PVR Explorer Pro is an open source program designed to enable the copying of digital video recorder programs onto a computer. PVR Explorer Pro also converts the copied files into an MPEG format like .MPG or .M2V. PVR Explorer Pro's interface is extremely easy to use, and will have you copying your programs in no time.

Connecting the DVR

Before you can copy programs off your DVR, you need to connect it to your PC. Connect your DVR to your computer via a USB or Firewire data cable -- if your DVR does not support USB or Firewire compatibility, PVR Explorer Pro will likely be unable to extract programs. This is because PVR EXplorer Pro needs to examine the DVR's hard drive, which can't be done without a data connection. While you may be able to set up your DVR for viewing on your PC via composite, component or HDMI cables, these cables won't enable you to explore the hard drive.

Copying Programs

After you've connected your DVR to your computer, launch PVR Explorer Pro. The program will automatically detect your DVR system so long as it's connected properly. Once PVR Explorer Pro has populated its list with the programs on your DVR, click "Extract Programs" to begin the copy process.

Other Considerations

Copying DVR recordings to your computer may constitute a copyright violation, and definitely constitutes one if you intend to distribute the recordings. Before endeavoring to copy your recordings, make sure the intended purpose doesn't violate copyright law. Also, PVR Explorer Pro's SourceForge project page indicates that it is compatible with Dish and Echostar models 501, 508, 510, 522 and 625. Compatibility with devices other than these is not guaranteed, but still possible.