Hauppauge Component HD Encoder Update

Brent Evans —  February 8, 2008


Rakesh from Snapstream has the latest scoop on Hauppauge’s soon-to-be-released HTPC HD PVR device that will encode high definition component input via a cable or satellite set-top box using H.264 at up to 25 Mbps:

  • Includes Hauppauge’s IR blaster with code library
  • It accepts component video up to 1080p
  • The hardware is “basically done” and simply waiting for the final case design
  • It’s based on a chip from Ambarella
  • It will require a “relatively powerful PC to playback the recordings from this device
  • Estimated shipment is expected by 3/31/2008

I first mentioned this device during CES and it’s exciting for HTPC users because it provides a way to get all your HD channels (not just the unencrypted QAM or OTA ones) from cable/satellite boxes without needing CableCARDs. If it works as advertised, it’ll be huge for SageTV, BeyondTV, Media Portal, GBPVR and even Vista Media Center users that don’t own a CableCARD tuner.

Check out more of Brent’s reflections on tech, gadgets, software and media at Brent Evans Geek Tonic.

14 responses to Hauppauge Component HD Encoder Update

  1. Yep, we’re at a point where there are reasonably affordable chips out there that can encode HD on the fly and we’re going to start seeing various devices using these. This is one chipset, the Slingbox PRO-HD uses another, and Megazone mentioned he’s read about others (Vixs?). Perhaps the TiVo Series4 will skip CableCARD, SDV issues, lack of HD satellite support, etc altogether and take HD component input.

  2. So what are the odds that Elgato will release their own version, or at least make EyeTV work with this one?

  3. Personally, I could care less about VOD or whatever, so a Tivo DT equivalent that took Component input for HD recordings would be fine with me. Obviously the recordings wouldn’t be the same quality as those off CableCard, because of the extra transcode, but they might be close.

    It would seem like there are a lot of customers, like AT&T Uverse, and Direct TV and so forth, that might not be able to use a Cable Card based product, and would prefer something like this. In fact, if you wanted to remain flexible about your provider, not using Cable Card would seem to be the way to go…

  4. “I have two questions… How much? and give it to me!” — Homer J. simpson

  5. Finally something I can be positive about! How about HDMI support?

  6. The HDMI certification doesn’t permit recording functionality at this time. As far as pricing, I’m curious too – wonder how low they can get it?

  7. This is great news for anyone living in a non-US country where CableCARD is not an option (nor will it ever be). I will now be counting the days for TiVo to release a non-cablecard HD DVR! :)

  8. This device totally baffles me and I love it. I guess I’ll state the obvious, but wont this device pretty much mean the end to any sort of content protection for HD source material that up to this point wasn’t feasibly recorded due to lack of low cost HD processing via component? So basically, any encryption that DVI or HDMI spec’s included are useless since component signals are not encrypted.

  9. Hopefully this thing will have Linux drivers – Happauge has been pretty friendly about this. Sign me up for at least one of them….can’t wait to use it with MythTV. Finally I’ll be able to record the HD content that I pay for….!

  10. Unless the media companies can convince equipment vendors, including SA and MOT, that they should not include component outputs anymore, or that they should only do SD output on component. Problem in the near term is that a lot of HD or HD-ready TVs were sold without HDMI. I’d bet more HD cable boxes are currently installed with component cables rather than HDMI… my last HD cable box from Comcast didn’t even have an HDMI port, thought the new one does (I moved).

    I suspect it’ll take years for this to really change.

  11. Will it accept DVI and/or digital sound? Or, and I know I’m reaching here, HDMI?

    I’ve got some favorite college football games on my satelite DVR that I want to archive.

  12. John Alexander July 3, 2008 at 11:51 am

    Uhm, I’m looking at this picture, and then I looked at the Motorola 6412 (I think) that I got from Cox as my HD tuner/DVR. They back sides are essentially the same, the only thing that appears to be missing from this that the Motorola has is the cable card port and the HDMI port. Wonder if they are just using Motorola’s board with the Hauppauge chip?

  13. John Alexander July 3, 2008 at 11:52 am

    Or am I dumb, and that’s not a picture of the Hauppauge?

  14. There are at least 2 HDMI recorders that I have played around with. From what I understand if you give them a signal with the encryption added it will record it you just won’t be able to recognize it when you play it back. They are used to record raw HDMI from camcorders and DSLR’s. Prices are from around 325 to about 700. Not sure you could record stuff off cable for instance but I don’t need them for that.