According to FCC regulations, all DVRs that cable companys rent must have an active firewire port. While unfortunately you likely won’t be able to record premium channels such as HBO, INHD, DiscoveryHD. All broadcast channels must be open. If any broadcast channels are encrypted a quick call to your cable company will fix this. This is a dream come true for all you TV archivers.
While I use this method primarily for recording 720p, and 1080i HDTV sources, this will work for standard definition digital channels as well.
Step 1: Download generic TV Tuner firewire drivers here.
Step 2: Extract these files into a new folder.
Step 3: Connect cable box to PC using firewire cable. (6pin to 6pin, and 6pin to 4pin will work)
Step 4: Found new hardware wizard windows should appear. Click cancel for all windows that do.
Step 5: Open the Device Manager. This can be found under “Start/Control Panel/System/Hardware (tab)/Device Manager (button)”.
Step 6: Disable “Unknown Device”, and “AVC Panel” under “Other Devices” by right clicking each and choosing “disable”.
Step 7: Right click “Tuner AV/C Device” under “Imaging Devices” and choose “Update Driver…”
Step 8: Select “Install from a disk or specific location”, and click “next”.
Step 9: Select “Don’t search. I will chose the driver to install”, and click “next”.
Step 10: Click the “Have Disk” button, and then the “Browse” button, and point it inside the folder you extracted the drivers to, and double-click “miestb”. Click “Ok”, and then “Next”
Step 11: Ignore the warning about “Windows Logo Testing”, and click “Continue Anyway”, and then “Finish”. Your cable box is now connected to your PC.
Step 12: Download CapDVHS here. Extract to the location of your choice, and open CapDVHS.exe.
Step 13: Select “Digital AV/C Tuner Device” from the dropdown menu.
Step 14: Click the “Setting” tab, and change “PS File Extension”, “188 bytes Files Extension”, and “192 bytes file extension” to “.ts”. This will create transport stream captures which are an identical copies to the signals you receive from the cable company. You can also select your output folder by clicking “Save Folder” in the setting tab. You’ll also want to be sure to check “Check file Exists”. If you don’t, you’ll probably end up accidently deleting a show, and have to do it over.
Step 15: Capture the transport stream by clicking “Record”.