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aguiar0016

join:2006-01-23
New Bedford, MA

[DVR] External DVR Storage

Not sure if this has been stated before but Comcast New England will be allowing DVR recordings to be moved to a Western Digital Hard Drive. Its already posted on WD website.

Here's the hard drive :
»store.westerndigital.com/store/w···30153100

DVRs that will work: »customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···-storage


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI

2 edits
We have had that in the Chicago/Detroit area since late last year. You cannot move recordings, however. The extender just gives you more room / storage space.

See:
»[Comcast Equip] DVR Extender w/Moto Boxes

Also available at Amazon:
»www.amazon.com/Book-Expander-eSA···extneder

aguiar0016

join:2006-01-23
New Bedford, MA
jblues,

Thanks for the information , didn't realize they couldn't be moved at all.

andyross
Premium,MVM
join:2003-05-04
Schaumburg, IL
The drive is just an extension of the built-in drive. It's also encrypted or otherwise 'tied' to a particular box. If you try to use it on another one, it will most likely reformat it. At best, it will ignore what is there and just use the available space.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to aguiar0016
I'd definitely recommend checking out the Seagate DVR Expander »www.seagate.com/external-hard-dr···xpander/ It's extremely well designed, dead silent, and much more compact then the Western Digital My Book AV. Same restrictions but better hardware and drive. I'm using them right now on both my RNG200N boxes as well as my TiVo and Moxi and to all my clients.
--
I'm always up for a good chat and helping with VoIP testing so my contact info is below.
Gigaset.net: Michael Wolf
Callcentric: 17772288600
SIP URI: sip:226976325024#9@sip.gigaset.net and sip:17772288600@in.callcentric.com
Skype: MikeWolf051

mariod

join:2009-06-16
said by Mike Wolf:

I'm using them right now on both my RNG200N boxes as well as my TiVo and Moxi and to all my clients.

I don't understand, Comcast as of three days ago says they're not available in New Jersey.
»media2.comcast.net/anon.comcasto···8-13.pdf
Comcast will be introducing external hard drive support to all areas on an on-going basis through
early 2013.

The following areas where we use Motorola branded DVRs now have this feature available:

All Comcast areas of Michigan and western Ohio.
Most all Comcast areas of Indiana (except for the South Bend area). Comcast areas in and around
Augusta, Georgia.

Comcast areas in CT, MA, VT, ME, NY and NH are currently scheduled for the week of January 14.


telcodad
Premium
join:2011-09-16
Lincroft, NJ
kudos:15
said by mariod:

said by Mike Wolf:

I'm using them right now on both my RNG200N boxes as well as my TiVo and Moxi and to all my clients.

I don't understand, Comcast as of three days ago says they're not available in New Jersey.
»media2.comcast.net/anon.comcasto···8-13.pdf
Comcast will be introducing external hard drive support to all areas on an on-going basis through
early 2013.

The following areas where we use Motorola branded DVRs now have this feature available:
:

In Mike's area (and mine also) of NJ, SA/Cisco equipment is used, which already supports external DVR extenders. Other areas of NJ do use Motorola boxes, however.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
Thanks for the clarification.


teddystacker

join:2001-12-08
Philadelphia, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to aguiar0016
I am in Metro Philly , and no announcement has been made as when we will be allowed to add a external drive to our DVR's , but would be grateful if someone already using one could answer a couple of questions , so I can get some basic ideas on how this works...

1) Do we have to use their "approved " device or will any USB2/Fire wire drive in a external enclosure work?

2) When you add the extender , do you loose any recordings you already have on the DVR or does the drive just add itself to the pool of space available for recordings? ie if you have a 1TB drive extension , and already have a internal 350gig drive , does this mean you now have around 1.35gb or close available? or does it then forget the existing 350gig disk?

Thanks in advance...

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to aguiar0016
Any word on when So. Florida will get the update?


beachintech
There's sand in my tool bag
Premium
join:2008-01-06
kudos:5
reply to aguiar0016
If you have SA/Cisco equipment, you can already do this.


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
reply to teddystacker
said by teddystacker:

I am in Metro Philly , and no announcement has been made as when we will be allowed to add a external drive to our DVR's , but would be grateful if someone already using one could answer a couple of questions , so I can get some basic ideas on how this works...

1) Do we have to use their "approved " device or will any USB2/Fire wire drive in a external enclosure work?

2) When you add the extender , do you loose any recordings you already have on the DVR or does the drive just add itself to the pool of space available for recordings? ie if you have a 1TB drive extension , and already have a internal 350gig drive , does this mean you now have around 1.35gb or close available? or does it then forget the existing 350gig disk?

Thanks in advance...

