Hauppauge HD PVR

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Version Status Date Updated Updated By
710 Unknown N/A N/A
810 works 6th November 2010 esev
1004 Unknown N/A N/A
1204 Unknown N/A N/A
Usage Information
Hauppauge Hdpvr front.jpg


Back side of HD PVR showing Component Video, Stereo Audio, and Optical S/PDIF audio inputs and outputs

The Hauppauge HD-PVR is the first consumer-level analog HD capture device available. The HD-PVR is a USB device that captures the component video outputs and analog/optical audio outputs of any consumer device (including cable/satellite set-top-boxes, HD Disk Players, video game consoles, and various other home media devices). The HD-PVR is a highly anticipated capture device because it captures video via component output, permitting the user to capture High-Definition video from most sources and without concern for encryption. In other words, since component video is not and cannot be encrypted, previously un-capturable HD sources such as satellite and premium television will now be fully accessible in Linux. Prior to this device, component capture devices were cost-prohibitive and were not directly supportable within Linux.

The HD PVR captures at resolutions from VGA/D1 (480i) up to 1080i, and encodes the component inputs in real time using the h.264/MPEG-4 video codec and the AAC audio codec. The streams are muxed into a slightly modified MPEG-2 Transport Stream container. Capture resolution is dependent on the source (ie 720p video with be captured as such, 1080i as 1080i, etc.) but the bitrate is user-selectable from 1 Megabit/second up to 13.5 Megabits/second. The h.264 video codec is, bit-for-bit, up to 40% more efficient than the MPEG-2 video codec commonly used in US HDTV broadcasts today. A 13.5 Mb/s h.264 stream is roughly equivalent to a full-channel-bitrate MPEG-2 recording at approximately 19 Mb/s.

The HD-PVR uses modern codecs capable of exceptional compression rates at excellent quality. The tradeoff is that decoding h.264 material is very processor-intensive. If not using VDPAU, even systems which easily play back US broadcast HD are likely to fail altogether when playing back recording from the HD-PVR. Hauppauge recommends a dual-core CPU as a minimum if not using VDPAU; a frequently cited minimum for medium-bitrate h.264 playback is a Core 2 Duo 1.8 Ghz processor.

This description is from the MythTV wiki page for the HD PVR. See their site for more details about this device.

Enabling S/PDIF audio

In all HD-PVR firmwares later than 1.0.3.53, AC-3 muxing via S/PDIF is available, allowing one to mux the original 5.1 channel audio track into the captured stream. To enable this functionality, be sure to set the audio input to S/PDIF by editing the video port device data settings under the port you are using. Modify the Extra Parameters and add a third argument. The third argument should be one of the following: 0=RCA Back, 1=RCA Front, 2=S/PDIF. Be sure not to modify the first two arguments. If, for example, your Extra Parameters contains "<%=BLOCK%> 1" and you'd like to use the S/PDIF audio input, modify your parameters to look like "<%=BLOCK%> 1 2"

Hdpvr port device details.gif

Crashing During Channel Changes

If rapidly changing the channels causes your HD-PVR to crash, lock your cable box to output at 720p instead of 1080p. This is a problem that exists with HD-PVR firmware 0xf and earlier.