Mass Media & Technology

Digitising Collection

Digitising collection of Betamax & VHS

NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Talking of MKV files, this may not be a problem for the OP, but on my unit although I could do a direct video->DVD squirt, I couldn't get it off the disk relatively easily. I had to use MakeMKV (which had to scan the entire VOB file) to get the contents out and into a MKV format.

I suspect this may be because there may be a need for encryption on these sort of devices for piracy reasons - on smart TVs if you are able to record to a USB device you can't take it to another device and play it back, as it will only work on the device it was recorded on. I don't know if this extends to DVDs recorded on a recorder though.
HA
harshy Founding member
How about mp4 files at a relatively high bitrate would that work for dvd mpeg-2 content at 8mbps?
UK
UKnews
How about mp4 files at a relatively high bitrate would that work for dvd mpeg-2 content at 8mbps?

MKV is a wrapper, not re-encoding. It can contain a wide variety of formats and be generated from all sorts of video and audio files.

What Neil is talking about is getting the video and audio off the disc. From my experience it's the same for commercial and 'home made' DVDs. Although it takes a while for each disc, it's very easy to do using MakeMKV.
NG
noggin Founding member
How about mp4 files at a relatively high bitrate would that work for dvd mpeg-2 content at 8mbps?


MP4 usually just refers to the wrapper, not the audio and video codecs within it (though it can be taken to mean the ancient MPEG4 Simple profile which nobody uses these days I guess). Once you have baked in MPEG2 artefacts at 8Mbs re-encoding isn't going to improve things.

If you capture at a higher bitrate using h.264 (codec - also known as AVC or MPEG 4 Part 10) then you can get better quality at a similar bitrate, or higher quality.

For reference - broadcasters like the BBC use 50Mbs IMX50 MPEG2 for SD content and AVCi100Mbs Intra for HD content in the UK. (AVCi is h.264 codec but I-frame only so no compression between frames, just within the frame, IMX is similar but using MPEG2 I-frames)
NG
noggin Founding member
Talking of MKV files, this may not be a problem for the OP, but on my unit although I could do a direct video->DVD squirt, I couldn't get it off the disk relatively easily. I had to use MakeMKV (which had to scan the entire VOB file) to get the contents out and into a MKV format.

I suspect this may be because there may be a need for encryption on these sort of devices for piracy reasons - on smart TVs if you are able to record to a USB device you can't take it to another device and play it back, as it will only work on the device it was recorded on. I don't know if this extends to DVDs recorded on a recorder though.


Most DVD Recorders with integrated HDDs will not allow you to access the file structure of the hard drive (even if you take the drive out), so you do have to burn to DVD and then losslessly (ideally) rip that disc. You can keep it as a DVD (in ISO or Folder format) - which will retain the DVD menu structure - or re-wrap the MPEG2 video (and PCM/MP2/AC3 audio) on the disc (which will be stored in .VOB files) into an MKV or similar wrapper.

I would avoid transcoding/re-encoding - which is what people mainly use Handbrake etc. for - but you can do a lossless re-wrap with some Handbrake profiles I think.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
A previous HDD recorder with DVD that I've still got I was able to connect to a Windows machine, it ran CHKDSK, "fixed" a few things and I was able to get access to the recordings (those were only off-air recordings from analogue, nothing important). But of course as soon as I put it back in to the HDD recorder it then spontaneously decided it was either empty or needed reformatting.

The files I've done from videotape I haven't transcoded, they're just MKV dumps, as the current unit I have seems to generate them in a way that MKV can use, but requires a full VOB scan to get at them. I haven't tried MakeMKV with the HDD recorder/DVD dumps but I suspect it may work in the same way.

I think a lot of this sort of technology is somewhat bespoke in the way it works and there are differences between the way the features are implemented. My Smart TV I can connect a drive to and "record" to it, but I can't take that to the laptop and play it, as it doesn't want to know. I later found out these files are encrypted, but I suspect even if I dumped them to a DVD, MakeMKV wouldn't be able to extract them. I think it works on DVD/Blu-Ray because its a requirement of the specification for the media to hold the decryption keys, otherwise nothing would ever play, but outside of that, its anybody's guess.
JA
jamerscruickshank Wales Wales Today
Here is another crazy question for you. On front of the Combi player, is a USB port. I have a cable and plugged it from laptop to player. But nothing detected. Assuming its not as easy as just plug and play - is there anything I can do from laptop end to bring the combi to the computer? Might save on DVDs! Any thoughts?
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
Most of these units are designed to play back from USB devices, so you can plonk pictures of the cat on them and show them on the TV through the player. Sometimes (but more likely not) you can record onto them too. You'd have to try it and see.

The computer won't respond if you connect USB from the device to the computer, as its not a live USB device. Windows only does bing bong dong if it can see it's live, or can work out the connected device is a mass storage device (or by default is a mass storage device, like a USB Wireless adaptor, which are basically mini storage devices until the driver is installed, then they just morph into an adapter). A USB port on a DVD recorder doesn't fit that criteria.
JA
jamerscruickshank Wales Wales Today
Has an HDMI as well and will assume that its the same thing and cannot be done. Only borrowed this combi and had no idea that they made combis as recent with HDMI or USB.
NJ
Neil Jones Founding member Central (West) Midlands Today
HDMI works two ways - in or out (you can't do both AFAIK on the same port). The unit you've borrowed is almost certainly only an out. Note: Copying via HDMI doesn't automatically make your output HD, you're still only outputting 576 lines.
NG
noggin Founding member

I think a lot of this sort of technology is somewhat bespoke in the way it works and there are differences between the way the features are implemented. My Smart TV I can connect a drive to and "record" to it, but I can't take that to the laptop and play it, as it doesn't want to know. I later found out these files are encrypted, but I suspect even if I dumped them to a DVD, MakeMKV wouldn't be able to extract them. I think it works on DVD/Blu-Ray because its a requirement of the specification for the media to hold the decryption keys, otherwise nothing would ever play, but outside of that, its anybody's guess.


Any Freeview licensed TV that allows recordings to be made will need to encrypt those recordings using something like DTCP or similar. It's a requirement of the Freeview licensing these days. This encryption should tie those recordings to the device that made them.

Ironically Sky HD recordings of FTA satellite channels aren't encrypted in the same way - and can be extracted from Sky HD hard drives with the right software - though FTV and Pay-TV stuff will be encrypted and not playable. Things get a bit confusing with All4 etc. downloads as the sting at the beginning is not encrypted, but the rest of the content is!
NG
noggin Founding member
Here is another crazy question for you. On front of the Combi player, is a USB port. I have a cable and plugged it from laptop to player. But nothing detected. Assuming its not as easy as just plug and play - is there anything I can do from laptop end to bring the combi to the computer? Might save on DVDs! Any thoughts?


That's likely to be a USB Type-A port (i.e. a master port into which you plug a slave device like a USB flash drive or hard drive). These ports are usually there to let you play media files stored on the USB connected-media on the DVD player.

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