1) Its actually eSATA, not Firewire or USB2. I cannot answer if another drive will work that is eSATA. I have the WD DVR Expander.

2) I can answer this. My DVR was about 90% full when I plugged in the drive a couple months ago. It then became around 30% full with the addition of the 1TB drive and nothing was lost. I still have all the recordings that were on the DVR unit. When you first plug it into the eSATA port (and plug it in the wall), it asks if you want to format the drive and associate it with the DVR. I understand the drive is there for "overflow." The DVR looks at which device has more room and places the recording on there. Heck, my DVR even got unplugged one time in the last couple months and when it rebooted, it took a minute, but a screen popped up recognizing the external drive and no recordings were lost, so it even works if the DVR gets reset or unplugged (like the internal recordings usually do.)


teddystacker

join:2001-12-08
Philadelphia, PA
reply to aguiar0016
@jblues

Thanks very much for explaining this , cannot wait till its available in our area..

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
If you replace the DVR, the external drive will have to be reformatted to work on the new DVR and any existing recordings on the external drive will be lost.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4

4 edits
reply to teddystacker
You can attempt to use an external hard drive that is not on the "approved list" however you will only be able to use the eSATA port on the DVR due to copyright protection being in place to prevent offloading recordings to other locations through the firewire and usb ports. The reason why there is an approved list is because although it may be possible to attach a regular desktop hard drive to a SATA to eSATA cable and power supply, the hard drives that are used internally and in these DVR Expander cases are designed specifically for audio and video recording, playback, and 24/7 buffering since DVR's rarely- if ever- actually turn off but instead stay in a "standby mode" even when the power button is pressed and no video is displayed on screen (as opposed to the SARA internal and external hard drive spin-down feature that would occur on Cisco/SA DVR's at 1:15am every morning prior to the S25 software update) This constant activity can cause typical desktop hard drives to fail at a faster rate, especially in the very warm to hot environments that these DVR's may be subjected to, thus causing loss or corruption of recordings.

I'm currently using both a 1TB Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander »www.wdc.com/en/products/products.aspx?id=360 on one DVR and a 1TB Seagate DVR Expander »www.seagate.com/external-hard-dr···xpander/ on another and both work equally fine. In fact what's interesting is that these external hard drives are the exact same brand and AV family used internally in the DVR's themselves.

You do not lose any recordings that are already located on the DVR, you will still be able to access and view them. Once the external hard drive is attached it can act as one large hard drive spread across both drives equally so it can compensate for live recordings that may run over the allotted timeslot, such as if the internal drive has only enough space for 2 hours of a scheduled 3 hour sporting event and the game goes into overtime that lasts four hours it will spread the recording over both drives. However it also will balance recordings over either drive based on which drive has the space at the time of scheduling the recording as what jblues said. The only drawback I've found is that if either drive fails (or the external drive is detached/lost power) the recordings on either drive may not be able to be viewed. This has happened to me when the internal drive started to fail and all recordings were lost, by which I mean they still showed up in the "My DVR" listing but when I went to play them only a black screen appeared with no audio.

Also a heads up for those looking to purchase the Western Digital My Book AV DVR expander, BestBuy and other retailers are selling it at a cheaper price then $129.99 such as $99.99 currently at BestBuy.com »www.bestbuy.com/site/WD+-+My+Boo···p=1&lp=1

--
I'm always up for a good chat and helping with VoIP testing so my contact info is below.
Gigaset.net: Michael Wolf
Callcentric: 17772288600
SIP URI: sip:226976325024#9@sip.gigaset.net and sip:17772288600@in.callcentric.com
Skype: MikeWolf051

Zoder

join:2002-04-16
Miami, FL
reply to beachintech
said by beachintech:

If you have SA/Cisco equipment, you can already do this.

We're Motorola.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to aguiar0016
Found a Comcast thread including schedules here »forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···/1463565

dmasterscott
Comcast Of NJ II

join:2006-10-14
Woodbridge, NJ

1 edit
Just Received the A30 update today in Comcast of Union (NJ). The ESATA Port was enabled on my Motorola RNG200N as well.. I should also note that there was NO official announcement from Comcast on this feature deploying in NJ. I believe they originally said sometime in March for NJ.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to teddystacker
quote:
I am in Metro Philly , and no announcement has been made as when we will be allowed to add a external drive to our DVR's
Also in Philly, but even if they announced tomorrow, my own STB is a Motorola DCX3400 series, which, according to chatter in the Official Forum linked above, has not passed all testing with flying colors. (They do list the DCX3501 as passing. I believe that model is only available to DVR Anyroom subscribers.)

So, yeah. Just got closed-captioning in 2013, so I guess the ability to attach a fancy-pants hard drive will be another few years down the line.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to dmasterscott
I think it was said "by the end of march 2013" so I think it would be taken as "from this time until sometime then" which would be a two and a half month leeway?

