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post #1 of 20 Old 12-14-2011, 08:32 PM - Thread Starter
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have to return my pvr to cable company because it is malfunctioning.
would like to take some of the recording off the pvr and copy it to my laptop or usb stick or external drive.

it is a pace rng200n hd pvr from cogeco cable in canada.
http://www.pace.com/Documents/Specif...g200n_spec.pdf
it has hdmi and component.

my laptop is a new dell n7110 with hdmi

looking for the easiest way to copy my videos over.
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post #2 of 20 Old 12-14-2011, 11:09 PM
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The "easiest" backup method is to connect a DVD or DVD/HDD recorder to the line outputs of the Pace PVR, and just analog copy the desired videos in real time. The DVDs could eventually be ripped to the laptop. There doesn't appear to be any direct digital way to get readable files off this PVR and into a PC/laptop (unsurprising, as decoder boxes rarely support such transfers).

Check if your model of this PVR has an eSATA port: the brochure indicates it can use external eSATA drives. You could transfer the files to an external drive this way, then plug the drive into your replacement PVR (assuming you get the same model with eSATA port). The box might also be able to copy files to an external USB drive- the back panel shows USB ports but it isn't clear if those are limited to service and software updates. Of course you would need to lay hands on an external HDD, they aren't cheap right now, and the backup HDD would only be playable when connected to a similar PVR (your laptop will most likely not be able to play the proprietary files).

Cable companies have a tacit agreement with Hollywood to prevent easy copying of digital recordings into a PC, so cable PVRs use non-standard file systems that generally aren't readable as normal videos by a PC. Other than TiVO, I'm not aware of any PVR that can easily dump "normal" video files into a PC. The HDMI port on your laptop is for output only, in North America there are no devices that can record from HDMI input.
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post #3 of 20 Old 12-15-2011, 01:26 PM
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Easiest way would be a happauge 1212 Hd PVR, esp. if the content is HD.
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post #4 of 20 Old 12-15-2011, 02:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

Easiest way would be a happauge 1212 Hd PVR, esp. if the content is HD.

This would work, and given the current inflated prices of external HDDs is cost-competitive. But it still involves real-time analog dubbing from the PVR: this is not a direct digital file transfer. Its also a bit of an investment in money and effort learning the software that runs it: worth it if you plan to move many many videos to your laptop as a hobby, but overkill otherwise.

If you just want a cheap dirty way to preserve a few videos until you can catch up to them, borrow a DVD recorder (unless you already have one) and just dub to DVDs. But if you want to preserve them permanently in full HDTV quality, you'll need an adapter like the Hauppauge or you'll need an external HDD thats compatible with your Pace box for external swappable storage. Here again, you need to check the back panel of your specific Pace decoder box to see what ports it has- the brochure indicates three or four versions of this box were distributed (some with eSATA, some not, and no real confirmation that the USB ports do anything useful).
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post #5 of 20 Old 12-15-2011, 08:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

it is a pace rng200n hd pvr from cogeco cable in canada.
http://www.pace.com/Documents/Specif...g200n_spec.pdf
it has hdmi and component.

If we had something like the MTV-7000D he could copy the videos using the HDMI cable, then upload them to the PC using the USB ports or the WiFi.

Maybe he could make a raw copy of his HDD, using the tools named in this post:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1277209
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post #6 of 20 Old 12-15-2011, 08:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CitiBear View Post

Check if your model of this PVR has an eSATA port: the brochure indicates it can use external eSATA drives. You could transfer the files to an external drive this way, then plug the drive into your replacement PVR (assuming you get the same model with eSATA port).

I doubt that would work. When an external eSATA drive is attached to a DVR the software uses it to extend the volume of the internal drive. The drive does not stand alone, it is part of a volume set and fragments of a video file could be contained on both internal and external drives. Also, the firmware usually encrypts the drive to the specific DVR -- it needs to in order to protect copy-once content. If you attach the drive to another DVR it will just be cleared and used to extend the volume of the new DVR.

There is no digital direct way to get content off the disk of a DVR other than TiVo. It has to be a real-time analog dub and most likely a copy-protection buster box will be required for premium content.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #7 of 20 Old 12-15-2011, 10:41 PM - Thread Starter
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thanks for all the suggestions...
no, i'm not looking to make any great investment here..some need to get some of this content off the pvr before i return it for exchange.
going to see if i can find a dvr and do a 'real time copy'
not even sure how to do that
guess i should be able to figure it out
thanks again for all the help....

just to clarify...the usb port is just for, what they are calling, future use.
did not mention the esata because i thought a drive with that connection would be hard/expensive to find
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post #8 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

going to see if i can find a dvr and do a 'real time copy'
not even sure how to do that
guess i should be able to figure it out

There are plenty of threads here that deal with that. Do a search or just browse the thread titles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

did not mention the esata because i thought a drive with that connection would be hard/expensive to find

Not hard to find, but yes expensive, as are all HDD currently until the supply re-establishes. But as I noted above, an eSATA drive will not help you do what you want to do.

