First you need to record the TV and this can be done in different way according to the kind of broadcast and your TV. (Some Samsung TV even make it impossible to play again the recording on a different TV set).
Than knowing the kind of file you get we could give some suggestion.
Generally I would suggest to try with iMovie an d later you could decide to buy FCPX (Express was discontinued).
DVR ? DigitalVideoRecorder ?
HMMM ... unknown. By me at least .
I imagine there is an internal HD and you should have a sowtware to "extract" the files and send them to a USB key or another HD.
Can you find out the kind of files which are generated and if the export is possible ?
Then you can find out if the files are compatible to be edited with FCPX - iMovie - Quick Time , or if you will need a conversion Software like one of this:
Many of them are free or cheap to be found in internet. Google for each of them after you have found the kind of your video files to see which suites better your needs. (Sorry there is also a xlsx and few pdf in the list. Dont seearch for them
The DVR is supplied by Direct TV. I'm reticent to ask them if I can copy a movie from it. The model is HR24-500. I think it has 500gb of storage.
I've looked up info on expanding DVR storage. It seems one can attach an external hard drive to the sata port using an esata cable. The DVR will then record to the external drive. That process may also disable the internal drive. That is, only the external drive will be used for recording. At least that's what I think I read.
That leads me to two questions...
1. If I did attach an external drive, and it worked as described above, Would I have access to the external drive movie files?
2. I'd much prefer not to add an external drive. At least not permanently (I should try to learn if this process can be undone). Any way to get data directly to my computer from that sata port?
I've also read that the USB port can not be used to transfer data.
Do not confuse SATA with eSATA.
To your questions.
1) You can probably get video files from the external Drive but it is not sure. How will the external drive be formatted ? If it is a standard Win or Mac Format you wiull be able to acces the Files (Acces means you will see them, than the question will be again as in my previous posts which video-file kind are they ?
Some TV (like Samsung) let you connect an external HD for recording but the HD has to be formatted by the TV and it is done in a way that you cannot read it with PC or MAC or even with a different Samsung TV. In some way the TV Code is enbedded in the Formatting. Others like the German Clarketech let you record on any HD or even USB key or card and you can convert the files as you like.
You need to go on reading the user guide or experiment.
2) I do not believe you can "download" the data from the SATA (or eSATA) port of the TV to a caomputer.
Than there is also a legal question. Each contry has different rules. In Italy we can copy TV sendings and even make a personal copy for backup of a movie but frequently the movie are protected and you cannot do it.
And you are going to copy movies...
I could record the movie onto VHS video tape. But I just looked online and I can't even see how to upload to my computer from the video tape without buying more software.
...Ah ha! I think I remember now. I have a digital camcorder and I think I can record the movie to that. Then I could upload it the usual way from the camcorder. I'll give that a try.
Thanks for all your help. I'll let you know how it comes out.