I’ve been wanting to kill our cable contract with Verizon for a while – now we’re getting a step closer.
I record TV shows from HD broadcast onto my computer so we can stream them out to apple and android devices as well as the TV in the living room via the attached media center. Our 3 terabyte disk is almost full – I don’t want to spend $200 to get another 2 3-TB disks (need to double up for RAID / backup) or reconfigure the media drives for more volume.
The DVR cards record in MPEG 2 video format with MP2 audio producing some pretty large files. I’ve cobbled together a little utility on Linux using ffmpeg to re-encode to h264 with aac audio – more compatible with apple devices and also 40-60% smaller files by using some logic I cooked in to figure the right bit rate based on the frame size and original quality level. It also removes the letterbox from the DVR produced files, further reducing the file sizes.
It’s going to take 3-4 days to go through the low resolution half of our 600 recordings, but after that, those files will play nicely on Chris’ iPad, my iPhone, and the other devices in the house. Of course, I don’t have to run each file – the utility finds all the video and re-encodes it without any help from me