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Recording From A TIVO or Cable/Satellite DVR to a DVD Recorder

What to do with the video on your TIVO or DVR after the hard drive gets full.


With the increasing use of Digital video recorders, such as TIVO and Cable/Satellite DVRs, is what to do when their hard drives get full. One thing you can do is transfer your hard drive recordings to a DVD, but there are some limitations. To find out more, keep reading...

The physical process of recording from a TIVO or Cable/Satellite DVR to a DVD recorder is the same as recording to a VCR, or a DVD recorder/VCR combo. In fact, your TIVO, DVR, or DVD Recorder user manual should have a page illustrating this.

You can connect a TIVO or Cable/Satellite DVR to a DVD recorder using either the S-Video, or Yellow Composite video outputs, along with the read/white stereo audio outputs of the TIVO or DVR to the S-Video or Composite Video, and red/white analog stereo inputs of the DVD recorder.

The Copy-Protection Factor

However, keep in mind that one problem you may run into is that with some programs you may have recorded on your TIVO or DVR, such as those originating from HBO, Showtime, On-demand program services, and even some non-premium channels, employ a type of copy-protection that allows an initial recording on a TIVO or DVR, but will prevent that program from being copied further onto DVD or VHS. Since this is random, you won't know until you try it or take note of any copy-protection message before the program starts. If the DVD recorder detects a copy-protected signal, it will usually display a message on the DVD recorder's front panel and, possibility, eject the DVD disc.

For more details on the increased use of copy-protection that may prevent transferring recordings from a TIVO or DVR to a DVD recorder, refer to my article: The Case of the Disappearing DVD Recorder.

TIVO/DVR to DVD Recording Steps

1. Check your TIVO or DVR and see if it has the following connections: S-Video, Composite Video (Yellow) and Audio outputs (Red and White).

2. Check your DVD recorder for these same connections as input options.

3. Connect the S-Video or Composite (Yellow) video and Red/White audio outputs of the DirecTV DVR to the corresponding inputs on the DVD Recorder (labels include - video 1, video 2, line 1, line 2, or AV-in, AV1, AV2 - this labeling varies by manufacturer).

4. Set the DVD recorder to line or video input (line 1, line 2, video 1, video 2, AV-in, AV1, or AV2).

5. Insert your Blank DVD disc into the DVD recorder.

6. Follow the playback and recording instructions for the TIVO, DVR, and DVD recorder.

Important Note: If your TIVO or DVR is a high definition unit, the recording on the DVD recorder will not be high definition as DVD is not a high definition format. What will happen is that the TIVO or DVR will downscale the recording output to standard definition via the S-video or Composite (yellow) video outputs so that the DVD recorder will be able to record the signal onto DVD.

Lastly, for more specifics on DVD recorders can and cannot do, check out my DVD Recorder FAQs

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