Recording from my Motorola Cable Box via Firewire?

I had no idea this was possible, but has anyone managed to either:

  1. Pull video off of their Motorola HD DVR cable box onto XP/Vista?
  2. Hook up the DVR using Firewire to a Media Center Edition box?

I’m currently using a IR Blaster and the standard definition outputs on the Motorola box to connect my cable box to my MCE 2005 XP box… works, but the quality isn’t great… but then I found this guide to firewire connections

Author: Duncan Mackenzie

I'm the Developer Lead for the Channel 9 team, formerly worked on MSDN as a developer, content strategist and author.

2 thoughts on “Recording from my Motorola Cable Box via Firewire?”

  1. I’ve sucessfully used the application you linked to with XP media center. It works great for channel changing (no more IR blaster), and works decently for recording as well, espically since it enables HD recording. It doesn’t however let you watch live TV in HD through the firewire connection.

    Too bad this isn’t just natively supported by MCE.

  2. Oddly enough, I just did research and do this over the T’giving weekend though to my Mac not Windows system.

    It took a bunch of digging through and searching through Google’s huge repository of useless knowledge, but I finally came up with this:
    …which in turn got me useful pointers for both platforms.

    The upshot is that you can’t just *copy* from the DVR’s hard disk, you’ve got to *play* either from the DVR’s hard disk or through it’s tuner and capture that on your computer. So a 1 hour program will take you an hour to get. And there are channels (or programs) that are encoded such that they can’t be done this way.

    There are about 300 pages of forum postings about the Motorola box using Comcast’s service, at

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