Comcast DCH3416 DVR 160GB, HDTV fills it up quickly - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 23 Old 10-22-2009, 09:17 AM - Thread Starter
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My almost 2 year old Comcast DCH3416 DVR 160GB, HDTV fills it up quickly.

I live in Michigan Howell/Brighton Comcast, called and they said no larger capacity DVR box is available.
Anyone have a bigger HD in their Comcast DVR?
I'm not looking to hack it, just trying to increase my HDTV storage for "keeper" shows.
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post #2 of 23 Old 10-22-2009, 09:50 AM
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At this time, no Motorola DVRs anywhere support external storage or internal drive upgrades (firmware is hardcoded to support stock capacity). Many cable providers are now deploying the Motorola DCX DVR, which is available with more internal capacity (250GB or 320GB).

If you want more storage than that, you basically have three options: (a) a TivoHD, (b) a Moxi, or a (c) Windows 7 PC with CableCard tuner. All of these solutions support both external drives and internal drive upgrades. My TivoHD has a 1.26TB capacity (i.e. 198 HD hours).
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post #3 of 23 Old 10-22-2009, 02:08 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

At this time, no Motorola DVRs anywhere support external storage or internal drive upgrades (firmware is hardcoded to support stock capacity). Many cable providers are now deploying the Motorola DCX DVR, which is available with more internal capacity (250GB or 320GB).

If you want more storage than that, you basically have three options: (a) a TivoHD, (b) a Moxi, or a (c) Windows 7 PC with CableCard tuner. All of these solutions support both external drives and internal drive upgrades. My TivoHD has a 1.26TB capacity (i.e. 198 HD hours).

Thx for advice.
I'll look into TiVoHD and see it's pros/cons.
-Comcast on-demand works with TiVo no problem? lots of free kids stuff there

I have 500gb ext HD not being used, it's firewire 800/ USB2.0 so not sure if it works with TiVo I'll do some research.

btw;
After I posted saw the "official tread" here...Motorola 34xx &64xx DVR "Official Thread"
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post #4 of 23 Old 10-22-2009, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtbdudex View Post

Thx for advice.
I'll look into TiVoHD and see it's pros/cons.
-Comcast on-demand works with TiVo no problem? lots of free kids stuff there

Unfortunately, no. At this time, no third-party DVRs support cable VOD. If you require the cable company's VOD on your DVR, then you are stuck with whatever the cable company offers.

Some people find that they no longer have much need for VOD once they've got a massive amount of storage. Others that depend on VOD either stick with the cable co DVR and its limited capacity, or they keep a cable STB around for those times when they need access to VOD.
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post #5 of 23 Old 10-22-2009, 08:42 PM
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Comcast of Michigan has the DCX 3400 (250 GB) so you should be able to get one of those.
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post #6 of 23 Old 10-30-2009, 06:28 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

If you require the cable company's VOD on your DVR, then you are stuck with whatever the cable company offers.

Or, of course, you could just do both. Just be prepared to pay for an additional outlet.
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post #7 of 23 Old 11-11-2009, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

At this time, no Motorola DVRs anywhere support external storage or internal drive upgrades (firmware is hardcoded to support stock capacity). Many cable providers are now deploying the Motorola DCX DVR, which is available with more internal capacity (250GB or 320GB).

If you want more storage than that, you basically have three options: (a) a TivoHD, (b) a Moxi, or a (c) Windows 7 PC with CableCard tuner. All of these solutions support both external drives and internal drive upgrades. My TivoHD has a 1.26TB capacity (i.e. 198 HD hours).

Not true. The Moxi box that I had was made by Motorola.
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post #8 of 23 Old 11-11-2009, 09:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jaylweb View Post

The Moxi box that I had was made by Motorola.

The Motorola BMC series was designed and manufactured to Digeo's specifications for use specifically by Moxi customers. The design is completely different from every other Motorola STB and DVR. When I said Motorola DVRs, I meant those DVRs where Motorola is responsible for the hardware and firmware design and support (i.e. DCT, DCH, QIP, DCX).
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post #9 of 23 Old 11-16-2009, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by homcom View Post

Comcast of Michigan has the DCX 3400 (250 GB) so you should be able to get one of those.

Thx for tip on new box.

I just called, the DCX 3400 not in their Ann Arbor warehouse listing yet, (serves Howell area), she said call back in 1 week.
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post #10 of 23 Old 12-29-2009, 09:07 AM - Thread Starter
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As walk in customer only place for me, with Comcast and lives in Howell Mich, to get a DCX 3400 is either in Royal Oak or Warren.
Only 2 places for all SE Michigan! (per their customer service rep whom I called last week).
Also, could not reserve me a box either, only way to get one is show up and if they are in stock then I can get one.

