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Old Sep 13th, 2008, 11:04 PM   #1
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Shaw PVR box

Wasn't completely sure which forum to post this in.....My wife and I looooooove our Shaw PVR box. The whole, recording your favourite series, pausing live tv, it's changed our tv watching life. It has a few USB outlets and I've yet to figure our what they are for or how to use them. Is it possible to transfer recorded shows onto a flash drive or an external HD? It would be great to burn some of the stuff to disc so we could free up the HD in the PVR. Anybody out figured this out?
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #2
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Is it possible? Possibly.

Depends on whether Shaw or the equipment provider left those USB ports "hot" or not.

Some brands of PVR support transfers to Macs, others do not.

I worked around the problem by buying an inexpensive standalone DVD-burning unit from Lite-On:

(I'm sure this has been superceded by later models, and ISTR that retail prices on something like this are in the $99 on sale area)

Now it doesn't matter if the PVR is compatible with the computer or not.
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Old Sep 14th, 2008, 11:38 PM   #3
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Which PVR do you have? To my knowledge Shaw uses 3 PVRs: 1 SD PVR, an HD PVR from Motorola and another HD PVR by Pace (which I own).

The Pace PVR allows you to attach an eSata hard drive for recordings. It's formatted to Ext3 commonly used by Linux. While you can copy files they aren't much use since they are encrypted and can only be played by by the host device.
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Old Sep 15th, 2008, 11:59 PM   #4
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It's a Motorola box. I've done more digging around and still found nothing. Oh well.
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Old Sep 17th, 2008, 09:49 AM   #5
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The usb ports are disabled on the motorola box. As are the sata and ethernet. This is done by motorola not shaw. Although I am pretty sure that if Shaw told Moto to enable them it would happen. The data is encrypted on the moto pvr as it is with the pace. So even if you could get the data off you would have to decrypt it (good luck!).
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Old Sep 17th, 2008, 03:18 PM   #6
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what a pain

well, that kinda sucks. TiVo, well, you can sorta do okay, but the Cable Co's PVR?
No way. what'cha gonna do. That's why I got a PVR with a built in DVD drive only
to find out...the tv guide info that the rascal needs so you can schedule recordings
a day or more in advance, well, sorry, not in Canada. I only found out this AFTER
I bought it and spent a day or two messing around with it to get it to work. Also
the motorola cable boxes don't play nice with it. Sometimes it'll just shut down
(probably the heat, and it's connected to the cable box) and you can't use the tuner in the PVR. I tried using the plug in sensor for the PVR to snag the channels
via infrared from the cable box-no dice. So, much like a politician, it works, yeah
but it's dumb...

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Old Sep 19th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #7
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thanks for the replies guys. Unless I decide to take it apart (almost finished paying it off) think I'll give up on this dream and be happy with what I have.
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Old Sep 20th, 2008, 07:47 PM   #8
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Don't give up just yet, I might have the answer you are looking for. Note that this applies to Shaws Motorola HD-PVR, and I am not sure if it would work with their SD-PVR.

The Motorola boxes indeed have the USB ports disabled. What is NOT disabled however are the firewire ports in the back. For the HD-PVR (I own a DCT-6416 but I am sure this should work with the DCT-3416's as well) all you need is a firewire cable and a SDK pack that you can download direct from Apple. SImply connect the PVR to your Mac using the firewire cable, then download Firewire SDK 26 from Apple (you will need to be a member of the Apple Developer Connection, but it is completely free so just sign up). Here is a link to Firewire SDK 26 . Within the FIrewire SDK there will be a program called AVCVideoCap. With this program you can capture anything connected via your firewire port. Simply start a recording via AVCVideoCap and then start your recording on your PVR. AVCVideoCap will capture the program you are watching in real-time, as an MPEG-2 Transport Stream (.m2t file).

I have been doing this with my PVR for a while now, works wonders and is super easy. Let me know if you have any trouble with this.
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Old Jan 14th, 2009, 05:48 PM   #9
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I called Shaw tech today in Calgary and was told the SATA, USB and Firewire ports are not enabled, that Shaw does not support enabling the ports and would void the warranty on any HD PVR if the case were opened...

I guess I should use my existing Firewire drive plugged into my JVC camcorder and see if I can pull the movies off the PVR? I downloaded the DVS player from the Apple developer site but after calling Shaw today, there was apparently no point in buying longer Firewire cables from the PVR to my Mac.

Where are you located - I'm in Calgary and I have a stinkin' hunch the ports are enabled or disabled according to provincial locations. Your post would seem to say you have actually confirmed that the Firewire ports are active on a Shaw Motorola HD-PVR 6416?
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Old Jan 17th, 2009, 07:01 PM   #10
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Of course, if you use an Elgato EyeTV Hybrid and record direct to your computer, then you can do anything you want with the recording. But the Shaw PVR is pretty handy if you just want to want to record stuff and get rid of it eventually.
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