This post was most recently updated on July 26th, 2019
A PVR(Personal video recorder) or a digital video recorder (DVR) is an electronic device that records video in a digital format to a disk drive, USB flash drive, SD memory card, SSD or other local or networked mass storage device. All recorded PVR/DVR videos have some element of encryption that prevents the conversion of the videos easily. The good news is that you can still convert and play recorded PVR with some certain tools which I am going to share with you in the course of this article. The term includes set-top boxes with direct to disk recording, portable media players and TV gateways with recording capability, and digital camcorders.
Intricacies of Converting and Playing a PVR File on Other Devices
With special reference to satellite receivers, a PVR decoder(personal video recorder) can record satellite TV programs. However, by default, you can only play it on the device that recorded it. This is the riddle will be solved in this post. For example, how can you play a TV program that you recorder via your satellite decoder on your PC, smartphone or DVD player?.
My approach will help you to convert into popular video formats, files that you recorded via your set-top-box be it satellite receiver or an IPTV box.
In most cases, you may need to manually activate the option before your PVR decoder can start recording tv programs. Using Tiger Tseries and T-link decoders as examples, to configure your PVR function for the first time, you need to go to menu>> expansion>>pvr settings, Similarly, to configure PVR settings on a qsat decoder goto menu>>settings>>pvr settings. Regardless of the decoder, you might be having, just locate your PVR settings from withing the decoder’s settings and configure it accordingly.
After the configuration, you need to press the record button on your remote control to start recording your favourite program on a PVR decoder. Below is an image showing the record button on various remote controls.
What are the File Formats/Extensions of PVR/DVR Recorded Videos?
As you can see from the picture below, DVRs/PVRs can usually record and play H.264, MPEG-4 Part 2, MPEG-2 .mpg, MPEG-2 .TS, .PS, .TSV, VOB and ISO images video, with MP3 and AC3 audio tracks. They can also display images (JPEG and PNG) and play music files (MP3 and Ogg).
Of all the file extension, the most common PVR video files are ts and ps. Many satellite receivers use either .ts or .ps file extension to record television programs. Therefore, our focus in this topic shall is on DVR/PVR video files only.
In addition, during the process of recording, the individual decoders may change the encryption and extension of these recorded videos. Therefore after recording on decoder “A”, you can get a filename.tsv while on decoder “B” you get filename.ts. The encryption of certain decoders(e.g company-branded decoders like startimes, dstv and so on) may be stronger than that of others. This, in turn, makes it more difficult to convert such files to general video or audio files. Of all the software tested, Pavtube gave me the most success.
Especially relevant: List of the Latest Free-To-Air Satellite Tv Channels and Frequencies
What are TS and PS PVR Video Files?
Before we proceed with how to convert and play recorded pvr video files, it is important to learn a little more about these special file formats.
TS is a standard format for transmission and storage of audio, video, and Program and System Information Protocol (PSIP) data. The filename extensions of TS are .ts, .tsv, .tsa. TS can also be extended to M2TS and TOD. Furthermore, TS files can be easily found from HD camcorders such as Panasonic, Canon, Sony and more, Blu-ray DVD, normal DVD satellite decoders and more.
It is a pity that TS files are not directly compatible with most of the media players, mobile phones, portable devices and video editing tools. The ts files on decoders are strictly encrypted(for copyright protection purposes) while that on DVDs are not encrypted in the real sense of the word.
MPG (also referred to as MPEG) is the acronym for the Moving Picture Experts Group. Files with the .mpg extension often contain movies that are distributed over the Internet.
The videos contained within the .mpg files are compressed video files. These files are compressed to allow users to download the files more quickly without sacrificing much of the picture quality in the video itself.
The .mpg format is also given to many of the VCR videos that are converted to downloadable movies. For example, if you had a VCR containing one of your favourite movies from the 80s, you could convert it to a downloadable movie in the .mpg file format. However, the ps(.mpg) file recorded on certain older decoders, don’t display the video after conversion. It is in audio format on your pc. But when you play it on the decoder on which it was recorded, you will enjoy the video and audio.
How to convert and play recorded PVR Videos Files on Satellite Receivers
For most satellite receivers, the process is the same. The only areas of dissimilarities could be with the file extensions. To start recording a tv program on your PVR decoder, all you need to do is to pres the dedicated record button on your remote. However, you need o prepare your USB storage device in readiness for the recording.
Important Notice: Please don’t leave your USB storage device connected to your decoder after recording, always disconnect it when not in use. 2. Don’t use a defective USB storage device, make sure you use a clean external hard-drive or usb Pendrive. 3. For best results, dedicate a USB device to your recording.
I will use a qsat decoder and a t-link decoder as my guide then you can apply the methods to any PVR receivers thay you might own.
How to Prepare to Record a program on your PVR/DVR Device
- First off, you need a healthy USB flash drive or external harddisk for all FTA/IKS standalone receivers.
- If you are using a satellite company-branded decoder like the Dstv Explora, beIN PVR decoder or the likes, you will need to open the decoder and bring out the builtin harddisk then connect it to a pc. In other words, i won’t advse you to attempt to convert the recordings on your PAy-TV branded decoder. The risk involved in it is way too much.
- Your decoder’s remote control is a must.
- Download your favorite pc
- Finally, the channel you want to record from must be on air.
