Recording HD footage from DVR to DVD?

I have a widescreen HDTV. With that I have Time Warner’s HD cable box (8300HD.) I know that I can buy a DVD recorder and by using the “Save to VCR” option on the DVR I can record shows onto DVD just as I used to do with a VCR. What I am not sure about though is this, if I record an HD show onto a DVD, when I watch the disc later will the show still be in 16:9 widescreen with the image filling the entire screen, or will it be letterboxed with additional grey bars on the sides (like it is when I watch a 4:3 SD channel)? I guess I’m asking if it will record as anamorphic? I know recording a show onto a DVD will make the footage SD as opposed to the true HD of the broadcast, so that’s not what I’m asking.
Basically I just want to save HD shows on a DVD to free up space on the DVR and I want them to look the same as when I am watching them on the DVR. Thanks.

Unless you get an HD DVD recorder, the program will be recorded in standard def, and probably letterboxed into a 4:3 format.

Unless you’re ready to drop about $3000 for professional-grade equipment, I don’t think there are any HD DVD recorders available to consumers. And even then, the thing will probably refuse to record off a cable box, as I’m willing to bet the HD output has copy protection flags on it.

Damn. That sucks. So the only way for me to save HD shows is to keep them indefinitely on the DVR’s hard drive? I’m gonna run out of space soon enough. :frowning:

It’s totally at the mercy of the DVR - whatever it does to convert HD to SD. FWIW, my Motorola DVR letterboxes HD content when it outputs it as SD, but there’s no way to know until you try it. If you want to find out before plunking down money on the DVD-recorder, just connect the composite or S-video output from the DVR to an SDTV, and see what you get.

ETA: Ah, I didn’t see that you wanted to watch them on your HDTV. In that case, you can just connect the DVR S-video/composite to a similar input on the HDTV, and see what you get. You may be able to play around a bit with the aspect settings to see if you get something reasonable. It will still look lousy compared to the original HD resolution though.

Your cablebox will likely have a setting for how it outputs HD content to SD, either letterbox or cropped. If you output it letterboxed, you can use the “expand” function to get full screen on your widescreen TV, with the tradeoff of some loss of detail. If you have an actual HD recorder and use component for the signal, I don’t think there is any copy protection, as that exists on digital connections only.