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    Hi guys, does anyone know how I can take a show that I recorded on my Optimum DVR and store it as a video file on a computer? I need the show to be in mp4 format, and I need to have the best video quality I can possibly get.

    Please tell me what software I will need and walk me through the easiest process of doing this. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks, guys!
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    You'll need a capture device hooked up to your Computer preferably a USB, Win 7 compatible device and hook it up to the outputs of your DVR. Tell us what outputs are available since one is used for your TV then we'll tell you what program to use to capture the video.
    Last edited by Wolfen; 13th Feb 2013 at 23:48.
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    Thanks for responding. I'll get back to you tomorrow on what outputs are available on my DVR. For now, I had another idea I want to run by you. I could record the DVR'd show onto a DVD, and then put the DVD into my computer, and then transfer the video file on the DVD into mp4 and store it on my computer. Would this be at all possible? If so, would it be easier or harder than the way you suggested? Please respond soon, and thanks again for your help.
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    Does your Optimum DVR copy-protect what it places on it's hard drive?
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    Copy protection is imbedded in almost all original broadcast signals by the signal provider, except for a few old-timers like the usual "network" and PBS stations, etc. Your DVD recorder will not record protected media, nor will it record in HD. The DVR's recordings are in the form of copy-once (meaning that you can make one recoding, after which your only recourse is to move it from one "permanent" form of storage (such as a hard drive) to another (i.e, another hard drive), but you can't copy it or re-record it. Because you have no access to the DVR's hard drive the way you can access a PC's hard drive, you can't move the recording. All Optimum and FIOS DVR's work in that manner. It is an industry standard and is one of the major reasons-for-being of the digital revolution -- not to mention saving transmission power by sending you ridiculously low-bitrate broadcasts that look like crap when they're re-recorded, even if you could so.

    The only way to record HD or most protected SD broadcasts is to use your cable box component outputs into a recording device that ignores copy protection, such as a Hauppauge HD PVR. Use it to record to a computer via USB, and do whatever you want with that recording.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 06:58.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Originally Posted by R&MFan View Post
    For now, I had another idea I want to run by you. I could record the DVR'd show onto a DVD, and then put the DVD into my computer, and then transfer the video file on the DVD into mp4 and store it on my computer. Would this be at all possible?
    Sorry, but no. And even if you could, that's 3 lossy encoding stages: original, MPEG, then MP4. Great way to ruin a video.
    I'm not sure where this answer is coming from. Yes, what you propose IS possible. You can indeed play the DVRed show and record it in real time on a DVD recorder (assuming your DVR has video outputs that you can use as inputs into the DVD recorder - this should be the case) and then rip it and convert it. I'm not here to argue whether you should do that or not, but yes, you can.
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    Nope. I don't think you can. What connection would you use to the DVD? And how does the DVD react to the copy protection on the original recording? The O.P. would just have to try it and see.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 06:59.
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    Originally Posted by R&MFan View Post
    Hi guys, does anyone know how I can take a show that I recorded on my Optimum DVR and store it as a video file on a computer? I need the show to be in mp4 format, and I need to have the best video quality I can possibly get.

    Please tell me what software I will need and walk me through the easiest process of doing this. Your help is much appreciated. Thanks, guys!
    Chances Optimum uses DVRs from Cisco, Motorola, etc., just like other cable providers. The recordings on the DVR's hard drive are encrypted so you can't copy them directly from the hard drive. You will need to capture the DVR's output while the recording is played back.

    The Hauppauge HD-PVR and Hauppauge Colossus capture directly from analog component video outputs to H.264 using hardware encoding, and reputedly ignore analog copy protection in the signal. They can capture directly to .mp4, but there are errors in the resulting file, so it is probably better to capture as a H.264 .ts and convert to .mp4 later with YAMB or another .mp4 converter.
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    The PDF user guides posted on Optimum's site show pics of Scientific Atlanta DVR's. When a customer gets a DVR, they are given a small Quick Start brochure, not a full user guide. But I assume they should be available at a company public outlet, or check the website.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 06:59.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    The PDF user guides posted on Optimum's site show pics of Scientific Atlanta DVR's. When a customer gets a DVR, they are given a small Quick Start brochure, not a full user guide. But I assume they should be available at a company public outlet, or check the website.
    Cisco bought Scientific-Atlanta in 2005, so newer DVRs will have the Cisco's name on them instead of Scientific-Atlanta.
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    All my boxes and every box/DVD I've seen from Cablevision have no Cisco logo. The modems and routers do (sometimes). Some of the HD boxes are Samsung.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 06:59.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    All my boxes and every box/DVD I've seen from Cablevision have no Cisco logo. The modems and routers do (sometimes). Some of the HD boxes are Samsung.
    So what. All that proves is that, like most cable providers, Cablevision does not retire equipment that still works. (My present Comcast digital cable box dates from 2001.)

