adding disk space to Motorola DCT6416 III - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 25 Old 08-26-2007, 10:13 AM - Thread Starter
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My DVR is only giving me about 30 hours, 10% HD, of recording, I swapped the box from COX and it didn't change anything. Customer support told me that I could add an external hard drive for extra recording space. I went and bought a 500 Gig external drive and plugged it into the front USB port and nothing. Now Cox is telling me I can't add extra space, $140.00 later. Can anyone tell me if there is a way to add extra memory 30 hours is not enough. Thanks.
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post #2 of 25 Old 08-26-2007, 06:50 PM
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The Motorola DCT6416 has a 160Gb hard drive which provides approximately 20 hours of storage for HD channel recordings. There is no way to copy file recordings to a PC. There is no way to expand the storage on that box. External drives are not supported and the internal drive is not upgradeable.

The Cox representative was probably confusing your system with another. Cox systems using Scientific Atlanta equipment have a DVR (SA8300HD) that does allow eSATA drive expansion. That equipment is not compatible with your cable system.

If you want a digital cable DVR with more high-definition storage capacity, you'll have to invest in a $1300 Vista CableCard PC from the likes of Dell or a $250 TivoHD plus a drive upgrade. The hard drive you bought may or may not be appropriate for the TivoHD. Here's an example of a 500Gb external drive for DVRs that you can get from Best Buy.


TivoHD with external 500Gb hard drive from Best Buy
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post #3 of 25 Old 08-27-2007, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Thank you for the response.......Mike
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post #4 of 25 Old 11-16-2007, 04:26 PM
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I hate to bump old-ish threads, but I have a DCH6416 (same thing) and using an eSATA, it is possible to add storage to this DVR box. I suppose it depends on who your cable provider is, but for mine it works fine. (I am not using Cox.)
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post #5 of 25 Old 11-21-2007, 01:39 PM
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Anyone know if this is possible with Shaw in Vancouver?
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post #6 of 25 Old 12-06-2007, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerplunknet View Post

I hate to bump old-ish threads, but I have a DCH6416 (same thing) and using an eSATA, it is possible to add storage to this DVR box. I suppose it depends on who your cable provider is, but for mine it works fine. (I am not using Cox.)

Who is your cable service provider? I just got one of these and would love to add more storage.
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post #7 of 25 Old 12-24-2007, 07:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kerplunknet View Post

I hate to bump old-ish threads, but I have a DCH6416 (same thing) and using an eSATA, it is possible to add storage to this DVR box. I suppose it depends on who your cable provider is, but for mine it works fine. (I am not using Cox.)


Can you share how this is done, I have the same box which is filled up and would very much appreciate knowing how to do this. Transfer movies to an external harddrive and be able to retrive them.

Thanks WJH
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post #8 of 25 Old 01-13-2008, 05:07 PM
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Hi, I have a Motorola DCT6416 with front USB and rear USB, firewire and SATA. I am with Time Warner Cable in San Diego. Does anyone know if you can use any of the above ports to extract recorded programs from the DVR?
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post #9 of 25 Old 01-13-2008, 06:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aussieguy View Post

Hi, I have a Motorola DCT6416 with front USB and rear USB, firewire and SATA. I am with Time Warner Cable in San Diego. Does anyone know if you can use any of the above ports to extract recorded programs from the DVR?

Time Warner does not support drive expansion on any Motorola DVR.

You can connect the Motorola to your computer via Firewire and then record local channel content as it is played. This allows you to use your computer as a digital VCR. Many -- but not all -- Time Warner systems copy-protect their cable channels, so you can't record content from those with a computer. See the How to record via IEEE 1394 (Firewire) to Windows XP thread in the HDTV Recorders forum for more information on this subject, and how to determine whether your particular provider allows recording from cable channels.

