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Recording/transferring to PC

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
We regularly record to the DVR then occasionally record to a DVD for personal use. This seems old school now though, with PCs, iPods and DLNA.

The obvious answer is to rip my home made DVDs to AVI files, but I want to eliminate the middle step. Is there a way to get decent quality recordings straight to the PC? I'm not looking to pirate here - I'm talking about being able to make personal recordings of TV shows that I can view over DLNA or on my iPod/iPad.
post #2 of 11
Well you could purchase a USB/Firewire "converter box" which you could connect between the Video Source and the PC. The converter could then record the Video to the PC in various different formats. (DVD-Format Ready for example if you decide you want to later achieve the recordings when you're done viewing them)

I've got my DVRs setup to record to my PC using just such a box... but I've found I've not used it very much rather letting it stay on the DVR (eventually to be erased or stagnate with the occasional use of a stand-alone DVD Recorder). But as you say... it's becoming rather "old school" to sit down and watch stuff on one's actual TV. So I'll probably be looking into firing that system back up and check out what "modern" options I might get out of that Converter that are compatible with various "mobile" devices for more flexible viewing.
post #3 of 11
Why not skip the whole "record into a new format" steps all together and stream the recordings directly from your DVR or computer to "whatever device" with a Slingbox or software like Orb?
post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 
Because the Slingbox is an expensive toy and impractical for four TVs. I'm looking for the ability to keep copies; just like on DVD. There are times I won't get to watch a TV series until after the season ends, and I like to keep copies of old cartoons. (Yeah...kid at heart....)
post #5 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctaire View Post

Because the Slingbox is an expensive toy and impractical for four TVs. I'm looking for the ability to keep copies; just like on DVD. There are times I won't get to watch a TV series until after the season ends, and I like to keep copies of old cartoons. (Yeah...kid at heart....)

Understood, I guess it depends on your source for live recording.

Live recording on a PC can be a little sketchier and expensive hardware is sometimes required depending on what your source and desires are.

HD or SD? Digtal cable or OTA?

There is plenty of software out there that will "rip" your DVD's into what ever format your want.
post #6 of 11
I wish I'd use it more but I've got a DTVPal DVR (for OTA HD/SD Recordings) along with various DVRs with DirecTV. As for what 11001011 is saying... I too would be a bit hesitant to "Live" Record directly to the PC... but then I don't have current PC DVR hardware/software. Closest thing would be an older All-in-Wonder ATI Card. Not a viable option compared to my converter...

The majority of my DVRs can "feed" to my Converter Box and Basement Desktop Computer. If needed I could connect the box to a Laptop to dump the rest OR just temporarily take it downstairs while I record off them.

Ideally if you can setup a PC DVR and it can record via multiple sources that will probably be your best option. (Assuming the quality and "glitch" factors are considered... but I'd suspect it should be a huge issue... they've come a long way in 10 years)
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
I'm not really looking to record it live, I figure on hooking to my existing DVRs. It's more a way to replace the DVDs.
post #8 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctaire View Post

I'm not really looking to record it live, I figure on hooking to my existing DVRs. It's more a way to replace the DVDs.

What DVR do you have and what types of outputs does it have?

What are you hoping for in recording quality?

I mean do you want to transfer HD recordings from your DVR to PC and retain HD format? As this may be impossible with digital copy protection (HDCP) getting in the way.
post #9 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have DVRs from Time Warner and DirecTV. All are high def, of course, but I just want to get the best quality I can. I believe they all have composite outputs; that's what we have on the DVD recorder. I realize HDCP would interfere with using HDMI output so I'm guessing composite is the only option.
post #10 of 11
Quote:
Originally Posted by Noctaire View Post

I have DVRs from Time Warner and DirecTV. All are high def, of course, but I just want to get the best quality I can. I believe they all have composite outputs; that's what we have on the DVD recorder. I realize HDCP would interfere with using HDMI output so I'm guessing composite is the only option.

The first two devices here might be useful, either now or in the future, esp. the HDMI converter when the analog sunset gets fully implemented by equipment mfgrs?
post #11 of 11
I am new to the world of FIOS & DVRs. My wife has filled up our dvr with shows from her homeland. Like Noctaire, I'm not looking to pirate here, but would like to save the wife's shows on my PC as most are 1 time shows and no reruns. We are both active people and lean towards watching recorded shows vs live.

As far as quality - 720p is good enough for us.

I custom built my PC and have plenty of power (I7 architecture with 920 quad proc; Win7 Pro 64-bit; 3GB 1600MHz RAM; 3TB of storage with room to grow).

Motorola QIP7612 HD DVR with (USB; Firewire; hdmi; e-sata; ethernet and composite) hookups.

I've read many different threads around the net until my head hurts and most admit that either I get a capture card for my PC or get a middleware device (hardware/software) to plug between my DVR & PC. Replay the shows as live tv to record/transfer the shows. Is it possible to just "copy" the shows from the DVR straight to my PC? I've read about softwares to convert formats, but the biggest hurdle still seems to be getting the show from the DVR to the PC without replaying the show(s).
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