Advantages of Recording your Favourite programs with your PVR Decoders
- First off, it gives you the satisfaction of having the event of your favourite athletes, artist or musician in a secure place for future reference. For example, I am a lover of tennis, wrestling and soccer. I hardly miss any Federer,nadal, krygios, Andy Murray, Serena Williams, Djokovic matches. I also watch almost all Barcelona, Bayern Munich and Liverpool matches. But there is no way I will be there at all times to watch my favourite programs. hence, recording them comes handy.
- Another area where PVR is useful is in the recording of series and live reality shows. Your own priorities may differ from mine, but we all agree on one thing, we can’t watch all the programs at once. so if you record the program you think you may miss, you can watch them at your leisure.
- Furthermore, when you record and convert your PVR files, it means you can take them with you everywhere you to. This is not possible because, after conversion, your mobile phone can play the files.
How to Record A TV Program on Free to air/IKS Standalone decoders(Using Qsat decoder as our example)
It is pretty easy to record a program on any PVR-compliant satellite receiver. With just two steps, you are well underway. Now let me teach you how to do the same on a free to air decoder.
- Once you connect your USB flash drive or external hard disk, as shown above, you will receive the following message on your screen “has_found_storage_device” press Menu on your remote and go to settings>>PVR Config>>then set up as shown below:
- Next, goto menu>>multimedia>>scroll till you get to record manager>>if you are on qsat and your drive is NTFS, you must press the green button here to convert your NTFS drive to Fat32 or else qsat will give error while you are recording. Most USB Pendrive come as Fat32 by default only external hard drives comes as NTFS that is why you can’t record into an external drive with qsat by default. After that press red button to set_parttion.
- Now, go to the program channel you want to record and press the record button. once you are done recording, press the stop button on your remote and goto record manager to view your recorded program.
How to Record Programs/Events on T-Link, Tigerstar and Similar Decoders)
Like I said earlier, T-link and tigerstar T-series decoder is more advanced than most of its contemporaries.
- To record a program on t-link, connect your USB storage device to any of the ports on the tlink decoder, now goto Menu>>Expansion>>PVR setting>>Set your PVR recording options here, save and exit.
- Now press the “record button” on your remote control to start recording your program when you are done recording, Goto>>menu>>expansion>>Usb>>press the right navigation key on your remote till you get to the Movies tab>>Press Ok on your remote to watch your recorded program.
- To record on any other PVR decoder e.g Azsky G6, dreambox, Openbox, starsat, hellobox, c sat, e.t.c, use the same method above. just locate your PVR settings. After that, locate your file manager or record manager from where you can play your recorded channels.
Steps to record a Program Using DStv Explora
First off, you need to subscribe to DStv PVR Separately. Once this is done, follow the steps below to record any program of your choice.
- Switch to your channel of interest.
- Press the OK button and a small feature box pops up.
- If you can spot a round-shaped recycle icon at the bottom of the screen, it means the program is a series program. So, select “Record Episode”. Else, select “Record Episode”.
- When the recording is complete, it is listed in your Playlist ready to be watched at your convenience.
How to convert recorded PVR TV Programs to any Popular video format of your Choice
I conduct extensive research, on the various video converters that can convert PS and TS video formats. Unfortunately, while I saw six of them that can convert Unencrypted TS file format, I only saw one that can convert PVR Decoder’s encrypted .ts files. The unencrypted ts files are the ones you see in a camcorder or a DVD. Below are the lists of video converters that can convert a TS file they are all paid software, but you can try them for free before buying them
List of Some PC Tools that you can use to Convert PVR/DVR TS and PS files
- Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate (Happens to be one of the best among them)
- Tipard TS Converter.
- WonderFox Free HD Video Converter(also a very good one)
- Bigasoft Total Video Converter
- iDealshare VideoGo
Pavtube Video Converter Ultimate is one of the Best Software you can use to Convert PVR Files
When I tried pavtube on the file i recorded on a tiger, t-link and hellobox decoders, I was able to convert them successfully to .mp4 and retain its picture quality. In a nutshell, if you want to convert your recorded pvr programs into a format that is playable on your devices such as pc, phones e.t.c, use pavtube or wonderfox video converters to convert your recorded programs.
Furthermore, if you merely downloaded a .ts program online or you have a DVD encrypted in .ts, you can use any of the above-listed video converters, to convert the .ts video files into any video formats of your choice.
Features of Pavtube
- Integrate with Blu-ray Ripper, DVD Ripper, and HD Video Converter.
- Convert Blu-ray/DVD 3D/2D movies in batch to MP4, M4V, MOV, AVI, MKV files with 3D/2D effects.
- Help enjoy BD/DVD movies & camcorder videos on iOS/Android/Windows Tablets & Phones, and HD Media Players.
- Directly copy the latest releases of Blu-ray/DVD movies in fast speed.
- Support TiVo/MXF/MTS/M2TS conversion to any other video/audio formats.
- Add *.srt, *.ass, or *.ssa subtitle files to BD/DVD movie or videos.
WonderFox Free HD Video Converter
WonderFox Free HD Video Converter is Fast. It’s Easy. It’s Powerful. 100% FREE video converter to HD quality.
Convert video to MP4, MOV, AVI, MTS, HD MP4, HD AVI, HD MPG, AVCHD, H264, iPad, iPhone and 200+ other video audio formats and devices with the superb HD converter software.