Sunday, May 31, 2009

FireWire Inside, Part Three “Geeks to the rescue”

In the meantime, some creative and persistent geeks have been able to bully the cable companies into turning on the 1394 port on their cable boxes and have developed software to record High Def content off the 1394 port onto computers.  Their software adds digital PVR capabilities to their computers without additional hardware.  These geeks have had to make multiple phone calls to customer support, demand to talk to supervisors, and have read FCC documents such as FCC CS Docket 97-80 and made reference to specific sections such as 47 C.F.R. 76.640(b)(4).

Not exactly the user-friendly experience the FCC had in mind when they mandated 1394 on cable boxes.  In some cases, they have even gone to the FCC to file complains via :

In the end, it paid off.   Apple has support on their web site for anyone who wants to do this on a Mac.  Go to this web page for instructions on how to record HD programming on a Mac:

For Windows users, there are a number of resources, but the easiest to use is:

If you want to file a complaint with the FCC on a non-working 1394 port on your cable box, instructions can be found here:

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