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Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 29th 15, 11:13 AM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
David[_13_]
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Posts: 86
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

Does nobody use PCs as TV recorders any more?

The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to be
very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted) and the
Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB recording
(e.g. Humax HB-1000s for £74.99 at John Lewis).

Is this a dying market?

What are the benefits compared to using streaming services across the
Internet?

Contemplating buying a card to decode satellite into an HTPC which will
probably be running Windows Media Centre under W7 but I am wondering if it
is worth the effort and cost.

Since I built the HTPC a couple of years ago we have been tempted into a
Tivo box from Virgin so the main benefit would be the ability to
distribute recordings over the house LAN.

Cheers

Dave R

--
Windows 8.1 on PCSpecialist box
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  #2  
Old January 29th 15, 12:01 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
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Posts: 4,326
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

In article , David
wrote:
Does nobody use PCs as TV recorders any more?


I have done, and plan to go on doing so. I don't think I'm unique.

The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to
be very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted)
and the Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB
recording (e.g. Humax HB-1000s for 74.99 at John Lewis).


Is this a dying market?


I'm not clear why 'new models' would be necessary. I bought the device I
use a few years ago and it continues to let me record/view DVB-T/T2. I
guess some fundamental change to the transmission systems would prompt a
need for a change. Lacking that, I guess the old models serve people.


What are the benefits compared to using streaming services across the
Internet?


Can't say for sure as I've not use any special hardware for 'internet
streaming'. But IIRC someone told me that BBC HDTV via iplayer is actually
lower resolution than DVB-T2. To know more I'd have to experiment using
get_iplayer but see below...

It occurs to me, though, that using DVB means you can record GB's of
material with no impact on any 'capacity limit' set by your ISP on your
internet use. IIRC find the BBC DVB-T2 HDTV tends to clock up the order of
a few GB / hour. So if someone has a 'cap' on their internet of, say, 50GB
per month, you'd use that up pretty swiftly.

....that's one reason I don't use get_iplayer for video. I just record 'off
air'.

Commercial recorders may also 'encrypt' or 'obfuscate' the recorded files.
And then make them difficult/impossible to play using anything other than
the individual recorder you used. So after a few years when your recorder
dies... you may lose all the recordings as well. Of course you may not care
if you don't want to keep any recordings beyond a short time.


Since I built the HTPC a couple of years ago we have been tempted into a
Tivo box from Virgin so the main benefit would be the ability to
distribute recordings over the house LAN.


Not tried it, but I assume people now can do that using a home computer
anyway. If you can stream audio from a NAS you should be able to stream AV,
provided your NAS and home net can cope with the rates required. That said,
I'm basing this assumption on my Linux use. I guess Windows supports the
same things, but can't tell as I've not used it at all for many years.

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #3  
Old January 29th 15, 12:47 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,329
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

"David" wrote in message
...
Does nobody use PCs as TV recorders any more?

The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to be
very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted) and the
Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB recording
(e.g. Humax HB-1000s for £74.99 at John Lewis).

Is this a dying market?

What are the benefits compared to using streaming services across the
Internet?

Contemplating buying a card to decode satellite into an HTPC which will
probably be running Windows Media Centre under W7 but I am wondering if it
is worth the effort and cost.

Since I built the HTPC a couple of years ago we have been tempted into a
Tivo box from Virgin so the main benefit would be the ability to
distribute recordings over the house LAN.


I certainly use my WIn 7 PC and Windows Media Centre to record programmes
from terrestrial and if we move to an area that can only receive from a
terrestrial relay (ie only a few muxes) I'll probably get a DVB-S2
card/adaptor for it.

We have a Sky box for recording from satellite but it suffers from the
restrictions that a) it has a very small hard drive compared with the two 1
TB drives in my PC; b) the recordings can't be extracted from the Sky box
via USB or Ethernet so the only way to keep a permanent copy is to make a
real-time analogue dub of a recording.

