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tirebiter

join:2002-02-16
Champaign, IL

2 edits

[Comcast Equip] DVR Extender w/Moto Boxes

As mentioned earlier on this web site, Comcast is beginning to roll out DVR extender compatibility with Motorola DVRs. I was so excited when I heard this that I called Comcast and asked if it was really true. The lady said, yes, but they have only certified one drive, the WD My Book AV 1TB eSata drive. I asked, "Has this been enabled in my area?" She said. "Yes!"

To be honest I had my doubts but I ordered the model from WD that specifically cited Comcast compatibility, anyway. Well, of course it doesn't work (shoulda known) but it appears this capability is on the way so at least I'll be ready from Day 1.

As I write this, looks like only Indiana gets to extend their DVRs so far. I'll be patient and keep my drive plugged in and wait.

For more info, you can see this page on Comcast's web site (which I didn't find until after buying the drive):
»customer.comcast.com/help-and-su···storage/


SpHeRe31459

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

Re: DVR Extender w/Moto Boxes

Wow I thought hell would have to freeze over before they bothered to enable eSATA support on the Moto boxes. I'd sure like to extend the space on my DVR without having to play "box lottery" at my local office and loose all my existing recordings due needing to get a new box, etc.


moes

join:2009-11-15
Cedar City, UT
reply to tirebiter

wait we get that o.o I'll have to poke somebody at the speedway office.



RossMatthews

@comcast.net
reply to tirebiter

I think this is the first time in history that Scientific Atlanta and Cisco users have had something before Motorola users. We've had the eSATA port activated for years and years.



FifthE1ement
Tech Nut

join:2005-03-16
Fort Lauderdale, FL

I wonder why the DCX3400 models are not supported? My eSATA port is not active as I tried plugging my portable drive to it and no power or anything came through. I can't wait for this is be out in my area!
--
"The relationship between what we see and what we know is never settled..."


tknex

join:2012-10-03
reply to tirebiter

This feature requires A30 guide update.


kb1

join:2008-11-15
South Bend, IN
reply to tirebiter

Has anybody used the DVR Extender with the A30 guide update?


rendrenner

join:2005-09-03
Grandville, MI

1 recommendation

reply to SpHeRe31459

said by SpHeRe31459:

Wow I thought hell would have to freeze over before they bothered to enable eSATA support on the Moto boxes. I'd sure like to extend the space on my DVR without having to play "box lottery" at my local office and loose all my existing recordings due needing to get a new box, etc.

If you use the WD drive through the eSATA port, and you have to swap DVR's you will lose your recordings. Soon as you plug it into the new box it requests a reformat.

ajwees41
Premium
join:2002-05-10
Omaha, NE
reply to RossMatthews

While not Comcast, but Cox Motorola users never had and still don't have the external hard drive option. It was a Motorola problem not Cox or Comcast.


jwhite4

join:2002-03-21
Philadelphia, PA
reply to rendrenner

said by rendrenner:

said by SpHeRe31459:

...

If you use the WD drive through the eSATA port, and you have to swap DVR's you will lose your recordings. Soon as you plug it into the new box it requests a reformat.

From the Comcast link:

Will I lose the recordings on my Comcast DVR once I connect an external hard drive?
All recordings on your Comcast DVR will still be available after you connect an external hard drive

Not sure which is correct.

The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA

said by jwhite4:

said by rendrenner:

said by SpHeRe31459:

...

If you use the WD drive through the eSATA port, and you have to swap DVR's you will lose your recordings. Soon as you plug it into the new box it requests a reformat.

From the Comcast link:

Will I lose the recordings on my Comcast DVR once I connect an external hard drive?
All recordings on your Comcast DVR will still be available after you connect an external hard drive

Not sure which is correct.

sounds like you can not move the external drive once it is connected to the comcast dvr....and that you won't lose any existing recordings on the DVR the first time you set it up to the DVR.

From the same link:

Can I move my external hard drive to another Comcast DVR to watch recordings in another room of my home?

Once your external hard drive has been formatted with a specific DVR, it cannot be used to watch recordings on other DVRs in your home. If you plug your external hard drive into another DVR once it has already been formatted, you will be prompted to reformat the external hard drive which will erase all of your recordings.


puckhater

@cablebahamas.net
reply to jwhite4

Both are correct. Any existing recordings on the DVR will remain but any recordings or data on the external drive will be lost


jwhite4

join:2002-03-21
Philadelphia, PA
reply to tirebiter

Lack of portability of the recordings is I guess an acceptable tradeoff for being able to expand recording capacity (at least to those that don't have it!).

However, if I did have it, and my DVR died, and Comcast gave me a replacement, at that time I'd wonder what's that difficult in allowing the new DVR to access the old HD. Would seem to some a LOT of complaints about "I lost all my recordings..."


