OK , I'm cheap and don't want to pay Directv an additional monthly fee for
them to supply a DVR so my wife can see the shows she misses the nights she
has to work . I already have a PC hooked up to the TV and use it to play
stored content , so that part is covered . What I want is a PCI card that I
can use to record a couple of the series she likes for later playback .
There's a whole bunch of stuff out there , from just a few bucks to hundreds
... I'm not looking for the absolute lowest price , just a functional device
to capture some video . It needs to run under WinXP Pro , though if I have
to I can install Vista (but I'd rather not) on that comp for the Media
Center program .
Any suggestions for a brand or a particular model ? I'd prefer to stay
below 50 bucks ...
It depends on how you intend to interface with the device. I used to
use a Hauppauge WinTV PCI card way back when with analog cable,
connected with coax cable. You can still buy these for cheap on ebay,
used, from $5 to $10 (you can spend more if you want a new one, of course).
One thing to consider is the age of the computer, processor type, HDD
space, and RAM available, as compressing/storing video can be taxing on
I'll be hooking this unit to either the RF output of the satellite box with
a coax cable (from a splitter) or the component video output . The computer
is an HP a1600n , dual core 2.3Ghz AMD Athlon and I have IIRC 2Gb RAM - more
RAM is available if needed . There is a 250Gb hdd with the OS partition and
a storage partition plus a 1Tb hdd that is way less than full for media
That sounds like it would be decent enough for one of the cards like I
had, depending on what kind of file size and resolution you want to
compress the resulting video into. In any case it wouldn't hurt to try
a used one from ebay. The one I have has both an RF input as well as a
composite input (single yellow) for input (maybe the newer ones have
component input if you want higher quality video).
I haven't followed them for awhile, so it is also possible that a more
expensive model might have its own ability to do video compression on
the card, but then it would also have to be XP compatible.
This is probably moot because it is more like double or triple the
target price, but I have been using these things for quite a few years
now and find them to have some serious advantages over in-PC tuner
Full Disclosure: I only do Over-the-Air TV and use a different model
from what you would use for cable.
- Accessible from any PC, tablet, or phone that can connect to your LAN
- Does not take up any space in your PC.
I cannot cite exactly how the cableTV connectivity plays out - except to
say that it is definitely there if you choose the right model. Something
about a provider-specific card, I think.
Got it: cable needs the "Prime" model:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)
and something called "CableCARD":that you have to rent from the cable
How is your OTA reception?
I've got Weingard's most bigass antenna (http://tinyurl.com/hg2lft3 )
mounted on my garden shed, a few 2-TB drives in my 24-7 PC, SageTV
running on that PC.... and I have more good, interesting TV in the box
that I could ever watch.
Not only that, but every few months some nice young person from one of
the cable providers comes around to tell us that we are the only people
within X miles that do not have cable and wouldn't we like to sign
If we got any OTA reception we wouldn't have a satellite dish ... we useta
get 3 or 4 channels when it was analog , since it all went digital we get
We've been having issues with the channel guide (solved by a reset of the
receiver) and I asked the CS rep about DVR's . Her suggestion was for
something else that came with "2 mini-receivers" , and "the equipment is
free right now !" . Couldn't understand that it wasn't what we needed for
our ONE TV set ... so now I'm looking for a way to do what I want without
having to pay them an extra 20 or 30 bucks a month . Fercryin'outloud , it's
for 2 or 3 programs a week !
Cable ain't made it out here yet ... 12 miles from town , maybe a dozen
houses down here in The Holler . We feel lucky we get decent DSL internet
I think you might be back to the HD HomeRun "Prime" product if the fee
for the CableCard is not too steep.
Combine that with HD HomeRun's DVR app on one of your PCs and you might
have a viable solution for recording shows and watching them later.
As long as you are happy with the A/V level of recordings (composite
video) there are plenty of cards out there or you might even find an
old Replay TV cheaper than a card and that has the ability to export
to a PC or simply store the stuff on board. The Replay also has an
intelligent commercial skip.
The problem is if you are trying to get HD or even use the HDMI at all
the cards will not pass the data because DTV tags it as protected
content. (at least that is the way Dish is). I have also had zero luck
using the Component video using an Avermedia card. As long as you are
just using NTSC composite or RF, it goes OK.
I have been able to use an old DVD recorder using the component inputs
but only if it is also hooked to a TV with the HDMI and the TV is on.
This is all part of the HDMI copy protection scheme.
It is cumbersome but I can record to a R/W disk, rip that to a MP4
file and then reuse the disk. That is generally more than I am willing
to do unless the show is unavailable to stream.
