I’m in the experimental stage with the high def stuff (won’t I always be?), but I did a screen grab of the Letterman show to see how it looked. Well, just WOW!
There’s a bit of a back story. How do you do screen grabbing of HD anyway? I’ll give you the setup shortly, but I’ll start by saying that I get my HD feed from Cox Cable of Fredericksburg. The story behind why I have cable HD is a funny one, but for the sake of this post, I’ll summarize. Pre-HD I had Direct TV. In the mean time, my neighbor put an addition on his house (an addition upward). Next, I wanted HD from Direct TV. Nope! Line of sight to HD satellite is blocked by neighbor’s addition. Hello Cox!
Now back to the setup – Cox cable HD. The box they provide (Scientific Atlanta Explorer 3250HD for those HD geeks out there) has 2 Firewire ports on the back of it. I have a basic Firewire card in my PC (the Dell that runs my Beyond TV setup). A while back I tried connecting the port to see if I could get a signal, but I couldn’t get it to use a proper driver. I forgot about it for a while. Then thanks to a blog I read called HD Beat, I found this post about Firewire ports on set-top boxes. It lead me to this article where I got the drivers (sorry, registration required) for essentially a Panasonic D-VHS deck. The instructions were great and soon I was digitizing 1920×1080 video! It does stress out a computer trying to capture 30 frames per second at that size. Anyway the final piece, the screen grab, is accomplished with Nero Showtime. Now I have a 1920×1080 bitmap image of Letterman, which I reduce down to 400×227 to fit on this page. I’ve only just gotten started and suddenly a 250 GB hard drive is tiny!