Last updated: October 2006

DCT64xx Firewire capture and HD/SD to DVD guide

These are compact instructions on how to capture recordings from DCT64xx (DCT6412, DCT6416 and similar Motorola DVRs) from a PC/laptop running WinXP. This is all courtesy of the original AVS forum thread you can find here: How to record via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) to Windows XP

See further down for instructions on how to downcovert HD captures to a great looking anamorphic widescreen DVD-compatible mpeg (uses full screen on a 16:9 display and letterboxed with black bars on top and bottom on a 4:3 display to preserve 16:9 aspect ratio).

Table of Contents

Setting up for drivers for DCT64XX Firewire capture using Windows XP SP2
DCT64XX Firewire mpeg2 capture using Windows XP
Making a DVD titleset the easy way (from both HD and SD captures)

Setting up for drivers for DCT64xx Firewire capture using Windows XP SP2

NOTE: You only need to follow this step to install drivers the first time you connect DCT64xx to Windows XP.

1. Obtain the software and drivers needed. I have packaged up everything into 1 zip file which you can obtain here:

2. Unzip to a fresh folder.

3. You will obviously need a firewire cable. The DCT64xx has 2 6-pin firewire ports. My laptop has a 4-pin firewire port so I use a 6-pin to 4-pin cable. With the DCT64xx turned on connect up the cable.  IMPORTANT: The DCT64xx has 2 6-pin firewire ports. When facing the back of the DCT64xx make sure you use the firewire port on the right hand side (left side if looking from the front). I had problems using the other firewire port and many others reported problems trying to use that one.

4. The first time you do this the Found new hardware wizard will come up. Select Cancel on the first device found.

5. Next you should see Tuner AV/C Device as the hardware that was found. Select No, not this time in the Found New Hardware Wizard dialog and then click on Next. Then choose Install from a list or specific location (Advanced) and click Next.

6. Choose Don't Search. I will choose the driver to install and then click on Next.

Click on Have Disk... and find the directory where you unzipped folder to and select the drivers\meistb.inf file and click on OK. You should see Tuner AV/C Device show up in the Model list. Then uncheck Show compatible hardware. Under Manufacturer choose Motorola. Under model choose Motorola Tuner AV/C Device (DCT-6412) and click Next. Click on Yes if Update Driver Warning appears. Choose Continue Anyway to ignore warning about untested driver and finally click on Finish.

8. Click Cancel on any other devices that are automatically detected and ignore the balloon message about errors in new hardware installation.

9. Open Device Manager by running Start->Run... and typing devmgmt.msc and then OK.

10. In Device Manager select View->Devices by connection. Look for AV/C Panel and Unknown device under IEEE 1394 Host Controller and right click on each and select Disable. This will prevent you from having to cancel prompts for installing new devices in the future when you connect the firewire cable. The only needed driver that needs to be enabled is Motorola Tuner AV/C Device (DCT-6412). Close the Device Manager and now the driver installation is complete.

DCT64xx Firewire mpeg2 capture using Windows XP

Now that the software and drivers are installed you are ready for some firewire captures. Note that you will capture whatever the DCT64xx is currently outputing - either the current tuner of any channel or playback of a previously recorded show. To capture the stream we can use CAPDVHS.

NOTE: You will only be able to capture channels/recordings without 5C protection enabled. To check for 5C protection on channels that you are interested in capturing from (or have recorded from), do the following: 1. First step is obviously to connect the firewire cable from the DCT64xx to your PC/laptop if it's not already. As noted above, when facing the back of the DCT64xx choose the firewire port on the right side (left side if facing the front). If prompted to find/install drivers just click on cancel.

2. Run CapDVHS.exe and make sure the Motorola device is selected in the capture device list. Make sure you have the following settings:
Convert 188 bytes
Check PTS
Delete to SyncByte
Use .ts for all file extensions.

