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teddystacker

join:2001-12-08
Philadelphia, PA
Reviews:
·Comcast
reply to aguiar0016

Re: [DVR] External DVR Storage

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...


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
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.)


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

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.