Getting content off a DVR

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by akadmon, Apr 21, 2007.

  1. akadmon macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #1
    Is there a way to hook a DVR box (HD) to a computer to get content off it? The box has USB, Fire Wire, SATA and Ethernet on the back! There's got to be a reason they're there, but I'm not getting any clues from Comcast.
     
  2. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #3
    I have a Dish DVR and I would love to do that, but I have read the forums and it is really hard to find anything on it. Forget about Mac compatible.

    So I just hooked up my camcorder to the tv, and via firewire to the computer, and put the camcorder in dv bridge mode, played the show off my dvr into the computer via camcorder, you can watch it right in iMovie and record. I recorded the show, fast forward the commercials like I would watching it live, and then after the recording, edited out the fast forwarding of the commercials and saved the movie project. Then just used Toast to burn it to a DVD.
     
  3. Aniej macrumors 68000

    Aniej

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2006
    #4
  4. puckhead193 macrumors G3

    puckhead193

    Joined:
    May 25, 2004
    Location:
    NY
    #5
    i think you should just get an eyetv ;)
     
  5. roland.g macrumors 603

    roland.g

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2005
    Location:
    One mile up and soaring
    #6
    My Dish DVR doesn't have Firewire and the USB port on it is for a PocketDish so I'm fairly certain that the info in the JoshNichols blog won't work.

    I would, except two things,

    1. My computer is nowhere near my Mac. Living room vs. Office. And I either have to connect my laptop or tower out near the tv for the above described procedure. So I don't do it often.

    2. My DVR is great for recording, playing and then deleting weekly shows that we watch, of which 80% or more wouldn't be kept. There are only some things that we would want to archive and keep. Anyway you slice it, unless you have a small room with TV, computer, cable/sat all together and want to record with eyetv and edit/archive/burn, it's easier at the end of the day to buy the DVDs of your favorite shows on a per season basis vs. the time spent. My only need is for the few things that I would want to keep that I can't get elsewhere, like an ESPN Sportscentury of a great athlete, or a 1 hr show about a Stanley Cup championship off of my local sports network, or single aired show or commercial free movie that I might not be able to find on DVD.
     
  6. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #7
  7. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #8

    I wound up going with the instructions pertaining to the latest FW SDK (23), which can be found here:

    http://back2mac.blogspot.com/

    Looks like I'm UASCWAP since my Mac Pro is in a room with no cable connection. In order to use the SDK 23 (or SDK 18) approach, I need to be able to control the DVR, and this DVR refuses to be controlled with a remote unless it's connected to a cable outlet. I know this because I connected the DVR to my Dell LCD using a video cable and all I see is a message that says "DVR is unavailable or has been disabled". Without the ability to select a recorded program and start playing it, there is nothing for the Mac to capture!

    When it comes down to it, all I really want to do is to be able to see the contents of the DVR's hard drive and copy them to my Mac via the Finder. I'm not interested in controlling the DVR from my Mac. My Mac sees the DVR (it shows up in the System Profiler under FireWire) but can't mount it. That's pretty lame, Apple :(
     
  8. akadmon thread starter macrumors 68010

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2006
    Location:
    New England
    #9
    Thanks for the link!

    I finally was able to get a workaround. I have a Dell Latitude 620 laptop and was able to stream TS (MPEG2) to it from the DVR using instruction I found here:

    http://replayguide.sourceforge.net/dct6412/

    I then used the MPEG Streamclip app (that was suggested in the link quoted in your thread) to convert it to DV, mov, and MPEG4. While I can play the native HD back in VLC, my intent is really to archive to DVD. I'm a little disappointed in the DV conversion -- the DV file is twice the size of the original and has a lot more artifacts (jagged edges, especially evident on moving objects).

    After all this, it turns out that most HD channels Comcast airs are scrambled. I was only able to successfully record PBS, CBS, ABC, NBC and FOX. So much for archiving all those cool National Geographic and Discovery HD features, not to mention the Sopranos :)
     
  9. fairnymph macrumors 6502

    fairnymph

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2007
    Location:
    Chapel Hill, NC
    #10
    This is how I do it (from my lj):

    http://fairnymph.livejournal.com/101879.html

    I have verizon fiberoptic. I am not able to get shows from abc or scifi as they are encrypted. The CW and nbc work, though. Not sure why abc doesn't work, but my attempts at transferring over Ugly Betty eps always fail.
     

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