Sunday, June 22, 2008

Hauppauge HD PVR (model 1212)

Product Page
Support Page
AVS Forum

- Captures 720p/1080i over component (and eventually 5.1 DD bitstream over optical) in h.264 in realtime in hardware with almost 0% cpu utilization . This takes advantage of the analog loop hole (not ICT at least not until 2012 if ever) and lets you record from almost any HD source like cable set top boxes or satellite. This is a big boon for homebrew PVR/HTPC users. Finally, you can capture any content including all the premium content you paid for on your terms and archive and do what you want with it.
- External USB 2.0 device.
- Comes with an IR blaster which I didn't test since I already change channels on my cable STB using firewire:
- A farily resonable (compared to alternatives) $250 price direct from hauppauge
- Has a set of component, analog audio, and optical out for pass through. Pass through only works when the device is turned on (with no delay).
- hooked it up, installed drivers from the DL on the hauppauge support page. Looking at the file dates 1.0b seems to be the latest drivers (even newer than the ones posted in the shspvr forums).
- Current drivers only supports pcm on optical. Bitstream (5.1) is coming in a future driver update. I stuck with analog audio for now. Btw, the analog ports are reversed. Connect Red - White and White - Red.
- I Installed it along side a pvr-250 in the same pc and had no conflicts. Both are working fine together. I have read some posts where there might be IR conflict issues between the hd pvr and the pvr-150 but I use eventghost + usbuirt for all my IR needs which IMO is a more robust solution anyways.
- I don't cover transcoding much because I have htpc's and popcorn hour to cover all my playback needs on the native .TS files it produces. It does have a utility to convert this odd mpeg2 transport stream container with mpeg4 h.264 encoded video + aac audio inside of it to mp4 format but I haven't messed with that much. I hear this odd file format has been making editing a bit difficult for some.
- Captured 720p content from xbox 360 (GTA IV), and some wmv 1080p content (though I was outputting 720p from the 360 over component). AV quality is excellent even at default bitrates. I really didn't see much difference when increasing the bitrate or trying variable vs constant. Very little to no artifacts during fast action scenes. Overall picture is just a tad softer. I'm very pleased with the quality
- recording sizes for 1 min of 720p video:
default CBR (8avg, 12 peak): 61MB
HQ CBR (highest quality settings 13.5avg, 20.2peak): 103MB
HQ VBR Avg: 42MB
HQ VBR Peak: 49MB

- Files (and I tried all formats) played back fine on ffdshow, vlc for the most part (got an error once in a while during a seek), and popcorn hour.
- Arcsoft software is pretty much junk. It constantly shows a preview window (delayed about half a second compared to the live feed) that sucks up like 40% cpu on my opteron 170 oc to 2.7ghz. I tried gbpvr (free) which has sort of a command line recorder (schedule.exe) that lets you quickly schedule a manual recording. It's a pretty heavy install if all you want is a command line recorder so I wrote my own (more on that later).
- Heat issues. Seems like every new AV gadget I get these days has heat issues. Recording would freeze usually in 1-6min. The hot spot seems to be on the bottom. Sitting the unit on its side lets me record maybe only 15min before freezing. Several people have reported this issue. There are NO VISIBLE VENTS on this PLASTIC case which just seems incredibly stupid.
- I called support and got a human in about 3 min (and they were NOT in India!). I got an RMA# without any fuss. Service was incredibly fast. Total time from me shipping the defective unit back and getting a replacement was just 5 days.
- The RMA unit had a different serial number but same revision: C1.
- I've done multiple recordings up to 2 hrs at 720p and 1080i without issue now.
-1080i tests: encoded 1 min of 1080i content. I think it was 9 avg, 13.5 peak, vbr at around 81MB.
- 1080i does NOT play back in VLC at all. ffdshow tryouts (latest nightly build) plays it back with a lot of ugly artifacts on the opteron but faired better on my q6600. Using the powerdvd h264 codec instead plays it back perfectly (powerdvd 7 or 8). Popcorn hour - plays it back perfectly!
- Playback summary (under vista 32bit w/ 8600gts, q6600 oc 2.9ghz). I used Haali splitter:
720p - vlc, ffdshow tryouts, coreavc pro 1.7, powerdvd h264, popcorn hour all work fine
1080i - stick to coreavc pro 1.7, powerdvd h264, arcsoft, or popcorn hour.
Did some more playback testing on low end computers:
- athlon 64 3000 + ati X800XL agp (cat 8.6)
It just can't handle 1080i content. I tried all sorts of codecs (arcsoft, cyberlink, ffdshow, coreavc) and none will play it back smoothly. 720p seems to work ok with coreavc but cpu is always at or around 100%
- dell Precision Workstation 450 pentium IV 3.0 ghz dual xenon hyperthreaded + ati hd 2400 pro agp (cat 8.3)
1080i is a struggle to get working. It played ok in powerdvd8 with dxva acceleration. You have to actually play it within powerdvd8. Using just the cyberlink codec wasn't good enough and still caused high cpu usage. Even though cpu utilization was pretty low it still wasn't completely smooth. It is watchable though. 720p plays perfectly smooth with coreavc.
- I did some short 15 sec samples of GTA IV off of xbox 360 in both 720p and 1080i. I used default CBR settings.

I've added some more samples. I finally moved the hd pvr into production and did some captures from my SA 3250HD. Here are some clips from food, espn, and discovery hd theater (comcast).
default encoder settings:
maximum variable average:

HD PVR Fan Mod:

- Thanks goes out to stroths over at the sagetv forums for the basic idea.
- I finished my fan mod. Nothing is permanent. Everything done is reversible. I ended up going to michaels arts and crafts store to the sewing section and bought this plastic mesh for 39 cents. It works great since you can easily cut it with plain old scissors. It comes in different colors. I chose black.

- fan used:
Enermax Marathon 120mm Fan - Magnetic Bearing
They are very quiet. No need to under volt.
- Removing the 4 rubber feet exposes some double sided sticky tape. It's really thin and hard to remove without ripping. There aren't any warranty void stickers but still, if they look closely they can tell you've opened the case. Right under the tape are the screws.

- After that the whole top comes off. At this point I pushed out the clear plastic frame along with the silver top. Just go around the edge with a small thin flat headed screw driver to loosen up the series of tabs that hold it in place. Eventually a few will give and you can pop out a side.

- Next, I separated the silver top from the clear plastic frame. This required some careful work using a jewelry screwdriver. Insert it right where the silver top meets the clear frame and slowly pry them apart working around the edge. I started at a corner and worked down one side.

- After that I just used a lot of velcro dots. I attached the fan to the under side of the plastic frame blowing down into the case. There aren't really any vents for the air to escape so it just kind of comes out around the ports.

- Cut the mesh to fit the top of the plastic frame. Cut a small corner piece out to run the fan wire through. Velcro the mesh to the top of the clear frame.

- The fan clears all the components on the board but not by much. My only fear is if the adhesive (though it's pretty darn strong) on the velcro pads fail it could bring the fan crashing down on the main board. I might end up running this thing on its side anyways you know just in case :-)

- Power the fan using a usb to sata cable power supply usually used for hard drives but with a 4 pin molex it works great for the fan.

- the hottest chip seems to the ambarella chip:

- as you can see I didn't get the voltage/fan fix in my RMA unit mentioned here:

used laser infrared thermometer gun
before mod (top wasn't exactly completely sealed since I had already done the mod at this time. I just loosely put the silver top back on and unplugged the fan so I think these pre-mod temps are going to be a bit low.)
125f after 5 min 1080i recording

150f after 30 min
125f underside
93f top side

after fan mod (15 min capture time)
120f highest
102f underside

Filter Graphs:
hauppauge hd pvr crossbar -> hauppauge hd pvr capture device (proppage: color settings) -> Hauppauge hd pvr encoder (proppage:encoder settings) -> file dump (filename)

.ts file (video)-> cyberlink h.264/avc decoder (pdvd7.x) -> video renderer
(audio)-> ffdshow audio decoder -> default direct sound device

hauppauge hd pvr crossbar -> hauppauge hd pvr capture device (proppage: color settings) -> Hauppauge hd pvr encoder (proppage:encoder settings) ->
arcsoft mpeg demux (couldn't get it to work with any other demultiplexer)
create two pins: video (mpeg-2 video) and audio (mpeg-2 audio)
pid mapping: video 0x1011, audio 0x1100 both elementary stream
(video) -> arcsoft video decoder -> video renderer
(audio) -> arcsoft audio decoder -> default directsound device

- (1.03 - 1/13/09)
- Written in c#. Built using Visual Studio 2008. Makes use of the DirectShowNet library.
- Requirements:
.Net 3.5 framework
latest hd pvr drivers (1.0b as of this writing)
a compatible file dump filter like the arcsoft one (more on this below) is required.
capture filter graph built on your own machine (instructions below)
- Thanks goes out to the_tom over at avsforum for sending me a copy of his RoboCapLE program that greatly helped me in writing this.
- Command line utility to capture using any filter graph (hopefully) though currently only tested with HD PVR. It shows 0% cpu utilization on my q6600.
- Usage: rcTVCap filterGraph dumpName secondsToRecord filename [ProfileName]
filterGraph: Capture graph previously built with Graphedit.
dumpName: name of the file dump filter used in the above graph. Make sure case matches. This is needed so I can set the filename on the graph.
secondsToRecord: number of seconds to record
filename: Name of the video file to capture to (fully qualified path).
ProfileName: This is optional! Specify a profile name defined in FilterProfiles.xml to set filter properties like quality settings.
Remember to use quotes around any arguments you pass in that has spaces.
Example: rcTVCap hdpvr-reccbr.grf "File Dump" 3600 "c:\videos\my recording.ts"
Example using HQ Profile: rcTVCap hdpvr-reccbr.grf "File Dump" 3600 "c:\videos\my recording.ts" HQ
- A self trimming log is generated in the same directory as the executable: rcTVCap.log
- Complete source code is included.
- I've only tested this under vista 32bit. I hope it works under xp. I wrote this in about 2 hrs, and it's my first time working with filters so let me know if you find any issues. I've done several 2hr recordings without issue though.
- It doesn't seem like it works under 64bit. Read the comments for more info.
- It seemed I was able to playback the file while it was still recording. I only did limited testing but it seems to work.
- Note: You most very likely have to build your OWN graph on the SPECIFIC machine you plan to run rcTVCap on. The included graphs in the zip file probably will NOT work. See below on how to build your own graph. This probably has to do with USB port assigning being different depending on the machine (thanks ash from the comments).

