Is an External HDD possible w/ a DVDR? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 03:23 PM - Thread Starter
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I've been playing around with the Polaroid 2001G. I discovered that is was possible to do an easy plug and play HDD upgrade after reading the Polaroid thread on this forum. So I thought I'd give it a try. The Polaroid comes with an 80gb Western Digital drive. I was able to install a 200gb Seagate, a 250gb Western Digital, and a 500gb Maxtor.

My next step was to move the drives to the outside of the case. I thought making the storage removable would be pretty cool. So I ordered a two foot rounded IDE cable. With it still not delivered yet my impatience took over so I rigged the following today:

- a one foot ide ribbon cable fished through the case
- direct external power cable to power the HD drives
- 500gb Maxtor HDD
- 250gb WD HDD
- 80 gb WD HDD

Not pretty but it proves it does work. When the new ide cable arrives I will clean up the current installation. I also will add a removable drive enclosure to protect the drives.

Here are the pics:
1- the drives
2- the "rigged" IDE cable fished through the case (ugly I know)
3- one of the HDD's sitting on top of the SA8300HD cable box (it's running with the Polaroid).
4- The 80gb drive running the Polaroid
5- The 250 drive running
6- The 500gb running

The recording times shown are at SP (2 hour mode). The 250gb drive is almost full with 51 titles recorded to the drive.

I can pretty much add storage at will.
LL
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LL
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post #2 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 03:24 PM - Thread Starter
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The rest of the pics:
LL
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post #3 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 03:52 PM
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Nextoo,
Thanks...great information.
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post #4 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 04:09 PM
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Too bad more/all DVDR manufacturers don't use such an open architecture.

I wonder if it runs out of digits for the hours of remaining capacity with the larger HDDs and lower bitrates. I.e. will it show more than 999 hours?
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post #5 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 04:11 PM
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More than 234 Hours in SP Mode!!! Holy 500gb Hard Drive!

Boy am I thankful for people like you (nextoo) who experiment and then prove to us that it CAN be done.

I have a Pioneer DVR-640 with a 160gb HDD, and although it really has been enough, I might like to toy with upgrading it someday. However I think the Polaroid is known for "allowing" itself to be upgraded where I have heard that some other brands may not work or "lock" themselves if you try anything.

Also, with HDD's being less and less expensive these days, what a great upgrade you gave yourself with the 500gb HDD. Now you can just leave it on SP mode for good.

What does it give you on it's longest Speed with 500gb, like 3 months?

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post #6 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 04:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobkart View Post

Too bad more/all DVDR manufacturers don't use such an open architecture.

I wonder if it runs out of digits for the hours of remaining capacity with the larger HDDs and lower bitrates. I.e. will it show more than 999 hours?

The 500gb when in SLP mode (6 hr mode) slows 703 hours. Almost one month of continuous recording.
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post #7 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 04:23 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by suplex View Post

More than 234 Hours in SP Mode!!! Holy 500gb Hard Drive!

Boy am I thankful for people like you (nextoo) who experiment and then prove to us that it CAN be done.

I have a Pioneer DVR-640 with a 160gb HDD, and although it really has been enough, I might like to toy with upgrading it someday. However I think the Polaroid is known for "allowing" itself to be upgraded where I have heard that some other brands may not work or "lock" themselves if you try anything.

Also, with HDD's being less and less expensive these days, what a great upgrade you gave yourself with the 500gb HDD. Now you can just leave it on SP mode for good.

What does it give you on it's longest Speed with 500gb, like 3 months?

Thanks! I'm going to build a HDD library by genre. TV/Sports/Comedy/Drama/etc.
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post #8 of 315 Old 10-13-2006, 08:11 PM - Thread Starter
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Well here is another pic - some progress. I moved the hard drive (s) into an IDE enclosure. Still ugly but I was encouraged that the enclosure worked. I'm going to order a black enclosure which should look better.
LL
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post #9 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 08:15 AM - Thread Starter
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Newest update:

This configuration using the external drive case is hot swapable. By this I mean I am able to change HDD's while the Polaroid remains on. It is not necessary to power down the Polaroid when changing HDD's.
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post #10 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 08:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

Well here is another pic - some progress. I moved the hard drive (s) into an IDE enclosure. Still ugly but I was encouraged that the enclosure worked. I'm going to order a black enclosure which should look better.

