DSS to PC. Can 5.1 audio be captured as well?

Andres Munoz

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I have some recordings stored in my Dish Network PVR that I'd like to transfer to my PC in order to burn them to DVD.

I've been researching a little bit on various video capture cards but one thing I haven't been able to get info on is what about the audio?

Some of the recordings I have come with a Dolby Digital (5.1) soundtrack. Is there a way to keep the soundtrack intact when transfering to the PC and then burning it to DVD?

Can you guys recommend some good affordable, video capture cards to do this? My budget might be a problem since it's very limited. It's about $100.

Thank you in advance.
 

Andres Munoz

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Straight to the point Christian?


So what happens when you capture a recording with a 5.1 soundtrack? Does it get converted to regular 2 channel? Does it get captured with no audio?
 

Christian Behrens

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I'm only aware of analog capture devices (at least the affordable ones), and since those only come with the typical red and white stereo inputs, they would capture whatever comes in through them, so yes, normally that would be the downconverted signal the device puts out.

-Christian
 

ChristopherDAC

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I use an audio card with a separate digital input. If you use one of the "generic" video capture cards out there, based on the Bt878 chipset, there are all kinds of freeware/open-source apps out there which let you do whatever you want : select audio streams, capture to HuffYUV (lossless), you name it. A little search will find you things like VirtualDub and BTTool.
 

GordonL

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I was thinking about doing this also. My motherboard has Coax S/PDIF inputs and my DirecTV Receiver has Toslink. Doh! So I picked up a Toslink to Coax converter this past weekend and I'll give it a try to see if I can capture DD.
 

Andres Munoz

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If you use a separate card for the audio, how is the video and audio sync'd up? Does the capture software handle that task?
 

ChristopherDAC

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It depends on your hardware and software combination. Nothing works with an ATi All-In-Wonder (not even the ATi software), which is why I don't recommend it. Something like VirtualDub with the WDM-VfW wrapper, or the now-apparently-nonsupported VirtualVCR, or VLC (which actually works as a capture programme, as well as all its other characteristics), will have tweaks you can use to keep in sync.
 

Ken Chan

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Not if you go through the analog route. But if you can access the files directly, you might be able to slice and dice them with utilities to both preserve the 5.1 and maybe not even have to re-encode the file to put it on DVD. Unless there's a network connection (both the hardware and software required), this would involve removing the drive from the PVR. If you can manage that, then sync is also not an issue.

I would imagine someone out there has tried this already, and can tell you whether it is feasible.
 

Andres Munoz

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Sounds like a lot of work. I guess if I'm looking for a simple, convenient way to transfer my PVR recordings, then good old 2 channel it is.

BTW, I read somewhere that you might be able to use your camcorder to passthrough the video using the firewire connection. I have a Sony Mini-DV with firewire. I'll check it out too see if it has the passthrough feature. If that works, I might not need a separate capture card.
 

Christian Behrens

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Yeah, if your camera does have the passthrough feature (which is less and less common) then that would be the easiest and most inexpensive way of achieving what you set out to do.

As ChristopherDAC mentioned, if your sound card has a digital input, you might want to play with that and the various programs. Be prepared to invest some time into your project, though, if going that route.

-Christian
 

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