How to Download DVR Recordings

By Lori Spencer

Preserve your favorite DVD recordings by transferring them to a computer.
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If your DVR's available memory is almost full with programs you've saved, you want to find a way to keep them without taking up space on the DVR. One option is to download your favorite shows to a computer. Using a USB 2.0 video capture device is the least expensive and most user-friendly method.

Buy a USB 2.0 capture device. Some popular choices are EasyCAP, Pinnacle Dazzle, the Hapaugge HD PVR. As of September 2010, prices for these products range anywhere from $10-$200, depending on the quality and functionality you seek.

Insert the USB capture device's setup software disc into your computer's CD drive and follow the on-screen installation instructions.

Plug the video capture device into a USB port on your computer.

Connect the video capture device to your DVR using standard RCA, S-Video or HDMI cables (if supported).

Open Windows Media Center (or any video software program of your choice.)

Scroll to "Tasks," then select "Settings." Choose "TV," then "Set Up TV Signal."

Cue the program you wish to transfer on your DVR and press "Play," then hit "Record" in Windows Media Center.

Press "Stop" when recording is complete. Name and save the file. If desired, you can now edit the file, add effects, remove commercials, convert it to different formats, upload to the Web, or burn to a DVD.