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TV to hard disk recording - Noob advice please

 
 
Lodi
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      11-14-2011
> Stephen Worthington wrote:

> On Mon, 14 Nov 2011 12:22:45 +1300, Lodi <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:
>
>>Hi all...
>>
>>Running Ubuntu 10.10 with KDE.
>>
>>Total noob when it comes to hard disk recording programmes off the telly.
>>So does anyone have any keywords I can google or hardware advice.
>>
>>Currently when I need to I can record onto a Mustek DVD-recorder. But the
>>obvious drawback is write-once media. You tend to end up with piles of
>>DVD's. (Unless I spend big bucks for a decent DVD-RW...which has a limited
>>life anyway)
>>
>>Basically I just want to replace a VCR with a hard disk for as cheap as
>>possible. I have loads of hard disks and scavenged systems lying around.
>>Any advice on taking the cable that runs between the red/white/yellow
>>sockets of my TV and Sky decoder and routing said cable to a hard disk.
>>
>>Am penguin friendly so feel free to use big words
>>
>>Thanks much
>>Lodi

>
> MythTV is the major Linux based TV system: http://mythtv.org. I run
> Mythbuntu, which is a MythTV distro based on Ubuntu. But you can just
> load the MythTV packages onto any standard Ubuntu system. Then you
> need several key things:
>
> 1) Up to three DVB-T tuners (one per DVB-T multiplex: TVNZ, MediaWorks
> and Kordia). Three allows you to allow you to record from all the
> FreeviewHD channels at once, but lots of people make do with only two.
>
> 2) Or alternatively, if you are out of range of good DVB-T reception,
> up to two DVB-S or DVB-S2 tuners to receive from satellite. You can
> use your existing Sky dish.
>
> 3) An Nvidia video card running VDPAU drivers to do playback of DVB-T
> recordings. It is not possible to adequately play back DVB-T
> recordings without hardware acceleration of the H.264 video - just
> using CPU power does not work. The card needs to be able to do the
> best interlace modes to prevent slight jerkiness on playback. The
> recommended card is a GT 220 model or better. I use a silent GT 220
> (takes 2 slots). You can also do the recordings on a "backend" PC
> that does not have an Nvidia card and the do the playback over
> ethernet on a different PC running the MythTV "frontend" software.
>
> 4) To record from your Sky decoder, you need a card that will do
> hardware encoding to MPEG2 format recordings, and is supported to
> Linux. I use a PCI based Hauppauge PVR-500, but the recommended card
> is a Hauppauge PVR-150. The PVR-500 is just two PVR-150s on the same
> card. These are hard to get new, but do appear on TradeMe from time
> to time. There may be other cards now that can do this, but you need
> to be careful choosing them. You normally connect the Sky decoder to
> the PVR-150 card with an S-Video cable for the best quality of
> recordings, but composite video (your yellow cable) will work.
>
> 5) To get EPG, you can download the listings for Freeview from
> http://nzepg.org.
>
> 6) To get EPG for Sky, you need to have a DVB-S or DVB-S2 card
> installed, so that you can run epgsnoop to get the listings from the
> EIT data broadcast on the Sky satellite channels. You can also get
> the EIT data from the Freeview satellite channels and use that for the
> Freeview EPG.
>
> 7) You need a fair amount of disk space. HD programs from TV3 or TV1
> take 5-6 Gibytes per hour of recording. I recommend at least a 1
> Tbyte drive. When recording from many channels at once, at least two
> hard drives are necessary to keep up. I have three drives for
> recordings and often record 4 or 5 channels at the same time.
>
> To choose Linux compatible tuner cards, first look at
> http://linuxtv.org - they have listings of things that do and don't
> work, which are not always as up to date as we might like. Watch out
> for the required kernel version - some will not work with the older
> kernel used in 10.10. There are lots of USB DVB-T tuners available,
> including some that turn up on TradeMe for around $30, such as the
> Afatech based Kworld DVB-T 395UR ones. The Pinnacle PCTV Nano Stick
> is the one I recommend though - you can get it for around $60 on
> TradeMe. It has a more sensitive receiver and seems more reliable to
> me. Or you can use the Hauppauge WinTV Nova TD-500 or Nova T-500 dual
> PCI cards (dual USB based tuners on one card). On newer motherboards,
> there are supported single and dual tuner PCIe cards, but these are
> usually more expensive that the USB tuners from TradeMe.
>
> There is a MythTVNZ mailing list for help in getting it all to work -
> Google should find it for you.


