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Old Apr 30, 2012, 01:59 PM   #1
ftaok
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Converting movies from CableBox to aTV - best process sequence???

Hi everyone,

Since upgrading to Verizon FiOS, I now have the ability to capture movies and shows off of the FiOS DVR onto my Mac. I've tested it out and the apps from the Firewire SDK worked perfectly.

I've tested two movies that I recorded off of HBO and Starz and they worked perfectly. Apparently, when FiOS offers a free weekend, these channels get marked Copy Freely (yay!). OK, so now what I have are huge m2t files (12GB and 15GB) recorded in 1080i/59.94fps. But I also want to trim beginning and end of the file and just keep the movie and none of the extra stuff that got recorded.

So how should I do it?

Option 1 - trim the m2t file first, then convert to m4v.

Option 2 - convert to m4v, then trim the m4v.

In my thinking, option 1 would result in better quality (I don't really know), but I would need to spend $20 for the MPEG-2 plug-in to use MPEGStreamclip. That's not that big an issue to me.

With option 2, I don't even know how to go about trimming an m4v file. Is that even possible? What app can do that?

Related question - when I convert the file using Handbrake, should I choose 29.97 or 23.98 fps? These are movies, so 23.98 would look better, but HBO broadcasts in 1080i/59.97. I've tried a few small clips and chose "Same as source" and ended up with a frame rate of 25.7 ... not even sure how that happened.

Thanks.

ft
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 02:05 PM   #2
Macman45
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That's some pretty heavy lifting you have there.I would use Handbrake first and convert them...You can reduce the file size to something sensible using the pre-sets provided in the App.

After you have experimented a little, and got sensible file sizes...(Depends on how much storage you have) then you can trim afterwards.

I rip movies for my iPad, and when I first started was getting insanely large 7-8GB files...I now have it tamed so that good picture quality and sound can be squeezed into around 2GB.

Best advice is to experiment a little with Handbrake...If you don't already have it installed:

http://handbrake.fr/
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Old Apr 30, 2012, 02:15 PM   #3
ftaok
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Macman45 View Post
That's some pretty heavy lifting you have there.I would use Handbrake first and convert them...You can reduce the file size to something sensible using the pre-sets provided in the App.

After you have experimented a little, and got sensible file sizes...(Depends on how much storage you have) then you can trim afterwards.

I rip movies for my iPad, and when I first started was getting insanely large 7-8GB files...I now have it tamed so that good picture quality and sound can be squeezed into around 2GB.

Best advice is to experiment a little with Handbrake...If you don't already have it installed:

http://handbrake.fr/
Thanks for the reply. I do have Handbrake and I have experimented with short captures. I've played with the provided presets and it's very hard to discern the differences between various files. I think I've narrowed it down a bit, but I'm still unsure if I should encode at 24 or 30 fps.

As for converting first to m4v then trimming ... what app would I use for trimming. I haven't been able to find anything with my Google searching. Perhaps MPEGStreamclip can do it. Off to test.

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Old May 3, 2012, 09:54 AM   #4
ftaok
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In case anyone is still interested, I tried encoding a movie last night that I got off of the DVR. The movie was Bridesmaids and I recorded it off of HBO a few weeks back.

Anyways, I figured out that you can choose the start and finish times on Handbrake, so I attempted to chop off the beginning and end stuff that got recorded as well.

Here's some preliminary findings, as the encode hasn't finished. I estimate over 24 hours to finish.

1. You have to be careful of your finish time. My DVR recorded about 2 hours and 15 minutes. When I set AVCVideoCap to record onto the Mac, I set it for 2.5 hours. So my m2t file has a glitch at the end where the recording went to live TV. This screws up the Handbrake encode and makes the file unplayable.

2. I used the High Profile preset and the small test clips that I encoded looked pretty good. Handbrake makes an AAC soundtrack as well as leaving an AC3/5.1 track.

3. Whew! This takes a long time. It might not be something that I tackle too often.

4. When playing the m2t file on VLC, the time code doesn't work. Makes it difficult to figure out the precise start and stop times I should use on Handbrake.

5. I still may opt to install Quicktime 7 on my Mac and get the MPEG-2 component. This will allow me to trim the original MPEG-2 stream and run that through Handbrake. Would save lots of headaches to find the start stop times.

I wonder how the torrent uploaders do this. I'm sure they have much better workflows. My methods seem so inefficient. The things I'm willing to do to get HD movies onto my aTV. I really hope that I watch these movies more than once. Would be a colossal waste of time if these movies sucked.

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