To DVD ot not To DVD? (DVD ot PVR)

Discussion in 'Computer Information' started by Bazzer Smith, Sep 1, 2006.

  1. Bazzer Smith

    Bazzer Smith Guest

    Pondering whether to get a DVD recorder or a harddrive type recorder,
    or a combined unit.

    I like the idea of a hard drive, saves getting off your arse to change the
    DVD medium.

    Also if I just get a harddrive recorder (PVR) can I transfer stuff to my
    computer to burn a
    DVD from my computers DVD recorder drive? I mean do they have a USB port or
    something like that?

    Any recommendations/advice?

    What I tend to find now is that often when I recorded stuff on my video
    recorder I never
    got around to watching it, soI have a pile of 'good stuff' on video cassete
    which I will never
    watch because I can't be arsed to see what is on them.

    I meaen with so many channels, and youtube it worth recording your
    own stuff?

    Also most TV these days aint worth recording in the first place!!
    Bazzer Smith, Sep 1, 2006
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  2. Bazzer Smith

    Andrew Guest

    Assuming you are talking about a Freeview PVR, I would recommend a
    good dual tuner PVR - I use the Topfield 5800 with Jags EPG and it is
    a completely different experience from using a DVD recorder or a basic
    harddisk recorder.

    You can transfer programme's via USB to a PC for burning to DVD if you
    need to.
    Andrew, Sep 1, 2006
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  3. Bazzer Smith

    MJE Guest

    I too had been pondering this question and finally went for the Humax
    9200T last week. It seems to do everything it says on the box but
    transferring files to DVD is not one of them !

    Transferring the TS file to a PC worked fine (albeit at only 3x real
    time) but finding the freware to produce a DVD has been struggle.
    However, have managed to make an ISO (need to buy some DVDs for the
    final stage) and presumambly once I've successfully burnt this, future
    transfers will become routine.

    Anyway, the vids went out last night - and, in reality, there were very
    few I wanted to keep so I suspect DVD burning won't happen very often.

    Not having to mess around with media is a definate boon !



    PS is very useful
    MJE, Sep 1, 2006
  4. Get a Topfield. Worth every penny. Does everything and dead easy to

    But if you want to record stuff to play elsewhere, obviously you're
    going to need a DVD or your old VCR as well.
    Trevor Wright, Sep 1, 2006
  5. Bazzer Smith

    Adrian B Guest

    We are back to that old chestnut... the lack of a good freeview PVR with
    built in DVD-R. Actually there are a couple (Panasonic and Sony I think),
    but they are still very expensive.

    On balance, I think I would go for a Topfield / Hummax and add a cheap DVD-R
    and put up with archiving via SCART. I know it isn't ideal, but for
    occasional use, it has to be better than faffing about with USB (assuming
    the PC and PVR are in range) and then multiple bits of software to massage a
    TS file into a DVD.

    For now, I'm putting up with my analogue Pioneer "PVR" / DVD-R with a STB
    connected for the occasional non 1-5 recording I make. When a suitable
    Freeview version appears at a price I can justify, I'll buy one.

    Adrian B
    Adrian B, Sep 1, 2006
  6. After some experimentation with producing DVDs from content recorded by
    the Humax 9200T, I thoroughly recommend the following:

    Buy VideoReDo (approx 25 quid) to do the editing and save the results as
    elementary streams (.mpv file for the video and .mpa for the audio);

    Download GUIforDVDAuthor (freeware) to author (and burn if you have
    Nero) your DVDs.

    Using these tools, I can store four or five 50-minute episodes of series
    per DVD with no loss of quality at all. You can find lots of
    information about these tools and more at

    Best of luck,

    Matti Lamprhey, Sep 1, 2006
  7. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Those are single tuner machines. The problem is that as soon as you
    introduce a DVD-R into the mix, you dramatically increase the complexity,
    and hence the cost. You abandon the bitstream recording approach in favour
    of recoding everything with an onboard MPEG2 encoder, which you have to
    license (if you are a reputable manufacturer). When you do that, you also
    lose quality, and you increase the storage space requirements. Two tuners
    would need two encoders, further increasing the cost and complexity.

