I have a Comcast-provided Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR with a SATA port (I can connect a SATA drive to it for more space). I want to copy recorded programs from the DVR to a USB drive. What's the easiest way to do this?:
I could get a SATA drive, but that's expensive, and, after I'm finished copying programs to it, I'm not sure I could connect it to my computer.
Does this Comcast DVR store programs encrypted or unencrypted? If I copy programs to another device, are they unencrypted? I want to play the copied programs using VLC, so I need them to be unencrypted.
The DVR manual (and Comcast's own website) have instructions on how to copy DVR programs to VCR (using standard RCA cables), so I don't think they object to people keeping recorded programs permanently, plus I think I have a legal right to do so.
My general problem here is getting programs from digital cable to unencrypted format on a USB drive. I'd appreciate any other thoughts. I've tried using both Cirago and Archos DVRs, but they don't seem to work well. However, I might just have gotten bad boxes, older versions, etc. If anyone recommends either, I'll give them another shot.
I realize I could just plug the DVR's RCA outputs to a video capture card, but my computers are slow and would drop frames. Are there any cheap standalone devices that will record incoming RCA video/audio to MP4 using their own CPU power, and not even requiring a computer connection?