black crt tv showing gray screen

How incredibly hard it is to record network television if you have cut the cord

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Argh, I can’t believe this has gotten so hard. We just want to record a video segment on the local news. Here are the steps:

  1. If you have a DVR from Comcast or someone, this is pretty simple. Just hit record.
  2. But what if you have cut the cord and are using over the air. That actually works pretty well with HD HomeRun Scribe DUO and a $30 OTA antenna. Just stick the thing outside your window and you can start recording, but what if you don’t get the right channel. Here in Seattle, we get channels 4, 7 (flaky depending on how we orient the antenna), and 13, but not channel 5. HD HomeRun also makes it easy with something called the DUO which actually has a 1TB hard drive in the box so that you can record things and it is a tiny box. It says there’s a way to transfer recordings off of the device, but now how to do it.
  3. But Techhive has a guide, so you just need to go to my.homerun.com and then find the device and then there is a graphical application that gets you to the web interface on the device then click on Recorded Files.
  4. And you can use MCEBuddy to remove the commercials which is a pay application but seem to work pretty well.

The other way to do it:

  1. The second thing to try is to record a video from the Mac. It turns out that the built-in screenshot application lets you record video but not audio.
  2. There is a utility called blackhole which is supposed to make this easy but I followed the instructions to create a new midi device and this worked once on MacOS Big Sur and then audio went into a literal blackhole. Rogue Amoeba, the makes of Hijack, also have something called Loopback that does this, but I’m not sure it is worth $100.
  3. In the end, the best way seems to be that old fashioned way. I just took a video with my cell phone of the screen. Yes, I was completely defeated.

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