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Transferring video files.

Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-08-2007

Transferring video files.

I Know there are dvd recorders on the market that allow you to transfer a recorded program to a dvd disk but is it possible to transfer a recorded program from a pvr to a dvd disk ?
What type of file does a pvr  use ? Is the hard disk on a pvr formatted the same as a windows/linux system ?
Just curious as I have never come across a pvr that has a lead out for transferring files ?
7 REPLIES
DaveyH
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Re: Transferring video files.

Quote from: gleneagles
I Know there are dvd recorders on the market that allow you to transfer a recorded program to a dvd disk but is it possible to transfer a recorded program from a pvr to a dvd disk ?

Depends on the PVR and platform.
Some Freeview and Freesat PVRs have USBs slots and will allow you to export SD recordings (HD recordings are often copyright flagged so can't be transffered) to HDD/USB flash drive.  So allow you to transfer them to a PC and burn to DVD
Generic/non-platform specific PVRs often also have USB, or even  ESATA ports or are networked so you can FTP media off.
Quote
What type of file does a pvr  use ? Is the hard disk on a pvr formatted the same as a windows/linux system ?

Again depends on the PVR, but usually/most commonly .TS files.
As for the filesystem this is again PVR/platform dependant. Sky boxes for example use XTV FS (a modified fat32 based file system)  but most are linux based so use ext3/4
You could of course just connect the PVR to a DVD-Recorder and export recordings that way, but it's a slow process as it's done in real time

CX
Grafter
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Re: Transferring video files.

I used to have a Topfield Freeview PVR which had a USB port on the back so that it could be connected to a PC and using their software the recordings could be transferred. They used some custom container format for the video and audio streams (untouched), but no encryption and there are plenty of utilities which can convert them. Some Humax models of that era had similar functionality. Although the Topfield used a standard IDE 3.5" hard disk, it was formatted in a custom file system, not FAT32/NTFS/ext2. Things are more locked down now though, especially the HD services (as DaveyH says). These days, free-to-air (Freeview, Freeview HD, Freesat, Freesat HD) is probably easiest to get onto DVD by recording on the PC directly with PVR software such as Windows Media Center, DVBViewer, MediaPortal.
With a Sky+ box, I believe the recordings are saved to the disk encrypted, straight off the air, and so need the conditional access card and a valid subscription any time you want to view them. This is different to PC-based PVRs where the un-encrypted streams are usually saved, so only need the card at the time of recording. Getting anything out of a Sky box is going to involve some kind of real-time capture whilst playing back on the Sky box, such as Hauppauge HD-PVR. I remember there being cards with SDI inputs a few years ago, but don't know whether these work for Sky boxes now.
Having said all that, these days the quality of the SD broadcasts is so poor that it's hardly worth the effort. Compare Channel 5 today to "five" back in 2004 and it's a night and day difference. Gone is the 720x576 video at near-DVD bitrates and in is a poor 2-2.5Mbps stream at 544x576 (Freesat) or 704x576 (Freeview). None of the other channels are that much better but Channel 5 in particular strive to lower the bar for image quality year on year.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Transferring video files.

I believe HD programs are encrypted and very difficult to extract from a PVR.
Community Veteran
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Registered: 20-10-2012

Re: Transferring video files.

By far the easiest way way is to play the recorded video to a video recorder direct on to a DVD!
There are plenty of DVD recorders out there. Do a Google search and pick one and away you go.
Geoff,
York.
VileReynard
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Re: Transferring video files.

For BBC programs you could intercept the stream from i-player and convert to MP4 format.
This seems to work well in get-iplayer.
There are even a few semi-HD programmes at 1080 x 720.
Most programmes are SD at 832 x 468 though (which is just slightly better than DVD).

Razer
Grafter
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Registered: 17-11-2012

Re: Transferring video files.

That's worse. A PAL DVD is 720 x 576
VileReynard
Seasoned Pro
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Re: Transferring video files.

It's a tricky comparison, really.
720 x 576 isn't a 16:9 aspect ratio - or even a 4:3 aspect ratio - it's nearly square at 5:4
So DVD pixels aren't square and have to be "manipulated" into 16:9.  Cheesy