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Topfield Faq - All Questions Answered


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#101 audiohobbs

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 10:57 AM

So what you're saying Al, is that I can set the DVD-R up to record say 3 programmes of Topgear and just leave it to do it's bit whilst messing around with the files on PC will take too long? I was told by the store I bought the Toppy from that the process using Altair and ProjectX bascially takes as long as the original recording :o

Hi, Ian,

Yes, essentially the time taken to transfer the recordings from Toppy to PC then convert them into DVD-friendly format *I think* takes longer than the time taken to just play the files and record them to DVD. Even if it is a (slightly) shorter amount of time, I just find that the simplest thing is to do a copy of the already-recorded programmes on the Toppy to a DVD recorder. Using the Toppy's sort-of-jukebox system of playing (ie, in the file list, click Red to select your files then Play) you can just leave it to record things while you are not there. Any timers set to record from tuners will still work and you can still watch your TV tuner if you wish to but, as I said, I do mine overnight or when I am not otherwise watching TV as a general rule.

I like playing about with demuxing and editing files as it was a fun learning curve, but I don't do it often any more. It is just easier to record from the Toppy to DVD in my experience. Most of the things I keep, though, are shown on ABC (no ad's) or SBS (far fewer than C7 9 and 10) and I just top and tail the Toppy recordings then set them up to record. I do this for things I want to keep or shows that people I know have missed (doco's and the like). Personal choice as to how to do it, I guess, but I like this way.

Al.

#102 tonymy01

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 11:03 AM

What I meant of course was worth bothering with ;) Had a quick look at the TS Doctor info, are you sure a simpleton like myself is capable of manipulating this stuff? I guess because it's freeware I can certainly give it a shot, BTW I've only got dial-up at home

It is a whole 2meg, even at pedestrian dial up speeds, you will have that downloaded fairly quickly (<10mins)! It is very simple, run it, open the Topfield REC file, click the whopping big "start" button and it fixes your file. You can choose the cutting option and it gives you a graphic preview and you choose the beginning and end points of what you want to keep.
Download it at work or whatever, this is certainly a strange question to ask, 99% of things can be downloaded where ever you want?

I think, as painful as it is to do this, a DVD recorder might be your best option... not quite as nice a solution as digitally downloading the recording off the Topfield HDD, but it doesn't shift the paradigm too much from the old VHS VCR days for those that are technophobes (if they can work out how to connect it all... hehe).

#103 pgdownload

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 11:13 AM

So what you're saying Al, is that I can set the DVD-R up to record say 3 programmes of Topgear and just leave it to do it's bit whilst messing around with the files on PC will take too long? I was told by the store I bought the Toppy from that the process using Altair and ProjectX bascially takes as long as the original recording :o

It does take a bit to get set up first time on a PC. You need the USB cable. You need to install the stuff. You need to figure out how to use it etc. Quite doable but is probably too much hassle for the occasional user.

Downloading via USB Toppy to PC takes around 1 to 1 (so 1 hour of TV takes 1 hour to download). It can be twice as fast as that though. Not usually a big deal as you can download a bunch of stuff overnight.

Once on the PC, VideoRedo can handle the entire open, edit, burn process in a nice easy way. No probs downloading the trial at work and installing at home.

The key 'rule' for using a PVR with a DVDR is that in EVERY situation (live, timer, playback etc.) when you are actually transferring the file from the PVR to the DVDR you MUST have the show playing on the PVR (and it can do nothing else). Transfers are ALWAYS at 1 to 1 speed. Again not a huge issue if you only do it occasionally, and you can always record everything to the PVR and do this transferring to the DVDR at your leisure say last thing at night.

FWIW I'd say try get the toppy hooked up to a PC. If you can do that then you're 75% there. Then try the 2 bits of software mentioned (the one by Tony and Video Redo TVSuite) . If at any point it all seems too hard then go buy a DVD Recorder.