NOTE: If you get an error that capture device cannot be found when starting CapDVHS then exit CapDVHS, unplug the firewire cable, wait a few moments and then plug the firewire cable back in again. Sometimes it takes 2-3 times for the handshaking to go through properly and for CapDVHS to start without error. Once CapDVHS starts succesfully make sure to pick the Motorola device in the capture device list.

3. Select the Data Info tab so that you can see the capture take place.

4. Set the time required for the live capture (should be at least the length of time of the show you want to capture) and then select Rec to start the capture. If this is the first time you are capturing you should record a short clip only and check the resulting .ts file with appropriate playback software such as Media Player Classic (see link below).

NOTE: On occasion I have had WindowsXP blue screen and reboot soon after initiating a capture. This is not very common but happens occasionally. If this happens you need to unplug and re-connect the firewire cable once WindowsXP has re-booted. To minimize the risk of this happening make sure your computer is not doing anything else while capturing and disable networking by unplugging ethernet cable or turning off wireless card.

NOTE: If you are running WindowsXP SP2 and persistently get the following error when clicking Rec to start a capture:
Error 800705AA: Cannot start capture
You need to install this Windows XP SP2 1394/firewire patch.

Making a DVD titleset the easy way (from both HD and SD captures)

HDTV2DVD is the easiest way I have found to make DVDs from both HD and SD transport stream captures and preserving the original Dolby Digital audio stream. The flow is very easy with this tool since it automates both the re-encoding to DVD as well as DVD VOB file creation. Note that the tool also generates a DVD-compatible .mpg file in case you like to use your own DVD authoring tool.

Converting Transport Stream (.ts) To Program Stream (.mpg)

HDTVtoMPEG2 is a free program you can use to edit out commercials and/or convert Transport Stream (.ts) files to Program Stream (.mpg) files. Some media players cannot handle playing Transport Streams directly so you will need to convert to Program Stream for playback purposes. This program also has editing capabilities (even an automatic commercial editing mode for HD recordings that relies on the presence of black bars during commercials) but those features are not covered here. The steps to convert .ts to .mpg are:

1. Run HDTVtoMPEG2.exe (latest version available from AVS Forum thread here).
·  Set: Type=Mpeg2, Ext=.mpg, Max Size=5000
·  Click on Add button to add the .ts file you captured from the 6412
·  Video PID and Audio PID fields should be filled out. Enable the check mark right under Channel (named NONAME 0.1 for example) to select the appropriate Audio and Video streams to use.
·  Disable Show Progress Image and click on Process button to convert the .ts file to a .mpg file.
·  Exit the program.

Setting DVD to skip menus and play movie automatically

Some DVD authoring tools force you to create a menu when there is more than 1 title. You can use ifoedit to change the DVD titleset to start playing the first title automatically instead of going to the menu.
·  Start ifoedit and click on Open and select the VIDEO_TS.IFO file.
·  Click on VMGM_MAT and then click on + to the left of it.
·  Click on First Play PGC.
·  In the bottom pane scroll down to the bottom and find 1.Pre Command and click on it.
·  Right click on 1.Pre Command and select Edit Command.
·  Change command to (Jump_TT) Jump to Title and set Title Nr=1 and OK the form.
·  Click on Save button and answer Yes when asked to save the .BUP file as well, then exit the tool. That's it! Now when you insert the DVD it will jump to start playing first title right away, skipping the menu.

Setting DVD auto-letterboxing for 16:9 content on a 4:3 display

For any 16:9 downconverted DVD titleset you have authored you want to make sure that the DVD will play properly letterboxed if displayed on a non-widescreen 4:3 TV. Most DVD authoring tools will automatically set the right attributes in the .IFO files for automatic letterboxing, but just to be sure you should check your .IFO files before burning. To check or set automatic letterboxing do as follows:
·  Start ifoedit and click on Open and select the VIDEO_TS.IFO file.
·  Under Title Set double click on the Video stream (with movie strip on the left side)
·  Make sure that Aspect Ratio is set to 16:9 and Automatic Letterboxed is enabled and then OK the form
·  Click on Save button and answer Yes when asked to save the .BUP file as well. Repeat for all other .IFO files and then exit the tool.