How-To: Firewire HDTV Recording and Playback on Mac OS X (updated)

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Date: Thursday, December 23rd, 2004, 08:31
Category: Archive

Motorola DCT6400 Digital Cable BoxI’m just received the new Comcast HD cable box (a Motorola DCT6400 Series, the DCT6412 is the HD-DVR) and it has two Firewire ports on the backplane that piqued my interest.
A little searching and some helpful comments on JBLOG have come up with some freeware solutions that allow you to capture HDTV signals from a Firewire-equipped cable box directly to your Mac. Talk about cool.
iRecord is a FireWire PVR for Mac OS X. It is designed to allow timed recording from FireWire devices that output MPEG2 transport streams, such as cable set-top boxes and ATSC OTA tuners.
AV Science Forum has posted an excellent How-To: Guide to Mac OS X Firewire HDTV recording. An excerpt:

MacOS X is currently the only viable solution for recording HDTV via firewire using an emulated D-VHS deck. With a properly setup system you can record and playback cable and OTA HDTV with no loss in picture quality or sound. As for as alternatives, there is a beta product called Firebus for Win XP but it is extremely buggy and the development status is unclear. The beta is also incidentally closed if your interested. Some have also reported some success recording with Linux but it is far from plug and play. For the moment the Mac is the best choice for the task. Below you’ll find the requirements and and some instructions for getting started recording HDTV with a Mac.

MacOSXHints has posted another tutorial on how to Record and playback high definition TV signals on your Mac

This 21st Century Holy Grail comes in the form of a recent FCC regulation requiring all cable companies to provide a Firewire-enabled Cable box to any customer who asks. (Yes, some government agencies are still on our side after all!) This law went into effect April 1st, and by now most Cable companies have complied.
Unlike regular TV, you cannot record HD with an analog VCR — or even a standard issue Tivo. You must have a Firewire connection … the very same Firewire that ships on every modern Mac. (bet you see where this is headed). You have the Mac, now all you need is the cable box and a pair of free programs: VirtualDVHS for recording, and VLC for playback!

MacTeens has also posted a tutorial How To: Make your own Home Theatre Mac (HTMac).


Motorola DCT6400 Digital Cable BoxI’m just received the new Comcast HD cable box (a Motorola DCT6400 Series, the DCT6412 is the HD-DVR) and it has two Firewire ports on the backplane that piqued my interest.
A little searching and some helpful comments on JBLOG have come up with some freeware solutions that allow you to capture HDTV signals from a Firewire-equipped cable box directly to your Mac. Talk about cool.
iRecord is a FireWire PVR for Mac OS X. It is designed to allow timed recording from FireWire devices that output MPEG2 transport streams, such as cable set-top boxes and ATSC OTA tuners.
AV Science Forum has posted an excellent How-To: Guide to Mac OS X Firewire HDTV recording. An excerpt:

MacOS X is currently the only viable solution for recording HDTV via firewire using an emulated D-VHS deck. With a properly setup system you can record and playback cable and OTA HDTV with no loss in picture quality or sound. As for as alternatives, there is a beta product called Firebus for Win XP but it is extremely buggy and the development status is unclear. The beta is also incidentally closed if your interested. Some have also reported some success recording with Linux but it is far from plug and play. For the moment the Mac is the best choice for the task. Below you’ll find the requirements and and some instructions for getting started recording HDTV with a Mac.

MacOSXHints has posted another tutorial on how to Record and playback high definition TV signals on your Mac

This 21st Century Holy Grail comes in the form of a recent FCC regulation requiring all cable companies to provide a Firewire-enabled Cable box to any customer who asks. (Yes, some government agencies are still on our side after all!) This law went into effect April 1st, and by now most Cable companies have complied.
Unlike regular TV, you cannot record HD with an analog VCR — or even a standard issue Tivo. You must have a Firewire connection … the very same Firewire that ships on every modern Mac. (bet you see where this is headed). You have the Mac, now all you need is the cable box and a pair of free programs: VirtualDVHS for recording, and VLC for playback!

MacTeens has also posted a tutorial How To: Make your own Home Theatre Mac (HTMac).

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