For your next "mission", should you decide to accept it, find a way to download an index of all the titles currently recorded on the hard drive to a CD/DVD or output line to a PC for use in printing covers, inventory control, etc. -- This message won't self-destruct in five minutes
Bob R.

Bob R .
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post #11 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

Newest update:

This configuration using the external drive case is hot swapable. By this I mean I am able to change HDD's while the Polaroid remains on. It is not necessary to power down the Polaroid when changing HDD's.

That is very cool!! Almost makes me want to buy a polaroid because I believe to do something similar with my Pioneer 640 it is a lot more work and riskier...special remote required etc etc. I would love to have hot swappable HDDs for music compilations etc. Unlimited space and very convenient. Are you listening Pioneer, Panasonic, Sony et al?

Well done Nextoo...very brave.
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post #12 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 10:32 AM - Thread Starter
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At $220 it is affordable. And it has the LSI Domino chipset so the PQ is excellent. It has no (very little) copy protection which is a plus for moving store bought DVD's to the HDD (analog transfer only). Plus it a tinkerers dream.
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post #13 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 10:46 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bobr2k View Post

For your next "mission", should you decide to accept it, find a way to download an index of all the titles currently recorded on the hard drive to a CD/DVD or output line to a PC for use in printing covers, inventory control, etc. -- This message won't self-destruct in five minutes
Bob R.

Great suggestions. Actually I'm going to try to read the drives under Linux. I can't read the drives under XP2. If I am able to read the HDD's then it would be possible to move the data off the HDD without having to burn to a DVD for PC editing. Only problem is I do not currently have a Linux distribution installed. Plus I haven't worked with Linux for a few years now.
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post #14 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 04:38 PM - Thread Starter
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Minor update here.

I decided to format the drive that originally came with the Polaroid under XP2. The process went as planned. After allocating and formating the drive under XP on a PC I put the drive back into the removable enclosure and booted the Polaroid. The Polaroid recognized the drive. I was able to use the drive as normal. Record, delete, etc.

When I moved the drive back to the PC the drive was recognized. I had assigned the drive as letter Z under XP when I formatted it. This drive allocation was retained post Polaroid use. I thought I was almost home but even though the drive is recognized, when I open the drive window under explorer no files are listed. It is as if the drive is empty.

Getting closer. My goal here is to be able to move the hard drives to a PC so I can move and edit files. I want to eliminate the step of burning to an optical disc in order to get the files to a PC. Using this method I will be able to move huge files and not be hobbled by the 4.7gb barrier.

Close but no cigar.
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post #15 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:08 PM
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I hate to ask you this, but anyway you could point me to the directions on how to do this.... The Polaroid thread has 21 pages of info and I can't seem to locate it doing a "Search this thread" method.....

Was it really as simple as a "Plug and Play"?
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post #16 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:32 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ruhl View Post

I hate to ask you this, but anyway you could point me to the directions on how to do this.... The Polaroid thread has 21 pages of info and I can't seem to locate it doing a "Search this thread" method.....

Was it really as simple as a "Plug and Play"?

Yes. Plug and Play. Open the case. Remove the HDD. Put in your new HDD. Close the case. Turn on the Polaroid. That's it. Even I can do it.
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post #17 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:36 PM
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I had the Polaroid at one time, took it back due to fan noise. How did you rig it up for an external drive? Sorry for the stupid question, but looked back at some of your posts in the Polaroid thread, and don't quite understand how you did it.

Something about a USB port on one of the internal boards?

Chris
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post #18 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:41 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's the first report as discovered by Dartman that the Polaroid is plug and play:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post7739060

I can only say I took advantage of Dartman's discovery. I will take the credit for finding out that the Polaroid is essentially copy protection free though....
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post #19 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Ruhl View Post

I had the Polaroid at one time, took it back due to fan noise. How did you rig it up for an external drive? Sorry for the stupid question, but looked back at some of your posts in the Polaroid thread, and don't quite understand how you did it.

Something about a USB port on one of the internal boards?

