So I have an HDTV DVR from Comcast at home (and I work for them), and I read that you can use the firewire output to record (unencrypted) content to a PC (the guide that I followed is here).
It works, but the files it creates are huge "transport stream" video files (a half hour Family Guy episode took up 1.6GB!). These "transport stream" files seem difficult to manipulate. All the guides I found for windows software wouldn't work. Eventually I came accross FFMpeg for Linux, which is able to read and re-encode these files into mpeg/avi format.
Here is the command I've been using to create video that plays on my Z:
ffmpeg -i video.ts -f avi -vcodec mpeg4 -b 300 -g 300 -bf 2 -deinterlace -s 320x240 -croptop 2 -acodec mp2 -ar 22050 -ab 96 -ac 1 video.avi
This creates a video at about 3 to 4 mb/min that plays well with mplayer (actually I wrote a script for mplayer, I'll post it if anyone is interested). This is all well and good, but the files it creates are a tad big for my taste (almost 100MB for a half hour show).
I know very little about encoding video, but I know I followed some guides a while back to rip DVDs into DivX format for the Z, and they turned out to be around 1 to 2 mb/min, and they looked much better than these videos. Also, I was watching the CPU load, and it's right up around 90% when watching these videos, which seems high.
So at this point I'm looking for anyone with ideas on how to use FFMpeg, and maybe a DivX encoding program, to lower the size and raise the quality of these videos, if possible.
Hopefully this will spark some interest in encoding TV signals for the Z, which as far as I know hasn't come up yet.