How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.) :: 1 > 6

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drngr's avatar
How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Note:

  • (Almost) none of these cards will record more than 2 channels of audio. If your source playback device allows you to output uncompressed multichannel PCM and you don't mind recompressing, the cheapest option I'm aware of allowing more than 2 channels is the BlackMagic Decklink Mini Recorder card paired with an HDCP stripper (as of Sept '13). Options for capturing compressed audio directly are more limited. I personally use an old PC with an audio card that has an optical TOSLINK input (Mad Dog Entertainer, VIA Envy24 chip) which ignores the SCMS copy protection bit. That isn't really feasible for most people. I've yet to find a cheap device that strips SCMS, even though it is way simpler to build than an HDCP stripper. You could sync the audio from another source if it's available, of course. Apart from that the only SCMS-ignoring capture card I know of is the Hauppauge Colossus, which compresses its video input to H.264 and doesn't allow lossless capture. So for the best results you would have to capture to both cards at the same time (splitter) and combine the best video with the best audio...

 

Prereq:

  • Windows PC with maximum ~5-year-old processor (desktop highly preferable, but laptop okay)
  • Desktop: available PCIe x1/x4/x16 slot (the faster, the better for reliability) / Laptop: available Expresscard slot or USB 3.0 port
  • Separate SATA hard disk drive with a fast write speed (2TB / 3TB / 4TB; I use Seagate 5400RPM and they are fast enough) -or- a giant SSD -- DO NOT CAPTURE TO YOUR OS DRIVE!
  • Tons of free HDD space (100GB/hr you record, before compressing to your output i.e. x264)
  • HDMI cables long enough to reach from your PC to your AV source (2)

 

Budget:

  • $66-250 USD

 

Cheapest solution available:

 

Recommended hardware:


The generic HDMI splitter mentioned above strips HDCP, for whatever reason. There is one cheaper stripping splitter that I've been told works well.

For a few years now, China has been producing their own cheap capture card models that "secretly" ignore copy protection. Only recently, the HDMI boards have started showing up on eBay instead of just the import sites.

Unless otherwise noted, all of these cards max out at 720p60 and 1080i60. That's all you need for HDTV capturing, but for recording movies from Netflix, Vudu, and other web sources it is preferable to go for a 1080p24 or 1080p30 card.


Hardware list

Desktops

Timeleak HD72A (1080p24)
$66 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-Video-Capture-PCI-E-Card-1080i-1080P-For-Camcorder-DVD-DVR-PS3-XBOX-360-/181185928232 [black borders]

Timeleak HD70A
$110 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/HDMI-input-PCI-E-High-Def-HD-video-grabber-capture-card-720P-1080i-fr-XP-Vista-7-/251215742547

If you won't do eBay or the sellers won't ship to you, you can buy it for a markup: http://dx.com/p/hdmi-1-3-pci-express-high-definition-video-capture-card-72046 ($138.60 worldwide)

Timeleak HD72B (1080p30, HDMI OUTPUT)
$125 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-HDMI-Output-HDMI-Input-Blu-ray-HD-Video-Capture-Card-grabber-Converter-PCI-E-/370738348664 [black borders]

Mine HD887 (1080p30)
$133 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/PCI-E-1080P-30Hz-HDMI-Capture-Card-Real-Time-Supports-Blue-Ray-/280993117951

Timeleak HD75A
$140 - HD 75A (1080p24) http://www.ebay.com/itm/Blu-ray-1080P-HDMI-Video-Converter-PCI-E-Video-Capture-Card-/261110211878 [black borders]

Skydigital SKYHD Capture X HDMI SKY-CXHDMI (HDCP STRIPPER REQUIRED unless you find the details of a supposed "trick", supports AC3/DTS, Korean rather than Chinese)
~$200 with middleman fees / JPY 11,272 - http://www.ecj.jp/U1301.doit?goods=836943&mk=1
JPY 12,684 - http://www.amazon.co.jp/???????????-HDMI?????????-SKYHD-Capture-SKY-CXHDMI/dp/B004CCQVHS/

Laptops

Timeleak HD80E
$110 - http://www.ebay.com/itm/Laptop-HDMI-Express-HD-Video-Capture-Card-Fr-PS3-XBOX360-720P-1080i-XP-Vista-7-/370739470361

