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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Profuse apologies if this has been asked and answered elsewhere - but I haven't uncovered it yet.

Thanks to the great guidance and advice here I have successfully captured HD programming from my Comcast (Motorola) - DCT3416 and played it back on my Dual 2Gig PowerPC G5 Mac.


My question is this:

Is it possible to download saved content from the DVR of this unit to my Mac?

I have a boatload of movies and other programs saved to the hard drive of the DCT3416. But the unit is acting squirrely and Comcast is "offering" to swap it out for a new one. I would prefer not to lose all this programming (e.g. the Discovery Atlas programs are stunning) I would like to download the saved programs from the DCT3416 DVR to my 500G auxiliary hard drive - and eventually to DVDs


Since I'm able to load and view live programming (the quality of the HD in playback is outstanding) I can assume the connection and hardware work.

I have tried capturing saved content as I play it back from the DVR- but can't figure out how to make that work. The resulting files are large but they won't open and don't play with any of the variety of software programs recommended (e.g., MPlayer or VLC)


With my limited experience I must assume the problem is related to one of several things:

a) I don't have the right setting for AVCVideoCap.app to read the files

b) the Firewire port on the DVR does not work the same as for live programming (?)

c) Content saved to the DVR is in a different format once saved, than live programming (?)

d) I'm a techno-idiot (possible!)

e) This just simply can't be done.


Sooooooo - I would be eternally grateful if anyone can shed some light on this challenge.


Thanks in advance and again apologies if I am repeating something covered previously or elsewhere.
 

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From your description, I believe the material on your DVR hard drive is encrypted and you will not be able to "capture" that HD material to your Mac's hard drive etc as HD. The encryption is part of a "use once" right and once the program(s) are on the DVR drive you have used your one use.

The problem of offloading material from the Comcast provided box in HD thus in due to your reason "e" above. I find this a frustrating situation and have addressed it with a rather desperate measure just to keep program material deemed of some value. I use the S-video (terrible, I know) output from the STB into a DV video camera which is in turn connected to the Mac via Firewire. I capture the video with Final Cut Pro or iMovie. Audio is handled in a similar fashion.

Second rate solution but perhaps better than nothing.
 

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You won't be able to easily move cable content from the cable box to your computer, but once Apple fills out its programming lineup on iTunes, you may be able to drop most Comcast channels and just use iTunes to provide content for your Mac -- assuming you carefully budget what you purchase and if Apple comes up with 720p HD offerings and better ala' carte or season pricing for TV series.


Apple has been busy adding a ton of content to the iTunes Store.
 

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I have been experimenting with capturing from a Motorola DCT-6412 box, and I have found that depending on the channel, the content has been encrypted, or works fine. For example, I have been able to successfully capture and play back content from the NBC affiliate, but not INHD.


I was able to use recordings or live feed for the capture. I think where the content originated from was the biggest factor in my case. Have you tried different content from different channels? If you have anything from PBS, NBC, etc, try that first.
 

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I dump programming off of my Adelphia-supplied Motorola 6412 phase III all the time.


And yes, there are some channels or specific programs that won't allow copying.


When in AVCvideocap and connected to the Motorola, when you attempt the copy to your Mac by playing the program in real time, there will be a small message in the lower left corner (if I recall correctly) giving the status of the program stream regarding if copying is permitted).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the input and suggestions.

I have tried various saved programs - movies, PBS, sports, etc. and nothing seems to transfer.

I may try the video cam trick mentioned.

I did note the message on AVCvideocap and see that in some cases it says "Copy once" and others (generally live feeds) it says "Copy freely".


I even asked the one friendly Comcast tech I know and I looked at me like I was trying to make the DVR cough up nuclear launch codes - so Comcast is less than no help (big surprise).


I hold out hope that Apple is moving toward a cool, elegant replacement of the crapola that passes for TV service - but realistically it is still years away (and will undoubtably require serious investment in new technology).


I'll keep trying - and post any success I may have.


thanks again.
 

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I subscribe to Comcast in Montgomery County, MD. The only copy-freely channels in HD are TNT, MHD and the local broadcast channels. Also, some of those weird movie channels between the music video channels and Discovery HD are copy-freely. Also, some of the previews that start before OnDemand HD are copy-freely MPEG2.
 

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Thought I captured saved shows from a failing Explorer 8300 hd dvr using AVC Video Cap but could not play back using VLC or Quick Time Pro with Quick Time MPEG2 plug in. Just downloaded MPEG Streamclip and it does play some (NBC for example) but not all recordings. Please keep thread going for future updates. So it looks like saving what is not encrypted through firewire(eg. AVC Video Cap, Virtual DVHS) and the rest with S-video (Eye TV 250 ).
 

