Digitizing Media with Linux

Hello, faithful readers – all two of you –

Be warned that this is another Linux post, intended for me to keep track of a task I’ve done, so if I need to repeat it, I don’t have to reinvent the wheel from scratch.

Today’s task: to record video from my old VCR into my computer.

If you wanted to do this on your own Linux computer, you’d need:

  • a computer
  • a video capture card
  • a vcr
  • wires to hook everything together

Specifically, you’d need to make sure that your vcr output is going into the video capture card’s input. On my setup, I’m using a pcHDTV 3000 card, and I’m using the composite input. That’s considered “input 1” in the code below.

I’m using Mencoder to record the video, as I like the settings it has: I get a good balance of quality video and size with the setting below.

#!/bin/bash

export MAIN_DIALOG='
  <window title="MyDVR" icon-name="gtk-preferences" resizable="true" decorated="true" width_request="320">
 <vbox>
  <hbox>
    <text>
      <label>Time to record (hh:mm:ss):</label>
    </text>
    <entry activates_default="true">
      <default>00:00:05</default>
      <variable>ENTRY1</variable>
    </entry>
  </hbox>

  <hbox>
    <text>
      <label>Name of recording:</label>
    </text>
    <entry editable="false">
      <default>MyMovie</default>
      <variable>ENTRY2</variable>
    </entry>
  </hbox>

  <hbox>
      <button>
        <label>Record!</label>
        <action>xterm -e mencoder tv:// -tv driver=v4l2:device=/dev/video0:norm=NTSC:input=1:width=720:height=480:audiorate=44100:alsa:adevice=hw.0:brightness=17:contrast=0:hue=0:saturation=0 -oac copy -ovc lavc -noskip -quiet -vf crop=720:460:0:20 -vf yadif=0.5 -lavcopts vcodec=mpeg4:vbitrate=3000 -endpos $ENTRY1 -o  "$ENTRY2.mp4"</action> 
        <action type="exit">OK</action>
      </button>
      <button>
        <label>Cancel</label>
        <action type="exit">Exit</action>
      </button>
    </hbox>
  
 </vbox>
</window>'

gtkdialog --program=MAIN_DIALOG

So, this may not have been the most interesting post I’ve ever written, but I’m putting it up here so I can refer to it later if need be. Thanks for your patience, readers!

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