I went there yesterday 12/28 while visiting my parents who live 13 mile/Hoover area - same as store location.

There were 45 people in front of me, as I got in line a sign posted there said "sorry, we are all out of HD and DVR boxes, next shipment due 12/29"
Needless to say I let the store.
Guess everyone who got a HDTV over xmas swamped their store for HD/DVR boxes.

I'll try again mid-January.

Has anyone else in SE Michigan got the DCX 3400?
If so, how'd you get it?
Pick-up yourself or Comcast come out and install/swap?
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post #11 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 04:27 PM
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How odd that Shaw cable in Canada has add on esata terabyte storage available for Motorola DCT DVR's.

http://www.shaw.ca/en-ca/ProductsSer...VRExpander.htm

The Shaw PVR Expander allows you to expand the capabilities of your HD Terminal. By connecting the Shaw PVR Expander to your HD Terminal you can record up to 600 hours of Digital TV or 120 hours of High Definition TV making it Canada's largest HDPVR*. The Shaw PVR Expander turns your HD Terminal into a dual tuner HDPVR, meaning you can record one program while watching another, record two programs at the same time, pause live television and much more. The Shaw PVR Expander adds to the amazing functionality you already receive with the HD Terminal including HD programming, access to Pick & Pay specialty channels, HD movies with Video On Demand and live HD events with Shaw Pay Per View.

Compatible with:

HD Terminal - Pace 758D

HDPVR Terminals:

* Pace TDC770D
* Pace TDC7750D
* Pace TDC7760D
* PVR Terminal - Motorola DCT3080
* HDPVR Terminal - Motorola DCT3416
* HDPVR Terminal - Motorola DCT6416
* HDPVR Terminal - Motorola DCT6412 (Phase III)
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post #12 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 04:35 PM
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Another thread at Digitalhome.ca discusses adding external drive for Motorola DCT's

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/showthread.php?t=112018

External Hard Drive Thread For Motorola DCT -

See Post 1 For Summary Edit by 57 - A short summary of discussions in this thread:

- Drives with the powersave function (like MyBook, FreeAgent) do not appear to be compatible with the DCT34xx/64xx. The drive needs to be running 24/7, so don't plug it into a switched outlet. Some drives with power down features may be software programmable and may then work.
- Largest confirmed working size is 1 TB.
- Many enclosures come with the appropriate cable (eSATA to eSATA).
- Any of the purpose built drives like My DVR Expander (WD, Iomega, Seagate), or the Shaw Expander include an eSATA cable, as does the Vantec NexStar 3 External SATA enclosure.
- USB connections do not work, you need a PVR with SATA connector.
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post #13 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

How odd that Shaw cable in Canada has add on esata terabyte storage available for Motorola DCT DVR's.

Not really. It's all about the software, and Comcast has a lot more to deal with than Shaw.

But, it's coming to Comcast, too. Just not sure when.

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post #14 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 10:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

At this time, no Motorola DVRs anywhere support external storage or internal drive upgrades (firmware is hardcoded to support stock capacity). Many cable providers are now deploying the Motorola DCX DVR, which is available with more internal capacity (250GB or 320GB).

My previous post was that it is odd that Shaw supports external storage contrary to what bfdtv stated.
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post #15 of 23 Old 01-02-2010, 11:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

My previous post was that it is odd that Shaw supports external storage contrary to what bfdtv stated.

He was referring to US cableco's, since the OP is in in US.

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post #16 of 23 Old 01-03-2010, 09:18 AM
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My PVR is a Motorola 6412 III that I bought used 2 years ago from a dealer in Vancouver. It has a Comcast label. I just checked the firmware version, turns out it is 16.74 (rolled out by Shaw June 09) which allows an internal hard drive upgrade of at least 1TB.
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post #17 of 23 Old 02-15-2010, 03:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

At this time, no Motorola DVRs anywhere support external storage or internal drive upgrades (firmware is hardcoded to support stock capacity).

There is a listing on eBay for 1 TB hard drives pre-formatted for various Motorola DVRs, including the DCH3416. The seller says the issue is formatting the new drive in the device, which will format it to 160 GB. However, if the drive is pre-formatted, then the device won't try to format the drive and it stays formatted at 1 TB.

My question is, how does he DO that??? I've got some reasonably sophisticated drive exploration and partitioning software, and none of my tools recognize the two partitions on the 160 GB drive.