Regards

Peter Gillespie

#104 andy08

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 02:51 PM

Problem is, one or two reception glitches and you can find you end up with poor results from many packages (and lip synch issues with the final solution), hence the suggestions in the past to use ProjectX to deal with it, or now this TS-Doctor. It appears from the TS-Doctor pages it can do top/tail cutting also, I haven't used it for that as yet, only just recently discovering this gem (well, being told about it) on the Topfield and Beyonwiz forums by Netmask.
.........


I've had no problems with HDTVtoMPEG2 in the past two years I've been using ver 1.11.89 although the auto add removal used to lock. That seems to be fixed in 1.11.94 but we don't seem to have compatible black line markers so it's still a manual job, but easy to do. I downloaded and tried TS-Doctor so have the option to pre process files with it if I encounter the problems you mentioned.

Can't find the post right now but someone was asking about loading their TF5000 files onto their new 7100. I'm interested in whether it's possible to convert other files into the tf format to get around the lack of a media playing capability with the 7100. It seems that REC to TS now has the capability to create the files needed from a tf5000 TS file (any TS ?) for the tf7700. Anyone know if this would work with the 7100. Needless to say I'll be giving it a try.

#105 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 03 July 2009 - 05:46 PM

Download it at work or whatever, this is certainly a strange question to ask, 99% of things can be downloaded where ever you want?


Ummm the reason I would download it at work is that it's a university and the broadband speed is very quick whereas at home I only have dial-up, I wasn't sure how big a programme I would be downloading so I thought it might be a tad slow.
I appreciate the help that everyone's given but I've got a sufficiently high IQ to buy, connect and run the Toppy via USB cable, I've already done this quite OK, I've downloaded Altair and ProjectX too, it's just that I really don't believe that it is a very user-friendly process at all. I use a Mac at work and am forced to use a PC at home to please the rest of the family, sorry to have to say this but I think PC's generally aren't very intuitive or easy to use, I am tempted to give TS doctor or Video Redo a whirl though or failing that lash out on a DVDR....

Edited by AlfredE.Newman, 04 July 2009 - 12:36 PM.


#106 andy08

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Posted 04 July 2009 - 05:58 PM

........
Can't find the post right now but someone was asking about loading their TF5000 files onto their new 7100. I'm interested in whether it's possible to convert other files into the tf format to get around the lack of a media playing capability with the 7100. It seems that REC to TS now has the capability to create the files needed from a tf5000 TS file (any TS ?) for the tf7700. Anyone know if this would work with the 7100. Needless to say I'll be giving it a try.


I ran a TS through Rec to TS and got .ADD/IFX/IFO/REC and a .001 file. The REC and 001 file were 1.5G and .5G so were obviously the 2G vidio from the 2G TS input file. Seems as though it works for the TF7700 but not the .INFO .MPG and .NAV files required for the 7100. Looks like I get to stick with the DVD/DivX player for now.

#107 rfmoore

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 02:03 PM

A web version of Explorer is currently under development - it has a working EPG viewer and File explorer. Just need a few spare cycles to finish it off. However it won't give you anything more than Explorer currently does. You can connect remotely to the 7100 using FTP or my Explorer. You need to do the following:

- assign the 7100 a static IP address
- setup your router to forward port 21 to the 7100's address
- next you need an externally visible IP address. If your ISP has assigned you one you can use this, or you can use a service like dyndns.org
- then just FTP to the external address.


I think I have don as suggested above that is set up a static ip address 192.168.1.2 for the 7100, port forwarded my netcomm nb5plus4 router to port 21, and obtained and externally visible IP address from DynDns.org i.e. mytopfield.webhop.org. When I go to the mytopfield address I am pointing to my routers login page. Any help as to what the problem might be. Is there any way that I can check that 192.168.1.2 has been accepted as the static ip address for the 7100. Could this be a loopback problem whatever that is?

