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mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to Mike Wolf

Re: [DVR] External DVR Storage

said by Mike Wolf:

Yes, but then you wouldn't be able to use it with the DVR in the meantime, so you'd be losing out on the added DVR capacity. I'd think It would be smarter to get the DVR extender so you can use it with the DVR and then when it may no longer be needed, you can then use it on the computer or whatever.

You're being weird about this.

The point was not to use it as an external hard drive simultaneously.

I said, it seemed like a waste to spend $100 for an external HD that would be defunct in a couple years.

Someone else said "but when its no longer used with your STB, then you can just use it as a external to your computer"

All I'm pointing out is that if I was going to use it as an external to my computer, I can get an HD for much cheaper, so that post-defunct functionality isn't really of much value.

SpHeRe31459
Premium
join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2

1 edit
said by mariod:

All I'm pointing out is that if I was going to use it as an external to my computer, I can get an HD for much cheaper, so that post-defunct functionality isn't really of much value.

Actually you seem to be missing the point. We're all well aware that there are cheaper (and probably better too) solutions for external computer data storage.
That's not the point. The point is if you like idea of expanded DVR storage right now, today (assuming you have the A30 update), $100 seems pretty reasonable for lack of hassle of trying to swap out a DVR for a newer model that has a larger hard drive (but still won't be as large as a DVR with the 1TB expander drive connected).

So then if it ever comes to pass that this cloud DVR storage thing happens, oh well you've had the utility of the 1TB of DVR storage for what's likely years to come (at least 2 years), so big deal you've paid $100 for 2 years of greatly expanded DVR storage and then you can re-purpose it for data storage at that point in time.

It's not that you can use it for data storage now, which is what you keep talking about with the price comparisons to other external hard drives, it's that hey you paid $100 and yeah it was eventually made obsolete, but it still has standard PC/Mac compatible interfaces on it so it can still be re-purposed into computer data storage duties, it isn't a proprietary piece of hardware and it isn't something you have to give back to the cable company.

As an aside, I can't see why you are so hung up on this DVR Expander drive thing. So what? let people spend $100 on it, if you think you know better, so be it, don't buy one.

Cloud DVR storage is a lot easier said than done. Aside from the legal issues about holding copies of a person's recordings in the cloud (which may or may not be considered a fair use copy) the biggest issue from an end-user perspective is the bandwidth required to make it work just like local storage. An hour of HD recording is roughly 7GB an hour, so that could use up your broadband data cap pretty quickly. Let alone the other issues with trying to get remote storage to behave as quickly as local storage to pausing, playing, fast forwarding, etc.
Then there's the nightmare of the cable company side, where the data storage demands would be colossal.

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
reply to mariod
There is no guarantee that Comcast will actually provide DVR recordings in the cloud or if they do when it will be available to every customer. Currently, Comcast is doing a small scale test of this in Boston.

For example, the TiVo interface was ported to the Motorola DVRs years ago and was offered to customers in the New England area. This option was never expanded beyond the New England area. Now, Comcast has a deal with TiVo to allow certain TiVos to access Video on Demand, but its in only a few markets.
--
Cisco RNG 200N & SA 8300 HD DVRs-S26 Guide
Links
'Guide Blog'
'Schedule'
'Info'
'Patch Thread'


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to jack b
One of the reasons why I like the Motorola boxes, it shows the hard drive temp. Congrats on the successful install.


Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO
reply to SpHeRe31459
Comcast's storage might not be quite so colossal if they're smart about how they store customers' data. It's possible that they could store only one copy of a "recording" any number of customers wanted to store and tag each item with unique cable box identifiers such as its MAC address for those customers who wanted to access the item. The cable box would only need to access a data base table making the connections between saved items and customer cable box. There's likely to be a lot of redundancy of saved programs by 22 million customers. I think this is the way Amazon, or is it Google, is saving online music files for its customers. This is likely the way Amazon "saves" purchased books for Kindle users rather than multiple copies of the same book for its millions of users.

