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Drive Expansion and Drive Upgrade FAQ

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

  1. Oct 24, 2007 #81 of 10248
    mute

    mute New Member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Phoenixville...
    The thing that bums me out about the official eSATA solution is this.

    I'm over being bitter about TiVo deciding that THD and S3 owners don't get the same feature set. I've been trying to figure out what the hell they are doing with the S3 anyway, since you don't see them in stores or advertised much. I was on the fence when I made my purchase, but I figured that the S3 was on it's way out. I bought the THD and don't regret it (that much yet). Even if it's not the "enthusiasts" model, even if it's ugly, and even if it's not up to par with the rest of the equipment I have in my system $$$-wise. At any rate I'm rambling.

    As I see it, TiVo had one chance to get the eSATA solution right. They rolled out a 500gb drive that gives what, 60 hours of HD and some large amount of SD hours. This is the only option for THD owners, and I'm willing to bet dollars to donuts that the THD is selling circles around the S3.

    So THD owners who want their warranties or are non technical are stuck with 70 hours of HD content. Forever.

    But wait! I'm sure TiVo will come out with a larger capacity more expensive unit in a couple months, and all those THD owners will have the privilege of upgrading if they want to! It'll only cost you an additional $300 for 750gb or $400 for 1tb, and the best part is you get to lose all of your shows during the upgrade process!

    I get the whole partnership with WD thing. We all saw it coming, it makes perfect business sense. Why they chose not to roll out a couple models to give users the ability to make their upgrade decisions based on their needs rather than locking them into a single option is beyond me.

    So those of us who bought external non supported eSATA drives for their THD are boned, fair enough we took our chance. It's not as though their useless, we can hack our units and forgo the warranty.

    Who I really feel sorry for are the people who are going to buy the 500gb My DVR drives, who will love their tivos but be constantly yearning for more than 80 hours of HD content, and are going to get burned by the "early adopter" thing that TiVo seems to be so good at lately.
     
  2. Oct 24, 2007 #82 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    All good points and couldn't agree more with the last one. But with computer equipment...which is what TiVo is really...that's to be expected I'm afraid.

    We didn't pay full boat for our S3, but close to and if we had waited until now the price for the same thing (more or less) would be much less. I'm sure there will be more options...for less...in the months to come. I also think there will be other solutions pretty soon if the creative folks here have anything to do with it. ;)
     
  3. Oct 24, 2007 #83 of 10248
    George Cifranci

    George Cifranci Viva La Tivo!

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    Jan 30, 2003
    Columbus,...
    No, you do not use the original 250GB drive. You use the current internal drive in your Series 3. You connect both your new eSata drive and the internal Series 3 drive to a PC and load the MFSTools CD and run that command. Here is an entry in thread I posted discussing the details of what I did.

    http://www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/showthread.php?p=5279858#post5279858

    There are a number of others that have done this as well.
     
  4. Oct 24, 2007 #84 of 10248
    mooneydriver

    mooneydriver New Member

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    Feb 17, 2007
    Great -- thanks, George! I must have missed the thread where your detailed instructions were posted (too many threads on this topic these days!)
     
  5. Oct 24, 2007 #85 of 10248
    Fofer

    Fofer XenForo Rocks! TCF Club

    82,116
    296
    Oct 29, 2000
    Thanks for this post, George. I bought a 750 GB drive that's now internal in my Series 3 and it's been working well for awhile now. I've been curious to know how to add an eSATA drive to it externally... and it sounds like your tip is the way to do it, without losing any of my exisiting recordings.

    Sounds like aside from the hassle of removing the hardware from the TiVo and putting it into the PC and then back into the TiVo, that it doesn't take that much time at all. I was afraid I'd have to back up all the recordings or something.
     
  6. Oct 24, 2007 #86 of 10248
    mvnuenen

    mvnuenen ~0.0~

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    Jun 1, 2007
    Durham, NC
    Hey bkdtv... I'm a bit surprised I'm going to be the first (I think), but, a BIG THANKS for the nice overview and the work you put into it! :up: :up: :up:
     
  7. Oct 24, 2007 #87 of 10248
    Fab2004

    Fab2004 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2007
    I've been trying to find the 750gb for $160 but don't seem to find it. Can you point me to some seller w/ that price?

     
  8. Oct 24, 2007 #88 of 10248
    mappler

    mappler Blah

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    Jan 15, 2002
    Lowest price on Pricegrabber for the 750gb DB5 is $238.
    Lowest price on Pricegrabber for the Antec MX-1 is $48.

    That looks like a combined $286 plus $10 the SIIG cable (all assuming shipping charges are equal, but I"m taking lowest prices from multiple stores).

    That looks like it is $296, or $1 cheaper than buying it (and likely saving shipping) from the single retailer I picked at random earlier. The total is 50% more for 50% ore storage space....

    I'd love to know where to get this cheaper!!!
     
  9. Oct 24, 2007 #89 of 10248
    mute

    mute New Member

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    Sep 19, 2007
    Phoenixville...
    Ok Ok, time for me to eat crow. I got my drive for $260 shipped (saveateagle.com iirc). I don't know why I thought my total out the door cost was so low. I think I was trying to minimize my loss subconsciously or something.

    So as mentioned it's 50% more for 50% more. That's still a better deal in my mind considering you can't daisy chain drives, and there's no way to divorce/upgrade without losing your shows.

    I still think that a more expensive/larger drive would have been nice. What about those "enthusiasts" that are willing to pay more for the series 3 tivos? They are still roped into the 500gb drive if they care about their warranty.

