Expanding DVR space?
CStenfors
Contributor - Level 1

I have searched and found a bunch of old threads linked from the FAQ (one thread seems deleted, but still in the FAQ list). None seems more recent than January, 2009.

Is it still not possible to add an external HDD to the Motorola STBs?  Are there perhaps models with more storage?

We have only a few hours of HD programming on ours and are finding that programs are being deleted faster than we can watch them.

Coming from DirecTV with boxes that can add external HDDs (and 80+ hours internally) this is a serious (one more on my growing list) disappointment with the whole FIOS bundle.

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22 Replies
Justin46
Legend

No. Rumors of one coming, but no announcement. Original rumor was first quarter 2010, but now that looks rather unlikely - we could get a nice surprise though, you never know.....

There are only two DVRs available from Verizon currently, both with 160 GB hard drives. If you need more space you could buy a Tivo and use that, or a Moxi. You would gain space and their functionality but lose the FiOS Guide, VOD, and Widgets.

__________________________________
Justin
Verizon FiOS TV, Internet, and phone
QIP6416-P1, IMG 1.7C, Build 09.83
Keller, TX 76248

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

@CStenfors wrote:

I have searched and found a bunch of old threads linked from the FAQ (one thread seems deleted, but still in the FAQ list). None seems more recent than January, 2009.

Is it still not possible to add an external HDD to the Motorola STBs?  Are there perhaps models with more storage?

We have only a few hours of HD programming on ours and are finding that programs are being deleted faster than we can watch them.

Coming from DirecTV with boxes that can add external HDDs (and 80+ hours internally) this is a serious (one more on my growing list) disappointment with the whole FIOS bundle.


Hello, yes at this time there is no ESATA support on the motorola STB's, there will be a 1.9 software release coming up and it's "scheduled" To be on that update, but we still have 1.8 software that goes to the boxes first.  (i heard they are skipping 1.8 and going straight to 1.9)  

Also later this year we are waiting for verizon to release the new motorola box and cisco cable boxes that have 320gb vs the 160 that is in there now.   It's one of fios's biggest complaints so they are trying to get that fixed. 

at this time the only way to get additional space is by getting a Tivo or a Moxi STB and combine that with a Fios Cable card.

Those have heavy upfront costs (comparitively) and so are at times cost prohibitive, but people usually don't buy those cable boxes to save money, they buy them to add functionality.  so if you didn't want to wait, you could exercise this option immediately. 

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CStenfors
Contributor - Level 1

@Hubrisnxs wrote:

Also later this year we are waiting for verizon to release the new motorola box and cisco cable boxes that have 320gb vs the 160 that is in there now.   It's one of fios's biggest complaints so they are trying to get that fixed. 


Going to 320Gb? so I can get from 20 hours of HD programming to 40? When with SD I used to have 80+ hours? Wow, talk about an improvement that fails for two reasons 1) it's not available and 2) it is not much of an improvement.

While I understand and sympathize wtih Vz that it would be very costly for them to install much larger HDs in all STBs, I don't see why they cannot simply make it so customers like me that want more storage can simply plug in an eSATA or USB drive of our own choosing.

Both Dish and DirectTV make this option available n their HD STBs.

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spacedebris
Master - Level 2

Well one of the things that is supposed to come with the new STB's is the ability to add external storage (eSata, firewire, USB, something like that) that will allow you to add all the storage that you want. Now that may be just rumor, or wishfull thinking, but that is what has been floating around. We will have to wait and see.

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CStenfors
Contributor - Level 1

@spacedebris wrote:

Well one of the things that is supposed to come with the new STB's is the ability to add external storage (eSata, firewire, USB, something like that) that will allow you to add all the storage that you want. Now that may be just rumor, or wishfull thinking, but that is what has been floating around. We will have to wait and see.


Yes, that and who will get these new STBs and if they will switch them out for existing customers (at what charge??). Again, it is the type of thing that is clearly going to hit Vz's pocket and they ar enot simply going to take the hit themselves.

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spacedebris
Master - Level 2

Price I cant speak to, But that last time they had a box upgrade, they did it in the order of... New customers first, then repair issues, then customers that ask for it (in order of install, oldest to newest), and then when that is all said and done, then they will do everyone else. That is assuming that they are going drop motorola all together, If they decide to keep the Motorola boxes, then likely they will stop after all the requests.