I may have been the person who started to conversation about re-purposing the hard drive that might be used as a DVR extender for external storage on a computer. I think several folks in this thread have it right - it's a possibility that might be very useful. As I understand it, this hardware has both SATA and USB ports, but I don't know which version of either. Anyway, wrt computers, particularly laptops, having the new solid state drives with relatively low capacity and high price, fast external storage is probably a must and SATA being particularly fast would serve very well for this purpose. External drives with SATA ports are likely more expensive than those with only USB, even USB 3. It appears that the solid state drives can wear out from multiple writes, but not reads, so they're great for the OS and application software, but not the swap file or data storage that may be updated frequently. Desk top computers typically have room for multiple drives but the newer style laptops seem to place an emphasis on being so thin and lightweight that having both an SSD and spinning drive crammed in is impossible.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes in
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
A. C. Doyle
Strand Magazine, October 1891


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to mariod
said by mariod:

said by Mike Wolf:

Yes, but then you wouldn't be able to use it with the DVR in the meantime, so you'd be losing out on the added DVR capacity. I'd think It would be smarter to get the DVR extender so you can use it with the DVR and then when it may no longer be needed, you can then use it on the computer or whatever.

You're being weird about this.

The point was not to use it as an external hard drive simultaneously.

I said, it seemed like a waste to spend $100 for an external HD that would be defunct in a couple years.

Someone else said "but when its no longer used with your STB, then you can just use it as a external to your computer"

All I'm pointing out is that if I was going to use it as an external to my computer, I can get an HD for much cheaper, so that post-defunct functionality isn't really of much value.

Yes that's true however you'd still be missing out on the added capacity on the DVR in the meantime, so it would be a smarter option to go with the dual interface My Book AV, even at the added cost.
--
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


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to Streetlight
said by Streetlight:

Comcast's storage might not be quite so colossal if they're smart about how they store customers' data. It's possible that they could store only one copy of a "recording" any number of customers wanted to store and tag each item with unique cable box identifiers such as its MAC address for those customers who wanted to access the item. The cable box would only need to access a data base table making the connections between saved items and customer cable box. There's likely to be a lot of redundancy of saved programs by 22 million customers. I think this is the way Amazon, or is it Google, is saving online music files for its customers. This is likely the way Amazon "saves" purchased books for Kindle users rather than multiple copies of the same book for its millions of users.

This sort of sounds like a type of On Demand or Netflix thing, I think.

said by Streetlight:

I may have been the person who started to conversation about re-purposing the hard drive that might be used as a DVR extender for external storage on a computer. I think several folks in this thread have it right - it's a possibility that might be very useful. As I understand it, this hardware has both SATA and USB ports, but I don't know which version of either.

Both the $99 version and the $129 version are identical, including both having the dual interface. They literally are identical, only the part number being different for marketing purposes so they can charge more. I go into detail about it here »Re: DVR Extender w/Moto Boxes

SpHeRe31459
Premium
join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2

2 edits
reply to Streetlight
said by Streetlight:

Comcast's storage might not be quite so colossal if they're smart about how they store customers' data. It's possible that they could store only one copy of a "recording" any number of customers wanted to store and tag each item with unique cable box identifiers such as its MAC address for those customers who wanted to access the item. The cable box would only need to access a data base table making the connections between saved items and customer cable box. There's likely to be a lot of redundancy of saved programs by 22 million customers. I think this is the way Amazon, or is it Google, is saving online music files for its customers. This is likely the way Amazon "saves" purchased books for Kindle users rather than multiple copies of the same book for its millions of users.

Yep, that's a pretty reasonable way for an MSO to do it, and that's actually one of the legality issues that Cablevision encountered, though they technically won the ability to keep using remote storage, it's still a hotly contested feature. The DVR copy is supposed to be a person's fair use right to make a single copy for timeshifting purposes. Various content providers argued that if the cable company holds the copy then the cable company is in effect retransmitting the content and without paying extra licensing fees, etc.

There is also debate that to uphold the idea of a fair-use copy when using remote storage, a copy for every person that scheduled the recording must be kept separately, to keep the remote DVR concept in the same spirit as a traditional local DVR.