As a note: just because your cable DVR has a particular output doesn't mean it's actually good for anything. Like your USB ports for future use, many cable co DVR's have an eSATA output but unless the cable co decides to enable the output in firmware to do something it's worthless. My co-worker has had a Verizon DVR for years with an eSATA port that did nothing. It has only been relatively recently that Verizon has enabled the eSATA port for an external expansion drive -- I believe he told me they entertained the thought of charging extra for that "feature".

- kelson h

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post #9 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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yes...and if i'm reading all this correctly
even if I do download this video and eventually get it onto my PC/laptop
is there a way to rip it so its playable on the pc/laptop

and there is no guarantee that once the pvr is replaced whether the same model or not, 1) there is a way to get the video back onto the new pvr, 2) and even if able it may not play because of firmware, etc incompatabilities

going to borrow a dvd recorder and see how i make out

thanks again for all the help and suggestions
will update thread with results
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post #10 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 11:38 AM
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onorio56, since you say this is just a one-time thing to rescue a few videos before you turn in the box, your best bet is to just make a real-time dub onto any recording device you can lay hands on: even an old VCR will work, if you don't need HDTV quality and just want to catch up on a few shows.

You connect the analog video (yellow) and audio (red/white) line outputs in back of the PVR to the inputs of a DVD recorder or a VCR. Connect the line outputs of the "saving" recorder to one of the inputs of your TV, and set the TV to show that input. Turn on the DVD recorder or VCR, set it to the input you plugged the Pace into, and you should be able to view the Pace box video patched thru the other recorder on your TV. Hit "record" on the DVD recorder or VCR, and play whatever shows you need to save on the Pace box. If the show runs an hour, it will take an hour to copy, etc, and you will need to pay attention to how much time you have left on each DVD or videocassette.

Depending on the channel the Pace was recording, some shows may be copy-protected, meaning a DVD recorder will shut itself off and refuse to copy those particular shows. To get around this would require buying a video protection filter or TBC, which again is not practical just to save a few videos (filters cost $100-200). If you discover the Pace videos are protected, just use a VCR instead of a DVD recorder: the VCR technology is "dumb" and doesn't respond to the Pace "do not record" signal.

Quite honestly, the whole task is really not worth the trouble of bothering and you may be overthinking this: it takes as much time to make the copies as it does to *just watch the shows*. If the Pace is functioning normally enough to let you play the recordings you want to catch up with, how about you simply don't trade it in until you watch the backed up recordings? Take a day off, or put off other things until you can force yourself to watch everything. Then trade in for a new box. Or, get the new box as an additional monthly charge and hold onto the old one until you finish watching everything on it: even if it takes you two months, what could it cost? another $30 in box fees before you turn it in? Much easier and cheaper than futzing around trying to get videos off the old box first.

BTW: lately, AVS has been getting a number of somewhat suspicious questions similar to this, with people harping on the "laptop" idea. The thing is, no one in their right mind tries moving videos from a decoder box PVR to their laptop unless A) they literally have no other device in the house capable of recording video and hope to avoid buying another recorder, or B) they're playing "dumb" hoping someone here will reveal some "secret" trick to copy digital files from a decoder box to a laptop (because they want to use the laptop as a portable viewer, or they want to upload cable videos to internet sites). I'm not saying this is you, onorio56, just pointing out that cable/satellite companies are aware of these desires and very actively discourage/prevent the possibility.

So there really isn't a "cheap and easy" (i.e. do it in minutes via digital file transfer) way to get videos off a cable/sat PVR and into a PC/laptop. You can dub the videos from PVR to a DVD recorder, then put the DVDs in your laptop and rip the DVD files into AVI, MP4 or DiVX format (for standard-def copies). Or, you can lay out the money for something like the Hauppage, which lets you connect the output of the PVR directly into your PC to capture full HDTV-quality AVCHD files. Either way, it won't be fast: a one hour show will take one hour to copy. It won't be direct digital. And you might have to spend another $100-200 on a video filter. Alternatively, as Kelson suggested, when you turn in your defective Pace box don't replace it: buy a TiVO instead. The TiVO lets you transfer recordings as digital files directly to your PC via ethernet connection: by far the easiest system if you expect video archiving to be an ongoing hobby.