Skydigital SKY-CXHDMIU3 (HDCP STRIPPER REQUIRED (possibly?), 1080p30, supports AC3/DTS, Korean rather than Chinese)
$197 + unknown shipping - http://www.gooddigitalshop.com/skydigital-captureu3.0-hdmi-1080p-external-video-capture-card.html
$233 -  http://www.ebay.com/itm/Skydigital-CaptureU3-0-HDMI-1080p-External-Video-Capture-Card-/261132234216


How to capture video with the card

  • All of the devices listed above are DirectShow compatible, and so you should be able to capture using any program of your choice. Recommendations are VirtualDub and AmaRecTV.
  • Install Ut Video Codec for the best-performing, best-compressing lossless codec. It is better than the multi-threaded version of Huffyuv. For regular HD content it gives a 4:1 compression ratio, which means a 1-hour 720p or 1080i recording takes up 100GB instead of 398GB/447GB.
  • As noted above, your audio will be limited to 48kHz 2.0 PCM unless you get one of the cards that supports AC3/DTS. Devices that record more LPCM channels are hard to come by; BlackMagic makes one but it's expensive.

 

Example video

YouTube example using the HD72A to capture "The Dark Knight" Blu-ray from PS3 at 1080p24: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1wezhH63Ow

Last edited on July 3, 2014 at 6:14 PM by drngr
Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Excellent post! Thanks for all this info ... all in one place!

Some (many?) games today don't have an "in-game recording mode" -- that records the network stream and uses the game engine for playback, allowing for detached & adjustable Point-Of-View and frame-by-frame (any frame size, any frame rate) capturing. External (to the game) recording is the only alternative and these digital recorders are great solutions to that problem.

digitalfreaknyc's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Hauppauge. That's all you need to know. No lists. Will do anything you need.

drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

An $150 card that can only capture unencrypted HDMI or analog YPbPr to 13Mbps H.264 with no option for uncompressed 2-channel audio (forced AAC)

vs.

A $110 card that can capture any HDMI or YPbPr to uncompressed/lossless with uncompressed 2-channel audio

 

Not drinking that Hauppauge Kool-Aid.

digitalfreaknyc's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

drngr said:


An $150 card that can only capture unencrypted HDMI or analog YPbPr to 13Mbps H.264 with no option for uncompressed 2-channel audio (forced AAC)

vs.

A $110 card that can capture any HDMI or YPbPr to uncompressed/lossless with uncompressed 2-channel audio

 

Not drinking that Hauppauge Kool-Aid.



Sorry. I want 5.1 AC3 over 2 channel audio. What exactly are you recording in HD that ISN'T 5.1???

The only problem is the re-encoding which, if you set it to a high enough bitrate, it should be virtually transparent.

In any case, with the new splitter that has just been discovered, it renders all of this moot. It removes HDCP.

Problem solved.

Apparently the Blackmagic will pass through up to 8 channels of audio.

This thread seems to be making more trouble out of it than it deserves. Don't complicate it.

Last edited on February 19, 2013 at 6:59 PM by digitalfreaknyc
drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

^ The problem is that you can't set it to a high enough bitrate because it is locked to a 13Mbps maximum. If it could be unlocked somehow, great.

You mention a splitter that I already listed as one of two options in my original post...

To answer your question of what I capture: kids' shows; most of them seem to be produced in 5.1 but aren't aired or streamed as such.

Plus I prefer Dolby Surround tracks on older movies to a 5.1 upmix.

digitalfreaknyc's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

13mbps is MORE than enough to capture broadcast signals. Remember, broadcast is mpeg-2 but it's being re-compressed in AVC, which is MUCH more efficient.
And should 13 not be enough for you, the internal capture card can go up to 20mbps. Overkill IMHO.

And, again, the Hauppauge is the only viable and realistic option for getting phenomenal results with 5.1 sound.

I would have purchased any other possibility. With all the HD archiving I do, there is no other option.

Last edited on February 22, 2013 at 2:08 AM by digitalfreaknyc
drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

digitalfreaknyc said:

13mbps is MORE than enough to capture broadcast signals. Remember, broadcast is mpeg-2 but it's being re-compressed in AVC, which is MUCH more efficient.

<snip>

And, again, the Hauppauge is the only viable and realistic option for getting phenomenal results with 5.1 sound.

The best features of AVC aren't employed by realtime capture devices, since they would require additional processing time and buffering.

There are some other options for 5.1 sound, but I understand why you are saying "realistic".

digitalfreaknyc's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

I don't understand why they would even make an HDMI card that can't capture 5.1. It's pointless.

Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

drngr said:

Only recently, the HDMI boards have started showing up on eBay instead of just the import sites.