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alden
Contributor - Level 1

I will have FIOS available in the next couple of months but I will not switch from DirectTV even if I will save some good money for the triple bundle for one reason only DVR space. That a shame that Verizon is so slow in upgradingit's equipment while satellite providers are so much ahead. Overall Verizon is the company who have worst managers who manage company so purly in any direction that any other company with that kind of management will go down in flames...

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prisaz
Legend

Here is a posting I made regarding Tivo. $3.99 cable card rental from Verizon, and $12.95 Tivo subscription. At the Time I bought the $199 refurbished tivo, It still has the 160 gig drive, but you can expand it like mentioned here. You give up options that FIOS provides, but then gain others. I had the refurbished TIVO HD and the drive crashed two weeks after the 90 day warrenty expired. But you can replace the 160 gig drive with 1 terabyte drive for about $100. Same space as the $599 Tivo HD XL, but you don't get the THX features. Their are new Tivo modles out, that may be an option for you if you can not wait for Verizon.

KenAF also provides very good details in this thread.

http://forums.verizon.com/t5/FiOS-TV-Technical-Assistance/TIVO-w-cards-vs-FiOS-DVR/m-p/98755#M15425

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ffrcoupe
Enthusiast - Level 3

I would LOVE, LOVE, LOVE to be able to use my NAS for additional DVR HD space.

I'm currently at 4TB and counting. Smiley Very Happy

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Vonch
Newbie

I just got off the phone with technical support for FIOS TV.   Basically I was told it could not be done even though I have had two different sales guys in Verizon stores tell me it could be done.  One indicated that he had several customers who have added a hard drive via the USB port and it worked.  The other sales guy indicated it would work through the fire wire port as well.  Both indicated that it did not show up on time remaining, but it did give you additional time.

Has anyone out there tried plugging an external drive in just to see what happens?

Currently I am a Dish Network customer and have 80 hours of HD recording time on one DVR and 40 hours on the other.  Dish Network will accept an external hard drive for a onetime $40 fee.  I have to say their DVR is outstanding but not very reliable.  I probably have had to have one or the other DVR exchanged 5 or 6 times in the last 4 years.  Also there is a recurring problem with voice sync that is annoying.  When trying FIOS TV at a local Verizon store I noticed the menus were much faster and the picture was superior. 

Love my FIOS internet, way more reliable than DSL and FIOS phone has been trouble free.  I really want FIOS TV, but the Motorola DVR limitations need to be fixed first. 

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KenAF
Specialist - Level 2

@Vonch wrote:

I just got off the phone with technical support for FIOS TV.   Basically I was told it could not be done even though I have had two different sales guys in Verizon stores tell me it could be done.  One indicated that he had several customers who have added a hard drive via the USB port and it worked.  The other sales guy indicated it would work through the fire wire port as well.  Both indicated that it did not show up on time remaining, but it did give you additional time.

Has anyone out there tried plugging an external drive in just to see what happens?


Yes.  It doesn't work.

As indicated in earlier posts, external drives are not currently supported on Verizon's Motorola DVRs.  In fact, no cable company in the United States supports external expansion with Motorola DVRs.   The firmware / software doesn't have the code necessary to use external drives for recorded storage.

Verizon is expected to support external storage expansion on one or more DVRs (not necessarily the existing models) by the end of the year.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

@Vonch wrote:

I just got off the phone with technical support for FIOS TV.   Basically I was told it could not be done even though I have had two different sales guys in Verizon stores tell me it could be done.  One indicated that he had several customers who have added a hard drive via the USB port and it worked.  The other sales guy indicated it would work through the fire wire port as well.  Both indicated that it did not show up on time remaining, but it did give you additional time.

Has anyone out there tried plugging an external drive in just to see what happens?

Currently I am a Dish Network customer and have 80 hours of HD recording time on one DVR and 40 hours on the other.  Dish Network will accept an external hard drive for a onetime $40 fee.  I have to say their DVR is outstanding but not very reliable.  I probably have had to have one or the other DVR exchanged 5 or 6 times in the last 4 years.  Also there is a recurring problem with voice sync that is annoying.  When trying FIOS TV at a local Verizon store I noticed the menus were much faster and the picture was superior. 

Love my FIOS internet, way more reliable than DSL and FIOS phone has been trouble free.  I really want FIOS TV, but the Motorola DVR limitations need to be fixed first. 


you can always pick up a tivo with a cable card from verizon if you don't want to wait for the dvr upgrades that are supposed to happen by the years end... 