The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA

said by jwhite4:

Lack of portability of the recordings is I guess an acceptable tradeoff for being able to expand recording capacity (at least to those that don't have it!).

However, if I did have it, and my DVR died, and Comcast gave me a replacement, at that time I'd wonder what's that difficult in allowing the new DVR to access the old HD. Would seem to some a LOT of complaints about "I lost all my recordings..."

my guess is that this restriction is likely not a technical issue but a compliance issue to be in line with copyright laws and digital rights management.

Otherwise I could just swap my hard drive with yours to share shows. Great for you and I but not so great for the person/company that actually owns the content or copyright.

jwhite4

join:2002-03-21
Philadelphia, PA

said by The Q:

...Otherwise I could just swap my hard drive with yours to share shows. Great for you and I but not so great for the person/company that actually owns the content or copyright.

Not what I said. I wouldn't think that an external HD has to be all or nothing - either it works with all DVR's, or it works with none at all. Whyc can't it work with JUST one?

When an external HD is first formatted, Comcast (or any provider) should be able to specify a unique ID code the DVR embeds in the HD, which Comcast then assosicates with that DVR. If you switch DVR's, Comcast can then updates it's database, with the new DVR asking the headend, "Am I authorized to access recordings on HD xxxxx?" If yes, it works, if not, it doesn't.

Now, if that's deemed to be too insecure, such that hackers could crack it, and access recorded media, that might be a valid reason.


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
reply to tirebiter

I just bought one of these extender drives off Amazon. I am in one of the areas (by Detroit) that is supposedly on. I will let you all know if it works..

Comcast mentions the markets here:
»forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···/1463565



jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI

1 edit
reply to tirebiter

I received the extender yesterday. I plugged it in, the box asked me to format the drive. I did. I checked the % full on my DVR (it went from 97% to 23%!) I have seen the light on the HD blinking when recording now. It is saving new DVR recordings to the extender (it always picks the HD that is less full.)

The kit has the drive eSata-eSata cord as well as the power cord to plug the HD drive into the wall (it does not get power from the DVR.) The kit also has plugs to use USB, which you cannot do with this particular DVR, you have to use eSata.

Seems to work well. I am glad to have more storage space than I had! That takes me from 320gb to approx 1.3 TB. What a deal for $100 (what it sells for at Amazon.)

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.



mikedz4

join:2003-04-14
Weirton, WV

did you mean 23 to 97%? I would be upset that it went down instead of up.


The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA

said by mikedz4:

did you mean 23 to 97%? I would be upset that it went down instead of up.

Probabaly "% full" went from 97% to 23% (not "% free", that is not something that is displayed on my DVR))


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
reply to mikedz4

Corrected it...yeah, the percentage went down (of full.) The site says that is another good way to make sure it sees the new HD. I also went in the diagnostic screens of the box, and it does say it has 2 HDs - one internal, one external (they are both Western Digital drives, incidentally.)


kb1

join:2008-11-15
South Bend, IN
reply to jblues

said by jblues:

I received the extender yesterday. I plugged it in, the box asked me to format the drive. I did. I checked the % full on my DVR (it went from 97% to 23%!) I have seen the light on the HD blinking when recording now. It is saving new DVR recordings to the extender (it always picks the HD that is less full.)

The kit has the drive eSata-eSata cord as well as the power cord to plug the HD drive into the wall (it does not get power from the DVR.) The kit also has plugs to use USB, which you cannot do with this particular DVR, you have to use eSata.

Seems to work well. I am glad to have more storage space than I had! That takes me from 320gb to approx 1.3 TB. What a deal for $100 (what it sells for at Amazon.)

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.

How is the HD picture quality with the eSata cord and the DVR extender. Does it look the same as the DVR?

kb1

join:2008-11-15
South Bend, IN
reply to jblues

said by jblues:

I received the extender yesterday. I plugged it in, the box asked me to format the drive. I did. I checked the % full on my DVR (it went from 97% to 23%!) I have seen the light on the HD blinking when recording now. It is saving new DVR recordings to the extender (it always picks the HD that is less full.)

The kit has the drive eSata-eSata cord as well as the power cord to plug the HD drive into the wall (it does not get power from the DVR.) The kit also has plugs to use USB, which you cannot do with this particular DVR, you have to use eSata.

Seems to work well. I am glad to have more storage space than I had! That takes me from 320gb to approx 1.3 TB. What a deal for $100 (what it sells for at Amazon.)

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.

Is this the model number you bought at amazon?
WDBABT0010HBK-NESN It is a different model
number than the one at the Western Digital website.


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
reply to kb1

said by kb1:

said by jblues:

I received the extender yesterday. I plugged it in, the box asked me to format the drive. I did. I checked the % full on my DVR (it went from 97% to 23%!) I have seen the light on the HD blinking when recording now. It is saving new DVR recordings to the extender (it always picks the HD that is less full.)