UPDATE: New in v1.02
- You'll notice a new FilterProfiles.xml. You can edit this with notepad. This is how you can set quality settings on the fly through the command line. The basic idea is you create a profile with a unique name, then identify the property and the value you want to set it to. Nothing is hard coded so hopefully as more guids are discovered you should be able to set them just by modifying the xml file.

<profile><name>SomeUniqueName<⁄ name>
This is the name that is passed in on the command line so make it something unique.
All Comments are optional.
<filtername> - Name of the filter you want to modify
<guid> - Guid of the property set
<id> - Property ID (so far all of them are use 0)
<value> - Value you want to set for the property (right now it's either the bitrate or 0 = constant, 1 = variable average, 2 = variable peak for bitrate mode).

Just look at the included FilterProfiles.xml (make sure it's in the same directory as rcTVCap.exe), and you should be able to figure it out.

A big thanks goes out to the_tom for the code to set property values and vladd for the C# translation.

- Multiple HD PVR's on the same PC. My friend actually got this to work with rcTVCap. I can't test it myself since I currently only have one HD PVR. The basic idea is to build two different graphs. When you insert the filters, each one will be listed twice (one for each physical hd pvr connected to your pc) in the available filters list. By specifying different filter graph files (grf) on the command line, you can control which hd pvr is used in the recording.
- rebkell over in the avsforums built a nifty GUI front end to rcTVCap that looks pretty slick:
Just make sure you put his files into the same directory as rcTVCap.

Version History:
v1.00 (6/22/08)
- Initial release

v1.02 (9/30/08) (v1.01 was an internal release only)
- Added ability to set filter property values like bitrate and other quality settings.
- Fixed a minor issue where sometimes rcTVCap.log wasn't being created in the same directory as rcTVCap.exe
- Tested with the latest Dolby Digital 5.1 beta drivers.
- Removed instance check so you can run multiple instances at the same time. This is useful if you have more than on HD PVR hooked up to the same PC.

v1.03 (1/13/09)
- No new functionality. Rebuilt so it should work under 32bit and 64bit windows. A big thanks to Nissen for figuring this out.

rcGraphBuilder: (v1.02)
- I just wrote this experimental tool to help quickly build the capture graph without the need to install graphedit. Just run the exe (on the machine that has the hd pvr) and click the build button. If you need to play with the property pages that is there too. I haven't tested it a lot so let me know if this works.
- Device Number lets you build graphs for each hd pvr when you have multiple hd pvr's hooked up to the same machine.
- 99% credit goes to vladd:
which I pretty much stole 99% of the code from.
- requires .net 3.5 framework.
- UPDATE: v1.02 was rebuilt so it should work under 32bit and 64bit os.

Building an HD PVR capture filter graph using graphedit:

- First you need to obtain the tool.
run regsvr32 proppage.dll as administrator if you are under vista.
- Make sure you have arcsoft Total Media Extreme installed.
- OPTIONAL: If you don't want to install all of arcsoft software (because I hate having a bunch of software installed with a bunch of filters you don't need) you actually just need one filter from the install (C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcSoft\Mpeg Engine\ So if you can get a copy of that file (say you copy it from another PC that does have arcsoft installed, or you could just install arcsoft, copy somewhere else, then uninstall arcsoft) just regsvr32
- UPDATE: Even more convenient you can download here. Thanks SHS! (UPDATE2: The file in that zip file is called I'm not entirely sure that will work with my tools. To be safe I still recommend you grab off your install cd. If you do use it notice it is called "Dump" and not "File Dump" so adjust instructions accordingly. Also, my guess is won't work with rcGraphBuilder but I haven't tested this.)
- You are building a new graph from scratch: start graphedit, ctrl-f to insert filters. Insert the following filters:
WDM Streaming Crossbar Devices: hauppauge hd pvr crossbar
WDM Streaming Capture Devices: hauppauge hd pvr capture device
WDM Streaming Encoder Devices: Hauppauge hd pvr encoder
DirectShow Filters: File Dump (type any dummy file or just hit cancel. It doesn't matter since rcTVCap will change this to whatever is passed in the command line). UPDATE: some people are having issues when hitting cancel which makes no since to me. It's been suggested entering a filename of "File Dump" helps. It's worth a try.
- Connect the pins according to the screenshot.
- Modify any quality settings on the encoder filter property page.
- UPDATE: Change the GOP Mode on the encoder filter development tab to Simple GOP 4/32/128. If you pick any of the "No IDR" options then I had seek issues when playing back with coreavc. This setting gets cleared if you power cycle the hd pvr so make sure you change it again if you happen to power off/on the hd pvr.
- UPDATE 2: It seems the seek issues only happen with Haali Media Splitter + coreavc (even tried 1.8) + No IDR setting. You change any of the three and the seek issue goes away. For example: I tried media player classic Home Cinema using the internal splitter with external decoder (coreavc), and I had no seek issues even with the "No IDR" setting.

- Save it.
- Press "Play" and test it first to see if it is capturing in graphedit (make sure you put a name for the File Dump filter if you want to do this test). If it doesn't work here, it won't work in rcTVCap. If you are having issues, make sure you are using the original USB cable that came with the hd pvr. Reboot your pc and power cycle the hdpvr and try again.
- Still confused and need a bit more step by step help? Then I suggest you start reading from about here.

Overall, I'm pretty impressed with this product even with it's issues (heat/voltage issues, flipped audio ports, no 5.1 drivers yet, etc). It definitely feels like a rushed product but still the results are pretty darn impressive. I'll be putting this device into production this week, and then I'll be able to test 24/7 long term reliability. With the fan mod I'm pretty confident it will hold up. I'll probably pick up a second one once they go through a hardware revision or two.
Recommended for the technically savvy.

UPDATE: 10/1/08
- released rcTVCap 1.02 (see above in the rcTVCap section for details).
- Tested the new Dolby Digital 5.1 beta drivers and they seem to work quite well. This is on vista 32bit. I've read that some people are having issues on vista 64bit. (click the beta tab)
- you can see the new AC3 settings here:

- I disconnected the analog audio cables and connected the optical cable to the optical input on the HD PVR.
- I did have to make one change to my capture graph. To get it to capture from the optical input instead of analog I had to make a change on the Crossbar property:

On the Crossbar tab, output drop down, choose audio decoder out. Then on the input drop down choose SPDIF. What was interesting was I only had to do this once. This setting stuck even after power cycling the HD PVR and rebooting the PC.
- I've also noticed that either Simple GOP is the default now or the setting is sticking because it also survives between power cycles and reboots. Yeah!
- Here is a short 15 sec clip of food network with dd 5.1 (CBR with default bitrates):

I still need to do some long term testing with these new 5.1 beta drivers but so far so good. HD PVR just keeps getting better and better. I might just have to order another one.

UPDATE: 10/17/08
- Latest 5.1 drivers are out (non-beta)(thanks comment poster!). I installed them this morning. Did a reboot, then I unplugged and plugged back in the power on the hd pvr. I ran a few short tests and it seems like it is working ok. On the previous 5.1 beta drivers I was having some slight stability issues. I could go 5-7 days 24/7 and then it would become non-responsive until I power cycle the device. I hope these new non-beta drivers bring stability back up to pre 5.1 driver levels. If not I might have to RMA this unit again (I had one of the very first rev C1 that locked up in seconds, the RMA one was also a C1 and has been pretty good).

UPDATE: 11/21/08
- So after the 5.1 drivers the hd pvr was never stable more than an average of 3 days before it would lock up and I would have to power cycle it. This went on for about 2 weeks until I decided to RMA it again. I just got the replacement unit, and it is a rev E1.
- It came with a version 2.0 disc. I noticed new v1053 drivers were recently released. I compared the two and the ones on Hauppauge's support page were newer so I just used those. I did have to rebuild my capture graph though. I did a few quick tests with rcTVCap, and it seems to be working fine.

- The first thing I noticed are the 4 sets of vents they added to the bottom! Yeah! They finally added vents!
- I still had the fan from my last mod so I just slapped it on the bottom using the same velcro dots and added a fan grill. I have the fan blowing away from the bottom hoping to pull air more quickly out of the vents:

- I still run it on its side. Eh, old habits are hard to break. Those bling lights sure are bright:

- I just stuck it back in production so it should start recording again tomorrow. Hopefully this one is 24/7 stable.

UPDATE: 11/26/08
Added rcGraphBuilder. See above right after rcTVCap.

UPDATE: 12/09/08
- I have a new theory about some long term stability issues I've been having. It seems with 5.1 you want to use the usb cable that came with the hd pvr. Using either an extension (I was using a good one from monoprice), going through a hub, or just using another longer cable seemed to cause issues for me. I've now moved the hd pvr closer to my pc and using the original usb cable. It seems to be working much better now. So the moral of the story is use the included usb cable and plug it directly into a usb port coming off of the motherboard. Do not use extensions, other usb cables, usb hubs, or plugging into any ports on the front of the pc case.

UPDATE: 1/11/09
- As requested here are some close up shots of some of the chips (this was from my original rev c1):

- Also, here are some additional sample clips that were requested. These are 30 seconds each using default recording settings, 720p:
These were recorded using rctvcap and the latest beta drivers.
- Another theory on long term stability: I don't think it is enough to power cycle just the hd pvr. You need to reboot the machine too. I think there might be some leak or something at the driver level that gets worse over time and isn't fixed until you reboot the pc. It takes about 3 weeks of recording about 4 hrs a day 24/7 before I run into stability issues. I hope these new beta drivers are more stable. This started with the 5.1 drivers. Before that, the hd pvr was stable for much longer periods of time.

UPDATE: 2/14/09
- Long term stability problems still continue. I'm averaging about 2 weeks before a required power cycle. My latest experiment is I'm dropping back to analog audio aac 2 channel stereo. Since all this started with the 5.1 drivers I'm just using settings as if it were pre-5.1 drivers to see if I can return to those days of months of recording without power cycling. Also, Rico66 on avsforum speculates that it might have to do with some conflict with some remote control receiver usb devices. Anyways, testing continues and I hope a find a solution that gets me back to 3+ months of stability.

UPDATE: 2/26/09
- Looks like rebkell and Rico66 on the avsforum have been busy testing another theory on long term stability. Rebkell recommends you cover the front portion of the hd pvr that looks like an IR Receiver. It's worth a try. Try using 4 strips of electrical tape to make sure the IR Receiver window is completely covered.