I've never investigated internet streaming services, apart from iPlayer and
its download equivalent, but you can't keep those recordings. ITV Player is
littered with adverts that you can't edit out which is the first thing I do
with any programme I record on my PC - take out all continuity announcements
and adverts.

We just have normal ADSL (6 Mb / 448 Kb) rather than FTTC/VDSL, so
downloading a programme would be a fairly long job compared with if we had a
30 Mb / 30 Mb connection.

  #4  
Old January 29th 15, 01:22 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,329
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

"David" wrote in message
...
Since I built the HTPC a couple of years ago we have been tempted into a
Tivo box from Virgin so the main benefit would be the ability to
distribute recordings over the house LAN.


Can I pick your brains about streaming recordings from the storage device
(eg a PC) to the viewing device (eg a receiver attached by HDMI to a TV).

If I've understood things correctly, most streaming setups relying on
pushing the data from the PC to a TV decoder, rather than relying on the
receiver sucking data from a network share on the "server" PC. The
difference is that in the former case, you need to be at the server to
control the selecting, starting and stopping of the programme, whereas in
the latter case you control everything from the TV receiver which means
you're not running upstairs to the server to start playing and to pause it
if the phone rings.

Or have I completely misunderstood how these devices work.

And are there any receivers which can handle Microsoft Windows Media Centre
WTV files, or is it necessary to convert things to more generic formats like
MPG, MP4 or TS which are slightly less useful because (as understand it)
none of those formats support metadata such as episode name, plot summary
etc, whereas WTV (and DVR-MS) do. At least TS (unlike MPG and MP4) supports
multiple streams so they preserve the subtitle stream.

I found some PC software for usee with a PlayStation3 which *claims* to be
able to read WTV from a network share, but the results are appallingly
low-bitrate as if some format-conversion is taking place at the PC into a
lesser format that the PS3 can handle.

  #5  
Old January 29th 15, 01:35 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roger Mills[_2_]
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Posts: 279
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

On 29/01/2015 13:01, Jim Lesurf wrote:
In , David
wrote:



The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to
be very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted)
and the Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB
recording (e.g. Humax HB-1000s for 74.99 at John Lewis).



I'm not clear why 'new models' would be necessary. I bought the device I
use a few years ago and it continues to let me record/view DVB-T/T2. I
guess some fundamental change to the transmission systems would prompt a
need for a change. Lacking that, I guess the old models serve people.



I think the clue lies in "the OS support quoted". If, for example, the
kit was designed to work with Windows XP, it may or may not work with
Windows 7/8 and - at the very least - may require updated drivers.
--
Cheers,
Roger
____________
Please reply to Newsgroup. Whilst email address is valid, it is seldom
checked.
  #6  
Old January 29th 15, 01:38 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
NY
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 1,329
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

"Roger Mills" wrote in message
...
On 29/01/2015 13:01, Jim Lesurf wrote:
In , David
wrote:



The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to
be very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted)
and the Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB
recording (e.g. Humax HB-1000s for 74.99 at John Lewis).



I'm not clear why 'new models' would be necessary. I bought the device I
use a few years ago and it continues to let me record/view DVB-T/T2. I
guess some fundamental change to the transmission systems would prompt a
need for a change. Lacking that, I guess the old models serve people.



I think the clue lies in "the OS support quoted". If, for example, the kit
was designed to work with Windows XP, it may or may not work with Windows
7/8 and - at the very least - may require updated drivers.


I'm surprised at how few DVB-T2 (as opposed to DVB-T) devices are sold on
Amazon. You'd think that there would be loads of manufacturers keen to sell
DVB-T/T2 and DVB-S/S2 devices.

Recording on the PC has the advantage that you can keep recordings forever
and you can edit out non-programme crap such as continuity announcements and
adverts.

  #7  
Old January 29th 15, 01:49 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Jim Lesurf[_2_]
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Posts: 4,326
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

In article , Roger Mills
wrote:
On 29/01/2015 13:01, Jim Lesurf wrote:
In , David
wrote:



The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem
to be very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support
quoted) and the Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver
with USB recording (e.g. Humax HB-1000s for 74.99 at John Lewis).



