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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited Apps
This is an update to this hint about recording HDTV with a FireWire cable connected to a digital box.

Apple's latest version of the FireWire Development Kit includes an app called AVCVideoCap.app which will capture video at a specified time from a FireWire-connected HDTV-tuner. Not only will it record, but it will also change channels too. (You cannot, however, schedule a variety of shows to record in sequence, only one at a time)

Download the latest Firewire development kit here. Install the FireWireSDK21.pkg package and go to the /Developer -> FireWireSDK21 -> Applications folder and look for AVCVideoCap.app.

Captured files will be approximately 100Mb/min. depending upon the resolution of the HD video and the compression settings used.

To play back the resulting files, either:

Use MPEG StreamClip to edit, then save files as MPEG, then playback with QuickTime Pro (using the MPEG-2 playback component. Alternatively, use VLC and play the file directly without further modification.

[kirkmc adds: I haven't tested this.]
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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited | 20 comments | Create New Account
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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: G5Dude on Apr 26, '06 09:51:53AM
No mention of HDTV recording on Mac would be complete without mentioning iRecord.

It can schedule numerous recordings in advance, can record from multiple set-top boxes, changes channels with both Motorola and SciAtl STBs, and lets you pick the drive you record to for each recording. I've been using it since v0.2.0, and, coupled with MPEG Streamclip encoding to 720P H.264 at 4Mbps, it makes for a nice way to archive HDTV to DVD-4s with little quality loss.

Too bad 5.1 AAC support is still a little lacking. Manually converting from AC-3 to six AIFF files to six AAC files reincorporated as channels in one 5.1 AAC file is possible, but you end up with a huge sound file and possible syncing issues.

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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: Jeff Thompson on May 15, '06 06:48:33AM

iRecord is pretty nice. It's got a pretty good scheduling feature. I had it fail on me once though; I had to delete all the scheduled recordings and re-enter them to get it to work again.

Even then, I've never been able to get it to work reliably. It seems that if I scedule a recording that is over 60 minutes long I can't open the file using MPEG StreamClip. MPEG StreamClip claims that the files are an unknown file format. Kinda agravating when you've scheduled ten or twenty recordings and they've all failed to open.

Has anyone had any luck using iRecord with larger files?



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: Jeff Thompson on May 15, '06 07:33:11AM

iRecord also seems to cut short the video for scheduled items longer than one hour. I've been able to open one of four recordsing in VLC, but it was cut short. The other three won't play at all.

So far my review of iRecord would be, nice interface, too bad it doesn't work.



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: blairb666 on Jul 29, '06 03:10:31PM

I don't understand it... I followed this hint and it worked *perfectly.* I recorded four times (1 min segments just to test) from my SA3250 box to my 20" intel iMac and the results were awesome. Fast forward two minutes, nothing has changed... now all I get are zero byte files, or files that just won't play. VLC shows no error, MPEG streamclip tells me Unsupported file type. I have changed *nothing* since it worked. I've tried rebooting, powering on/off the cable box, unplugging/replugging. Any ideas?



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: blairb666 on Jul 29, '06 08:09:46PM

Well apparently I changed the box so that it displays in 720p, as that is all the monitor (not my computer monitor) attached to it will display. As soon as the box is changed to 720p, the recordings produced by avcvideocap are worthless. Not sure why 720p would cause it to stop functioning. I can run it in 1080i, but then I can't watch TV from the box.



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iRecord now FireRecord
Authored by: gabester on Nov 29, '08 10:06:38PM
Slightly different URL:

http://www.ammesset.com/firerecord/

I was able to get everything working with this and VLC in one try (after playing with and being totally confused by VirtualDVHS)... I called it a night. However, it hasn't worked since?



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: osxpounder on Apr 26, '06 12:11:31PM

Hmm, do you know if that Development Kit you mentioned *requires* an *HD* video device? Reason I ask: I have a Sony DVMC-DA2, a little digital/analog converter that lets me move analog video in/out of the Mac via FireWire. With my RCA or S-Video cables connected to my TV or VCR, I ought to able to record video over FireWire using this tip, assuming it doesn't depend on *HD*.

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osxpounder



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: spiff on Apr 26, '06 08:57:28PM

You don't need this to capture DV stuff from your SonyBox. In fact, iMovie will do that, or BTVPro will do that since the Sony Box (I have one btw) just outputs Standard Definition (SD) DV.

The only thing special about this hint re: cable box and HD TV is that it captures MPEG-2 streams (not DV streams) from the HD box.



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YES... You can Use AvcVideoCap
Authored by: EatingPie on Apr 29, '06 07:16:33AM

I'm betting the converter uses the same stream as miniDV. This will work with AVCVideoCap. And you get the data in the "native" format: MPEG2.

iMovie converts the MPEG2 firewire input to MPEG4. However, in your case, you're probably not dealing with a high quality stream (Analog to Digital), so converting to MPEG4 wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing. And you get several advantages, including a smaller file size and the ability to edit using iMovie.

