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Want to move recorded content from my dvr to my pc

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February 28, 2011 5:29:25 AM

So basically my Dish Network DVR 625 has started to have a mind of its own, recording things I never set to record, deleting things, etc. The techs decided to send me a brand new DVR, problem is, I have over 73 hours of recorded shows I still want to watch. Is there any way I can rip them to my computer? I have more than enough space (4TB). Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.
February 28, 2011 5:51:43 PM

Most DVR's have a firewire port, and this is the main way to move stream files from the internal HDD to a computer. Is it legal? No. Is it something I am willing to explain here on the forums? No. Is it completely doable? Yes. Dadiggle mentioned using USB and ethernet to do this. Almost all DVR's won't move stream data using either of those methods. The ethernet is typically limited to streaming internet content (netflix and such) and other inbound data applications. The USB on a lot of DVR's is useless, but some allow things like viewing pictures and playing media from a memory stick. The Firewire and eSATA port (on most newer DVR's) is how you go about moving data off the DVR. This varies from model to model, and provider to provider. I believe Dish network actually allows you to connect external eSATA hard drives to their DVR's and details how to do it in the instruction manual. From what ive heard, cable providers are not as willing to allow this, and block things like that, so playing with the FireWire port is the other alternative. Google your DVR's model and see what's out there for it. It's not terribly hard to do. It typically takes a driver to install on the PC to allow it to connect to the DVR, and then placing the DVR into target mode / diagnostic mode to allow the transfer.
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February 28, 2011 5:56:02 PM

DVRs store shows in an encrypted format, therefor just copying them to another device will likely mean you have tons of data you can't use.

As Dadiggle describes, if you can capture the playing of the files (73 hours is a long time and a lot of data) than you can get around the DRM restrictions, but at a loss in quality.

There are many links/forum entries that all say pretty much what Dadiggle said. If it were me, I would try to remove the HDD from the DVR and connect it to my Linux box to see what I might be able to pull from the system. But to be honest with you, I think you are out of luck on this one unless you do the ol' analog capture.

As a thought, you might give Easy VHS to DVD a try (http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/easy-vhs-to-dvd/stand...). Connect your DVR to the dongle provided and capture the shows as they play. It is a real time transfer and as long as you can connect to a device it will capture the audio/video.

It is an inexpensive way to try this as well.

Good luck!
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February 28, 2011 7:15:14 PM

COLGeek said:
DVRs store shows in an encrypted format, therefor just copying them to another device will likely mean you have tons of data you can't use.

As Dadiggle describes, if you can capture the playing of the files (73 hours is a long time and a lot of data) than you can get around the DRM restrictions, but at a loss in quality.

There are many links/forum entries that all say pretty much what Dadiggle said. If it were me, I would try to remove the HDD from the DVR and connect it to my Linux box to see what I might be able to pull from the system. But to be honest with you, I think you are out of luck on this one unless you do the ol' analog capture.

As a thought, you might give Easy VHS to DVD a try (http://www.roxio.com/enu/products/easy-vhs-to-dvd/stand...). Connect your DVR to the dongle provided and capture the shows as they play. It is a real time transfer and as long as you can connect to a device it will capture the audio/video.

It is an inexpensive way to try this as well.

Good luck!




You might want to google "DVR hacks" sometime. It's not as hard as you guys are thinking. In most cases, you get an opensource driver for the dvr, boot the dvr in diagnostic mode, copy the stream files out (.st), and use another open source utility to break the encryption and convert them to .avi it's actually pretty straight forward. I'm not sure why all the talk about analog video capture and such. You don't even need to remove the HDD from most DVRs.





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March 1, 2011 5:53:29 PM

I've used a mac before on occasion. What does that have to do with the discussion at hand? I've also eaten rattlesnake, if that will help the discussion.


As far as the ethernet thing, you're apparently not understanding what most DVR's use the ethernet port for. It's for receiving streams from the internet, not broadcasting your own streams to the web. So no, a PC wouldn't be receiving anything from the DVR through it, even in diagnostic mode.


I'm not sure why you "rest your case", you didn't really prove anything, except a profound lack of knowledge about the topic at hand.


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