Hello Stephen...thanks for your reply.

Can't really comment on what you wrote cos, for only the second time in all
of my usenet days, I'm going to have to fire up the printer and print out a
post.

Way too much information to take in. Way too many new terms to understand. I
need to go old school and have your reply on a piece of paper to really
study it and sort out just what you're talking about.

Really appreciate the amount of time you've put into the post

All the best
Lodi

 
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PeeCee
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      11-14-2011
On 14/11/2011 10:52 p.m., Lodi wrote:
>> PeeCee wrote:

>
>> On 14/11/2011 12:22 p.m., Lodi wrote:
>>> Hi all...
>>>
>>> Running Ubuntu 10.10 with KDE.
>>>
>>> Total noob when it comes to hard disk recording programmes off the telly.
>>> So does anyone have any keywords I can google or hardware advice.
>>>
>>> Currently when I need to I can record onto a Mustek DVD-recorder. But the
>>> obvious drawback is write-once media. You tend to end up with piles of
>>> DVD's. (Unless I spend big bucks for a decent DVD-RW...which has a
>>> limited life anyway)
>>>
>>> Basically I just want to replace a VCR with a hard disk for as cheap as
>>> possible. I have loads of hard disks and scavenged systems lying around.
>>> Any advice on taking the cable that runs between the red/white/yellow
>>> sockets of my TV and Sky decoder and routing said cable to a hard disk.
>>>
>>> Am penguin friendly so feel free to use big words
>>>
>>> Thanks much
>>> Lodi

>>
>>
>> Lodi
>>
>> (by "Hard Drive" I take it you mean "System Box" as there is no way you
>> can wire a "Hard Drive" as in a Western Digital or Segate Hard Drive, to
>> the A/V outputs of a a Media device)
>>
>> If you have a 'reasonably' grunty System box lying around (I would think
>> a P4/Athlon X2) the easiest solution is likely to be a PCI/PCIe/USB
>> DVB-S/T tuner attachment.
>>
>> They cost $100-$200 ish so within your budget if you were contemplating
>> a Dish TV box.
>>
>> OS of your choice and tuner compatibility.
>>
>> As a standalone could be refined to the task required.
>>
>> Best
>> Paul.

>
> Thanks for the advice Paul.
>
> Oddly enough I'm writing this from a P4 2.6GHz which I could easily dedicate
> as a standalone.
>
> It only has 1GB memory, DDR 266. Is that sufficient.
>
> No PCIe unfortunately. Just plain old PCI
>
> Thanks
> Lodi
>



Lodi

Can't give you chapter & Verse but I would think any PCI tuner cards
around will have Analog tuners so no point going there.

That leaves you with USB tuners, if your P4 2.66 has USB 2 (should have)
then it will probably be a runner.

A decent Graphics card will help as onboard are usually not up to
en/decoding video streams.

OS compatibility OTOH is another issue and I would suggest you head to
the PVR forums for compatibility advice if you want to use Nix of any sort.
http://www.mythtv.co.nz/mythtv/

Another thought that has occured to me is to check out Trademe for a
Hard Drive recorder with Analog tuners.
There seems to be heaps of them on there as people upgrade to Freeview
(implies they will be cheap) and would just plug in place of your
present DVD recorder.

Do note though there are all sorts of issues with HD video and getting
it 'out' of a recorder. I bought a Panasonic XW380 earlier in the year
only to find I can't export HD only SD to DVD.
I later got a Veon (Warehouse) tv that records to external USB Hard
Drive, brilliant, except I haven't been able to decode the files it
records to the ext HD yet. Suspect it's using a special Codec in order
to keep the Media Mafia at bay.

If you want full HD (eg 1080) you would be better off rolling your own
PVR eg MythTV as referenced above.
Your P4 would probably make a good base for that.

Best
Paul.
 
