AVS Forum Special Member
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: Central New York (Syracuse DMA)
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I initially posted this in the Navigator forum:
Ok, so my local office got in the 8640HDC and I'm now in possession of one. I booted it up and did a quick comparison of ODN vs MDN and what others were saying rings true. ODN has a whole other subset of menu options (very similar to SARA) as well as missing features like Nearest Tune and Sort By Favorites. Speed of ODN appears comparable, but I think MDN on my 8300HD tunes a bit faster and is slightly more fluid. I prefer the way MDN fades in and out of the menus/guide. However, I really like the look of the 8640 over the 8300. The black with blue LED display matches my other components very nicely. Upon more play time, I will concede that MDN is faster. ODN gives me a brief Please Wait message when going into menus and MDN just flows smoother.
On to the meat and potatoes - I promptly opened up the 8640 and is put together with tamper resistant screws. Upon further inspection, I noted that it has a Caviar Blue 8MB Cache 5400RPM SATA drive installed and also has a tamper resistant sticker on it connected to the frame. The sticker is the same as on the CableCard and the one in mine was already unstuck!
So, I swapped out the drive with a 1TB Caviar Black 32MB Cache 7200RPM and it just finished it's download and install. The box is currently booted up and running and I'm recording off both tuners simultaneously and scheduled it to do so for the next few hours. Please note that I did NOT clone the drive. I was going to, but I wanted to see what it would do with a bare drive. Please be advised I am not recommending anyone attempt this unless you are completely comfortable doing so and if you do, you do it at your own risk.
Ok, so everything is up and running. I see that I have ODN 22.214.171.124. Can anyone give me the low down on this version of ODN? Any known glitches or bugs? Right now, I'm only hooked up through composite video on a 13". I have a large order coming in for the recent plasma purchase which I hope to have up on the wall by the end of next week. Schedule is a bit busy due to work and the wifey taking a spill and fracturing her elbow.
Now the benefit of this is twofold - I gain a MASSIVE amount of record space and I no longer need a second outlet tied up with a eSATA enclosure up with my components. That coupled with the fact that should they update the firmware and lose eSATA support on the MDN boxes, I would be unaffected. I should get better performance from the drive as well because Cisco/SA is using very basic drives where as the replacement is a high end faster drive. I will continue to report as time goes, but I think once I catch up on my shows, I'm going to return the 8300HD as long as the 8640 is performing well. Another reason to keep it is that I plan on adding an HD set in the bedroom and will likely have a 4640HDC so the ODN menus will be similar which is helpful for the wife.
UPDATE: Per diagnostic page: ODN recognizes 928.49GB and was showing just over 900GB available with the number decreasing as it recorded. So it appears the drive transplant was a success. I'll store away the 320GB in the event the unit fails and needs to be returned for replacement.
8/30/2013 - Time Warner Liberation Day!