View Full Version : Need help with recording sky with usb tv tuner on a laptop

16-07-2009, 08:19 PM
Hi everyone,
I'm planning on buying a usb TV tuner e.g (http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a5edcbd00d2139e2741c0a87f3b06f3/Product/View/XH9680 or http://www.dse.co.nz/dse.shop/4a5edcbd00d2139e2741c0a87f3b06f3/Product/View/XH9725) for use on my Compaq presario laptop running windows vista home basic (so no media center). My sky set-up is a normal subscription with sky multiroom for my bedroom, one motorolla box as the main unit and for the multi-room one - a similar silver model - standard issue in new zealand apparently.
Other useful information:
-Both sky boxes are using the dark red, dark green, dark blue (component) connections from SCART off the box and neither are connected to a video player/recorder
-My laptop has VGA/RGB and S-video video output connections.
-Money IS an issue - hopefully not paying over NZ$200
-I do have an hdtv which i could use if necessary/or possible as a midway point for the process
-I would like to record in the best quality picture and audio quality that i can
-Hard drive space is not an issue (have a 1TB external HDD)

What i was wondering/hoping to achieve was to somehow use the TV tuner to either pick up AND record sky television off the dish/box to my laptop (live pause features etc doesn't bother me) or record straight off the box to my laptop(is that even possible?)
Any help is greatly appreciated,
thanks everyone,

Wayne H
16-07-2009, 09:46 PM
If your sky decoder has a normal TV out aerial then yes the Hauppauge tuner will work. from memory those older ones do.
The newer ones for mysky do not. so you would be out of luck with either of these.
the problem with the pinnacle device is that it is only digital tv (freeview and the like), there is no "normal" tuner.

As for the quality do not expect great things, you are using aerial cable after all.
DO NOT buy cheap, (speaking from experince here) as you said 1TB should not be an issue, I beg to differ, the cheap cards do not enable mpg2/4 decoding, with the hauppauge card you could expect 1.2 GB per hour of recording, with my old card (a $30 piece of rubbish) i got 1GB PER MINUTE.
1 TB = 1000 mins (over 16 hours of video, wow)
hope this helps

16-07-2009, 10:01 PM
I have the Hauppague tuner and have a 10m coaxial cable running from the decoder to my room :). The quality is average, however I suspect the is an issue to do with the software tuner as the picture when running through the VCR is fine.

Mine also came with a small cable that plugs into the tuner and has a Yellow A/V plug, a S-Video plug and a 3.5mm plug (I think), but when trying these I haven't picked up any picture :(.

16-07-2009, 10:15 PM
hey thanks for the reply mate, definitely helped open my eyes, you'd think something simple like decoding would be bundled in the software with the package. one question though, is there an adapter that caters to composite-VGA/RGB on my laptop that would do the recording? I'd imagine that would also result in a MUCH better picture quality.

16-07-2009, 10:21 PM
hey dave, that's quite strange that it doesn't work I reckon. do you ever do any recording? if so whats the output size per/hour or minute do you reckon?

17-07-2009, 09:55 AM
Mine came with Hauppauge software and Cyberlink Power Cinema 5 with H.264 decoding (for freeview HD).

I never really used the Hauppauge software as I found it buggy (not that Power Cinema is much better).

I've done some recording with the bundled Power Cinema - off sky it records at approx. 4GB/hour, and off Freeview HD it records at about 2GB/hour, BUT the freeview HD recordings only play properly in Power Cinema (see this thread (http://pressf1.co.nz/showthread.php?t=100838)).

As for the adapter, I'm not sure, I've never really done any research into it, however I've attached a slightly blurry picture (sorry about that, mobile phone camera) of the adapter I was supplied with:

Wayne H
17-07-2009, 10:02 AM
I don't know about quality but something like this should help you.
this has what you need as well as onboard mpg2 decoding.
i can not vouch for this shop as i was just using price spy to look at tv capture cards and this device jumped out at me.
hope this helps

17-07-2009, 11:13 AM
Thanks Dave:D, they never really say what they bundle in it like that funny little adapter. That's really really strange that you don't get picture using the adapter but if you could I'd imagine they would result in better picture quality than coaxial cabling. Wow, 4gb an hour for sky? I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth it. Thanks for the help mate and yeah, I've heard some varied reviews about power cinema.

17-07-2009, 11:18 AM
Hey WH, thanks for looking into it. Quite a little beauty you've found there, does it actually replace the whole tv tuner all together and act as everything i need in itself or should i be bundling it with the tv tuner? i see its got composite in too! :D great! it seems awfully cheap so that's just got me wondering if it has everything i need bundled into it. Thanks for that, Jared

17-07-2009, 11:19 AM
www.videohelp.com will have some answers/suggestions :)

17-07-2009, 11:28 AM
Oh hey zip, thanks. I'll look into it:D

Wayne H
17-07-2009, 01:57 PM
this is from ascent and they have this in stock at a similar price (inc gst).
I believe that they have a good reputation.
Yes this looks like all you need, check software that comes with it.
Yuan Butterfly TV Tuner, External, USB 2.0
At a glance

Bus USB 2.0
Firewire In No
S-video In Yes
RCA In Yes
Firewire Out No
S-video Out No
RCA Out No
RGB Out No
Audio In Yes
Audio Out No
Codec MPEG-2
Breakout Box Yes
Internal/External External

17-07-2009, 03:59 PM
Wow, 4gb an hour for sky? I'm starting to wonder if it's even worth it. Thanks for the help mate and yeah, I've heard some varied reviews about power cinema.

Yep, but after you've recorded it you can convert it into a more compressed format (eg divx/xvid). I've found it highly useful though, especially when recording shows that go longer than 3hrs (size of a video tape). As for power cinema, it's not that great, but it works.