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PeeCee
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-14-2011
On 14/11/2011 10:52 p.m., Lodi wrote:
>> PeeCee wrote:

>
>> On 14/11/2011 12:22 p.m., Lodi wrote:
>>> Hi all...
>>>
>>> Running Ubuntu 10.10 with KDE.
>>>
>>> Total noob when it comes to hard disk recording programmes off the telly.
>>> So does anyone have any keywords I can google or hardware advice.
>>>
>>> Currently when I need to I can record onto a Mustek DVD-recorder. But the
>>> obvious drawback is write-once media. You tend to end up with piles of
>>> DVD's. (Unless I spend big bucks for a decent DVD-RW...which has a
>>> limited life anyway)
>>>
>>> Basically I just want to replace a VCR with a hard disk for as cheap as
>>> possible. I have loads of hard disks and scavenged systems lying around.
>>> Any advice on taking the cable that runs between the red/white/yellow
>>> sockets of my TV and Sky decoder and routing said cable to a hard disk.
>>>
>>> Am penguin friendly so feel free to use big words
>>>
>>> Thanks much
>>> Lodi

>>
>>
>> Lodi
>>
>> (by "Hard Drive" I take it you mean "System Box" as there is no way you
>> can wire a "Hard Drive" as in a Western Digital or Segate Hard Drive, to
>> the A/V outputs of a a Media device)
>>
>> If you have a 'reasonably' grunty System box lying around (I would think
>> a P4/Athlon X2) the easiest solution is likely to be a PCI/PCIe/USB
>> DVB-S/T tuner attachment.
>>
>> They cost $100-$200 ish so within your budget if you were contemplating
>> a Dish TV box.
>>
>> OS of your choice and tuner compatibility.
>>
>> As a standalone could be refined to the task required.
>>
>> Best
>> Paul.

>
> Thanks for the advice Paul.
>
> Oddly enough I'm writing this from a P4 2.6GHz which I could easily dedicate
> as a standalone.
>
> It only has 1GB memory, DDR 266. Is that sufficient.
>
> No PCIe unfortunately. Just plain old PCI
>
> Thanks
> Lodi
>



Just read Stephen Worthingtons reply, excellent!
Paul.
 
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Lodi
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      11-15-2011
> PeeCee wrote:

> Another thought that has occured to me is to check out Trademe for a
> Hard Drive recorder with Analog tuners.


Hi again...

Was unaware that these existed. Told you I was a noob

TradeMe - Transonic DVD Player/Recorder 80GIG Hard drive for $80
http://tinyurl.com/86zjk4l

Certainly would do the job. And cheap (as in not expensive, not cheap as in
all Transonic gear is cheap).

But now I know of it I wouldn't mind setting up a Mythbuntu system, purely
for the learning.

Do you think this card would work in a linux system even though it says
Microsoft Media Center. It's *almost* the one Stephen recommended. Have
googled for the difference between MCE and non-MCE. It seems superficial.

TradeMe - Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150MCE PCI TV Tuner for $99
http://tinyurl.com/76mjbcj

Any advice appreciated

Regards
Lodi

PS - Hope the links work


 
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Frank Williams
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-15-2011
On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 15:58:11 +1300, Lodi <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> PeeCee wrote:

>
>> Another thought that has occured to me is to check out Trademe for a
>> Hard Drive recorder with Analog tuners.

>
>Hi again...
>
>Was unaware that these existed. Told you I was a noob
>
>TradeMe - Transonic DVD Player/Recorder 80GIG Hard drive for $80
>http://tinyurl.com/86zjk4l
>
>Certainly would do the job. And cheap (as in not expensive, not cheap as in
>all Transonic gear is cheap).
>
>But now I know of it I wouldn't mind setting up a Mythbuntu system, purely
>for the learning.
>
>Do you think this card would work in a linux system even though it says
>Microsoft Media Center. It's *almost* the one Stephen recommended. Have
>googled for the difference between MCE and non-MCE. It seems superficial.
>
>TradeMe - Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150MCE PCI TV Tuner for $99
>http://tinyurl.com/76mjbcj
>
>Any advice appreciated
>
>Regards
>Lodi
>
>PS - Hope the links work
>




Yes keep well away from the Transonic brand from some one that
knows..

Cheap normally means CRAP..
 
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Stephen Worthington
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      11-15-2011
On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 15:58:11 +1300, Lodi <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> PeeCee wrote:

>
>> Another thought that has occured to me is to check out Trademe for a
>> Hard Drive recorder with Analog tuners.

>
>Hi again...
>
>Was unaware that these existed. Told you I was a noob
>
>TradeMe - Transonic DVD Player/Recorder 80GIG Hard drive for $80
>http://tinyurl.com/86zjk4l
>
>Certainly would do the job. And cheap (as in not expensive, not cheap as in
>all Transonic gear is cheap).
>
>But now I know of it I wouldn't mind setting up a Mythbuntu system, purely
>for the learning.
>
>Do you think this card would work in a linux system even though it says
>Microsoft Media Center. It's *almost* the one Stephen recommended. Have
>googled for the difference between MCE and non-MCE. It seems superficial.
>
>TradeMe - Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150MCE PCI TV Tuner for $99
>http://tinyurl.com/76mjbcj
>
>Any advice appreciated
>
>Regards
>Lodi
>
>PS - Hope the links work


That looks like the right PVR-150. I think the seller has just added
the MCE to the name, which probably should not be there. Read on for
the explanation.

