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Best way to Cap Track and Field Meets


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  • Best way to Cap Track and Field Meets

    I guess since its the offseason, I can get into technicalities. I know Tivo is good and wirelessly transfers the files to your computer, but that seems a little pricey. I just purchased a Hauppage HD-PVR Rocket and it seems very good, I get NBC over the air digital on my TV and the quality of the capture is pretty good and PC Free. it encodes h264 baseline profile up to 18mbps. Is anyone able to capture losslessly with a Huffyuv encoder without having to use a Raid array? Is that possible? Or are most people just using Tivo? I would really be interested to know how other users record meets. Thanks. It seems like modern TV capture devices fall into the following categories, it would be interesting to know what people here use.

    El Gato/Avermedia
    Directtv Genie, etc. (Not sure if you can get these files directly to your computer)
    Blackmagic (only lossless one I know of but expensive)
    Bolt's last year...and my last year as a track fan, it's been fun

  • #2
    Found some other really interesting lossless solutions after digging a little bit. There are very simple usb 2.0 dongles that have both component and composite inputs going on ebay for $20 including shipping. You would run it with virtualdub software with either the huffyuv codec or vfw264 codec on the lossless profile if your computer can handle it. There is also a really neat usb 3.0/2.0 hdmi dongle for $300. 1920x1080 is probably to high a resolution for a SATA hard drive to make lossless compression possible and will not work with usb 2.0. But the dongle has hardware inside that can change the resolution. By downscaling an hd channel to 720x480, everything is back on the table. Really interesting that recording has become as simple as these dongles.
    analog dongle
    hdmi dongle
    Bolt's last year...and my last year as a track fan, it's been fun


    • #3
      As far as I'm concerned, the quality doesn't have to be top notch, but on the other hand I want to be able to easily view the content without freezing up or not being able to see their faces.

      Since so much is Internet streaming these days, I have used the WM Capture product with good effect. It is kind of a low-tech approach but provides good results if the source is good.

      I have also used Hauppage in the past with good results but today I rarely view track and field content from broadcasts/cable TV, as I do not receive Universal Sports except through the DishWorld web feed.

      I used to impulsively record everything "for posterity" but now rarely do so. I've noticed that I really don't go back and review these old recordings although I wish that I had transferred my old VHS tapes from the late 70's through mid-90's to digital before they started deteriorating. I have reams of DVDs with MPEG files however and maybe one day I can put them all on a big hard drive so that I can easily find old meets.
      Last edited by Bob Duncan; 09-23-2014, 08:55 PM.


      • #4
        Thanks for the reply. WMCapture is a great program, especially the background mode, which let's you capture off of slow computers. By going to settings -->tools-->installed codecs, I am able to select my h264 codec (x264vfw), use the lossless profile (w/ultrafast setting) and get over 55mbps instead of the max 12000 the program comes with. But my computer is not fast enough to not jitter when software encoding at that high rates. H264 is a CPU intensive codec. If I could get it to work with huffyuv, I could get lossless with no stuttering (tested codecs with wm capture:

        You might be interested to know that if you order four months of dishworld consecutively, you get a free roku. You can hook up the roku to the hauppage and still view the feed at the same time if you get an hdmi splitter. Plug one hdmi output from the roku to the TV and one to the Hauppage device.

        Thanks again for the reply, it was really neat to know other people are into this stuff.
        Last edited by spammer; 09-24-2014, 01:59 AM.
        Bolt's last year...and my last year as a track fan, it's been fun


        • #5
          I only have an old XP version of Hauppage with composite video output. That was good enough for me at the time. They came up with a Windows 7 upgrade and so I installed the upgrade but it really is not very good and it would be better to simply buy a new card.

          One good thing about WM Capture software is that if you are *really* into collecting clips, then you can grab those great clips from anywhere, whatever your computer will display. There is a lot of great stuff out there on YouTube but you never know when it will disappear. At one point last year, all of the Diamond League meets had been posted with two or more hours of content (albeit with Russian language) and then they suddenly stopped posting new material late in the season and the old clips vanished from YouTube.


          • #6
            You can get a state of the art plug and play usb external capture card for less than $70 on alibaba or ali express these days, but definitely agree about WMCapture. If you want to capture with a lossless codec, the following cmd line entry worked for me after installing ffmpeg and screen-capture-recorder and whatever codec you need (I used huffyuv).
            ffmpeg -rtbufsize 1500M -f dshow -i video="screen-capture-recorder" -f dshow -i audio="virtual-audio-capturer" -qp 0 -vcodec huffyuv output.avi
            The above captured the whole screen, the below captured an 862x486 section with a top left hand corner at pixel 43,118. I used Xsplit to find the coordinates.
            ffmpeg -rtbufsize 1500M -f dshow -i video="screen-capture-recorder" -f dshow -i audio="virtual-audio-capturer" -qp 0 -vcodec huffyuv -vf crop=862:486:43:118 output.avi
            Ctrl+C stops the recording.
            Bolt's last year...and my last year as a track fan, it's been fun