PVR to PC transfer v.s. DVD to PC

I have been here there and everywhere trying to get information that is even aplicable to moving the recorded file on my motorola dct6412 PVR to my PC for almost two days. As a cable rental unit, so far the oppinions (not actual help) have confused me further.

I am willing to learn, and able…just not a techie due to…um, a life (:cool:)

I have a PVR with info ready to transfer or watch. I also have the program on my PC to convert them into different formats (i need iPod/PSP for kids/trip). It was recomended i use USB connections between the two sources (easy/clarity/cost issues).

After flying through so many tec support places like this…i am further frustrated at the possibility of the units being either without a driver or components ripped out by cable providers.

So, if the one is not possible, i am also willing to try to send the signal from my DVD player to PC as well…as long as i keep little Taz (hyper child) busy on a two day train ride.

Thank you

Ariesella

From all the reading I have done, this is not easily done. There are ways people are doing this, but it usually involves removing the hard drive from the pvr unit, and running it through unix software, and even then there are hoops to jump through. You can search at www.videohelp.com, in the forums, there. I read quite a bit in there awhile back to see if I could find a way to do the same with my DishTV PVR, but I gave up…

Most set top boxes come with USB/Firewire/LAN hookups in the back. Firewire BY LAW is the only one that streams the signal.
The fire wire is only good for sending the signal to your PC while you are recording to the PVR simultaneously. I assume you say PVR as set top box. The only other way is to hook up a Pinnacle Dazzle 100 to the boob tube out or PVR out and record to the PC at the same speed as watching a show. In other words if you have a 2 hour movie you will have to actually watch it at the same time as it is recording.

I tend to babble so I’ve emphasized the key points. I hope that isn’t annoying to anyone. :slight_smile:

[B][I]Firewire is the way to go.[/I][/B] The FCC’s interpretation of the law is that Cable DVR’s must have a working firewire port. (Not that the FCC is particularly interested in enforcing it, mind you). The filesizes tend to be quite small. They compress it way more than a consumer PVR could recompress it at the same quality.

[B][I]This will get you going:[/I][/B]
http://exdeus.home.comcast.net/~exdeus/stbfirewire/

If you remove the hard drive, you’re not likely to have the slightest luck, because the stuff is saved as encrypted. (The level of paranoia puts James Bond to shame). And the cable company will probably make you pay half a thousand to replace the unit.

As a rule, [I][B]You can only capture stuff that the various channels decide you can have. [/B][/I](Almost all Cable companies leave it up to the source). There are a variety of flags that can be used to allow or dissalow, but those don’t matter - you have to try it and see.

[B][I]Start with a local broadcast station[/I][/B] (there’s a slight chance that your local CBS affiliate will dissalow, even though you could capture it digitally off the air).

Once you have that working, then you can try others. There’s one (and only one) Encore channel that works for me. IFC is good for me. Universal HD…

Premium channels (HBO, and those), are out of the question, for almost every cable system. Don’t expect On Demand to capture, but sometimes it will anyway. This means you can record a lot more to your DVR than you can record to the PC (unless you’re one of the fortunate few).

Luckily you’ve got a Motorola, because most Scientific Atlanta DVRs are seriously messed up in that regard. (Although a lot of people get them going).

Unluckily, [B][I]most of the Motorolas are running a firmware update that almost totally kills the ability to snag shows you’ve already recorded onto the DVR’s hard drive.[/I][/B] A firmware fix came out months ago, but most local cable franchises are atypically slow about rolling it out.

[B][I]There is a workaround, but it hasn’t worked 100% of the time.[/I][/B]
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1032148

It’s not unusual to get a glitchy signal. And sometimes you’ll even get a perfectly good recording that won’t play until it’s repaired. Grab Mpeg2repair from videohelp.com’s tools section. VideoRedo Plus is an excellent companion tool for it. And Womble’s DVD suite is no slouch either.

50th afterthought (too late to edit again).

6-pin to 6-pin firewire cable. 400 or 800 firewire port (there’s only the two kinds. If you need to add a firewire card, the 400’s are dirt cheap). Windows XP SP2, Mac, or Linux. (Vista will do in a pinch, but I hear its usually a big ol’ Vista about the whole thing).

If the digital way just won’t work, on your pre-recorded file, I’d personally go the minimal-loss method of analog caputure with a capture card (Hauppague or such), and capture to Huffyuv codec (lossless) and reencode from there. But that’s pretty hardcore. Sounds like you’d prefer the Dazzle or such.

Uh, heh, read your post again. Never mind the part about lossless.http://club.cdfreaks.com/images/smilies/6/eek.gif
:eek:

Getting it into your Ipod is another deal. Not too hard, but I don’t know the particulars (transfer method, codecs, screen size, and all that). But there are plenty of people who can tell you. Probably start a new thread for that (if you haven’t already).

If you have a notebook to play it on, VLC will play it without any further fiddling. Just install it an go.
http://www.videolan.org/

The VideoRedo Plus or Womble DVD can easily put it on a DVD, too. They’re farily basic to learn, as video editors go, but that starts to get into the have-no-life catagory (I have a foot in that world). :slight_smile:

[QUOTE=Gravelrds;2302614]I tend to babble so I’ve emphasized the key points. I hope that isn’t annoying to anyone. :slight_smile:

[B][I]Firewire is the way to go.[/I][/B] The FCC’s interpretation of the law is that Cable DVR’s must have a working firewire port. (Not that the FCC is particularly interested in enforcing it, mind you). The filesizes tend to be quite small. They compress it way more than a consumer PVR could recompress it at the same quality.
[/QUOTE]

theory…nothing more.

Pardon?

Which part do you consider theory? The FCC ruling on the Telecommunications Act? The filesizes? The quality? Or the capture method? Or am I missing something in your meaning?

I’m not talking ridiculously small filesizes. But they are quite smaller & better quality than either of my consumer PVR’s can recompress on the fly. One reason is that many shows, and commercials are streamed out at valid DVD resolutions smaller than 720x480. I assume they stick to valid DVD resolutions, so that standard decoders can be used - but that’s only theory. :wink:

And it empirically works. I’ve got roughly 2 terrabytes of SD and HD captures I got myself, directly over the firewire. Although you could consider it theory if you haven’t seen them yourself. (One of the problems with empiricism).

We’ve both heard of HD transport stream (.ts extension) captures of various shows and movies, from cable/broadcasts. That’s how they do it.

(In Europe & Canada it’s apparently all satellite - at least that’s all I’ve found reference to. But I haven’t heard of anyone with a US satellite broadcaster that allows it). They have to go to more effort, with their own units, and a card from the company.