Dealing with all this hardware, expense, time and aggravation is worth it if you intend to make a steady hobby of capturing TV to your computer, but the whole enterprise is a little ridiculous if all you need to do is catch up on some backed up shows before turning in a faulty box.
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post #11 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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boy...do I agree with you on that point...a lot of time and aggravation.

So, just to let you know, personally I don't give a darn whats on the Pace, my lovely wife has recorded the Royal Wedding when it was on TV.
I got her the published version and she is not happy with that. She claims it is not the same coverage as from the TV, so I am trying to make her happy by not losing this video. "Happy Wife, Happy Life."

So, while the Pace is behaving not badily, its on its way out. Press a button on the remote, 5 to 30 sec lag, jittering pictures, etc.
Yeah, this will be just a one time thing, hopefully...

So, I'm going to borrow a DVR and see what I can do for her.

As far as the laptop/copyright thing, I can understand that. The reason I keep hinting on laptop is I do not use a desktop. If I really wanted to I could just download what ever I wanted from torrent sites but of course, not the Royal Wedding from TV coverage. (Citibear, In case the previous sentence is interpreted wrong. I do not believe you are accusing me. In fact I thank you and the others for your time and effort in helping me)

On another note, I do not believe we have Tivo available in our area. Windsor, Ontario.
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post #12 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 03:27 PM
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Best buy has the haupagge 1212 on sale for $159 right now. It will copy in HD using your component out on your DVR and copy it into a h.264 format with either .ts, .2mts, or .mp4 formats - all useable.
It will do all you want and more. Let you make a DVD of it OR a AVCHD (that will play HD on a bluray player) if you want that.

It will work on your laptop.
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post #13 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 07:49 PM
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onorio56,

Have you asked your cable company about how the eSata external hard drive option works?

Your PVR probably works differently but, just for what it's worth: My DishNetwork 722k PVR lets me easily transfer individual movies from its HD to an external USB HD. The process is digital and fairly speedy. (The movies are encrypted and can only be viewed with a compatible DishNetwork PVR.)

I've seen 1tb eSata HDs advertized on the net for under US $100.
.
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post #14 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 09:00 PM
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Most cabelco dvrs can use external hdd's (usually esata only). The big problem with connecting an external hdd to a cableco dvr is that you can't watch the recordings on another dvr. It isn't like Dish that lets you watch shows from an external drive to any "like model" dvr you have on your account.
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post #15 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 09:21 PM - Thread Starter
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pacofortacos...i'll check the haupagge 1212 when I'm in the US on Sunday.
Not available locally here.

TheWind...the eSata is not activated

mhufnagel...I think I would like to be able to load this video onto my wd live so she can play it back when she wants
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post #16 of 20 Old 12-16-2011, 09:42 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

pacofortacos...i'll check the haupagge 1212 when I'm in the US on Sunday.
Not available locally here.

TheWind...the eSata is not activated

mhufnagel...I think I would like to be able to load this video onto my wd live so she can play it back when she wants

1. Open the Pace.
2. Check the type or HDD and interface (Sata-Pata, etc)
3. With the right adapter, connect it to your laptop, and check if the OS "reads" the volume.
4. If no luck, try to use the advanced tools on PeterTheGeek thread.
5. Make a RAW copy of the Pace HDD.
6. Check it with the Hex editor and try to find the Video.
7. Don't give up.
8. I'm just kidding, do what ever you want/can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

(...)my lovely wife has recorded the Royal Wedding when it was on TV.
I got her the published version and she is not happy with that. She claims it is not the same coverage as from the TV, so I am trying to make her happy by not losing this video. "Happy Wife, Happy Life."

Your wife is wise and she's right, the "published versions" of anything almost always are incomplete. Think about all those old american TV-shows with "edited" soundtracks thanks to the greedy studios which didn't pay for its use on DVD or Blue-Ray.
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post #17 of 20 Old 12-17-2011, 08:06 PM - Thread Starter
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I know, I know shes right, its just a little hard admitting it.
Sheesh, of all things it could be, its the Royal Wedding , of all things


come on, I know you all feel my pain
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post #18 of 20 Old 12-17-2011, 10:06 PM
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I don't know, Pippa is pretty easy on the eyes
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post #19 of 20 Old 12-17-2011, 10:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onorio56 View Post

come on, I know you all feel my pain

Yup, just like the poor fellow forced to salute the princess wearing the fallopian tube hat.




However, on the bright side, the Hauppauge HD PVR 1212 is available in Canada: http://www.shopbot.ca/pp-hauppauge-h...ce-125914.html
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post #20 of 20 Old 01-20-2012, 10:04 PM - Thread Starter
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okay...to follow up
went and purchased the haupagge
worked very well, so everyone is happy now

thanks to all for your advice, very much in debt to you
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