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  1. #1


    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
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    13
    Recording from DVR to Macbook Pro
    Hi guys, I was wondering if there was a way I could transfer recorded shows from my DVR to my Mac and then burn the shows to a DVD. It's a Motorola HD-DVR from Comcast.

    This may be a dumb question but if the shows are in HD, and then burned to a DVD, would the burnt DVD play on an SDTV? I'd appreciate it if you guys let me know what computer programs/cables I would need. Thanks!

  2. #2


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    You'll need to get a device that can record from the video and audio put out by the DVR. There are several options, but you'll have to really look for what you can use prior to selecting.

    For example:

    What kind of outputs does your HD-DVR have? Does it have only HDMI? Does it have component? Does it have s-video? Does it have just composite? Does it have left/right audio out only, or does it have optical out for audio?

    Next is the software you will use - some of this will depend on the extent of the feature set you want, and how much you're willing to spend, and what hardware you want to use for the capture process.

    For example, I know of off hand, 2 configurations that would work for me.

    I have a Hauppauge HDPVR capture device and for TV service, I have an HD DVR from Direct TV. My HD DVR has component out, composite, HDMI, analog 2 channel audio, optical audio. I can hook up my Hauppauge to my HD DVR via component for HD video and optical audio for high quality digital audio that supports 5.1 sound.

    To record off of the HD DVR through my Hauppauge, I have (that I'm aware of) 2 major choices in software for the mac:

    HDPVR Capture from: steventoth.net HDPVR Capture

    and

    EyeTV from: Elgato products

    For me HDPVR capture is my best bet because it's inexpensive and really easy to use, and doesn't have extra features I just don't need. Once the video is captured, I can convert it, edit it, rescale it for SD to use on a DVD, etc.

    I capture in HD because most of the time I don't put it on a DVD and I want high quality that I can play back on my home theater Mac.

    Your choices may be different. For you, I'd probably look at EyeTV first since you don't appear to have any capture hardware and they have a large compatibility line listed here: EyeTV 3 | Technical Information of different capture devices. Elgato also sells some capture devices as well.

    My choice was convenient since the Hauppauge was a carry over from when I switched from PC to Mac.

    Hope this helps!
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  3. #3


    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
    Posts
    13
    Quote Originally Posted by Nethfel View Post
    You'll need to get a device that can record from the video and audio put out by the DVR. There are several options, but you'll have to really look for what you can use prior to selecting.

    For example:

    What kind of outputs does your HD-DVR have? Does it have only HDMI? Does it have component? Does it have s-video? Does it have just composite? Does it have left/right audio out only, or does it have optical out for audio?

    Next is the software you will use - some of this will depend on the extent of the feature set you want, and how much you're willing to spend, and what hardware you want to use for the capture process.

    For example, I know of off hand, 2 configurations that would work for me.

    I have a Hauppauge HDPVR capture device and for TV service, I have an HD DVR from Direct TV. My HD DVR has component out, composite, HDMI, analog 2 channel audio, optical audio. I can hook up my Hauppauge to my HD DVR via component for HD video and optical audio for high quality digital audio that supports 5.1 sound.

    To record off of the HD DVR through my Hauppauge, I have (that I'm aware of) 2 major choices in software for the mac:

    HDPVR Capture from: steventoth.net » HDPVR Capture

    and

    EyeTV from: Elgato products

    For me HDPVR capture is my best bet because it's inexpensive and really easy to use, and doesn't have extra features I just don't need. Once the video is captured, I can convert it, edit it, rescale it for SD to use on a DVD, etc.

    I capture in HD because most of the time I don't put it on a DVD and I want high quality that I can play back on my home theater Mac.

    Your choices may be different. For you, I'd probably look at EyeTV first since you don't appear to have any capture hardware and they have a large compatibility line listed here: EyeTV 3 | Technical Information of different capture devices. Elgato also sells some capture devices as well.

    My choice was convenient since the Hauppauge was a carry over from when I switched from PC to Mac.

    Hope this helps!
    This is the back of my DVR box, I hope this helps narrow things down.


  4. #4


    Member Since
    Feb 25, 2009
    Posts
    2,112
    Specs:
    Late 2013 rMBP, i7, 750m gpu, OSX versions 10.9.3, 10.10
    Well, looking at the back, you can go with almost whatever you want, as long as it either:

    records HD via component (the three RCA jacks in a column, the top one stating Y to the right of it, next one down Pb, etc.)