UPDATE: 3/27/09
- Universal IR Remote Controlled AC Outlet for Appliances (110V). I picked up a few of those thanks to the anonymous comment. I wrote a little program that runs every night at 4:15am (ms scheduler kicks it off). If the hd pvr isn't recording, it sends an IR signal that the ir plug has learned (blasting via usbuirt). This turns off the hd pvr, waits 10 seconds, and sends the IR signal again to turn it back on. So basically my hd pvr will power cycle itself every day now. Also, thanks to Rebkell which noticed that in rctvcap I make a call to IMediaControl.StopWhenReady() which is an async call. I now sleep the main thread for 5 sec before I continue tearing down the graph. I'll test this version a while before releasing it.
- Filefront is closing down so I moved all my files to dropbox. I could use some more free space. I can get some more free space through referrals. It's a pretty neat service and completely free. If you feel like giving it a try please use my referral link. I would greatly apprecate it:

UPDATE: 4/3/2010
- I finally got around to writing rcIR which lets you power cycle the hd pvr on a regular schedule if you have one of the above mentioned IR plugs and a usbuirt.


Anonymous said...

Fantastic review! You should be writing for PC Mag!

Anonymous said...

Interesting...that H264 Encoder Development tab doesn't show up for me in the ArcSoft capture tool, but does in GraphEdit. Setting the GOP mode to "Simple GOP 4/32/128" looks like it might fix a problem I was having trimming TS files. Unless I just happened to get lucky with the test captures/edits.

With my original captures from ArcSoft, TS Packet Editor did not find any keyframes. It did identify some frames as I frames though. If I trimmed a file from the beginning to an I frame, when I indexed the file with DGAVCIndex, the summary information page was blank during the indexing process. And when I tried to open the generated AVS file in VirtualDubMod, I got an error about no GOPs. If I used the original capture, VDubMod opened the AVS file just fine.

With a test capture through GraphEdit after changing the GOP mode, I was able to trim the beginning in TSPE (still no keyframes detected though...), see summary info in DGAVCIndex during indexing, and open the generated AVS file in VDubMod.

It looks like the GOP mode setting sticks until the box is powered down. Once I changed it in GraphEdit I was also able to trim new files captured with ArcSoft. But if I cycle the power & go look at the property page, GOP mode is back to "Simple No IDR GOP 4/32/0" :(

Anonymous said...

For cutting HD PVR captures, I'd recommend H264TS_Cutter. It' freeware. Use the mirror downlink link at

I find it's much easier and faster to set cutpoints with H264TS_Cutter than TS Packet Editor. Just make sure to change the CutIn frametype in the advanced settings to I-frame. The default IDR-frame setting won't work. For CutOut frametype, use B-frame or All-frame.

RogeR said...

I'm trying to open captured files for editing inside Vegas Video. I've tried a bunch of things like using the MP4 creator program, demuxing the files to raw streams and then remuxing them.

RogeR said...

I'm looking to buy the capture box, so if someone is interested in selling their HD-PVR for a profit, sent me a e-mail: rogerquake AT gmail

Dave said...

Heck yea, I want one. I've been waiting for this for 2 years now and it's finally happened. Thanks hauppauge.

ReductiMat said...

Wow, great stuff!!!

Using your app + the supplied graph my recordings couldn't be better!

Question... is this what you use to record TV? If so, how do you schedule recordings? Do you know if there is anyway for Sage or BeyondTV to work with custom graphs?

Thanks again for this wicked write-up.

ARogan said...

reductimat, glad you found the info useful.

rcTVCap is just a tiny piece of a much larger project rcTV that I've been working on for over 3 yrs now. It's basically my own complete pvr solution (like mythtv, sagetv, gbpvr, etc). I wrote a little bit more about it here:

Ash said...

I wanted to try your app, but unfortunately I get a weird error when I run it:

"Error: Can't CreateFile Device"

and then a bunch of garbage that mentions USB a bit.

I am using XP, as a note, so that may be it. The capture works okay with the included software, too, but I wanted to try your capture settings because I'd read the quality is a bit better.

Thanks for your time!

ARogan said...

ash, post your full command line with arguments and anything from rctvcap.log you might think will be useuful. I tried reproducing that error a bit and wasn't able to. I haven't seen that error before.

Ash said...

This is very weird.

It apparently didn't like your pre-made graphs. When I went and built my own graph using your list, however, it worked like a charm.

I'm actually testing it right now and getting pretty good results!

I'm curious what your settings were specifically using in the example ones, though.

Ash said...

Oh, also, thank you for responding so quickly despite my being able to figure it out. :)

That and for making a nice easy command like util like this!

ARogan said...

ash, glad you got it working and find it useful. Yeah, I guess I need to make it more clear that you HAVE to build the graph on the specific machine you want to run rcTVCap on. I had to rebuild the graph when just moving the hd pvr from my dev box to my production box. I've just updated the main post with this information to help avoid some future confusion. I'm guessing this is because of how filters (.ax) files are just com (component object model) objects and how when you register them the clsid and guid's it generates and sticks into the registry are somehow specific to that installation. Man, I just HATE COM!!! Also, good to know it works on winxp.

ReductiMat said...

Wow, that's quite a setup you have going there.

Any chance you plan on releasing the source code for your scheduler? Furthermore, let me know if I can lend a hand... I've been doing COM/.NET development for over a decade now.

Again, great stuff, thanks!

Anonymous said...

Your instructions on building a graph are AWESOME!!!
I went from getting crappy captures with the CPU at 100% to perfect captures at the highest bitrate at 2% CPU using your command line tool and graph.

PS3 playback is perfect when I save the file on the hard drive using the Total Media "Create Disk" option. Only problem now is that tool only allows you to save a file that is up to 8.5 GB (dual layer DVD size). Once this limit is fixed and I find a good editing program I am going to totally happy.

At this date (July 2008) I would say that the HD-PVR hardware is great, but the software sucks.

Great blog!

Ash said...


Thanks again. I think it has something to do with USB port assigning being different depending on the machine. No concrete evidence, just a hunch.

As a note, I let it run for something like 2 hours while I was sleeping the other day with no hiccups, video came out great, so it's all good.

I just wish the company's driver didn't construct the keyframing and stuff so weird. Hopefully they'll fix it in future updates.

Anonymous said...

ANybody PLease help me to figure out this tvcap I followed evrything and updated the patches... But still getting the error when i run regsvr32 proppage.dll and also advice Thanks

Anonymous said...

Man this looks awesome. I've been using the HDPVR to capture some video files for work. I've been struggling to get them to playback well on peoples machines. I purchased CoreAVC Pro and installed that with CoreAAC for audio. It plays find, but if I try to seek it turns into a slideshow. Any thoughts or help on that? Much appreciated. I am going to try your capture software later this afternoon, one question can you set it to capture for a certain amount of time? Say tell it to capture for 2.5 hours and then stop? Thanks so much

ReductiMat said...

"Simple GOP 4/32/128" will fix the seek problems... after that is set you can move around the show at will without any ill effects.

Ash said...


With hdcap, you can set the capture time as long as you want, only it uses seconds.

So, if you want to record for an 2 hours, take 120 minutes and times it by 60. You would get 7200, and you would type something like this:

rctvcap test3.grf "File Dump" 7200 "E:\gogohdcaps\test12.ts"

You can use CTRL-C to stop recording whenever you want, and it will output whatever you've recorded up to that point normally.

IE: If you set the recording up for 2 hours, but you stop after 30, by using CTRL-C, you won't lose your recording, it'll just finish it out there.

Ash said...

Sorry, I should've said 'rctvcap,' not 'hdcap.'

ryan said...

Ash, thanks for the info. I figured that out when I ran it the first time. This software is very nice. Fits my needs perfectly. Now I just need to figure out how to use the graph for playback. Not sure what to do with the graph after I create it. What player will use that? VLC?

Dave said...

I've tried to test this out after creating the graph, but I run into a file not found error. The new graph file is in the same folder as your exe. Here is the log info. Any ideas?

And thanks!

8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM ========================================
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM rcTVCap v1.00 (6/22/08)
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM filter graph = hdpvr-reccbr-10mbps.GRF
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM Seconds to record = 60
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM save filename = CapTest.TS
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM dumpName = File Dump
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM ----------------------------------------
8/14/2008 12:16:29 AM Loading graph file: hdpvr-reccbr-10mbps.GRF
8/14/2008 12:23:24 AM ERROR: The system cannot find the path specified. (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80070003)
8/14/2008 12:23:24 AM Cleanup
8/14/2008 12:23:24 AM Done!

ARogan said...

It looks like it parsed your command line ok. Just make sure you typed your grf file correctly. Make sure you have arcsoft software installed (or at least have the and it has been regsrv32. Also, I would try testing your capture graph inside of graphedit. Run it there first and make sure the graph works.

Sample log of a successful recording:
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM ========================================
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM rcTVCap v1.00 (6/22/08)
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM filter graph = hdpvr-reccbr.grf
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM Seconds to record = 3600
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM save filename = test2.ts
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM dumpName = File Dump
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM ----------------------------------------
6/26/2008 10:01:38 AM Loading graph file: hdpvr-reccbr.grf
6/26/2008 10:01:39 AM Set the filename on the dump filter: test2.ts
6/26/2008 10:01:39 AM Run the graph. Start Capturing for 3600 seconds....
6/26/2008 10:01:39 AM Stop Time: 6/26/2008 11:01:39 AM
6/26/2008 10:01:39 AM (Press Ctrl-C to stop recording immediately.)
6/26/2008 10:01:52 AM Cleanup

Dave said...

Thanks for the reply. I already had the DirectShow SDK installed, so Graphedit was already there and File Dump was already registered.

Of interest, though, after saving the graph created according to your instructions, if I try to reload the same graph in graph edit I get the error "Some files that the filter graph uses are no longer available". That's a new one to me. Any ideas?

Thanks again.

Ayesh said...

I would like to stream the HD PVR 1212 captured and encoded content using Direct show (capture-encode-mux-network render with rtp). Has anybody tried or has any guidance in this regard?

Anonymous said...

I downloaded the video samples from espn, food, and gta, and im unable to play them correctly on my computer... they freeze.

Im using vlc player, my computer is Intel Core2Duo T5250 1.5GHz,Ram: 2GB, Video Integrated Intel GMA X3100 (384Mb shared).

I want to buy this HD PVR but im not sure if im going to be able to use it correctly since this samples dont play and im planning on play them on my ps3 but also i have tried to convert them with several softwares and no one recognize them. I have been able to convert other mkv, vob and ts files but not these.

Any advice if i should buy it?

Josh said...