Chris

It's not a USB connection. It's the IDE connection that the internal HDD uses. I ran a long IDE cable from this connection to outside the case. I then used a removable IDE enclosure. It is all explained above. When the IDE cable I ordered arrives and I finalize the installation I will put together a tutorial with pictures that explains it step by step and post it. It is actually dummy proof as you will see. If I can do it anybody can.

By the way you can also "down grade" the HDD . I found an old 40gb drive laying around that works fine too.
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post #20 of 315 Old 10-14-2006, 07:50 PM
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Gotcha... thanks. Makes sense now... I was a bit unclear about the USB mentioned in the Polaroid thread..... appreciate it.
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post #21 of 315 Old 10-16-2006, 04:25 PM - Thread Starter
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Here's a few more pics:

1- unit with HDD removed. Easy deinstall only 4 screws.

2- new IDE cable installed

3. case closed
LL
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post #22 of 315 Old 10-25-2006, 08:04 AM
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Just wanted to say thanks for all of the info on this unit. Anyone with a Scientific Atlanta HD box needs a recorder with component inputs and this is by far the most interesting (notice I did not say best) one on the planet. I picked one up yesterday and may get a second this weekend.

Thanks

Living the HT Dream...now in 4D.
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post #23 of 315 Old 10-25-2006, 08:10 AM
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Larrimore, please elaborate on this SA HD box. Model?

Are you saying it can be used as a HDD recorder with component inputs standalone, in other words, in conjunction with say a Comcast Motorola STB?

With component inputs, are there any 5.1 or digital audio inputs?

Thanks
Tom
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post #24 of 315 Old 10-25-2006, 10:32 AM
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I don't know if they're all like that, but the SA 8300HD will only output widescreen via the component output. I thought I read somewhere else that the Moto box will output widescreen via the s-video, but I could be mistaken. Another way around that is to get a recorder that will allow you to manually set the 16:9 flag. My Sony RDR-GX330 does, but I haven't played it too much.
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post #25 of 315 Old 10-25-2006, 03:59 PM - Thread Starter
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Project is pretty much complete.

A word of caution on the HDD upgrade. I am having no problems with WD 250gb drives. I have filled and emptied them many time and have done a significant amount of editing with no problems. I am having some performance problems with a 500 gb Maxtor. I don't know if the problem is the brand or the size. At this point I have made a decision to only use WD 250gb drives. Plus the 250's are around $50 with a rebate or sale. The 500's are around $200. No brainer with removable capabilities. Also the 500's are almost too big from an organizational perspective.

Final pics:

1. 7 drive bays. I need more HDD's to fill them. The 8th is running with the Polaroid.

2. Hard drive enclosure running and recording. (black case on the right)

3. Another view.
LL
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LL
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post #26 of 315 Old 11-12-2006, 07:25 PM
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What model number was the 250GB Western Digital Hard Drive that worked?
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post #27 of 315 Old 11-12-2006, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by FBI Agent View Post

What model number was the 250GB Western Digital Hard Drive that worked?

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=42

This drive has 8 megs of cache - a "JB" model.

The "BB" model with 2 megs of cache should work too. The 80GB stock drive is a 2 meg cache "BB" model.

I've also used old generic 40GB drives with no problems. The only drive I had a problem with was the 500GB Maxtor.
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post #28 of 315 Old 11-12-2006, 09:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nextoo View Post

http://www.wdc.com/en/products/Products.asp?DriveID=42

This drive has 8 megs of cache - a "JB" model.

The "BB" model with 2 megs of cache should work too. The 80GB stock drive is a 2 meg cache "BB" model.

I've also used old generic 40GB drives with no problems. The only drive I had a problem with was the 500GB Maxtor.


The cache size makes a difference in speed in a PC application. Will it matter for this DVD recorder? Would it benefit the player with a higher cache size?
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post #29 of 315 Old 11-12-2006, 09:18 PM - Thread Starter
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I have no I idea. I bought the cheapest one I could find. At the time it was the 8 meg cache model.
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post #30 of 315 Old 11-12-2006, 09:46 PM
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Quote:
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I have no I idea. I bought the cheapest one I could find. At the time it was the 8 meg cache model.


What's the cache of the original HD in the Polaroid 2MB or 8MB?
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