How to Hack a DVR System

By Techwalla Computers Editor

The digital video recorder (DVR) has enabled the user to control their television and not the other way around as in the past. A DVR is also hackable. That means a person can customize a DVR to fit his or her own personal viewing habits. Read on to learn how to hack a DVR system.

Things You'll Need

  • Security torx bit
  • Internal 3.5-inch IDE hard drive
  • Phillips head Screwdriver

Operating System Check

Step 1

Determine which operating system the DVR employs.

Step 2

Press the "Select" option on the DVR cable box and hold it down.

Step 3

Wait for the mail light until it starts flashing. Next, press the "Info" button.

Step 4

Look at the operating system option to determine which operating system the DVR uses. Note that only SARA operating systems can be hacked internally.

Internal Hack

Step 1

Use a wrench tool to remove the boxes cover. Take the wrench and remove the screw that is holding the cover in place. The type of varies per DVR system so check the owner's manual for more information. A popular type of wrench is the security torx bit #10 tool.

Step 2

Remove the drive bracket from the DVR. Unmount the DVR drive be removing the bracket that is holding it in place. Use a Phillips head screwdriver for this task, in addition to the previously mentioned tool.

Step 3

Peel back the tamper sticker on the DVR drive. Be careful not to peel the sticker too far or the cable company will know for that the DVR was hacked.

Step 4

Unhook the cables, both power and data, from the DVR drive. Then remove the drive and plug in the new drive.

Step 5

Plug the new DVR drive into the data and power cables. Turn the power on. Be sure to test the box to make certain it is working correctly.

Tips & Warnings

  • Understand that since the cable company owns the cable box a person can be fined for tampering with a DVR.