• TV tuner/capture card for PC

    From Harry Putnam@21:1/5 to All on Wed Nov 8 17:50:16 2017
    This might be a little bit OT but hopefully will fit good enough here.

    My question is about what equipment to use but:
    First I will describe what I want to do:

    I want to be able to record tv programs into editable files on my PC.

    I want the setup to be only a pc and what ever equipment it needs,
    tuner, capture card etc.

    No external tv involved but will have a Directv model: D12-100 box as
    the source of tv signal provided thru my plan with Directv.

    This whole thing is an effort to be able to watch msnbc, cnn news
    programs with the massive onslaught of commercials removed even if I
    have to hand edit them.

    Just want to watch my shows in a little bit of peace.

    I guess it may seem a little extreme but I really, really have learned
    to hate commercials... to the point I can't even watch the news
    anymore.

    In case anyone wants to mention that msnbc already has its news shows
    online:

    I know about and use those; but they have had their own commercials
    added.. some of them so loud as to actually hurt when they suddenly
    come blasting on. And nearly all of them are nearly as annoying as
    the ones used on tv. Maybe a bit shorter or fewer.

    Also msnbcs' videos are not so easy to record with the mostly junko screen recorders available.

    I've looked at a few things like: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140961-REG/hauppauge_1577_colossus_2_pcie_video.html

    Its pretty pricy... but looking more and more worth it as my passion
    against commercials grows.

    Its' Video encoder is listed as Magnum H.264 ... does that fall into
    mp4?

    I have an oldish (version-10) of Vegas and the current Premier Pro
    supplied with the Adobe Cloud suite of tools.

    Is `Magnum H.264' a format that will be readily edited by those NLE's?

    But also it was not clear if more equipment (a tuner?) is required. It
    does sound like it in the writeup under `overview' link.

    Can anyone suggest equipment for this task that would require only a
    `Directv' source box. (I mean beyond the PC with whatever add ons
    suggested)

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Paul@21:1/5 to Harry Putnam on Thu Nov 9 05:14:17 2017
    Harry Putnam wrote:
    This might be a little bit OT but hopefully will fit good enough here.

    My question is about what equipment to use but:
    First I will describe what I want to do:

    I want to be able to record tv programs into editable files on my PC.

    I want the setup to be only a pc and what ever equipment it needs,
    tuner, capture card etc.

    No external tv involved but will have a Directv model: D12-100 box as
    the source of tv signal provided thru my plan with Directv.

    This whole thing is an effort to be able to watch msnbc, cnn news
    programs with the massive onslaught of commercials removed even if I
    have to hand edit them.

    Just want to watch my shows in a little bit of peace.

    I guess it may seem a little extreme but I really, really have learned
    to hate commercials... to the point I can't even watch the news
    anymore.

    In case anyone wants to mention that msnbc already has its news shows
    online:

    I know about and use those; but they have had their own commercials
    added.. some of them so loud as to actually hurt when they suddenly
    come blasting on. And nearly all of them are nearly as annoying as
    the ones used on tv. Maybe a bit shorter or fewer.

    Also msnbcs' videos are not so easy to record with the mostly junko screen recorders available.

    I've looked at a few things like: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140961-REG/hauppauge_1577_colossus_2_pcie_video.html

    Its pretty pricy... but looking more and more worth it as my passion
    against commercials grows.

    Its' Video encoder is listed as Magnum H.264 ... does that fall into
    mp4?

    I have an oldish (version-10) of Vegas and the current Premier Pro
    supplied with the Adobe Cloud suite of tools.

    Is `Magnum H.264' a format that will be readily edited by those NLE's?

    But also it was not clear if more equipment (a tuner?) is required. It
    does sound like it in the writeup under `overview' link.

    Can anyone suggest equipment for this task that would require only a `Directv' source box. (I mean beyond the PC with whatever add ons
    suggested)

    This is a pretty hard question to answer.

    Hauppauge makes this like visiting a restaurant, where you have to
    do a year of research first, before you can even enter the place
    and have a meal. It's really pretty horrible.

    I made mistakes when I bought my solution, and it didn't have any WinTV
    CD in the box. It had a *driver* CD, which was a sham. They might
    as well have thrown a fucking drink coaster in the box, as the
    CD was useless (how do you watch TV without a viewer application?).
    I broke down and ordered WinTV 8 from the Hauppauge web site, and
    it took *ten days* for the CD to come to my door. The shipping method
    had a "tracking number" which said for the entire time, it was still
    at the input side of the shipping system (it was a tracking system
    which didn't track). I was at my wits end by the time it arrived.
    Why make products such a "strip tease" :-/ Drives me nuts
    just thinking about it again.