#108 tonymy01

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 03:08 PM

Well a normal browser session is on port80. You need to initiate a ftp:// session from your browser, which will be port21. You should not be getting any "page" with ftp.
edit: Thanks John!
Regards

#109 deangelj

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:09 PM

You should be getting any "page" with ftp.


I think Tony missed the NOT, ie. you should NOT be getting any "page" with ftp. To the previous poster, your setup is correct but as Tony said you need to use the FTP protocol not http. You can also use command line FTP :

c:\> ftp mytopfield.webhop.org
<you should get the 7100 prompt for user name here>

#110 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:14 PM

It is very simple, run it, open the Topfield REC file, click the whopping big "start" button and it fixes your file. You can choose the cutting option and it gives you a graphic preview and you choose the beginning and end points of what you want to keep.
Download it at work or whatever, this is certainly a strange question to ask, 99% of things can be downloaded where ever you want?


I've downloaded TS Doctor, connected the Topfield, initiated the PVR to PC transfer but can't see the file I've recorded anywhere (did basically an hour in 33 minutes so that part's good) and TS Doctor is greyed-out and doesn't respond. The files on the Toppy have been named using various symbols such as colons and speech marks are they causing the issue? I'm just about ready to tear my hair out as this is the third attempt...

#111 jillybean

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:20 PM

The files on the Toppy have been named using various symbols such as colons and speech marks are they causing the issue? I'm just about ready to tear my hair out as this is the third attempt...

A "colon" in the filename definitely causes a problem with downloads - not sure about any others though.

Jill

#112 tonymy01

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 04:56 PM

Also, TS-doctor you simply need to choose "open" and then *.* to see all files.

#113 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 05:44 PM

Also, TS-doctor you simply need to choose "open" and then *.* to see all files.


Thanks Jill, I might have to hook the Toppy up again to the TV and get my 11 year old to rename the files (they're all his Top Gear episodes after all) all 38 or so of them!!

Hi Tony, I've got Altair up, I've highlighted the first episode, double-clicked whatever, and the file has transferred across from PVR to PC or so it tells me...After that the dialog box disappears after completing the transfer and basically nix, TS Doctor doesn't want to play ball i.e. I still get a grey screen but can't click on any controls plus I can't seem to find the file anywhere at all, v. infuriating!

#114 tonymy01

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 06:08 PM

You have to choose the menu "open" to open a file before it opens up the buttons.

#115 JaffaMan

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Posted 05 July 2009 - 11:54 PM

I ran a TS through Rec to TS and got .ADD/IFX/IFO/REC and a .001 file. The REC and 001 file were 1.5G and .5G so were obviously the 2G vidio from the 2G TS input file. Seems as though it works for the TF7700 but not the .INFO .MPG and .NAV files required for the 7100. Looks like I get to stick with the DVD/DivX player for now.

Hi Andy - go to http://groups.google.../jaffaman?hl=en for a copy and info of my program that will create 7000 and 7100 compatible .info and .nav files from either .recs or any valid TS mpg. Getting any other format into TS format is another discussion, but there are a number of converters around.

Edited by JaffaMan, 05 July 2009 - 11:56 PM.


#116 rfmoore

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 01:23 AM

I think Tony missed the NOT, ie. you should NOT be getting any "page" with ftp. To the previous poster, your setup is correct but as Tony said you need to use the FTP protocol not http. You can also use command line FTP :

c:\> ftp mytopfield.webhop.org
<you should get the 7100 prompt for user name here>


I have now got past the previous hurdle and am being asked for a username and password.
I have used the names I used for the FTP program in the 7100 to no avail I get an "error 503 login incorrect message". Using the same username and password I am able to access the 7100 directly at home using my wireless network and a File transfer program Core FTP as well as using Explore 3.6.3. Can you help me get over the next wall

