My first SatTV capture - Hannah Montana in 3D

The WORLD premiere public television broadcast of Hannah Montana & Miley Cyrus's 3D concert is over and my hardware worked beautifully. After 80 minutes of nausea-inducing video, I ended up with a 3.9GB .dvr file but the process of capuring didn't go as smoothly as planned.

Just 15 minutes before the start of the show, my decoder decided to go totally AWOL on me and stubbornly refused to start whilst it kept displaying "Service not available". Turns out the lighting surge protector had tripped on its own so, because I didn't have time to reset it, I just took the direct route and plugged in the incoming signal cable into the set-top box. Decoder to capture card was routed using a S-VHS connection with composite connections for audio. Rumour has it that the ASTRO signal is actually broadcast in Dolby Digital format but is decoded and sent as analogue signals by the decoder ... if only there was a way to tap this digital stream directly. Oh well, the result anyway is quite a stable picture and the default capture settings work pretty well with the CPU load never once exceeding 15%. Compression ratio was average with the resulting capture looking not too shabby and blockiness was kept to a minimum.

Here's a sample clip from the show highlighting the parts that best showcased the so-called 3D effect (anaglyph for those that are interested). 3D effect is viewable using any red/blue 3D glasses and is best seen in darker room lighting conditions. And yes, the video does actually look like its out of focus and has nothing to do with my capture skills.

Apologies to ASTRO, Disney Channel and Walt Disney Productions for the use of the clips above.

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