    If you want to retain the elegant bitstream recording to hard drive approach
    of the twin tuner Freeview PVRs, and also incorporate a DVD-R, how do you
    implement it? One way would be to transcode from the recorded format into a
    valid DVD format. The complexity of doing this will vary between channels,
    because of the different resolutions used. I don't know if any custom
    embedded solutions exist that can do this, or if they would have to be
    developed. More cost. A simpler solution would be to decode to analogue, and
    then feed this through a standard MPEG2 encoder - just as in the existing
    DVD-R machines. This has the additional benefit of allowing the machine to
    accept external analogue inputs, which people would probably expect anyway.
    But what would this look like to the user? I imagine that off-the-shelf
    solutions would only enable the DVD to be written in real time. And what if
    you wanted to do some editing? What impact on the normal operation of the
    recorder would the user be prepared to tolerate while a DVD is being

    Although the idea seems attractive, it's not such an obvious winner as
    people expect.
    Pyriform, Sep 1, 2006
  8. Bazzer Smith

    Agamemnon Guest

    If you do that it will take ages to transfer to your PC since PVR's don't
    come with Ethernet. Add to that 1/3 of the duration of the content to
    transcode and 1/4 of it to format and burn and you are looking at it taking
    over an hour to burn 2 hours on a DVD assuming you are using a 3GHz

    If only the idiot consumer electronics companies got it into their void
    filled skulls to make a stand alone DVD player that would play native DVB
    MPEG streams stored as normal computer data then it would take only 7.5
    minutes to burn a 2 hour DVD.
    Wait and see if Blu-Ray will be able to play back MPEG-2 streams as computer
    data. Will there be any Blu-Ray RAM discs made ?

    In fact screw them both. Considering the cost of rewritable media its
    probably cheaper to buy a 300 GB USB2 Hard Drive and copy the files directly
    to the disk and when that gets full buy another one.
    Get a PVR then. The only drawback is what to do when the disk gets full.
    Agamemnon, Sep 1, 2006
  9. Bazzer Smith

    Agamemnon Guest

    On a dual layer DVD or what ?
    I have a better idea.

    If one of these numbskull consumer electronics companies come up with a PVR
    with a Ethernet port, its not like its going to cost more than £20 extra,
    then you should be able to copy the programmes you want to keep directly to
    DVD as native DVD data. When you want to play them back, put the DVD in your
    computer and either get the PVR to access the network DVD drive or transfer
    the data back to the PVR from the computer and then play it back on the PVR.
    No need for authoring, transcending or anything time consuming. Now why
    can't they think of something so simple.
    Agamemnon, Sep 1, 2006
  10. Bazzer Smith

    Agamemnon Guest

    Have they fixed it so it can play back a timed recording while its still
    recording without stopping or jerking while you are still watching the
    recording when the recorder finishes recording.

    Have they fixed it so that the programme guide updates in real time instead
    of at 4am in the morning so that is can show programme changes and overruns.

    Have they fixed it so that the programme guide will update while the device
    is switched on and you are watching TV without it forcing a channel change
    when you don't want it.

    Have they fixed it so that you don't have to change channel in order to see
    the EPG for channel other than the one you were originally watching, without
    having to resort to the JAGS TAP which suffers from the problems above.
    I wonder if a video iPod could be plugged into the PVR so that you could
    copy files to the iPod, take them to a friends house with another PVR, plug
    the iPod in and watch the recording on that ?
    Agamemnon, Sep 1, 2006
  11. Bazzer Smith

    Agamemnon Guest

    Then don't licence the encoder if it results in reduced quality.
    Two DVD recorders running at the same time might need to tuners but not one.
    How many people would want a PVR with two DVD recorders ?
    Why encode in lousy MPEG-2 when you could use MPEG-4 which will give you
    better quality and will play back as data on any DivX DVD player.
    Agamemnon, Sep 1, 2006
  12. Bazzer Smith