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As mentioned above, it's pretty easy to do - it is time consuming, however.


Know that in general, you won't be able to move premium cable (HBO, Cinemax, etc) stuff off the box, but most everything else should come off. I'm in Seattle using the MS 6412, but I've tried it with the regular 6412 software as well.


Check out this thread - http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...light=firewire


fun stuff. Now if you wanna get really fancy, I've got a method for pulling PPV off of Comcast as well. It's pretty tricky, but if you've got the EyeTV software, it is definitely doable.


Cheers,

Randy Stewart
 

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Hi everyone, I am new to this site (obviously), but I've been reading a lot recently, and I've found all of you to be rather helpful. Since my problem is very similar to this thread topic, I decided that it would be better to reply to this thread than to start a new topic.


I have a Motorola 3412 with Comcast in Colorado, and I'm trying to hook it up with my Mac. I have a MacBook Pro running Leopard. I downloaded the Apple FireWire SDK and hooked the two up using the six pin to six pin FireWire cord. I tried using AVCBrowser and Virtual DVHS, but all it did was create zero KB files. I proceeded to use just AVCVideoCap instead, which was able to capture live content onto my Mac (which I could play through VLCPlayer), but whenever I tried to get it to capture saved video off my DVR, the DVR would show a blank screen on my TV. When I clicked the "Abort Capture" button in the AVCBrowser, my DVR played the saved video on my TV as if the video had been playing normally all along. It did create a file on my Mac, but all that was in the video was a still, scrambled-up still shot:




This leads me to wonder if perhaps my DVR is protected? I don't think it's the content that's protected because I tried recorded video from two channels (CNN and Current), and nothing worked. AVCVideoCap says that I can copy freely. My box is running firmware 16.53.


Does anyone know what the issue is? It captures live video perfectly, but it won't let me capture any of my recorded programs from my DVR.


Thanks.
 

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One thing to consider if you really want to save those programs is to buy a DVD burner. I had the same situation but in my case, I was only able to view the recorded programs, the tuner was out. So I got an extra tuner for an extra $6.00 per month, until I was able to transfer everything over to the panasonic DVD-R. You can't just dump everything, so it was to be done live and the HD content was streched and did not look as good as it did direct from the DVR, but at least I was able to save it. I paid $140 for mine from Vanns.


Good luck
 

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Quote:
but it won't let me capture any of my recorded programs from my DVR

You could try FireRecord and AVCNoodle:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1111561


And if that fails, there's always recording over component out of your DVR with the Hauppauge HD PVR--that will be much, much higher quality than recording to a standalone dvd recorder. (Way, way back in my dark ages of analog cable and Series 2 Tivos, I used to burn off cable recordings to a Panny E80H until I realized, in the grand scheme of things, that it wasn't worth saving such crap quality.)
 

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Thanks for the replies. I tried FireRecord, and it did the same thing. It could record live video, but whenever I tried playing a saved show from my DVR, my DVR went blank, and the file created on my computer ended up just being a scrambled mess. When I stopped the capture on FireRecord, the DVR resumed playing the saved video normally. I don't think it's the content that's protected because I tried capturing saved video from CNN, Current, and my local CBS news, and they all failed, but I was successful in capturing the aforementioned channels when I was watching them live. AVCNoodle didn't seem to work at all. I would get a DVD burner, but I'm mostly interested in keeping it on my computer or uploading it privately to YouTube, so a DVD burner seems like an unnecessary step.


I think I have a 6412 box in the basement. I haven't tried it, but do you think this would have the same problem with saved video?


Thanks again.
 

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Quote:
I don't think it's the content that's protected because I tried capturing saved video from CNN, Current, and my local CBS news, and they all failed, but I was successful in capturing the aforementioned channels when I was watching them live.

Check DTCP Protection, maybe your provider sets everything, including the stuff that should be Copy Freely, to Copy Once--or your DVR is somehow misinterpreting that? That would explain why you can't get any recording, from any channel, off your DVR, but can capture those programs just fine "live."

Quote:
AVCNoodle didn't seem to work at all

If you can't get any test captures with the demo, Steve will help you on the thread I linked to...

Quote:
I have a 6412 box in the basement. I haven't tried it, but do you think this would have the same problem with saved video?

Wouldn't hurt to try.
 
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