Are there any non-eBay sites (like the DX site -- easily available to the U.S. with normal credit cards) that carry these items? The HDMI 3D Splitter 1x4 looks useful and capping up to 1080-24p (including all the lower resolutions) should cover any future situation. Raw capturing is useful (especially for later editing), but unobtrusively compressed recordings, for later viewing with a minimum of fuss, is fine (in this ease-of-use scenario, HDMI for recording both video and audio would be best).

Only ... I can't determine which products produce "clean" signals for recording just by reading the minimal descriptions. Any pointers on what to look for?

drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Why can't you use a credit card with PayPal?

For capture cards look for mentions of PS3 and Blu-ray players.

digitalfreaknyc's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Spaced Ranger said:



drngr said:
Only recently, the HDMI boards have started showing up on eBay instead of just the import sites.


Are there any non-eBay sites (like the DX site -- easily available to the U.S. with normal credit cards) that carry these items? The HDMI 3D Splitter 1x4 looks useful and capping up to 1080-24p (including all the lower resolutions) should cover any future situation. Raw capturing is useful (especially for later editing), but unobtrusively compressed recordings, for later viewing with a minimum of fuss, is fine (in this ease-of-use scenario, HDMI for recording both video and audio would be best).

Only ... I can't determine which products produce "clean" signals for recording just by reading the minimal descriptions. Any pointers on what to look for?


Well, I guess it would depend on what you're looking to do with what? If HDMI is your only option, then I guess you'd have to use one of the cards listed here.

Otherwise, you can get the Hauppauge.

Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

drngr said:

YouTube example using the HD72A to capture "The Dark Knight" Blu-ray from PS3 at 1080p24: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f1wezhH63Ow

and

Why can't you use a credit card with PayPal?

Unfortunately, if the buyer doesn't have a PayPal account, eBay won't allow the option to pay for an auction through it (because they want you to sign up). Sux to be me.  :)

Wow, a very nice capture of a 1080p source (even with YouTube compression)! But what is that occasional tearing-bar glitch at the top of a single frame now-and-then:

I saw the same thing on another YouTube demo of a video game capture. Is it something that happens always on the same frame(s) or is it random? Bad card, or bad signal, or bad computer, or bad something else? And, more important, any way to capture without getting it?

Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

digitalfreaknyc said:

 

... Otherwise, you can get the Hauppauge.

 

To quote Tony Stark: "Is it too much to ask for both?" :)

Can the Colossus handle all the audio encodings? I don't exactly know what all is. I see it supports DD5.1. But what about TrueHD or DTS or DTS-HD or anything-else, recordable from everywhere-else? Or is that to much to ask for now?

Anyway, it looks great as a fast & simple hi-def digital VCR.

I can also see the 1080p30/24 ones more useful for in-computer captures (video games, et al) -- although more complicated due to the separate audio recording and subsequent syncing / remuxing.

drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Spaced Ranger said:

 Bad card, or bad signal, or bad computer, or bad something else? And, more important, any way to capture without getting it?

I have never seen that on my captures, but I don't use that device. I have seen similar green or magenta bars appear when I had my card seated in a PCIe slot that it didn't like.

Seems to be a data rate deficiency.

Colossus can't do any multichannel audio besides DD5.1.

Last edited on March 13, 2013 at 1:21 AM by drngr
Doctor M's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Say I wanted to take an HDMI signal and feed it to something like the Hauppauge gaming PVR, the best option looks to be the 4 port 1x4 splitter you linked... but they don't ship to the U.S.

Are there any other options you can suggest?

Dr. M

I think he said, 'death rabbits.'
drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

They must have added that exclusion to the list just recently.

Here is the US account for the same seller. I posted the Aussie one because it was slightly cheaper before, with the exchange rate.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Port-1-x-4-Audio-Video-1080P-HD-HDMI-Splitter-Amplifier-Multiplier-Box-/220864833576

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/VeeCome-portable-Powered-Splitter-Support/dp/B0094OEQNU/

Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

On the software side of these things ...

Do any include useful software that will do simplistic edits (trims and splits) of a capture and create Blu-ray formatted DVDs for viewing (without re-encoding video/audio) and, just as important, extract and rejoin the disc-saved splits back into the full capture?

If none from them, are there such programs (preferably free or cheap) that you know will do all the above?

Doctor M's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

drngr said:

They must have added that exclusion to the list just recently.

