DISH DVR External Hard Drive Expansion thoughts

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by Dimwhit, Dec 31, 2008.

  1. Dimwhit macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #1
    I was looking for this info all over and never really found what I was looking for, so I thought I'd post it here in case anyone was interested.

    I picked up a 1TB external USB hard drive and it arrived yesterday. I plugged it into my DISH DVR and activated the port (that $40 charge is a scam, yet I still paid it). Once it formatted, DISH showed 930GB available, which is about right. Oddly, everything on the external shows by file size, as opposed to video length on the internal drive of the DVR.

    I transferred about 8 movies/shows to the drive overnight. Took about 2 hours (USB sucks). But it's all there, just fine. Amounted to just about 12 hours of "HD" content. Interestingly, it only used up 94GB of space. By my figures, I should be able to hold in the neighborhood of 110-120 hours of "HD" content on this external drive. Much better than I expected, given that the 722 DVR I have holds 55 hours on a 750GB hard drive. Maybe it really only has a 500GB drive.

    Another interesting thing I discovered is the varying file sizes. One 2-hour movie used up over 6GB of space, but another 2-hour movie used about 3.5GB. Both recorded of a Cinemax HD channel. I find that curious.

    I wish there were better sorting options for content on the external drive, but it is very usable for watching shows directly from it. The backward/forward scanning features are a touch choppy, but otherwise very watchable.

    So if you're wondering about expansion capacity and how it works with a DISH DVR, here's your answer. And the hard drive I bought (an 1TB Acomdata pureDrive, which has very high customer reviews) cost $118 shipped from Amazon.
     
  2. gadgetdad macrumors 6502a

    gadgetdad

    Joined:
    Sep 10, 2007
    Location:
    On my iPhone
    #2
    I have wanted to do this with my Direct TV unit. Might have to start researching, where did you start?
     
  3. Dimwhit thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #3
    I didn't, really. Couldn't find any information on it. So I just took the plunge and bought the drive.
     
  4. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #4
    Tivo offers an e-SATA drive for their Series 3 DVRs. I just bought my HD Tivo, and since all of my shows have yet to start up again, I'm waiting until I see how much space my tv shows take up before buying the drive that tivo offers. Aside from the purchase price you don't have to pay a fee to make the port work.
     
  5. Dimwhit thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
  6. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #6
  7. Dimwhit thread starter macrumors 68000

    Dimwhit

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2007
    #7
    Don't you love how they won't actually tell you the size of the hard drive?

    That works out to be roughly the same cost that I incurred to buy a drive and pay the $40, though I suspect that's a 750GB drive and not a 1TB like I bought (just shy of $160 for the 1TB and port activation). It is nice that TiVo uses eSATA instead of USB. Makes for faster transfers, for sure. Actual watching probably isn't much different, though.
     
  8. leishan macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2005
    #8

    Is this available for Direct TV DVR units?
     
  9. BigHungry04 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2008
    Location:
    Connecticut
    #9
    They do tell you once you click on the drive, and then click more information, it says it is 500 GB, gives you 65 hours of HD, and up to 600 hours of SD recording capability. I don't know if it is worth it. I was just pointing out that it exists.
     
  10. jecapaga macrumors 601

    jecapaga

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2007
    Location:
    Southern California
    #10
    I activated this a long time ago with a 500GB drive. Works flawlessly. Zero complaints. I throw all my recorded movies and random stuff on there to watch later.
     
  11. bruinsrme macrumors 601

    bruinsrme

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2008
    #11
    I run two of the Western Digital expanders on 2 different sets.
    Great little device.

    Shop around the internet you can pick them up for as little as $109 shipped.
     

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