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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.

Connecting a Linksys Wireless Router to a Comcast Modem

I upgraded my wireless home network this weekend from an old Netgear 802.11b router to a shiny new Linksys WRT120N router sporting the latest 802.11n technology, and a much sleeker design.

The network speed difference is very noticeable and significantly faster on the newer router, and the units were on sale for only $39 at Fry's so it seemed like a steal of a deal... until I tried to install it.

I have Comcast internet at home with a standard-issue Motorola cable modem, and it turns out that Linksys routers don't naturally connect directly with these modems.

The Network Magic software that comes with Linksys routers failed on the first setup screen with an "Error 321", claiming it could not detect my ethernet network adapter. Apparently the Linksys routers require you to connect through a separate router that sits between the Comcast modem and the Linksys router (or at least that's what I found hidden somewhere in the documentation) - and in fact, it worked fine if I connected through my old Netgear router to the Comcast modem.

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