How to Connect a Computer to a Comcast DVR
By Robin Reichert
The digital video recorder, or DVR, is the device provided by your digital cable television service that allows you to watch and to record television programs. Most DVRs can record as much as 90 hours of television programming, including movies. The DVR does not have a built-in DVD burner to transfer saved programs from the DVR hard drive. Connect your DVR box to your computer so that you can save your recordings to DVDs. Comcast provides customers with the Motorola brand DVR recorder.
Download CapDVHS software drivers and streaming video recording software from Video Help. Unzip and install the program. Download and install VCL Media Player from Video Lan so that you can watch the recorded programs after it's transferred to your computer. Write down the location of the file folder where you save these files.
Connect your Comcast Motorola DVR to your computer using an IEEE-1394 FireWire cable. Plug the FireWire cable into the back of the DVR. Plug the cable into the small four-pin FireWire port on the back of your computer. Wait for Windows to recognize that new hardware has been connected to your computer.
Cancel the Windows hardware connection wizard each time it opens so that you can install the necessary drivers manually. Open the Windows Device Manager by clicking on "My Computer" and then selecting "properties." Click on "Device Manager" and then click the "Hardware Tab."
Right-click on the yellow question mark over the first device listed as "AV/C panel" and select "Update Driver." Choose the option "Install From a List or Specific Location" option when the Windows hardware update wizard window opens this time. Click on "Next."
Select "Include This Location in Search" option in the Windows hardware update wizard. Click on "Browse" and open the folder where you saved the files from the CapDVHS software driver download. Click "Next" after you select the correct folder and ignore any warnings that pop up.
Click "Continue Anyway," which will proceed to install the drivers so that your computer can recognize your Comcast DVR. Repeat the process from Step 3 for the "AV/C Tuner" device in the device manager window. Disable any remaining "unknown device" warnings in the Device Manager window.
Run the CapDVHS program and select the "Setting Tab." Choose or create a file folder where saved video files will be stored on your computer. Set files to save with the extension ".ts." Record programs using your Comcast DVR remote by selecting "Record," which will now send programs to your computer for recording. Open VCL Media Player to play .ts files saved from your Comcast DVR.
- The FireWire port on some DVRs and computers has six pins. Check your DVR and your computer ports before you purchase a FireWire cable.
- Veriy that you have a dedicated external hard drive or plenty of space on your internal hard drive to store programs recorded from your Comcast DVR. The files are very large.
- Do not attempt to connect hardware, or install software, to your home computer unless you are confident in your skills.
Robin Reichert is a certified nutrition consultant, certified personal trainer and professional writer. She has been studying health and fitness issues for more than 10 years. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of San Francisco and a Master of Science in natural health from Clayton College.