Here is the US account for the same seller. I posted the Aussie one because it was slightly cheaper before, with the exchange rate.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/4-Port-1-x-4-Audio-Video-1080P-HD-HDMI-Splitter-Amplifier-Multiplier-Box-/220864833576

Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/VeeCome-portable-Powered-Splitter-Support/dp/B0094OEQNU/

Thanks.  Just noticed these are listed as 1.3 compliant.  Hopefully they'll update to 1.4.  (It's interesting they call it a 3D splitter even though 3D was added in the 1.4 specs.)

Btw, the ebay.com has the same exclusions, but the Amazon link seems good.

Last edited on March 24, 2013 at 4:53 PM by Doctor M
Dr. M

I think he said, 'death rabbits.'
Doctor M's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Oh, one more thing.  Several of these streaming services can be ripped right from your PC with inexpensive software like GetFLV.

Check out their list: http://www.getflv.net/site.php

Dr. M

I think he said, 'death rabbits.'
drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

The streams aren't actually "ripped" and the trouble with screencapture on a PC is that the renderer never produces an accurate FPS. Netflix for example always drops frames; threads on AVS about it.

Last edited on March 24, 2013 at 9:26 PM by drngr
Doctor M's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

No, GetFLV, TubeDigger and a few other similar programs actually save the incoming data from the websites.  They are true rips, not screen captures.

Flash is frequently tries to fix their code to stop them, and they have constant updates to get around it.  It's a fun little arms race.

Dr. M

I think he said, 'death rabbits.'
Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

drngr said:

Here is the US account for the same seller. I posted the Aussie one because it was slightly cheaper before, with the exchange rate. ... Amazon link: http://www.amazon.com/VeeCome-portable-Powered-Splitter-Support/dp/B0094OEQNU/

There are a number of sellers that have like the same-looking box -- but who knows what's in them. Reviews are inconsistent -- some say they get the pictured box (metal), some say they get another kind (plastic).

That original eBay seller's name TomTop, also the name of their ChiCom website, isn't the same as the Amazon seller's name VeeCome.

Has anyone verified by purchase that this Amazon seller (or any other for that matter) has a splitter that actually handles the "hand-shaking" for devices that can't?

drngr's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

Doctor M said:

No, GetFLV, TubeDigger and a few other similar programs actually save the incoming data from the websites.  They are true rips, not screen captures.

Flash is frequently tries to fix their code to stop them, and they have constant updates to get around it.  It's a fun little arms race.

I assumed by "several of these streaming services" you meant the ones listed in the thread's title.

Spaced Ranger said:

There are a number of sellers that have like the same-looking box -- but who knows what's in them. Reviews are inconsistent -- some say they get the pictured box (metal), some say they get another kind (plastic).

 

Has anyone verified by purchase that this Amazon seller (or any other for that matter) has a splitter that actually handles the "hand-shaking" for devices that can't?

Can you post this claim of a plastic box? That's odd.

I got mine from Amazon, but from a different listing before they raised the price: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0089DVCT8

Despite the photo, there is no CVID logo on the box.

Last edited on April 13, 2013 at 8:23 AM by drngr
Spaced Ranger's avatar
RE: How to capture HDCP-encrypted HDMI sources (Vudu, Netflix, Directv, Virgin Media, etc.)

As per your advice, I was looking at powered splitters with mentions of Blu-ray and PS3 and came across this one:

SANOXY HDMI 1x2 3D splitter v1.3 HDCP 2 ports swither 3 4 5 8 PS3 XBOX360 DVD Blu-ray
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003UYOEMI/

Comments about it's construction:

"However, I received the newer plastic-cased version of the product and it has met/exceeded my expectations."

"I did not receiver the metal cased, square edged version. My was made out of cheap plastic and had rounded corners. ... I was only able to get it working a few times, and never consistently. Not worth the hassle to return."

Comments about it's operation:

"They do not advertise that this baby bypasses HDCP protection ... But to my surpirse if I use this with my PS3 HDCP protection does not work, allowing me to stream and capture ps3 gameplay from HDMI."

"I found that my older model splitter did NOT transfer or split the signal from my new blu-ray. ... So, I purchase a [this] splitter labeled for "Blu-Ray"...it did not function either."

"This splitter does not support 3D like it says."

"Tried 3D and worked beautifully."

There are over 100 comments with most being either 1 or 5 stars -- an indication of problem construction / quality control / outright different product.

At your mentioned new link, there are no comments at all. Curious. And this one doesn't mention Blu-ray / PS3. Do you have it's original listing with comments to determine it's quality control?

Last edited on April 14, 2013 at 5:00 AM by Spaced Ranger

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