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.

Transfer Video from your Camcorder to your Computer

Have a video you've recorded that you're proud of or that you'd like to share with friends and family?

This article will show you how to connect your camcorder to your PC, copy your recording to your computer, make a movie and publish it to YouTube or BlipTV or burn them to a DVD that will play in your DVD or Blue-Ray player - all using free software that's already bundled with Windows Vista Premium (along with a recommendation for a top notch movie making program if you don't have Vista Premium).

The only thing you'll need to buy if you don't have one already, is a Firewire DV cable that will connect your camcorder to your computer. Once connected, you can easily make movies out of them using free tools that are built into Windows.

You can also make backup copies of your miniDV digital video cassettes on your computer and burn them to a DVD, or convert them into mp4 video format and transfer them to your iPod or iPhone.

Connect your Camcorder to your Computer

I own a Canon ZR800 digital camcorder, which is a very popular model that takes great videos using standard MiniDV cassettes. I recently took some video of my 10-year-old daughter's talent show she did with 3 of her friends at school, and several other mothers wanted a copy of the video.