Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Recording Digital TV

About a month ago, I bought a new Vizio HDTV (VX32L...more on it in the future), along with a new big-ass over the air tv antenna, preamp, and rotor. I now get just about every digital station in Charlotte (the exception being channel 42, WTVI), a couple from Winston Salem, and Greenville/Spartanburg. The antenna is also great for pulling in HD Radio...with solid reception up to 100 miles away.At any rate, after watching glorious digital tv in 16:9 widescreen for a while, I have become increasingly intolerant of the 4:3 aspect ratio of most content I can record on my DirecTV DVR. DirecTV says I can't have a HD rig from them yet, because large trees behind my house block the line-of-sight to their HD satellites, which are lower on the horizon than the standard-definition satellites. So I have turned to another method of capturing digital tv in all it's 16:9 glory...one of the new standalone DVD recorders with a built-in ATSC digital tuner. It's a Toshiba DR550. (And yes I'm aware that you can't capture the full resolution of HDTV with a DVD recorder, but you CAN record a damn nice picture, with the original aspect ratio). I had J&R Music World toss in an inexpensive HDMI cable (no reason to spring for an expensive one for a short run (6 feet). After all, we're talking binary code here...ones and zeroes. You can either re-assemble the bitstream at the other end, or you can't. There's no "magic" at work...just simple math.) I haven't received the unit yet (August 21). I'll probably be here on the 22, or 23. When I have some practical experience, I'll write more.

By the way, that's exactly how I plan on doing things at this blog. I'll write from practical experience. There will be no "this technology sucks", or "this technology is wonderful" without actually investigating. For that reason, there will be some times when I don't blog for a while. I haven't forgotten you, Dear reader! I'm doing the research necessary to hopefully write something meaningful, that's all!Do YOU have any experience with capturing digital (over the air ATSC, or cable QAM) tv in 16:9 to DVD? If so, please post a response to this, and I WILL publish it.

No comments: