From the satellite to the hard disk

May 9, 2012

For some years now I am using the great vdr software to watch TV and record my favourite shows.

I don’t want to talk about the interna of the vdr (which can be installed on a Mageia system out of the package repositories and does hardly need any configuration to work) but about what to do with the recordings, vdr writes on to your hard disk.

Vdr is writing the mpeg transport streams the dvb card receives (no matter if it’s satellite, cable or terrestrian) in a certain schema. And to save some space I normally convert those stream files into some mpeg4 based format.

This is a multi step procedure, since you first have to demux and remux the streams to get normal mpeg files (which can be done using vdrsync that is also available in the repos) and then convert the files into the desired format. This can be rather complicated, since the tools for this do have quite a lot of different options and reading the transcode, mencoder or ffmpeg man pages can be hard…

For this purpose I wrote a little helper called videoconvert. At the moment it is a very basic tool, that can either convert a complete vdr recording or a simple multimedia file into another format and I am considering what functionality to add.

So, if you are using vdr yourself, just fool arround with it a bit and let me know, what you are missing.