Soap Opera

This may be somewhat lengthy so I suggest you go to the rant first, then come back here.

Click for today’s rant

The long-suffering wife and her sister like General Hospital.

LSW tapes it on VHS and brings it to her once a week.

Why can’t sis tape it herself? We won’t go there.

Is there a BETTER way to do this? Please let me know.

About once a month the VHS fails to tape the show. Power failure. Voodoo. Bad karma. Who knows?

So in the spirit of martial relations (Hey, I can hope right?) I download the show and put it on a DVD.

I found this video capture software on line with a Goggle search.

Video capture software

A side note here:

I certainly don’t know everything there is to know about computers. Who does?
But I have used them since the screens were amber and black and operating systems came on cassettes. What I don’t know I can figure out or ask.

The process of capturing General Hospital is a pain the ass.

It became far more than that in this instance.

First of all the GH show as available on the ABC website is riddled with ads. Four times in a 38 minute show they break for :90 seconds.

So if you have the show playing full-screen it collapses to 1/4 screen when the ads hit. This means you have to manually bring the window back up to full screen every time. This means you sort of have to watch the show.

Another side note:

I will tread carefully here. I am sure the writers, actors, producers, directors and every person involved in the show are consummate professionals.

They, imho do not show any talent or ability, beyond looking young and pretty for the most part.

Sample dialogue:

Guy: “So you work at a strip club?”
Girl: “Yes I do. I am working my way through college.” (she really said this) “How did you know?”
Guy: “Well, you are wearing fishnet stockings and six inch heels.” (He also REALLY said this)

Most of the content is at or below this level. I became VERY familiar with it.

First DVD worked perfectly. Except that I forgot to turn of the crappy built in mic on the laptop. So the audio was recorded thru the crappy mic from the crappy laptop speakers (why do they have to sound so bad?) with the added bonus that everything that was going on in the room was also recorded. Me making soup. Coughing. Farting.

Try again. Bear in mind that I pretty much have to watch the silly show again. The paper thin plot? Something about a bus crash and lots of injured skiers arrive at the hospital.

Ok this time the audio was perfect. But I picked up this black box in the middle.

Side note:

In spite of my card carrying geek credentials I did not preview either take. I just rendered them to DVD which takes about half an hour. During the taping (:38 minutes) and the rendering no other work (like posting blogs) can be done. We are at about three hours now.

So I am now less than pleased with my results. Now it has become a quest.

The long-suffering wife is pleading with me to just let her give the sister the copy with the fubar audio. I demur. An argument ensues. So goes any chance at marital relations.

Back to the black box.

Apparently if the software is on the screen (even behind what you are taping) it burns into the image. Clever.

So after some trial and error (and about another hour) I got the concept and was able to get a clean print of the show.

Elapsed time, about five hours. Three DVDs used up in the process. High blood pressure spikes. Numerous. Profane language spoken? Copious amounts.

All for love, right?

Herewith the 80’s song for the show:


Click for today’s rant

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About James Rising

A recovering radio addict wrestles with the written word.
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