8Mbit. These broadcasts are for the most part flawless and even handle film grain fairly well without turning into a noisy/blocky mess. Then there are smaller 480i/p channels that run around 2-3Mbit. All using H.264 video and either AC3 or MP2 audio.

    Over the Air ATSC broadcasts in North America just about exclusively use MPEG2 and tend to broadcast 1080i content from 15Mbit to around 8Mbit. To dedicate 15Mbit to one HD channel, it requires that there are no other subchannels giving the best possible quality to the one channel. But anymore there are very few single channel frequencies and so the main channel has to share bitrate with 2-3 SD channels, killing the main 1080i channel's quality. I've watched my local NBC station go from 15Mbit for 1080i back before 2012, then to 10Mbit, and finally just dropping the resolution to 720p with a bitrate of 6Mbit to make way for other subchannels. All MPEG2.
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  19. Video Restorer lordsmurf's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by KarMa View Post
    Never had that kind of problem.
    Example:
    - TV show starts = 2.5mbps VBR TFF MPEG2 SD
    - commercial come on = 1.5mbps VBR BFF MPEG2 SD
    - TV show comes back = 2.5mbps VBR BFF MPEG

    Change from TFF to BFF, just like that. No reason. WTF?

    For DVB at the time, things like 480x480 or 544x480 for SD. Also can change midstream.

    I know it's gotten better with HD 720p/1080p HD standards, but it's still a mess. I used to read complaints from within the industry, not even from the consumer side.

    I remember swearing off trying to ever grab TS again, having seen that mess. I'd rather just capture and get it over with.
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  20. Just took some quick files from my old card capturing digital channels ATSC. Anyways, it seems the 6Mb/sec I thought I realized it was capturing last night doesn't seem that way. My old card is actually capturing around 15 to 17 Mb/sec.
    Here's some samples 7,023.277Mb @ 1hr:00:05sec 31,423.349Mb @ 4hr:32min:58s 9,232.058Mb @ 1hr:18m:49s It's saving it as an MPEG2 TS file. I'm not sure if it's H.264 or not, I don't think so which is good because then my colossus 2 will give better results at lower bit rates - I might go with 9Mb/s on the capturing setting.

    **edit added info**
    Made a few more calculations and I'll do a little summary

    So with my 2Tb hard drive I calculated the bitrate at 8.88 Mb/sec
    A single DVD 4.7Gb with 2hours would have a max bitrate (constant) at 5.2 Mb/sec (probably why many people say 5Mb/s is a decent capture rate)
    A double DVD 9.4Gb with 2hours ------------------------------------------------10.4 Mb/sec

    9 Mb/sec = 4.05 Gb/hour
    7.5 Mb/sec = 3.375 Gb/hour (recommended setting 720p 60fps setting)
    5 Mb/sec = 2.25 Gb/hour (recommended setting 720p 30fps setting)

    Based on those factors it appears I'll make a 1:1 (maybe not exactly) copy setting the bitrate to 9Mb/sec. I could probably drop that to 7.5 Mb/sec and not notice a thing while saving space. I will have to make a test scene dark with lots of action to notice any difference .. maybe the cast away scene when they've ditched in the ocean or one of the ocean scenes in "The Perfect Storm" I think those would be a good test to standardize my bit rate.
    Last edited by Christopher2222; 24th Jan 2018 at 11:22. Reason: adding information
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  21. So I seem to have settled in at 5Mb/s for 1-2 hour shows and 3Mb/s for 1/2 hour shows. 720p@ 60fps H.264 hardware encoded @ 5 Mb/s seems to do quite well. My TV can only handle 1080i max or 720p. Perhaps I would notice it more on a TV with 1080p capability?

    However I did find this an HD Blu-ray video is typically in the range of 20 Mbps, standard-definition DVD is usually 6 Mbps. If you don't know what value to use, a good place to start is 5000 kbps (slightly less than a typical DVD). which I found here https://www.epiphan.com/userguides/pearl/Content/UserGuides/Streaming/capture/channelC...reEncoding.htm
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    Hello Christopher, I sent you hidden message but you might not have seen it. I am about to buy
    Hauppage Colosssus 2. I will capture videos from analog sources to mp4. Does this card capture in mp4 format directly? After you stop the capture, is your mp4 file ready at once? How is the quality? Do you suggest this card? What is the name of the Hauppauge software you use? Can you send me the program screenshots?
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  23. Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    So I seem to have settled in at 5Mb/s for 1-2 hour shows and 3Mb/s for 1/2 hour shows.
    Why would the length of the show make a difference in what bitrate you use? It's the content that matters, not the length. Maybe your short shows were cartoons but the long shows movies or sports? Cartoons have little detail and many duplicate frames -- that makes them much easier to compress. Sports has lots of action making it harder to compress.
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  24. Originally Posted by OS_Man View Post
    Hello Christopher, I sent you hidden message but you might not have seen it. I am about to buy
    Hauppage Colosssus 2. I will capture videos from analog sources to mp4. Does this card capture in mp4 format directly? After you stop the capture, is your mp4 file ready at once? How is the quality? Do you suggest this card? What is the name of the Hauppauge software you use? Can you send me the program screenshots?
    Yes Colossus will capture directly to mp4. There's a 2 second delay while it finalizes to mp4 but that's it, you can pretty much view it right away. It comes with analog cables so you can hook it up into the s-video jack on the back of the card.

