Sunday, 11 August 2013

Playing with the Hauppauge Colossus..

I've been using the HD PVR usb unit a lot recently with the Raspberry Pi, but I recently found a great deal on a Hauppauge Colossus, which is like the PCI-e relation to the usb unit.. higher bitrates, no oddball stability issues like the usb unit had, but also sadly not going to work with a Pi..

I've used a Colossus in my HTPC since release, so I knew what to expect, but hit an interesting snag with the latest drivers, which although adding some VERY interesting options to the format settings dialog, also seemed to remove any way to adjust the bitrate.

Thankfully, Hauppauge have been busy developing their own capture app, which does still have a bitrate control, and altering it there lets the value stick so Showbiz is able to use it. Not ideal.. but ok as a workaround for now.. I've emailed support to ask how it's supposed to work ;p

The new options dialog looks impressive, having video scaling, framerate scaling, source info, mpeg profile level, audio encoding options, and hardware info.. (I'll add a screenshot here once I've stopped my next test capture.. ).. I've not seen most of these on the dialog before, so they offer a lot more control than previously.

Why not just use the Hauppauge capture app ? because at least for me, recording 1080i with 2 channel audio meant huge audio breakups & video pausing while recording.. not great for a capture app. Plus no way to access those extra options! maybe they'll fix that later, but I get the feeling the app is aimed more at streaming captures of console gaming.