The kit has the drive eSata-eSata cord as well as the power cord to plug the HD drive into the wall (it does not get power from the DVR.) The kit also has plugs to use USB, which you cannot do with this particular DVR, you have to use eSata.

Seems to work well. I am glad to have more storage space than I had! That takes me from 320gb to approx 1.3 TB. What a deal for $100 (what it sells for at Amazon.)

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.

How is the HD picture quality with the eSata cord and the DVR extender. Does it look the same as the DVR?

Picture quality looks the same on my 50" TV.


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI
reply to kb1

said by kb1:

said by jblues:

I received the extender yesterday. I plugged it in, the box asked me to format the drive. I did. I checked the % full on my DVR (it went from 97% to 23%!) I have seen the light on the HD blinking when recording now. It is saving new DVR recordings to the extender (it always picks the HD that is less full.)

The kit has the drive eSata-eSata cord as well as the power cord to plug the HD drive into the wall (it does not get power from the DVR.) The kit also has plugs to use USB, which you cannot do with this particular DVR, you have to use eSata.

Seems to work well. I am glad to have more storage space than I had! That takes me from 320gb to approx 1.3 TB. What a deal for $100 (what it sells for at Amazon.)

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.

Is this the model number you bought at amazon?
WDBABT0010HBK-NESN It is a different model
number than the one at the Western Digital website.

Yes. That is the model I purchased. Oddly, the Motorola boxes are not listed as compatible on the box itself (they are just not listed at all on the box, nor is Comcast, just Time Warner.)

mogamer

join:2011-04-20
Royal Oak, MI
reply to The Q

said by The Q:

my guess is that this restriction is likely not a technical issue but a compliance issue to be in line with copyright laws and digital rights management.

Otherwise I could just swap my hard drive with yours to share shows. Great for you and I but not so great for the person/company that actually owns the content or copyright.

I've seen this argument before. Yet Dish Network allows external hdd's to be moved around with different dvrs on the same account. The hdd is associated with the account and not the specific dvr. It can be done. I suspect that cabelco dvrs are inferior to what Echostar builds and that the cabelcos don't want to bother with this model.

The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA
reply to FifthE1ement

said by FifthE1ement:

I wonder why the DCX3400 models are not supported? My eSATA port is not active as I tried plugging my portable drive to it and no power or anything came through. I can't wait for this is be out in my area!


comcast provided some info on the dcx 3400 model on their help-support site: »forums.comcast.com/t5/XfinityTV-···e#M57540

excerpted below:

"The DCX 3400 and DCX 3400M are still being evaluated and currently are not supported. That review is still ongoing. We hope to get those boxes validated and approved this year."

The Q

join:2008-06-26
Collegeville, PA
reply to jblues

said by jblues:

I have a Motorola DCX-3400 DVR box.

Please post any issues you encounter with the dcx 3400 and the external drive as comcast says the dcx 3400 box is not currently supported (see above post).

the comcast statement combined with your experience tells me that "it may work, but there may be issues". of course I could be wrong.


jblues

join:2001-04-28
Allen Park, MI

The DCX3400 boxes seem to be currently supported if you have version A30 and are in the areas specified by the post above.



Mike Wolf

join:2009-05-24
Beachwood, NJ
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Comcast

2 edits
reply to kb1

After several hours on the phone I was able to elevate this to a level 2 technician and I'm being told that they are literally identical, the only difference being the model number letters. The retail Western Digital My Book AV DVR Expander WDBABT0010HBK-NESN which has both an eSATA port and USB port will work fine with the Comcast DVR you are using (depending on if the eSATA port is enabled on your set top box in your area) Comcast also sells a Western Digital AV DVR Expander WDBACS0010HBK-NESN both at WD's site and Comcast's site at a higher price and is also the model used for Verizon FiOS which has a sticker over the USB port as to avoid confusing customers.

I was told that the WDBABT0010HBK-NESN retail verson will work identical on any of the set top boxes listed as being supported or compatible by the WDBACS0010HBK-NESN model, and that "any technical support related issues on either device will be treated the same" So for example if you are having an issue with your set top box or BT verison of the DVR Expander, Western Digital tech support won't deny you support because you aren't using the CS "supported" version. They will refer you to speak to Comcast (or your cable/FiOS provider) about the issue and if it cannot be resolved through them, WD support will help (if under warrenty), just like they would if you were using the CS "supported" version. I can't speak if Comcast technical support would do the same thing but probably would be the same way. Quite frankly I think it's a smart idea to go with the retail BT model for $99.99 then to spend alot more when you don't have to. The "supported" model is simply a marketing trick.They have the exact same hard drive, and was able to confirm through tier 2 support that they even use the exact same controller, cables, power supply, and case.

--
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 tirebiter

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...