Capturing video in Linux / Video resizing / DVR recording

Simple Screen Recorder is a great Linux software package that can be used to capture video from the screen. I set up my media PC to use it after connecting a second screen to use as the control screen for all applications (in other words, the application itself runs on the control screen while the video to be captured is playing on the main screen). I tested it out by capturing a Vimeo video clip and a clip from iTBN which has all the Hillsong Channel previous content available for playing. Both of these worked quite well. The iTBN clip included a Christine Caine message from Colour Conference 2016. As the videos for this conference are no longer available from Hillsong I may look to capture more of them from iTBN if anyone I know wants them for any particular purpose. This particular one was played on Colour Conference Main Stage on Hillsong Channel earlier this week, but for some reason these Mainstage clips aren’t being repeated throughout the week so I was pleased to be able to find it on iTBN.
DVR recording is something I have begun to do with my satellite box. It has 16 GB of internal memory available for recording programs and I used it this week to record part of “The Story” broadcast on Hillsong Channel. I prefer to use a USB stick plugged into the front USB port of the box to record onto. The resultant .ts file can simply be renamed as .mpeg and then imported into an editing program like AviDemux. The main issue then is that the aspect ratio of the source video needs to be fixed.
In AviDemux the file from the DVR turned out to be too high vertically (rather common to see with video playback but not at all desirable) so configuring it to resize to 840×484 as I found on a tutorial on Youtube fixed the problem and put the aspect ratio back correctly for when I play the clip in Kodi. The “Story” clip had a 6 1/2 minute segment from when Hillsong United visited a Syrian refugee camp in Lebanon as part of their “Of Dirt And Grace” project in the Middle East in April 2016.
I am now getting the maximum usage out of my satellite box by connecting it to a second TV and speakers in the bedroom. I first experimented with having a fourth computer in there with the same TV as a display. This was OK playing the Hillsong Channel from iTBN except for the video being slow and the computer generally challenged because of its slow speed (it is one of the AMD E350s). As I had already put a network cable through the wall I decided a better option was to have a analogue video cable and sound cable through from the satellite box making the most of the multiple outlets on the box. This also meant making use of the second discrete audio output and running it through the CYP digital to analogue sound converter that I purchased last year. So the box has the maximum number of cables connected to it to drive all the different devices. The picture on the TV in the bedroom, while made with an analogue composite cable, is still way better than with a computer playing iTBN in a web browser because it is good quality and doesn’t have jerky video or problems when the network speed is slow. The sound is also better quality. So I have dispensed with the fourth computer and now just back to three computers in the lounge.
For social media I now have the Vodem that I plug into my Windows 10 PC when I want to access Instagram etc with my tablet share SIM. This computer is really being annoying because unlike the other Windows 10 computer I tried the Vodem on, it won’t redetect the Vodem when it comes back up from hibernation, so I have to keep unplugging and replugging the Vodem to use it.


  • The Vodem is being detected as a Remote NDIS thingy when the computer comes back from hibernation/restart, all you have to do is to enable and disable it.
  • Since writing the original post about using captures I have discovered that the incredible youtube-dl software will work with both the Vimeo and iTBN sites. So both of the above mentioned videos could be downloaded from their respective sites and no screen capture was necessary. (Since about the fourth week in April however iTBN has a new site format that does not work with youtube-dl)
  • Computer 4 (the AMD E350 in the Antec mini chassis) has gone back into the bedroom not to play iTBN over the internet, but to enable videos to be played there. Instead of using a network cable connection it is using wireless.
  • I have found out how to save Instagram stories with a Chrome app. How to save Instagram videos is a mystery – youtube-dl allegedly supports them but I can’t make it work. Fortunately I can play them in a web browser, which means I can use SimpleScreenRecorder on a VM running Xubuntu on the computer that has the Vodem plugged into it.