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rbrown3rd
05-02-2003, 09:37 AM
I love all the techy solutions posted here but my low tech system provides extremely nice quality copies and is very simple. I use an S-Video out for video and RCA cables for audio. I capture the video on my DV camcorder. I can then use my firewire connection into my computer to upload the DV file. I can edit the file, remove commercials, etc. and then I use my computer to burn DVDs or VCDs. The quality is quite nice and saves me from all of the headaches of hacking into my Tivo.

I have been an IT professional for more years than many of you have been alive. I LOVE techy stuff and hacking but this system gives such good quality for such a low investment of time and energy that it seemed the way to go to me. I really admire all of the methods that everyone has come up with to grab the original files and that would obviously give the ultimate in quality.

Bob

Fugg
05-02-2003, 10:40 AM
Originally posted by rbrown3rd
I LOVE techy stuff and hacking but this system gives such good quality for such a low investment of time and energy that it seemed the way to go to me.

Cool! I'm glad you've found something that works for you.

Other than the quality, the thing that keeps me doing the "techy stuff and hacking" route of getting video off my tivo's is that I can extract while the family's watching something else.

They are not even aware that I'm doing it.

...and I never have to hear:

"You've still got an hour left to record on your movie?!??!?!? But I wanna watch Sponge Bob RIGHT NOW!!!!!

;)

and btw, there are a few babyboomers here too. were not all younguns!

captain_video
05-02-2003, 10:41 AM
This may appear to be a fine solution for capturing video from a Tivo, VCR or whatever analog source you happen to have. For most of us, however, it doesn't fill the bill since we are all into hacking Tivos and aren't looking for the low-tech solution. I think you'll find your method, or at least similar variations of it, is widely used by members of the Tivo Community Forum where paranoia runs rampant whenever video extraction is mentioned (which is virtually guaranteed to either get you censored or flamed by one of the mods).

As you may have noticed, this is a Tivo extraction forum so low-tech methods of transferring video from a Tivo are generally not used or even desired by our members. It's nice that you're happy with your method and I wish you well with it but the rest of us are generally looking for something else to "push the envelope", as it were.

I'm not trying to put you down for your posts so please don't take offense at my response. I have a large screen TV and perform video extraction from DirecTivos to ensure I can capture the best image possible. I used to use S-VHS VCRs for all of my timeshifting and archiving chores until I discovered DTivos. With the exception of commercial DVDs and HDTV D-VHS recorders, the image from a DTivo is among the best available in a consumer recording device with a SA Tivo or ReplayTV not far behind. Extraction from a DTivo allows me to burn the original digital datastream directly to a DVD-R or -RW and preserve that image quality. Any other method results in vastly inferior image quality that is immediately noticeable on a large screen display. I realize that not everyone has a large screen TV and other methods of capturing video will not appear as a greatly degraded image on a smaller screen and will therefore seem to be a satisfactory method. I'd be willing to bet that watching your captured videos on a large display would be greatly disappointing.

rbrown3rd
05-02-2003, 03:04 PM
No offense taken and all of your points are very valid. I too have a 42" Sony Wega running component out on my DVD player. Your comment about, "When are you going to be done so I can watch Sponge Bob Square Pants or whatever is also a good one. My goal is to be able to do the extraction exactly as you describe but I am way down on the bottom of the learning curve so this method is a stopgap method. Thanks for your very informative reponses and I hope some day soon to be watching something on my tv while my system is merrily extracting away.

The one point I have to disagree with you on is the quality of the captured videos. Using DV as the bridge and TMPGenc as my encoder set at the highest quality settings and slow motion detection and burning XVCDs, mpeg1 at 720 x 480, the quality is just a tad shy of a decent DVD. I am actually rather surprised at the quality of this hacked format. I am very, very, sensitive, to image and sound quality and I am not dissapointed at this little hack.

Any suggestions as to a basic tutorial regarding "real" extraction would be appreciated. Hope I did not offend you all too badly by posting this low tech method.

Bob

Hi8
05-02-2003, 03:29 PM
Originally posted by rbrown3rd
The one point I have to disagree with you on is the quality of the captured videos. Using DV as the bridge and TMPGenc as my encoder set at the highest quality settings and slow motion detection and burning XVCDs, mpeg1 at 720 x 480, the quality is just a tad shy of a decent DVD. I am actually rather surprised at the quality of this hacked format. I am very, very, sensitive, to image and sound quality and I am not dissapointed at this little hack.

Bob

I think if you saw the difference, you may change your mind. I too did analog extractions, I tried to my DV camcorder, using it as a bridge - also to my (high-end) capture card Matrox RT2500. Nothing come close to direct extracts to DVD-R(W).

Not to mention the "realtime X2" required to record/playback the stream. That in itself is a NOT worth-it to me. Add the quality issue in and it's like going back to recording my Vinyl LPs to cassette tape! Those days are long gone and almost forgotten.

rbrown3rd
05-02-2003, 10:05 PM
I am a believer. I can well imagine the quality of the extracted files. I would love to be able to get my hands on those files. I just know that I have a lot to learn about the process and to get there seems a bit overwhealming at the moment.

kbuegel
05-03-2003, 03:55 AM
Since we are completely off topic here, why not continue!?

I also first tried to use my Sony Handycam Digital-8 as an MPEG-2 decoder, since it has component input and firewire output. however, no matter what source I connected to, even using S-video, I got about a 3-second pattern of fading in and out on the recieving side (the PC). I could record directly from the camcorder tapes just fine, but when using it as a bridge, it had what seemed to me to be some sort of copy protection. But, I was not copying from any sort of copy-protected source. Tried several sources, both S-video and regular video, got same results.

