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Hauppauge HD PVR, Free Your HDTV

by April 10, 2008

If an analogue HD PVR that lets you easily copy content in full HD to your PC will piss off the studios, Hauppauge Digital will have them seeing red. The PC peripheral manufacturer is now taking orders for its highly anticipated HD PVR.

Anyone who owns a digital cable or satellite box with a built-in PVR knows the frustration of not being able to dump recorded programs to external storage.

Example: Scientific Atlanta’s Explorer 8300HD Digital Cable/PVR receiver has a useless SATA output. The SATA (Serial ATA) output should allow you to copy programming from the PVR to a hard drive. Of course its activation is at the discretion of your local cable TV provider.

So, you’re more likely to see a flock of pigs making lazy circles in the sky than see the SATA port activated by the cable company. Studios don’t want you storing their content and Cable TV providers know who butters its bread.

Hauppauge is a brand known widely among the DIY HTPC crowd. The company makes the most affordable and reliable hardware tuner cards for your PC. Now it's about to release a new HD PVR that’ll let you record programming from any HD set-top box via component (YPbPr) cables. So, no need to worry about DRM because the HD PVR is recording in the analogue realm.

The device records up to 720p or 1080i resolution with an H.264 hardware encoder. It then dumps your recorded HD programming to your PC via USB for archiving.

The HD PVR can also record in AVC-HD, the format used on Blu-ray discs. A DVD burning application will be included with the HD PVR that will let you burn AVC-HD onto DVD. About two hours of AVC-HD content in full high definition can be stored on a 4.7 GB disc. You can then playback this high definition DVD over a Blu-ray player.

Hauppauge just brought personal video recording into the high definition age and probably pissed off a lot of studios in the process.

About the author:

Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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Recent Forum Posts:

BoredSysAdmin posts on July 29, 2011 11:01
Nomo, post: 399974
OK, you've piqued my interest.
My understanding, and I haven't attempted to prove it wrong, is my HD8300's software will not recognize a external hard drive.

I have Time Warner.

Who do you have?

Three year later response I guess I better than never :o

Time Warner is using “Passport” or Navigator Firmware, unlike CableVision using Sara.
The info about it's upto Cable company to enable SATA port true, but it's not plug-and-play. DVR box will recognize the external drive only on cold boot


and Yes, many Time warner customer successfuly attached external drives to their dvrs
Guiria posts on April 14, 2008 13:06
So what is a reliable component PC card? If I understand it correctly, wouldn't you need the said card to dump the shows onto your PC? I guess that card would need to include a set of analogue RCA stereo inputs as well.
BoredSysAdmin posts on April 14, 2008 10:13
Wayde Robson, post: 400053
My cable company, (Rogers) won't let mine work. It's up to the cable company to enbale the SATA port. No doubt someone is using it somewhere. I wish I could.

There Multiple source of info on that and success and failure statistics available.
Here are some of the sources I used:


To be more specific: My cable provider is Cablevision, I used Apricorn Enclosure ( Apricorn EZ-BUS-DTS-EKIT SATA Backup & External Storage System Retail - for $50) and Western Digital Caviar SE 16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200RPM 16MB Cache SATA 3.0Gb/s.

In my experience there some random 1/4 sec hiccups but same happened to built-in hard drive as well.
allargon posts on April 13, 2008 09:16
Wayde, not all Blu-Ray players recognize AVCHD discs. The most popular one, the PS3 does. The Panny players also do.



As far as disabling component output from Blu-Ray (not going to happen on HD DVD players since updates are pretty much dead), studios said they won't do it 2009/2010 at the earliest. Sorry, I'm lazy. The only links I have supporting this are these. (The Wikipedia entry says 2012.)



There was concern that Dish network, DirecTV, the cable/telcos, etc. would limit component from their set top boxes to 480p like most current DVD upscalers do. Of course, that has yet to happen.



Wayde Robson posts on April 11, 2008 23:33
BoredSysAdmin, post: 399951
What??? I have 8300HD and I have 500Gb Sata Hard drive connected to it but surely not USELESS

My cable company, (Rogers) won't let mine work. It's up to the cable company to enbale the SATA port. No doubt someone is using it somewhere. I wish I could.
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