    *******

    The first part, is the DirecTV end. Is the D12-100 the best
    thing they've got ? Using Channel 3/4 RF (NTSC) or SVideo or
    composite baseband, is a pretty crude way to go in the year
    2017. Brutal, almost. But I'm sure, if you get some sort of
    upgrade from DirecTV, there's some sort of baggage that goes
    with it, extra fees, and so on. I know people hold onto stuff
    like this, because the alternatives are so horrible.

    Digital products come in SD or HD. And those have higher
    resolutions than what comes with regular TV.

    By planning a project which will record only regular TV,
    we don't have much "quality" to work with. It's viewable,
    but hardly something to show off to friends.

    Now, I like the Channel3/4 option, because I've had a fair
    amount of trouble with DC restoration on the other types of
    outputs. I've tried to connect: Computer composite output
    as well as a DVD player composite output to TV sets, with
    just awful results. I'd thought at the time, that Channel3/4
    RF modulation would make things worse, but the picture is actually
    pretty good for what it is. I added a RadioShack Channel3/4 modulator
    to the DVD player, so I could reuse an old TV set.

    To record Channel 3/4, you need an analog tuner card (NTSC).
    The Hybrid cards have both NTSC (analog) and ATSC (digital).

    To record Svideo/Composite, you have more options, with either
    the straight "capture" card doing the job, or many of the tuner
    cards were "dual mode", and they accepted RF signals into the
    tuner, or they accepted baseband video via S-Video or Composite (red/yellow/white). Older tuner cards were pretty well guaranteed
    to support all of that stuff. You really have to watch it with
    modern hardware cards, for the stuff they no longer include.

    *******

    The colossus2 has no tuner, so it cannot tune into channel3/4.
    But it can handle various kinds of video.

    It records video (but has no tuner) http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_colossus2.html http://www.hauppauge.com/site/products/data_colossus2.html

    This is a picture of the faceplate.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/pics/colossus2_diagram_large.jpg

    The third connector down, below the HDMI (passthru) ports,
    is one of these. Y, Pr, Pb, Audio Left, Audio Right. There
    is no Composite or S-Video on that (which your D12-100 uses).

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_avcable-din_style.html

    So it doesn't look like the colossus2 is a good fit. We don't
    have a tuner for channel3/4. We don't have Composite input
    or S-Video. If you had a "real" STB with HDMI connector,
    one of the older ones without HDCP encryption on it,
    the Colossus2 would be "hog heaven".

    Anyway, we have to shop for something else.

    Note that, tuners are a thing of the past. KWorld went
    out of business, and they made $39-class solutions. Hauppauge
    kinda has the remaining market to themselves. I suspect
    there will also be chip shortage problems to deal with,
    as the components used on these cards cannot stay in
    production, unless there's a capture card industry using
    them. You cannot wait much longer, to design your
    TV recorder.

    *******

    This is the one I got several months ago. This is discontinued and
    I don't see advertisements for it now. Mine was missing WinTV 8
    and the IR Blaster (because it was the OEM white box version). I couldn't
    find the retail boxed version (I looked).

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_hvr2255.html

    This one is similar, only it supports a single recording channel.
    And this is out of stock on one site.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_hvr1265.html

    NTSC analog TV <--- your channel 3/4 on D12-100
    ATSC digital over the air HDTV <--- digital TV via rabbit ears
    Clear QAM digital cable TV* <--- cable TV (unencrypted, doesn't exist)

    WinTV v7 or Windows 7 Media Center required for clear QAM reception
    * Note: Clear QAM digital cable TV is not available on all
    cable TV networks, so check with your local cable TV
    provider for Clear QAM availability [sure, dude]

    Also connects to analog video sources such as a cable box or VCR

    S-Video <--- D12-100 has this
    Composite video <--- and this
    Left and right stereo audio (1/8" stereo jack) <--- and this

    Maybe this is overkill, but it at least includes a USB IR blaster
    for changing channels. It also has a remote, which would be a duplicate
    of the remote feature on the previous product. At one time, IR Blasters
    were readily available, but I don't know how easy they are to find now.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_remote-mckit.html

    This one uses a 1/8" TRRS cable and has an IR transmitter and IR receiver
    on it. For learning and sending commands to the D12-100. This is an
    IR blaster, without the convenience of USB. Cables like this only
    work with plug-in cards with the TRRS connector on the front.

    http://www.hauppauge.com/site/webstore2/webstore_3meter-ir-blaster-learn.html

    When the product you're buying, lacks the IR bits and pieces, you have
    to order those too, so you can change channels on the STB
    (Set Top Box) which in your case is the D12-100.