(I'd post the link to the eBay listing, but I'm not sure if that is against forum rules. If its not, I'll post upon request. Meantime, its pretty easy to find the listing - just search for dch3416 on eBay.)
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post #18 of 23 Old 02-15-2010, 08:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalDad View Post

There is a listing on eBay for 1 TB hard drives pre-formatted for various Motorola DVRs, including the DCH3416. The seller says the issue is formatting the new drive in the device, which will format it to 160 GB. However, if the drive is pre-formatted, then the device won't try to format the drive and it stays formatted at 1 TB.

My question is, how does he DO that???

Good question.

Up to this point, assuming what the ebay seller says is true, only cableco software/firmware could determine how much hard drive space would be allowed to be functional. This may be a game changer.

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post #19 of 23 Old 02-15-2010, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

Good question.

Up to this point, assuming what the ebay seller says is true, only cableco software/firmware could determine how much hard drive space would be allowed to be functional. This may be a game changer.

"cableco software/firmware"? I hate to be dumb, but do you mean the cable company software/firmware? Seems like it would be an issue with the proprietary disk partitions and Motorola's desire, programmed into their firmware, to prevent upgrades to their machines by forcing all disks to format no higher than the OEM disk originally in the device. Ridiculous. I don't want to copy, I have no problem with the drive being encrypted. I just want a bigger drive.

I'm wondering if he has a newer Motorola device where he formats the 1 TB drives, which then work in all similar Moto devices. Don't know much about the Moto line, so I can't say if this is right.
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post #20 of 23 Old 02-16-2010, 12:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RadicalDad View Post

"cableco software/firmware"? I hate to be dumb, but do you mean the cable company software/firmware?

The software & firmware in these devices are composed of 3 layers. One is Motorola, one is from the guide provider, and one is from the cable company (cableco). I don't know for sure where the hard drive capacity is determined, but I would guess the Motorola layer.

Each cableco can decide for themselves whether to keep the previous hard drive usable size limit or not, regardless of what software / firmware it takes place in, or the specific version of same. There are existing cable providers that have Motorola HD DVRs with greater hard drive capacity than 160Gb; Shaw Cable in Canada is the poster boy for larger hard drive sizes allowed.

I've heard off the record Comcast will soon also allow larger hard drive capacity. Not sure when 'soon' is.

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post #21 of 23 Old 02-16-2010, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Freeman View Post

My PVR is a Motorola 6412 III that I bought used 2 years ago from a dealer in Vancouver. It has a Comcast label. I just checked the firmware version, turns out it is 16.74 (rolled out by Shaw June 09) which allows an internal hard drive upgrade of at least 1TB.

Lots of Moto HD DVRs have 16.74. It's the Shaw version (maybe others too?) that allows larger hard drive capacity. I know for a fact some Comcast areas also run 16.74 and have no increase in hard drive capacity.

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post #22 of 23 Old 04-20-2010, 09:30 AM
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I have had recent email communication with the hard drive supplier in Canada (HDTV DCT Sales, Vancouver) and he states, unequivocally, that his preformatted 1TB drive will work with my Comcast 3416 when it replaces the stock 160GB drive. He stated that he has sold to many Comcast and Verizon FIOS customers here in the States with success. I also noted on one of his ebay sales a customer with Comcast that gave him a positive rating for this product. I have ebay messaged the customer about his experience. I am awaiting a reply.

The Comcast DCX3400 which is now available here in PA is still woefully inadequate with its 250GB drive for HD. What is wrong with this company???
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post #23 of 23 Old 08-09-2010, 06:06 PM
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Hi,

I'm new/late to the dance but, shouldn't we all be clamoring for dvr/pvrs that permit hot-swappable external drive(s) ?
Yes, this especially includes Tivo... I've a HD Tivo model modified to 2TB which I think I filled up in 3-4 months (don't remember, but it's full !).

The dvr/pvr should be able to detect when a formatted drive is externally (e-sata / usb 3 ?) attached and recognize it as a previously used hot-swap drive or, request to newly add it to its hot-swap catalog.

The dvr/pvr should have a strategy to mainatain a certain amount of free space on its internal/static drives, by migrating recordings to connected hot-swap drive(s).
It should also be able to request that a hot-swap drive be connected in order to re-call previously migrated recordings.

You could take an empty 2TB drive, plop it in a usb/e-sata dock/enclosure,
connect it (on the fly) to your dvr/pvr and go on an extended vacation with a clear conscience that you'd done enough to make space for recordings while you were away.
Anyone who has frantically attempted to 'manage' space on a maxed out dvr/pvr should appreciate the 'simplicity' of that approach.

This scenario/recommendation should provide 'virtually' unlimited space
to the pvr/dvr with only a modicum of internal/static capacity.

That's my recommended solution into the next decade.
I'd like to believe that the manufacturers, providers, etc. would respond if we
seriously got our act together in a uniform demand/request.
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