No HDTV DVR aside from the TiVo allows you to extract or download file recordings. For now, that feature is a TiVo exclusive. Screenshot #1, #2.
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post #10 of 25 Old 03-11-2008, 04:44 PM
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has anyone tryed removing the hard drive in the unit and physically replacing it
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post #11 of 25 Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_k View Post

has anyone tryed removing the hard drive in the unit and physically replacing it

Yes.

The Motorola works with the new drive, but can only use 160Gb. The Motorola DVRs are 'hard coded' (in firmware) to support only 160Gb. No matter what drive you put in, it will never use more than 160Gb.
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post #12 of 25 Old 03-13-2008, 11:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Yes.

The Motorola works with the new drive, but can only use 160Gb. The Motorola DVRs are 'hard coded' (in firmware) to support only 160Gb. No matter what drive you put in, it will never use more than 160Gb.

Okay then who has a copy of the firmware?
Has anyone looking into hacking it?
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post #13 of 25 Old 03-13-2008, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by the_avguy View Post

Okay then who has a copy of the firmware?
Has anyone looking into hacking it?

Only the cable company has that firmware. Many providers use firmware specific for their system.

You cannot hack it. The box will automatically redownload the original firmware from the cable company if any change is detected.
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post #14 of 25 Old 03-15-2008, 08:16 PM
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Lame!
next question if you were to remove the HDD and attach it to a computer and store on to an external HDD, would you be able to input this information to the system via SATA, Firewire, or USB?
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post #15 of 25 Old 03-15-2008, 11:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oliver_k View Post

Lame!
next question if you were to remove the HDD and attach it to a computer and store on to an external HDD, would you be able to input this information to the system via SATA, Firewire, or USB?

The recordings are encrypted, hence not usable outside of the box.

The Motorola DVR cannot play any recordings except those on the internal disk.
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post #16 of 25 Old 04-13-2008, 08:04 PM
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I am very familiar with the DCT 6416. I used to have one through Mediacom Cable. All of mediacoms boxes of this nature have external ports disabled, and the firmware versions, last I checked, were not capable of recognizing additional space anyways. The only thing you could hook up to a Motorola box that Mediacom provides is a Firewire connection to a laptop for "real-time" video capture. HOWEVER, recently Mediacom started carrying the PACE TAHOE boxes, TDC778x & 779X. These do have the eSATA port enabled through mediacom. I recently exchanged my Motorola for one of these and currently I'm using a SATA enclosure with a 750GB internal 3.5 Seagate that you can get from WAL*MART.com and it works swell giving me about 95 hours of HD recording space. This only cost me about a $200 dollar investment in all.
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post #17 of 25 Old 07-13-2008, 11:34 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

The recordings are encrypted, hence not usable outside of the box.

Hi bfdtv,

Thank you for the info. I have used this site from time to time and it has provided me with some great information on the basics of capturing video via firewire from dvr's. Thanks again!

As a quick note: With the dch6416, the port you choose for firewire is important. One works and one does not.

Now for my question regarding the dch6416:

I am looking to get the HD content off the hard drive as an image and I am a TimeWarner customer.
The back of the box has special screws that I was easily able to remove. It also has a black plastic clip that needs to be broken that shows tampering.
Once inside I see a 160GB sata drive. The power lead and the sata data cable have high strength hot melt glue holding them together. I understand exactly why this is, as they want to force you to have the drive locked, from turning it off, when you remove it. I have done those old tricks of letting the xbox unlock your drive and then swapping the data cable to a PC, with the power lead to the drive getting power from the PC and that connection never turns off. I can see that if I just replace both cables I will not have to break the glue joint, although I am not very sure if the opposite side of the sata cable in the dch6416 is a standard plug. I am not too worried about it, as I am willing to make an adapter if necessary and plug it onto the existing cable. So I am convinced that if I buy a sata cable, possibly some adapter cable parts and a sata card for my PC that I will be able to image the drive in an unlocked state on my PC. I really do not want to spend the money yet, as you say the files are encrypted and it appears you really know your stuff.

