I want to pull some of the tv shows off of my Comcast DVR.
Motorola model #DCN3416
Although I suspected it would not work I pulled the hard drive and hooked it up to my pc (windows XP).
The computer recognized it...I was able to see it in 'disk management' but it was listed as unknown.
Is it safe to assume the Comcast dvr is using Linux and this is the problem?
Anyway, I know the files can be transferred to my pc some way...
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Connect a DVD recorder or VCR to the DVR. AV line one out to the DVD recorder, AV out of DVD recorder to "in" on TV. Select the show you want to record and select "record on the recorder" and play the show on the DVR.TN VOL
"Those who fail are those who fail to try."
I was hoping there was a way to just pull the files from the hard drive to my pc and watch from my htpc or popcorn hour.
I do not have a dvd recorder and have not owned a vcr for over 10 years.
Perhaps I am wrong and this can't be done but you would think it would be possible....
There are some threads on this subject, if you care to do a search.
Here's one : http://www.videohelp.com/forum/archive/comcast-dvr-to-pc-t295631.html
Here's another: http://forum.videohelp.com/topic315279.html
The upshot is that much of what you may want to copy is going to be encrypted and/or copy protected. I doubt that they've made it any easier with newer DVRs.
Having been a party to those threads (and others), I can summarize a little for you:
The drive is 60/80/120/160GB, with 2 partitions, both being GPFS (IBM/Linux Hi-Performance Server filesystem) with NON-standard partition ID#s (to make life more difficult?).
The 1st partition is the metadata (~200-800MB), scheduling/movie info/pointers or aliases. This is NOT encrypted; it is human-readable text for the most part.
The 2nd holds actual media (the remaining space, up to the size of the drive or 120/160GB, whichever is SMALLER), but AFAIK, ALL files are encrypted with whatever encryption is available on GPFS, and the key is tied to the STB serial # (so you can't even take the drive from one STB and move it to another, unless you just want to reformat and lose everything).
Drive size limits are locked in firmware, so can't be exceeded until a new firmware is released by Motorola. Long wait.
IOW, you can put in a new HD of any larger size, but the max available would still be 120 or 160GB, depending upon model, no matter what.
You can hack the internal SATA port and swap using bracket etc to send it to External port so that you can SWAP HDs (each of 120/160GB usable space. But this hack isn't easy, and you had batter OWN your STB outright! Plus this only helps you to temporarily time/space shift on that 1 box and it's not a hot-swap so you have to shut down 1st.
Most likely scenario of use would be to use the Firewire port to record the TS stream to a PC/Mac while watching/recording live material that isn't 5C copy-protected. If it is 5C, you're SOL, unless you want to go the Analog output (Component/SVideo/Composite)-->TBC-->Analog CaptureCard-->Reencode method, but that means a certain amount to quality loss (least loss would be if you're staying Component HD).
For the present, those are the ONLY options. This goes for most of the Moto boxes (some have less choice than that).
Ok, so basically from what you are telling me this is not worth the effort.
It's just not that important.
I'm kind of shocked that the copy protection is that big of an issue. Every other protection out there can be beat...even BD's. You would think there would be a way around that.
Shit, I only want to get a few shows from the G4 channel...not the latest movies!!!
Anyway, thanks for the info.
G4 is probably NOT 5C copy-protected, so in that case, the live Firewire-out-to-PCcap option is doable for you.
Otherwise, yeah, it's a mess best left alone. Get an HTPC with a cable card or something if it WERE a big deal for you.
has anyone tried doing a hot swap to a pc. in my head its the same concept at opening the xbox hdd
Cornucopia is correct. I've recorded numerous programs from my cable box. Basically, you have to install the drivers for the Motorola brand DVR. Once installed and rebooted, start the capture program and play back the program. Once captured, convert the stream to the format you desire, or burn it to DVD.
Of course, you have to have a Firewire port on your PC. I have an old Pinnacle Studio card that still works quite well.
CBrianA - We really prefer that you NOT dig up old threads to add to them. After 3 years the people who cared are no longer waiting for answers and they've either found a solution or moved on with their lives.
The drivers do NOT work on all Motorola DVRs and they do NOT work at all on 64 bit Windows. Future readers need to know that. The author is completely uninterested in writing 64 bit versions of his drivers. People have tried in desperation to pay others to write the 64 bit drivers. ALL of those efforts have ended in failure. The 32 bit drivers do work in 32 bit Windows up through Win 7 as I write this. I don't care enough to look to see if Win 8 works or not, but 64 bit Win 8 definitely won't work.