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Copying video from a 721 or other Dish Network PVR

2461 Views 19 Replies 13 Participants Last post by  lordgarth
Many people have emailed me and Private Messaged me about why we won't let talk about copying video from a Dish Network PVR to another computer here at DBSTalk.COM

I have tried to explain why numerous times, but yet people still ask.

Just surfing the net I found that article which better explains things.

This article is about David Bott from AVSforums.


We do our best to give you all the best information possible, yet we do not want to incour any legal troubles for information which certain parties may find objectionable.

I think the above article better states things. :)

Thanks for your understanding, and thanks for visiting DBSTalk.COM
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Yeah it is unfortunate that free speech is being attacked. It will take a while to work its way through the courts and hopefully in the end the courts will overturn the prohibitions on free speech.

The problem now is that it is so expensive to be sued even when you are right, you have to not do what you want to do to avoid being sued.
I know this fact all too well, I have a step son who lives with me and my wife, we are now in a custody battle because the father no longer wants to pay child support and feels that he should stop paying and the child should move with him.

He says he can no longer afford to pay childsupport, yet he just purchased 5 acres of land and is now building a house on his property.

This is utter nonscense, yet we must defend ourselves, so far our legal fees are over $3,500

My feeling is he should be paying our fees if we win this case (and we will the law is on our side) its a shame that the legal system is so messed up.

I often look at all these lawsuits on TV and wonder how the hell anyone can afford to go to court.
The Dishplayer, and PVR 501 are unencrypted. Extracting video from them is noting more then understanding the harddrive structure; DMCA provents people from bipassing encrytion controls; but since dish is but 'in the clear' such legal issues seem mute. The Law requires due dillegence in protecting copywrited work before legel action can be used; which Tivo has done, but dish has not.
Not to mention the DMCA is unconstitutional (though I understand the fact that DBSTalk doesn't want to be the ones going to the Supreme Court on this one:) ), in the opinion of many people, possibly most people.
Still, as Scott asked, this isn't the place to find out what is legal or not. Dish doesn't own the rights to the shows on your PVR, Disney, Sony, AOL, Viacom, Universal own the rights. That will be the battle over the next few years and I doubt this forum is the place to find out about how "legal" it is. I don't think "fair use" has anything to do with pulling data off of a PVR. Unless Dish gave explicit rights to do so, DCMA still applies. Until the DCMA goes to court, forums like this must assume that pulling any data off of a PVR by means other than that Dish/DirecTV/TiVo/UltimateTV gives you is a violation of the DCMA. Unfortunately that is the safest route and one they must take.
It sure is a big wish of a lot of us, though. We record things on the PVR and once our drive fills up we are forced to delete. Sure, we can dump it to VHS tape, but quality pales in comparison and you lose the DD soundtracks. Kind of makes it a waste to even bother archiving.

I have recorded some great 9/11 documentaries that I want to preserve. What should I do with them?

What are the best recording options that exist? Perhaps something that takes in S-Video and records comparable quality. Anything worthwhile and easy?

On the other hand, if you do want detailed information on things which can not be discussed here, please see the public usenet newsgroup alt.dbs.echostar.hack. You can get there through google.com if you don't have another newsreader.

If you want good archive recordings from a dish, buy a S-VHS VCR with a built in Time Base Corrector. It will be difficult to tell the difference between the original and the recording.
Originally posted by thomasmaly
Chris, what is a "Time Base Corrector?
A time base corrector (or otherwise known as a TBC) cleans up the signal when it's being transferred from one medium to another. For instance, when you record something from your dish to a VCR, timing errors are introduced into the signal during the transfer causing degredation in the video. With a TBC, the timing is restored back to it's original state so basically the recording looks just like the original barring any resolution limitations in the recording format (VHS only records up to 240 lines, S-VHS records up to 400 lines).

There are a few JVC S-VHS VCR's that have digital TBC's built in and are really not all that expensive. I bought mine for about $200.

This one is a little expensive but it gives you an idea of what is available.

Thanks Scott, the knowledge on this forum leaves me in awe.
Thanks. I'd pretty much given up my VCRs as defunt technology once I bought the PVR.

Looks like S-VHS can provide a good option until they have a recordable DVD player that doesn't need a PC. Do they?

...Wow, did a JVC search and they listed DIGITAL VCRs. This one has some sweet specs. Would of course do the job, but price is a bit steep.


Still a digital VCR would get rid of the problems you'd have iwth tape degredation (most of it). Of course, you wouldn't be able to share tapes with too many people.

Philips, Pioneer and Panasonic all have settop DVD recorders available. Philips DVD985 uses DVD+RW. Others are DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD-Ram
Okay, I just opened up a whole new can of worms here. Was looking at the last link I posted and saw a $1000 option (still darn high), but it has all kinds of integration with DISH networks.

JVC Digital VCR w/ Dish Receiver

I have never even heard of this option. This looks like your BEST option to archive Dish programming. Don't know how the quality would be going from the PVR to this (or if its only good from a live signal)...

Does anyone know about these systems?

Some higher end video cards have s-video inputs and you can capture video from just about any source to your computer then burn the video to a VCD or SVCD format on regular CDROM media and play them back on your DVD player (providing the DVD player will play back these formats).
ATI Radeon 7500 AIW does a perfect job with s-video input. Also can use ATI All in Wonder TV card (if don't want a new video card).

If you computer is not close to the Dish Receiver, just get a long S-video cable. I have used a 40 foot with not signal loss.

The ATI cards come with the software to capture the video in various codec's--MPEG1, MPEG2, etc.

Then once you have it captured on your computer hard disk, just burn to a CD-R., VCD, or DVD.

The ATI 7500 AIW also has S-out, so you can connect your computer to the TV and just play the video to the TV treating your PC as a PVR.

Once you get your PC, TV and PVR all connect for both input and output, you have an amazing system at your disposal.

I have a DVD, VCR, Dish 301 and Dish 501 all feeding into my computer. I use a Radio Shack switch to toggle between the various feeds. In addition I use the antenna in on the ATI card for OTA just case of bad weather. The ATI card gives you three inputs--S-video, comp, and antenna.
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Originally posted by toddjb
Okay, I just opened up a whole new can of worms here. Was looking at the last link I posted and saw a $1000 option (still darn high), but it has all kinds of integration with DISH networks.

JVC Digital VCR w/ Dish Receiver

I have never even heard of this option. This looks like your BEST option to archive Dish programming. Don't know how the quality would be going from the PVR to this (or if its only good from a live signal)...

Does anyone know about these

I actually have one of these. I have had it for a few years now. It's nice, but has several limitations. Number one, it's old technology. It does not have the capability to get the latest dish software. It cannot even get the newest Dish guide. It's really slow. Also, it does not have digital video or even S-video in. It does have S-video out and toslink out for audio, but again, no digital video out. The unit requires expensive digital VHS tapes ($14) if you want to record in digital VHS. You can use standard analog VHS tapes to record on in standard VHS and plays them. You cannot record in Digital VHS from an analog source. So, even if you use the composite in cable, you still cannot record in Digital. In all, it was a great unit, but it really needs to be updated. I have it on my second TV. I like my 721 better. FWIW
Where can we find some of the hard core info about this box?
I dropped a grand on the top of the line sony svhs recorder to archive my dbs and 8mm camcorder video and rarely touch it since I know that I am starting to introduce generational degrading. I recently purchased a pioneer dvd-r to go directly to dvd now and feel that it is currently my best option until "other means" are found. The television/movie oligopoly should realize that all they are going to do with the DCMA etc is going to make me stop buying their DVDs at $15-150 a title if they start making things too dificult to enjoy my purchases.
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