There is another proposed solution which is similar but different in a significant way: the "recording" is really a placeholder in the DVR menu which actually just sends the user the OnDemand version of the episode. The cable company already has an agreement in place to have the episode in their VOD library so it wouldn't get the content providers up in arms about retrans agreements. As we know, the OnDemand version is not the same thing as one recorded on a DVR, many times the OnDemand version has advertisements that cannot be skipped, and often the quality is lower (especially for less popular channels). And of course the OnDemand library is rather limited in comparison to the number of linear channels available.


Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO
Your suggestion that a saved item in a VOD is interesting but the result might appear to produce exactly the same result for the sub as what I suggested. In either case one of the problems with a cloud storage might be Comcast's retransmission rights. That is, VOD material is usually up for a limited time for selection whereas what is implied by storing media is that it's available forever unless the user deletes it. For a home cable box, once the hard drive is near full something has to go to provide space for any new items. CC may limit the amount of cloud "storage" customers may use. On the other hand, if something "stored" is made available for many (thousands, millions?) folks and only one copy is actually on CC's servers, why limit subs as to what's available. This suggests that everything broadcast on all CC's channels should be permanently available to all subsibribers. This would again result in the same kind of problem Netflix has had with content producers allowing it to send out disks or stream content. Even there, Netflix's catalog of content seems to change so some stuff comes and goes and may not be always available .

It seems to me that DVRs are great for time shifting entertainment, but not for permanent storage. If cloud DVRs come about it's likely to mean some limitation on the amount of "storage" to enable time shifting only. If one wants permanent access to a particular item one either must purchase it on DVD or Blu-Ray or record it oneself. I don't know of any Blu-Ray recorders but there are options for capturing stuff on DVD disks. Or, get as many $100 external disk drives as needed, but then you can only get your stuff back if you still have the DVR from which the recordings were made. The content producers will still be in control of what's available.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

Sherlock Holmes in
The Boscombe Valley Mystery
A. C. Doyle
Strand Magazine, October 1891


Mike Wolf

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

1 edit
Came across this. »www.motorola.com/Video-Solutions···ps_US-EN
For Motorola customers with the A30 guide and using an external drive, do these features appear? »www.motorola.com/staticfiles/Vid···uide.pdf Is the external drive utility accessible?


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to jack b
What happened on the first picture on the lower right corner? jack b?


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
If you're referring to the wavy lines they are probably just moire pattern artifacts created from the camera angle.

The panel doesn't have them while direct viewing it.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
reply to Mike Wolf
said by Mike Wolf:

For Motorola customers with the A30 guide and using an external drive, do these features appear?

The only dialog box that appeared when I connected the drive was alert #1, asking to format the drive.

For what it's worth, prior to connecting the external drive, I had turned off and unplugged the DVR. I powered up the external drive, waited a minute then powered up the DVR. Nothing happened.

The blue power button blinked once then the DVR wouldn't respond to the remote or start up manually.

So I disconnected the eSATA cable then turned on the DVR, it started up OK. I plugged in the eSATA cable and right away alert #1 dialog box appeared.

I don't recall seeing the success dialog, but the drive is registered and my DVR recording capacity percentage went from something like 75% full to 12% full.
--
~Help Find a Cure for Cancer~
~Proud Member of Team Discovery ~

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to Mike Wolf
Interesting. Official Motorola documentation says the DCX3400 is supported.


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
With the a30 update it works.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
said by jack b:

With the a30 update it works.

Not also a firmware update? I've never seen the menu screen you provided a snap of.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to jack b
I ment that it doesn't seem like it's a clear cut square image on the first pic.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to yhp
I'm still pleased to see on that second image the hard drive temperature. I wonder if the "max temp" is the temp the drive got to at some point, or if it's the temp threshold the drive is capable of for it to be within normal operating parameters. I wonder if I connect my Seagate DVR External drive to a Motorola box if it will list the "airflow temp" along with the drive temp as it does on a computer.
--
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


teddystacker

join:2001-12-08
Philadelphia, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to aguiar0016
I have been around long enough to know that people do not usually like "cross posting" in different threads , but I have done so here as I think this info will be of great interest to those that want to add a external drive to their Motorola DCX3400 DVR and also people that do not want to buy the "official" (and more expensive) extender.