Any ideas?

I did think that perhaps I could record onto tape, and then play back, but unfortunatly this vidcam won't record the component input for some reason. It overrides it with the camera input. When in VCR mode, it won't record at all.

I have a Sony DCR-TVR530, if you want to know. I annoys me since I thought it would be a more useful device.

rbrown3rd
05-03-2003, 06:12 AM
To continue the OT discussion since it is tagged as Low Tech I know nothing about that particular model. My DV camcorder is a TRV-18. When I did the capture everything was ok but doing the output to my computer it seemed to default to USB out on the camcorder side. I had to go into the menu settings and change it to Firewire out. I use Video Factory from Sonicfoundry to do the DV upload to the computer. There are some online discussion boards for the various Sony camcorders and they might be able to help out. Having component video capabilities would give you much better quality than the S-video that I use. I hope you can work it out. Have you been able to record from any other source other than your Tivo?

davids66
05-03-2003, 09:15 AM
Like others here, I wanted to capture video from my dtivo. The two main reasons for me are:

1. I have scrambled programs from a long time ago.
2. I get GOP errors on some programs where no solutions exist yet. I am hoping that tystudio will eventually handle these properly but that is another thread

First the good news: Perfect captures (as viewed as critically as possible on my hdtv) can be done. The bad news is that proper hardware and software are required to accomplish this. To get the highest quality, you need three things:

1. Capture device: I use the Canopus ADVC-100 which captures with perfect quality. You can get info from http://www.dvdrhelp.com/capturecards.php?CaptureCardRead=Canopus%20ADVC-100&Search=Search. Camcorders are going to have varying degrees of quality and not as good as the Canopus.
2. Cables: VERY important and if you are not using extremely high quality cables then the degradation will be noticable. You can get perfect quality using S-video cables but you do have to pay for it. I use http://www.bettercables.com/svideosvhs.html. BTW, and this cannot be understated: IF YOU ARE NOT USING THE BEST CABLES BETWEEN YOUR DTIVO AND YOUR HDTV THEN YOU ARE NOT VIEWING THE QUALITY THAT YOU PAID FOR WITH YOUR TV. I use the Silver Serpent S-video from the link above and the quality is as good as component video IF YOU USE THE VERY SHORT 1 METER CABLES. The quality of the audio cables is very important too, if you have a very high quality component system.
3. Encoder: If you don't want to pay $1950 for the CCE SP encoder then check out the CCE Basic encoder for $58: http://63.79.142.57/mall/catalog/encoders/mpeg-2.asp. Other encoders just don't compare with the quality of CCE. You can expect that the resulting file size will be about double the ty size to retain the quality of the original. Use variable bitrate and don't make it too low.

The problem is that a deficiency in any one of these 3 things can really degrade your quality so don't skimp. The title of this thread is low tech, it is NOT LOW COST.

David

rbrown3rd
05-03-2003, 09:26 AM
Quality cables are extremely important. Also, I use my 1394 port to upload the video to the computer. I then use the highest settings on TMPGenc to encode to mpeg. So, I have gone from the original mpeg on the tivo to DV. Then from DV on the computer to mpeg. Losses each time a new encoding is done. I would much prefer to have the original files BUT. It is still tolerable for a low tech low cost solution. Here is a jpg, one more conversion, screencapture.

http://community.webshots.com/scripts/editPhotos.fcgi?action=showMyPhoto&albumID=38421437&photoID=71784533&security=UVPQAl

captain_video
05-03-2003, 11:31 AM
Using DV as the bridge and TMPGenc as my encoder set at the highest quality settings and slow motion detection and burning XVCDs, mpeg1 at 720 x 480, the quality is just a tad shy of a decent DVD.

I find this extremely hard to believe, especially if the original souce data was not recorded in DV format. It can't possibly be any better quality than the original source. Filtering, transcoding, A/D conversions and any other type of processing all add artifacts to the video that would theoretically degrade the image instead of improving it. You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

rbrown3rd
05-03-2003, 12:11 PM
You are probably right. I tend to be an overly optimistic person. So where do I go to find a guide to doing it the "right" way?

Hi8
05-03-2003, 06:27 PM
Originally posted by captain_video
You just can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.

or chicken salad with chicken sh!t.

captain_video
05-03-2003, 06:49 PM
So where do I go to find a guide to doing it the "right" way?

You can start by reading the DirecTivo Hacking FAQ in the DTivo Hacking forum. Most of the info on extraction applies to SA Tivos as well. You basically need an interface to transfer the video files from your Tivo to your PC via ethernet. The Turbonet adapter is the most widely used ethernet adapter for this purpose. If you have a wireless home network then the Airnet adapter will work for you, although at considerably lower throughput.

There are currently four basic methods for transferring files: TyTool, mfsstream with TivoWeb, mfs_ftp, and TyStudio with tyserver. TyTool and TyStudio are integrated extraction and editing utilities that can extract, edit, and mux the ty files into a standard mpeg file or elemental audio and video streams. In conjunction with various authoring programs, the resultant extracted and processed files can be authored and burned to DVD-R/-RW or +R/+RW, depending on the DVD recording format you plan to use.

rbrown3rd
05-03-2003, 08:11 PM
Great. Thanks for the guidance. I am looking forward to learning to do this the right way.