Sunday, December 02, 2012

21st Century Video

I've just moved into the 21 century with my video recording.

Way back when (2004) I built a PVR using SageTV. I took it through several versions of software and hardware. The hardware (Dell GX270) is now so old. In early 2012 the UPS died and the fan got real loud. I used the excuse of the UPS dying to just turn it off.

Most of my usage at that time was to record analog TV shows and burn them to DVDs for my granddaughter. The quality was fine for her.

I had moved to TiVo for my HD TV timeshifting but I hadn't tried to burn that content to DVDs.

This past weekend there was a football game that I wanted to keep. I fired up the old SageTV and recorded it there as well as on the TiVo. I did my normal process using the SageTV copy and burned a DVD. It looked awful on my 52" Sony.

Back to the drawing board. I downloaded TiVo Desktop and installed it. Go into TiVo Desktop, click File / Preferences and uncheck the box that says "Use fastest method available..." Then I moved the recording from the TiVo to my desktop. It was huge! 31GB for 4 hours.

But now what could I do with it? The file type was .tivo. After a fruitless session of Googling I just tried renaming it to a .mpg. Doh!

Then VidoeRedo Plus could open it and operate on it. I used VideoRedo to edit out the commercials and then truncate it to the end of the game. That got the file down to 21GB.

Then I took it over to Ulead DVD Movie Factory 6. After fiddling around a little I convinced DMF to create 16x9 output and to use a double layer DVD.

It worked pretty good for a first attempt. There were some compression artifacts in the high activity shots but I think there are some settings that I can change to improve this in the future. Remember that the TiVo file is 1280x720 and the DVD in 16x9 is only 720x405 so DMF has to transcode the video.

By the way, while I haven't exercised the TiVo movement exhaustively I haven't encountered any programs that are copy protected.

This may prompt me to move to Blu-ray!

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