Expanding Your Scientific Atlantic DVR Hard Drive Capacity with myDVR
A few months ago Time Warner cable in NYC expanded their HD line-up, but they didn’t expand their DVR hard drive capacity. I have a Scientific Atlantic 8300HD with Passport version 2.x and with stand programming I can store around 30-40 hours, but with most channels now HD it seems I can only store 10 hours. Shows keep getting deleted because of the limited capacity (new recordings push out older ones)…I actually missed an episode of Battlestar Galatica.
On Amazon I stumbled upon the Western Digital myDVR specifically made to expand the capacity of the Scientific Atlantic (SA) DVR (or Tivo). It is a $125 500 GB external eSATA hard drive that plugs directly into your SA DVR (they come with an eSATA port). Just unplug you DVR, plug in the myDVR and turn everything on. The SA DVR will boot up and say an external device was detected…hit accept to format and you’re done. You now have 500 GB more of space! I don’t know how many HD hours that translates into, but I have yet to see a show pending deletion. For $125 it is definitely worth it.
Now for the bad and not so bad news. Depending upon the version of software your Scientific Atlantic comes with you may experience problems. The Passport operating system (older than the more recent Navigator or Odean) has a buffering issue that causes problems with pausing live TV. You can pause live TV, but you can’t rewind or fast forward. To over come this I usually hit record (saved shows don’t have this problem). At first I thought this would be a showstopper, but I found that the extra space was worth the trouble of hitting record every once in a while (especially since I no longer have to worry about shows being deleted). Newer versions of the DVR OS don’t have this issue, and you cal always bring in your older box and exchange it.
Overall, I’m really glad I got the myDVR…and so is my wife with the number of Law and Orders and CSI episodes she records.