How to Transfer DirecTV DVR Recordings to a Computer

By David Wayne

If you have recorded television shows on a DirecTV DVR and you'd like to make backup copies or burn them to discs, easily capture the audio and video on your computer with a video capture card. According to the DirecTV digital video recorder (DVR) owner's manual, a DirecTV DVR offers both digital and analog video outputs, but only one output works at a time. Use the analog video output to transfer DVR recordings to your computer.

Things You'll Need

  • S-Video cable
  • Composite audio cable
  • 10 to 20 GB hard drive space

Step 1

Shut down your computer. Open the computer's side panel and insert the video capture card in a peripheral component interconnect (PCI) slot on the motherboard. You'll find the slot near the back of the case where cables and devices connect to the computer. Alternatively, connect a "Plug and Play" capture card to a USB port on your computer without opening the case.

Step 2

Turn on the computer and insert the installation disc for the capture card. Click "I Agree" and "Next" to install the software and click "Finish" to complete the installation. Restart the computer.

Step 3

Connect the S-Video output from the DirecTV DVR player to the S-Video input of the capture card with the S-Video cable. Connect the audio output of the DVR to the capture card with the left and right composite audio cable. Use the color coding on the cable to match the left and right audio plugs with the correct inputs.

Step 4

Click the "Start" menu and "All Programs" to run the capturing software installed from the installation computer disc. Press "Play" on the DVR player and the video will display on the computer monitor. Use the remote control to find the starting point of the program you want to transfer. Press "Pause" on the DVR player.

Step 5

Click "Record" in the software control panel of the capturing software. Press "Pause" again on the DVR remote control to resume the DVR playback. Click "Stop" in the capturing software after recording the program.

Step 6

Enter a title for the recorded video file when the program asks you to, and click "OK" to save the video.

Tips & Warnings

  • Use high-quality video and audio cables for the highest fidelity recordings of programs. The highest quality composite audio cables have gold-plated connectors.

References & Resources