    *******

    When it comes to recording, you need Guide Data. That's like the
    digital version of TV Guide, and tells you that Flintstones comes
    on at 8PM. If you're sitting in front of the "10 foot interface"
    on your recording software, you'd enter "Flintstones" and using
    the Guide Data, the software knows which channels carry Flintstones
    and on what days and times. In some cases, maybe Flintstones moves
    from 8PM to 7PM, and as long as the Guide Data receives regular updates,
    the software should always be ready to receive. Windows Media Center
    is supposed to be pretty good about figuring that stuff out
    (I had mine set up, but rolled it back).

    The receiving software should wake up 5 minutes before the broadcast
    starts, and hopefully, record enough content so you get the end of
    the show.

    Now, on a "direct" recording device, there are no real tricks.
    Say for example, you had a TV rabbit ears, and a tuner card suitable
    for the job. If you punch in channel 12, the software sets the
    tuner module on the card to channel 12. A good tuner can "slew"
    maybe a couple channels a second, if it's a good design. It's
    very much like a TV set.

    In your case, indirect tuning is involved. The DirecTV box has an
    IR port for a remote control. To set channel 12, I take my remote
    and I type "1,2,enter" and boom, Channel 12. Well, if you buy a
    tuner card, who is going to operate the remote control for you ?

    That's where the IR Blaster comes in. The IR Blaster plugs into
    the PC. When the recording software wants channel 12, it types
    "1,2,enter" only the light output comes from the USB powered
    IR blaster. The IR blaster is the remote that the computer
    uses, to command the D12-100 to the correct channel. You have to
    check the "box contents", to be sure IR transmitter (commands)
    or IR receiver (learning) are there for indirect tuning applications.
    If you use a STB, and want automated recording, then at least
    the transmitter has to be there. The receiver (learn) thing,
    is so it can "listen" to the remote you've already got, and
    the software learns the right pulses to send on the transmitter
    part.

    *******

    Anyway, that's a quick overview.

    WinXP Media Center has Media Center for recording TV.
    That was a specific version of WinXP intended for TV recording.

    Windows 7 has Media Center built in.

    Windows 8 made Media Center optional. You had to use
    Win8 Pro plus buy a $15 kit or so, to get Media Center.
    There was an introductory offer, where Media Center was
    free, and I got one of those at the time.

    Windows 10 doesn't have Media Center. A prototype of it was
    produced, and it might still be available for download
    somewhere.

    The trick with Media Center is... analog/NTSC is supported
    out of the box, when it comes to guide data. My card of
    course, is a Hybrid. The analog portion (which has no TV
    channels in my area), shows up. The *digital* portion with
    all the channels, wouldn't show up! It took me forever to
    find the registry setting to turn on the digital part,
    and *finally* the TV channels showed up. Arghh.

    Hauppauge has WinTV 7 and WinTV 8. It has WinTV Schedule
    for recording automatically. And it uses TitanTV for Guide
    data. Those bits are near the end of the manual. It appears
    the Extender feature (a different flavor of WinTV 8
    you can buy), is for sending video to other
    computers using Adobe Flash (I use that here).
    Extender is *very* slow to change channels, and
    takes ten to twenty seconds to fill the buffer.

    https://s3.amazonaws.com/hauppauge/manuals/wintv_8_help_us.pdf

    The Hauppauge server appears to be down, the one with the
    manuals, which is why the amazonaws is a find at the moment,
    and will help you get some idea how this stuff is tied together.