-Pie

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-Pie
<http://www.storybytes.com>



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: rong on Apr 26, '06 02:54:58PM

It would be helpful if anyone successfully playing this game reported what equipment supplied the HD source signal.

I had no joy using any of the tools mentioned in this hint and previous replies
with a Scientific Atlantic 8300hd box in the Austin, TX Time Warner service region.

However, I did manage to crash the STB many times :). It always recovered fine after going through its very slow boot process. I'm continually amazed by the obvious very low code quality embedded in these cable boxes.



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: spiff on Apr 26, '06 08:55:11PM

Details: any firewire-out enabled box... in my case, the Motorola 6200 series. I believe the Motorola 64xx series also supports that as well.



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: G5Dude on Apr 27, '06 10:48:27AM
I have a SA 3250HD, running Passport 3.3 build 029, from TWC that works fine. I can record any Copy-Freely HDTV channel TWC carries in my area.

Legally, there are federal regulations stating that they have to provide you with a STB with an active FW port. I experienced a lot of ignorance and a decent uphill battle to convince my local TWC provider of this, but in theory if they don't follow these regulations they face fines and the possibility of losing their charter to provide cable services in your city. At the very least, you should try and get a service credit for as long as they can't get your STB working properly.

See this link to Section 76.640 of the Federal Telecommunications Regulations if you need more information to convince them. Specifically, subsections (b)(4)(i) and (b)(4)(ii), located at the end of the section, apply.

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The Answer to Your Problems
Authored by: EatingPie on Apr 29, '06 06:49:59AM

The 8300HD has a firewire port, but it is not enabled. That is the root of all your problems. This is a HUGE bummer because you can't mix a HD-DVR and HD recording unless you get 2 boxes... and TWC has an stupidly expensive extra charge for two boxes,

For recording, your best bet is the 8250HD as previously noted, and at this point in time TWC SHOULD know about the FCC regulation requiring a firewire-enabled STB.

Unfortunately, it may not be worth it to switch cable boxes. Most TWC in the US encrypt everything except local channels (encrypting locals is illegal). SO if you want to dump HBO-HD or HDNet Movies to your Mac, it's most likely that you won't be able to (you can only record "in the clear" channels to your computer).

-Pie

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-Pie
<http://www.storybytes.com>



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: indigenous on Apr 26, '06 04:43:23PM

Does anyone know if this works with a Motorola MOXI cable box (via Adelphia)? I want to try this but will have to move some stuff around so any warning not to waste my time would be appreciated :-)

Thanks,

Indi



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: nuditarian on Apr 27, '06 11:32:54PM

Anyone know of a utility(not iMovie) to capture video from a miniDV camera, via firewire? I'm interested in using my camcorder as a low grade DVR. Command line would probably be ideal, unless someone has actually built an app for scheduling captures from miniDV cams.



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: e_nmc on Apr 28, '06 12:00:52AM

Quicktime Pro 7 can capture from a DV camera with Firewire



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: EatingPie on Apr 29, '06 07:02:42AM

I use AVCVideoCap for my HDR-HC1, an HD camcorder. But MiniDV is really the same format over firewire as an HD stream (MPEG2 TS), it's just smaller.

The problems with iMovie and (presumably Quicktime), is that, while it CAN read the MiniDV stream, it CONVERTS it to MPEG4. That's not the native format of the camera.

So anyway, give AVCVideoCap a try. It should detect your camer when you plug it in.

-Pie

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-Pie
<http://www.storybytes.com>



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: osxpounder on May 02, '06 04:27:10PM

Spiff [and EatingPie], this has been a fascinating hint and conversation. Lots of ideas can come from this. Thanks!

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osxpounder



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: cheeseboy1966 on May 09, '06 08:55:25PM

I want to WATCH the HD streamfrom my moto box and then maybe record it, or not.
Is there a way to do this,I have not been able to find one yet....
Anyone?



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Record HD video via FireWire -- revisited
Authored by: ssu on Jul 04, '12 01:12:11PM

Hi gang,

I know this is a really old thread, but here's what I'm trying to do.

I have a variety of Macs of various ages in my house, and right now I use my PowerBook G4 with AVCVideoCap to capture .m2t files from my cable box, and then using MPEG StreamClip to convert these files. This works well enough for the most part with a few exceptions, most of which I generally don't mind, but there is one that I want to get around most of all.

I find that there are some difficulties that arise when using MPEG StreamClip, such as data breaks and extremely lengthy conversions. What I am trying to find is an application, either for my intel or my PPC Mac, that can access the video being streamed out over firewire, and encode it in another codec such as h.264 (in an ideal world). In short, I am looking for a program that lets me choose the encoder, rather than forcing me into .m2t, and I am having a hard time believing there is no such app out there.

Whatever resources you all can offer to help me find such an application would be invaluable.

Thanks in advance!

ssu
Motorola DHC3416
PowerBook G4
i3 iMac 21.5 Mini Display Port



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