How to Transfer a DVR to a CD

by Richard Morgan
cd's in closeup image by Jaroslaw Grudzinski from

Digital video recorders are useful devices to keep and store video. They have limited space and upon occasion, some of the content might need to be transferred to another type of medium --- such as a recordable CD. The process is somewhat time-consuming but is not difficult. Anyone who can set up a VCR or DVD player can set up the DVR to transfer internal programming. This will free up a great deal of space on the DVR hard drive.

Step 1

Connect the CD recorder to the DVR using the RCA composite cables. The cables should run from the "output" part of the DVR to the "audio/video input" section of the CD recorder. The colors on the cables are red, yellow and white and will correspond to the three colors on the "output" section of the DVR.

Step 2

Connect the CD recorder to the television or monitor with the second set of RCA composite cables and match the colors again. These cables should be connected to the "output" part of the CD recorder. The purpose of these cables will be for you to monitor what is being recorded via the television.

Step 3

Highlight the program you wish to transfer on the main menu of the DVR.

Step 4

Insert a blank CD into the CD recorder and press "Record." Play back the highlighted program on the DVR, according to manufacturer's instructions. In most cases, this will simply consist of hitting "Play" on the DVR. What is being shown on the screen is literally what is being recorded via the cables.

Shut off the CD recorder when the program has ended. If you are given an option to "Finalize CD" at this point, click "Yes" when directed. Some machines will automatically finalize the CD when the program has completed.


  • Certain programs are copyrighted and cannot be legally copied to a CD without the express written permission of the copyright holder. In addition, certain programs have built-in copyright protection programs operating to block recordings without using special software.


  • Use a permanent marker to label the CD,
  • Since DVD recorders have a lot more storage room, consider recording the programs to a DVD recorder, as opposed to a CD recorder. The process to recording a DVD from a DVR is identical to recording a CD from the DVR.
  • Two or more CDs will be required for some long programs. Monitor the transfer process and insert the CD at the appropriate time.


Photo Credits

  • cd's in closeup image by Jaroslaw Grudzinski from

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