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Thread: Using your PC as a PVR?

  1. #1
    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    I currently have my PC and TV connected via HDMI.

    Is there software out there that will allow me to use my computer as a PVR?

    Thanks
    This thread is currently associated with: Via Rail


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    Smart Canuck mulock's Avatar
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    anisa, dededi, Davetherave and 1 others like this.

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    Quote Originally Posted by anisa View Post
    I currently have my PC and TV connected via HDMI.

    Is there software out there that will allow me to use my computer as a PVR?
    The short answer is "no" (shorter still would be "N" I suppose. )

    (watch now as the short answer becomes a longer answer...)

    Content delivered digitally (via OTA, cable, fibre, satellite, Netflix, etc...) is protected -- both technically via HDCP, and implicitly by your license to receive and view the content from the provider.

    Recording HDCP protected content via HDMI is not possible for those reasons. Circumventing/removing HDCP (in whatever form it takes) in order to record the content is a violation.


    Even if you aren't breaking the HDCP yourself, and are using a service such as Kodi (as was suggested) you are operating in a "DARK grey" area. It's not an entirely black-market, as you arent 'storing' the content when you use Kodi. However for the most part it's not on the legal end of things either... the actual (il)legality of the content's availability over such services and your potential viewing of it still remains to be seen. And, while there is SOME content found on Kodi that's legal and free of copyright (good luck finding any)... for the most part you are receiving/streaming content that is NOT approved by the copyright holders, so "recording" the content and storing it on your PC (regardless of your ability to do so) is akin to downloading the content from file-sharing sites... which in and of itself is NOT legal either.

    ---

    HOWEVER, the accurate answer to the question "can a PC be turned into a PVR" (for legitimate purposes) is "Maybe" or even "Yes" -- but not over HDMI. (recording content via HDMI requires the omission of the HDCP)

    - Provided you are willing to invest in a video capture device (either a card or a USB peripheral), AND want to invest in the software...
    - AND you have ample storage space (harddrive), or are willing to invest in some.
    - AND you are fine with recording the content that is analogue in nature...
    - AND you are fine with only having Standard Definition recordings (no HD)
    - AND that your device(s) (TV set top box, etc) have analogue outputs (think composite video - the yellow RCA jack, or at best S-video)...
    ...you could connect them to your video capture card and record that way.

    In all likelihood you wont likely be satisfied with the end results. I've been working with computers AND video for years. Orchestrating a marriage between content providers and PC's doesn't really justify the hassle nor the expense... especially when there are already devices that exist that fill the need.

    If you just want to use the PC as a PVR to watch shows later on the same TV, then my advice is to just invest in an actual PVR. It eliminates all the hassle and it just WORKS.

    If you're attempting to make the video portable (eg. for the kids in the car, or for your own travel habits), then you're also looking into extraction and conversion software to export your PVR data on the PC to a more portable file format. That's really your only solution.
    Last edited by bhlombardy; Fri, Sep 9th, 2016 at 07:21 AM.
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    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    thank you for that info bhlombardi



    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

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    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    I just want to be able to watch shows later without having to stream and use up data.
    I watch TV OTA and there are supposed to be pvr boxes available.

    Any suggestions on pvr's?

    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk

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    Smart Canuck mulock's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by anisa View Post
    I just want to be able to watch shows later without having to stream and use up data.
    I watch TV OTA and there are supposed to be pvr boxes available.
    Sent from my SM-G900T using Tapatalk
    Sorry, I don't have any other advice. I'm in Halifax NS and Bell (Aliant) has unlimited internet with all their plans. I have their basic FiberOp internet (and nothing else) and I pay $85/month. I stream absolutely everything.....tv shows, movies, music, news, live tv, etc.
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    Canadian Genius anisa's Avatar
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    to be honest, I don't watch much TV, but I wouldn't mind keeping up on the odd show here and there.

    I tend to watch the news and documentaries, educational programming and not much more, I can't stand talk shows, reality shows and most other mind numbing stuff that is on tv lol.

    Unlimited internet sounds nice, but I am not sure I would get much use out of it

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