Anyway congrats on your update and eSATA enabling! Do you plan on using an external drive? If so what kind? If you don't know would you like assistance? I've sorta become the field expert in them lately :P

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to aguiar0016
Is it really worth it to buy a $100 hard drive when we're all going to be moving to X1 and cloud storage this year?

The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA
said by mariod:

Is it really worth it to buy a $100 hard drive when we're all going to be moving to X1 and cloud storage this year?

wait, we all are this year? where did you see that? That would be exciting news!

mariod

join:2009-06-16
(double post)

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to The Q
said by The Q:

wait, we all are this year? where did you see that? That would be exciting news!

ComcastTed in October:

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···5#M57148

We continue to test and trial the new cloud-based X1 guide on our Cisco RNG cable boxes and the plan would be to deliver the X1 experience (On-Screen Guide 3.0) on the Cisco RNG 200N and the Cisco 150N cable boxes by the end of 2013.

The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA
said by mariod:

said by The Q:

wait, we all are this year? where did you see that? That would be exciting news!

ComcastTed in October:

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···5#M57148

We continue to test and trial the new cloud-based X1 guide on our Cisco RNG cable boxes and the plan would be to deliver the X1 experience (On-Screen Guide 3.0) on the Cisco RNG 200N and the Cisco 150N cable boxes by the end of 2013.

Ah, I live in a Motorola area so the Cisco boxes are not available to me.

Do you really think it will be on all those box types and all areas this year?

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA

1 recommendation

reply to mariod
There's nothing in that thread about cloud-storage for DVR recordings.

ComcastTed specifically says that the 3.0 _guide_ is cloud-based, not the recorded shows. He goes on to give detailed advice about who can and can't add storage to their existing STBs.

And the DVR section of the X1 FAQ says nothing about cloud storage of recordings. In fact, there are three or four questions in the DVR section of the X1 FAQ about age-old physical-equipment problems: power outages, zero space left, etc:

»xfinity.comcast.net/x1/faq/

and all the answers only make sense if you're "recording" to a device in your living room.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to aguiar0016

Jan 18 update from ComcastTed re PA, NJ, and DE

Update from ComcastTed:

quote:
1.18.13 UPDATE: Comcast areas in CT, MA, VT, ME, NY and NH now have this feature available. Comcast areas in PA, NJ and DE are currently scheduled to be supported the week of February 12. All areas are currently scheduled to have this feature available in early 2013.

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···/1463565

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to mariod

Re: [DVR] External DVR Storage

said by mariod:

Is it really worth it to buy a $100 hard drive when we're all going to be moving to X1 and cloud storage this year?

A $100 hard drive works out (in one year) to $8 a month for 1TB storage capacity.

Given that DVR service is now $8 a month, and the most widely available DVR STBs top out at half a TB or less, I'd say it's a bargain - in the upside-down land of the Xfinity Universe, that is.

Of course, some people enjoy paying equipment swap fees, waiting in line at the service office, waiting at home for a truck roll, losing their existing recordings when they swap out their box, reconnecting their audio equipment, etc.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to mariod
Silly question to ask, you as a Comcast customer should know how things can get delayed for months and years.

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to yhp
said by yhp:

There's nothing in that thread about cloud-storage for DVR recordings.

ComcastTed specifically says that the 3.0 _guide_ is cloud-based, not the recorded shows. He goes on to give detailed advice about who can and can't add storage to their existing STBs.

And the DVR section of the X1 FAQ says nothing about cloud storage of recordings. In fact, there are three or four questions in the DVR section of the X1 FAQ about age-old physical-equipment problems: power outages, zero space left, etc:

»xfinity.comcast.net/x1/faq/

and all the answers only make sense if you're "recording" to a device in your living room.

The following excerpt is from Comcast's Ted Hodgins, Sr. Director, Video Product Development - Navigation, in Media & Entertainment, "New Features for Scientific-Atlanta/Cisco Cable Boxes" blog. Please note the underlined words and that Comcast is notorious for failing to meet its schedule.
quote:
Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings. The X1 Experience is expected to have a cloud DVR opportunity where individual DVR recordings are not stored on the in-home device. This cloud DVR experience would really negate the need for a limited and physically in-the-home external hard drive and all boxes could be AnyRoom DVRs. Plus the opportunity to retain your DVR recordings should you move or you need to replace the DVR.
See »Re: New Guides for SA/Cisco Areas (Info from Ted Hodgins Blog)
--
Cisco RNG 200N & SA 8300 HD DVRs-S26 Guide
Links
'Guide Blog'
'Schedule'
'Info'
'Patch Thread'