Recording online video streams

Here's how not to screw it up like I did today. Windo$e world only info.

Now get ready to sniff and record as their website says.

This company offers some slick software called Streaming Video Recorder for capturing online video streams like NBC uses for their hockey. It's $39 but they offer a free version if you put 2 plugs for the software on your own webpages.

I tested it out on the NBC Sports stream that uses the Silverlight video player. From downloading the Streaming Video Recorder software to registering it with the key # to recording video took about 10 minutes. The recorder interface window is pretty simple and the defaults settings worked right off the bat. The videos are stored on your hard drive in several formats you can pick from like the Windows Media 9 codec. You can easily record video from media protocols such as HTTP, HTTPS, FTP, RTSP, RTMP and MMS and support recording file types (flv, swf, mp4, 3gp, asf, mpg, mov, rm, rmvb, wmv, avi, wma, wav, h264...)

Video. For capturing the video the options are you can record in full screen, select a window, custom area or around the mouse. You can also just capture audio only if you want. You can also record Internet TV from all the popular online video sharing sites and Internet TV channels.

Audio. The audio sounds pretty good using your onboard sound system or you can input an external mic or both. Output is Windows Media Audio 10 Professional. I'm running a laptop with this software and the sound is good

Other Features. You can set up hotkeys to turn the recorder on and off. You can also turn the mouse cursor on or off if you don't want to record it. You can record multiple streams at the same time too which would come in handy during times when there are 2 games you want to watch and/or record at the same time.

File Converter. There is also a file converter function which comes in handy when wanting to change a video file to a different file format like say an Apple .avi to Windows Media .wmv. It provides you the ability to convert each video into any popular format such as MP4, AVI, WMV, 3GP, VOB, MOV, MPG, MP3, WMA, etc for your iPod, iPhone, PSP, Zune, or other portable devices.

Other Free Options. If you're pinching the pennies and need free you can look into Microsoft's Expression Encoder 4 software. This is a freebie that you can upgrade to pro level that is a lot more in depth for creating and editing videos and broadcasting them using Silverlight. It has a streaming video capture ability like the Streaming Video Recorder above. I monkeyed with it a bit but couldn't get the bit rates and codecs working in a short time for the Blackhawk game I wanted to record so I bought the Streaming Video Recorder above. Here is the link to Microsoft's Expression Encoder 4 software.

Gotchas. I see no way to set this recorder like a DVR to time shift a recording. I'll keep researching to see if there is something out there that can tune a website and start the recording all by itself. That would be the cat's pajamas for the games that are blacked out due to national broadcast or for those who only have the overseas streams to watch for an option. WinTV7 software can do this for online TV channels if you need that and it's free.

Late revision. Just found Debut which is free for non commercial use. It has a scheduler, not sure if that will record a URL with a stream on it. Also has a frame gab feature to grab still pics from videos.

Gizmos reviews on free stream recording software.

That's all from video boy for this week.

Please make sure that any content you post is appropriate to Game Time, which means that it pertains to hockey, the Blues, frosty adult beverages, or puppies.

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