I found this thread when searching for information to see if the Motorola 3416 would accept an external hard drive, yet. I found Google responses that indicated that it might be possible (in some places) but nothing definitive. So, I emailed Cox in Tulsa with the following:
I have the Motorola dct3416 DVR with its sad little 160G hard drive. The ports in the back (USB, Firewire, eSATA) have always been inactive, but I've read rumors that new firmware updates have activated the eSATA.
Is this true? Can I now hook up an external hard drive to the eSATA port to provide a decent amount of recording time? If so, what drive(s) do you recommend? If none of the ports in the back have not been made active, WHY NOT? And when will they be? Perhaps when standard definition TV was all that was available 160G was adequate, but with HD programming, the drive fills up far too quickly.
Thanks, Tom K
Here is their rather unsatisfying response:
Thank you for your inquiry. Cox Communications is committed to providing quality customer care.
I understand you are inquiring about our Digital Video Recorder (DVR) recording space.
Remember there are 3 content formats available:
1) High Definition Digital that uses the greatest amount of drive space
2) Analog programming that uses the next highest amount of drive space
3) Standard Definition Digital that uses the least amount of drive space
We also have at least three varieties of converters with different hard drive capacities. The following table illustrates what these are and again the programming content really determines how much can be stored. Motorola cannot guarantee the exact amount of programming that each subscriber will be able to record. The approximate time depends on the programming type and the drive size:
DVR Model Capacity Analog Digital HD
SA8300SD 80GB 24 hours 38 hours 7 hours
SA8300HD 160GB 56 hours 89 hours 16 hours
SA 8240 HDC 160GB 89 hours 16 hours
Motorola DCT6412 120GB 26.8 hours 56.5 hours 13.2 hours
Motorola DCT 6416 160 GB 38.9 hours 81.9 hours 19.1 hours
Motorola DCH 3416 160 GB 56 hours 89 hours 16 hours
Customers with and SA8300 or newer DVR can now enjoy expanded DVR storage with the addition of an external hard disk drive.
Several electronics equipment retailers offer the equipment compatible with the SA 8300 DVR. The external hard drives compatible with SA equipment are:
o Maxtor - Model P01K160 (160 GB), Model J01M300 (330GB)
o Seagate - Model ST3160801XS (160 GB), Model ST3400832AS (400GB)
o Western Digital - Model WDXS1600JDNN (160GB), Model WD2500JD-56HBCO (250GB), Model - WDG1S5000 (500GB)
o iOMEGA - (500GB)
The most readily available external hard drive is the Western Digital, DVR Expander model WDG1S5000 currently available at major retailers like Best Buy, and online at westerndigital.com with a suggested retail price of $200.
Customers with Motorola DVRs are not currently capable of utilizing an external hard drive with their current DVR.
The Motorola DCT6412, DCT 6416 and DCH 3416 have the necessary connection equipment (SATA port) to connect to an external hard drive, however the software needed for compliance is currently unavailable from Motorola.
NOTE: If you have several programs recorded (HD and/or Digital) and stored on the DVR, which are "locked-to manually erase only" any future recordings may not occur due to the lack remaining space available.
If you need further assistance, at your convenience, please contact technical support at 918-806-6000.
At your service,
Cox Communications E-Services
Oklahoma On Line Support Team