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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by bkdtv, Oct 19, 2007.

  1. Nov 20, 2007 #421 of 10306
    LHMPDX

    LHMPDX New Member

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    Mar 16, 2000
    True, this is bad. Plus it looks like they will miss the Christmas season.

    But no surprise. There was one year, maybe 2002, that there were no TiVos in the stores at Christmas.
     
  2. Nov 20, 2007 #422 of 10306
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

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    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    Limiting the expansion to a drive that can not be found anywhere is a major blunder on TiVo's part. A friend of mine, who is a big-wig at one of the world's largest ad/media/marketing companies, who happens to have TiVo as a client, says this is fairly typical of Tivo. To put it bluntly, they are not the sharpest tacks around when it comes to marketing, and having available equipment to market a new feature certainly falls in that category.
     
  3. Nov 20, 2007 #423 of 10306
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,900
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    Jan 4, 2003
    That is frustrating. As mentioned previously, TiVo has an exclusive with BB to sell the WD DVR Expander so there's no need to look for it anywhere but TiVo or BB.

    Of course you can still add an expansion drive to TiVo HD's by using WinMFS. It's quite easy, but for anyone not up for doing anything besides P&P it looks like it's W&S (wait and see).
     
  4. Nov 20, 2007 #424 of 10306
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,652
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    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    There's absolutely no question that TiVo released the expansion capability before they had planned to. TiVo has basically said so. 9.2 was scheduled to be released in November, which would normally mean next week. 9.2 got released early because it fixed serious errors for some folks with SA cablecards. If they had stuck to their schedule, you wouldn't have even had a chance to get it before now! (And TiVo would have been much better prepared for the release).

    I view this as flexibility in favor of the customer, and am glad TiVo did it, even though I have Motorola cablecards and wasn't affected by the fix. It's certainly not a "major blunder".
     
  5. Nov 20, 2007 #425 of 10306
    sfhub

    sfhub Well-Known Member

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    Jan 6, 2007
    Well, they've been able to convince people who paid for "lifetime" to continuously pay a $199 service fee ever 4 years. They've been good at marketing those :)
     
  6. Nov 20, 2007 #426 of 10306
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    984
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    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    I guess it depends on how you look at it. In 3 days starts the period when people spend the most money all year on items such as this, if TiVo had planned just a little bit better they could have taken advantage of that shopping period, as it is, not having drives available for people to buy is simply poor planning in my opinion.

    They could very easily have just released this update without the expansion capability, the fact that the did tells me, they at the very least, wanted to take advantage of that shopping season. Whether it was WD or TiVo, somebody dropped the ball.

    Who knows, by Friday maybe the stores will be flooded with the drives. :)

    And for the record, the SA card issue was just one of many things worked on with this upgrade.
     
  7. Nov 20, 2007 #427 of 10306
    meckel

    meckel Member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    Nashville, TN
    Best Buy is getting more in. My local store in Richmond was out of stock last week, yesterday they were show 3 store in the area were in-stock. Pick one up during lunch. I would talk to a manager at your closest BBY find out when they get their replenishment truck (this time of year they should be getting several a week), or if you can special order one at the store.

    Looks the the "Backordered: Usually leaves our warehouse within 1-2 weeks" is their normal out of stock message on the BBY website.

    Having worked in forecasting product for retail, the reasons for the shortage could any number of reasons, not just Tivo's. It is hard to forecast demand on new product, even harder during the holiday time. Most hard drive have very low margin and being stuck with a lot that are not selling and have to be markeddown is a bad thing (speaking from the retailers POV),
    So you tend to forecast on the conservative side on 'till you have some sales history. The issue with this is they (Tivo and or BBY) have been telling WD they need X now they say we need Y there is a lead time to make them and import them and with something like this they are not making a lot of backstock 'cause it is only in 2 companies.
    Tivo could have underforecasted the demand to WD and BBY, not expecting it to sale as well as it is. It is also possible the BBY is getting all that WD has because they buy more from them in dollars, units, so WD wants to make BBY happy. Also WD may not have been able to make the amount wanted by the 2 retailers, thus causing the shortage, simular to the issues with the Wiis (on a much bigger scale of course:rolleyes:)

    Not to spark any rumors, but I know that Apple will stop selling iPods to retailers a month or so before the launch new ones to allow companies to sell out of the old ones before the news come in. I have no idea if that is the case, but I know it is comon pratice in CE.

