Quick & Dirty PC DVR? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-04-30, 11:40 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Nov 2004
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Quick & Dirty PC DVR?

I'm waiting for recordable HDD/Blueray players to drop to a reasonable price. In the meantime, I'm wondering if there is a simple, low cost way to make use of the recordable DVD drive in my PC as a DVR. In particular, what hardware & software would I need to accomplish this? I get BEV sat TV and understand that I need a BEV STB to send a signal to the PC. My PC is very basic - no fancy sound/video cards, so in terms of hardware, I'd need to upgrade with something that would accept a signal from the BEV STB (and I'm not interested in HD, so something that inputs signals from coax or composite cables would be fine).

Once the PC is set up to receive the signal, I presume there's recordable DVD software that allows for "programming" the DVD drive to record the sat signal at particular start and stop times. I'm reasonable certain my current DVD recording software (an older version of "Sonic" or whatever would have shipped with the recordable HP DVD drive I installed 3 or 4 years ago) does not have this function.

Again, I'm looking for a cheap (say, $150 or less) stop-gap way to use my PC recordable DVD drive as a DVR. Any help much appreciated!

Last edited by jvincent; 2007-04-30 at 12:01 PM. Reason: Moved to HTPC forum since it's more relevant here.
taxtwit is offline  
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-04-30, 12:01 PM
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Location: Abbotsford
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Something like this might get you started. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_video_recorder
klystron is offline  
post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-04-30, 01:13 PM
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All you really need is a capture card which should be between $50-120 depending on the model you find. Then grab the software from GBPVR and configure it with the new capture card. I haven't upgraded to the latest version but there may be a method to drop the recorded files to the dvd via the software, otherwise you'll have to burn them yourself.

I use this software on my wife's bare bones PC with a Hauppage card which does all the encoding onboard so she can't even tell it's recording while using it and then access the video files (mpeg) via the home network for playback in the living room or bedroom via XBMC on original Xbox machines.
retrocactus is offline  
post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-04-30, 01:38 PM
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Location: London, ON
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All you need is a video capture card and some recording/burning software. I got started with an ATI AIW and the software ATI provides.

If you want to record TV directly from cable or OTA, a TV tuner card or ATI AIW might be a good hardware choice. Otherwise, a video card with VIVO (video in/video out) will do the job. Some ATI based video cards provide VIVO capability for $150 or less.

There is free video recording software available. Windows Movie Maker will do the job but there are better programs available. Nero is an excellent burning software package but costs about $100. A free OEM version is provided with many DVD burners and PCs.

A forum search should turn up lots of software and hardware solutions in use by members.
I_Want_My_HDTV is offline  
post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-04-30, 01:47 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Brampton, Ontario
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I picked up an Adaptec GameBridge for about $50 from Factory Direct for my step-son a few months ago. It's a small external box that connects via USB 2.0. It includes a cable tuner (plug the cable TV cable right into it) and also has composite and s-video input. I don't remember all the features of the software, but I believe timed recording was part of the capability. This item is no longer available, but I just wanted to give you an example of how easy it can be to accomplish what you want as there are many such items on the market.
JohnnyG is offline  
post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-05-07, 09:43 AM
Join Date: Nov 2003
Location: Kincardine ON.
Posts: 4,440
You probably want to build a PC DVR, which will record to the PC's HDD first. Recording to DVD is a separate step, and probably cannot be done realtime directly from the video input.

If you want for some reason to directly record to DVD-R from satellite or andother source, just get a DVD recorder box, they are cheap enough.
classicsat is offline  
post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 2007-05-07, 01:01 PM
Join Date: Dec 2001
Location: Brampton, Ontario
Posts: 10,415
There are now a few USB "key" DTV tuners available, like this one from Plextor. It also works with XP Media Center to give you full PVR capability. FREE HDTV recording for just over a hundred bucks!
JohnnyG is offline  

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