500gb hardware based encrypted hdd is pretty expensive...no wonder why the stb costs a fortune..and maybe, just take the existing hdd out and out in a simple unencrypted one? i wonder if that will work?
Then why cant the hdd be just put into an external hdd reader and then copy the programes?
you can copy the files sure. All you will get are .ts files which will be encrypted feeds of the recorded files. you won't be able to play them.