#117 tonymy01

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 08:25 AM

Is the ftp login syntax that of your Toppie, or more like perhaps an FTP service running in your router? Of course try the good old "anonymous" for username and anything for the p/w for many FTP servers that haven't had security setup yet, may give you more of a hint what you have logged into. Even though you port forwarded 21 from your WAN connection, if you have a port21 service enabled in your router (e.g. a router ftp server) this might take precedence in your particular router. But rather than use a common as muck port that any hacker and their dog knows, you are best to say, port forward 1111 WAN to 21 Toppy LAN address and then use ftp://dyndnsblah:1111 in your ftp client. You can still use 21 at home, but use some other one that only you know elsewhere (sure, hackers can port scan anyway, but don't make it easy for script kiddies also by using 21).
Regards

#118 andy08

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Posted 06 July 2009 - 05:53 PM

Hi Andy - go to http://groups.google.../jaffaman?hl=en for a copy and info of my program that will create 7000 and 7100 compatible .info and .nav files from either .recs or any valid TS mpg. Getting any other format into TS format is another discussion, but there are a number of converters around.


Thanks for the link JaffaMan. I just hope the guy who was originally wanting to convert his 5000 files sees your post too. It could only have been in the old Topfield forum or here on DTV but can't for the life of my find it.

Now for something to try it out. Thanks

#119 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 09:26 AM

Downloading via USB Toppy to PC takes around 1 to 1 (so 1 hour of TV takes 1 hour to download). It can be twice as fast as that though. Not usually a big deal as you can download a bunch of stuff overnight.

Once on the PC, VideoRedo can handle the entire open, edit, burn process in a nice easy way. No probs downloading the trial at work and installing at home.


Peter Gillespie


On the downloading front I have been pleasantly suprised to find that around an hour of unedited TV has transferred across in about 33 minutes! Other thing I find is that as soon as I highlight one episode in Altair (even though I might want to download 3-4) the transfer from Toppy to PC initiates and then I have to manually come back when finished and do the next one required, is there a way of doing a big batch of programmes?

I've had Video Redo up and running, have found it relatively easy to navigate around etc. The only issue (if you can call it that) is that when I save the project and then burn it using the PC's software (Roxio RecordNow) it is burnt on a DVD -R but it is only playable on the PC that created it i.e. our Toshiba DVD player won't play it nor will the PS2. I realise that it has to do with the file formatting, it has burnt as a MPEG4 I believe, what should I hit in Video Redo's options when saving to allow a widely compatible file type? I get a message that comes up prior to the DVD being burnt saying that basically it will be burnt in a file format that may not be recognised by other computers etc and do I want to proceed? Otherwise I am quite impressed with Video Redo and might just take up a paid subscription to it!
Just one more query, I went out and bought a spindle of 25 TDK Gold DVD-R at Big 'W' for around $18, I bought these in preference to cheaper "printable" media from other manufacturers because I thought it worth sacrificing the printability for better archiving, was this misguided?

#120 audiohobbs

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:14 AM

On the downloading front I have been pleasantly suprised to find that around an hour of unedited TV has transferred across in about 33 minutes! Other thing I find is that as soon as I highlight one episode in Altair (even though I might want to download 3-4) the transfer from Toppy to PC initiates and then I have to manually come back when finished and do the next one required, is there a way of doing a big batch of programmes?

I've had Video Redo up and running, have found it relatively easy to navigate around etc. The only issue (if you can call it that) is that when I save the project and then burn it using the PC's software (Roxio RecordNow) it is burnt on a DVD -R but it is only playable on the PC that created it i.e. our Toshiba DVD player won't play it nor will the PS2. I realise that it has to do with the file formatting, it has burnt as a MPEG4 I believe, what should I hit in Video Redo's options when saving to allow a widely compatible file type? I get a message that comes up prior to the DVD being burnt saying that basically it will be burnt in a file format that may not be recognised by other computers etc and do I want to proceed? Otherwise I am quite impressed with Video Redo and might just take up a paid subscription to it!
Just one more query, I went out and bought a spindle of 25 TDK Gold DVD-R at Big 'W' for around $18, I bought these in preference to cheaper "printable" media from other manufacturers because I thought it worth sacrificing the printability for better archiving, was this misguided?