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Vonch
Newbie

When is the Cisco DVR supposed to be ready?  I have never been too impressed with the Motorola unit.

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Hubrisnxs
Legend

idk,   I know some people are testing the 7232 motorola's right now, so they got those field tests going, but I haven't heard from anyone field testing any cisco's yet.     so I think we will probably expect to see the motorola's out first.

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10nisman94
Contributor - Level 1

If verizon has 100% Motorola boxes, and new ones in the pipe, why even bother with cisco boxes?

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Vonch
Newbie

Because all the reviews say the Cisco box is better and faster technology with considerably more capacity for upgrades.

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CStenfors
Contributor - Level 1

@Vonch wrote:

Because all the reviews say the Cisco box is better and faster technology with considerably more capacity for upgrades.


Upgrade capacity? Don't make me laugh. Since when do they upgrade the standard model box once they roll it out? Once it hist the customer pipeline, there's not gonna be upgrades.

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shreco
Newbie

This is the one and only issue keeping me from subscribing to FIOS TV. I Have had FIOS internet and phone for several years now patiently waiting for some news on this issue. I have been with Dish Network since 2006 and my original DVR from that time records 120 hours of SD. My living room dvr records 350 hours of SD and their new one just released does 500 hours. With ability to offload to external hard drives as well for virtually infinite space. Plus the Dish boxes serve two tv's simultaneously one HD and one SD set.

Fair to say I'm spoiled DVR wise with Dish but to be fair verizon is probably level on the playing field with cable service providers like Comcast etc. For some reason cable and verizon all offer sub standard DVR's. Satellite excels here as do third party services like Tivo or Moxi. I can buy a 1TB HD for under $100 as a non-bulk purchase price so I'm not sure what the hold up is for verizon. They charge 19.99 a month for that low capacity unit. Over the 24 month commitment that is $479. I can purchase the just released 1TB VIP 922 for use with Dish for $400 off ebay and I'll actually own the thing and can sell it down the line to recoup some cost.

The savings I could reap by adding FIOS TV to my bundle would come out to about 20 bucks a month when all is said and done however losing all that DVR capacity in my house currently 2.4TB over two DVR's and a USB drive that service 4 tv's is too much to lose. Dealing with inclement weather service interuptions with satellite is much easier when you have a ton of recorded content to consume anytime.

I would love to switch to FIOS for the hardline TV to my house and superior picture but they seriously need to get with the times on the equipment. Dish had this equipment like 5+ years ago. Not sure when Tivo came out but they have been a leader in DVR capacity for sure since day one. Tivo cannot service two tv's simultaneously like Dish btw not sure why maybe some proprietary patent screwing us over. Buying 4 tivos for 4 tv's is pretty high cost wise. If they are truly thinking about adding a 320GB unit as their flagship product I don't know what to say about that really other than they really are not listening to customers. A 1TB unit should be the minimum at the top of the spectrum.

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Vonch
Newbie

Well said!  I have nearly the same issues as you describe and have done the same research and came to the same conclusion.  I spoke with a tech at Verizon and they informed me that the issue is Motorola's, not Verizon's.

I went to Motorola's web-site as well as emailed their customer service and based on their response it's clear Motorola feels they have a monopoly and don't need to change. 

There is a lot of chatter about Cisco getting into the business to compete with Motorola by offering more storage space.  It is rumored that Verizon is going to be their first customer, but no release dates that I could find. 

I would love to change!  I have had lots of billing issues with Dishnetwork that have been extremely frustrating (their service people took a DVR with them that never showed as returned) and their picture quality and on demand is lousy compared to FIOS.  But 20 hours of HD recording would be filled in a week.

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10nisman94
Contributor - Level 1

Cisco bought Scientific Atlanta a few years ago, and they are just now completing the rebranding. The Cisco 86xx series is already in use by time Warner/bright house. They have been having issues with resolutions randomly changing and other oddities. The Motorola 7232 should support esata and/or USB expansion, according to the official FiOSTV twitter. Last I heard, the cisco's had run into issues in engineering, and weren't field testing yet. However, the latest STB activation guide makes a reference to Cisco boxes. The Motorola 7232 is due out in the fall, with (hopefully) esata support to follow soon after.

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