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Tricking DVD Recorder Drive

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
This may not be the right place to post this but I literally just did a google search and it seemed appropriate.

I wondered whether it would be feasible to hook the cable that connects the DVD Drive in a DVD recorder to a computer and then run some software to run a virtual drive which can be written to. Thereby avoiding the need of using a blank DVD and basically being able to access the image with little hassle.
post #2 of 2
No, what you want to do is not (practically) possible.

If your recorder is a DVD-only or DVD/VHS model, it won't have any sort of interface to send DVD data to an HDD or external computer.

If your recorder is a DVD/HDD model, it will have an internal interface from DVD to HDD and some sort of Linux OS variant to run the recorder. In theory, you could hack this interface and send the DVD data out to a PC. In the real world, it would be very difficult and likely trash the recorder.

If it makes you feel any better, some version of this question is posted here every week. Lots of people want to do a recorder to PC connection, but for various reasons most recorders are expressly designed to prevent it altogether. TiVO can network to a PC to send its recordings over, and a select few long-discontinued DVD/HDD models from LG and Toshiba had a similar networking feature. One or two early Pioneer DVD recorders (310, 510) could connect to PCs via bidirectional FireWire/DV port.

Realistically, 95% of DVD recorders sold in North America since 2002 have no ability to export files to a PC. Hacking them to do so isn't usually a practical option unless you have ability to tap into surface mount electronics. If this is a feature you absolutely must have, it is much MUCH simpler to buy a recorder simulator board for your PC and use the PC directly as your main recorder. This gives you instant, complete access to the captured video files.

Some adventurous characters here on AVS amuse themselves by removing the HDD from their DVD/HDD recorder and installing it in their PC to "harvest" the recorded video files. This requires decoding the files with a hex editor, re-assembling fragmented recordings, and usually a video format conversion of some kind from the native recorder video to something more common for PC/phone/tablet use. Messing with a recorder HDD is not without risk and not for the technically unsophisticated, but if you have a DVD/HDD model and want to try there are some instructional tips in this recent AVS post.
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