Maeglin (maeglin73) wrote,

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Video capture adventures

After I finally got the CableCARDs installed in the TiVo, I tried setting up something for it to connect to the video capture hardware I already had on my computer, for use mainly until they manage to get TiVoToGo enabled for the Series3 (which is being delayed mainly because of the DRM-crazy cable companies that happen to govern what the cards can be put into, and likely still wont be allowed for any encrypted digital channels). I had ordered and received a pair of A/V baluns on the same day that the installer arrived, actually, so I could use a single CAT5 cable instead of regular A/V cables that would be more expensive (if I didn't want to settle for crappy ones, that is).

A few days later, I came to the realization that the success that I had in the past with my current hardware was gone. During a reasonably long recording (which most recorded shows would fall under), the audio would tend to go so far out of sync that it would resemble a dubbed Japanese film whenever someone spoke. This was apparently for two reasons, learned a while after I had bought it:

- The connection was USB 2.0, which is fast but is no good for streaming large amounts of data

- Pinnacle Studio was never any good at keeping up audio synchronization for analog video, particularly with their own hardware

After a couple failed attempts with what I had before, I ordered one of these, which arrived yesterday. The first thing I did when I got home was to connect everything up with it, and start recording a show from the Tivo. After that was done, I was happy to see that the audio was synchronized exactly as it should be. The DVD files rendered overnight and I burned a disc this morning, but I haven't had a chance to check that yet... I'll be doing that tonight, but so far it seems promising. If it works, I have 3 more to do over the weekend.

The one problem is that it's now recording full DV quality video, or at least that's the computer's perception. Where the larger hard drive in that machine could record a few dozen hours of video before, now it can only hold roughly 4 hours, and each DVD master image cuts into that. What I need to do is put a new drive in the machine specifically for captures and maybe masters as well. I'm thinking a few hundred gigs of SATA II should do it...

[Update @ 4:30pm]
I did manage to find a 500GB SATA II drive for $185 that had some good customer reviews attached to it. Anyone know where I might get a better deal... with a reputable place?
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