The Hauppauge HD PVR, High-Def Component Input For The PC

Hauppauge today announced a new forthcoming product, the HD PVR. It is a high-definition DVR USB add-on for the PC, which can record HD content in the H.264 or AVCHD formats from component video input. The HD PVR comes with a software application that allows the recordings to be played on the PC. It will also ship with software applications capable of burning DVDs, and recordings in the AVCHD format can be burned to DVD in what is known as the BD9 format and played-back in HD on Blu-ray players. It includes an IR blaster to control the external cable or satellite STB. It will be available in 1Q2008 with an MSRP of $249.

As I said the other day, chip technology has hit the point where component input DVRs are economically feasible. They’re still going to be a bit more expensive than other products, but the pricing will come down over time. I did discuss these developments with TiVo, with respect to possibly seeing an HD TiVo with component input. There are no official plans at this time, but they acknowledge that the chips are there with some very interesting capabilities. But also that if anything were to appear that takes advantage of the new chips, it would probably be a while. My gut feeling is that we might see something along those lines from TiVo at CES 2009. And it would be based on the TiVo HD platform, which is becoming TiVo’s primary platform for product development.

The press release:

Jan 10, 2008 14:56

Hauppauge Demonstrates New Affordable High Definition Video Recorder for PCs

‘HD PVR’ records video from HD cable TV or satellite boxes into H.264 in real time. Includes Hauppauge’s IR blaster for scheduled TV recordings.

LAS VEGAS –(Business Wire)– Jan. 10, 2008 2008 International CES, South Hall 4 – Booth #35328 — Hauppauge Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAUP), the world’s leading developer and manufacturer of analog and digital TV receiver products for personal computers, demonstrated at CES 2008 for the first time their ‘HD PVR’, a USB personal video recorder which can record high definition TV video into H.264 in real time.

The HD PVR can connect to high definition cable TV or satellite TV set top box receivers, and uses it’s on-board H.264 hardware encoder to record high definition TV programs in an ISO standard HD H.264 AVC format in real time. The connections to the set top boxes are made via component cables, also referred to as ‘YPrPb’ or the red/blue/green connectors on HD set top boxes. The HD PVR includes a video player application which allows the recorded TV programs to be played back on a PC screen.

To enable automatic recording of TV programs, the HD PVR recorder includes Hauppauge’s IR Blaster, which controls the channels on most popular cable and satellite TV set top boxes in North America and Europe, and will allow users to schedule the recording of their HD programs. The IR Blaster is also used on Hauppauge’s WinTV-PVR-150 and WinTV-HVR-1600 TV receivers.

In addition to high definition ISO standard H.264 recordings, the Hauppauge HD PVR can also create AVCHD recordings, which is the format used on Blu-ray high definition players. As part of the software applications which will be shipped with Hauppauge’s HD encoder, a DVD burning application will be provided which can take AVCHD formatted recordings and burn them onto a conventional DVD disc. These discs can then be played in Blu-ray DVD players. About 2 hours of Blu-ray HD content can be recorded on a 4.7 GByte DVD disk.

The HD PVR will be available in Q1 2008, with a suggested retail price of $249.

About Hauppauge

Hauppauge Digital, Inc. (NASDAQ: HAUP) is a leading developer and manufacturer of digital TV and data broadcast receiver products for personal computers. Through its Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc. and Hauppauge Digital Europe subsidiaries, the Company designs and develops digital video boards for TV-in-a-window, digital video editing and video conferencing. The Company is headquartered in Hauppauge, New York, with administrative offices in New York, Singapore, Taiwan, Ireland and Luxembourg and sales offices in Germany, London, Paris, The Netherlands, Sweden, Italy, Spain, Singapore and California. The Company’s Internet web site can be found at Hauppauge and WinTV are registered trademarks of Hauppauge Computer Works, Inc. Other product or service names herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Belinda Banks, 609-750-9110

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • JohnG

    I think Tivo is missing the boat if it could produce a HD Component Tivo with an IR cable. Then the Tivo customer could move between cable or satellite just like the Series 2 boxes.

    John G.

  • MegaZone

    It is technologically possible, but it would result in a unit priced higher than the existing units. And, as in my previous post, a component input DVR has some serious drawbacks compared to a CableCARD DVR or a native satellite DVR. Technologically, yes, they can build a DVR with component input. The question is, is there enough of a market for the product to warrant the expense of engineering it, certifying it, and manufacturing it? In the US most users would probably stick with CableCARD (I know I would) while satellite users would have to sacrifice quality, and probably dual-tuner support (handing two external STBs adds complexity), to use the TiVo.

    But what may drive the development is the international markets. CableCARD isn’t available in Canada. To do a standalone HD DVR they’d pretty much have to do component input. And supporting non-freeview systems in DVB nations might require component input. So if they do the engineering work for the broader market, we may see such a unit in the US.

    But, if it happens at all, it probably won’t be before 2009 IMHO. Right now TiVo is focused on expanding their cable software penetration – porting it to Cisco (formerly SciAtl) boxes, ironing out any issues with Comcast, and getting Cox ready to deploy – as well as looking for more partners. And not just in the US. And they’re looking for more international deals for the DVB hardware beyond Australia and New Zealand, especially now that they have the ‘big five’ languages supported and adding additional languages is easier. I think we’ll mainly see improvements to the services in the US this year, an increasing embrace Internet content. The Web Video support is just the tip of the iceberg.