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Can You Get Your Recorded Shows Back After Switching Satellite Providers?

Dennis in Belden, Mississippi listens on SuperTalk 102.9 WWMR and asked about recovering his shows from an old DVR

Dish Hopper

Dennis asked: “I have recorded some video on a 2TB hard drive that was recorded when I had Dish TV. I have since switched to DirecTV and I’ve tried to play that video on a computer and elsewhere and have been unable to play it. I have been told that it’s encrypted. Is there any way I can get that video off that hard drive so that I can watch that programming?”


Unfortunately you’re probably out of luck, Dish makes it easy to move on to a new Hopper and keep your shows, but they don’t make it easy to leave the company and move on to a competitor.

If you recorded to an external drive, those shows are almost certainly encrypted and tied to the specific DVR that recorded them, if you recorded your shows to an internal drive, you may have better luck.

Some DVRs don’t encrypt their internal drives, since they’re not easy to access.

Some DVRs don’t encrypt their internal drives, since they’re not easy to access. If you don’t mind cracking the DVR open, removing the drive, and connecting it to an enclosure, you may be able to access your shows. The names will be a jumble of letters and numbers, and you may see several files with the same name, but one of them will probably be the video. Again, that is IF the DVR didn’t bother to encrypt the internal hard drive, which may or may not be the case.

Sorry Dennis but, generally speaking, cable and satellite companies don’t make it easy to leave.

Honestly, though, what recorded video could be worth that much trouble? About the only thing we could think of would be a movie that you paid to watch and downloaded to your DVR. In that case, it would most definitely be encrypted, since they control how long you can access the movie after you begin watching it.

It’s a strong argument for buying movies from iTunes, Google Play, or Amazon. You need a streaming device separate from your cable or satellite box, but those are relatively inexpensive and they will move to new TVs and work alongside new providers, all without complaint.

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Written by Dave Graveline

Dave Graveline is the founder, Host & Executive Producer of "Into Tomorrow" in addition to being President of the Advanced Media Network".

Dave is also a trusted and familiar voice on many national commercials & narrations in addition to being an authority in consumer tech since 1994. He is also a former Police Officer and an FBI Certified Instructor.

Dave thrives on audience participation!

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