September 11, 2009 3:30 PM   Subscribe

I have a bunch of HDTV shows recorded on a HD DVR. How can I make a video compilation without knowing anything about video editing? Complication: Linux household.

I suppose that step one will involve buying a HD TV tuner for my computer, won't it (our Motorola DVR has all the standard outputs and for some reason, two USB connectors – not sure what for)? Can you recommend a product that will work with my Ubuntu desktop?

Once the tuner has been purchased, what do I need to know about transferring the video from the DVR to my computer? Also, what Linux software would you recommend for video editing?

Should I expect to have to deal with DRM at any point in the process?

The show happens to be Toddlers & Tiaras (Wednesdays are girls' nights) and boyfriend, for some reason, gets a kick out of the ridiculous head-nodding/pouty lips poses that I've been showing off lately. I want to make an collection of the most ridiculous scenes along those lines.
posted by halogen to Computers & Internet (5 answers total)
Cinelerra has great functionality except for one thing: it deals with many problems by crashing. You don't lose much work and you can recover from the next to the last action done pretty reliably. But the crashing is a pain. Cinelerra also has a steep learning curve, depending how familiar you are with using nonlinear video / audio editors. It is much like a DAW with video tracks (it was actually originally a DAW called broadcast before video functionality was added). My go to editing app is Cinelerra, but it may not meet your particular needs.

LiveS is much simpler, and less prone to crashing. It is also less capable. When I use it I miss the time line view and multiple tracks / hand tweaked transitions of one clip to another / video effects.

Kino is similar to LiveS (one may be a fork of the other?)

Blender is better known as a 3d modeling and animation program, but it can edit video also - I would call it the emacs of audiovisual apps - it can do anything, you can script all of it (in python), but the visible interface gives just about no clues as to how to do any of it.

There are a number of other video editors out there for linux, but these are the ones I know best.
posted by idiopath at 3:44 PM on September 11, 2009

You aren't going to need a tuner card for your computer. There's a firewire output on the back of the moto box that you'll connect to your computer. I've seen instructions for doing this on an XP box, but I haven't specifically looked to see if there are Ubuntu drivers for the 6412.

You may encounter the dreaded Broadcast Flag when doing this, though. If the broadcaster has chosen to enable this, you won't be able to move the program off the DVR.
posted by hwyengr at 3:50 PM on September 11, 2009

I almost forgot avidemux - it is very simple, and as much a converter as an editor (iirc its editing is limited to appending one clip after another), but you may want to try it out.
posted by idiopath at 3:52 PM on September 11, 2009

As far as hardware for getting it off this will work on any OS and gets around the pesky DRM stuff by using the analog, but still HD, Component outputs on your DVR.

The firewire output mentioned above is almost certainly another option, but one fraught with more peril than it's going to be worth--especially under linux.

In general you're going to get your hands very dirty trying to deal with any of this, good luck.
posted by togdon at 4:11 PM on September 11, 2009

It's a total workaround, but the easiest way I've found to move recordings off of a DVR has been by using a DVD Recorder to burn discs and then ripping the DVDs in my computer. Although the DVD Recorder recording may end up being the kind of end product you're hoping for anyway.

It's not quite what you are asking, but it's a different approach to the problem and might work if you run into too many DRM issues.
posted by hippybear at 12:56 AM on September 13, 2009

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