Western Digital My DVR Expander review: Western Digital My DVR Expander

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Seamless install. Adds a lot of recording hours to a TiVo.

The Bad Strange data striping arrangement. Short SATA cord. No data portability at all. Large clunky design.

The Bottom Line Western Digital's TiVo expanding drive works as advertised, but is only recommended for non-networked homes.

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Design

Western Digital sure loves its MyBook design. We've seen too many different flavours of the MyBook design with slightly different interfaces, capabilities and colours to adequately list all of them within the space constraints of a review. The My DVR Expander looks pretty much identical to any and all of them; it's a black, vaguely bookish (but only bookish in the way that those terrible false boxes that are meant to look like books in a bookshelf do) shaped external drive enclosure with a shiny orange power/status button on the front of the drive. The My DVR Expander connects via SATA only, and requires a power plug as well — which we'll get back to shortly.

The MyBook design isn't one that we'd say was innately lounge room friendly. Its black plastic style won't look out of place next to a lot of AV equipment, but at the same time it's not particularly small, and the 1m SATA cable provided could prove a challenge to integrate into some home theatre cabinet set-ups, depending on where your TiVo actually is.

Features

One key thing to make clear in the features is that when Western Digital say "My DVR Expander", what the company really mean is "My TiVo Expander". It's so far the only device to get TiVo accreditation in the Australian marketplace, and all the documentation presumes you're going to plug it into the Australian model TiVo . From a storage viewpoint, the drive has 1TB of data capacity, which rather dwarfs the native 160GB of on-board storage on a TiVO PVR. That's good for around 200 hours of additional HD TV recording, or 400 hours of SD if that's to your taste.

Performance

One thing we can't fault with the My DVR Expander is the relative ease of installation, slightly short SATA cables notwithstanding. We plugged the drive into a TiVo, which detected it and popped a message up asking us if we wanted to install it. From there, the system rebooted itself, and after the typical five-minute wait that you get every time the TiVo reboots, we were good to go. The TiVo reported the drive and our expanded recording capacity, and we quickly found the extra space being filled with additional programming suggestions as the TiVo realised it had additional space to fill.

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Where to Buy

Western Digital My DVR Expander

Part Number: CNETWestern Digital My DVR Expander

Typical Price: $299.00

See manufacturer website for availability.