    At this point I'm not sure which route I will take. I am likely to replace my A drive w/ the 750gb, and shelf the enclosure for some other project, or until I run out of space with a 750gb A drive, and pick up another drive for the MX-1.

    Seems like if I am going to void my warranty either way, I'd be better off losing 20 hours of HD and keeping the stock drive as a backup than I am marrying it to an external drive.
     
  10. Oct 24, 2007 #90 of 10248
    Fab2004

    Fab2004 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2007
    So $199 + s/h for 500gb is a pretty good value for a DVR certified drive after all.
    I wonder if people had much luck with non DVR certified drives -- I replaced my Series1 internal drive with a generic one in 2003 and it's still going.

    I'm wondering (apart from the DVR certified list) which drive would be a good option noise-wise, any ideas?

     
  11. Oct 24, 2007 #91 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    Have a read of the very first post on this thread...it includes a list of very good drives for internal or external use.

    EDIT: Noticed that the new WD 1TB "Green" drive is not included but it's gotten some positive responses as well.
     
  12. Oct 24, 2007 #92 of 10248
    Moricon

    Moricon New Member

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    Oct 24, 2007
    My problem with the "approved" solution is that it is a WD drive. My luck with these has always been bad. I much prefer Seagate drives.
     
  13. Oct 24, 2007 #93 of 10248
    Fab2004

    Fab2004 New Member

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    Feb 21, 2007
    I did say "apart from DVR Certified" what I should have said to be crystal clear would have been: "Intended for DVRs" AND "Cert. for 24/7 Use".

    So the question is, apart from this list of expensive "Intended for DVRs" AND "Cert. for 24/7 Use", what other quiet drives have people been using with success?

    As I also said, I used a "generic" drive in my Series 1, and after 4 years of 24/7 use is still going strong.

     
  14. Oct 24, 2007 #94 of 10248
    richsadams

    richsadams Active Member

    8,893
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    Jan 4, 2003
    FWIW there's really no such thing as a HDD "certified for 24/7 use", drives intended for DVR use are "normal" HDD's which have had minor tweaks including AAM and most drives can be made "quiet" by using programs such as the Hitachi Feature Tool which will allow you to change the factory's AAM settings.

    This thread is the Official eSATA Drive Expansion: FAQ + Discussion sticky. If you're looking for "generic, quiet HDD's" a forum search would be your best bet, anything else is OT. A good place to start would be the TiVo Upgrade Center.
     
  15. Oct 24, 2007 #95 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    No one is saying they don't allow it. Generally speaking, the TiVo (or any host in general) doesn't really have any intimate relationship with an attached standard device like a hard drive. While the host may be able to query specific information such as manufacturer, part number, etc. from the peripheral, the device and the host either conform to the standards specifications of interest or they do not. If they do, they should work together, but occasionally one may encounter problems. That is why manufacturers often refuse to support any peripheral they have not tested. If the devices do not quite conform to the standard, it's a crap shoot. This is a second reason why manufactuers often won't support their devices with untested third party equipment.

    There is really no reason they should. If they haven't tested it or they tested it and found issues, then it is neither surprising nor malfeasant on their part not to support it.

    This is precisely what they have done.

    The only drive yet certified by TiVo is the DVR Expander. That the drive you purchased is certified for 24/7 operation in a DVR - or any operation for that matter - by its manufacturer in no way means TiVo will or is required to support it. If it works, fine. If it doesn't, tough.

    That was a lot of fairly predictably useless waiting if you ask me.

    Don't be silly. Get your money back on the unsupoported drive and buy a supported one. You could also send your TiVo to PTV Upgrade or Weaknees for them to upgrade under third party warranty.
     
  16. Oct 24, 2007 #96 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

    6,924
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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    Most drives when placed in an Antek MX-1 housing are pretty quiet. I have a regular old Seagate Barracuda 750 in one MX-1 and a Hitachi 1TB Deskstar in another. I can't hear the Hitachi at all, and the Barracuda has seeks which are just barely audible if the sound is shut down completely and the Air Conditioning isn't running.
     
  17. Oct 24, 2007 #97 of 10248
    bkdtv

    bkdtv New Member

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    Jan 9, 2003
    DC Metro Area
    Since members have had a lot of positive things to say about that drive, I've added it to the first post.
     
  18. Oct 24, 2007 #98 of 10248
    Fab2004

    Fab2004 New Member

    23
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    Feb 21, 2007
    Thank you!

     
  19. Oct 24, 2007 #99 of 10248
    lrhorer

    lrhorer Active Member

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    Aug 31, 2003
    San...
    I'm not sure how that qualifies as "the solution to it all". While MythTV has some very nice features and is of course completely under control of the user in terms of what hardware is used, the last time I checked, MythTV does not have a CableCard solution. That rather blasts the solution out of the water for any of us who have CATV feeds.
     
  20. Oct 25, 2007 #100 of 10248
    JFalc

    JFalc New Member

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    May 3, 2005
    For quite a while I have had a Tivo Series 3, with an Antec MX-1 and 500gb Seagate DB-35.

    I pulled the trigger recently on the $299 + $199 Tivo HD lifetime transfer.

    Tonight I just saw for the first time the MRV enabled!!! Woo hoo!!!

    Then, I went online to see posts and feel good about MRV and discovered my new Tivo HD now supports an external drive. I just want to say THANKS TIVO for the option to upgrade my Tivo HD with 500GB in additional space for $199. This differentiates your product further from those cable company boxes and represents a great value to me. $199 is a decent deal for 500gb.

    These two major upgrades rolling out the same day. Nice work TIVO.

    -John
     

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