Hello, great guide, I'm glad to be getting rid of TME and the havoc it wracks on my machine. I'm almost there but I'm getting this error, not sure what class it's referring to:

9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM ========================================
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM rcTVCap v1.00 (6/22/08)
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM filter graph = test.grf
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM Seconds to record = 10
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM save filename = test.ts
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM dumpName = File Dump
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM ----------------------------------------
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM Loading graph file: test.grf
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM ERROR: Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG))
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM Cleanup
9/7/2008 6:06:43 PM Done!

Tried it both as admin and myself. Any pointers?

Robert said...


I can't seem to get your app working on Vista x64. I get REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG error when running rcTVCap.exe. Is there something different I need to do for Vista x64. I built the filter graph on my machine, and followed all other instructions to a T.

Thanks in advance!

Anonymous said...

have anyone tried with an wireless usb adapter?

Anonymous said...

FYI, I just bought one off of Amazon, and my revision was "D1". What's different, I don't know.

Anonymous said...

new official fw 1.1 m2ts + 5.1 audio support:

Anonymous said...

Hi all,

Downloaded your rctvcap, read the instructions, tried to understand everything. I have 1 little difference in graphedt, latest 'block' in you sample says Input (null), mine says
File Dump
I have no idea how to change this, don't know if it matters though.
Executing this:
C:\Program Files\rcTVCap>rctvcap "C:\Program Files\rctvcap\hdpvr-recvbr.grf" "Fi
le Dump" 3600 c:\1minute.ts HQ
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM ========================================
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM rcTVCap v1.02 (9/30/08)
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM filter graph = C:\Program Files\rctvcap\hdpvr-recvbr.grf
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM Seconds to record = 3600
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM save filename = c:\1minute.ts
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM dumpName = File Dump
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM ProfileName = HQ
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM ----------------------------------------
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM Loading graph file: C:\Program Files\rctvcap\hdpvr-recvbr.g
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM ERROR: The system cannot find the path specified. (Exceptio
n from HRESULT: 0x80070003)
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM Cleanup
01-11-08 11:59:55 PM Done!

I don't what it is looking for.

Some assistence would be very much appreciated

Henk Schoneveld
The Netherlands

Anonymous said...


I found out, used the sample, removed verything except the (null) file and now it works.
How do I create such a Input (null) option ?

Henk Schoneveld

ARogan said...

When you first add the File Dump filter to you graph, it prompts for a file name, just hit cancel on that file dialog, and it will show up as null. It really doesn't matter though since I change that file name to whatever is passed in the command line.

Anonymous said...

8 hours spent trying to get this to work, I must be a Noob because I cannot get it to work under XP 32. I had graph edit working. moved onto rctvcap, had no luck then went back to testing my graph but now I get a missing component error everytime I try to start the graph. I tried ver 1.1 software and then upgraded, then down graded and still no Joy. Setting up RCTV cap is not as easy as it sounds.

Anonymous said...

Still working great even after the 1.1 driver update. Now 5.1 audio works great and the files can be played back directly on the PS3!

Anonymous said...

Like Dave, I am getting the same error...

C:\Documents and Settings\John\Desktop\rcTVCap>rctvcap hdpvrgrapg.grf "File Dump
" 600 "C:\test.ts"
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM ========================================
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM rcTVCap v1.02 (9/30/08)
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM filter graph = hdpvrgrapg.grf
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM Seconds to record = 600
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM save filename = C:\test.ts
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM dumpName = File Dump
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM ProfileName =
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM ----------------------------------------
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM Loading graph file: hdpvrgrapg.grf
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM ERROR: The system cannot find the path specified. (Excepti
on from HRESULT: 0x80070003)
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM Cleanup
11/20/2008 3:29:32 PM Done!

I am also not able to re-open a created graph in GraphEdit. It claims that "Some Files The Filter Graph Uses Are No Longer Available"

It seems like rcTVcap cannot load or locate the graph for some reason.

ARogan said...

I you can't consistently open your graph in graphedit and get it capture first that way then there is no point in moving on to rctvcap b/c it will fail there too. I can't do a whole lot right now since I RMA'd my hd pvr for the second time. It wouldn't last more than a few days at a time, and I need this thing to run reliably 24/7. When I called support as soon as I mentioned it was a rev C1 the had no problems issuing me a RMA. I won't get it back until sometime next week. By any chance is the hd pvr no longer responsive when you have issues opening the graph in graph edit? Try turning off the hd pvr and try graphedit and rctvcap again. Does it produce the same errors? If it does then maybe it's a hardware issue. Anyways, I don't have a lot of ideas right now.

I WAG right now is it sounds like maybe the hd pvr device drops off the usb bus for some reason and then those filters are no longer available (since the hardware needs to be present I think).

Anonymous said...

Does anyone have a good method for playing these on an Xbox360? Either though the extender or with "Media Sharing"?

Wade Burchette said...

If you are getting the "The system cannot find the path specified. (Exceptio
n from HRESULT: 0x80070003)" errors, you need to use the 32-bit version of Vista. Hope that helps.

Wade Burchette said...

Sorry, I meant REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG errors with 64-bit Vista.

ARogan said...

Wade, thanks for the clarification. Since I don't have any installations of vista 64 bit I can't really help much. I run pretty much all vista 32bit and some win xp.

James said...

Great instructions, took me a couple of hours to get it going but the CPU utilization reduction made it worth it. A few clarifications for your blog.

Rebkell's KLtoolbox makes this a lot easier. Make sure you put KLtoolbox into the same directory as RcTVcap.

In graph edit, for digital output (SPDIF), you have to select the output audio first on the cross bar . Then you will see the analog and digital in the input drop down.

In Graph Edit, press the "Play" (green arrow) to test the graph edit. If this "fails", you should unplug the unit and USB cord. I went as far as to reboot as well.

The USB cable that came with the unit did indeed work better than my aftermarket lower gauge USB cord.

ARogan said...

James, I've updated the post with a few of your suggestions. Glad you got it all working.

Paul said...

Thanks for what sounds like it should be an excellent recording app (rcTVcap). Unfortunately I am struggling with it.

I eventually got a graph set up using your helpful utility, but now when I run the following:

cd /D "V:\Program Files\rcTVCap"
"V:\Program Files\rcTVCap\rcTVCap.exe" "V:\Program Files\rcTVCap\hdpvrcap.grf" "File Dump" 45 "G:\Temp\Test2.ts" HQ

as Administrator, with or without "HQ" on the end, the cmd window and rcTVcap.log looks as if it's all worked fine, but when the cmd first opens, the alert shown here pops up:
(or if that doesn't work)

The 'recorded' file Test2.ts is created but stays at 0 bytes and (obviously) doesn't play.

Any ideas what's going on here and what I could do about it? Thanks!

ARogan said...

Paul, a few things to check/try.
- Make sure the hd pvr is on and connected to the pc and the latest drivers are properly installed.
- Make sure you didn't switch usb ports (or even swapped out the hd pvr with another one) between the time the graph was built and the time you try to run it. If you did the graph will have to be rebuilt (and drivers probably re-installed)
- power cycle everything (pc and hd pvr).
- Make sure you are using the original usb cable included with the hd pvr and it's connected directly to one of the usb ports off the motherboard.
- Last thing I would try is install graphedit and see if you can "play" the graph in that.

Paul said...

Thanks for the tips. I have tried everything except power-cycling my PC, which I'll perhaps try tomorrow when I have a bit more time.

Creating a graph from scratch in GraphEdit resolved the error problem, but I'm still not getting very far with recordings.

Putting the supplied USB cable back in place (I'd used a longer one as the supplied one didn't reach but I've repositioned everything now!) improved things somewhat but it's now a bit weird: my command-line tells it to capture for 45 seconds, but for most of the time Test2.ts stays at 0 bytes. Then at the very end it suddenly goes up to 6.87MB. When I play this back I get a 4-second file with sped-up video and normal speed audio. I've tried it three times:

1. (after powering up the HD-PVR in its new location) As described above.

2. 0 bytes file, nothing to play.

3. (after power-cycling the HD-PVR) As described above again.

So it's pretty weird! I guess rebooting my PC may fix it but it's such strange symptoms. I'm capturing currently at 576p (UK Standard Definition, 50fps) if that makes any difference.

Paul said...

Hi again. I have rebooted my PC (and fitted its first SATA drive to improve data storage rate and give me enough room to keep these enormous recordings!).

The problem does appear to be related to 576p - I've done a few 45-second recordings at 1080i and they're fine (or occasionally don't work at all until I reboot the HD-PVR). But when my 576p recordings 'work', they come out far too short and with sped-up video, as described before.

Unless you can think of a reason why this might be in relation to your software, I guess I'll go elsewhere for assistance as it might not be related to your software!

Thanks again for your help, and your excellent work on this software!

Paul said...

Sorry to comment yet again but I just tried capturing in that awful Arcsoft recording software and sadly 576p captured fine in there so the problem described above does seem to be related to my use of your software.

Not sure what I'm doing wrong but since my main priority is recording 1080i stuff to free up hard disk space on my Sky HD satellite PVR, I'll cope! Thanks again.

ARogan said...

Paul, you might want to verify if it is the capture graph first. Open the grf file in graphedit. Click on the file dump filter and give it a filename. Click on the green "Play" button at the top. See if it will capture 576p. If it doesn't, then it's an issue with the grf file. You might need to play around with the filter properties. Since I live in an NTSC country, I have no experience with capturing PAL. Actually, I never even tested capturing any sort of standard definition signal since well I probably won't ever use it that way. I have my cable box outputing a fixed 720p which works fine for my needs. I prefer that over 1080i anyways. Just personal preference.

Paul said...

Brilliant - I'm starting to finally get my head round what this GraphEdit thing actually is! (Excuse my newbieness...)

The reasonably good news is that it captures fine in GraphEdit, so although that may mean the problem lies in rcTVcap, I hadn't fully appreciated how GraphEdit worked before and now I understand it better I realise I could simply use that green Play button to do any 576p capturing I want to do anyway, so it's not a major problem if I can't get it working in rcTVcap.

As I say, rcTVcap works really well for my 1080i content - much better than Arcsoft did - so I'm well on the road to clearing off my PVR of HD content. Thanks once again for your excellent help!

ARogan said...

Paul, glad I could help. It's weird that it works in graphedit and not in rcTVCap since really all I'm doing is loading that grf file, setting the filename on file dump and basically "playing" the capture graph. I'm not sure what is different that is going on. Anyways, glad graphedit is working for you.

RickD_99 said...


