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Connecting H20 to a PC to record Satellite

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by tclark5150, Sep 30, 2007.

  1. jedster

    jedster Legend

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    Sep 19, 2006
    I have no idea why you'd want a computer to serve up video from your DVR. Unless I'm missing something, the computer is an unnecessary middleman without providing any benefit whatsoever.

    BR playback on the other hand is a different story, if you have an HTPC with either a BR drive OR you rip your BR discs to HD and put them on a network.

    Also, I have no idea what you're talking about what with media center? Do you use the product?

    I do. Other than HBO-HD, I have never had a single DRM issue -- not one. First of all, if you want to avoid DRM with DVDs, just use a product like AnyDVD. Now, while it's true that media center does not currently natively support HD-DVD or Blu-Ray, it's relatively easy to configure media center to play them (you stilll need a 3rd party app).

    MS has done lots of crazy dumb stuff over the years, but Media Center is one of their best products by far, and this notion that it is weighted down by DRM is one of this internet fantasy tales, pure hogwash.

    The HR20-700, now that's a DRM nightmare. Because of its PIA support of HDCP, I can't use my HDMI cable without fear of crashing the receiver.
     
  2. RamaX

    RamaX AllStar

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    Nov 24, 2006
    Satwood, Great post, thanks for the info. What about non-HDCP compliant devices? Or at some point you think there'll be a way to spoof a device ID..? I would think that would be an easy go around. (easier said than done of course, maybe more logical go-around) It boggles my mind that i cant get my D*recvr to think its outputting to just a "source". It seriously irks me hehe. And after hearing about component protections, im just all the more irked. It strikes me as if they were adding protection to OTA signals, freakin signal nazis hehe.

    Jedster as for why were trying to go about it this way, at least for me is:
    Im not so much trying to use the PC as a DVR, with Blue Ray burners out, im looking for a way to archive HD content, true HD content (because im picky, and because i should be able to do it~! hehe) on disc, in compressed format, just like we archive MP#s and the like. Also you would be able to edit things on the PC before archiving it.

    I see no reason why we cant archive broadcast HD just like we can HD from a video camera, itll happen.....e....ven.....tu...ally. But god they make us sweat and pay for crap first.
     
  3. jedster

    jedster Legend

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    Sep 19, 2006
    That makes some sense, but if you're using the PC as a DVR, then you have no need for the HR20, you'd be much better off with an H21.

    Anyway, I've put an awful lot of thought into what you are trying to do, and using D* it's just not possible.

    Right now I do the next best thing, which is S-Video for all the D* SD content, ATSC antenna for all the local HD content, both onto my Vista PC. Then I use the HR20 exclusively for premium HD stuff. (I've been doing this for about two years now, except obviously I used early generation equipment beginning, like XP and the HR10.)

    If you go with cable, you can use XP or Vista Media Center to record any unencrypted QAM channel as well as all the analog channels.

    Also, there are some cable STBs with active Firewire outputs, and you can use MCE to record Premium HD that way as well.

    Finally, if you head over to AVS Forum, and look in the official vista cablecard thread, you'll find posts by a guy named MIke something or another who uses some sort of cable box that allows him to record pure HD on his HD.

    If you're only goal is to increase your storage space of your HR20, then you should just buy a 1TB disk and use eSATA, or if you really want to go nuts, set up some sort of RAID array.

    As for HDCP, the only way to defeat it is to get a board that strips the HDCP signal. These are kind of in the gray area of DMCA, I think, but I've seen them sold in small batches on avsforum as well.

    The long and the short of it is that there is absolutely no way that I have heard of -- and I've looked a lot -- to easily and efficiently (let alone affordably or at all) use the PC as a DVR for premium HD D* content.

    I'll wager that before there is a reasonably priced HD capture card with good DVR support, D* puts out its tuner, which I'll further wager will be made by VBox Communications vboxcomm.com.

    One other thing to remember is that any HD capture solution that you'd want would also need digital audio (DD5.1) capture. It really sucks to watch HD content with a crappy stereo audio track. This isn't an issue if you don't have a home theater though.
     
  4. jpitlick

    jpitlick Icon

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    Apr 19, 2007
    I've been running MythTV with a Hauppauge PVR-350 card connected to my H20-600 using the one of the composite outputs. The only problem that I had was that I needed to download the CE to activate the USB port for changing the channel with the MythTV box.
     
  5. satwood

    satwood DBSTalk Club Member

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    Dec 11, 2006
    Thanks RamaX. Yes, it is possible to make your destination device mimic the identification of another compliant destination such as a simple TV mode monitor. Doing so requires a more detailed understanding of the exact key and credential process in HDCP, and control over the actual firmware in the destination device you are building. I am not surprised to read that this is being done but I would not suggest doing it for a myriad of legal and ethical reasons. I see both sides of the argument and I know how the hacker segment caused so much trouble in the CableCard world. The amount of trouble that caused all of us could fill a book of posts.

