Just an update for posterity. First, thanks everyone for the replies. Second, I bought the PVR 1212 and I am able to get the stuff off my stupid Exporer 8300HD using the red/white/yellow plugs. It works as capturing the stream, so I have to play the entire videos to do it -- it's not a raw transfer of the files, so the quality doesn't quote match the original, but seems decent. I do get some artifacts and it needs deinterlacing, but I will take that question to the Hauppauge people.
If anyone wants to be able to save their DVR recordings, I'd recommend getting a Tivo and not the Explorer 8300HD. This thing sucks.
Thanks again all!