Thanks a bunch to both you and rebkell for your excellent HDPVR utilities! I'm fed up to my gills with the buggy ArcSoft TME software!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for your thorough review and comments; it was instrumental in my purchasing the 1212.

One question - I travel a lot and am out of town for extended periods of time. I am curious about your use of firewire to change channels.

Would it be possible to use that in order to set up a recording remotely when I'm out of town - here's what I'm thinking: leave the HTPC, 1212 and my STB on and access the HTPC using logmein (see I could then hopefully use firewire to get the STB to the channel I need; then start up TME and record or schedule the program I want to record?

Would the firewire channel changer solution allow me to do this? Does it basically do everything that the Comcast Motorola DVR remote does - except permitting use of a mouse or keyboard? I'm just not sure what all it does.

Thanks again for your help and support.

ARogan said...

Yes, it is a command line utility so it should work just fine with you typing it through logmein. Just make sure your STB is compatible with the channel changing software.

Andrew said...

I recently picked up a Revision C2 and was flabbergasted that they mounted the fan flush against the side of the unit with no vents. What were they thinking?

Doe the E revision have vents by the fan or just the useless ones under the PCB?

I took the lid off mine and installed a 60mm fan over the heatsink using the same power the installed fan used. The unit runs very cool now and very quiet.

ARogan said...

Andrew, the only visible vents I see on rev E are the ones below the PCB.

Anonymous said...

I think I'm really confuse... I don't know how to do that "Dump File" thing.

And also, I wanted to know how to adjust the brightness of the Total Media Extreme, CaptureModule. I already tried to adjust the brightness on the "Device Settings" but there's nothing happening. I can't increase the brightness of my PS3 anymore, I don't know how to increase it... can you help me? I've been looking for some answers for about 3days...

Anonymous said...

Anyone getting a "This device is busy or is being used by another application" error in TME? Any idea how to fix it? I have a D2 unit that worked fine for a week or so, but I now get this error.

Thanks in advance

Anonymous said...

Do you have a higher resolution picture of the ICs? I would like to know the part numbers for the ADCs from Analog Devices without opening my own unit up. Thanks!

Patrick said...

Thanks for such a thorough review.

I'm interested in the 1212 for shifting HD content to my PC for use with an AppleTV and iPod Touch. To test conversion, I downloaded the samples you provided and converted them with Handbrake 0.93 to a few iTunes ready formats. After transcoding the video was suprisingly good (certainly good enough for my purposes). However, the only file I could get sound on was the FoodTV DD5.1 (fooddd51.ts), but the audio was out of synch.

Any chance you could post a couple 15 second clips from your current set up so some of us wanting to test conversion settings can work through the process before buying the 1212?


ARogan said...

As requested the post has been updated with some close up shots of the ICs, and a couple of new 30 sec sample clips have been posted.

Patrick said...

Thank you for posting the two new clips.

It looks like rcTVCap and the updated driver coupled with handbrake conversions make a solution that fits my needs.

Using the Handbrake 0.9.3 built in presets I converted each of the two new TS files into two different formats (both x264). The first preset used was "Apple > Universal" and the second was "Basic > Normal" -- Both presets worked flawlessly for the "dhdt-30secs.ts" file producing pleasing video and audio. The "food-30sec.ts" however, had out of synch audio, same as the previous "fooddd51.ts" file that I had trouble with. But, the newer clip produced audio that was close enough to being in synch that I can live with it until I can tweak things to perfection.

Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

Hi all, i would like to buy one.
But it's not available in France yet.

I can have one from Germany but the manual will be in German i guess.

Is any one can provide me the English or French (better for me ;-)
pdf manual ?

here is my email address ""

Thanks in advance for your help.

Nissen said...

Cheers for an excellent review and for rctvcap.

tought ill let you know why it wont work on Vista 64 / window 7 64 etc.

the reason is that the .net app and dshow lib is compiled for "Any CPU" , this will make it run as 64 bit on a 64 bit os(and the filters are not 64 bit and as such wont work) , to fix it recompile with config set to platform=x86 for DirectshowLib-2005 and rctvcap and it will magically work :P

recompiled it here and it works like a charm on windows 7/x64.

ARogan said...

Nissen, thanks for figuring it out. I've released new versions of rctvcap and rcgraphbuilder that should now work under 64bit. Let me know if those work.

Nissen said...

Just tested them and both graphbuilder and rctvcap works like a charm here on windows 7/x64.

cheers :)

ARogan said...

Nissen, that is good to hear. Thanks for helping me test. One of these days I'll have to get a 64bit environment setup.

Anonymous said...

Hi. I've been playing with my HD PVR for a while, trying to do some long term testing with it. I let it run over night streaming the TS output on to the network but I can never seem to get it to run for more than 10-12 hours at a time on linux before it mysteriously stops and I need to power cycle it to get any results again. I haven't tested it on windows yet. Is there a known stability problem or is it more likely an issue with the linux driver? How many days have you been able to successfully use it?



ARogan said...

Post 5.1 drivers the longest I've been able to run 24/7 is 3 weeks straight with about 4 hrs of recording a day. Since then I'm trying a friends power supply and I'm now using the original usb cable. I'm hoping it will go a lot longer than 3 weeks. I have no idea if it is a power supply issue but I thought I would try and eliminate as many possibilities as possible.

bag said...

I have the same problem as you guys. Works great for a few weeks at a time, and then the flat out refuses to work. Power cycle the pvr, unplug, replug the USB cable, disable then enable the devcie. Only one thing works.
I have to power cycle the PVR while it is unplugged from the computer, reboot the XP box, and the reconnect the PVR. Then it works for a couple more weeks.
It is "almost" stable.
But, when it works, it works GREAT!

Anonymous said...

sorry for this newbie question but where do you access those HDPVR properties menu??????


Anonymous said...

ARogan.... first, thanks for the rctvcap program! I've been doing a LOT of investigation into the long term stability problems still present in the 1212 device... was wondering if you wouldn't mind compiling up a version of rctvcap with the processor priority bumped up a notch?

ARogan said...

You can already kind of do that. Just start your capture, bring up task manager, processes, right click on rctvcap.exe, set priority. You can also try launching rctvcap with the start command (start /? for help).

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to say thanks for a great program. I've had the same stability problem you have but I think I solved it. I'm on Vista 32 btw.

I used one of these 110v IR plugs , my MCE blaster and IRSS 1.4.2 test build . Using task scheduler I now power on the HD PVR before a recording and power it off afterwards. I've had no ill side effects so far and all recordings have come through fine.

ARogan said...

Thanks!!! Great find. I've just ordered some of those IR plugs.

Anonymous said...

Once I downloaded everything and reread the blog it took all of about 5 minutes to get this working. Bravo! I'm running on XP 32. I do have one problem, though. ArcSoft TME cannot play the .ts file produced (unsupported file type). Windows Media Player/CoreAVC does. Any ideas?


Anonymous said...

My bad. TME only complains if you try to play the file while it's being recorded. After the capture was over it played just fine.

How is the full-blown PVR package project coming along? I'd love to be able to schedule recordings with this handy tool!


ARogan said...

It's coming a long quite nicely. I have 4 beta testers who have been using it for over a year now. Someday hopefully I'll have it where it's easy enough to install to release it publicly.

Anonymous said...

I hope it's soon! In the meantime I coded a simple .bat file and added tasks to drive it:

@echo off
cd /D "C:\ARogan\rcTVCap"
for /f "tokens=1-5 delims=/ " %%d in ("%date%") do set name1=%%d_%%e_%%f_%%g
for /f "tokens=1-5 delims=:." %%h in ("%time%") do set name2=%%h%%i%%j
if "%1" == "" goto notime
if "%2" == "" goto noparm
"C:\ARogan\rcTVCap\rcTVCap.exe" "C:\ARogan\rcGraphBuilder\hdpvrcap.grf" "File Dump" %1 "C:\HD Capture\%2_%name1%_%name2%.ts"
goto :EOF
"C:\ARogan\rcTVCap\rcTVCap.exe" "C:\ARogan\rcGraphBuilder\hdpvrcap.grf" "File Dump" %1 "C:\HD Capture\%name1%_%name2%.ts"
goto :EOF
echo Error - no time passed

The file accepts 2 parameters. The first is required and is the recording duration in seconds. The second is optional and could be the name of the TV program. The file name will contain the value of the second parameter and the date and time. I gave it a quick test and it seems to do what I want. It's a bit of a pain to add each task using Windows task manager, but it works.

It will get a real workout tomorrow. Thanks again for this great little program.


A|. said...

This very informative article/review, ARogan. Congratulations.
I am about to purchase a Hauppauge HDPVR model (Manufacturers SKU: 01228). I noticed that it has YCrCb input. So if I have a sat-receiver box with YPrPB component output I will be able to capture the HD signal coming out of the satellite box?
The created file in my pc hdd what format will it have? Will it be an mp4 file?
Thank you.

ARogan said...

Yes, it will capture any componenet signal in 720p/1080i. The file format is .ts (transport stream) with h.264 video and either aac or ac3 audio (your choice). I think with arcsoft you can also do m2ts. mp4 requires a conversion step.

A|. said...

Your quick response is greatly appreciated.
Now I have a question that has to do with the use and its capabilities or better with its reliability. My pc has a AMD Phenom II quad core (2,8ghz) processor and 4gbs of Ram.
Recording a 2-3hours programme is feasible? Would it better to stop recording let's say after an hour during a commercial break and go on with a new file?

And something else, is it compatible with Windows XP pro 64. I mean it software and drivers.
Thank you very much in advance.

ARogan said...

Reliability is good to say around 40 hrs of recording so yeah 2-3 hrs would be no problem. With the discovery of covering the IR Receiver hopefully stability issues will be a thing of the past. I'm testing it right now. As far as 64bit goes I know people are using it with 64bit vista. I have no idea if winxp 64bit works. Sorry, I don't run any 64bit os's yet.

A|. said...

IR receiver covered? I have to do some reading. The OS won't be a problem if there are compatibility issues. OS can be wiped in one day and get new os on the hard drive if Xp 64 does not work.

A|. said...

IR must be InfraRed. So it has an infra red receiver. And that caused stability problems? Probably something to do with the remote control and similar devices.

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to bring an update here. I posted about the IR plugs on the 16th and I have yet to get a bad recording. I only record about 20 hours a week, but the computer has been on 24/7 using the HD PVR for 22 days now. I'm going to push it until it crashes the system or gives me a bad recording then I'll cover the IR receiver like they suggested on AVS.


Игорь said...

