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Seasoned gas passer
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm not too swift when it comes to this stuff, so someone smarter than me, please help out. Would you be able to daisy-chain several SATA drives to increase the capacity of the Series 3 beyond its internal and one external SATA drive?
 

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The eSATA spec allows for the external device being an array of disks.
 

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Contra sceleris
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Silicon Image has a Sata "Drive" that does what pete was talking about and goes up to 2 Terabytes. If you want to build your own, they will sell to OEMs a chip to handle the port addressing for up to 5 drives in a box. SiI 4726. With current 5 GB drives max capacity using this chip would be 2.5TB. Since I have about 1300 DivX SD shows on 1TB (mostly movies), this would translate to roughly 3200 shows. Whoohoooooo. Let's see- using today's best prices on 300GBs, you could have a 2000 movie collection for 5X$80 or $400 plus the eSata enclosure- maybe $100. Not a bad VOD set up. Tough break Cablecos, and iTms. "Best laid plans of mice and men" and all that.

The 2 TB drive I think I mentioned earlier. DT_DC mentioned this company long ago when discussing the latest Moto 6412's support for eSata's.

But remember Mega's admonition- this is not like an external USB- The same mating between system and drive occurs and you will get teh same results as if you try to swap a drive from one Tivo to another. No go.
 

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Seasoned gas passer
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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Justin Thyme said:
...But remember Mega's admonition- this is not like an external USB- The same mating between system and drive occurs and you will get teh same results as if you try to swap a drive from one Tivo to another. No go.
I've got that...once hooked up, you're basically done. I'd just like to maximixe storage on the Series 3.
 

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Wear Your Mask!
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Justin Thyme said:
Silicon Image has a Sata "Drive" that does what pete was talking about and goes up to 2 Terabytes. If you want to build your own, they will sell to OEMs a chip to handle the port addressing for up to 5 drives in a box. SiI 4726. With current 5 GB drives max capacity using this chip would be 2.5TB. Since I have about 1300 DivX SD shows on 1TB (mostly movies), this would translate to roughly 3200 shows. Whoohoooooo. Let's see- using today's best prices on 300GBs, you could have a 2000 movie collection for 5X$80 or $400 plus the eSata enclosure- maybe $100. Not a bad VOD set up. Tough break Cablecos, and iTms. "Best laid plans of mice and men" and all that.

The 2 TB drive I think I mentioned earlier. DT_DC mentioned this company long ago when discussing the latest Moto 6412's support for eSata's.

But remember Mega's admonition- this is not like an external USB- The same mating between system and drive occurs and you will get teh same results as if you try to swap a drive from one Tivo to another. No go.
Any pricing on that puppy?
 

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sedentary adventurer
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2,372 Posts
What would be cool is if some third party, or TiVo, made an expansion box that could hold multiple hard drives, and would look like just another set top box that you could put on top of the Series 3 box and connect to it through the SATA port.

That way you could have the multiple hard drives set up properly to use the single SATA port, without the consumer having to worry about the technical details like daisy chaining (or RAID), etc., ie, make it invisible from the consumer's perspective. Plus, the resulting box would look nicer than the sort of "tacked on" look of the free standing external box shown at CES 2006. Ie, make it just another AV rack box.

Make the hard drive expansion box the same size, shape, and color of the Series 3 box. Have consumer buy the expansion box. Put it on top of the Series 3 box, in the consumer's AV rack. Plug it into the Series 3 box. Done.
 

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sedentary adventurer
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megazone said:
TiVo told me the box would not support daisy-chained drives or SATA RAID arrays, at least not out the door.
Is there a technical reason for this that us non-techies could understand? Is it fixable in some future software or firmware update?
 

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TiVoholic
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megazone said:
TiVo told me the box would not support daisy-chained drives or SATA RAID arrays, at least not out the door.
These boxes support RAID in hardware, so TiVo would only see a large virtual drive.
 

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Hardcore TiVo Geek
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c3 said:
These boxes support RAID in hardware, so TiVo would only see a large virtual drive.
As long as it looks like a single drive, that may work.

As for reasons - I think it is just development time and effort vs the return. I doubt a large percentage of users is going to be looking for terrabyte storage. Especially with TiVoToGo and such allowing offloading to a PC fileserver with unlimited storage, which is what I'd be more likely to do.
 

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Wizard of Oz
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I wonder what would happen if you connect a drive, record some shows, then later disconnect it. Would you run into the same problems as the meshed drives on the series 2? Seems like if it is treated as one big virtual drve you would...
 

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I would think that wouldn't happen. I'm hoping they don't interleave the storage. Since it's external TiVo would probably account for things like accidental removal, etc.
 

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TV MA SLV
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How are the shows on the external drive going to be displayed? Just as part of the now playing normally, like a second internal drive would be, or like your PC or second Tivo in the other room shows up now, at the bottom of now playing?

It'll be interesting how they implement it.

-smak-
 

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VinceA said:
I would think that wouldn't happen. I'm hoping they don't interleave the storage. Since it's external TiVo would probably account for things like accidental removal, etc.
My guess is: record on internal drive and then copy it to external drive, similar to MRV.
 

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Contra sceleris
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Gregor said:
Any pricing on that puppy?
Sorry Gregor- missed your question during the CES flurry. These are designed for the businesses that typically pay multiple dollars per GB rather than 25 cents per gigabyte. That's why I think roll your own using an enclosure or a hobby project using the SiI 4726 chip will be the way S3 owners will typically go. I'm have a similar opinion as Mega though- unless the T3 network performance is pretty awful- I don't want the box in the living room- leave that stuff on the Tivo server.

Anyway, the SV2000 unit that has a capacity for 5 internal SATAs was selling last summer at a street price of $2200 configured with drives for 800GB. If this is still the only show in town and I had to do SATA, I'd buy the cheapest one I could find, then slap big drives in. If it didn't autorecognize them, put the old drives back in, and return the unit.
 

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Megazone posted some related info (http://www.tivolovers.com/252572.html) a while ago:

megazone said:
Oh, one other tech detail I forgot. The S3 is still using IDE drives internally, only the external drive is SATA. Also, the external drive is not removable in the conventional sense. Once it is connected, the OS makes it part of the file system and shows may be recorded using both the internal and external drive - as in the SAME show may have its bits scattered on both. If you disconnect the external drive the unit will cope with it, but any shows recorded with any data on the external drive will vanish. So it isn't something you connect, record to, then take to another unit to watch the shows.
In other words, it's like an internal upgrade drive today, except that you can "divorce" the drive at will, so long as you don't mind any show that partially spans that drive completely.
 

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Wear Your Mask!
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Thanks for the pricing info folks! The roll your own method looks great as long as someone else engineers the interface card, it's way beyond my skillset.
 

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Cat God
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Dennis Wilkinson said:
Megazone posted some related info (http://www.tivolovers.com/252572.html) a while ago:

In other words, it's like an internal upgrade drive today, except that you can "divorce" the drive at will, so long as you don't mind any show that partially spans that drive completely.
I do hope there is an indicator as to which shows are stored either totally or partially on the external drive. That way the user knows which shows to back up via TTG. Otherwise the user would have to do a complete backup and restore. Though if they've optimized TTG speeds that might not be terrible.
 

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Hardcore TiVo Geek
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I think the point is, there shouldn't be a reason to unplug the drive in normal operation.

One thing I didn't think to ask is if you disconnect the drive and then reconnect it, do the shows come back? I know you cannot take it to a new box and connect it and have the shows there. But I would like to think reconnecting it to the same box would work.
 
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