I'm not clear why 'new models' would be necessary. I bought the device
I use a few years ago and it continues to let me record/view DVB-T/T2.
I guess some fundamental change to the transmission systems would
prompt a need for a change. Lacking that, I guess the old models serve
people.



I think the clue lies in "the OS support quoted". If, for example, the
kit was designed to work with Windows XP, it may or may not work with
Windows 7/8 and - at the very least - may require updated drivers.


Ah! OK. I keep forgetting the dumb way makers supply OS-specific 'drivers'
rather than simply follow an openly explained standard. Guess it helps them
churn kit. I guess most people put up with it because they have no idea
that there can be an alternative approach that would free them from the
problem.

That said, maybe some of the said devices do work with more recent versions
of 'doze, but you have to find out for yourself. Can't comment on that for
the reason I gave. But I guess the linux dvbapps, etc, are open source, so
should be portable for those who know how to do such things.

Jim

--
Please use the address on the audiomisc page if you wish to email me.
Electronics http://www.st-and.ac.uk/~www_pa/Scot...o/electron.htm
Armstrong Audio http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/Armstrong/armstrong.html
Audio Misc http://www.audiomisc.co.uk/index.html

  #8  
Old January 29th 15, 03:55 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Johny B Good[_2_]
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Posts: 853
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

On 29 Jan 2015 12:13:50 GMT, David wrote:

Does nobody use PCs as TV recorders any more?

The decoder cards available on the Internet (Hauppauge and TBS) seem to be
very old stock (judging by the reviews and the OS support quoted) and the
Hauppauge card costs more than a stand alone receiver with USB recording
(e.g. Humax HB-1000s for 74.99 at John Lewis).

Is this a dying market?

What are the benefits compared to using streaming services across the
Internet?

Contemplating buying a card to decode satellite into an HTPC which will
probably be running Windows Media Centre under W7 but I am wondering if it
is worth the effort and cost.

Since I built the HTPC a couple of years ago we have been tempted into a
Tivo box from Virgin so the main benefit would be the ability to
distribute recordings over the house LAN.


Hi Dave,

I've been recording Freeview broadcasts (almost exclusively BBC
broadcasts and, until a year ago, Channel Four's "The Simpsons" and
the odd "Dave" broadcast) for almost the last decade using a single
tuner DVB-T PCI adapter in this win2k PC which, in all that time has
had only the one major hardware upgrade (I had not long upgraded from
a P2/350 (oc'd to 467MHz) setup to a Barton cored XP2500+ setup which
was upgraded almost five years ago to its current 3.1GHz clocked
Phenom X2 incarnation, now due for its next half decade upgrade.

Prior to that, I'd been using a cheapish analogue TV tuner adapter to
_watch_ TV programmes in full frame (no feckin' overscan to spoil the
view being the essential benefit of this exercise).

Although I could have recorded the programmes, it simply wasn't worth
the effort of trying to overcome the then current hardware limitations
(uncompressed video capture requiring a GB of disk space per
_TEN_MINUTES_ of broadcast material at a time when I still had the
quaint notion of restricting logical disk volumes to 4GB each to suit
the uncompressed capacity of my DDS2 cartridges).

Even if I was prepared to create 3 and 6 GB media files (29 and 59
minute broadcasts) for later processing into 2GB/hour mpg recordings,
I wouldn't have been able to keep up with even a limited selection of
the programme material I was interested in archiving for posterity.

At the time, I had a choice of either radically upgrading the MoBo
and the HDDs to reduce the time frame in dealing with processing
uncompressed video monster files or else spend similar money on a
better analogue TV tuner card with hardware based on-the-fly mpg
compression built in. Neither option appealed (spending silly money).

