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Buy a Western Digital My DVR Expander for my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR?
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 11, 2009 09:53AM
Buy a Western Digital My DVR Expander for my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR?

Hi everyone,

NEwton linked to what is in actually a very good deal on the TIVO HD with a Lifetime subscription to the TIVO service. Although I had a bad experience with two TIVO HD units, it was nearly good enough for me to consider giving it another shot. At $9.95 per month plus tax, it only costs me about $130.00 or so per year for the DVR service. If I bought a TIVO HD and a lifetime subscription (which is the best way to go for TIVO service), it’d take me nearly five years for me to recoup the initial investment in the hardware and service. That’s a long time, especially when you consider how quickly technology changes these days.

I was still considering the TIVO HD until I noticed a strange issue with my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR and had to call my cable provider to resolve it. While the cable box DVR is working perfectly now, I know that if something happens to it, my cable provider will replace it at no cost to me. I only have that luxury with a TIVO HD for one year unless I buy an extended warranty at an additional cost to me and/or rely on the warranty service provided buy my credit card company. With that in mind, I decided to stay with the cable box DVR even though its interface is archaic when compared the one developed by TIVO.

Archaic interface aside, my primary issue with the cablebox DVR is that it can only store 25 hours worth of HD content. That’s diddly squat when compared to what I can store on my old TIVO DVD recorder. So, I’m considering buying a one terabyte Western Digital My DVR Expander which will allow me to store approximately 120 hours worth of HD content, which is more along the lines of what I can store on my old TIVO. Since a 1TB My DVR Expander costs about $170, I was thinking there might be a more cost effective solution, i.e. buy an enclosure with ESATA and the one terabyte hard disk drive of my choice.

Anyone using a Western Digital My DVR Expander with a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR? Worst case, if I decide to switch to TIVO again, the Western Digital My DVR Expander is compatible with the TIVO HD, TIVO Hd XL and the TIVO Series 3. So, it’ll be useful regardless of service.

Thanks for the tips!

Robert
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Re: Buy a Western Digital My DVR Expander for my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: June 11, 2009 10:09AM
A more important question is - did your cable provider cripple your DVR so it won't do that at all ? Time Warner did for ours.
"Oh. Those ports and slots don't work for you at all. Sorry."
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Re: Buy a Western Digital My DVR Expander for my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR?
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: June 11, 2009 10:29AM
Apparently, that box has SATA ports on the back for additional hard drives. The question is, does your cable providers' firmware support the connections.

[hometheaterreview.com]
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Re: Buy a Western Digital My DVR Expander for my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR?
Posted by: Bill in NC
Date: June 11, 2009 01:42PM
If you do decide to switch to TivoHD, the only supported drive is the WD MyDVR expander.

I didn't consider $170 too much for what is now 250 hours at "best" quality.
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My 8300 has eSATA enabled!
Posted by: gabester
Date: June 11, 2009 02:03PM
My cable provider sent me an 8300 with working eSATA. I have a standard Cavalry eSATA/USB 1TB enclosure (the drive is WD) and it seems to work mostly fine. There's the occasional, once every 5 minute or so, half second burp when watching content whether recorded or live as it is all streamed to the drive first and "recording" simply means saving the stream for later playback.

This unit even briefly worked with my Mac mini via FireWire - I was able to record the Incredibles off it however something was lost in translation as the video has numerous artifacts. I can still capture but the resulting file seems to contain no valid video data according to VLC and the other various tools for hacking data off a DVR.

So if you can deal with the occasional video stream hiccup I'd recommend saving and going with the Cavalry drive for $100. Heck, get two and swap them out as needed. Unfortunately when DVR configures the disk it's not in a format that anything else seems to understand so I can't just pull video off the drive by directly connecting it.
g=
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Re: My 8300 has eSATA enabled!
Posted by: Robert M
Date: June 11, 2009 05:01PM
Hi everyone,

Thanks for all of the suggestions and advice! Just got off the phone with the cable company. The Explorer 8300HD Cable Box/DVR given to me by them is not crippled! Two reps confirmed that I can definitely use the Western Digital My DVR Expander (ESATA flavor) with it without any problems at all. So, it's a question of getting the 500 gig model or the 1 terabyte model. To me it's a no brainer. 1 terabyte all the way! smiling smiley

Robert
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