    If you want proof that Cisco makes cable boxes under their own name: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/products/settop_8600hdc.html
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    I haven't been in every home in New York and Connecticut, and there's no Comcast here. I see Scientific Atlanta here on boxes and DVR's. The newest HD boxes I've seen here are Samsung (and they're crap). Modems seem to come from everywhere (mine's a Motorola). The 8300 DVR pictured in your link doesn't look anything like any DVR I've seen in NY or CT. The Optimum iO SA Explorer 8300 cosmetically matches the SA HD and SD boxes, none of which look like Cisco units. I hook up brand new ones and see them all the time, servicing my PC customers all over New York. Helping with some hurricane Sandy cleanup, many of those DVR's are brand new issues to replace older ones flooded by salt water. No Cisco. Different cosmetics. Same outputs on the back. And yes, I know Cisco makes 'em.

    What difference does the logo make?
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 06:59.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    I haven't been in every home in New York and Connecticut, and there's no Comcast here. I see Scientific Atlanta here on boxes and DVR's. The newest HD boxes I've seen here are Samsung (and they're crap). Modems seem to come from everywhere (mine's a Motorola). The 8300 DVR pictured in your link doesn't look anything like any DVR I've seen in NY or CT. The Optimum iO SA Explorer 8300 cosmetically matches the SA HD and SD boxes, none of which look like Cisco units. I hook up brand new ones and see them all the time, servicing my PC customers all over New York. Helping with some hurricane Sandy cleanup, many of those DVR's are brand new issues to replace older ones flooded by salt water. No Cisco. Different cosmetics. Same outputs on the back. And yes, I know Cisco makes 'em.

    What difference does the logo make?
    The fact that the boxes you hooked up are newly issued to the recipients does not mean that they are new boxes, even in a disaster recovery situation. You would have to check the model numbers. I'll bet many of them are no longer in production. BTW, I picked up my cable box in August 2012, but the inventory tags on it and the model number point to it being quite old.

    The fact remains that Cisco has been putting their own name on cable boxes for some time now. As far as the logo, you seem to be the one making it a point of contention.
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    Not I, my man. I wouldn't go through that much trouble for my own gear, much less someone else's. I'm not that paranoid. Anyway, you're in Comcast Land, not Optimum Country. So unless you're willing to take a little road trip and spend a few days/weeks/months looking things over around here and making lists of models, serial numbers and dates to make some sort of irrelevant point about who makes your Comcast gear, for which the O.P. has no use, you're welcome to waste more of your time. Back to the O.P.'s problem, if he hasn't given up on us. I gave model info to help the O.P. recognize his DVR, not yours.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 07:00.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Not I, my man. I wouldn't go through that much trouble for my own gear, much less someone else's. I'm not that paranoid. Anyway, you're in Comcast Land, not Optimum Country. So unless you're willing to take a little road trip and spend a few days/weeks/months looking things over around here and making lists of models, serial numbers and dates to make some sort of irrelevant point about who makes your Comcast gear, for which the O.P. has no use, you're welcome to waste more of your time. Back to the O.P.'s problem, if he hasn't given up on us. I gave model info to help the O.P. recognize his DVR, not yours.
    Now you really look like a crackpot. My point is that all cable companies recycle their equipment endlessly as long as it is even remotely functional, and recently manufactured stock will be marked as Cisco, not Scientific Atlanta.