    (This is the site that isn't working, and it wasn't work right
    the last time I was here a couple months ago. This is one of the
    reasons I worry about the future of Hauppauge and whether
    they're really in business or not. Such a shitty server.)

    http://hauppauge.lightpath.net/manuals/qi-hvr1250-mc-kit.pdf

    *******

    As for the file formats, that's the least of your problems.
    Yes, there are recording devices that recorded in obscure
    formats only they could handle. But that's not likely
    to be a problem here. For example, the Media Center .wtv
    format is viewable via FFMPEG/FFPLAY. At least, as long
    as the captured video is not a "do not copy" type :-)
    Your NTSC adventure has almost no DRM at all - it does
    have a do not copy bit, but I wouldn't expect anything
    to honor that. Media Center has more opportunities for
    mayhem.

    Paul

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Computer Nerd Kev@21:1/5 to Harry Putnam on Fri Nov 10 22:17:33 2017
    Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:

    No external tv involved but will have a Directv model: D12-100 box as
    the source of tv signal provided thru my plan with Directv.

    This whole thing is an effort to be able to watch msnbc, cnn news
    programs with the massive onslaught of commercials removed even if I
    have to hand edit them.
    [snip]
    I know about and use those; but they have had their own commercials
    added.. some of them so loud as to actually hurt when they suddenly
    come blasting on. And nearly all of them are nearly as annoying as
    the ones used on tv. Maybe a bit shorter or fewer.

    Also msnbcs' videos are not so easy to record with the mostly junko screen recorders available.

    I've looked at a few things like: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1140961-REG/hauppauge_1577_colossus_2_pcie_video.html

    Its pretty pricy... but looking more and more worth it as my passion
    against commercials grows.

    There are some pretty cheap used ones about, eg. https://www.ebay.com/itm/322859162914

    You'll have to go hunting for drivers though. The last capture card I
    bought actually cost me 20c at a swap-meet.

    Its' Video encoder is listed as Magnum H.264 ... does that fall into
    mp4?

    I have an oldish (version-10) of Vegas and the current Premier Pro
    supplied with the Adobe Cloud suite of tools.

    Is `Magnum H.264' a format that will be readily edited by those NLE's?

    But also it was not clear if more equipment (a tuner?) is required. It
    does sound like it in the writeup under `overview' link.

    If your device has composite or S-Video outputs, you shouldn't need a
    "tuner". Use the S-Video output, if available, it will be the best
    quality (I assume there's no HDMI output on the "Directv").

    Can anyone suggest equipment for this task that would require only a `Directv' source box. (I mean beyond the PC with whatever add ons
    suggested)

    Any cheap capture card, along with the audio input on your sound card,
    then just connect them together with your "Directv" thing. If you're
    recording from an analogue source, you should be able to choose the
    video format yourself with any decent internal capture card.

    This might be woth a look on the software side: http://www.argus-tv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Comskip

    --
    __ __
    #_ < |\| |< _#

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Harry Putnam@21:1/5 to Paul on Mon Feb 12 09:08:12 2018
    Paul <nospam@needed.invalid> writes:

    First off, sorry for getting back to this so late.

    Harry Putnam wrote:

    [...]

    Paul responded:

    This is a pretty hard question to answer.

    Hauppauge makes this like visiting a restaurant, where you have to
    do a year of research first, before you can even enter the place
    and have a meal. It's really pretty horrible.

    [...] snipped lots of excellent detail

    Thank you sir, for the full and well detailed report

    I'll be trying to absorb some of the stuff in the links you provided.
    I suspect I will be back for more later.

    not@telling.you.invalid (Computer Nerd Kev) writes:

    [...]

    There are some pretty cheap used ones about, eg. https://www.ebay.com/itm/322859162914

    You'll have to go hunting for drivers though. The last capture card I
    bought actually cost me 20c at a swap-meet.

    Thanks for the great input.

    To both of you:

    I didn't do much of a job in OP explaining things.

    I kind of assumed it would work something like this:
    My directv connections to tv work thru the boxes dtv supply.

    I hardly ever actually watch tv, so paid no attention when dtv hooked
    things up, but looking at the tv my wife watches I see:

    a coax coming from wall (which must go to disk thing on the roof)
    Then from the dtv box runs a hdmi connector to tv

    So anyway, I had assumed dtv would give us another box and whatever
    way it is connected from there to tv would connect to whatever I get
    for my mobo... or maybe its all usb now.

    Hence the notion that I would need a tv tuner... that is, a tiny tv
    with no screen... and the computer monitor would do the rest.

    Not considering for a moment how I would record it or edit it.

    I'm probably clear off the mark here, but if not, is that roughly how
    this would be done?