One thing I forgot to mention in my big reply is that you also want a
good remote control for a MythTV box. The best ones are MCE remotes
like these with lots of buttons (39?):

http://www.mythtv.org/wiki/MCE_Remote

and the similar remotes that you can get with Hauppauge cards such as
the Nova TD-500. Real MCE remotes are better than the Hauppauge ones
(fewer driver problems) and are usually USB devices. You can also use
your iPhone, iPad or Android device as a remote if you have WiFi
available on your home network.

With some MCE remotes, you also get an IR blaster, either as standard
or as an optional extra. If you want to record from your Sky decoder,
you must have an IR blaster to get the Sky decoder to change channels.
IR blasters are also available as separate hardware, but I have no
experience with those.

Some older Hauppauge cards, such as PVR-500 or PVR-150 cards,
optionally come with a remote control, which is a good real MCE
remote. My PVR-500 one has the IR blaster in the same device as the
MCE remote. What MCE normally means in the title of a PVR-500 or
PVR-250 card is that it has that extra MCE remote in the package. The
photo posted with the one on TradeMe does not show a remote - so you
should ask if it is part of the package. Some people sell their old
PVR-500 or PVR-150 cards which were originally with MCE remote, but
keep the remote. The ones with remote can be expected to be a rather
higher price.

The newer Hauppauge remotes are integrated onto the same card as the
tuner and they can not be sold separately.
 
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Lodi
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      11-15-2011
> Stephen Worthington wrote:

> If you want to record from your Sky decoder,
> you must have an IR blaster to get the Sky decoder to change channels.


Hello again Stephen and thanks again...

Serious question...you say I must have an IR blaster to get the Sky decoder
to change channels. Can I not just walk over to my Sky decoder and push the
channel up/down button (as I often do when I can't find the Sky remote).

It sounds like a dumb question but remember you're talking to a noob.

And here's another dumb question

It sounds like MythTV is the hub of an "integrated media centre" for want of
a better phrase. I never realized it even needs it own remote control.

But all I'm really looking for is something like that Transonic 80GB Hard
Disk recorder I linked to earlier *except* I want to use my P4 box plus a
1TB external drive instead of the Transonic unit. This way I'll be able to
pull stuff off the 1TB drive and have the freedom to re-encode or edit down
anything I want to keep longterm.

Does this sound like something MythTV is designed for or am I using the
wrong tool (and remember that I'd more than likely enjoy the experience of
setting up Mythbuntu so time and effort isn't a consideration)

Thanks again
Lodi
 
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Stephen Worthington
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      11-15-2011
On Tue, 15 Nov 2011 22:44:17 +1300, Lodi <(E-Mail Removed)> wrote:

>> Stephen Worthington wrote:

>
>> If you want to record from your Sky decoder,
>> you must have an IR blaster to get the Sky decoder to change channels.

>
>Hello again Stephen and thanks again...
>
>Serious question...you say I must have an IR blaster to get the Sky decoder
>to change channels. Can I not just walk over to my Sky decoder and push the
>channel up/down button (as I often do when I can't find the Sky remote).


Yes, as long as you are only doing manual recordings. If you want to
schedule recordings using the EPG, then you need to be able to have
the PC control the Sky decoder and change its channel for each new
recording.

>It sounds like a dumb question but remember you're talking to a noob.
>
>And here's another dumb question
>
>It sounds like MythTV is the hub of an "integrated media centre" for want of
>a better phrase. I never realized it even needs it own remote control.


It is designed to work with a remote control, not a mouse. You can
also use a keyboard - a good wireless keyboard works well, but they
are usually a bit big and unwieldy to use sitting back in your
armchair in front of the TV. So most of us use a good remote for most
things, and also have a wireless keyboard for the special bits like
keying in a programme name to search for in the EPG. Although you can
actually do that from a remote too, but the way it does it is very
fiddly.