    My point is there are a lot of factors that can have caused this shortage other then Tivo messed, they could have, but it could have been BBY or WD who had the issue. Or we could just just buying more then they thought we would sooner then anyone thought.

    I would guess we will see them come and go thought the holiday and stablize sometime in January, but I think we will be able to find, just comes down to timing
     
  8. Nov 20, 2007 #428 of 10306
    keenanSR

    keenanSR Member TCF Club

    984
    6
    Oct 12, 2004
    Santa Rosa CA
    :D

    Sent you a PM
     
  9. Nov 20, 2007 #429 of 10306
    steinercat

    steinercat New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    I think I just picked up the last Expander in Las Vegas....until the next shipment comes in.

    saw it online in 1 BB last night, went there 10AM today and just checked now, and out of stock again.

    the last box was in the PC section. guy in Tivo department didn't know what the Expander was, but the guy over at PCs...immediately smiled and said "lucky guy" when he saw me picking the box up. :D
     
  10. Nov 20, 2007 #430 of 10306
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

    3,652
    2
    Feb 28, 2001
    North...
    I don't think you understand how releases and beta testing work. (Note, I'm not in a TiVo beta). They were undoubtedly already beta testing 9.2 by the time the SA cablecard issue came up. They're not going to force all those people back to 9.1 just to do a quick test of the SA card fix. It would have extremely difficult to test and release the update without the expansion capability (not "very easily" as you say).

    While there were other issues addressed in 9.2, TiVo has said the SA card issue forced the early release. It was a major serious flaw.

    Besides, the supply deficit of the Expander has a very minor impact on TiVo revenue. TiVo makes no money on TiVo store items once overhead is considered. The only real issue is whether lack of the Expander in stores means people won't buy an S3 or TiVo HD unit. Given that people know the Expander is out there but back-ordered, I expect there will be very few sales lost.
     
  11. Nov 20, 2007 #431 of 10306
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

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    Jan 4, 2003
    All very good points. TiVo would have begun working on this at least a year ago or more. Historically software upgrades have been released near the end of the month. If their plan was to release v9.2x upgrade including the expansion feature right about now everything would have likely gone to plan. WD, BB and TiVo would all have been able to meet their immediate obligations with more units in the pipe.

    The shortages, IMHO, are likely due to an early software release which caught everyone off guard...third party suppliers (WD), retailers, (BB) and TiVo marketing itself.

    If TiVo R&D deemed that it was necessary to get the latest upgrade into the wild ASAP, everyone else involved would have had to make the best of an unexpected, unplanned and out-of-forecast situation.

    No company in its right mind wants to lose sales of any sort; these kinds of situations benefit no one. Long-term planning can't always account for the unexpected. I’m not a TiVo apologist…they’ve certainly made mistakes in the past. However you can argue ad nauseum about the software bugs, supply chain issues, etc, but the bottom line is that when forecasts and solid planning are thrown out the window to address immediate issues, the end result generally benefits the widest audience possible. Fixing tens of thousands of DVR's immediately or satisfying the desires of a much smaller consumer population that wants more HDD space? The decision process was probably a very short one.

    You can bet there are more than a few people working hard in the background to get things in order. This is a world of razor-thin margins and JIT (just in time) supply chain models. That TiVo was able to generate as much support for the product a good month ahead of schedule is more than a little surprising to me. It actually speaks well of TiVo's dedication to doing their best to make things right.

    Take a deep breath and hang in there...my money says you’ll get your toys before Santa even gets his bags packed. ;)
     
  12. Nov 20, 2007 #432 of 10306
    steinercat

    steinercat New Member

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    Nov 16, 2007
    That pretty much sums it up.

    I would imagine, the vast majority of TiVo owners, or at least first time buyers (in large part who are not part of this messageboard) actually would not even consider the Expander upgrade UNTIL they filled up or were near filling up the drive. Likewise, look at it from a cost perspective. $250 for the THD. How many would immediately pull out another $200 for an immediate upgrade?

