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 Post subject: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Wed Jul 21, 2010 7:15 pm 
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I am looking at using an O2 I acquired as a way to record TV shows (eventually to DVD). I will be doing this in standard definition (480i, possibly 480p).

I have the A/V module, so I plan to pipe in S-video/composite signals.

Unfortunately, the harddisk is tiny (around 6 GB), so I would not be able to capture very much video (maybe one show).

Therefore, I need to do one of three things:
1a) Find a way to hook up a bigger SCSI hard drive (hard, since I can't find a cheap SCSI drive, and I probably don't have room for it in the case)

2)...use an IDE-SCSI adapter to hook up a bigger IDE drive (also hard, probably no room in case, and I really don't want to pay much for an adapter)

3) Stream the video out as it comes in to another computer (over Ethernet) and capture it there.

Either way, I plan to process the video on another computer.

Does anybody have advice for me? It is too bad I can't simply hook the computer up to my laptop and use it as a glorifed video capture card.


I also will need advice on what codecs to use, etc.


Thanks.


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 4:58 pm 
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biosci3c wrote:
Does anybody have advice for me?


Sure, just buy a stand alone DVR or DVD recorder, it'll be a lot easier.

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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Thu Jul 22, 2010 9:45 pm 
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Ummm, that would be great, if I wanted to spend $200.

Anyone else?


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 2:58 am 
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I'd suggest taking a close look at The Lurker's Guide to Video for SGI machines.

Regarding your thoughts of capturing an <uncompressed?> video stream using a single hard drive on the O2's 40mb/s SCSI bus, I'd probably start with the section on How Big is Video?, followed by Hardware/System Setup for Uncompressed Video I/O: O2 Systems with MVP.

Most SGI video options weren't meant to be a stand-alone acquisition that would enable a base hardware platform to be used in video production.

SGI based video capture/editing/output was never intended to be trivial where either money or knowledge is concerned. It was a given their target audience would have the resources to purchase all the necessary auxiliary hardware and broadcast quality equipment needed, *and* hire or train a dedicated user/admin/support staff <they were aiming more for hollywood than home>.

Even at the lower end, SGI hardware isn't particularly consumer device friendly. The O2 is often described as "entry-level". This forum is full of posts describing problems capturing video with the O2, even when fairly high-end consumer video equipment was used. The O2 expects you'll provide sufficient storage capacity/bandwidth and video equipment with features that aren't always typical for consumer/prosumer hardware <such as time based correction>

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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 5:49 am 
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kshuff wrote:
biosci3c wrote:
Does anybody have advice for me?


Sure, just buy a stand alone DVR or DVD recorder, it'll be a lot easier.

Well, you forgot to mention the sell the O2 to cover the cost part...

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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Fri Jul 23, 2010 12:21 pm 
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zmttoxics wrote:
kshuff wrote:
biosci3c wrote:
Does anybody have advice for me?


Sure, just buy a stand alone DVR or DVD recorder, it'll be a lot easier.

Well, you forgot to mention the sell the O2 to cover the cost part...


Right, my original statement stands. I should have added it would be cheaper also.

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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Sat Jul 24, 2010 8:05 pm 
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I should add that I have Irix 6.5 installed, but I am open to using any operating system that would fulfill my requirements (I know a few flavors of BSD and GNU/Linux have SGI MIPS compatible versions, and have successfully installed one of them in the past).

I am not picky with the capture format, as long as it would look good with a 480i feed (i.e. that I couldn't tell I had recorded it). Therefore, I am open to the idea of compressing it.

What I want to do is use the A/V module (s-video/composite) to pipe in the video, then pipe it out to my laptop (which has a nice big hardrive and a beefy processor) for processing/saving to DVD. I could partially get around the hard drive space limit by only doing one show at a time.

What I need to know is:
a) is there a way of cheaply increasing my amount of storage space without swapping out the main drive (since this is not working as is)? Can I use a USB stick (is there a driver for this)?
and/or
b) is there a way I can pipe out the video feed over ethernet/USB etc while it is being captured (or perhaps lagging a few seconds/minutes behind)?


Incidentally, how much do you think I could get if I sold it (I would rather not, but I'm just curious)?


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 4:46 pm 
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Hmm. I have tried installing Debian some time ago, but it didn't work correctly. I could try again.

Could you give me some more information/links regarding this VINO driver?


The reason I am doing this rather than simply buying a capture card is that I don't want to spend much money (and cheap capture cards absolutely stink)

Incidentally, if anyone could point me to a cheap capture card that works well, I could use that instead, but I doubt such a think exists.


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:08 pm 
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eMGee wrote:
As for USB, I believe there's only USB support since 6.5.23 or .24 and that it's mostly HID (for input-devices, keyboards, mice and so on, except tablets) and not block devices.

AFAIK, IRIX only supports USB devices on IP35 machines, not on the O2.


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:17 pm 
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What do you want a capture card for, a PC? If all you want is standard definition, which is all you'll get on the O2, there should be plenty of older 'pro' cards on ebay. Alternately look for a graphics card with video capture capabilities or a SD or HD TV tuner that will also accept s-video input. If you want uncompressed video on the O2 you're going to need to add a SCSI, fiber channel, or (possibly) firewire card and external storage. Then if you want to keep anything you've captured in a reasonably sized file you're going to have to use a separate system to compress it in a current format. That means transferring it from the O2 over your network (slow) or moving your external storage to another system provided you can read it there.


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 1:12 pm 
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Okay, so what I am getting from this is that I need to get a fiber channel card (which I have seen for around $10/15, not bad).

I am not familiar with this connection scheme.

Does this require a special drive, or just a special IDE-FC adaptor?

I guess I mistitled this thread, since I am really using my O2 as a glorified video capture card rather than a DVR.

Basically, I need to know the cheapest way to get additional storage on the O2 of reasonable bandwith, considering that I have a few 7200 RPM IDE drives laying around?

I really appreciate all your help so far.


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 Post subject: Re: Using an O2 as a DVR
Unread postPosted: Mon Jul 26, 2010 2:35 pm 
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Get something like this that allows you to use ATA or SATA drives in a RAID that connects via SCSI or fiber channel. Search ebay in the Cameras and Photo>Professional Video Equipment>Editing and Post-production, Computers and Networking>Drives and Storage, and Computers and Networking>Networking and Communications>Network Storage Equipment categories. Those sorts of setups are good for getting large capacity with relatively cheap ATA/SATA drives but if you don't need a huge amount of space you might be better off buying a straight SCSI or fiber channel setup. If you get an enclosure that will take 1.6" drives Seagate 181GB SCSI (ST1181677LCV) or fiber (ST1181677FCV) drives are cheap and have worked well for me.


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