    As an aside, I don't think it is at all necessary. the dynamic range and overall signal integrity of the analog outputs on the H20 are fantastic actually. I suspect thay are 8 bit, but even so they seem to produce very well scaled source signals. Get yourself a Xilinx development kit, some Analog Devices A/D components, a software development platform, some PC board layout software, and you could build your own analog HDTV acquisition module to interface into an AGP port or even directly to a SATA drive. The actual mechanism to do this is very straightforward, the 3 - 6 months of software and FPGA code development is the major impediment.:grin: Once you have it working, you could make a business selling them. We spent about 9 man-months of software development on our last HD Video acquisition board for portable products. It works great, and the BOM is somewhere under $500 per unit. (I can't say how far under...). Now, if you had a IMAQ digital image acquistion module and some appreciation of LabView software development you could use the output of -- no never mind, forget I said that...:D

    I'm sure the folks at ATI and Matrix are working on a consumer grade analog HDTV PC card as we speak. That, with some more modest software development will certainly make an affordable PC-DVR soon enough.

    As for sound, that's already been done by several products in the broadcast industry for PC controlled recording studios. No content protection involved:)
     
  6. satwood

    satwood DBSTalk Club Member

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    Dec 11, 2006
    BTW -- To comment on an earlier post, just "stripping off" the HDCP protection is not enough. It's not embedded in the stream, it's a separate two way transaction that is active the entire time the connection is on. An HDCP compliant destination device will not display a signal unless it sees valid credentials from the source. It's a two way system designed to prevent the simple digital version of video stabilizers. In order for a device to get access to the stream, it would need to mimic both a valid destination to the source, and a valid source to the destination. This potenitally violates numersous copyrights, confidentiality agreements, and of course the federal law supporting digital rights access control. Anything can be done, of course, but this area of hacking crosses over into a much more complicated minefield of legal protections than in the past.

    Remember, the DVR concept itself is protected by several patents and every embodiment comes under some form of IP licensing or IP protection umbrella. So the spiderweb includes DRM laws, copyright laws for the keys and credentials, IP laws for the underlying technology, copyrights on the content itself, fair use laws on the components you would use, etc. It's not worth the trouble.
     
  7. pdicamillo

    pdicamillo AllStar

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    Sep 28, 2007
  8. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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  9. pdicamillo

    pdicamillo AllStar

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    Sep 28, 2007
    As I read it, the $350 card could be used to capture the HD analog component output. However, notice that the data rates require a massive amount of disk space, especially for a home computer.
     
  10. phat78boy

    phat78boy Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 12, 2007
    I've seen the card in action capturing HD from component. It was not from a receiver, but I don't see any reason it couldn't have been. The capture was done at 720P @~60hz.

    I personally don't see it as a realistic setup, but it can be done.
     
  11. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    "Owing to the HDCP features of the HDMI standard, Intensity Pro will not capture DRM encoded material."
    I keep reading "HDV" which is a camcorder standard.

    Besides hard drive size & speed, is the need for a PCI express slot too.
     
  12. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Again even with component connections to the H/HR-20 there is copyguard on the output.
     
  13. pdicamillo

    pdicamillo AllStar

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    Sep 28, 2007
    Yes, you could not use HDMI to capture from an H20 or HR20. The review barely mentions it, but the $350 card also has analog capture, which (as far as I know) cannot be DRM encoded and would work. However, I agree that there are several factors that make it impractical with home computers.
     
  14. phat78boy

    phat78boy Hall Of Fame

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    Sep 12, 2007
    I can easily capture an HD channel from my H20 via component with my hauppauge card. This is not in HD resolution, but it records with no complaints. I'm not sure where/how the copygaurd gets enabled, but I haven't seen a problem with it so far.
     
  15. pdicamillo

    pdicamillo AllStar

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    Sep 28, 2007
    I'm not certain about this, but I remember from somewhere that D* receivers can do copyguard, but it's not hardwired. It's controlled by a bit D* can turn on in the datastream for a program, and which is normally off. I don't know if copyguard is technically feasible for the RGB component outputs, or how HDTVs would react to it.
     
  16. veryoldschool

    veryoldschool Lifetime Achiever Staff Member Super Moderator DBSTalk Club

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    Macrovision has never been a problem with TVs since it's in the retract time, but recorders have had to have hardware [switches] blank this for copying.
    I once tried to copy the SD output to a video capture card [TV tuner] while running MCE 2005. It kept "flagging" on the copyright.
    Since none of this thread is for hacking, I just point out some of the things I've found. YMMV
    Anybody is welcome to drop the bucks and try these cards. [But don't be surprised if you have problems.]
     
  17. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    Jun 18, 2006
    Not to mention there was some evidence that HR20 receivers were using HDCP (HDMI content protection), sometimes a bit too vigilantly.
     
  18. fredandbetty

    fredandbetty Godfather

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    Jan 28, 2007
    i haven't read anywhere about this but doesn't the setting have to be set to 480p??
     
  19. Richard Miller

    Richard Miller Cool Member

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    Oct 22, 2007
    I have a H20-100 connected to Vista Media Center using 150-MCE analog TV card, S-Video for H20-100 to Vista.

    The plasma is set to 720p using DVI.

    I have no DRM problems when recording Showtime or HBO.

    Vista is then Networked to Windows Home Server(WHS) that has 2TB of storage for the TV recordings.
     
  20. phat78boy

    phat78boy Hall Of Fame

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    I have a very similiar setup.
     

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