I have a DirecTv Genie Box, HR 44-200, that has a malfunctioning tuner system. It cannot see any of the satellites. The Hard Drive is fine. I could, when it was active, watch the shows we had recorded. When they activated the new box the old box's deactivation command had not been received yet and so we were able to watch a show or two. Now that it's deactivated it won't let us. I want to take out the hard drive, hook it up to my cables that will make it an external USB drive and copy them to my Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro Laptop. Will that work? Is there a difference in Operating Systems and file formats that need to be dealt with? If so how would I do that? Will I have to, and if so how do I, Convert the Files to a format that is compatible with my Laptop(Windows 8.1) and will I will be able to watch the shows on my laptop or TV? That is my Ultimate Goal. Thank You All for any help that I receive.
Sgt USMC Retired
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If I remember correctly, you can transfer the drive from one DirectTV PVR to another to watch the recordings. Or maybe that was Dish.
That's what I was thinking too - remove the old box's HDD and place it in an external USB enclosure. Hopefully it will work with the new box.
DVRs use a combination of encryption and usually an unusual file system that Windows doesn't understand to protect the recordings. Sometimes the file system is some type of Linux file system that you can find a Windows driver for, but then you have an encrypted recording you can't do anything with. Perhaps you can look for a DirecTV forum somewhere and see what the current status is on cracking the encryption, but I don't want to fill you with false hope because most likely you'll be told that it can't be broken.
Almost always the only way to get recordings off a DVR is to play them back and record them in real time (meaning 60 minutes of video takes 60 minutes to record) using a video capture device on a PC that is connected to the DVR. Some DVRs have restricted outputs and HDMI can be difficult to capture because it can be copy protected and most video capture devices can't accept copy protected HDMI input. So then you have to buy an "HDMI splitter" that you happen to know has the ability to remove the copy protection on the HDMI signal. In the USA it's illegal to sell such devices so the ones that can do it can't advertise this capability. Or if your DVR allows component (RGB - 3 different cables with this) video and some kind of optical audio output, you can record that without worrying about copy protection. DVRs aren't required to allow component video output so if yours doesn't allow this (I have no idea - I mention this only as a possibility) then you have to go with HDMI plus a splitter. So you can see that this is not an easy question to answer. Hollywood has to let you record stuff but the law does not in any way require them to make it easy for you to get your recordings off the device. In your case, you'll need a DirecTV expert to help you, but there may be a possibility that your old recordings are gone and there's no way to get them back unless you pay to re-activate the old box. The decryption key may be specifically tied to that box.
I recall reading something that makes me think the new Genie will want to format the HDD from the old one if it is attached as an external drive.
Last edited by usually_quiet; 13th Dec 2014 at 14:53.
I have added an external HD to the genie and it did reformat it. But I've never added a genie external HD to a genie box, So let experiment and see what happens. Thanks, I appreciate all of the input.