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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?

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There are external drives (or enclosures) available that have both eSata and USB. Your question is off-topic for this site, however. By the way, they don't object to you making analog copies because of the poor quality result. They probably do object to digital copies (and the files are probably encrypted - though probably weakly). –  Dennis Williamson Mar 6 '11 at 3:18
@DennisWilliamson, my bad, I sent it over as this was my best guess for a site. In the past I have seen these have 0 encryption, as they have no legal requirement to give encryption and no monetary gain, actually they lost money to cover the cost of the processing power to do it. –  Kortuk Mar 6 '11 at 3:21
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migrated from electronics.stackexchange.com Mar 6 '11 at 2:59

This question came from our site for electronics and electrical engineering professionals, students, and enthusiasts.

closed as off topic by Dennis Williamson, techie007, Sathya Mar 6 '11 at 13:41

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