    If Optimum/Cablevision is using Scientific Atlanta equipment it isn't new, regardless of what you think. Scientific Atlanta no longer exists as a brand. Read this http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac49/ac0/ac1/ac259/scientificatlanta.html
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 15th Feb 2013 at 22:15.
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    Thanks for all the responses, guys! Don't worry, I haven't given up on you, and I'm not going to anytime soon. You all have given me a lot to think about. I'm not sure about copy-protection on my DVR box, I guess to find out I'll just have to try to record the DVD. I think I'll try that first because it seems the simplest to me, and I'll let you guys know how it turns out. Unless, are there any of you out there who want to try it for me? That would be good. Anyway, keep those responses coming! Thanks so much, guys!
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    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    Now you really look like a crackpot.
    Let's not go that route. You picked a fine forum handle for someone who has had precious few quiet moments around here.

    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    My point is that all cable companies recycle their equipment endlessly as long as it is even remotely functional, and recently manufactured stock will be marked as Cisco, not Scientific Atlanta.

    If Optimum/Cablevision is using Scientific Atlanta equipment it isn't new, regardless of what you think. Scientific Atlanta no longer exists as a brand. Read this http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac49/ac0/ac1/ac259/scientificatlanta.html
    Yes, I understand, and I believe, there is no doubt you are correct and no one is contradicting you. But I'm afraid you're leading R&MFan astray with pictures of Cisco gear that don't look like the stuff he uses. Here is a picture of the Cisco equipment (labeled "Scientific Atlanta") that is used around here. It is what the O.P. is using if he has Cablevision's Optimum iO service: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300HDC_DVR.html . Or try some of the "Cisco" manuals shown on this page: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300hddvr.html

    I'm aware that all cable providers re-use stuff. They already have enough reasons for frequent rate increases without adding higher equipment cost to their list of excuses. I have not seen any "Cisco" labeled units here. If they are making cosmetic changes with Cisco-labelled stuff (and probably with units that have different output panels and user menus), they have an odd way of doing it with Samsung and Pace units starting to show up here, as I've seen in south Nassau county and upper Westchester. However, if you'd like to advise the O.P. how to work his Cisco gear you might refer him to a Cisco manual that looks like the Cisco unit you say he's using. I already had a quick look at manuals for both. They don't look the same, they have the same outputs but with a different rear panel layout, and their user menus differ.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 07:00.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    My point is that all cable companies recycle their equipment endlessly as long as it is even remotely functional, and recently manufactured stock will be marked as Cisco, not Scientific Atlanta.

    If Optimum/Cablevision is using Scientific Atlanta equipment it isn't new, regardless of what you think. Scientific Atlanta no longer exists as a brand. Read this http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac49/ac0/ac1/ac259/scientificatlanta.html
    Yes, I understand, and I believe, there is no doubt you are correct and no one is contradicting you. But I'm afraid you're leading R&MFan astray with pictures of Cisco gear that don't look like the stuff he uses. Here is a picture of the Cisco equipment (labeled "Scientific Atlanta") that is used around here. It is what the O.P. is using if he has Cablevision's Optimum iO service: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300HDC_DVR.html . Or try some of the "Cisco" manuals shown on this page: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300hddvr.html.

    I'm aware that all cable providers re-use stuff. They already have enough reasons for frequent rate increases without adding higher equipment cost to their list of excuses. I have not seen any "Cisco" labeled units here. If they are making cosmetic changes with Cisco-labelled stuff (and probably with units that have different output panels and user menus), they have an odd way of doing it with Samsung and Pace units starting to show up here, as I've seen in south Nassau county and upper Westchester. However, if you'd like to advise the O.P. how to work his Cisco gear you might refer him to a Cisco manual that looks like the Cisco unit you say he's using. I already had a quick look at manuals for both. They don't look the same, they have the same outputs but with a different rear panel layout, and their user menus differ.
    I posted this:
    Originally Posted by usually_quiet View Post
    If you want proof that Cisco makes cable boxes under their own name: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/products/settop_8600hdc.html
    I specifically said the link was proof that Cisco manufactures cable boxes and DVRs under its own name and you still attempted to misconstrue what I wrote. I NEVER said that the OP used the model illustrated. Even the OP has not said what he has. You are the only one who said the OP has any particular DVR model.