OK , so we got the A30 Guide update here in NE Philly (19111) around Tue 22nd 2013.

I have Motorola DVD DCX3400 , it is not listed on the "supported" list of DVR's that Comcast issued a while ago , but still thought I would give it a try after reading the other posts at this thread and some others.

I used a old 1TB WD Green Series SATA 11 hard Disk that I had laying around my workshop , and also a $30 USB Enclosure that also has a ESATA port on it.

All works Perfectly , as soon as the drive spun up , a message came on screen and asked me if I wanted to format the External drive , I said YES , and this took about 10 seconds. My available space for recordings on the DVR then dropped from 47% to 9%!

I then installed a 2Tb Seagate Hard disk into the enclosure that I also had spare and my available space went from 47% to just 5%!

All new recordings from that point on, were made to the New 1.0TB drive , if this drive is switched off and you try and play those "new" recordings , a message on screen prompts you to switch on/connect the external drive (it says the Hard disk model number).If you do this, the recordings then play perfectly.

All previous recordings you made before you installed the external drive are available when the external is switched off and play perfectly.

So to conclude:

1) You do not have to use the WD Extender "approved" external drive - you can just use a El cheapo external enclosure as long as it has a external ESATA port on it. I tried it with both a 1.0TB WD Drive and a Seagate 2.0TB Drive , both worked perfectly.

2) All works perfectly (for me anyway) as along as you have the New A30 guide on the Motorola DCX3400.

3) If the External hard disk breaks down or you have to swap out the main DVR for any reason, you will loose any recordings you have made on the external hard drive (as the recordings made on the external are tied to the serial number of the DVR) - but that's just the risk we take I guess.. but its a risk I am very willing to take,in order to have 2.35 TB of recording space compared to the pathetic 350gb I had before.. in my case this cost me very little as I had the hard disk and enclosure laying around doing nothing.

Please feel free to ask any questions...


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
Glad everything is working for you. I do feel I have to caution others that everyone's mileage may vary and not everyone may have the same quality of results. The AV hard drives from Western Digital and Seagate (such as the one built into the DVR) are designed specifically for audio and video use and constant buffering and spinning 24/7 so the use of any old hard drive not designed for said abuse may fail faster or not have the correct spin speed. From what I've discovered the Seagate AV drives spin at around 5900rpm and the Western Digital AV drives are dynamic.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to aguiar0016
»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M63740
Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings.
So, again, is it really worth $100 out of pocket for such a short time?


teddystacker

join:2001-12-08
Philadelphia, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
My guess about cloud storage DVR is that they will only allow you to store recordings for a short period of time (2-3 weeks) before it "expires". For many people this is fine , but I for one have some recordings on my DVR that go back months. Somehow I cannot see dear old Comcast letting us store months worth of data - hope I am wrong . But thinking about it they are not actually storing "your" data on their servers just a link to a file they have recorded for you , with the amount of data involved and Comcast not exactly have a great rep for being generous to its Customers I would still say 2-3 weeks would be the limit..

The Q

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

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M63740

Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings.
So, again, is it really worth $100 out of pocket for such a short time?

do you really think that X1 with cloud DVR will be available to everyone and all areas this year? I don't and that's why I have have an external DVR now. For me it's worth it.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to teddystacker
said by teddystacker:

My guess about cloud storage DVR is that they will only allow you to store recordings for a short period of time (2-3 weeks) before it "expires". For many people this is fine , but I for one have some recordings on my DVR that go back months. Somehow I cannot see dear old Comcast letting us store months worth of data - hope I am wrong . But thinking about it they are not actually storing "your" data on their servers just a link to a file they have recorded for you , with the amount of data involved and Comcast not exactly have a great rep for being generous to its Customers I would still say 2-3 weeks would be the limit..

