Capturing Footage onto Mac from TV?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by KUguy505, Nov 16, 2009.

  1. KUguy505 macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2008
    I am a video editor who uses Final Cut Pro every day. I have recently taken up a habit of creating my own movie trailers from existing movies and messing around in other aspects of editing just for fun.

    However, I really want to get my feet wet with editing basketball games shown on TV and creating a montage of PS3 game footage, all in HD.

    I have seen products out there for Mac that allow you to record and watch live TV; however, I already have an HD-DVR cable box through Time Warner cable and I record all of my programs on there just fine. I just want to find out how I can import/capture this footage to my computer if I were to play it back on the TV. The same goes with my PS3. I'd like to be able to play through a game and have all of the footage capture to my hard drive on my computer.

    I have an iMac 3.06 ghz Intel G5 from May 2008. Has anyone ever done this before? Price really isn't too much of an issue (although anything over $500 might be a little much) so ANY suggestions would help tremendously. I basically want to capture in a way so I retain the true HD aspects of the HD-DVR box and PS3 and not lose any quality upon capturing. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
  2. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    If your DVR supports it, you can capture the transport stream via firewire. Download Apple's FireWire SDK and use the AVCVidCap application. Connect your Mac to your DVR via firewire, set up the DVR to play whatever program you want to copy, and click to have AVCVidCap start recording the stream. It captures in real time.

    You'll need the QuickTime MPEG-2 plugin to view the stream in MPEG Streamclip, but if you are using Final Cut then you already have it.

    Not sure about the PS3 in HD, but you can capture SD output using an analog-to-digital converter box. There must be a better way, though, so someone else will have to chime in on that point.
  3. nyzwerewolf macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    KUguy505, take a look at Matrox MXO2 Mini

    I use this device to capture tv shows into my Mac Book Pro via HDMI & Component using Final Cut Pro's Log & Capture feature. Works great!
  4. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    Well, since he said price really isn't an issue and is willing to spend up to $500, then sure, the MXO2 is great. It'll leave the OP a few bucks to buy some coffee with afterward. Otherwise, I suggest the OP try the free way first and save the ~$500. :)
  5. KUguy505 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Sep 24, 2008

    I actually found the firewire ports on my Scientific American (pretty sure that's the brand) HD-DVR and used the Firewire SDK. Unfortunately, I can capture just fine but none of the video plays back in VLC or MPEGstream. Does this mean the video is encrypted? I tried ESPN and just my local CBS station and both did not play. I only recorded one minute to test and tried several different tests and none worked. I'm thinking this may not work out because the majority of cable nowadays is encrypted; however, is there something I'm doing wrong? I connected Mac to DVR box via firewire, opened up the video capture part of the firewire SDK, saw the DVR box pop up in the window and clicked "Capture from this device" and away it went, saving to my HD. The 1 minute files are around 120 mb so I assume it captured something. But none of the .m2t files will play in those players I mentioned.


    This looks fantastic. I was thinking of going this route or HD-PVR (using component cables since until MXO2 I haven't seen anything other than Blackmagic, which is useless to me since I have an iMac, that allows direct HDMI I/O). How do these devices handle encryption with cable programs? And does MXO2 allow simultaneous viewing (computer and TV showing same image at once) with HDMI?

    Thanks a lot for the responses!
  6. spice weasel macrumors 65816

    Jul 25, 2003
    My bad - I neglected to mention that you won't be able to watch anything that is 5c copy protected. This generally means cable channels. OTA broadcast recordings are fine. Also, you might need the MPEG-2 component for QuickTime in order for it to play back. I can't remember, because I've had it installed for a while now.

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