I read your review and decided, i would buy this thing, but there's one thing i worry about. Your videos playback very bad on my pc, they load CPU to 100%. And i can't even drop them to Sony Vegas. I've got AMD Athlon 3200+, GeForce 6800GT 256mb and 1GB memory. The question is, would i be able to capture video without problems? I need to record 30-60 mins videos, i can compress them later before editing them in Sony Vegas.

ARogan said...

Yeah that athlon 3200 is pretty borderline for playback. One of my machines is an athlon 3000 and it struggles. Though the latest coreavc + an 8 or 9 series geforce with cuda support might help (haven't tested yet). If you use rctvcap it should record just fine. It only uses like 1% cpu. If you use the included arcsoft it will max your cpu unless you kill the preview.

Игорь said...

Good to know, i'll be able to capture. But what decoder should i use?


Damon Brodie said...

Stumbled across your blog, discovered the covering the IR port on the HDPVR. I'm 3 days in now, and no lockups.. Before I could count on one lockup per day.


RJGNOW said...

I'm really interested in your product. I just purchased a 1212, and want to pull some important vids from my DVR. I want to use my laptop to do this but it's a bit underpowered, I think, because of the previewing video.

1) Is there a way to turn off the preview in the supplied software?

2) Are there clear instructions on how to use rcTVCap anywhere? I just don't understand what and where to do with the zip file.

Great site by the way. You have been a big help!

Thanks Robert

A|. said...

Did anyone try the Hauppauge HD pvr with XP pro 64 bit OS?

A|. said...

I contacted the Hauppauge HD pvr support in the UK and they told me that the device works with 64 bit Vista. They have not tested it with 64 bit XP though...

A|. said...

Could anyone tell me when a two hour hd recording is finished with the Hauppauge hd pvr how much time does it take to convert the TS files to mp4 ones?
Thank you.

Scott said...

ARogan, thanks for keeping this post and your utilities updated. I am testing it right now.
Do you (or anyone else here) know if it is possible to build a graph that lets you record straight to another format such as MPG? Given, of course, the right filters install on the PC and probably added overhead for the encoding.

Josef said...

Great Blog! Thanks.

We do (try to) video capture of SD Pal signals using 6 HD-PVRs simultaneously. The TS stream of the HD-PVR is dumped into a series of files with a DirectShow file dump filter.

Now we see different issues:
- From time to time some of the capture channels seem to "freeze", i.e. there is no output from the encoder output bin. The data stream continues, if the graphs property page is openend in the background. Is there any status information in the encoder graph that could be polled?
- For setting up control of the capture, we need to have access to further parameters in the property page like 'Gop Mode', 'Use AAC' or 'Boost Audio Level'. Anyone who knows the referring GUIDs?
- From time to time and as far as we know as a consequence of electrical surges, the image of the HD-PVR gets distorted (original image is shifted in fractions). Anyone with similar experiences?

XBL F1sTDaCuFFs aka TGB F1sT said...

hi i just want to stram my xbox gaming on justin tv i have wind vista i keep getting error connecting yv 17 filter. thanks

Steve Gudmundson said...

why don't i see the same tabs in the properties of these directshow filters on my computer? for example, "Hauppauge HD PVR Encoder Properties" i only see "Encoder Development" and "H264 Encoder Tabs". I have Driver Version dated 11/18/2008. Thanks.

tbean said...

I just purchased a Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 and am having audio-video sync problems capturing video saved to my FIOS Motorola HD DVR QIP6416-2. I called Hauppauge and they told me I needed to get a 7000 series STB from Verizon, however, when I called Verizon, they said there was no guarantee I would get a 7000 series if I replaced my STB.

Due to problems I have had with ArcSoft Total Media Theatre, I thought the problems were caused by ArcSoft Total Media Extreme.

Will rcTVCap solve the audio-video sync problem or is there any other solution?

A|. said...

May I ask something about the connection of the HD-pvr?
I plan to connect it with mys satellite receiver via the YUV component outputs. Then I will connect my tv with the satellite receiver in order to watch what I will be capturing. I don't have to connect the HD-pvr straight to my tv right?

ARogan said...

Correct, in fact my hd pvr isn't even hooked up to a tv. I just have my cable box component output feeding into the hd pvr.

A|. said...

Can I capture with the PVR without previewing in my pc what I capture?

J S said...


Got my new HDPVR running with rcTVcap just fine and the Graphedit... on my HD dish sat.. nice output. I'm an old ReplayTV user and the 480p was getting a little old, now i'm still using the RTV but getting the HD quality stuff thru the HDPVR. A question for those reading this, and may be you..

1) I read that some one is using task scheduler to remotely shut down the hd pvr..? anyone know how this is done .. off hand?
2) my dish HD pvr is outputting 1080i, and graph edit inputs 1080i, when i'd like to scale down to 720p..for the sake of storage?. Seems like the HDPVR takes what ever is out from the source, any ideas on scaling down and how to do it. my grf's don't seem to allow less.... cheers, Mojav

BitRunner said...

How might I go about modding the source so that I can capture images from the HD PVR? I got the app to work from the commandline after building the graph builder file. I have been able to recompile from source and run the app and it works fine. What I'd like to do is make the app capture 1 second and then grab the last frame and save it to a PNG. Is this possible?

A|. said...

I open the Media Extreme, press capture video, opens the Arcsoft Capture module and then I get the message "The device is not available or being used by another application. Close the applications that may be using the device"

I don't see any application using the Hd pvr device...

A|. said...

I switched it off for a min and then it is ok...
But I got a message from windows that the hardware was not installed properly but it seems to work

Anonymous said...

Thank you for all the info here on your site. Is there a difference with the files that TME produces and the files that your rcTVCap produces? I've run your files "food-30sec.ts" and "dhdt-30sec.ts" thru MCEBUDDY without problems to re-encode but when I place a files that TME records in either .TS or .M2TS it causes the encoder to crash and never re-encodes the file. I read that your app produces far better quality than TME and was wondering why if the hardware is doing the encoding. Thanks again.

ARogan said...

I don't see why there would be a difference between the two. My app is about as raw to the metal capture you can get since it just basically runs a capture graph. I'm sure TME probably does nearly the same thing though the graph they construct internally might be a bit different. Quality should be more dependent on your capture settings (cbr,vbr, bitrate, etc).

DoP said...

Hi. This is a fantastic post and one of the main reasons that I purchased the HD PVR. I am running Vista 64 on a Phenom2 quad core with 8GB of DDR3 ram. I use the included Arcsoft software to capture material from my DVR and all is working well. My question relates to "trimming" or editing the captured .M2TS files (which as you know, can be as large as 10GB per file depending on the source material). How does one remove (for example) the last 10 minutes of each file while keeping the native .M2TS encoding. I've tried Vegas, Pinnacle, Cyberlink, Grassvalley Edius Neo XL (as well as others fancy editing suites) and nothing really worked. Again, all I really want to do is clip the ends off of these big files while keeping them in their native resolution and was hoping that you had some insight into this. Thanks again.

Anonymous said...

You could use TS Packet Editor which has a trial up on their site. VideoReDo is getting close to releasing a semi-public alpha that supports h.264, as well.

Anonymous said...

Arogan -
I (like I think you) have Comcast digital cable. What settings do you recommend using to record hi-def - constant? Variable? Variable peak? I've set them to the max, but that's slowly eating up all available hard drive space (a 3 hour movie can be 21GB!)

ARogan said...

I'm just using the default CBR settings. Quality is good enough and doesn't eat up too much disk space.

DoP said...

Thanks Anonymous. TS Packet Editor is a great program and exactly what I was searching for.

Anonymous said...

No problem about the TSPE recommendation. Once it's available, I will have to HIGHLY recommend VideoReDo. I hear it's in private testing right now but in the next few weeks/months/whatever it should be out and will be worth the investment.

ARogan said...

Yeah I'm also a big VideoRedo fan. I can't wait until their h.264 editor comes out.

1bru1 said...

Hauppage HD PVR 1212 - SD capture in 16:9?

Hey, I've sent you this message in 3 places, so hopefully you will get one of them. Apologies for the other 2.

I'm not sure if it is the HD PVR, ArcSoft TME, KLToolBox or rcTVCap that is the problem, but when I capture 4:3 SD video the result is a 16:9 video with black bars on the right and left sides. It's also smashed horizontally, so I need to stretch the picture to get the 4:3 area to look normal. As far as I can tell from googling this is normal, but I'm hoping I can capture 4:3 in 4:3 instead. Do you know anything about this?

This is what I do:

1. play 4:3 video through HD PVR via component
2. capture video using KLToolBox via USB
3. convert TS file to VIDEO_TS using ArcSoft TME
4. the result has a 16:9 aspect ratio!!

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I'm looking forward to your reply.

ARogan said...

1bru1, sorry I don't record much 4:3 content if at all. Almost everything I record is 16:9 HD. Another possibility is the source is presented that way? If I have time I might try a few 4:3 recordings to see what happens. Maybe somebody else here can help.

1bru1 said...

It's not the source. I've tried several different channels, and my DVD Recorder has no problem recording them in 4:3 aspect ratio.

Anonymous said...

Excellent on the TSPE recommendation but its limited 30 day license and you can't uninstall it .. or reinstall...I'm still waiting for VRD to release its h.264 editor.. I'm pausing before I jump. I've been a VRD user for almost 4 yrs and its an indispensable tool !!. But while waiting i've been testing TSSniper.. it shows promise in its limited current form . Any one having experience with this tool ? Mojav

Anonymous said...

I found TSSniper's interface to be lacking. That's why I recommended TSPE...for now. :) VRD is in private alpha testing and it's going very well. From what I've read they will maybe have a public beta by the end of the summer. VRD is going to be THE editor of choice for all of us HD PVR users. I know this for a fact. ;)

Escaped said...

I started to play around with rcTVCap and GraphEdit and I am stuck at adding the "filedump" to the graph...cannot find it under DierectShor Filters. Can anyone help please. I only have file source(Async), file spurce (URL), file stream renderer and file writer under the letter "f".

What am I missing? (and yes, if you are wondering, I am totally new to the comcept of graphedit but willing, and I like too think able too, to learn) . thanks a million.

Escaped said...

I looked under C:\Program Files\Common Files\ArcSoft\Mpeg Engine and the folder in empty.

I do have the ArcSoft Total Media software installed and working.

Please advise.

ARogan said...

It's possible that "File Dump" changed to "ArcSoft File Dump" on later versions of the arcsoft stuff. Can somebody confirm this?

