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  #1  
  05-30-2011, 06:11 PM
 
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I finally got a DirecTV HR22 HD-DVR in my media room, where my XP and W7 PCs are, so the next step in my epic project, to record HD video, is to purchase a suitable video card or standalone box. I just found out about the new-ish (1/2011) Hauppauge Colossus PCI Express Internal HD-PVR TV Tuners & Video Capture 1414 card, and it sounds pretty promising. In one of the reviews on Amazon, a user says he's using it exclusively to record HD from his already recorded shows on a DirecTV DVR.
Apparently, component video HD can be recorded from the DVR's component output (at 720i), as well as non-HDCP-encrypted shows via the HDMI input (from the DVR's HDMI output, at 1080i).
I suppose I could also run a coax feed from my attic off-air antenna, although the Colossus doesn't have a coax input, so I'd have to use something to change the coax into a form the Colossus accepts.
Anyway, I'm cautiously optimisitc about this card, so was wondering if anyone else has used it, yet, or has any thoughts about its advantages and disadvantages. Thanks very much!
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  #2  
  05-31-2011, 11:11 PM
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Hauppauge is a good brand of video capture card, historically. Many great sets were created on the older Hauppauge PVR 50 and 350 series cards. To a lesser degree, even with the problematic PVR-150 cards. Some of the earlier "HD" PVR cards were atrocious, but I would imagine much of that has been sorted in the past 4 years. The problem is always the software, with Hauppauge cards. You're often limited to "TiVo-like" software, or the Hauppauge WinTV software (which can go both ways -- sometimes great, sometimes pure crap).

So cautiously optimistic is the perfect attitude here.

I don't have much else for you, however. You'll be our guinea pig, methinks. At best, you may contact (PM) TVPreservation.com member "Padre" (or "Padre2", I forget), as he has been a big fan and user of Hauppauge. Again, historically. I know my 150 card came from him, as a used/cheap hand-me-down.
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  #3  
  06-01-2011, 10:24 PM
 
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Well, I don't mind being a pioneer on this one. For one thing, I want to report once and for all what channels are using HDCP and which ones aren't. Seems to be a state secret! I believe users of the Colossus are using other programs, than those supplied by Hauppage, to either capture the video, and certainly to author and burn it.
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  #4  
  06-02-2011, 12:51 AM
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Yeah, share your findings.
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  #5  
  06-09-2011, 10:54 PM
 
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Per another Colossus user on 3/1/11: stanger8903-01-11, 04:33 PM
Depends on the box, appears Dish and DirecTV don't do HDCP, at least not on non-PPV channels.
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  #6  
  06-22-2011, 12:15 AM
 
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Finally received the Colossus card. Couldn't get it into PC, but the next night I unhooked all PC connections and did the old "put it on the kitchen table with a good light overhead" trick, and found that HP PCs have an L-shaped bracket on the rear, that must be removed before inserting a new card. duh.. OK! Card in. Instructions then specify that cable connections are to be made between source (DirecTV HD-DVR) and card. I need about 18 feet, and soon found that Best Buy's cord prices are legalized robbery! Happily, found excellent quality (per reviews) component video and even HDMI cables for great prices on Amazon, and ordered same.
While waiting for those to arrive, thought I'd connect some of my own cables, using RCA jack/RCA jack extenders, but then ran into another dilemma. I'm already using both sets of composite audio connections from the HD-DVR: 1 runs to my DVD/VCR and then coax to TV, to watch the darned thing, and the other set runs to my HP/Compaq XP PC, to make standard DVD-Rs. Finally figured out I could use the S/PDIF Toslink optical digital audio connections in HD-DVR and Colossus. So... not having those lying around, I ordered a well-reviewed 20ft cable, and am now waiting for all 3 sets to arrive. After they do, and are all connected, the next step is to load the CD-ROM program software.
Ahhh yes! At the last minute, I swerved to avoid a catastrophe (per an Amazon Colossus review), and am installing the card in my HP W7 PC instead of the XP with my ATI All-in-Wonder card. The PO'd reviewer said he learned the hard way that Colossus cannot be installed in a PC that already has an existing video card. That would have been major train wreck! Over and out for now...
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  #7  
  06-22-2011, 12:31 PM
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you should have bought cables from monoprice.com super cheap prices
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  #8  
  06-22-2011, 09:35 PM
 
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Maybe I did! ;>)
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  #9  
  06-22-2011, 11:18 PM
 
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Whew... can't believe the low prices and high quality reviews at monoprice.com! I'll have to start using them from now on! Thanks!
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  #10  
  06-25-2011, 09:43 PM
 
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FINALLY got all the connections made and software loaded last night, and opened the WinTV "window" on my PC today. Both the component TV video/Toslink digital optical audio combo and the HDMI connections provided amazingly detailed video. AND!... I made .mpg4 1920X1080 (p, I believe) recordings from both the component/TDOA and HDMI inputs. I was so incredulous that DirecTV wasn't using HDCP on HDMI that I UNPLUGGED the 3 component video cables from the HD-DVR, just to ensure that I really was watching HDMI, which proved it. The recordings are short--about a minute each -- but they're there, all right, much to my amazement. The Colossus' "Best" video recording setting uses about a Mb per second, or 60Mb/minute, which would equal 7.2Gb for a 2-hour movie. It would fit on a double layer standard DVD-R. Anyway, the newsworthy part is that I can find NO DirecTV channel that is HDCP encrypted, so the guy I quoted was right. Probably, the only encrypted channels are the pay-per-view movies, which I don't use, anyway.
Next stop: Authoring. That's another post. For right now, I'm in recording heaven!
Cry for help: My Toslink plugs aren't plugging in very well through the tiny plastic "door" in the plastic plugs inserted in the jacks of the Colossus and HD-DVR. Should I just pull out the whole plastic plug, before inserting the Toslink plugs? I think the Toslink plugs are supposed to click in at a certain point, keeping them tight. I could barely get them to work today, just having their plugs push open the plastic "door," into the interior of the jacks. Thanks!
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  #11  
  06-26-2011, 05:33 AM
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so what are you planning to make sets of?
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  #12  
  06-26-2011, 10:58 AM
 