    Mike Henry Guest

    They did. The "numbskull" (as you put it) company TiVo launched
    TiVoToGo. Only officially avialable in TiVo's other territories (USA,
    Canada, Taiwan) so we carry on using our 3rd-party hacks in the UK.
    Mike Henry, Sep 1, 2006
  13. Bazzer Smith

    Mike Henry Guest

    It always did update in real time, it uses the Freeview EPG. You're
    getting confused with other PVRs such as the Digifusion that use the 4TV
    EPG which is a once-a-day download.
    The UK/OZ Surfer TAP does what you want and doesn't suffer from the

    Mike Henry, Sep 1, 2006
  14. Bazzer Smith

    Bazzer Smith Guest

    With a Freewview dongle for you PC (I have one).
    Bazzer Smith, Sep 1, 2006
  15. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Not an answer to the question set.
    Pyriform, Sep 1, 2006
  16. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    How can you write a DVD without using MPEG2? That's the format they use. And
    the reduced quality / increased storage has to do partly with the fact that
    you are decoding the Freeview bitstream and then re-encoding it, and partly
    because of the time constraints on encoding. Of course, if you are prepared
    to wait even longer, or spend a lot more on the encoder hardware, you could
    do better - perhaps nearly as good as the original.
    You missed the point. If you want to be able to easily transfer the hard
    drive image onto a DVD, you would want to encode everything in the same
    manner on the disk. One encoder per tuner. Did you not think there might be
    a reason why none of the current Freeview DVD-R machines have two tuners?
    The underlying problem would be the same, no matter what encoder you chose
    to use. And an MPEG4 encoder will not allow you to create 'proper' DVDs.
    That's not to say it wouldn't be a useful option, but it doesn't solve the
    fundamental problem in any case.
    Pyriform, Sep 1, 2006
  17. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Good grief! We actually want the same thing for a change!
    Pyriform, Sep 1, 2006
  18. Bazzer Smith

    Pyriform Guest

    Good grief! We actually want the same thing for a change. Although I
    probably wouldn't bother with the DVD at all, preferring to store things on
    my capacious hard drives.
    Pyriform, Sep 1, 2006
  19. No -- just a regular 4.7GB job.

    Matti Lamprhey, Sep 1, 2006
  20. Bazzer Smith

    Agamemnon Guest

    Which is bloody stupid. Stupid, stupid, stupid !
    If is being broadcast in MPEG-2 then why on earth would it need to be
    decoded and re-encoded. Its MPEG-2 already. All you'd need to do is write
    the position of the file on the table of contents on the disc like you do on
    a hard drive, or if DVD does not work that way, put in the right sync marker
    or whatever. Or better still just write it to the disc as data and make some
    DVD players that play back standard MPEG-2 in the same way that they play
    back MPEG-4 as data.

    Oh the stupidity of these companies. Anyway TDK have a 200GB Blu-Ray disc in
    the works so DVD recorders are dead as Betamax.
    What ? Who wants a DVD-R with two recorders. Who is going to want to burn 2
    DVDs at the same time. A PVR with two tuners and a DVD recorder is what
    people you can watch one thing while recording another or record two
    channels or complete multiplexes at the same time.
    Who cares if it won't let you create proper DVDs. MPEG4 is of better quality
    and most new DVD players will play it back whereas the CANNOT play back
    DVD-VR or DVD+VR or even DVD-RAM discs.
    The fundamental problem is the DVD-Video format itself, which isn't very
    versatile. The solution is to abandon it and use the data format which is.

    In fact why has it taken so long for DVD-RAM to get anywhere. It would have
    solved all of the problems but its nowhere to be found on players. Idiots.

    DVD is already the new Betamax. At least Betamax lasted 13 years. Recordable
    DVD has only lasted about 7 and its dead already now that Blu-Ray is out,
    and that won't last long either. Portable hard disk is the way to go, or
    flash memory sticks if you want to record. In the same way they have
    replaced cassette tape they will replace DVD and Blu-Ray since they are
    media independent. You just plug them into a USB slot or better still make
    them with an Ethernet port and they will function as a separate network
    drive. If you want to lend something to a friend to watch just copy it onto
    a video iPod in seconds.
    Agamemnon, Sep 1, 2006
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