>But all I'm really looking for is something like that Transonic 80GB Hard
>Disk recorder I linked to earlier *except* I want to use my P4 box plus a
>1TB external drive instead of the Transonic unit. This way I'll be able to
>pull stuff off the 1TB drive and have the freedom to re-encode or edit down
>anything I want to keep longterm.
>
>Does this sound like something MythTV is designed for or am I using the
>wrong tool (and remember that I'd more than likely enjoy the experience of
>setting up Mythbuntu so time and effort isn't a consideration)


MythTV can certainly do that and a whole lot more. It is very similar
to good hard disk recorders such as the MySky or TiVo boxes. I
imagine the Transonic box would be similar to them, if rather less
capable.

The key thing for your P4 box to do the job is - can it have the right
Nvidia card? It should be able to record anything just fine, but
unless it has an Nvidia card with VDPAU, it will not really be able to
play things back properly. If all you are recording is Sky using a
PVR-150, it might work OK if it is capable of playing commercial DVDs
- the recordings a PVR-150 makes are in a very similar format to DVD
MPEG2 format. So test it playing a DVD. But if you want to add a
DVB-T tuner and record and play back FreeviewHD programmes, VDPAU is
critical.

BTW I have not asked what TV you are intending to use for playback.
For most programmes now, you need a 16:9 aspect ratio TV, even on Sky,
so I have been assuming you have a new digital one with an HDMI
interface. If you are using an old CRT one, then there is no way it
will be able to play back FreeviewHD.

As for using an external drive, I am unsure if a USB2 drive is fast
enough. An eSATA one certainly is - I do that on my laptop. IDE is
also fine, but that does not have an external version. With a USB2
drive, it could probably record one programme at once, but I am not
sure if it would also be able to play something back at the same time,
or record more than one programme at once. It is possible to feed
SATA data and power cables out the back of a PC to a drive. I ran out
of accessible drive bays, so I have one drive working that way. If
your external drive is USB2, you might like to try an experiment. Copy
a DVD image to it and another to an internal drive. Then use say VLC
to play the DVD image on the external drive, while copying the image
on the internal drive to the external one. If the playback is still
OK, then it should work with MythTV and Sky recordings. Copying a DVD
image to the external drive is writing data rather faster than a
PVR-150 recording would, so that is pushing things harder than would
be necessary for recording while playing back. Apart from the slow
data transfer rate of the USB2 interface, USB2 drives are also often
only 5400 rpm and have slower access times, so when the heads have to
move between the files for the different programmes all the time, they
might not get there fast enough.

>Thanks again
>Lodi

 
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victor
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Posts: n/a
 
      11-15-2011
On 15/11/2011 8:35 p.m., Stephen Worthington wrote:

>
> That looks like the right PVR-150. I think the seller has just added
> the MCE to the name, which probably should not be there. Read on for
> the explanation.
>


The model number is correct, I have one somewhere. MCE just denotes the
OEM package that comes without the remote control and IR sensor.

 
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PeeCee
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      11-15-2011
On 15/11/2011 3:58 p.m., Lodi wrote:
>> PeeCee wrote:

>
>> Another thought that has occured to me is to check out Trademe for a
>> Hard Drive recorder with Analog tuners.

>
> Hi again...
>
> Was unaware that these existed. Told you I was a noob
>
> TradeMe - Transonic DVD Player/Recorder 80GIG Hard drive for $80
> http://tinyurl.com/86zjk4l
>
> Certainly would do the job. And cheap (as in not expensive, not cheap as in
> all Transonic gear is cheap).
>
> But now I know of it I wouldn't mind setting up a Mythbuntu system, purely
> for the learning.
>
> Do you think this card would work in a linux system even though it says
> Microsoft Media Center. It's *almost* the one Stephen recommended. Have
> googled for the difference between MCE and non-MCE. It seems superficial.
>
> TradeMe - Hauppauge WINTV-PVR-150MCE PCI TV Tuner for $99
> http://tinyurl.com/76mjbcj
>
> Any advice appreciated
>
> Regards
> Lodi
>
> PS - Hope the links work
>
>



Lodi

For once I have to agree with Woger, don't look at Transonic.
I happen to have the same model in my 'junk' pile.
When it is going it's not too bad.
However this particular one has the bad habit of randomly deciding life
is to tough and goes to sleep and the only way to get it back up is to
pull the mains lead.
Not good in the middle of a movie.

The Sanyo I have has developed a noisy fan, but otherwise not to bad.

Personally I've found my Panasonic one very reliable (EH60 etc) as no
doubt are Pioneer.

Using them is another story however, the Panasonic's have their own UI
'logic' the Sanyo/Transonic UI's are much more intuitive.

FWIW
Paul.




 
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