When DVB-T USB adapters became available at affordable prices a
decade ago, the problem of archiving broadcast TV became somewhat
trivialised (it marginalised all that expensive analogue recording kit
at a stroke). Indeed, if I'd been able to start using such a DVB-T
tuning device before I'd upgraded the P2 setup, it would have counted
as being a system that exceeded the minimum system requirements for
recording "FreeView" broadcasts by a rather wide margin.

I'm still recording DVB-T1 with that same single tuner PCI adapter to
this day. The Kworld twin tuner adapter that I'd bought just a year or
two later, due to the lack of win2k driver support, has never been
used, except in my Linux testbench setup from time to time (using
Kaffeine) to solve 3 way recording conflicts that are beyond my
desktop and laptop win2k based PVR solutions (both using DTVR as the
least kludged MS windows recording software option - the 'Home
Theatre' styled PVR software are slack jawed dimwit abominations in my
humble opinion).

Since the PCI adapters, afaics, simply present their DVB-T tuners as
USB connected devices, there's little to choose, performancewise,
between external USB tuning sticks and internally fitted PCI adapters.
The difference is more a case of aesthetics.

You shouldn't have any difficulties getting hold of a DVB-T or T2
tuner (PCI or USB adapter). I'm guessing that your complaint about the
lack of OS support is in relation to win8 rather than win2k. If that's
the case, it seems rather surprising that the manufacturers haven't
already fallen over themselves to serve Microsoft's best interests by
toeing the Microsoft line as they seemed all too happy to do in regard
of removing win2k support even before Microsoft had terminated
extended support for that OS back in 2013.

Unusually, Linux has better support for DVB-T tuners than Microsoft
windows (at least as far the last NT based user orientated version,
win2k, goes). Since I'm not planning on inflicting a Microsoft OS as a
host OS on my next major hardware upgrade (ms windows, where required,
will simply be installed in VMs as 'disposable apps' that can readily
be flushed away like a used tampon as and when they break), this lack
of ms windows support simply won't matter one jot to me.

As far as "Internet TV" is concerned, the only such service I avail
myself of are torrent downloads of specific movies or TV series that I
think will be thought provoking or offer entertainment that appeals to
my tastes.

I'm long past the point where the novelty of the "Latest Hollywood
Blockbuster" has worn off and feel I have already contributed far too
much as a "Nicely behaved consumer" to be contributing any more of my
resources to the corporate parasites of this world so such activities
have virtually no appeal to me. I've no doubt others less jaded will
be only too happy to offer their recommendations in this regard (TiVo
boxes and NetFlix services et al).

With regard to using the house LAN to distribute content to your TV
set(s), I reckon the best way forward is to employ a streaming player
capable of playing any and all of the media files stored on your house
NAS box so as to avoid the need to run cpu sapping transcoding
services on the NAS itself. By all means install/enable a DNLA service
on the NAS but don't encumber it with any transcoding, leave that to
the media streaming device itself.

The problem I have is that there are still no halfway decent
streaming media players at sensible prices available today which
leaves me contemplating the use of a SBC and XBMC solution such as a
Raspberry Pi or better (such as the ODROID-C1, recently mentioned in
ucol).

This is a value add feature that's been left on the back burner ever
since my disappointment with a 50 quid Tevion/Medion streaming media
player box I'd purchased from Aldi or Lidl a couple of years ago which
I'd returned within the week for a full refund due to it being
(literally) "Not Fit For Purpose".

One of these days, I'm going to 'get off my backside' and have
another look for a readymade or else take the plunge and build myself
one from a suitable SBC such as that ODROID-C1 or similar.

Whichever of those solutions I choose, this will (finally!) allow our
current TV sets access to some 12,000 plus (and rising) TV recordings
that currently reside on the NAS box.

Incidently, if you're considering a PC based PVR without the
encumberances of a Hometheatre GUI and the limitations of windows
compatable software, you might find a linux based setup using Kaffeine
as an ideal solution.

