If you have a DVR player connected to your TV, you have the ability to record and store the TV shows that you want to capture from cable or satellite. You do not, however, have unlimited storage space. If you would like to keep shows from your DVR permanently, you should move them from the DVR's hard drive to another hard drive. If you would like to edit the DVR files once you transfer them, you should convert the files to a widely accepted video file type, such as AVI.
Connect the DVR to a Computer
Before you can convert DVR files to AVI, you must transfer them onto a computer. Depending on the type of DVR that you have, you may connect a DVR to a computer in a variety of ways. If your DVR has an S-Video or firewire outlet, you can connect the DVR to a computer using an S-Video or firewire cable. If your DVR has only audio and video outputs, you must use a digital video pass-through device or connect through a digital video camera.
Capture the Video from the DVR
Once the DVR has been connected, you have several options for capturing the video. Nearly all video-editing programs, including advanced editors such as Final Cut Pro and Adobe Premiere, as well as native operating system programs, such as iMovie and Windows Movie Maker, have the ability to capture external video. When you capture video with any of these programs, the file is stored to your computer's hard drive under the name you choose for it.
Converting the File
Several free systems are available online for converting DVR video into AVI. These systems include Movai Online Convert, YouConvertIt, Zamzar and Media Converter. All of the systems work much the same: upload the file using the "Upload a file" button, select "AVI" in the output file list and click "Convert." Movavi Online Convert and Media Converter both provide download links on the website when the conversion is done, while YouConvertIt and Zamzar email the download links to you.
Editing and Storing Video
Once you convert the DVR file to AVI, you can edit the file as you would any standard video file. The audio video interleave, or AVI, format, is accepted in a few major video-editing applications, including Adobe Premiere and Windows Movie Maker. If you prefer not to keep the DVR video stored on your computer's hard drive, you can also move the video file to any flash drive or external hard drive, or burn the video file to DVD.
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