    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    Yes, I understand, and I believe, there is no doubt you are correct and no one is contradicting you. But I'm afraid you're leading R&MFan astray with pictures of Cisco gear that don't look like the stuff he uses. Here is a picture of the Cisco equipment (labeled "Scientific Atlanta") that is used around here. It is what the O.P. is using if he has Cablevision's Optimum iO service: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300HDC_DVR.html . Or try some of the "Cisco" manuals shown on this page: http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/settop_8300hddvr.html.
    Cisco is re-using Scientific Atlanta's original documents for some models, and you found the links to the manuals on this page http://www.cisco.com/web/consumer/support/prod_tv_set_tops.html. I don't see "Scientific Atlanta" anywhere on that page, only "Cisco". If people want the manufacturer's product information for the former Scientific Atlanta models today, they have to look for their model with the "Cisco" brand name attached.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 16th Feb 2013 at 08:04.
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    You should explain to the O.P. how to use his Cisco unit, should questions arise.
    Last edited by sanlyn; 26th Mar 2014 at 07:00.
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    Originally Posted by sanlyn View Post
    You should explain to the O.P. how to use his Cisco unit, should questions arise.
    As I said earlier, the OP has not said what model of DVR he has.
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    Thanks again for all the responses, guys, you've been really helpful! I have a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR. It has a few ports on the front that say things like Aux. Input, Aux. Video, and Aux. Audio. It also has a port on the front that looks like it may be a USB port. I hope this helps.
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    Ever heard of Google?

    Optimum online: Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Digital Cable Box/DVR
    http://optimum.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/2239/~/scientific-atlanta-explorer...able-box%2Fdvr

    DVR User Guide: http://www.optimum.com/pdf/user_guides/dvr_guide.pdf
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    Originally Posted by R&MFan View Post
    Thanks again for all the responses, guys, you've been really helpful! I have a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR. It has a few ports on the front that say things like Aux. Input, Aux. Video, and Aux. Audio. It also has a port on the front that looks like it may be a USB port. I hope this helps.
    The USB ports won't help you. They are reserved for future use and nonfunctional.

    The eSATA port is used for attaching an external hard drive for extra storage, but the recordings are still encrypted and unusable by any device other than the individual box that created them.

    The only port on your DVR that might output a high-definition signal that you can capture using a computer without buying a capture device is an IEEE 1394 port. IEEE 1394 was used by some early HDTVs and video recorders instead of HDMI or DVI connections. However, there are very specific technical requirements for using this approach and even if they are satisfied, it frequently isn't possible to capture DVR recordings that way. The output stream is often scrambled or the IEEE 1394 ports are blocked to prevent it.

    Your best chance for reaching all the goals mentioned in your original post is still to use one of the two Hauppauge capture devices I mentioned to capture the output from the DVR's component video connections and RCA stereo audio connections or optical S/PDIF audio connection.

    Capturing from the HDMI port on a DVR is more difficult because cable boxes and DVRs apply HDCP to their HDMI output and HDMI capture devices are designed to prevent recording HDCP-protected output.

    It may be possible to use the composite and S-video ports plus stereo audio ports with a standard definition capture device. However, the resulting video will be of lesser quality than that obtained using component video for capture and it may only provide the opportunity to record a picture that is letter boxed, pillar boxed or both. You would need to get a standard definition capture device and software that ignores analog copy protection in the signal for your computer, or something like the Dimax Grex digital video stabilizer that removes analog copy protection to allow you to use a DVD recorder for making a DVD. I should warn you that I have seen reports from users that say the Dimax Grex and similar devices worsened picture quality to some degree, although not every owner experiences a significant problem in that area.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 18th Feb 2013 at 11:46.
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    Hi again, guys. Thanks for all your responses. I've tried each of your ideas, but I just can't get anything to work. The video either comes out fuzzy and staticy, in really bad quality, or simply doesn't work at all. I've searched the Internet for various guides, and have tried lots of things that also don't work. So I'm just going to buy my TV episode off of iTunes and try to figure out how to remove the DRM protection. It will be better that way because the episode will be in much better quality, it won't have the watermark at the bottom of the screen or the banners that come up occasionally during the DVR, it will have the show's credits (which the DVR recording off of live TV doesn't have), and I won't have to worry about editing out the commercials. But thanks again for being so helpful, everybody, I really appreciate it!
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    Hello. I realize this thread is old and I do not know if anybody is still following it, I have not seen any news posts for a couple of years, but since the thread is still open I am wondering if anybody has managed to figure out how to get recorded video from the Optimum DVR box on to anything else or into a computer? I am switching from Optimum cable to DIRECTV. Optimum cable has become outrageously expensive and the service is not too good. I am having never ending DVR problems, cable tv problems and constant repair people up here. For the price I am paying, $247 a month, and that's not even the top package, the price is insane. I do have a lot of movies on that DVR and some of them I cannot find on DVD or some of the movie channels on the Internet so I would like to get them out of that DVR and into something else. I have an Optimum Samsung box that there is a picture of here.
    the only thing that I have managed to copy them onto is a VHS tape. If necessary that is what I'm going to do so at least I still have the movies. But I would rather get them into the computer or onto a DVD.
    So if anyone is still following this thread and has any suggestions I would appreciate any help.

