TVs & Home Theaters forum


Can I add an external hard drive to my DVR?

by docdrew / May 27, 2012 7:30 AM PDT

I've read some of the old posts on the High Def Forum about this topic but it still seems confusing and no one, including Cox (Phoenix, AZ), is willing or able to give me a straight answer. I have a SA Explorer 8300HD DVR and want more storage space. I am running Passport ECHO version 3.1.085 and PowerTV version Cox tells me that I should be able to use eSATA but they won't recommend any particular brand and they won't give tech support. I'm not into building an external hard drive. What I want to do is go to Best Buy, buy a 1TB external drive, and hook it up. So, what I want to know is what are my chances of this working? If there's a good chance that it will work is there any particular brand I should get and any specs that I should look for? My other alternative is to swap my current box for an updated version with more storage but then I will lose any currently recorded programs. Any help is appreciated.

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All Answers

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This may require more research on your part
by Pepe7 / May 27, 2012 2:22 PM PDT

I am of the opinion that it depends on which version of the software you are running, and quite possibly, which drive you happen to choose. There's a big thread @ AVS here on the subject. Keep in mind that most cable companies do not have this feature. If you want the most reliable solution, rent the larger capacity DVR.

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My take on pages 16 & 17 is...
by ahtoi / May 27, 2012 5:54 PM PDT
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Sometimes though..
by Pepe7 / May 28, 2012 12:34 AM PDT

...IME what worked when the guides are published (in this case, 2005) no longer works later on in some Cox areas w/ firmware upgrades, or when they want to instead increase revenues by renting larger capacity boxes. YMMV.

To the OP> Just be prepared for some degree of trial and error. The good thing is, obtaining an external is not a huge deal price-wise, and you can also find another use for one if needed.

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Thanks for the answers
by docdrew / May 28, 2012 1:45 AM PDT

Messing around with an external hard drive, which I might have to "build", and then hoping it works is too much hassle. I will probably just swap for a new DVR. This whole problem could have been avoided if Scientific Atlanta put larger hard drives in these units. I can't fathom why they thought that 20 hours of recording time was sufficient.

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by Pepe7 / May 28, 2012 3:32 AM PDT
In reply to: Thanks for the answers

...that at one point these units were 'newfangled technology', along with all kinds of other electronic tech we now take for granted. And most came out before HD was even on the scene(!). The newer ones all hold a lot more, obviously.

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