    Harry wrote:

    I have an oldish (version-10) of Vegas and the current Premier Pro
    supplied with the Adobe Cloud suite of tools.

    Is `Magnum H.264' a format that will be readily edited by those NLE's?

    But also it was not clear if more equipment (a tuner?) is required. It
    does sound like it in the writeup under `overview' link.

    C.N. Kev wrote:
    If your device has composite or S-Video outputs, you shouldn't need a "tuner". Use the S-Video output, if available, it will be the best
    quality (I assume there's no HDMI output on the "Directv").

    Actually there is. In fact that is how the Directv boxes they supply,
    feed the tv.

    Can anyone suggest equipment for this task that would require only a
    `Directv' source box. (I mean beyond the PC with whatever add ons
    suggested)

    Any cheap capture card, along with the audio input on your sound card,
    then just connect them together with your "Directv" thing. If you're recording from an analogue source, you should be able to choose the
    video format yourself with any decent internal capture card.

    I once had a pretty expensive canopus capture card but parted ways
    with that long ago. I kind of thought since the tv shows will be
    playing on my computer, I'd be able to record them with a screen
    recorder, is that not likely to be doable?

    This might be woth a look on the software side: http://www.argus-tv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Comskip

    Hey, that looks like it might take a lot of the boring work out of
    getting past those pesky commercials

    To both of you again:

    Where I do my computing is quite removed from any tv's in the house,
    so I thought getting something that would render my mobo or PC into a
    basic tv would be in order.

    So, I though Dtv box > hdmi cable > whatever-device-I-need-here and
    then I can watch the actual tv shows on my PC or record them and edit
    all the junk out. I had assumed I would be able to record them with
    `what you see/hear' screen recorder and depending on which one... I
    could record to avi which would be editable in either of my NLE
    programs.

    So, please let me know if I'm really missing the boat and likely to be
    getting in over my head here.

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Paul@21:1/5 to Harry Putnam on Mon Feb 12 10:47:48 2018
    Harry Putnam wrote:


    Thanks for the great input.

    To both of you:

    I didn't do much of a job in OP explaining things.

    I kind of assumed it would work something like this:
    My directv connections to tv work thru the boxes dtv supply.

    I hardly ever actually watch tv, so paid no attention when dtv hooked
    things up, but looking at the tv my wife watches I see:

    a coax coming from wall (which must go to disk thing on the roof)
    Then from the dtv box runs a hdmi connector to tv

    So anyway, I had assumed dtv would give us another box and whatever
    way it is connected from there to tv would connect to whatever I get
    for my mobo... or maybe its all usb now.

    Hence the notion that I would need a tv tuner... that is, a tiny tv
    with no screen... and the computer monitor would do the rest.

    Not considering for a moment how I would record it or edit it.

    I'm probably clear off the mark here, but if not, is that roughly how
    this would be done?

    The notion of being over your head might not be
    far off the mark. Look at the hell these people went through
    just to get the TV part working! These are people just
    trying to get a TV working with DirecTV.

    https://forums.att.com/t5/DIRECTV-DVR-Receivers/Hdmi/td-p/5050599

    I'd start by taking a look at the back of the DirecTV box,
    get a model number off it, plus note down all the I/O connectors.
    Recording an HDMI connector protected with HDCP isn't all
    that practical, but if the box still has YPrPb you may
    be able to record a 720p signal (1280 x 720 @ 60Hz progressive).
    The reason they put a low resolution signal on there is
    to prevent piracy. But 720p is still miles better than
    Composite and S-Video, and might be OK for movie content.

    The best way to record and serve TV is with a dedicated computer.

    Locating the computer (even a small one) next to the DirecTV
    makes hosting easier. With enough trouble, you can make
    the computer "headless", and not have a monitor connected
    to it while it is running. (The computer will "think" it
    has a monitor, when there isn't one.)

    Remoting the YPbPr signals instead, would depend on how many feet the
    intended computer is from that DirecTV box. I bet you could
    run component signals a good many feet using coax, but
    the coax wires will look ugly. Electrically, it's probably
    better if a ground-referenced desktop computer, uses the same
    power strip as the DirecTV box and other stuff.

    Once a TV recording is in some MPEG format, it doesn't
    take a lot of Wifi bandwidth to send them. So if the
    TV content is properly captured in a regular format like
    that, even a crappy Wifi would probably work to allow
    playback in some other room. The recording device
    then functions as a "streaming server".

