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How to record shows from a Comcast DVR to a PC

I love my Comcast DVR because it lets me record all my favorite TV shows and then fast forward through all the obnoxious commercials. It has a limited amount of storage space however, so we're continually deciding between which shows will stay recorded and which shows will get deleted.

There have also been many times when I've wanted to save a show to my computer, or to make a DVD for friends to watch - such as the time my friend's son was interviewed on a fund raiser for MD that was hosted by one of our local news stations.

I was able to copy recorded shows from my Comcast DVR to my Windows XP computer fairly easily using a FireWire cable, a few software drivers, and a free video streaming program.

How to record shows from a Comcast DVR to a PC

1. Download software drivers and streaming video recorder.

You can download the necessary drivers and a free streaming video recorder called CapDVHS from this link (with many thanks to the AV Science Forum).

Unzip the drivers and CapDVHS recorder to a folder of your choice on your computer. You will use these in the next step after you connect your DVR to your PC.

You'll also need a software program to view the recorded video file, and the free VLC Media Player handles this nicely.

2. Connect the DVR to your PC with a Firewire cable.

My Comcast DVR is a Motorola DCT6412 that supports dual channel high definition (HD) digital recording. There are 2 Firewire ports on the back side that let you connect to your PC using a standard IEEE-1394 FireWire cable.

Record TV Shows and Cable Movies Directly to your Computer

Many people pay an extra $10 - $15 a month for a DVR to record TV shows and movies and view them later.

Did you know you could be recording TV and cable shows directly to your computer for free?

All you need is an audio/video capture adapter that plugs into your computer's USB port, like the EasyCAP USB2.0 Video Capture VHS-to-USB Adapter. Once you've hooked the adapter up between your TV and your computer, you'll be able to record any show directly to your computer in a digital video format of your choice (avi, mpeg, wmv, etc).

You can also edit the videos to remove commercials, and can even transfer these videos to your iphone or other mobile device to view them on the go.

Here's what the adapter looks like, with cables that will plug into your TV's RCA or S-Video jacks on one end, and into your computer's USB port on the other end:

The USB end plugs into your computer, and the RCA jacks plug into your TV, VCR, or cable box.

The adapter comes with Ulead Movie Maker software that you'll run on your PC. With the software running, you'll click "Video Capture" when your TV show or movie comes on and the show will be saved to your computer in high quality digital video and audio.

Yes, this adapter could also be used to make backup copies of your DVD or VHS movies (just be sure to honor any copyright laws that may exist in your country).