On the disc purchase, I'd say it is a reasonable bet that TDK will outlast really cheapy brands - I do the same myself. There are brands that people recommend for long term archiving, but I'd say if it is that valuable you are better re-copying the disks every five years or so (depends on how you handle them, but I am not convinced that any optical disk will last "for ever".

It sounds like you have burned an MPeg4 file to disc and your players probably don't read it. Yes, you are correct, you will have to convert the file to another format to play on the others. Converting to standard DVDs (VOB files) would be the most compatible but you are looking at 2 hours per disk max. Some DVD players will happily play DivX and maybe other formats - check yours to see what else you could convert to in order to get as many programmes onto one disc if that is your aim.

Cheers,

Al.

Edit: On the file transfer, you can select files on the Toppy in Altair (Shift-click or Ctrl-click) as usual and they should all copy as separate files in one move when you hit the right arrow button. Beware, though, invalid filenames on the PC will cause the copy to abort (you have found this out already, but it's worse when you have more files to do!) I think that's how it works - been a while since I used Altair.

Al.

Edited by audiohobbs, 08 July 2009 - 10:48 AM.


#121 tonymy01

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 10:25 AM

One application does a heck of a lot for what it is: ConvertXtoDVD. This will author and burn anything in proper DVD format.
Give it a look at, it will burn a "watermark" when not registered, but otherwise fully featured. But I thought VideoRedo had a DVD mode too? Maybe not, I haven't used it before as it is payware (and you can do the whole lot with freeware/opensourced normally, I only investigated ConvertXtoDVD as it supports burning a text subtitle file as proper DVD subtitles too).
So my suggested steps are either:
1:
projectX demux (and cut out the bits you don't want). Fixes errors in the stream, will demux the page801 subtitles & keep everything in synch (after the cuts also).
MPLEX to multiplex the audio and video back into an MPEG stream
ConvertXtoDVD to convert the MPEG file into a DVD and burn.

or
2:
TS-Doctor to top/tail & repair the file
ConvertXtoDVD to turn into a DVD (but won't have subtitles or adverts cut).

There are plenty of other ways of doing it too, MPEGstreamClip, VideoRedo etc
But you need to author a DVD, you can't just burn a file to a DVD and any old DVD play it. You are best to keep the source in MPEG-2 format (as broadcasted) if you are authoring a DVD, as a DVD is also MPEG-2. But if you are compressing to keep on the PC HDD, then MPEG-4/H.264 is a good option, albeit a LOOOONG process to compress it and maintain the quality (and then basically another conversion process to turn back into MPEG-2 for DVD if you are planning on burning it to a DVD-video format, and the quality will be garbage with MPEG-2 to MPEG-4 to MPEG-2 conversions).
Regards

#122 JaffaMan

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:11 AM

On the downloading front I have been pleasantly suprised to find that around an hour of unedited TV has transferred across in about 33 minutes! Other thing I find is that as soon as I highlight one episode in Altair (even though I might want to download 3-4) the transfer from Toppy to PC initiates and then I have to manually come back when finished and do the next one required, is there a way of doing a big batch of programmes?

You should be able to single click files to highlight them without initiating the transfer. Hold Ctrl while single clicking to select multiples. When done start the transfer off.

I've had Video Redo up and running, have found it relatively easy to navigate around etc. The only issue (if you can call it that) is that when I save the project and then burn it using the PC's software (Roxio RecordNow) it is burnt on a DVD -R but it is only playable on the PC that created it i.e. our Toshiba DVD player won't play it nor will the PS2. I realise that it has to do with the file formatting, it has burnt as a MPEG4 I believe, what should I hit in Video Redo's options when saving to allow a widely compatible file type? I get a message that comes up prior to the DVD being burnt saying that basically it will be burnt in a file format that may not be recognised by other computers etc and do I want to proceed? Otherwise I am quite impressed with Video Redo and might just take up a paid subscription to it!