    In a highly competitive electronics market, the JIT (just in time) model, whether in the manufracturing or distribution channels is often the only way to minimize business risks. This isn't often convenient for impatient consumers like us....but may be the most logical way for TiVo.
     
  13. Nov 20, 2007 #433 of 10306
    jasel

    jasel New Member

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    Dec 2, 2006
    I haven't kept up with the thread so if this has been discussed, my apologies.

    Just added a Seagate FreeAgent Pro 750GB eSata drive to my Series 3. It was about the same price as the official 'Expander' (which I have on my other box), but with 50% more space.

    After the typical 'unsupported' scares, it went right on. It has no ventilation because the case is really just a giant aluminum heat sink. Dead silent in operation.

    The only issue for some will be the orange glow it emits. But that can be easily masked if it becomes bothersome. It's very slick looking, like a little sculpture.

    If you're considering something other than the official device, this might be the one to look at.

    James
    Series 3 (
    one with ~100hrs HD, the other has ~130, or 1200+ SD)
    SVR-2000 (140hrs. just watching the stuff left on it before I give it away)
     
  14. Nov 21, 2007 #434 of 10306
    leeherman

    leeherman Well-Known Member

    1,329
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    Nov 5, 2007
    Long Island, NY
    I went the "unsupported" route too.

    I bought a Nexstar 3 eSATA fanless enclosure and 500 gbyte WD drive. Total $150. I'm using the eSATA cable that came with the enclosure.

    I've been using for a year and a half the same enclosure with a 300 gbyte drive attached to my SA Explorer 8300HD. Never a problem.

    The S3 picked up on the new drive immediately and I'm off and running.

    LH
     
  15. Nov 22, 2007 #435 of 10306
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,900
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Congratulations on getting everything set up and running.

    Unfortunately the Free Agent Pro drives haven't been recommended since the first few weeks that expansion drives were added to S3's over six months ago for a number of reasons. Although there are still some in service at this time there have been many more reports of problems with the drives and how they affect TiVo; causing reboots, failing completely etc.

    The problems with FAP drives were well documented in the original Series3 eSATA Drive Expansion in 8.x: FAQ + Discussion plus numerous posts beyond that.

    One of the other often quoted problems was with the eSATA cable connections.

    It's good that yours is working (hope this info doesn't burst your bubble) and it may continue to be fine going forward. But again, the Free Agent Pro drives are still not recommended. It might be worth exchanging for one of the recommended drives.
     
  16. Nov 22, 2007 #436 of 10306
    Tiger87

    Tiger87 New Member

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    Nov 21, 2007
    Can I connect a 500GB Seagate Free Agent to a Series 3, via a USB 2.0 to eSATA connector?
     
  17. Nov 22, 2007 #437 of 10306
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,900
    4
    Jan 4, 2003
    Welcome to the forum! :)

    Unfortunately you cannot use a USB > eSATA adapter to connect an external drive to TiVo. It has to be eSATA II to eSATA II.

    Again, as noted above, the FAP's are not recommended as expansion drives for TiVo.

    The first post in this thread should have most of the answers to your questions.

    BTW: Avoid cross-posting (asking the same question on more than one thread) as the moderators (and some irritable members) can get cranky. ;)
     
  18. Nov 22, 2007 #438 of 10306
    donaudio

    donaudio Member

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    Apr 1, 2002
    Earlier this year I bought a FAP 750, luckily it has a five year warranty. The first two died on me. When I got the third one I bought a Siig 6' cable and put a muffin fan behind the FAP since it is in an enclosed cabinet. So far it has been working for three months and the Tivo recognizes it. 131 hours HD. It is cool to the touch
     
  19. Nov 23, 2007 #439 of 10306
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,900
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    Jan 4, 2003
    As mentioned earlier, it's good to hear some FAP's are still working. :up:
     
  20. Nov 23, 2007 #440 of 10306
    fred22

    fred22 New Member

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    Nov 11, 2007
    While I've said it before, too, my FAP 750 has been working since I altered a monoprice cable (trimming rubber) which was somewhere around June (I should find the receipt). Ah, I traced back the software installation on my PC and found I installed the FAP on May 19th. So (with fingers crossed), it appears to be working.
     

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