    Quality is excellent. The source is 720p so I don't record more than 720p 60fps. The colossus can record 1080p but only at 30fps. I am recording through HDMI AverMedia can record at 1080p 60fps but I heard some software hardware incompatibilities so I stayed with Hauppauge. I have an older WinTV HVR 1265 card which I am quite happy with. There are some slight microsecond frame drop outs but you can fix that by upping the minimum processor frequency from the default of 5% to 90% but it's possible for me anyways that the problem is because I don't have a dedicated video card (I am about to do some experimenting on that). Other people complained about audio. I am only now hearing a quick drop out of sound, probably about as quick as a quick finger snap dropout every maybe 30 seconds or so, I only hear it once in a while. The other issue I had was physically not being able to fit in my computer my motherboard was off or maybe the bracket was soldered on a little higher than usual but I fixed it by pulling the metal out a little on the back of the computer. Fits great now, but you won't have to worry about that.

    I prefer internal cards PCIe, they are faster than the USB 2.0 ports that I have on my computer. I won't tell you to buy this card but would recommend it. It is a good card for me. If you are a video or audio buff, you might consider the AverMedia only because of the 1080p 60fps recording options. I find I'm not that big a video buff to worry about a 1080p or 720p difference. Maybe I will in the future but right now doesn't matter for me.

    The Hauppauge software I use is WinTV 8. And the latest free hauppauge capture 35054 software available from the Hauppauge website. You should note that I couldn't install the drivers I downloaded from the site (I mean I downloaded and installed them, but the computer still wouldn't recognize the card), I wasn't going to use WinTV 8, but it wasn't until I installed WinTV8 that the software downloaded the drivers properly and allowed the card to work (also if I didn't mention before this computer is not hooked up to the internet - so I had some hoops I had to jump through that other people wouldn't normally have to). Also note Hauppauge doesn't ship software cd's with it's products anymore but they do provide product keys so you can install and use the newer WinTV software.

    Here are some screenshots from Hauppauge capture (just a side note I'm just thinking of now is that the hauppauge capture program could be the reason for some of the audio video issues I might be seeing - but I'm still experimenting). These screenshots are from recording at 720p at 5Mbps . The first few captures are captures from the program and the last one is a screenshot.
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  25. Originally Posted by jagabo View Post
    Originally Posted by Christopher2222 View Post
    So I seem to have settled in at 5Mb/s for 1-2 hour shows and 3Mb/s for 1/2 hour shows.
    Why would the length of the show make a difference in what bitrate you use? It's the content that matters, not the length. Maybe your short shows were cartoons but the long shows movies or sports? Cartoons have little detail and many duplicate frames -- that makes them much easier to compress. Sports has lots of action making it harder to compress.
    I barely notice a difference from 3 to 5Mbps but I have a lot of 1/2 hour sitcom shows I don't need at 5Mbps 3Mbps is good enough. I don't need them occupying tons of space on my hard drive and that's the only reason. If space didn't matter I'd record them all at 13Mbps.
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  26. To summarize ... with HDMI input I've fixed the video frame drop outs by increasing minimum processor frequency to 90%. And I've just realized I fixed the quick audio dropouts by unchecking "Disable AC3 audio support".
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  27. Member
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    Christopher, can you adjust the capture resolutions to whatever you want. I mean the software doesn't have fixed capturing resolutions, does it?

    For example, can I adjust the following capture resolutions except 720p ? Actually, are capturing width, height and fps completely free to adjust?

    720 x 576
    1024 x 768
    1152 x 864
    1280 x 960

    And the most important thing I want to learn is that capturing from analog sources (equal or lower than 720x576) to higher resolutions cause poor video quality?
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  28. I think I know what you mean. Select the scaling and adjust your resolution output. There are option dropdowns in the menus on the jpg I uploaded. I don't know how that would work if you want a higher resolution than your source. Output frame rate is adjustable from source to 30, 25 and 15 fps. As you know Colossus 2 can record at 1080p 30fps max and 720p 60fps max but you can change the output resolution in the table I show below, my source can only output at 1080i and not 1080p (sigh) I've set it to 720p. The scaling options for Hauppauge capture program in the boxes drop down options (which the manual doesn't show) I show below

    1080p
    1280 x 720
    960 x 540
    720 x 480
    640 x 360
    480 x 270

    1080i
    960 x 540
    720 x 480
    640 x 360
    480 x 270

    720p
    720 x 480
    640 x 360
    480 x 270

    480
    640 x 480
    649 x 360
    480 x 360
    480 x 270

    I can't really answer if capturing from analog sources to higher resolutions cause poor video quality. I don't have any analog sources to test from.

    I would imagine capturing from analog sources at the source resolution would be as good as the source. However since you don't have the card yet, what capture cards are you trying to choose between?
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    Last edited by Christopher2222; 12th Feb 2018 at 10:45. Reason: adding information
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  29. Member
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    Christopher,

    Is the resolutions list you write fixed for 1080p,1080i, 720p, 480 ?
    Is there a Custom choice in dropdown list?

    720p
    720 x 480
    640 x 360
    480 x 270

    For example, do you have to choose one of three choices for 720p or can you adjust for example 720 x 576 or whatever you want?
    Thanks.
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  30. No custom choice. But if you selected source it would capture whatever the source was so 720p set to source would capture the normal 720 resolution size whatever that is. But that's the Hauppauge capture software, other software (don't use haven't tried) might do that.

    Or you could capture with Hauppauge capture and use Handbrake or something else to turn it into something else.
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