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 Post subject: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:19 am 
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How exactly are you doing this, which TV tuner and software program do you use?

Right now I use an old TV tuner card with a hardware encoder that records analog TV channels as .mpg files to the PC. I use a free software but outdated called GB-PVR. It's simple and it just works in the background without wasting computer resources. Now I need to record TV on a new PC, but my current TV tuner will not work due to a memory issue (it crashes in systems with 4GB+ memory). I need to get a new TV tuner, but many TV tuner cards seem to receive bad reviews from consumers. I've done some reading but the tuner card I'm interested in is currently out of stock locally.


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 10:53 am 
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I cant help you with your TV tuner question directly, but I can suggest some alternative solutions that might work for you. If you have decent broadband then a simple solution is live streaming TV over the internet, or TV on demand for TV programmes that you have missed such as "BBC iPlayer" which I assume are available in your neck of the woods for your TV channels. If however you are looking to "keep" something rather than just watch it the day after it was broadcast then there are various places that you can get TV programmes that someone else has recorded.


Andy

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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 11:53 am 
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Yeah, I am looking to archive, eg financial news. Using PC as a PVR is probably an esoteric thing to do, but I've gotten used to it, even if it's just SDTV.


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 12:02 pm 
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I am sorry, I cannot help you.


Andy

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Main PC, P180, CM Silent Pro 500M, i5 3570k @ 4.2Ghz, 8-GB @ 2,000MHz, 256 GB Samsung 830, 500-GB 7K500, MSI 660Ti Twin Frozr, PC is super quiet :o
Server, 6-TB RAID-5 array, + 2 x 2-TB backup drives, 380W Enermax Pro82+, 4x very quiet fans, positive pressure only, no exhaust fans
Living Room PC, 3500+, 2-GB RAM, HD501LJ


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 4:56 pm 
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When I purchased an analog tv tuner card all the software to record TV shows was included. In the US many cable companies still broadcast analogue signals, though the number is surely dropping. But I don't see how digital tv tuner cards wouldn't offer the same features.

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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Fri Oct 19, 2012 6:28 pm 
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Location: San Jose
Well, I'm currently running two PCs as DVRs. They both run Windows Media Center, one has a ceton tuner card with a cable card in it, so I can get encrypted movie channels and such. I have a couple of silicondust network tuners that just get clearQAM stations off of the cable line. I used to have a couple of hauppauge cards to get clearQAM signals, but I wanted to get something external to give the video cards in that machine a little more room to breathe. I'm planning on moving the silicondust tuners to a tv antenna I installed at my new place, but haven't gotten round to wiring it up yet.

In terms of software, WMC is the most compatible with cable tv systems, and it comes free with windows (although it won't come free in Windows 8..). The hauppague tuners usually come with some simple dvr software, it might be good enough for you if you're just archiving stuff. There's also some free software called MediaPortal that is free and built into xmbc, I think. For linux, the standard answer is MythTV, but it's a pain to set it up, especially if you want to use a remote. Interestingly, MediaPortal just announced support for cable card tuners, and MythTV also offers support for some cable card tuners, although neither support encrypted channels like WMC.

But the big question for your case is, what are they using up in Canada? I have no idea what broadcast or cable standards you use up there, so that's a big question mark. But if you can give me any more information, I can probably help you narrow things down.


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 7:40 am 
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Location: Vancouver
cordis wrote:
Well, I'm currently running two PCs as DVRs. They both run Windows Media Center, one has a ceton tuner card with a cable card in it, so I can get encrypted movie channels and such. I have a couple of silicondust network tuners that just get clearQAM stations off of the cable line. I used to have a couple of hauppauge cards to get clearQAM signals, but I wanted to get something external to give the video cards in that machine a little more room to breathe. I'm planning on moving the silicondust tuners to a tv antenna I installed at my new place, but haven't gotten round to wiring it up yet.

In terms of software, WMC is the most compatible with cable tv systems, and it comes free with windows (although it won't come free in Windows 8..). The hauppague tuners usually come with some simple dvr software, it might be good enough for you if you're just archiving stuff. There's also some free software called MediaPortal that is free and built into xmbc, I think. For linux, the standard answer is MythTV, but it's a pain to set it up, especially if you want to use a remote. Interestingly, MediaPortal just announced support for cable card tuners, and MythTV also offers support for some cable card tuners, although neither support encrypted channels like WMC.


I could never get my Hauppauge tuner to work with WMC or MediaPortal for capturing. I do use MediaPortal for playing media so it'd be great to get it to work. WMC would be ok too if it works in the background.

Quote:
But the big question for your case is, what are they using up in Canada? I have no idea what broadcast or cable standards you use up there, so that's a big question mark. But if you can give me any more information, I can probably help you narrow things down.


I've been on basic analog cable for 20 years and have no idea about how the digital stuff works. I plug the coaxial cable into my TV tuner and it records what I want. That's all I know lol. My impression is that any upgrade for me will involve using a proprietary digital cable box from the provider ( shaw.ca/television/packages/ ), so in order to record I'd program an IR blaster (I think that's what it's called) to control the cable box and record the video from the box. I assume subtitles would not be available in the video stream. That's the extent of my impression, and I have no experience with it all... which is why I have been staying with convenient, ugly TV for so long.

If you can provide some tips or suggestion that'd be great. Thanks!


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Sat Oct 20, 2012 3:49 pm 
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OK, from what I've been able to google about Shaw, it looks like all their digital stuff is fully encrypted, so if you can get analog signals from them, that's probably your best way to go. Unfortunately, since the US has moved to digital over the air, nobody really sells analog tuners any more. I probably have a couple of old hauppague analog tuner cards somewhere, but if that's already what you're using, I'm not sure they'd be much help. There are some that have older analog compatibility, like this one: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116024&name=Video-Devices-TV-Tuners so that might work for you, unless you can't deal with hauppauge. It does have windows 7 drivers, so that should work on systems with more memory. There are some older pure analog cards, but they don't seem to have windows 7 drivers: http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=100007683%20600053926&IsNodeId=1&name=Analog%20Tuner

If you are looking to go digital, you would need something with an ir blaster to control the cable box. I have one of these http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815100148&name=Video-Devices-TV-Tuners, it has a built IR blaster but I was never able to get it to work. But my cable box has a feature where it will change the channel for programs, so I use that. There are a couple hauppague products that do the same thing, a card http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116065&name=Video-Devices-TV-Tuners and an external box http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116030&name=Video-Devices-TV-Tuners that should do the job.


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 7:09 am 
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Thanks, so for digital my best bet would probably be a cable box that changes programs so I won't need an IR blaster. I assume that no subtitles can be recorded?


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 8:10 am 
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Location: San Jose
Yeah, you probably won't get subtitles, but I'm not sure. I think for subtitles you'd need a tuner, and the external hd thing just gets video as far as I know.


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 Post subject: Re: anyone records TV programs on a PC?
PostPosted: Mon Oct 22, 2012 1:19 pm 
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Location: Vancouver
Thanks, I appreciate the help! Just cancelled our basic cable while I try to bring myself up to date with 21st century technology. Been paying the cable company way too much.


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