How to record off your Motorola DVR with OS X and Firewire

Posted by in apple, technology

If you’re running a mac with OS X and have a Motorola DVR with Firewire ports on the back (such as the popular Motorola DCT3416), recording digitally from your DVR to your computer is very simple if you follow these steps:

1.  Download and install the latest Firewire Development Kit from Apple.  The download is free, but you do have to register first.  This download will include which is the software you need to capture and/or record from your  FireWire connected HDTV-tuner or DVR.

Once this file is downloaded and installed, when you connect your computer to your DVR or HDTV tuner via firewire and launch this application, the DVR should be automatically detected.  Simply press “capture from device” and whatever is playing on your DVR or HDTV tuner will automatically be recorded on your computer.

2.  If you just want to play back the file that creates (which is a *.m2t file), you can download and install VLC which is a very handy video player for many formats.

However, if you want to export and convert the file for use in another way (i.e. sharing with others as a quicktime move for example), you’ll have to do two more things:

3.  The MPEG-2 Playback component is required if you want the capability to convert the *.m2t file into another format (such as a .mov).  Its available from Apple for about $20.

4.  Once you have the MPEG-2 Playback compondent installed, you can download and install MPEG Streamclip.  This software will then enable you to not only watch the *.m2t file that created, but also enable you to “Save As” or convert to a number of other file types including *.mov

I would also suggest if you don’t already have it, purchase the upgrade to Quicktime Pro for about $30 so that you can export Quicktime movies for the web in the excellent H.264 format.