Solutions for saving DVR to PC? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 5 Old 01-05-2013, 07:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi folks. Here's what I'm trying to do, and it seems pretty straight-forward to me so I'm surprised after searching around all weekend I can't seem to find a solution for it. I'm happy enough w/my Comcast HD DVR (motorola DCH-3416) so I'm not looking to replace it, I just want to have a recorder I can attach to periodically save a few things I'd like to keep for posterity on my PC, ideally in a format I could then tranfer to my NAS and play back again later through my DLNA blu-ray player (LG BD690). Unfortunately the closest solutions I'm finding so far (AverMedia HD EZRecorder Plus or Hauppauge HD-PVR) all seem like they are designed to replace a DVR instead of supplementing it, since my understanding is that the component out on the STB doesn't work if the HDMI is plugged in at the same time and I don't want to have to dig into my AV cabinet to unplug the HDMI out every time I want to use the recorder. Does anyone make a box like that and I'm just missing it? Thanks for any feedback.
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post #2 of 5 Old 01-06-2013, 06:44 PM
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Hauppauge HD-PVR works well. It isn't it's fault the comcast box is messed up smile.gif
Are you sure you can't choose which output to turn on, either component or hdmi but only one at a time?
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post #3 of 5 Old 01-07-2013, 08:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by pacofortacos View Post

Hauppauge HD-PVR works well. It isn't it's fault the comcast box is messed up smile.gif
Are you sure you can't choose which output to turn on, either component or hdmi but only one at a time?

Not entirely sure but I've read that in a couple places now (Amazon reviews and the motorola dcx forum here, if I remember right). I suppose I could just buy the thing from Best Buy to try it myself and return it if it doesn't work. What I'd really love to be able to do is use the component out on my AV receiver (Marantz NR1402) at the same time the HDMI out is connected to the TV to capture input from other sources besides the STB (like if I'm streaming something on the blu ray player). But I can't imagine that's possible since theoretically you could pirate anything that way. (I recognize a lot if not most of the content in any format is going to be copy protected somehow and I'm fine with that.) So something just for TV that works with the STB would be fine. I just don't want it to replace the DVR and then not be able to watch shows as they are recording (sports especially, which I always DVR to fast forward through the commercials). I want something that's designed to press play on the DVR recording and record on the recorder at the same time and viola, digital recording I can move to my PC. For as little as I'd use it (recording maybe a series or 2 + a few games a year -- especially if my Giants go back to the World Series again) I wouldn't even need a remote for the thing. Just stand there, press play/record at the same time and stop when it's done.

My understanding is that Tivo desktop software lets you save your DVR recordings to PC if I wanted to swap out my STB for a Tivo but from what I've read it doesn't save to a format that I could then play back through my DLNA blu ray player which defeats the purpose since the goal is not to be able to watch stuff on the computer but to be able to play it back again on the TV. And I know I could also get a Tivo with a huge hard drive that I'd probably never fill up but I don't want the stuff I save to be tied only to one box or one service. Same reason I don't buy movies on VUDU: if I only "own" something as long as a VUDU or a Tivo stays in business and allows me to play it back through their service, then I don't really own it.

I don't know. The more I've been reading it might be that Tivo is a better option than a Hauppauge PVR or something like it. If I can just figure out how to convert the stuff it lets me save to PC into a format that I can then play back through DLNA, that might be the easier solution. Plus I wouldn't mind getting the lifetime service and saving money after 3-4 years from what Comcast charges for their DVR service. So if anyone out there has experience using the Tivo desktop software to record to their PC I'd love to hear any feedback on how that works too. Thanks.
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post #4 of 5 Old 01-07-2013, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElJimador View Post

My understanding is that Tivo desktop software lets you save your DVR recordings to PC if I wanted to swap out my STB for a Tivo but from what I've read it doesn't save to a format that I could then play back through my DLNA blu ray player which defeats the purpose since the goal is not to be able to watch stuff on the computer but to be able to play it back again on the TV.
That's not true. The files from the TiVo are standard MPEG-2 encoded files. The TiVo file comes over as a .tivo file which means it has a TiVo wrapper on it that contains all the TiVo meta-data like the embedded guide data etc. This is so when you transfer the file back to the TiVo it has all the meta-data. That wrapper is easily stripped by programs like kmttg to leave a standard .mpg file that most players can play.

I record a lot of TV series I don't have time to watch until the summer. I use TiVo desktop to automatically transfer them to my media-PC as soon as they have recorded. I then use Video-ReDo to easily edit out commercials -- it reads .tivo files directly and can save them to a number of different standard formats -- and store the final video file on network storage where I can stream them to any TV in the house I have a media player on.

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post #5 of 5 Old 01-08-2013, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

That's not true. The files from the TiVo are standard MPEG-2 encoded files. The TiVo file comes over as a .tivo file which means it has a TiVo wrapper on it that contains all the TiVo meta-data like the embedded guide data etc. This is so when you transfer the file back to the TiVo it has all the meta-data. That wrapper is easily stripped by programs like kmttg to leave a standard .mpg file that most players can play.
I record a lot of TV series I don't have time to watch until the summer. I use TiVo desktop to automatically transfer them to my media-PC as soon as they have recorded. I then use Video-ReDo to easily edit out commercials -- it reads .tivo files directly and can save them to a number of different standard formats -- and store the final video file on network storage where I can stream them to any TV in the house I have a media player on.

Awesome. Thanks Kelson! That sounds like exactly what I'm looking for then. I was confused because Tivo Desktop Plus says it will let you convert your tivo recordings to other formats but then lists all compatible devices for playback of those files as "portable devices". So I thought they would be like the digital copies of movies you buy with blu rays that really are coded for PC or mobile devices only and not something you could play back on your TV through DLNA. So glad to know that it works, and thanks for the tip on using Video ReDo also. I'll check that out. Now if I could just make sure that Comcast Bay Area doesn't list everything but broadcast networks as "copy once" that would really seal the deal for me on getting a Tivo. I know no provider lets you record off premium channels and I don't subscribe to them anyway. But if I knew for sure I'd be able to record to PC the cable shows I do watch like Justified, Sons of Anarchy, and Breaking Bad, then it would be a no-brainer for sure. I might even bite the bullet and get the lifetime service plan to save money after 3-4 years from what I'm paying monthly to Comcast for their DVR service.
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