I'm currently using DTVR on both my desktop and laptop (win2k in both
cases) to shedule recordings on. A major limitation is not being able
to record more than one stream per mux at a time (which, afaiaa, also
applies to hometheatre styled windows alternatives).

In this case, the recordings are scheduled by starting time and
duration. Quite often, I need to record two or more programmes back to
back. In this case it's simply a matter of setting the start time -
padding (eg a half hour BBC1 programme scheduled for 6pm start is set
to start at 5:57pm and run for 38 minutes to give a 4 minute end
padding) and a duration that covers the two or more programmes plus
the total of start and end padding time. This produces a single large
file for later slicing and dicing into the two or more programme
files.

This isn't too great a problem when only 3 or 4 programmes over a two
or three hour period are involved but it becomes just a little bit
onerous when half a dozen or more programmes over a 5 or 6 hour period
are involved. Thankfully, such extremes are quite rare.

One of the main unexpected features of using Kaffeine was its ability
to record two or more streams from a mux and, even better, record a
series of programmes each with their own overlapping padding into
their own individual file, regardless of which mux or stream they were
extracted from.

Although I still had the job of removing the padding times as before
by slicing and dicing, the job was made considerably simpler as a
result of each programme being contained within its own unique file.

Kaffeine's TV recording schedule can be configured to add user
defined padding automatically so that adding programmes to the
recording schedule is as simple as double clicking their epg entry.

Unlike the system used by DTVR, if you add a programme from its epg
just after its padded out start time, it will start the recording
straight away. If you programme a start time in DTVR that's earlier
than the actual time, it simply doesn't start the recording.

I'm not certain but I have a feeling it'll immediately start
recording even if you've missed the published start time which, in the
case of being just a minute or two late, may still get the start of
the programme anyway due to the broadcaster's propensity to start the
programme minutes later than they claim they will - even the BBC are
guilty of this.

The only 'Gotcha' in this case when considering consumption by
windows users was the use of 'Illegal' filename characters that
occasionally occurred in the TV programme names used for the naming of
the files.

This is nothing new, it's also exactly the same problem with the
"rec" TS files saved by the Toppy which produces a silent failure when
copying such files via the USB link to a windows PC (laptop in my
case) at the very end of the file copying attempt.

The first few times I was plagued by this 'silent error', I couldn't
figure out what the problem was. When I did finally twig to the cause,
it was simply a matter of renaming the files on the Toppy _before_
copying them over (eg, replace colons with semicolons and forward
slashes with dashes or whatever seems more appropriate). It's yet
another thing to consider when copying recordings from a toppy via the
usb link to a windows PC.

HTH & HAND :-)
--
J B Good
  #9  
Old January 29th 15, 05:13 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Paul Ratcliffe
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Posts: 2,486
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:22:02 -0000, NY wrote:

At least TS (unlike MPG and MP4) supports
multiple streams so they preserve the subtitle stream.


Rubbish. If an MPG didn't support multiple streams, how do you think
you'd get pictures and sound?
Of course they are capable of subtitles, audio description etc.
  #10  
Old January 29th 15, 05:58 PM posted to uk.tech.digital-tv
Roderick Stewart[_3_]
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Posts: 2,246
Default Using PC as Terrestrial/Satellite recorder - obsolete?

On Thu, 29 Jan 2015 14:38:25 -0000, "NY" wrote:

Recording on the PC has the advantage that you can keep recordings forever
and you can edit out non-programme crap such as continuity announcements and
adverts.


A Panasonic PVR will permit the simple excision of crap, and although
I've kept an old one with a recordable DVD drive, I can't recall the
last time I actually used this function. On the HD one I normally use,
everything eventually gets deleted, sometimes without even being
watched if I can't remember why I recorded it.

Versatile technical capabilities might be appealing, but after you've
accumulated a few boxes of recorded DVDs you've never watched, it
becomes necessary to acknowledge the truth, however embarrassing.

I did try a receiver card in the PC for a while, but the software that
came with it was so unergonomic it wasn't really worth the bother.

Rod.
 




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