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Probably rock concerts, certain documentaries. Not terribly much, because right now the Blu-Ray blanks are pretty expensive (although you probably know where to get them the cheapest :>). I already have more good shows than I can possibly watch, so I plan to record only the programs I really want to have and keep: concerts like Radiohead or Porcupine Tree; docs of subjects that I'm REALLY interested in. Certain classic (to me) movies, that rarely if ever are shown; that sort of thing. I really wasn't much into TV shows, from childhood on, and those I did watch (L.A. Law, The Practice, The Paper Chase, NYPD Blue), I've seen once, and that's all I'll have time for in this lifetime...
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  #13  
  06-26-2011, 02:22 PM
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i have no idea where to get bluray blanks for cheap. i have yet to go that route although i would like to but dont think i would get much trades from them yet either.
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  #14  
  06-26-2011, 02:34 PM
 
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Yeah, you probably wouldn't, at least at this point. I know I saw a 5-pack of a reputable brand for $10, so $2 ea. isn't so bad, especially since I'll be using them so sparingly. For any programs under 8.8Gb in size, I could split it and put the first part on one 25 DVD-R and the second part on a second disc, which is 1/4 the cost of a Blu-Ray. Of course, since the BR blanks are 25Gb (per http://www.amazon.com/Blu-ray-Blank-...uct/B002YSH6FI ), I could fit 3 8Gb programs on one BR (which I see can now be had for $1.33 each, per this link), so that's 5/Gb, as opposed to 5.6/Gb for a 4.438Gb normal DVD-R. Looks like BR actually is cheaper!! I must be dreaming...
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  #15  
  06-29-2011, 04:07 PM
 
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Name:  hp w7 pc wintv screen 825.jpg
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Here is a screenshot of my PC screen with ArcSoft Showbiz program open and recording a high def Jeff Beck concert file from the HD-DVR.


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  #16  
  07-10-2011, 12:09 AM
 
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Hi! Well, the last 2 weeks or so have been occupied by trying to find and get a Blu-Ray writer/burner drive, and I finally did so, choosing an LG WH12LS30, which had very good reviews. Also got some blank BD-Rs, at only about $1.20 each for 25Gb variety at Microcenter here in KC (in 10-pack, $3 off the $15 normal price). I just finished swapping the BD player drive for the LG, so I'm ready to try to make my first BD-R! It's after 1 a.m., though, so going to give it up for the evening and try on Sunday.
So far, I have captured about 16 HD movies, concerts, etc., totalling 92Gb. It's phenomenal to me to think that all of these can be stored on 4 BD-Rs! About 25 a show.... Stay tuned...
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  #17  
  07-10-2011, 07:04 PM
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You have two computers: The ATI one, and the other.
What's the make/model of the ATI computer?
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  #18  
  07-10-2011, 08:17 PM
 
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The old XP PC is an HP D530. It has the ATI 7500 All-in Wonder card I use to make SD DVD-Rs. The new PC is a Windows 7 HP E9120Y. It also has an internal ATI video card. I wasn't sure which one to which you were referring, so I cited both.
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  #19  
  07-10-2011, 08:24 PM
 
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The Hauppauge Colossus card is in the HP E9120Y. I'm trying to use TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4 (yes, I'm forced to learn it, now!) to author these BR files, and it's crashing a lot, when I'm playing the video in Edit mode. I'm just having to add my start and end points around various ads and stuff I want to remove, and cutting them. I was able to add the chapters every 5 minutes (my standard) and add a menu. Currently, I'm letting TMP render the files, and it's verrryyy slow. Looks like it will take 10 hours for a 2-hour show. Also, TMP sez the 9Gb file, I'm trying to make into a BDR, will use 23GB of a 25GB BD-R! That, I don't get. More to come...
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  #20  
  07-12-2011, 10:28 PM
 
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Well, it actually took 36 hours (!) for TAW4 (TMPGEnc Authoring Works 4) to render the BR files for a high-def Jeff Beck concert, recorded at 12MB/s Constant Bit Rate, lasting 1:44 and occupying 9 Gb. I then, using TAW4, burned the files onto a BD-R, and it played perfectly in my Samsung Blu-Ray player! So, it cost $1.20 just for thatshow, but I'm now experimenting on how to economize. I recorded the same 10-min. segment of an outdoor concert HD file, from HD-DVR, using 6, 8, 10 and 12 MB/s CBR, allowing VBR for peak needs, then transferred the files to a flash drive, inserted the drive into the BR player and played each one to compare. The 8, 10 and 12 MB/s versions look almost identical. The only noticeable pixilation, or other aberrations, I saw was on the 6 Mb/s version. Their file sizes are: 6Mb/s: 4.5Gb; 8Mb/s: 5.9Gb; 10 Mb/s: 7.1Gb; and 12MB/s: 8.5Gb. So........ the 8Mb/s version is only 70% of the 12Mb/s size, so maybe I'll start recording most things at 8Mb/s. There are other variables, so I'll start exploring those soon and report back. That is all. Breckenridge.
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