Escaped said...

thanks for the quick reply.

cannot find an "ArcSoft File Dump" either.

Escaped said...

emickok so apparently the new ArcSoft software does not include the file.

For people that need it, I found a copy of it here though:

moving on with the set up now...

ARogan said...

Escaped, thanks for doing the research. Let me know how things work out. If it's all good I'll update the main post with that download link.

Escaped said...

well, the dump file is definatelly good. I created the graph in GraphEdit and tested it (pressed play) and the HD PVR lighted up.

After that I donloaded the rcTvCap and that is pretty much where I got to so far.

No please forgive me but I do not know where to go next.
I doule click on the rcTv Cap and the command window opens and then closes and the read file is created.
I tried doule clicking on the 2 graph files but I get an error:
"The graph failed to load
Class not registered"

What am I missing?
Can you please advise.

ARogan said...

rcTVCap is a command line application. You need to run it from the command prompt and pass it the appropriate parameters. See the example in the main post.

Escaped said...

wow, I'm really not good with cmd.

Can you please guide me a little here?

What commands do I need to type to get this working?

excuse my incompetence with this.

Escaped said...

or maybe this is a little too much for a guy like me that does not know his way with command promt...

Anonymous said...

Thanks to this thread. I finally installed rcTVCap on a HP MediaSmart LX195 WHS machine and have been able to do some test recordings and they work fine.
I used the rcGraphBuilder to build the graph.

If i have TME earlier to set settings like sharpness etc, does the rcGraphbuilder pick them up or does it have its own (default) settings?

Note that the listed from the download site didn't work for me. rcGraphBuilder would keep giving an error: Filter File Dump not found. I had to copy one off the Arcsoft install from another machine. The file sizes are different.

Anyways thanks a lot. I will do more tests using the h264Cutter to see if I can edit the files properly. But for now at least they play back well on my PS3

Anonymous said...

Big thanks and full respect to ARogan for giving us such a great help and support for the hd pvr. I have the newest hd pvr (get it last week) and it works pretty well. I have to record xbox 360 gameplay for a gaming company and I have one "problem". I use the TME capture, because I don't know much about programming to use the graphedit stuff and I don't want to make any mistakes. I also don't need to playback the movies on my pc (dual core 2,4ghz, 2gb ram, 512 mb nvidia). I render the ts files with TMPGEnc (great software für decoding) and sony vegas pro 8. than i copy the wmv (the company I working for need the movies in wmv9) on my usb-stick and watch it directly over my 360 for checking. Well, I noticed some strange recording issues. I set bitrate (CBR) to max 13,5/13,6 peak also to 13,6 so that it don't go "up&down" because you can see that bitrate-workflow in the movies. One thing I noticed: in slow movement games like Lego Indiana Jones the picture quality is awesome. But in games like PGR4 (brutal test for the hd pvr!) or other fast-action titels you will get slight pixelations. I run a test with pgr4 and while driving very fast the recording quality goes down, when I stopped the car the qualitiy goes to max... Thats really annoying. Is that normal??? Or is my hd pvr corrupt? Another thing is the "luma" option, on default (3) it produces a blur effect. So I set it to zero. Last question: I read so much about graphedit. Will it result in better recording quality or is it just for optimize the hardware for playback? by the way, I put my hd pvr on big spikes so it have more room for air. thanks.


Anonymous said...

I'm so glad to read that many of you are having some experience with your PVR. I can't get pass first base with mine. I have down loaded the latest drivers, etc. and I can not get a picture on the screen. Arcsoft does not even show that it is receiving a signal via the USB port. I tried to connect the PVR to my Mac/VMWare/XP. It did recognize a signal, but again no video come up on the monitor screen. Any ideas?

Rick White said...

Thanks for the awesome review. I'm ordering one of these, and this has tons of good information.

A|. said...

Am I allowed to upload a small sample of a recording I did? I would like to know why the white lines of the court are"trembling" and if there is a way to fix this.
It is a .ts file only 1.15 mb.
The link is this

Thanks a lot...

jx23 said...

Can someone please help!! My preview screen on the capture module is blank and it says input resolution 720x480 and Audio:*blank* I have been using it with os3 for months and it works fine it has just all of a sudden done this, I downloaded the updates and new driver but still no good. The image plays fine on my TV so I know its going from the hauppauge to the TV ok but I'm guessing it's a problem from the Hauppauge to the PC? Or maybe a problem with my settings in the capture module?? Please help!! lol

Anonymous said...

After the new update the total media Extreme captures no more than 13.5mbps even if I set constant bit rate. It used to be 20mbit before the update. Is something wrong?

Anonymous said...

first: DON'T update the Total Media Extreme. As you said, the "PEAK" option is gone (with this, you can set it to 20Mbit/sek, but this only for the PEAK not for the main bitrate))and you can't capture as MP4, because it will only capture a small square part of the input. Deinstall the whole software, incl. the HD PVR drivers. Install it again and also install the "old" hd pvr driver vers. 153 NOT 156! Set the avarage and peak to MAX (constant), and set the luma and chroma to ZERO. Luma will cause a slighty blur effekt. So if you want a 1:1 sharp quality, deaktivate luma! Also, give the HD PVR a little "warm up". It needs some time to work perfekt. Don't ask me why.... the HD PVR is a complete mystery. It is full of bugs, and you have to know how to handle the small crazy machine. Note: don't change settings in TME, the HD PVR go crazy. If you change something, then close everything and re-power the hd pvr so it will wake up fresh and clean. When you start the capture window in TME, wait a few minutes then hit "refresh". The HD PVR like it, don't ask why... I make tons of tests with this little funny farm machine, and at the end I know how to handle it. As for the probkem: "would like to know why the white lines of the court are "trembling". You capture has 50fps, can you also record in 60 (NTSC)? Maybe thats the problem.


A|. said...

Thank you, Chris for your valuabe feedback. I can't cap NTSC since I am in Europe but when I cap in 720p the Hd pvr says 1280 x 720 50fps.
I cant' change the 50 fps because probably this is the way the hd pvr receives image from my sat box...


Scott said...

@Chris... wow I don't think I've seen all those details anywhere else. You mention an older driver for the HDPVR, is that the one that comes with it or a slightly newer one?

A|. said...

Before the "upgrade" I could not even capture in mp4.
And something else since only the peak was 20mbit, not having that feature does decrease in any way the quality of the recording?
Thanks again, Chris.

Anonymous said...

sorry, I had a so much to do. Anyone noticed this on the hauppauge site?

Latest HD PVR application
HD PVR version 2.4:

The latest HD PVR application can be downloaded from the Arcosft website. Here are some of the latest features and additions to the TME application:

* Added "full screen" mode to the capture modules

* Added hardware acceleration support to the capture modules for all Windows platforms

* Added 5.1 audio playback support to the capture modules

* Added a checkbox to enable/disable HW acceleration to the capture modules. It's located by the "Show Preview" checkbox.

* Added 5.1 audio playback support to the Theater application
* Added AHCI support

so the "funny" thing ist:
"The latest HD PVR application can be downloaded from the Arcosft website."

Go to the arcsoft website and try to find THAT application...

I didn't find anything...

The support from hauppauge and arcsoft is hilarious. If you call the support, nobody knows anything about the 1Mio. bugs and they just always say "sorry, but we can't help you". I'm a little angry, because we all pay money for a box that is like a "beta-monkey". I feel a BIT punked. Other stupid thing is, when you start TME and you haven't upgraded it, a message opens "new driver available it is 53.987kb blablabla...." but hey... WHAT UPDATE VERSION?!! 1.9? 2.4?? So the new application (2.4) I written above, is it in the Auto-Update or NOT!?!?!

guys, this hd pvr gives me a lot of headaches. And I mean it real...

As for the questions, set the bitrate to 13.5 Mbits (constant) and you will recieve the best quality. Don't think "oh it also looks good in 6Mbits! I leave with that!" ... Try 6Mbits with fast moving action scenes and you will see bad pixelations. Always keep in mind: the picture looks perfect in "still images", but when motion comes in place the quality goes down. Thats because of the encoding. A still image don't need much encoding, motion needs A LOT. And a LOT motion needs also a LOT bitrate ;)

Record in 13.5 Mbits, Luma and Chroma set to 0. Then import the ts file in sony vegas pro 8 or 9. Render the file with 8-9 Mbits as mp4 or wmv and you will be very happy. make sure that you set the properties from the source to the settings for the project. 1:1!


Muse said...


This is a great review...

I just have a simple question, I'm not in all this technical talk you guys have been discussing, I have this HD PVR (mine is model 1228 if i'm not mistaken, revision E1) and want to use it to record gameplay videos from my xbox 360 and then upload them to Youtube.

I have no problem doing that, am very please with the quality of the videos but my issue is with the whole process of capturing and converting, specially converting (it takes hours!!!)

I tried using Vegas 9.0, ulead video studio 11 and windows movie maker but all say that the capturing device is being used by another application and won't link up with the hd-pvr.

I wanted to know if there is a way to capture the videos with any program other than the arcsoft bundled software, and if it's possible to capture the videos directly in AVI or any other format that doesn't need to be converted to be uploaded to Youtube?

Can you help me?

Thanks :)

A|. said...

I downloaded rcTVcap adn copied in the same folder the KLToolbox and a file in the rcTVcap folder.
I press build project start now and I get
/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ rcTVCap v1.03 (1/13/09)
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ filter graph = D:\Software\rcTVCap\rcTVCap\hdpvr-recvbr.GRF
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ Seconds to record = 3
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ save filename = E:\rcTVcap\rcTVcap.ts
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ dumpName = dump
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ ProfileName =
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ ----------------------------------------
10/20/2009 2:49:11 μμ Loading graph file: D:\Software\rcTVCap\rcTVCap\hdpvr-recvbr.GRF
10/20/2009 2:49:18 μμ ERROR: Class not registered (Exception from HRESULT: 0x80040154 (REGDB_E_CLASSNOTREG))
10/20/2009 2:49:18 μμ Cleanup
10/20/2009 2:49:18 μμ Done!
10/20/2009 2:49:53 μμ ========================================

A|. said...

I also tried to build a graph with rc graphbuilder but I got
ERROR: can't find filter: File Dump
I have a file in the graphbuilder folder...

Anonymous said...

Did you register the file dump ax file using regsvr32?

A|. said...

I did register it but the one downloaded from internet. I found the dump file from arcsoft software in my hdd and then started using graph studio a great application where I can pause recording, I can schedule more than one recordings as long as they are not at the same time...

ARogan said...

