PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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Registered: ‎05-26-2009

PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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When I was a Comcast analog customer, I purchased a Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-1600 video capture card. The unit worked great converting my Media Center PC back into a DVR when my original Dell equipment All-In-Wonder capture card died.

 

When I was considering switching to Fios, Andrea S. at Verizon told me that there was software I could download so that my vid-cap card would work. I assume she meant that it would unscramble the signal for viewing or recording. Once Fios was installed, Andrea didn't answer my emails any more and recent inquires to Encore about any other devices (like DCT700 or something) have been fruitless.

 

I hate to take no for an answer!

 

Isn't there some way for my PC to record Fios video? I would think the most un-elegant solution would be to rent another STB and take the analog output to my PC but then I couldn't program channel changes, etc. There must be something out there that I'm missing.

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Silver Contributor IV
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Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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@JoeS wrote:

 

I hate to take no for an answer!

 

Isn't there some way for my PC to record Fios video? I would think the most un-elegant solution would be to rent another STB and take the analog output to my PC but then I couldn't program channel changes, etc. There must be something out there that I'm missing.


Any PC card with a QAM tuner can record the SD and HD locals (and music channels) from Verizon FiOS.  Other digital channels such as USA, TNT, SciFi, FX, ESPN, and HBO cannot be tuned because they are encrypted.

 

My favorite PC QAM tuner is the HDHomerun ($160) because it has two ATSC/QAM tuners and excellent, cross-platform software support.  It works very well with Vista Media Center.  If you really want an internal solution, take a look at the Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 ($120); this PCIe card has less software support, and may require the Vista Media Center TV pack.  Both of these solutions can record two different SD or HD locals from FiOS at once.  Once again, the QAM tuners in these products can only record unencrypted channels, which consist of channels 1-50 plus the HD locals and music channels.  The Hauppauge WinTV-HVR-2250 also has an s-video input to record the s-video (SD) output from a Verizon set-top box.

 

If you want to record high-definition directly from the Motorola HD STB, you could buy the Hauppauge HD PVR ($200).  This is a USB device that connects to your computer; it records the HD component video output and optical audio output from another device (such as the FiOS HD STB) to your computer's hard drive.  That product was used to create this video, as well as most of the high-definition PS3 and Xbox360 gameplay videos on Youtube.  In my experience, this product can be a bit buggy, especially when recording Dolby Digital.  It is more reliable if you will settle for stereo sound.  Picture quality is better than you see in the Youtube videos -- Youtube recompresses and degrades quality -- but not quite as good the original output.

 

When I want a program on my computer, I simply download the SD/HD recording from my TivoHD's hard drive.  I then edit and/or burn to DVD or Blu-ray disk.  The ability to download recordings directly from the DVR is one of the features unique to TiVo. Screenshot: 

 

TiVo from web browser

Message Edited by KenAF on 05-27-2009 12:01 AM
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Re: PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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KenAF,

 

Excellent info - but I should have mentioned that I run WinXP and I am only subscribed to SD TV. For some reason, I cannot see any channels when I scan digital QAM. I am using Hauppage WinTV7 as the TV app. I've read somewhere that perhaps WinXP cannot deal with digital TV signals even if the capture card supports it - but that seems strange.

 

I looked into the Vista Media TV center links and there were no references for WinXP.

 

So, maybe there is still a solution out there for capturing digital SD TVin WinTV but it sounds like I'm still defeated if my intent is to capture movies from USA, TNT, WGN & Fx! Do you think there is actually a solution for XP or should I bite the bullet and switch to Vista?

 

When you refered to your Tivo, did you mean the Verizon DVR or are you really using Tivo?

 

Thanks much!

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Gold Contributor III
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Posts: 1,059
Registered: ‎10-21-2008

Re: PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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If I remember right XP will not decode qam at all. And XP needs the MS TV Pack software to get qam working. I could never get it to work right on my Vista system. So I gave up a long time ago with it.
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Silver Contributor IV
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Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008

Re: PC video capture card - Not Applicable?

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@JoeS wrote:

 

Excellent info - but I should have mentioned that I run WinXP and I am only subscribed to SD TV. For some reason, I cannot see any channels when I scan digital QAM. I am using Hauppage WinTV7 as the TV app. I've read somewhere that perhaps WinXP cannot deal with digital TV signals even if the capture card supports it - but that seems strange.


I don't recall anything specific with regard to Windows XP.  But I do recall that QAM was supported by only a few cards under Media Center 2005 (the Media Center version of XP) -- HDHomerun was one of the supported tuners.  Vista Media Center only shipped with support for one or two QAM cards out of the box -- HDHomerun among them -- but a TV pack added support for more cards.  Windows 7 supports more cards out of the box.

 

 


So, maybe there is still a solution out there for capturing digital SD TVin WinTV but it sounds like I'm still defeated if my intent is to capture movies from USA, TNT, WGN & Fx! Do you think there is actually a solution for XP or should I bite the bullet and switch to Vista?


Cable channels are encrypted digital, so you won't be able to capture those directly.  The best you can do with your card is capture  the s-video or composite output from the Verizon box.  Without the box, you could still use your QAM tuner (if you have one) to record local SD and HD channels directly under Windows Vista and Windows 7.  I believe Windows Vista would require the Vista Media Center TV pack add-on, whereas Windows 7 would not.

 

Since you don't yet have Windows Vista, I would seriously consider a jump straight to Windows 7.  You can download the release candidate for free, which in my experience, is at least as stable as Windows Vista and requires less resources (so it runs faster on older hardware).  This "release candidate" version expires in March 2010, so you would have to upgrade to the final version before then.  The final version is expected for release sometime between October 2009 and January 2010.

 

Link to download Windows 7 Ultimate for free from Microsoft's site

 

Click the link to download the 32-bit version, and Microsoft will give you a CD key to use.  The download is a CD image, which you would burn to a CD using a program like Nero or ImageBurn (free).  You then install from the CD.

 

 


@JoeS wrote:

 

When you refered to your Tivo, did you mean the Verizon DVR or are you really using Tivo?


I meant TiVo, as seen in this video.

 

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