I just got my DVHS deck working, and got a good copy(I thinK) of an HD program off the hard drive of my DVR. It was recorded on ESPNHD, copy-once flag. It did not delete from my hard drive, since I captured it in real time.
It was a very specific series of steps, and very touchy/quirky as to what you could hook up. I had to connect the cable box into the TOP of the DVHS deck's 1394 inputs, and the TV to the BOTTOM jack. I also had to reset my TV by unplugging it, somehow the firewire inputs on it got messed up, as did the digital and HD channels on the tv tuner, would not display.
DVHS Deck: Mits 1100u
Cable Box: Motorola 6412 PII - Comcast
TV: Samsung DLP HLR-5667W, about 9 months old
But I have had success. Thankfully my signal is pretty strong, and I don't have any error counts, so I believe I am getting perfect recordings. Using Maxell DF-300 tapes from tapewarehouse.com
There is someone out here who got it to work(seems rare, I know)