HOWTO: Extract Video from the HR20
This is the place where you will find instructions on extracting video from your HD-20 DirecTV DVR.
This and the following 9 posts will form the basis of this FAQ with unused posts marked as "Intentionally Left Blank" for future expansion.
Special thanks to PlainBill, RonnyThunder and Blender for helping create this FAQ.
Video Extraction is currently not possible on the HR20.
Indications are that the video data is encrypted on the the HR20's Hard Drive (be it internal or external) and that unlike TiVo there is no software stored on the disk which can be patched. (Like the StarChoice DSR530) indications are that the OS and software for the HR20 are stored in a flash chip. Thus, much like the old days of TiVo, one would have to reflash the unit to apply any hack such as turning off encryption. Even if Encryption could be turned off, it is unknown the file system format the the HR20 uses. That is not to mention that unlike MFS (the file system for TiVo Data Streams), there are no tools for extraction of unencrypted video from the HR20, assuming the HR20 had encrypted storage disabled.
That having been said, none of these problems are unsurmountable, but much depends on the market. If a large hacker community grows around the HR20, it is possible that people will start disassembling the HR20 firmware and use prom flashers to reprogram their units. It may then be possible that people find a way of flashing the unit without desoldering the primary Flash. Then maybe more details will come to light about the file system used by the HR20, perhaps through reverse engineering. Regardless of whether this violates law or license, it may happen.
But remember, DirecTV and NDS (the original manufacturer of the new line of non-TiVo DirecTV receivers) are also working on ways of preventing these things from happening and are not going to sit by and wait for someone to hack their unit. So it may be a game of cat and mouse for years to come. But, like DeCSS, HD DVD, Blu Ray and HDCP, it may only be a matter of time. Only time will tell who will win.
Last edited by TimeHorse; 10-16-2007 at 08:17 PM.