Digital video recorders, or DVRs, are devices used by cable TV providers that allow consumers to pause, rewind and fast-forward TV programs. DVRs also allow viewers to record programs for future viewing by storing the programs on the DVR's internal hard drive. When the DVR's hard drive fills up, transferring DVR recordings to an external hard drive for future viewing is an alternative to deleting programs off the hard drive.
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Look at the DVR to see what connection options for an external hard drive are available. Most DVRs have one or two USB ports either on the front or back of the unit. Some DVRs also feature Firewire ports for Firewire-compatible hard drives.
Attach the external hard drive to the DVR using a USB or Firewire cable.
Download the DVR's recording or recordings to your external hard drive. This step varies depending on your cable service and the make and model of the DVR. Typically, the DVR will recognize that an external hard drive has been connected and will ask whether you want to download recordings onto the hard drive. Any questions you may have should be addressed by contacting your cable provider's technical support department.