DirecTV allows customers with the appropriate DVR equipment to transfer and view recorded programming on a separate hard drive. To increase the recording space available, you can use the eSATA connection on the back of your DVR to connect a compatible external hard drive. To completely transfer content from your DVR to your computer and save programming to a hard drive for viewing later, you will need to use DirecTV2PC or the GenieGo service and capture the video using recording software.
Increase Recording Space With an External Hard Drive
Check the model number, located inside the small door at the bottom right corner on the front of the DirecTV DVR receiver, to verify that it is either an R22 (DirecTV Plus DVR) or HR20 or above (DirecTV Plus HD DVR).
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Power off the receiver and disconnect the power cord from the back.
Connect an eSATA hard drive to the eSATA port on the back of the DVR.
Plug in and power on the eSATA hard drive. Allow it to initialize.
Plug in and power on your DirecTV DVR receiver. After reboot, it will disable the internal hard drive and transfer new programming to the external hard drive.
Using DirecTV2PC to Access DVR Programming
Ensure your DirecTV DVR is connected to the Internet using the Wireless DirecTV CINEMA Connection Kit, available separately from DirecTV. If you do not have a Whole Home DVR, you can use an Ethernet cable connected from the DVR to your home router (see link in References for connection instructions).
Select the "Download Now" link on the DirecTV2PC software download page (link in Resources). Enter your name and email address so that DirecTV can email you the activation key for software setup and click "Submit."
Install the DirecTV2PC software. Check your email for a confirmation and activation key from DirecTV, and enter it when prompted by the installer.
Launch the DirecTV2PC software and use the menu, which is similar to the program guide on your DVR, to select programming for playback.
Using GenieGO to Access DVR Programming
Plug one end of an Ethernet cable into the back of GenieGO and the other end into your Wireless DirecTV CINEMA Connection Kit.
Connect the power supply to the GenieGO device and power it on.
Download the GenieGO app to your computer or mobile device (link in Resources). Follow the on-screen instructions to activate the device and register your applications.
Select programming from the list of shows available on your DVR to broadcast it to your computer or mobile device -- you can select from shows you have already recorded or shows you are currently recording live.
Capturing Video Using Screencast-O-Matic
Download and install the Screencast-O-Matic software to your computer (link in Resources). Launch the software when it is installed.
Use your mouse to draw a bounding box around the video window of your DirecTV streaming software. This defines the portion of your computer screen that will be captured to video.
Press "Alt-P" to begin recording. Press "Play" on your DirecTV streaming software to play the programming.
Press "Alt-P" on your computer keyboard to end recording.
Select "Publish to Video File" to save your clip in QuickTime (MP4), Windows Media File (AVI), Flash (FLV) and Animated Image (GIF) formats. You can also modify the output size, rescale or add notes and captions.
If you are considering the purchase of a new external hard drive for the purpose of storing your DirecTV programming, the company suggests the following eSATA models: Western Digital 500GB (WDG1S5000); Western Digital 1TB (WDG1S10000); Seagate 1TB (ST31000SCA109-RK or STAP1000100); and Seagate 500GB (ST30500SCA109-RK).
DirecTV2PC does not require special hardware installed on your home entertainment system, but it is only compatible with PCs.
The GenieGO application requires the purchase and installation of the separate GenieGO device on your home entertainment system, but you can use it to view programming on a variety of platforms -- PC, Mac or any mobile device.
If you do not see the email containing your activation key in your general inbox, check your spam folder.
The free version of Screencast-O-Matic embeds a small, unobtrusive watermark in the bottom left of the video frame and limits you to 15 minutes of recording time. The paid version does not embed a watermark or limit your recording time.