    I think my TV Tuner card, basically just records
    the packets coming over the air (digital TV sends packets).
    So no "compression" step is required, and it doesn't take
    a lot of CPU. And even that, burns up perhaps 7GB/hour
    storage space. About 2MB/sec or so. I haven't done any
    recordings recently, so don't have a sample file sitting
    on the computer.

    *******

    So collect some more particulars, give some idea whether
    a computer can be placed near the TV or not, and maybe
    the picture will be a bit clearer.

    Paul

    --- SoupGate-Win32 v1.05
    * Origin: fsxNet Usenet Gateway (21:1/5)
  • From Computer Nerd Kev@21:1/5 to Harry Putnam on Mon Feb 12 22:01:42 2018
    Harry Putnam <reader@newsguy.com> wrote:

    To both of you:

    I didn't do much of a job in OP explaining things.

    I kind of assumed it would work something like this:
    My directv connections to tv work thru the boxes dtv supply.

    I hardly ever actually watch tv, so paid no attention when dtv hooked
    things up, but looking at the tv my wife watches I see:

    a coax coming from wall (which must go to disk thing on the roof)
    Then from the dtv box runs a hdmi connector to tv

    So anyway, I had assumed dtv would give us another box and whatever
    way it is connected from there to tv would connect to whatever I get
    for my mobo... or maybe its all usb now.

    Hence the notion that I would need a tv tuner... that is, a tiny tv
    with no screen... and the computer monitor would do the rest.

    Not considering for a moment how I would record it or edit it.

    I'm probably clear off the mark here, but if not, is that roughly how
    this would be done?

    You're more or less on the mark. The "tiny TV with no screen" is the
    video capture device. For HDMI there are USB and internal PCIe capture
    devices available to use with your PC. Does your PC have USB 3.0?

    Harry wrote:

    I have an oldish (version-10) of Vegas and the current Premier Pro
    supplied with the Adobe Cloud suite of tools.

    Is `Magnum H.264' a format that will be readily edited by those NLE's?

    But also it was not clear if more equipment (a tuner?) is required. It
    does sound like it in the writeup under `overview' link.

    C.N. Kev wrote:
    If your device has composite or S-Video outputs, you shouldn't need a
    "tuner". Use the S-Video output, if available, it will be the best
    quality (I assume there's no HDMI output on the "Directv").

    Actually there is. In fact that is how the Directv boxes they supply,
    feed the tv.

    Ah, yours must be an updated version to what came up in my quick web
    search. I second Paul in the request for a model number. :)

    Can anyone suggest equipment for this task that would require only a
    `Directv' source box. (I mean beyond the PC with whatever add ons
    suggested)

    Any cheap capture card, along with the audio input on your sound card,
    then just connect them together with your "Directv" thing. If you're
    recording from an analogue source, you should be able to choose the
    video format yourself with any decent internal capture card.

    I once had a pretty expensive canopus capture card but parted ways
    with that long ago. I kind of thought since the tv shows will be
    playing on my computer, I'd be able to record them with a screen
    recorder, is that not likely to be doable?

    You could, but a better approach is to grab the digital video data
    directly instead of displaying on the screen and recording that,
    which will degrade the quality and put more load on the PC.

    This might be woth a look on the software side:
    http://www.argus-tv.com/wiki/index.php?title=Comskip

    Hey, that looks like it might take a lot of the boring work out of
    getting past those pesky commercials

    To both of you again:

    Where I do my computing is quite removed from any tv's in the house,
    so I thought getting something that would render my mobo or PC into a
    basic tv would be in order.

    So, I though Dtv box > hdmi cable > whatever-device-I-need-here and
    then I can watch the actual tv shows on my PC or record them and edit
    all the junk out. I had assumed I would be able to record them with
    `what you see/hear' screen recorder and depending on which one... I
    could record to avi which would be editable in either of my NLE
    programs.

    Paul's described the basis for this approach. Given that it might get
    a bit complicated, perhaps an easier solution would be a dedicated
    capture "box" that can record to a USB memory stick or SD card, which
    you can later take over to your computer to edit and view.

    Here's a cheaper one on Ebay:
    https://www.ebay.com/itm/253415118453

    It might be easier to use one with a built-in screen. I've seen these
    cheaper (direct from China) than the below example, but it's the
    closest I could find with a 5min search (and maybe better quality): https://www.ebay.com/itm/162898442853

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