Western Digital sure loves its MyBook design. We've seen too many different flavours of thewith 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.
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. 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.
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.
From a practical viewpoint, if you just wanted to expand the TiVo's base recording capacity, the My DVR Expander does what it says on the box. Given the recent launch of TiVo's Blockbuster-branded VOD service, a bit of extra space is no bad thing, right?