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Movies and Video For people making movies and editing video with their Mac.

transfer / copy from DVR to Computer


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mickibob

 
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Hello - Is there some way to copy or transfer a program saved on a DVR to the computer (iMac)
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ianrob99

 
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Use Handbrake
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Slydude

 
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There probably is but we are going to need a few more details.
What is the Make and model of the DVR? What are the computer's specs (model, memory, hard drive space etc)?

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
There probably is but we are going to need a few more details.
What is the Make and model of the DVR? What are the computer's specs (model, memory, hard drive space etc)?
@ Mickibob - please provide the information requested, plus whether the DVR is part of your cable package, the type of programming you are trying to transfer, and the reason(s) you want to put the DVR content onto your computer?

For myself, I have Time-Warner cable w/ their DVR (some features are disabled on the 'generic' device), so there may be limitations depending on your machine. For years, I've been recording old TCM movies in public domain and then burning them to DVD on a stand alone Sony DVD recorder (shown below) using just RCA connectors (i.e. one for video and 2 for sound) - I'm on my second Sony model which does dual layer DVD blank discs.

Two problems which you may have to confront: 1) I have to record to DVD in 'real time', so takes a while! and 2) I have no option to grab an AV file from the DVR (e.g. using a USB stick) to transfer to say a HD on a computer. If your DVR does not permit easy file transfer then the time factor might be an issue for you.

There should be no problem in hooking your DVR to your computer w/ some type of AV connection (e.g. HDMI if compatible) but you may have to deal w/ the issues above. Good luck - Dave
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I'm doing something similar with a firewire cable and the firewire port on the cable box. Recording to the computer must still be done in real time. Files can get huge though depending upon the format the box uses. MPG 2 Transport Streams (M2T) is a common format. The files run roughly 12 GB per hour before conversion.

Upside to this process is the transfer is entirely digital and I can use equipment I had on hand. There was no need for a stand-alone burner. The downside is that conversion can be slow on older gear. Occasionally you will get a file that does not transfer properly. I suspect this is either a corrupted stream or I've selected something that may be copy protected.

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mickibob

 
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The DVR is included in the cable box made by Cisco that we get with our set up from Time Warner. I want to make a copy of a program on which my group was interviewed (the station doesn't make copies anymore) on so that we can use it to show other interested groups.
The computer is an iMac running 10.6. I have 122 GB so space available.

Thanks for all your suggestions.
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To be much more specific than we have been so far we will need to know the model of the box. Some companies have crippled various features of their boxes. The easiest method would probably be to use a video camera that has pass thru recording capabilities. Once on the camera the file can usually be moved to the computer.

If your cable box has analog video output (red, white, yellow) something like this should do the trick. El Gato has a similar device which I believe is called EyeTV

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mickibob

 
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The model is 8742HDC. On the back is this configuration

OUTPUT
video

yellow green
white blue
red red
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mickibob View Post
The model is 8742HDC. On the back is this configuration..............
Hi again - googled the model # above and found the pic shown below (my T-W cable box is made by Scientific Atlanta but the back looks virtually identical to yours). As described by Slydude, the yellow-white-red outputs are the old RCA AV standards and would provided composite video and bi-channel sound - he provided a link to an USB adapter for this connection made by Roxio which included software to capture the video - might be your best option (and likely other adapters & software exist).

The adjacent green-blue-red outputs are component video for a HD signal (a fourth audio cable would be needed) - there are likely adapters for this type of connection if the recording was done in HD and that is what is desired?

Also notice that there are other connections, e.g. HDMI & SATA (the latter might allow connection to an external HD) but like my DVR, I'm assuming that these are probably disabled by the Time-Warner people, often the case. Good luck - Dave

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Beat me to it RadDave. You're spot on as usual. It looks like the port on the far end is labeled 1394 which would make it a firewire port. That is what I am using but as I mentioned it can be a pain in the butt to deal with. Not worth the headache if this is a one time thing.

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
Beat me to it RadDave. You're spot on as usual. It looks like the port on the far end is labeled 1394 which would make it a firewire port. That is what I am using but as I mentioned it can be a pain in the butt to deal with. Not worth the headache if this is a one time thing.
Hi Sly.... - you seem to be our local expert in this area - your suggestion as discussed in the previous threads should work for the OP - for my Sony unit, I've used the old RCA SD connection (i.e. red/white/yellow) - probably have transferred over 700 oldie movies over the years - interestingly the last model of that Sony device cost me under $200 but now is listed for over $600 on Amazon - don't know why? Dave
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Well I guess now I am going to have yo go a Googling for the answer. A you may have guessed I don't like not knowing the answer to these types of questions.

My bet would be that the newer models have some means of more strictly enforcing copyright. I had a video capture card that was so strict about that I couldn't even use the HDMI port as a pass thru to the TV with the cable box.

I almost bought either that unit or a similar one to do what you are doing. Ended up with a TiVO unit that had a burner built in. Bad idea. The DVD didn't last very long

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Slydude

 
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Hey Dave which model of that machine do you have?

If it pre-dates 2007 that may be part of the issue. Many recorders made after 2007did not seem to be able to record things that older models had previously been able to record. The general consensus seems to be that changes in the copy protection schemes used by cable companies caused many of the devices made after 2007 to not record things that previous models could handle. Some older devices apparently were still able to record the content correctly.

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RadDave

 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Slydude View Post
Hey Dave which model of that machine do you have?

If it pre-dates 2007 that may be part of the issue. Many recorders made after 2007did not seem to be able to record things that older models had previously been able to record............
Hi Sly.... - well, I was curious about when I purchased that Sony model (my second - wanted dual layer recording) - bought from Amazon, so did a search on my account (pic below) - bought in December 2011 for $155 only - can't imagine why the price is SO much more now (I'd expect the opposite)?

But I've just used it to 'burn' movies from the TCM channel - these films are in 'public domain' so not an issue of copyright - I would assume that a copyright program would not be accepted by this recorder? Never gave it a try - Dave
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