Encoding & burning TV recordings to DVD

  Esc4p3 10:52 28 Aug 2007
Locked

I have a query regarding the encoding of TV recordings to DVD, please excuse some basic questions, but I am new to the subject.

I have a Hauppage TV tuner that I can use to record TV to my hard drive. If I try to play the resulting .mpg file in either media player or media centre, the video jumps missing whole sections of the recording. If I play the recording back in the Hauppage software then it plays back fine.

If I record TV with the Hauppage software, I cannot copy it in a DVD playable format in either windows media player, media centre, Roxio 9 or Windows DVD maker, as I get an error message saying that ‘the file is not in an editable format, and could not be added’. If I record TV using media centre, then I can transfer it to DVD fine using any of the above apps.

The questions
- Why won’t any other app but Hauppage play my TV recordings?
- A one hour programme (circa 900mb) took 1 hour 20 mins to encode using Windows DVD maker, is this normal?

My rig is Vista Home Premium, Dual Core e6600, 2gb ram & an nVidia 640mb 8800. Thanks Carl

  holme 13:51 28 Aug 2007

By coincidence, one of our machines has a Core 2 Duo E6600 (quick, innit?) and contains a Hauppauge TV card.

To answer your first question, we would not recommend recording TV directly from the card. As you have found, it's clunky.

Instead, I'd recommend using Windows Movie Maker (WMM) or something similar for the recording process. With the media centre, you can record using WMM direct to the MPEG2 format required for DVD-burning.

In WMM, when you click on 'Capture from video device', your Hauppauge card icon should be shown in the Available devices: window (along with anything else plugged in such as a camcorder).

Click on the Hauppauge icon and set up the various input source options as appropriate ('TV tuner' if you're recording a TV prog). Then follow through the rest of the WMM set-up pages and start recording.

To answer your second question, video transcoding is unavoidably a massive number-crunching exercise for any computer and the timing is about right for your machine, not helped by the fact that Windows DVD maker is not (as far as I know) 'dual-core aware', so the second processor isn't used.

We routinely use Ulead's splendid VideoStudio and that works 100% with the Hauppauge card as the video source (including external analogue sources such as a VCR, plugged into the card's AUX sockets). VideoStudio is 'Dual-core aware' and certainly speeds up transcoding by around 30-40%.

HTH. Does anyone know of any other video editing progs which are dual-core aware? Pinnacle perchance?

  Esc4p3 14:33 28 Aug 2007

Holme, thanks for your informative reply. Will certainly try the WMM method when I get home.

Yes, my e6600 is really fast doing other tasks, so glad that the transcoding time is 'normal'. Never occurred to me that just because you have a 2 core processor, both core's aren't necessarily used, they don't say that in the marketing blurb do they ;-)

  holme 16:53 28 Aug 2007

" ... just because you have a 2 core processor, both cores aren't necessarily used, they don't say that in the marketing blurb do they" ;-)

Absolutely! :-? And if you ask, the stock answer is that they provide the processor(s). It's up to the application software writers to take advantage of that. Fair enough I suppose, but I'm surprised how few have seemingly got round to it.

In general use, the second processor seems to be an 'overspill' device, which seems a waste. But IMHO it says lot for the efficiency of just the 'single' engine running at 2.40GHZ if it has more ooomph than say, a Pentium 4 running half as fast again.

And I wonder how quad cores will get on?! :-)

  john bunyan 18:12 28 Aug 2007

I believe that TV recordings are normally in dvr-ms format. I had some trouble at first with a Media Centre PC and bought Prime Time, which transcodes dvr-ms to DVD video format and you choose a suitable disc to suit your other DVD player. Later I solved the MCE problem and the built in transcoder more or less works if you ensure you burn in video , not data mode. They both take a long time, I have a dual core machine. In the end it is far easier to buy a DVD recorder with hard drive!

  holme 19:05 28 Aug 2007

Some very good points there John.

Just to confirm that, with the Hauppauge PCI card acting as the TV 'source', Windows Movie Maker and other video editors have no problems recording from it, with any selectable output video format. But I have heard that other makes (I think Dazzle and Aver plug-in TV sticks were mentioned), there are format probs of the sort you mention.

Plus of course you're quite right in saying that (except for occasional use), it's far better to get a 'domestic' DVD recorder; even better with a hard drive! The whole thing is so much easier, and lots quicker - however many processors you have running... :-)

  Esc4p3 09:00 29 Aug 2007

Tried WMM last night, however I have not got a PCI tuner, it is a USB tuner. I looked in the options of WMM, and could not find the option to choose it to record from.

Is there a difference between PCI & USB items?

  holme 18:52 29 Aug 2007

It shouldn't make any difference whether you are using an internal PCI card, or an external plug-in USB 'stick', the data all finish up on the same bus.

Can I presume the TV card is working normally with its own software?

When you run WMM and click on 'Capture from video device', does the Hauppauge TV stick not appear in the Available devices: window?

If not, I'm afraid I don't know what to suggest for the mo, but we'll have a ponder.

  Stuartli 23:08 29 Aug 2007

>>we would not recommend recording TV directly from the card. As you have found, it's clunky.>>

My TV/PVR recordings from a Twinhan PCI Freeview TV card are exactly the same quality on playback as watching a programme direct.

If I want to transfer the recording to a CD or DVD I use the H264 codec (I only play them back on my system) with the help of:

click here

It's freeware and the conversion is remarkably quick.

A 1.10GB TV recording, for instance, is compressed to approximately 190MB with no apparent loss of picture or sound quality.

  holme 11:04 30 Aug 2007

Thanks for that, very interesting.

In the bit you quoted, we were referring specifically to the Hauppauge cards. We have two (PCI), neither of which will handle continuous *analogue* TV/video recordings reliably. And from what Esc4p3 says, it looks like the Hauppauge plug-in USB job is the same.

We have no probs recording via either card using Windows Movie Maker or Ulead VideoStudio.

Q. I wonder whether recording from a *digital* TV prog is any less troublesome? Although as I understand it, the output format will still be analogue, as with a Freeview box.

  Esc4p3 09:45 31 Aug 2007

Holme, I don't think I have the 'capture from video device' option. I have capture from a video camera, import video, import music, but no option 'lists' my TV tuner....

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