    Thanks.

    BBE
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    Originally Posted by BeehndBluEyes View Post
    Hello. I realize this thread is old and I do not know if anybody is still following it, I have not seen any news posts for a couple of years, but since the thread is still open I am wondering if anybody has managed to figure out how to get recorded video from the Optimum DVR box on to anything else or into a computer? I am switching from Optimum cable to DIRECTV. Optimum cable has become outrageously expensive and the service is not too good. I am having never ending DVR problems, cable tv problems and constant repair people up here. For the price I am paying, $247 a month, and that's not even the top package, the price is insane. I do have a lot of movies on that DVR and some of them I cannot find on DVD or some of the movie channels on the Internet so I would like to get them out of that DVR and into something else. I have an Optimum Samsung box that there is a picture of here.
    the only thing that I have managed to copy them onto is a VHS tape. If necessary that is what I'm going to do so at least I still have the movies. But I would rather get them into the computer or onto a DVD.
    So if anyone is still following this thread and has any suggestions I would appreciate any help.

    Thanks.

    BBE
    You cannot transfer recordings from a DVR to anything else. You can only play the recorded programming and re-record in real time using another device, a VCR, a DVD recorder, or a PC capture device.

    Although it is easy enough for most people to use a VCR, that method gives the worst quality, and new VHS tapes become rather expensive.

    A DVD recorder is a little harder to use, but if someone uses good media and does not record more than 2 hours of programming per DVD, the quality will be noticeably better than a VHS recording. A new DVD recorder isn't inexpensive ($160 to $400 depending on the model) or easy to find. Only a few models are still being made and they have to be bought online.

    Recording with a PC capture device can give the best quality results, even high definition recordings, but it often requires a fair amount of time to learn how to successfully use a capture device and capture software. Analog standard definition capture devices are relatively inexpensive. HDMI and component video high definition capture devices cost more, between $90 and $180 depending on the features someone needs. Expect to spend an additional $100-$150 on accessories, such as a $23-$40 HDMI splitter that strips HDCP (only some HDMI splitters will work for this), cables, and editing software.
    Last edited by usually_quiet; 20th Feb 2015 at 10:29. Reason: grammar
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    Thank you so much usually_quiet for your answer. I was doubting I would hear anything from this thread. I have no less than 30 movies on my DVR with Optimum that I really don't want to lose. I am switching to DirectTV on Monday so I don't have much time to do anything. I have put off the switching over until the last week of my billing period, so I think I am stuck with VHS recordings. I guess I will have to just record the ones that I have not been able to find on the web or on dvd and let the others go.
    I found this on ebay but I wasn't sure it would work and I had no one to ask.

    Would this have worked?


    BBE
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    I don't know much about that particular device. There is a possibility that analog copy protection could interfere with recording, but otherwise a device like that could work as long as drivers for your PC's operating system are available and there is software for it that you are able to use. It would only record in standard definition, but the picture would be a little nicer than VHS if recording from the DVR.

    However, in my opinion, you could find a better standard definition capture device for $50.
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    Any idea of which standard def capture device?
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