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How to Copy a Tivo Recording Onto Your Computer

TiVos are digital video recorders (DVRs) that connect directly to a cable or satellite feed. The recorders can capture the incoming video signal and can be programmed to automatically record any showings of a specific program, such as a TV show that airs once a week. When it comes to copying the recordings from a video recorder onto a computer, TiVo provides one of the easiest transferring processes of any brand of DVR.

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  1. Download the TiVo Desktop software for free from TiVo's website (see Resources.) Versions of the software are available for both Mac and PC systems. To download the software, click the "Download now" button under the version of the software that you need and save the software to your computer.

  2. Install the Tivo Desktop software to your computer by going to the folder where the downloaded software was saved, generally the "Download" folder on PCs, and double-clicking the software icon. This begins the set-up process and on-screen instructions walk you through the installation.

  3. Connect the TiVo DVR to your computer network. If you have a wired network, connect the TiVo to the router with an Ethernet cable. If the connection is wireless, you must have a TiVo wireless adaptor, which plugs into one of the USB ports on the back of the TiVo.

  4. Power on the TiVo and use the remote to open the menu and choose "Messages & Settings." Go to "Settings" and "Phone & Network." Select "Change network settings" from the menu and on-screen instructions will walk you through the network connection.

  5. Launch the TiVo Desktop software from the "Start" menu or from the desktop icon. The software opens to the main screen. Click on "Pick Recordings to Transfer" to display the "Now Playing List" from your TiVo DVR in the window of TiVo Desktop.

  6. Check the box next to the TiVo recording that you want to transfer onto your computer and press the "Start Transfer" button. Transfer progress is monitored in the transfer window.

  7. Warning

    If a recording has a red circle with a slash through it, it is copyright protected and cannot be transferred from the TiVo.

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Things You'll Need

  • Router
  • Ethernet cable or TiVo wireless adaptor

About the Author

Alexis Lawrence

Alexis Lawrence is a freelance writer, filmmaker and photographer with extensive experience in digital video, book publishing and graphic design. An avid traveler, Lawrence has visited at least 10 cities on each inhabitable continent. She has attended several universities and holds a Bachelor of Science in English.

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