So just to be sure, are really sure they are encrypted? I have not seen a single post anywhere describing unlocking this drive first, so I am wondering how you know, well sort of anyways...

The unlocking of the drive may be so basic to you that you did not even mention it. If you are 100% sure that the files are encrypted, possibly keys passed to the box from the cable company once the box to initialized or stored on the drive or memory, etc., then you can shed any light on the encryption algorithm used and the file system and possible OS on the hard drive?

Thanks a bunch.
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post #18 of 25 Old 07-13-2008, 11:53 AM
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This page here:
developer.motorola.com/products/settops/dch6416/

supplies a link to a PDF:
developer.motorola.com/docstools/specsheets/DCH6416_Datasheet.pdf


Which states: 5C DTCP protection and HDCP. Of the two, it appears that 5C DTCP is one being used, if any, for file encryption.

This page here:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M6_%28cipher%29

states that it is vulnerable.

Just looking for more and sharing what I have found...
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post #19 of 25 Old 07-14-2008, 06:45 AM
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More info:

I successfully unlocked the drive and attached to PC. If you initialize the drive in the PC, the DVR sees it has changed and wipes the drive clean.
After initializing the drive, nothing can be seen from stock windows. I am now reviewing a handful of utilities that can read file systems and partitions from windows that are not part of the windows family. This includes ext2, 3 and many more...
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post #20 of 25 Old 08-23-2008, 05:16 PM
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Any progress? I would expect it to use a Linux file system.
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post #21 of 25 Old 08-31-2009, 08:04 PM
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I just got a Mortorola DCT2416 III with TimeWarner Cable. and i've been looking around, but i can't find anything. But can anyone tell me what the ethernet (internet, home networking??), and usb ports are for?? the manuals don't explain much what they're for.
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post #22 of 25 Old 09-01-2009, 10:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ajoetapia View Post

But can anyone tell me what the ethernet (internet, home networking??), and usb ports are for??

They're reserved for "future expansion"; that is to say, they're there, but they do nothing. The USB port will supply standard USB power levels, but it does literally nothing else. As far as when/if that will change? Who knows, the answer may just be "never".
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post #23 of 25 Old 01-01-2010, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rainmaker002 View Post

Anyone know if this is possible with Shaw in Vancouver?

Well, tonight I just connect an 1TB eSATA HD (brand=Cavalry) to the Moto box. First I had it on before I turned on the Moto. But the Moto would not respond. I unplugged the ext HD and the Moto would turn on. Then I reconnected the ext HD and it asked me to format the new drive. I did. But nowhere in anywhere in the menu tells me now I have an additional 1TB. After I formatted it, one show that I had in the internal drive was gone. The only thing I see is now it shows 0% full.
You can build an eSATA HD to work with this Moto or the new Pace HD terminal by reading this thread:
forums.ncix.com/forums/?mode=showthread&forum=116&threadid=2087676&pagenumber=1&msgcount=11&subpage=1&product_id=39419
Good luck!
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post #24 of 25 Old 01-12-2010, 03:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dch6416 View Post

More info:

I successfully unlocked the drive and attached to PC. If you initialize the drive in the PC, the DVR sees it has changed and wipes the drive clean.
After initializing the drive, nothing can be seen from stock windows. I am now reviewing a handful of utilities that can read file systems and partitions from windows that are not part of the windows family. This includes ext2, 3 and many more...

I think you will find that it does not use a standard file system (ext2/3/4, zfs, reiser, fat, ntfs, etc...) specifically so that someone cannot do precisely what you are doing. Good luck, but I bet it uses a hand crafted filesystem, and the filesystem as well as files are encrypted on disk?

Good luck though.
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post #25 of 25 Old 09-01-2010, 11:13 PM
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Has anyone figured this out? I am trying to set my DCT6416 up using and esata external hard drive and can not get it to display a format prompt, any help would be great!
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