Just one more query, I went out and bought a spindle of 25 TDK Gold DVD-R at Big 'W' for around $18, I bought these in preference to cheaper "printable" media from other manufacturers because I thought it worth sacrificing the printability for better archiving, was this misguided?

I'm not familiar with Roxio, but is it just burning the MPEG or is it creating a "proper" DVD with vob files on it? Pop the disk in the PC and have a look at the file structure. If you can see .mpg files then you haven't made a Video DVD, you've instead made a data DVD with mpeg files on it. Some (usually the cheaper ones) DVD players may still be able to read the disk in that format, but most won't. To create a true Video DVD your software needs to create a menu and reformat the files into vobs which is the format DVD video uses. Roxio is probably able to do this, but making a video dvd is a different thing to burning files to a dvd - see what options you have.

There is a version of VideoReDo that includes DVD mastering and burning capability that will take care of all this for you - it may be worth using that to burn the disk. (As a side note - VideoReDo will also downconvert HD streams into a format that can be burnt and played on DVD. Even though you only have an SD recorder, you can in fact record HD services - you just can't play them back. You can transfer them to PC and watch them, or use VideoReDo to create a DVD of them (it does take a while for the conversion). This means on the odd occasion there is something that you must see that is only available on HD you can still in fact record and watch it.)

Also, DVD-R is not as compatible in general as DVD+R is - I only ever use +R myself for this reason. If the disk is a true video DVD you may want to check that. I also stick to TDK or Sony disks and avoid the generics. The price differential is not that great.

#123 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:24 AM

It sounds like you have burned an MPeg4 file to disc and your players probably don't read it. Yes, you are correct, you will have to convert the file to another format to play on the others. Converting to standard DVDs (VOB files) would be the most compatible but you are looking at 2 hours per disk max. Some DVD players will happily play DivX and maybe other formats - check yours to see what else you could convert to in order to get as many programmes onto one disc if that is your aim.

Cheers,

Al.

Edit: On the file transfer, you can select files on the Toppy in Altair (Shift-click or Ctrl-click) as usual and they should all copy as separate files in one move when you hit the right arrow button. Beware, though, invalid filenames on the PC will cause the copy to abort (you have found this out already, but it's worse when you have more files to do!) I think that's how it works - been a while since I used Altair.

Al.


As usual the info I was looking for and concisely done! I went over the file names on the Toppy with a fine-tooth comb and I think I've made then all completely kosher. I'll have a look at the file types on Video Redo when I get home, I'm quite sure that VOB was one of the ones mentioned. As far as the size of files, I'm finding that even if I only get two episodes of Top Gear recorded with or without edits I'm quite happy, the TDK's only cost about 75 cents each which seems cheap! BTW I will check the DVD player's compatibility options too...

#124 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 11:50 AM

One application does a heck of a lot for what it is: ConvertXtoDVD. This will author and burn anything in proper DVD format.
Give it a look at, it will burn a "watermark" when not registered, but otherwise fully featured. But I thought VideoRedo had a DVD mode too? Maybe not, I haven't used it before as it is payware (and you can do the whole lot with freeware/opensourced normally, I only investigated ConvertXtoDVD as it supports burning a text subtitle file as proper DVD subtitles too).


This is where the whole thing gets a little more complicated (for me at least), I'll certainly have look at it, maybe we need an alternative burning software as I think the Roxio came with the Dell.

#125 AlfredE.Newman

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Posted 08 July 2009 - 12:13 PM

Just had another look at the Video Redo site and maybe want I really need is their TV Suite version which supports burning ;) If I choose to lash out and purchase it it's only $99 which is still a lot cheaper than a standalone DVR recorder set-up. I'm still operating on the trial version of Redo Plus but I'm going to go home tonight and download the fuller version, I'll let you all know how I get on, thanks for your ongoing assistance...