I can beat that, my mother had movies and multiple seasons of Showtime and HBO shows on her 8300 from 2006 to 2012 before the internal hard drive blew up in December.
--
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


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
reply to mariod
said by mariod:

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M63740

Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings.
So, again, is it really worth $100 out of pocket for such a short time?

With the way Comcast does things, it's going to be years before it's seen everywhere.
--
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

SpHeRe31459
Premium
join:2002-10-09
Sacramento, CA
kudos:2

1 recommendation

reply to mariod
said by mariod:

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M63740

Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings.
So, again, is it really worth $100 out of pocket for such a short time?

Oh I see you're back to crap all over the idea of an external hard drive based on some very tentative language in a couple of comments by Comcast again, eh?

There are a few key pieces to pay attention to in your quote:
1. "our goal" -- it is not in any way a given
2. "this year" -- it's still January, that means they have until December to make it work, if it even sees the light of day in broad deployment at all in 2013.
3. There is no mention of target footprint for this "goal", that means that there could simply be an expanded beta test by year's end and it would satisfy the criteria of the very non-specific nature of his comment.

Remember Ted is basically being nice and giving those of us who are more interested in the bleeding edge a preview of things that are in testing, not necessarily something that is imminent for deployment to the masses.

So how about, as I said in a previous comment, you stop pointing out a feature that is effectively non-existent at the moment (cloud DVR storage) and telling us we're all a bunch of fools for being interested in expanded local capacity. You've said your piece many times over in this thread.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to jblues
DVR Extender service is apparently alive and well in Center City Philly.

said by jblues:

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

This is the one that just arrived on our doorstep from Amazon today. $99, I put it on my powered-on DCX3400 (340GB on the internal drive), followed the prompts, and it was a breeze. Went from north of 90% to 21%.

My service area is Center City Philly, and about 4-5 GB of recording went to the new device just this evening. Software version on the Motorola is A30/R25.


Mike Wolf

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

1 recommendation

I kinda feel forced to warn to just be careful because the 3400 isn't officially supported yet(there are apparently bugs and undesired behavior with this model) and recordings could possibly be lost. Your mileage may vary. »forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M65656

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to teddystacker
said by teddystacker:

My guess about cloud storage DVR is that they will only allow you to store recordings for a short period of time (2-3 weeks) before it "expires". For many people this is fine , but I for one have some recordings on my DVR that go back months. Somehow I cannot see dear old Comcast letting us store months worth of data - hope I am wrong . But thinking about it they are not actually storing "your" data on their servers just a link to a file they have recorded for you , with the amount of data involved and Comcast not exactly have a great rep for being generous to its Customers I would still say 2-3 weeks would be the limit..

Considering that federal copyright law also prohibits you from storing recordings after you've watched them, you're likely correct. But I highly doubt it will be just 2-3 weeks. People taking a 10 day vacation would fall victim to such a short time span. More likely something like six months.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
reply to SpHeRe31459
said by SpHeRe31459:

said by mariod:

»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···7#M63740

Our goal this year is to be able to use the cloud for DVR recordings.
So, again, is it really worth $100 out of pocket for such a short time?

Oh I see you're back to crap all over the idea of an external hard drive based on some very tentative language in a couple of comments by Comcast again, eh?

There are a few key pieces to pay attention to in your quote:
1. "our goal" -- it is not in any way a given
2. "this year" -- it's still January, that means they have until December to make it work, if it even sees the light of day in broad deployment at all in 2013.
3. There is no mention of target footprint for this "goal", that means that there could simply be an expanded beta test by year's end and it would satisfy the criteria of the very non-specific nature of his comment.

Remember Ted is basically being nice and giving those of us who are more interested in the bleeding edge a preview of things that are in testing, not necessarily something that is imminent for deployment to the masses.

So how about, as I said in a previous comment, you stop pointing out a feature that is effectively non-existent at the moment (cloud DVR storage) and telling us we're all a bunch of fools for being interested in expanded local capacity. You've said your piece many times over in this thread.

Actually, I brought new information to the table. You're the one blindly parroting yourself.

Go ahead and waste your money, I don't care. But stop acting like its such a brilliant decision.