The problem comes up with the Sat box. It will not export an HD show
to anything that is not DRM compliant. This is normally done using the
hardware built into the HDMI driver but my Dish box will not even send
a show out on HDMI or the 3 cable component output to a recorder,
whether it is HD or not. I assume they are forcing their DVR on you.
By a like token the Avermedia card will not accept a 1080 show from a
PC. It is supposed to take a 480p but I had given up by then.
YMMV but from what I read on the forums, this DRM is pretty good these
days. There are hacks where you use an old version of the card driver
that was a little less strict on DRM but I gave up trying to find it.
As long as you can live with the NTSC, there are old cards that will
work for you. Just be ready for a pretty nasty picture on a big screen
TV. I will give you a heluva deal on an Avermedia C027 DVR card if you
want to screw with it. (A/V, component, s-video and HDMI in) Maybe
your DTV box is not so picky
Are all the satellite receivers now hi-def ? Ours dates from 2012 , and I
don't think it's a hi-def unit . There is no HDMI output , it has RF ,
s-video , and 2 component (r/w/y) outputs . I assume that makes a difference
with DRM protection ...
Nope that will not have any DRM. If you can see it, you can record it.
I would seriously consider buying a Replay 4000 or 5000 series
machine. They are dirt cheap now that the guide is not supported but
they work fine as a manual recorder (VCR type of timer)
With a 320g drive in them, it is hard to fill one up and Sound Forge
has the tool (free) to send those shows to a PC. There are also files
on SF to reload the firmware if you replace/upgrade the drive.
I got one on eBay for less than $10. It works fine.
I use 4 Replay 5000s and have no problems with getting a guide. The
official one is gone, but there are alternatives. One is using the
software at http://wirns.com/ . There is a forum there if you need help.
The software (which runs on Windows 98 or later) is free but you do have
to pay for the guide (the usual one is $25/year for ANY NUMBER of
Replays). The software can "activate" the Replay, set the clock, and
transfer shows to a PC. You can even do automatic recording scheduling
across multiple Replays.
That's SCHEDULED (Manual would be press 'record' to start and 'stop' to
stop). Anyway, it there's till a need for "activation". A used Replay
may not be usable without it. There's the software I mentioned above or
LaHo (http://www.percdata.com/faq/replaytv ).
Although its a lot easier to use WiRNS (see above) or DVA
(http://www.dvarchive.org /). WiRNS is probably better, since it does
other things too.
Installing the patched software that allows ALL 5xxx Replays to use
Commercial Advance and Internet Video Sharing.
Source Forge (http://rtvpatch.sourceforge.net /). Note that you do NOT
have to take the drive out of the Replay to do this. You can use a
USB-IDE converter (the Replay acts as a power supply for the drive).
BTW, I have been using Replays almost continuously since late 1999. In
case you care "WiRNS" is Windows Replay Network Server.
I thought DNNA removed all of the monthly activation requirements. I
had a message pop up on my monthly that said it was set to lifetime.
If the machine was ever plugged in during that amnesty program it is
At any rate the Manual record does look like an old VCR timer where
you enter time, duration and channel.
My 4000 machine never had an immediate record like a VCR where you
just hit the record button and it bumped up the stop time a half hour
On 01/06/2017 10:52 PM, email@example.com wrote:
Just in the current software installation. They had no way to fix the
Until you reset it, replace the drive, or change software. It's a good
idea to have a way to activate it. If you get a used Replay, you have no
way of knowing it if was connected during that time (20011-2015 IIRC).
I never had a 4000, just 2000, 3000 and 5000. I know they came with a
different remote. Are you saying there was no 'record' button?
I've tried these 5 different recording methods on Replays:
1. Manual recording (REAL manual) press 'record' to start and 'stop' to
stop. If you have schedules, these will interfere.
2. Timer recording (like a VCR, select times and channel).
3. Scheduled recording (find a show in the guide to record).
4. Automatic recording (called theme channels). This requires a guide
and records a show REGARDLESS OF TIME AND/OR CHANNEL. That is, it
searches the guide for you.
5. Multi-Replay automatic recording (something I always wanted, but not
possible until I got WiRNS). This feature is called JIT. When I got this
set up, it records a lot more of what I want.
You can get a device that will plug into a USB port that looks similar
to a thumb drive. It will convert the TV to the computer.
Becareful to check out the specifics of the device as some are made for
the US and some are made for the Europe TV signals.
This may be one on ebay.
They usually cost from $ 20 to $ 40.
Do you want to record from the satellite feed or OTA? What does your
DirecTV satellite box output through the RF port? If it's the same as
the video (HDMI, etc) output, there's no point in getting a tuner card.
What you'd want is a video digitizing card or box, such as the Hauppauge
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.