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Capturing Video

The most important step involved with capturing video is to set the capture preferences. This is accomplished by going to EyeTV -> Preferences -> Devices, where you see the options shown in Figure 3.

Figure 3Figure 3 There's only a small amount of configuration required for the EyeTV 200 system.

Capturing video takes up a lot of disk space. The format I use for video capture, Standard DVD, eats up about 4MB for each second of video—or about 1.8GB per hour. Super Video CD (also known as S-VCD) is the least painful on disk space (although also the lowest quality) at only 726MB per hour, and high-quality DVD eats up 2.7GB for each hour of video.

An important reference figure is that your DVD burning drive can handle single-layer DVD which means that you can burn about 4GB on each disk, so although you can put only two hours of Standard DVD format video on your own DVD, you can put about five hours of SVCD on a single DVD. However, you'll want to ensure that your DVD player can handle SVCD format.

After everything is set up, capturing the actual video onto the Mac is quite straightforward. I cue up the Dish Network DVR to the program I want to capture, go into the EyeTV controller, press the RECORD button, then press the PLAY button on the Dish Network controller—and that's all there is to it.

Now the Program guide shows what's going on (see Figure 4).

Figure 4Figure 4 The EyeTV software confirms that we're busy recording a program.

You can see that we're only one minute into the recording, but that it is indeed recording the incoming video stream. There's no way to speed up the recording process, so it takes an hour to record a one-hour program. And sure enough, an hour later I press the RECORD button again and the recording stops.

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