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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » The Afterlife   » recording TV in HD - options?

   
Author Topic: recording TV in HD - options?
Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7867
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-02-2014 07:40 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Someone asked me about this recently and I really had no idea. What is the best way to make high-quality HD recordings of TV programs for permanent storage? Not a DVR, but something that would give one long-term access to the recording medium.

The only thing that I have been able to come up with is using this $1500 ATSC tuner with HD-SDI output and the recording device of your choice (HD tape, the expensive JVC Blu-Ray burner with HD-SDI input, something from AJA or Blackmagic, etc.).

In principle, this would work, but the tuner plus the cheapest recording device would cost thousands.

Are there any consumer-priced devices that would do this? The ideal would be a standalone Blu-Ray recorder with a built-in tuner, but these seem not to exist for the consumer market (though the equivalent DVD recorders do).

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Carsten Kurz
Film God

Posts: 3278
From: Cologne, NRW, Germany
Registered: Aug 2009


 - posted 07-02-2014 08:10 PM      Profile for Carsten Kurz   Email Carsten Kurz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What type of tuner? There are cheap satellite/DVB-S based receivers with integrated USB mass storage recorders. Typically they record the native DVB transport streams into common VOB/MTS files. They can be played back on most media players, VLC, etc. and archived like any other computer data. We have similar devices here for digital terrestrial broadcast, so I guess they are available for ATSC as well.

I don't like DVD-R and BluRay recorders. They usually have weak drives, which become unreliable after a short while, and with no affordable replacments available, rendering these devices unusable too early. BluRay is certainly worth to be considered for a long-term archive solution for HD recordings, it has the capacity and longetivity. But I would only use a system based on PC style/SATA BD-R drives.

Native transport stream recorders have a couple of benefits (aside from allowing the most simple implementation of a video recorder) - they don't recompress, but record the transmitted digital signal 1:1 with it's native codec. Typically, you can even switch languages or subtitle tracks while playing back.

- Carsten

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Mark Strube
Master Film Handler

Posts: 301
From: Elm Grove, WI, United States
Registered: Feb 2007


 - posted 07-06-2014 08:01 PM      Profile for Mark Strube   Author's Homepage   Email Mark Strube   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Get a desktop PC.

This: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16815116028

And: http://www.tscapture.com/

Done.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12856
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-06-2014 11:19 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Mark's advice is probably best. I can't imagine actually wanting to record a modern TV broadcast, though. The quality is far worse than Youtube.

Also, stay away from Blackmagic Design. They suck.

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Frank B. McLaughlin
Film Handler

Posts: 69
From: Denver, CO
Registered: Dec 2011


 - posted 09-23-2014 09:03 AM      Profile for Frank B. McLaughlin   Author's Homepage   Email Frank B. McLaughlin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Been using Blackmagic DeckLink Extreme for video capture for years with excellent results.

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Daniel Schulz
Master Film Handler

Posts: 356
From: Los Angeles, CA USA
Registered: Sep 2003


 - posted 09-23-2014 10:21 AM      Profile for Daniel Schulz   Author's Homepage   Email Daniel Schulz   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Joe Redifer
I can't imagine actually wanting to record a modern TV broadcast, though. The quality is far worse than Youtube.
?? If you're talking about picture & sound quality over one of the cable operators, OK. But *broadcast* TV looks and sounds amazing. 18 Mbps of 1080i video and 5.1 sound (albeit compressed with AC3), for free with rabbit ears.

If you're talking about the quality of the *content* well, then, YMMV.

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Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1790
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001


 - posted 09-23-2014 01:32 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Scott, I assume you mean something like:

JVC SR-HD2500US

Or

JVC SR-HD1500US

There are other set top Bluray recorders out there, some much cheaper, but for most of them, you will need to read Japanese to understand the instruction book.

Of course, you could always buy a used DVHS Recorder off of eBay for a few hundred dollars (at most). They record up to 1080i, and as far as I know, ignore HDCP.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10540
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 09-23-2014 02:55 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I suppose OTA broadcast quality can vary depending on the quality of the signal, but generally speaking OTA channels seem to only work or not work. If the signal is weak they cut out big time.

OTA broadcast video quality is definitely better than what you get from digital satellite TV providers. It also looks consistently better than anything I see from a streaming service like Netflix coming over a fast cable Internet connection. Digital cable TV can be really good, provided they don't pull any of the same stunts yet get from satellite providers.

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Lyle Romer
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1331
From: Davie, FL, USA
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 09-23-2014 08:49 PM      Profile for Lyle Romer   Email Lyle Romer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
Digital cable TV can be really good, provided they don't pull any of the same stunts yet get from satellite providers
I think I saw in another thread that you have Dish network and you mentioned something about satellite "HD Lite" broadcast. You should take a look at DirecTV. They have broadcast real 1080i and 720p HD (albeit re-encoded in MPEG-4) for years.

I have a receiver that can receive the OTA HD as well as satellite rebroadcast. If you really look closely there is a very very slight degradation in quality at times via satellite but if you didn't flip back and forth you wouldn't be able to notice.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5116
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999


 - posted 12-13-2014 10:29 AM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am not yet convinced that ANY recordable optical disc format has the longevity necessary to be able to call it an archival format. Go with a computer and external hard-drives and just make sure you make multiple copies and keep one set off-site. When we first started using digital PCM recording in the sound studio, one of the guys put a sign up which read, "With digital, if you don't have it 3 times, you don't have it." Nowadays storage capacity is getting so cheap that it is no longer the barrier it used to be to as a storage solution.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12856
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 12-13-2014 09:57 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Daniel Schulz
But *broadcast* TV looks and sounds amazing. 18 Mbps of 1080i video and 5.1 sound (albeit compressed with AC3), for free with rabbit ears.
That's what I'm talking about! I don't know of any broadcaster that uses the full spectrum of that bandwidth. They always divvy it up into useless subchannels. Whenever a transition happens on a football game or a TV show has flashing lights it breaks up to waaaaay below Youtube 360p quality. Plus, it's 1080i and interlacing is for chumps. Seriously. There is no reason why interlacing should exist any more. It's pathetic. 1080p Youtube looks much better than any 1080i broadcast I've seen. LOL, interlacing. Remember when people had to use a hand crank to start their cars? Interlacing reminds me of that primitive era.

The Netflix I get generally looks better than OTA as well. Depends on the movie and if it's offered in HD, of course.

They need to change the way broadcasting works again because interlaced MP2 is just soooo out of date. Make it at least H.264 for chrissake. Heck, might as well for for H.265 or h.266. Yeah I know 2.66 doesn't exist yet, might as well invent it in advance!

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Ron Ellis
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: In my Home Theater in Concord California
Registered: Feb 2014


 - posted 12-15-2014 12:50 PM      Profile for Ron Ellis   Email Ron Ellis   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I use the HDHomerun Dual tuner for recording HD OTA. They are around a $100 each and you hook them up to your PC via the I then store them on my NAS.

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