Inexpensive RCA-in, RCA-out, In-line DVR with no subscriptions?
April 4, 2009 2:55 PM   Subscribe

Inexpensive standalone (non-computer) DVR solution for in-line video game recording? Preferably RCA in, RCA out, with 10+hours record time uncompressed/highest quality.

I'm looking for something that'll essentially perform like a "press record now" device akin to a VCR, that will record anything coming in through the RCA input, but with relatively uncompressed quality. I make a lot of video game YouTube videos, and most games do not have their own go-back-and-watch features.

I tried this with a VCR to "technical" success (but with hideous recording quality) and am considering digital options now. My father suggested a hard-drive-based digital video camera that has RCA ins and outs, but I wouldn't know where to begin.

Any suggestions for brands and models to start looking, or have similar experience to share?
posted by Quarter Pincher to Technology (10 answers total)
You want non-computer but you want to put videos on YouTube. Please clarify.
posted by bigtex at 3:21 PM on April 4, 2009

Response by poster: By recording, I mean to the DVR itself for later playback at my leisure, via RCA-out. I already have an established method of transferring from home playback to YouTube. The "I make.." sentence is purely backstory.
posted by Quarter Pincher at 3:44 PM on April 4, 2009

Response by poster: @Blazecock -- Not bad (found used elsewhere for $300, rather than the $799 link provided ^_^;;). I think I may hold out for something more toward the $45-100 range, used =/
posted by Quarter Pincher at 4:23 PM on April 4, 2009

A DVD recorder with an internal HD. There are many.
posted by Mwongozi at 4:23 PM on April 4, 2009

At that budget, I think you're going to have to make a compromise on one of your time-length, quality and cost parameters. But keep looking.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 4:35 PM on April 4, 2009

I have a Cowon A2 that records 640x480 mpeg4 via an included RCA+stereo audio breakout cable. I've used it as a hard disk recorder for a body-mounted spy camera (don't ask), and the recording quality is pretty decent. I believe the A3 has since superseded the A2.
posted by kid_dynamite at 4:37 PM on April 4, 2009

Response by poster: @Mwon - See next to last sentence, after the comma ^_^

@Blazecock - I figured only a 10+ hour buffer would be plenty compromise (the Phillips boasted a lovely 200-hour storage =))

@kid_ - that actually looks like a winner, but can it record the video while simultaneously playing it on output? Or, restated, can it record the video in-line while the video(/game) still plays on the TV?
posted by Quarter Pincher at 4:59 PM on April 4, 2009

You could use a splitter to direct the signal to both the recording device & the display fairly cheaply.
posted by torquemaniac at 5:18 PM on April 4, 2009

Response by poster: @torque - I've looked into splitters, and it doesn't seem to work as simply for video as it does audio. The only realistic A/V splitters I've seen need to be powered and usually run around $40+ alone =/

I actually may be able to find an old, cheapy used WinXP laptop (which is what I currently use to transfer from playback to YouTube) with a larger HD, as I currently only have around 10GB freeable for video storage, and perhaps use a splitter.. hmm
posted by Quarter Pincher at 5:44 PM on April 4, 2009

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