I highly recommend you use from your arcsoft install. This is the file I used when building all these tools. The file supplied by SHS is calld and is a different file. I've read posts that people have got rctvcap to work with but I wrote all the instructions with in mind. If you do decide to use instead I believe the name of the filter is "Dump" instead of "File Dump". That means everywhere I mention "File Dump" you'll have to use "Dump" instead. Again, I've never used so I'm guessing a bit here and going on what I've read in the forums.

Michail said...

Very useful software! I use it to drive 4 HDPVRs concurrently on the same PC.

We need to capture audio using the AAC codec and that means that we have to reset the properties on the capture graphs every time we powercycle the HDPVRs.

Anybody knows what the GUID for the audio codec propertyset is? (Or how to go about finding it?)



Anonymous said...

Great resource for HD PVR 1212 folks. As you previously noted, it is possible to concurrently write to and read from the rcTVCap active file dump. On my machine, the writes appear to be cached and bursty. That is, at the dump file level, cached writes appear to be flushed maybe every 30 seconds. I'd really like to influence this process, to reduce dump file latency. Any suggestions on where to start? Thanks

Anonymous said...

where and how could a stream hd pvr to somewhere like i would stream my ps3..

Scott said...

There is a guy who set up a stream to You could try asking him

Bill said...

Does anyone know if the GUID's in the filterprops are still valid for the latest drivers, since they don't let you set peak and average bitrate together via the UI anymore and you can only max out at 13.5mps?
In other words if I still set the GUIDS to 20mbps will it actually record @ 20?

Samuel Shirley said...

Great article!!

I just bought one of those IR Universal Rebooters mentioned in your blog. Does your rcTVCap application contain the code to blast that rebooter? If not, is there anyway that I could grab the source for that? I can write one but don't know where to start. Thanks!

ARogan said...

Samuel, right now that ir blasting reboot code is in another code base. I'll pull it out and stick it into rctvcap and push out a new release. Give me a few days.

Samuel Shirley said...

Actually I'd like to run it as a separate application (like you do as a scheduled task). So a separate codebase would be fine for me. Just throw up a link maybe. Thanks!

Samuel Shirley said...

Hi again ARogan!

Maybe you could just point me in the right direction. Like am I traying to access a tuner through the media center (if so, which classes) or trying to read the HD-PVR directly? Also, what if I am trying to blast through the MCE remote (the base stations have 2 blasters on them). Thanks!


Anonymous said...

colorimetry is always 4:2:0 even when I capture HD feeds 720p(50fps) or 1080i(25fps)...
Is it a feed source matter the fact that colorimetry is 4:2:0 or is there a setting in HD-pvr I could configure in order to get 4:2:2?
Thanks a lot...

gleiss lutz said...

I did buy the Hauppauge HD PVR.
The recordings are great !
I have this problem ; I want to use the IR Blaster but I can't find the codes for my cable box.
FOR HOURS, I have tried the learning mode but it keeps giving an error message.
Can anyone advise me how to solve this problem ?
It is very annoying that I have to change the channel on my cabel box manually every time !
Please email me ;
Thank you !

Anonymous said...

4:2:0 is the standard colorometry for all HDTV stations so far (even peak mbit stations like Discovery HD Theater, HDNet, and HDNet Movies). You can check this with a PC DVHS capture, or a PC HD Cable capture card capture. I have Fios, so there is no lowering of the natural bandwidth (the Fios box only allows short captures of some channels up to a few seconds, but a third party box like TIVO or a PC capture device via a cable card decode the Fios stream correctly and so are not inhibited) when I've tested this.

I've done a lot of testing and my best captures are at the following settings (set in my Arcsoft graph):
Under HD PVR Capture Device go to Video Proc Amp tab and set color and saturation to the max/255 setting.
Under HD PVR Encoder go to the Video Encoder tab and set it at Constant bitrate and 13.5 mbps/max as the bitrate and 20.2 mbps/max as the peak bitrate. Then go to the H.264 Encoder tab and set the bitrate to 13.5 mbps (I think this auto sets after you set it as such under the Video Encoder tab though), set luma to 20, and set chroma to 20. Then go to the H.264 Encoder Development tap and set MF Enable Chroma to 1, DF Luma to 4, and the GOP mode to Advanced no IDR (this makes a difference, even in other encoder programs). Make sure you hit apply after all the chances, then ok and then exit from Graph Edit, and then power cycle the HD PVR a number of times before you start a new capture under the settings.

I've directly compared direct perfect captures of HD programs via PC DVHS captures to HD PVR captures under these settings and they are the most accurate (basically I pause a PVR captured movie/program and compare it to 3 different image captures of the DVHS captured program in Total Media Theater as it's the best program for HD video picture quality; I use 3 different captures as there is no true constant mbps for the video and so different captures capture different quality levels despite being the same exact frame). The main differences in quality between the HD PVR and DVHS captures are some slight color variatios, some enhanced detail in the PVR captures, and noise/film grain reduction (inherent in all POVR captures) in the PVR captures. I've tested the PVR captures with high bitrate Discovery HD Theater, HDNet, HNnet Movies captures, and Starz (and though not of the same bitrate, Starz always has excellent masters of a higher quality than other HD channels); with HD On Demand; with normal 1080i channels; with 720p channels and sports broadcasts; and with low mbit hd channels like AMC and IFC when they show true HD films and programs; they all compare very favorably to the actual Fios stream when using a perfect stream capture via PC DVHS capture, or in the case of HD On Demand via a paused image on the TV (since On Demand is 100% copy protected).

e_Apwn said...

Thank you very much mate for your response. My hd caps are ok, it's the sd ones that suffer a bit. I cap a lot of tennis matches. I found out that 4:2:2 is possible only when you get satellite feeds not channel feeds.
take a look at the photos. I use studio graph and it seems there are some limitation in the Video Proc Amp tab choices...
Video Proc Amp tab

HV pvr Encoder properties, video encoder

Anonymous said...

Can someone please write a step-by-step idiots guide to getting rcTVCap working with the HD PVR on Windows 7 64bit?

I've installed the DirectX 10 SDK and haven't been able to find graphedit. I've tried the file posted publicly, but rcGraphBuilder says, "can't find filter: File Dump", and of course rcTVCap won't run at all without that graph file... I'm really lost. Help!

Anonymous said...

Ok, what ended up happening was File Dump wasn't registered by ArcSoft TME (even though it was installed), so I opened Command Prompt as Administrator and did:

cd "C:\Program Files (x86)\ArcSoft\TotalMedia Extreme\Codec"

Then rcGraphBuilder, GraphEdit and GraphStudio began to work.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this great article and app absolutely loving it, any chance you could put out that ir blasting reboot code you said you were going to do either separate or in with rcTVcap, Thanks in advance.

Anonymous said...

When you get around to it, I'd like the code that accesses the IR AC plug modules too. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know if hd-pvr can handle 4:2:2 content?

Arrogance said...

Nice fan mod. Now that I'm all set up in my new apartment, I think it's time to unbox this puppy and treat it in kind.

Anonymous said...

Strike the comment of having it at 20 chroma and 20 luma, that was an error, it's 20 luma and 0 chroma for optimum picture.
0,0 means less detail, but good color and blacks.
20,20 means good detail, but the colors and blacks are too bright.
20l, 0c means max detail and proper blacks and colors.
0l, 20c has brighter colors but less detail.
The comments about MF luma, DF chroma, and advanced no IDR GOP stand.

Dordine salbine said...

try this link will show you the best way to undrestand and setup your HDTV. it's about all what you think for yout HD TV.

Anonymous said...

Hey dude,

Can you tell me the number on the chip U411 on the HD PVR please?

Mine has blown and can't read it, looking to replace this chip.


Anonymous said...

Just to continue from my last comment.

The U411 is near the AC Power socket on the main board.

Thanks again!

ARogan said...

I looked through the photos I took of the board and unfortunately I don't have any of U411.

Anonymous said...


Daamn, not a problem then. Thanks for looking for me.

Anonymous said...

Hey this looks like a really great way to record videos but i am having a hard time figuring out how to build graphs. Do i need to register that proppage.dll? and when i try to make a graph with grpah edit i cant find the direct show dummy filter. Thanks for the help!

A|. said...

My digital receiver box has an hdmi output...if I connect this output via an hdmi to component cable with the component input of Hd pvr will it work?

Anonymous said...

Ive loved using this program to capture much easier than the package software. However, Im highly considering purchasing the new Hauppauge Colossus card that basically does the same thing, but adds HDMI support (if the HDMI source is unencrypted). My question is, will rctvcap work with this card? If not, will a version come out that supports it? Id love to be able to use these two together!

Robert said...

While recording 720/1080 there is a purple hue at the top of all my recordings. Has anyone had this problem or does anyone know what is wrong? Please help, it is greatly appreciated!! Example is below.

phillyslimm said...

I been using this guide when I forget how to setup graphedit for years now. One issue i've had with my PVR that maybe you can help me with. Only my captures are perfect and playback perfectly when remaining in a TS container. But as soon as I remux the streams to a mp4 or mkv container while setting the proper delays and all that I get audio sync drift where about 20 minutes in it slowly goes out of sync to where at the end its about half a minute out of sync. This happens regardless of the Audio format, bitrate, CBR or VBR. I've tried everything.

rtangwai said...

For long-term stability try replacing the power supply of the HD-PVR with a 3A or higher unit (most come with 2A) - apparently there was a batch of power supplies that had bad capacitors. Check the BeyondTV forum at they have a lot of comments about how switching out the power supply really helped.

Hanson said...

Just want to thank you again for your work. I've used rcHDHR and rcTVCap for years now, and your guides helped me remember how to set everything back up for my brand spanking new HTPC.

Hanson said...

If anyone is interested in using the Timm Moore firewire STB drivers to change the cable box channel within the .bat file for rcTVCap (note, you must have a 32bit Windows operating system, as there are no firewire drivers for 64bit OS).

First, download and install firestb.msi from here (it also gives you some heads up on which STB boxes work with the drivers):

Add the following lines to the beginning of your script:

"C:\PROGRA~1\TIMMMO~1\MCE200~1\channel -v 2 892

ping -n 1 -w 8000 > nul"

The last digits of the first line indicates the channel (you don't need initial zeroes). The second line is there as a pause -- I found the rcTVCap program would fire off in the middle of the channel change command and screw up the channel changing. The "8000" is the ms of the delay. You can shorten that if you want -- I also use this for Grafcorder, and if the channel isn't completely tuned in, the recording gets screwed up.

I could have been doing this for years but I only just figured it out.