    HD via HDMI (but would require disconnecting the cable box from your tv)

    standard def via RCA composite (the top yellow rca jack on a column of 3 that has V to the left of it) or standard def via svideo (should provide a crisper SD image than the RCA jack)

    And the audio your flexible on - either left/right analog, or S/PIDF via optical digital or copper (the orange jack above the fiber optic jack where it states Digital Audio)

    So, at that point it's choosing how much you want to spend on hardware to make this happen. If you like the looks of the EyeTV software (which also allows you to do a certain amount of editing I think) Look at the Elgato list of hardware supported by the EyeTV then choose something in your price range. An SD device would require one less conversion on the computer, but an HD device would give you the highest quality for on computer playback (or playback on tv from computer). Prices vary greatly, but the average range I think is in $80 - $250.
    My Macs: Late 2013 rMBP w/ 750m, 16Gig ram; 2013 Mac Pro 6 core w/ D700, 16Gig Ram; Mac mini G4, 1.25 GHz, 512m ram (server); Late 2011 11" MBA, 1.8GHz i7, 4Gig Ram, 256Gig SSD, HD3000; Powerbook 12" G4 1.33GHz running Linux; Apple TV (1080p version)

  5. #5

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 20, 2006
    Location
    Lake Mary, Florida
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    26,872
    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    It can be done through the Firewire port - there is no need for a capture device. I have done this before myself, but it is cumbersome to say the least.

    Record Shows from your Comcast HD DVR onto your Mac The Picune Blog
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  6. #6
    todd51
    Guest
    This may be a dumb question as I don't have a DVR, so I'm not sure how they work, but couldn't he just plug the DVR into the MBP via FireWire ports? Wouldn't it show up then on the desktop as an external HDD?

    Seems simple so it probably wouldn't work.

    EDIT: cwa107, you beat me to it!

  7. #7

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by todd51 View Post
    This may be a dumb question as I don't have a DVR, so I'm not sure how they work, but couldn't he just plug the DVR into the MBP via FireWire ports? Wouldn't it show up then on the desktop as an external HDD?

    Seems simple so it probably wouldn't work.
    It's not quite that simple, but it's close. The filesystem of the DVR's hard drive is encrypted and proprietary (much like the FS of an iPod). But by using the FW SDK, your Mac can control the DVR and force it to play and stream the content digitally to your Mac. At that point, you simply capture the stream.

    It's a genuine pain in the rear - and there is some HD content that is locked down and you can't do a thing with it. But other than that, it works.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  8. #8


    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
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    13
    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    It's not quite that simple, but it's close. The filesystem of the DVR's hard drive is encrypted and proprietary (much like the FS of an iPod). But by using the FW SDK, your Mac can control the DVR and force it to play and stream the content digitally to your Mac. At that point, you simply capture the stream.

    It's a genuine pain in the rear - and there is some HD content that is locked down and you can't do a thing with it. But other than that, it works.
    If I got a Firewire to USB cable, would that work, or should I get some other cable?

  9. #9

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meghan543 View Post
    If I got a Firewire to USB cable, would that work, or should I get some other cable?
    I don't believe there is a Firewire to USB adapter.

    You have a MacBook Pro, so it should have a Firewire port. Do you know which model of MacBook Pro you have? When was it purchased?
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  10. #10

    XJ-linux's Avatar
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    From left: Ethernet; Firewire 800; USB; USB; Mini Display Port
    Never judge a man, untill you have walked a mile in his shoes...
    That way you'll be a mile away from him, and you'll have his shoes.

  11. #11


    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    I don't believe there is a Firewire to USB adapter.

    You have a MacBook Pro, so it should have a Firewire port. Do you know which model of MacBook Pro you have? When was it purchased?
    Should I get a 9 pin to 6 pin firewire cable?

  12. #12

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Specs:
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    These are the firewire ports on your DVR box, Firewire is also known as IEEE 1394.



    If it's a newer MacBook Pro, it only has a single Firewire 800 port. If that's the case, you'll need a FW400-FW800 cable. Older versions of the MacBook Pro had FW400 ports, so that should be a straight 6-pin to 6-pin.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  13. #13

    cwa107's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Meghan543 View Post
    Should I get a 9 pin to 6 pin firewire cable?
    Holy cow - blow that thing out with some compressed air! Make sure you get the others as well and the vents at the rear.

    You didn't mention what model of MacBook Pro that is. If it's a pre-unibody, it should have a FW400 port on it already.
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  14. #14

    cwa107's Avatar
    Member Since
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    Specs:
    15" MBP, Core i7/2GHz, 8GB RAM, 480GB Crucial M500 SSD
    I believe this is the cable you need - clearly you have a FW800 port, so it won't matter. The only reason I asked for clarification is that some models have FW400 only.

    For only $3.64 each when QTY 50+ purchased - 9 PIN/ 6PIN BILINGUAL FireWire 800 - FireWire 400 Cable, 6FT, Black | 9 - 6 pin IEEE-1394B Firewire Cable
    Liquid and computers don't mix. It might seem simple, but we see an incredible amount of people post here about spills. Keep drinks and other liquids away from your expensive electronics!

    https://youtu.be/KHZ8ek-6ccc

  15. #15


    Member Since
    Sep 23, 2009
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwa107 View Post
    Holy cow - blow that thing out with some compressed air! Make sure you get the others as well and the vents at the rear.

    You didn't mention what model of MacBook Pro that is. If it's a pre-unibody, it should have a FW400 port on it already.
    on the system profiler it says macbook pro5,1

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