I was watching The Princess Bride for the gazillionth time the other night and had forgotten how many great one liners it has. So the next few postings are all going to have completely unrelated titles from that movie.
Last year I bought a Hauppauge WinTV PVR-350 video capture card. The main reason was to transfer an ancient (vintage 1980) family video to DVD and also to transfer all our Sony HandyCam Video-8 to DVD. This was my third attempt to do this.
The first (in 2000) was to buy an ATI All-in-Wonder 128-Pro. Software was a flakey as hell and I never managed to capture and save the video with sufficent quality. At that time I was trying (and failing) to create VCDs with my CD Burner. Strike 1.
Last year, on impulse, I bought an Avermedia DVD EZMaker USB2.0 to try the same but targetting my new DVD Burner. It was dirt cheap, with good reason. What a piece of shit. Incapable of capturing video with movement without the whole screen degenerating into jaggies. Also didn't work with most capture software. Strike 2.
Then late last year I got the Hauppauge. Home Run! Captured the whole video in one go, perfect quality (or as perfect as a 24 year old tape can give you) and straight to DVD with no problems. I've been too busy to do all of the camcorder footage and I've kept meaning to hook it up to the TV aerial socket in the home office to check out its TV capabilities.
I finally did this on Sunday. Holy Crap! I now have my own (slightly clunky) Tivo. The software isn't great but it is functional. The scheduler worked on recording Scrubs ("let's hang out", "sure, if by hang out you mean 'throttle you'"). The main reason for needing this is that Sky doesn't do ITV (ok, no loss there) or Channel 4\. So I'll never miss another Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall program again.
In keeping with our telly-addict household, we are also getting Sky+ installed today. As Sky is already digital, it records the MPEG stream to Hard Disk without needing any encoding. The funny thing is that my technophobe Dad was the first in the extended family to get one. Golf is a very strong motivator obviously. We all saw it in action over Easter and all of the men decided they _needed_ one, now! Even Oscar my 5 year old is dying to get it (no more missed episodes of Drake and Josh).
And the poor old VCR is now is a cupboard unconnected to anything. First time I haven't had a VCR wired up to a TV in 14 years.
Next job is to get TV listings for Ireland working on the WinTV (maybe using SageTV plus xmltv) and then wiring it up to the TV. Two steps forward, one step back.