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How to Copy Any Stream


If you can watch it, you can copy it!

It's a fairly simple process, but does require some investment in kit. Happily Amazon has nearly everything.you'll need!

  • So what kit do you need?
    • a Computer!
    • a Set Top Box, Streaming Stick, DVD Player, or whatever! What's important is that your source device has connects to an HDMI input.
    • A cheap HDMI splitter, why "cheap" later...
    • A good quality encoder box.
    • Loads of fast storage!
    • and a good, fast, low latency internet connection (so you can receive your target stream with no hassle.

As you may be aware HDMI connections deliver uncompressed video and/or audio data to your screen/speakers. RGB, or other methods such as analog, s-video, and so on.

But the HDMI quality improvement comes at a price!

Part of the specification of HDMI includes High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection (HDCP), desgined to prevent theft of copyrighted material. However, the plans of mortals rarely come to uncompromised fruition...

If you plug your HDMI device into a cheap HDMI splitter, the HDCP is generally ignored (because it's cheaper for the manufacturer to build devices which ignore it). So what you do is:

  1. plug your HDMI source device into the HDMI splitter, and one output of the splitter into your capture device, and the other into a TV (otherwise cueing and controling the source become tricky, unless you have an exceptional memory).
  2. Cue the souce material up.
  3. Capture it. Generally speaking yoi'll want same fast, large storage, one or more of these would do. You don't need to go as faras getting 3 of them and RAID 1.
    • SanDisk SSD PLUS 1 TB Sata III 2.5 Inch Internal SSD, Up to 535 MB/s, Black
  4. Edit to taste (Vegas Pro isn't a bad editor).
  5. Write the edited material to the storage medium of choice (DVD, streaming media file, whatever),
  6. That's it!
  7. That was easy, eh?

There's a wide range of HDMI capture equipment on the market. Personally, I favour the Blackmagic design H.264 Pro Recorder, which gives an excellent result and offers the possibility of timecode injection via an HDMI to SDI converter!

Blackmagic design H.264 Pro Recorder

and this HDMI splitter

HDMI Splitter, Techole Aluminum HDMI Switch