DVR to Computer
July 5, 2007 12:46 PM   Subscribe

I've a Scientific American Explorer 8300 DVR with Cox cable. I don't have a stand alone dvd writer but would like to be able to keep certain shows. I know many people attach their DVR's to computers and download the videos off, and I'm fairly tech sufficient... but I can't seem to find any recent info about this device and how I can (if I can) download the recorded content. Thanks!
posted by Gideon to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have basically the same device. As far as I know, the firewire port is disabled so you cannot grab video off of it to your computer like you can on a Tivo. To do what you want to do, you're going to have to have a video capture card on your PC, and output video from the cable box to your PC, and record it that way. I don't know of any other way of doing it.
posted by stovenator at 12:54 PM on July 5, 2007

I have this device as well, with Time Warner. AFAIK, no one has hacked them.

What you're looking for is Tivo/MythTV.
posted by mkultra at 12:57 PM on July 5, 2007

You didn't specify Mac or PC so I will give you the PC version since that's what I am familiar with.

There is a rather long thread about this over at .

There was also a very nice writeup about this at but that site is no longer in existence.

The jist of it is you connect the STB to your PC via the Firewire cable (which is active on my Cablevision box) and then you need to download some drivers in order for your PC to see the DVR box.

I also downloaded a program called CapDHVS which you use to capture the stream coming off of your STB.

Note that you can only record stuff from broadcast TV like NBC, ABC, CBS and such.
posted by GooBerryCrunch at 1:50 PM on July 5, 2007

Voiding your warranty, can you crack open the box and simply hook up the HD to your computer?
posted by hobbes at 2:27 PM on July 5, 2007

the firewire port is disabled

You have a "Digital Cable Ready 2" device. Disabling the firewire port is a contravention of an FCC mandate. If it is indeed disabled, you should contact your carrier to ask them to enable it or replace it with a box that has an enabled port - this is never easy. Even with an enabled port, however, you will find that many non-broadcast channels have been encrypted.
posted by meehawl at 2:30 PM on July 5, 2007

For posterity, that would be Scientific Atlanta which is a unit of Cisco Systems.
posted by euphorb at 4:15 PM on July 5, 2007

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