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Tranfer HD programming from DVR onto external device??

by paqrmatt / April 14, 2008 9:24 AM PDT

OK, so here's my problem. I have Directv and my HD DVR box (model #HR20-100S)went bad. So they gave me a new box. However, I have many stored programs on the old box that I want to keep. AND many of these programs are in High Definition.

How can I transfer these programs onto an external storage device (ie. the add on devices you can purchase at Best Buy for more DVR hours - not sure exactly what they're called).


Would perhaps burning these programs to HD DVD's be a better option? If so, what hardware would I need for this and what's the process? Would the end product be in HD format...thus I'd need an HD (not Blu-Ray) player to view them?

Very much appreciate the help!

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dont think you can
by daciple / April 14, 2008 8:37 PM PDT

I work for time warner and I know with our dvrs if they break you are s.o.l. for getting your saved shows back.... I dunno bout sat companies boxes but I'm pretty sure ur screwed.... Hope for your sake I'm wrong... Also if your paying for new boxes might wanna check out time warner when our crap breaks we replace it for free

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not what i wanted to hear...
by paqrmatt / April 14, 2008 10:58 PM PDT
In reply to: dont think you can

i hope for my sake too that you're wrong. i can't believe there's not a way to transfer those programs from a dvr to an external hd. i know at least people in this forum have talked about transfering shows by burning them to a dvd player.

i'm hoping that's not my only recourse.

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Time Warner DVR
by Geewiz / April 26, 2008 5:35 AM PDT
In reply to: dont think you can

I know that if you have a scientific atlantic DVR box through TWC, most have the ability to add an exteneral HDD that uses eSATA connectivity and the drive will be formatted in a way that no computer will recognize it but it should carry over to another scientific atlantic box since TWC does replace them for free. the only problem is that it will record to the internal box everything first so you'd probably have to make that 100% full before it would record to the external HDD and no guarantee that would carry over and be recognized.

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Copyright DRM
by bevillan / April 15, 2008 1:32 AM PDT

I am pretty sure almost all DVRs that are provided by a sat or cable company will not allow you to transfer recorded shows to another hard-drive. They all have anti-piracy code in them to prevent it.

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by paqrmatt / April 15, 2008 9:59 AM PDT
In reply to: Copyright DRM

What about others in this forum that are converting dvr programs onto their computers? I would think if what you said were the case, they wouldn't be able to do this either, right?

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by bevillan / April 15, 2008 11:47 PM PDT
In reply to: seriously??

I think it depends on the DVR that you have, but maybe those programs people use are sophisticated enough to bypass the DRM-like software in the DVRs. If you had video capture software and a capable videocard in your PC you might be able to do it pretty easily, but I don't know how some DVRs would handshake with a HDMI connection on a PC's videocard. If others say they have done it though, then they must be able to.

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anyone else know??
by paqrmatt / April 16, 2008 3:56 AM PDT

i'm hoping somewhere out in CNET land someone has an idea about this. i'm guessing this can't be the first time this has happened or been asked.

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You're SOL....
by Pepe7 / April 21, 2008 7:04 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone else know??

All HD content from the cable companies is encrypted, so you're SOL, as has already been stated. Is there anything you can simply rent of that content (e.g. planet earth, etc.)? Copying an encrypted DVD is a lot less work than transferring & decoding content from a DVR(!)

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The hardware is designed to prevent this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 21, 2008 7:06 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone else know??

You are fighting city hall, MPAA, RIAA, _ollywood and more. There's a reason why it doesn't work!

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Yep, SOL
by Dan Filice / April 21, 2008 7:29 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone else know??

From what I've read, the HD DVRs do not allow the HD content to be transferred to a recording device. The only way to maintain HD content is to use either an HDMI or Component Video-Out and this works fine when connecting to a TV, but as soon as a recoding device is detected, the signal won't transfer. I believe the only connections on a DVR that will transfer video content is either S-Video or the RCA connections, and both of these are SD, not HD. But hey, SD is better than nothing.

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recording from dvr to dvd.
by Beckabuck / April 26, 2008 5:38 AM PDT
In reply to: anyone else know??

All I do is playback the movie on the tv and record it on my dvd recorder...simple.

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well that just blows...
by paqrmatt / April 21, 2008 11:07 PM PDT

I pay for the programming, I pay for the DVR hardware, and I even pay a monthly fee for the functionality of the DVR hardware to work...but, I still don't own the programs?! That's crap. A big FU to the cable companies. Directv can stick it.

Thanks to all that have replied. I appreciate you sharing your knowledge.

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one more question...
by paqrmatt / April 21, 2008 11:13 PM PDT

Is there any way to transfer HD dvr programming to a computer? Or would this be the same result as trying to connect an external storage/recording device?

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possible, maybe
by bevillan / April 21, 2008 11:42 PM PDT
In reply to: one more question...

Basically what you would need is a computer with a videocard that has a HDMI input AND your videocard would need to be HDCP compliant for your DVR to recognize it.

After that you would just need some video recording software that basically records as you play something on your PC from your DVR. Transferring the contents of the DVR won't work, but certain PC programs let you record the audio/video from another source if it is playing simultaneously.

Another option, depending on the content on your DVR, is to just goto certain websites that let you download/stream whatever shows you missed.

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Broken DVR
by Zouch / April 25, 2008 11:10 AM PDT

Just a thought. Since it was the supplier's box that crapped out and, by GIVING you a replacement, they have implicitly accepted responsibility, have you asked them if they can transfer your saved programming to the new box for you? I guarantee they have equipment that can.

Or you could take the hard drive out of the old box and put it in a spare slot in your PC and see if you can do anything with it there.

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HD Transfer from HR20
by chickwithredkicks / April 25, 2008 1:23 PM PDT

In general, transfer of the HD content is not possible. Even if the unit is operational, you can only record externally to a 480i format as some people have mentioned. When you mate an external drive to the unit you cannot transfer files to the external drive. The drive is mounted in a Linux format. You may want to contact the people at since they modify thest type of units. They may be able to repair or transfer your hard drive to another unit. Good luck.

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HD transfers
by cesgeek / April 25, 2008 3:14 PM PDT

I know with the Dish HDR there is a usb port on the back that permits you to connect an external hard drive to save your recorded programs.
The only problem is the programs will play only when connected to the Dish HDR receiver. In other words you cant take this external drive to you pc and download your recordings. I think your s.o.l. if the Directv HDR dont have this feature.

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They won't, they are rigged
by Nonya2000 / August 16, 2008 3:39 PM PDT
In reply to: HD transfers

I have the Dish DVR and you cannot record to a DVD recorder, they are rigged with the copywright protection. I just got a brand new one and tried it. They do have the usb port on the back. but the DVR's have this disabled in them and you cannot use it even tho it looked like it was made to use, you can't. They are so worried about their Copywright crap that they have rigged everything. That is why vcr's are hard to find and they want all tv signals to be digital, so they can sign them all digital copywrited and you will no longer be able to copy off of the tv anymore, to anything. Yea, good ole' USA, they screwed us again!

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Really Easy
by Josepe9000 / July 11, 2012 3:38 PM PDT

All you need Is an Archos 5 with DVR. You can control what you want record with the Archos remote control. The connection is simple, the cable box has two outputs, one for the HDTV and one extra, normally for the DVD, there you connect the Archos DVR, now you have two screens, the Archos 5 and your TV. With the Archos control you record and pause any program recorded in your cable box. You're welcome.

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