Friday, September 9, 2016

AverMedia EzRecorder 310 (ER310)

Simply, a versatile and accessible DVR for today.

The AverMedia ER310 is meant for anyone who wants audiovideo capture simply done, without the need to spend too much money or effort ploughing through volumes of user manuals.





 

What AverMedia says... (click for more!)

 

Your Digital VCR  

"EzRecorder 310 is a digital video recorder that records and stores TV shows for you to enjoy at any time. It works like a VCR but no tape is required. Instead, everything is stored inside a hard drive for easy video playback and managing. Better yet, EzRecorder 310 automatically turns your set-top box on and records video at a scheduled time so you’ll never have to rush home for your favorite shows again. "






Guess AverMedia website needs a little updating, still referring to digital VCR instead of the better understood DVR for today's audiences. For the new millennium readers, VCR stands for Video Cassette Recorder, an archaic system for which the term "Cassette" now needs even more explaining... oh well.



Features

  • Record in 1080p
  • Watch at your convenience
  • Auto power-on STB for recording
  • No more commercials
  • Excitements (sic) on the go







Specification


 Input:
• HDMI (digital sources eg. STB, DVR, recent handcams etc... )
• Component video and audio L/R (analogue sources eg. VCR, old handcams etc... )
 
HDCP-protected content cannot be recorded (read their FAQ nonetheless, click for more! )

Output:
• HDMI pass-thru
 

Storage:
• USB 2.0 port: external storage
• SATA II slot: internal 2.5” SATA HDD

NTFS format is required. USB hubs, card readers, FAT format, NAS, or HDDs over 2 TB capacity are not supported.
 
Network: 
Ethernet LAN (10/100 Base-T)
 

Supported resolutions:
• Input: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p (max: 1080p60)
• Recording: 480i, 480p, 576i, 576p, 720p, 1080i, 1080p (max: 1080p30)
 

Recording format: MP4 (codec: H.264, AAC)
 

Power: DC (12V/1.5A)
 

Dimensions: 7.5 x 6 x 1.3 in (190 x 152.5 x 33.5 mm)
Weight: 13.6 oz (384.5 g)


 
  * What is IR Blaster? Click for more info!
 
 
 

Local SG Support

Check out the latest firmware, just out this month specifically with local support





Unboxing

Clean packaging with product details shown







Top
Subtle simple design




Bottom
Showing the 2.5" storage bay, caters for 7mm, 9.5mm and 12.7mm thick SATA devices






Front
Showing control buttons, status LEDs, USB port and IR window




Back
Showing HDMI (digital) in and out, Component (analogue) in, LAN, power and IR Blaster ports


List of devices with IR Blaster, click!



Bundled Accessories
Remote Control, power adapter, IR and HDMI cables








Preparation
Supported internal storage device requirements
  • SATA
  • 2.5" 
  • less than 2TB in capacity
  • NTFS format

And remembering the FAQ advice
"Format your storage device to NTFS file system on PC"





Test Setup

Not having a cable subscription hence lacking a STB for the test setup, an alternative test source was used instead.

The setup used is as follows

  • AudioVideo source - LibreELEC 7.0 DIY HTPC on AMD A4-3400 iGPU via HDMI to...
  • Capture - AverMedia ER310 onto internal Fujitsu 9.5mm HDD, passthru' to...
  • Display - Dell U2713HM LCD monitor

Getting the ER310 into action is a very straightforward affair where everything simply worked. Power on the ER310, adjust the settings and capture quality to your desire and you are off...  !

The ER310 also does static screen captures so it is good device to invest in if one does a lot of hardware reviews where the device lacks screen captures eg. motherboards still lacking F12 screen capture feature in their UEFI.

Guess as long as your video source has a HDMI output, the AverMedia ER310 is a great choice if you do any video or audio captures. Hmm, wonder if anyone has ever tried capturing games running on some  Android handsets before?





Capture Result
The following 150MB+ video is left fully unedited. It was captured on the AverMedia ER310's internal HDD and then transferred to a NTFS formatted USB flashdrive for uploading to Youtube via my desktop PC.

The captured video is a really great way of demonstrating the capabilities of both the AverMedia ER310 as well as the OpenELEC HTPC, which itself runs off just a 16GB Sandisk USB flashdrive.

The video sequence begins with a reboot of OpenELEC and then going into the various aspects of the OS. Next, the Favourites featuring The Travel Channel is chosen. From which,  a select video is played just for its intro to be used as part of the live video capture demo. Lastly, shutdown of OpenELEC is performed.

With emphasis on the AverMedia ER310 functionality, perhaps focus more on the readability of the onscreen text (image quality), smoothness of video play (frame drops) and sound (av sync) etc...

Overall, very nice results in return for the little effort invested in getting there.





* For Youtube haters, the original capture file can also be downloaded here - AverMedia_ER310_Demo.mp4



Mediainfo Report
Of the resultant capture mp4 file




The above clip was captured at 1280 x 720 settings 60fps - a delicate balance of image quality vs file size for our demonstration purposes and of course, you can increase/reduce the capture resolution, fps and quality if need be, the trade off will be bigger/smaller file sizes and longer/shorter processing times respectively.

Anyway, the demo-ed show is a copyrighted Travel Channel media so only the intro is shown but it suffices to demonstrate the quality of the digital video capture of a live stream. Even then, the copyright owner is already blocking the above Youtube video in certain countries... oh well.




Playback
Officially, the AverMedia ER310 is certified to play back only what it has recorded (ie. mp4, AAC) so other popular AV formats eg. mkv, AC3, DTS are not supported which makes it not versatile enough to be a standalone HTPC media centre.



Initial Impressions
It was certainly fun and rewarding tinkering with the AverMedia ER310 cos everything just worked out wonderfully. Both HDMI audio and video were nicely captured and were easily transferred out for uploading.

With 4K devices already in full retail swing while the ER310 maxes out at (just) FHD 1080p30 for recording, it is timely to bear in mind the modest asking price of ~S$259/-with a year warranty. It is clearly targeted at the more casual user rather than the higher end 4K crowd.


Pros...
  • Small and light which makes it pretty transportable
  • Supports both digital and analogue inputs
  • Supports both  internal and external USB storage for captures
  • Ready to use out of the box for most users, all required digital cables are bundled
  • IR Blaster with learning capability
  • Automatic time, time zone, DST adjustment via network
  • Firmware specifically supports local SG stations 
  • Intuitive no hassle user interface with useful DVR features eg. timed schedules, editing etc
  • Simple file transfers between internal HDD and USB flashdrives


May be improved...
  • Supports only NTFS format (most USB flashdrives default to FATx so reformat on PC required)
  • Storage formatting on ER310 itself should be added ie. without the need for a PC
  • USB3/SATA3 upgrade would be much welcomed for increased transfer bandwidth
 

1 comment:

  1. Can it schedule multiple schedule recordings at one time? i.e. different length/duration
    timings instead of "weekly" etc

    ReplyDelete