Is there a way to transfer recorded shows/movies from the DVR to my PC? I read online that theoretically all it takes is a USB cable to connect the two, but before I spend the money on a data transfer cable, I wanted to check and see if there was an easier way and check to see if Comcast has that capability blocked on their boxes.
you can do it but not with a usb cable, you have to use the component cables or hdmi. those who want to attempt this usually transfer to a dvd recorder or vhs recorder as you need to use the component out or hdmi to do it. the dvr is not meant for archieving shows its meant for temp storage and time slipping. You could try to see if your pc has a fire wire input but no never can tell if the cable box has that port enabled, comcast blocks most ports besides component and hdmi. So unless you have another way besides usb to do it to your pc you might be out of luck.
I wondered if they would have blocked the USB port, glad I checked! I don't have Firewire on my laptop, but I do have HDMI...might just have to try that!
Another option I just thought of, since I'm cheap and I don't like buying DVDs (or a DVD player, for that matter lol), would it be possible to attach an external hard drive to the DVR and store movies on that? Or am I dreaming a little too much for that one to happen?
If you want to take ownership of your recordings and do what you want with them then look into these two devices for transferring HD programming off the DVR to your PC or Mac.
For Mac users get a Elgato Eye TV HD, for Windows users get a Hauppauge HD PVR. Both will transfer HD programming off the DVR using component cables to the PC of your choice.
Tivo owners have had the luxury of transferring their digital recordings off their Tivo to PC or Mac's for many years already and don't need to play the program in real time, the program gets copied off with no loss in PQ, both HD and SD over your home network.