Best source for DVD: Clear QAM or S-video from DVR?


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One of my all time favorite movies is on this weekend "Saving Private Ryan". Video will be captured with a Hauppauge HVR 1600. I can capture the HD version since it is being broadcast on a clear QAM channel. Alternatively, I can save the movie to my cable DVR and capture it with a s-video out to the Hauppauge 1600. Which approach will give me the highest quality DVD?

S-video captures at a high bitrate can be quite good and do process very quickly to DVD with VRD. QAM captures are in HD and take a long time to convert to DVD quality on my old computer.... Plus I always need to run QSF on the file first to clear up a few issues with a QAM capture. From a personal effort standpoint, s-video is better.

Thanks for you advice!

When presented with this situation, I do both.

From a quality standpoint, an HD recording on the HVR1600 downconverted to DVD will look the best in your scenario. A recording on the DVR has to be downconverted to SD for the S-Video output. Then the HVR1600 has to convert back to mpeg for the DVD. This assumes you have a HD DVR and it's not rercording an analog station.

Multiple conversions will always deteriorate the signal some. It may not be obvious at first. I thought some of my eary recordings and tape transfers were pretty good until I put them on a 53" set instead of a 27" TV.

I would make an HD recording on the HVR1600, edit it, and save the files as data for authoring to HD-DVD or Blu-Ray when software and players become inexpensive. Just save the transport streams on DVD-R disks. Just save each segment of the show between commercials as a file with a sequential number added. You can put it back together later and each part will be about a Gb. (easy to back up)

Then, rather than spend the time software converting the HD down to DVD, make the S-Video to mpeg capture for a quick DVD. Personally, I use gui4ffmpeg to convert HD to SD, but my dual processor system does it in about realtime. I'll do it for my favorite shows, like Heroes or Pushing Daisies but not Cavemen or Chuck.
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