Having now got my USB Freeview stick to work on the PC downstairs and having acquired some video editing and conversion software this brings a whole new range of possibilities in terms of portable entertainment.
Being able to record from the TV to the PC and then edit out the adverts and other distractions and then finally transfer them to my iPOD, PDA or DVD feels like I'm at the cutting edge of currently what's possible.
The first experiment was to record last night's episode of Doctor Who 'Blink' (Incidentally, what a spooky episode!!!).
The recording went fine although there is a glitch in the current version of DivX Author where it doesn't seem to transfer the screen aspect to the DivX Player meaning you have to set it manually. The resulting file size was around 2 Gb as an mpg. I edited out the front and end to get rid of the smaller amount of programmes either side and then saved it as a DivX. That reduced the file size to 550 Mb. Although playing about with the DivX Author settings allowed me to repeat the exercise and reduce it to 511 using the 'balanced quality setting' without any loss of quality in vision or sound.
The encoding process seems to take a while although I guess that's to be expected - in excess of two hours, so this part is best done overnight, although a more powerful PC would help!
The final stage was to convert it to a format suitable for my iPOD which created a file size of 232 Mb.