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yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
reply to Russ6

Re: [DVR] External DVR Storage

Um-Hm. I'm a Digital Econ TV-only subscriber in Philly with a DCX3400.

So in answer to mariod's question - yes, I'd like the $100 eSATA drive option today, please. Oh, wait. My box isn't even cleared for Extender with A30 in place.

So, wow. You're right! I'll save that incredibly exorbitant $100 price tag for a hard drive, and simply wait for

1) X1 to be rolled out in this market, and
2) Comcast to issue me compatible equipment, and
3) DVR-in-the-cloud "opportunities" to be enabled.

Done, and done!

Russ6

join:2011-03-17
Houston, TX
kudos:1
I wouldn't wait for Comcast to offer DVR recordings in the cloud. It will be a long time before Comcast makes that available to all its customers. If you need more storage and can get the right equipment with the right software to support an external drive, I think it would be worth the cost.

yhp

join:2006-12-27
Philadelphia, PA
said by Russ6:

I wouldn't wait for Comcast to offer DVR recordings in the cloud. It will be a long time before Comcast makes that available to all its customers. If you need more storage and can get the right equipment with the right software to support an external drive, I think it would be worth the cost.

I should have used some smileys. My point was that $100 for a TB of DVR storage now (mariod's rhetorical question) is a great deal when compared to playing waiting and service games with Comcast.

mariod

join:2009-06-16
said by yhp:

My point was that $100 for a TB of DVR storage now (mariod's rhetorical question) is a great deal when compared to playing waiting and service games with Comcast.

Except you're not paying $100 for a TB of storage.

I already have 500gb of storage. You're paying $100 for GBs 501 through 1501. For only a year or two before its defunct. Is that really worth $100??


Streetlight

join:2005-11-07
Colorado Springs, CO

1 edit

1 recommendation

said by mariod:

said by yhp:

My point was that $100 for a TB of DVR storage now (mariod's rhetorical question) is a great deal when compared to playing waiting and service games with Comcast.

Except you're not paying $100 for a TB of storage.

I already have 500gb of storage. You're paying $100 for GBs 501 through 1501. For only a year or two before its defunct. Is that really worth $100??

If reliable cloud DVR support ever becomes available, you'll have the the external hard drive available for other uses such as a back up drive for a portable or desk computer. My laptop has an eSata port as does my desk computer. A TB means storage for a huge number of pictures.
--
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact.

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

mariod

join:2009-06-16
1) I already have a backup HD.
2) Prices on non-Comcast sanctioned, even if you needed another 1tb of storage, HDs are still better than the $100+ tag that comes with this drive.

Here's a usb 3.0 1tb mybook for $10 cheaper. »www.amazon.com/Book-Essential-Ex···&sr=1-49

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

1 edit
reply to mariod
said by mariod:

said by yhp:

My point was that $100 for a TB of DVR storage now (mariod's rhetorical question) is a great deal when compared to playing waiting and service games with Comcast.

Except you're not paying $100 for a TB of storage.

I already have 500gb of storage. You're paying $100 for GBs 501 through 1501. For only a year or two before its defunct. Is that really worth $100??

A few things:

1.) You're assuming Comcast can actually get their X1 platform 100% working (it's currently missing some common DVR features that other platforms have, and has 3 tuners completely disabled). So you're assuming that not only will Comcast have fixed the bugs in the X1 hardware/software platform (which is where the X1 Guide is initially being tested), but that it can then quickly and bug free deploy it across their whole footprint of varying hardware platforms (newer Moto, Cisco, and Pace boxes) all within the next two years. That would be very aggressive for any cable provider, let alone the nation's largest. And given Comcast's poor track record that's highly unlikely.

2.) Cloud DVR storage is controversial and so far has been put on hold by legal issues when other MSOs have tried it. So you cannot depend on a sudden increase in space beyond your local storage. Notice the language from Comcast about such a feature has been very tentative. Also consider that people feel better about local storage because Comcast cannot just suddenly have a glitch at their facility and kill your cloud storage by mistake or say force your recording to age out after a certain number of days and be deleted on purpose due to agreements with content holders.

3.) Don't expect Comcast to start offering to swap out your Moto DCX series DVR with an X1 platform based one, without you asking/paying more. Look how long Comcast has kept ancient hardware in service, the Moto DCT-2000 series is still in use for people with SD TVs. So you might get the software upgrade to the X1 Guide on the DCX, but you'll still have 500GB of local storage.

4.) Lastly, you already have one of Comcast's largest DVRs so maybe you don't care to have more space. But those of us with a bit older/smaller capacity DVRs would like it.

The Q

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

1) I already have a backup HD.
2) Prices on non-Comcast sanctioned, even if you needed another 1tb of storage, HDs are still better than the $100+ tag that comes with this drive.

Here's a usb 3.0 1tb mybook for $10 cheaper. »www.amazon.com/Book-Essential-Ex···&sr=1-49

pretty sure you need a drive with esata and not USB for the comcast DVR.


Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:4
said by The Q:

said by mariod:

1) I already have a backup HD.
2) Prices on non-Comcast sanctioned, even if you needed another 1tb of storage, HDs are still better than the $100+ tag that comes with this drive.

Here's a usb 3.0 1tb mybook for $10 cheaper. »www.amazon.com/Book-Essential-Ex···&sr=1-49

pretty sure you need a drive with esata and not USB for the comcast DVR.

Correct, the usb port is disabled on the set top boxes for use in media storage.
--
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 mariod
said by mariod:

said by yhp:

My point was that $100 for a TB of DVR storage now (mariod's rhetorical question) is a great deal when compared to playing waiting and service games with Comcast.

Except you're not paying $100 for a TB of storage.

I already have 500gb of storage.

And I have 340GB on my DCX34xx.

Some customers have only 250GB on their DCX34xx.

You're paying $100 for GBs 501 through 1501. For only a year or two before its defunct. Is that really worth $100??

I don't get a chance to watch a lot of TV. So I "record" lots of interesting things and delete many unseen because the occupancy on my 340GB drive is pretty reliably north of 90%. That's life with Comcast today.

Someday, when Comcast's awesome technology renders my purchase "obsolete" (LOL) "a year or two" (your words) from now, I will have had a "year or two" of not thinking for even a minute about what shows to delete or whether I should really record something in standard-def to save space.

It's an annoyance. In 2012, it's an insult. It takes time. Time adds up. It's easily worth $100.

YMMV.

mariod

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

pretty sure you need a drive with esata and not USB for the comcast DVR.

That's my point. You're paying more for an external HD that isn't even USB, making it less functional to then start using with a computer when cloud storage arrives.


Mike Wolf

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

1 recommendation

Um, the Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander has both USB and eSATA connections, so it can still be used on a computer or other device with USB.
I'm not sure why anyone would be mentioning a My Book Essential for DVR backup due to it only having USB.

mariod

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

Um, the Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander has both USB and eSATA connections, so it can still be used on a computer or other device with USB.
I'm not sure why anyone would be mentioning a My Book Essential for DVR backup due to it only having USB.

You're still missing the point.

Someone posted that if DVR goes to the cloud, then you have an extra external HD to use as backup for your PC.

My point is that I can get an extra backup external for my PC for much cheaper than the one required for use with a DVR.


Mike Wolf

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

mariod

join:2009-06-16
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'


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?


jack b
Gone Fishing
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-08
Cape Cod
kudos:1
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
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