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Thread: Newbie help required on what capture card to buy (UK)

  1. #1

    Default Newbie help required on what capture card to buy (UK)

    Hi - I want to transfer recorded TV from my Sky Plus box to DVD via my PC.

    PC spec is AMD Athlon 2400, 768M RAM and 20G of disk space available for intermediate storage.

    I was thinking of a PCI card as I don't have either Firewire or USB2.

    Can anyone recommend a card, preferably with hardware MPEG-2 encoding and bundled DVD editing software. I don't want to spend a fortune and the card will only be used for the reason given, so it doesn't necessarily have to have a tuner or other fancy bits. To purchase in the UK via the web or store.

    A second newbie question - do I have to worry about lip sync due to the video processing time or does it all happen just too fast?

    Thanks for your help.


  2. #2


    ha good luck no one seems to want to help me eather

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Blog Entries


    The cheapest and easiest solution for you is to buy a standalone DVD recorder. Feed the sky outputs to the DVD recorder and hey presto. Cheaper and easier than a PC solution if you don't want to edit.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2004
    Bracknell, Berkshire, UK


    Quote Originally Posted by feanor24
    ha good luck no one seems to want to help me eather
    That's a bit cheeky isn't it? He only posted the question less than two hours ago!!!!!!

    As to the question at hand.....

    I think you'll be lucky to get everything you want without paying your 'fortune'.

    I personally know of one capture card that will take an analogue signal and convert it to MPEG2 on the fly, during capture. It does come with decent software too. But it comes in at about 700 UKP so I hope you have a big wallet.

    Although I do not know what output a Sky+ box has, I imagine any analogue to digital convert will pretty much do the job for you.

  5. #5


    Thanks for the replies - any comments or help are appreciated as I am completely new to this. I had thought of the DVD recorder route, Marc, but would like to edit out front and end dead time and also adverts.

    The Sky box has AV (Scart) and S-video outputs.

    I don't want to pay 700 - 100 is nearer the mark - maybe my expectation for a hardware encoder are unrealistic (although I'd have though this technology would be reasonably cheap as a spin-off from the Camcorder and DVD Recorder market).

    If I use a software codec do I have to spool large amounts of uncompressed video to disc or will the software codec encode in real time?

    I'm looking for similar quality when played back as I get on the original Sky transmissions.

    Again, if I'm being a arse please mention it, but I'd rather enquire on a forum like this than just wander into PC World and buy the first box with 'video capture' written on it.



  6. Default

    Can you do that on a Sky+ box? I thought they would have used some kind of encryption so as to prevent people from doing this. Kind of opens the floodgates for piracy. Not that you would ever use it for such purposes, but I'm just surprised it's that easy to copy stuff from a Sky+ box. Then again, I guess legally it's no different to the old VHS argument. In what format does Sky+ store video by the way? I know they're just standard hard drives in there.

  7. #7

    Default Sky+

    All I was thinking of doing was doing the video capture to the AV port on the back of the box (i.e. on the TV side), not going into the depths of the thing or trying to take it straight off the LNB.

    The Sky+ box actually has a copy function, which I've not used yet, but appears to generate a list of programs for copying to a VCR. Some programs are apparently copy protected and won't work with this function.

    We shall see

    As a separate note, I understand that the Sky+ box contains an industry standard hard drive because I've seen an article about upgrading it to 250M (which is the limit of the Sky firmware). I've not played with this as I don't want to invalidate the warrenty on the box - but would guess that it's all a proprietary standard - not PC compatible!


  8. #8


    Well .....

    I've bought a USB2 PCI card for 6.49 and a H+B TX-100 Video Convertor for 31.13 - both off Ebay giving a total of under 38 including P&P.

    The H+B convertor says it performs hardware encoding 'DVD MPEG-2 encoding, MP@ML, Progresive and Interlaced' from A/V and S-video inputs.

    Will post to give my opinion when I've used it - whilst I'm sure this is simple stuff for you pros, but it may give other newcomers an insight into what's available.

    Best Regards,


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Bristol uk
    Blog Entries


    Personally I would record to dvd, stick that in yer pc and edit the vobs.

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