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Cox's Comments Regarding eSATA Port Activation on Motorola DCH3416 dated 03-03-10

post #1 of 5
Thread Starter 
My message to Cox sent this morning regarding service in Orange County, California:

I currently have two Motorola DCH-3416 HD DVR boxes. The amount of storage (160GB) on the boxes is ridiculously low. Are there any plans to activate the eSATA expansion slots on the boxes? Is there any way to increase the storage capacity on the boxes? Is this the most current box you are using? I gotta tell ya, for what I'm paying every month I should be able to have much more storage than 160GB.

Their reply sent this afternoon follows. The suggested solution isn't very reasonable, as it involves real time recording by the PC as the PVR plays back the original recording. It's more of a transfer to the PC than a storage expansion.

Hello,

Thank you for your email. Though I don't yet have a date, I can tell you that we will be activating the Sata in the near future. Also, the 1394 (firewire) port is currently active, which allows you to connect the cable box to a PC. Cox does not provide technical support for connecting the box to a PC, but if you Google search 'Motorola 3416 1394 connection' you will find some very helpful information.

We hope that we have been able to provide you with the information you requested. If we have not, or if we can be of any additional service to you, please do not hesitate to contact us again.

Sincerely,
Kenneth
Cox Communications - Video/Telephony Tech Support
Online Support Team
post #2 of 5
I am also trying to expand recording capacity. I have the same STB and purchased an external HDD and connected it via the eSata port and received a message asking me to contact my cable company to enable the port.

Bottom line is that Motorola has included the hardware functionality, but it is Cox disabling it. There are at least a few business reasons for them to do so...

1. Based on a conversation with a knowledgable tech, they don't want users to easily be able to violate copyright laws by recording to an external HDD and uploading content to the internet. Sort of makes sense but there are other ways to get it done including what the tech in the message above suggested.

2. By limiting the internal drive to 160G, if you want more space you rent two DVRs and pay the monthly fee for each. Record different shows on the different DVRs and you have more capacity this way...if they allow you to expand capacity by purchasing a third party external HDD, they lose revenue.

3. Same as above, limit capacity and consumers are more likely to purchase movies through their OnDemand service. If you build your own catalog of say 50 or more hours of recorded content, you have less inclination/need to rent from their OnDemand platform.

There are other reasons, but the cable company isn't really incentivized to help the consumer out here...

Only way for consumers to get these eSata ports enabled is to have a loud, unified voice by boycotting Cox and others and not renting the DVR boxes, OnDemand movies, etc. until Cox gets the message...I know, good luck with this strategy...
post #3 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraven9 View Post

1. Based on a conversation with a knowledgable tech, they don't want users to easily be able to violate copyright laws by recording to an external HDD and uploading content to the internet. Sort of makes sense but there are other ways to get it done including what the tech in the message above suggested.

Ridiculous. Absolutely outlandish fantasy BS. EVERY, and I do mean EVERY, other implementation (D*, E*, SA, TiVo, Moxi, etc.) *encrypts* everything on that external drive. You can't just take the drive and plug it into a PC and start pulling shows off it. If a cable tech seriously claims this, either he's saying Motorola's engineers are morons, or he is completely ignorant of how this works.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraven9 View Post

2. By limiting the internal drive to 160G, if you want more space you rent two DVRs and pay the monthly fee for each. Record different shows on the different DVRs and you have more capacity this way...if they allow you to expand capacity by purchasing a third party external HDD, they lose revenue.

But expecting you to lease an entirely separate DVR and manage scheduled recordings off both devices to go beyond 160 GB (which, with HD content, is a piddling amount of storage) would have anyone who knows anything laughing in their faces. That's a stupid reason. Anyone in their right mind would tell them "fine, take your crappy box back, I'll go get a DVR that doesn't suck, and you don't get any box rental fees, done and done".

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kraven9 View Post

3. Same as above, limit capacity and consumers are more likely to purchase movies through their OnDemand service. If you build your own catalog of say 50 or more hours of recorded content, you have less inclination/need to rent from their OnDemand platform.

What? Most on-demand content is flagged as CCI copy-never, which limits the time the recording is good for to 90 minutes. The only systems I'm familiar with where putting on-demand content on local storage is commonplace is with D* and E*, not with cablecos.

Seriously, these reasons are crazy talk. If a cableco employee tried to make any of them to me, I would just laugh in their face. The fact that you're seriously making them... I just can't wrap my brain around it. Stop apologizing for them. I have no problem with my cableco being able to make money from me, but I wouldn't let them extract ridiculous amounts of money in the ways you're proposing here.
post #4 of 5
HI

I dont know if you have options to go with directv or dish.

I have cox but I'm about to terminate my cable with them.

I do have two boxes both SA8300HD both with 2 external HD that works fine.
I'm going to directv or dish when I have decided which one to take.

Its all just hype and this proves it. Advanced tv my ass. Outrages dvr's fee and they are not the forefront with HD channels either.

So do yourself a huge favor and tell cox to shove the boxes and go satellite.

For me personally its both money but mostly channels since cox dont have what I want. Both dish and directv have what I want.

I told cox that that their cable tv service suck big time.
If I couldnt extend my storage on my dvr's I would be gone a long time ago.

Especially since 20 Hours of HD recording time would not cut it with the internal HD.
post #5 of 5
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pig Vomit View Post


I can tell you that we will be activating the Sata in the near future. Also, the 1394 (firewire) port is currently active, which allows you to connect the cable box to a PC. Cox does not provide technical support for connecting the box to a PC, but if you Google search 'Motorola 3416 1394 connection' you will find some very helpful information.

WOW, Im Surprised he actually said this!,

I knew the IEEE was active years ago and I have gotten it to work no problem. there's a guide on this forum somewhere with a list of software/drivers.

I have my PC Linked through fire wire a few years ago and I was able to copy raw TS streams directly from the box, from any channel, Standard, Expanded, Premiums, and play them back at Full HD Resolution.

But I'm just surprised that a Cox rep would go out and tell someone to do this.

Guide Revised Thread:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...orola+firewire

Only thing I dont agree with in the thread is that statement saying its for Live TV only, I was able to playback recorded content on the DVR Box and record the TS Stream as it plays back.
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