or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › 8300HD and External SATA - It Works!!
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

8300HD and External SATA - It Works!! - Page 289

post #8641 of 8998
I have cablevision and 8300hd , I got fed up with all the weird stuff between my expander and the DVR, so I bought the tivo premiere and got a cable card installed in it and returned the 8300hd . that reduced my cable bill by $15.00/mo
that savings will pay for the tivo in 3 years.

no more problems, the tivo premiere is so much better to use....I luv it !
post #8642 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiujitsumaniac View Post

I just got the "guide" software update. It is apparently more than a guide update.

I'd be skeptical of anything the Comcast support people told you. They were just as likely making crap up on the fly (to get you off the phone and improve their numbers).

According to the poster before you (MrJitters), his Comcast RNG200 (the sucessor to the 8300) still allows external drives. Now, this could also be due to differences in the settings that your local Comcast offices have set.

I would try to run a command to "first birthday" the unit, wiping out all settings and causing it to reformat the internal drive. (I don't have an 8300, but all of these boxes have a command that can accomplish this).

If it still doesn't work after doing that, then there's a good chance that Comcast specifically disabled that capability.

Also, if I may ask, what is the primary goal? To simply increase drive space for the purpose of time-shifting? Or the more difficult feat of permanently archiving HD shows to Blu-ray disc (or AVCHD DVD disc) or your computer?
If you just want more space for time-shifting, you may want to get Comcast to swap you a Motorola DVR. It sounds like we may be just a week or two away from being able to toss a 1 TB internal drive into the Motorola DCT, DCH, and DCX cable boxes (depending on how DCTneo's tests turn out)...there's more info in this thread.
post #8643 of 8998
I can confirm the RNG200 still works with an external drive after the guide update. (I swapped from an 8300HD with SARA to an RNG200 with the new guide, though, so I didn't go through the upgrade process and see if my recordings were preserved. Others have reported that they came through unscathed, though, so I suspect you were just unlucky.)

It is true that the external drive is "not supported", but only in the sense that "if you have trouble with it, you're on your own". Comcast customer service is not going to be any help to you.

There's almost certainly nothing you can do to recover your recordings. However, you *should* be able to get your drive to work with your RNG200, if you can figure out how to reformat it.
post #8644 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jruhnke View Post

you *should* be able to get your drive to work with your RNG200, if you can figure out how to reformat it.

I think they've got the 8300HD, not the RNG200.

If jiujitsumaniac shares their location, maybe others in that area with a 8300HD can weigh in.
post #8645 of 8998
I have the 8300HD and am located in Albuquerque, NM.

I called Comcast again and requested that I be put on the list to receive the new DVR model with the 500GB HD in the next few months, but in the mean time I am SOL I think.

"I would try to run a command to "first birthday" the unit, wiping out all settings and causing it to reformat the internal drive. (I don't have an 8300, but all of these boxes have a command that can accomplish this)." -- unfortunately, the "hard reboot" procedure did not work, and I can no longer enter into diagnostic mode or do anything else by holding down the "select" or "pause" buttons...so unless you all know another way to do it, I think I am stuck.


From the link http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...&&#post4682052 which explains how to do this:

Diagnostics
Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter Diagnostic Mode:

1. Press and hold Select on front of unit until Mail light starts to flash, then press INFO.
2. Press and hold Pause on remote until Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press Page Up (-). On some remotes, Page (+) might need to be used instead.

Hard Reboot. Hard Reboot will refresh all available software and modules on system, as well as clear out memory cache. IPG and other data may take up to 30 minutes or more to fully download.

1. Turn off 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
2. Unplug power cord from 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
3. If you are resetting an external drive too, unplug it's power cord at this point and wait 5 or more seconds, then plug power cord back into external drive and wait 5 or more seconds.
4. Press and hold Power on 8300 front panel. While Power is depressed, plug 8300 power cord back in. Continue to hold Power until 8300 display says "boot" and/or begins to cycle a few times (usually about 15 seconds).

NOTE: Hard Reboot will resolve MANY issues with not only external drives, but memory issues too. You should WAIT until the reboot is completely finished before powering up. It usually takes about 5 - 10 min, depending on your application and IPG data. Best way to determine when the download is finished is to watch the front panel indicators. On the front panel, where the : (colon) seperates the hours and minutes, the bottom " . " dot will appear after all OS firmware has been loaded. An STB getting a download or initializing will be blank. Leave STB alone until dot appears.

Last Resort (Reformat). If for some reason you can't get STB to do what you want and you've rebooted it by unplugging it, etc., this is a "last resort" item - say just before taking unit back, you can try reformatting the HDD. The format operation resets all data on the DVR, including all recordings, preferences and scheduled recordings. It is a "factory fresh" reset.

When doing the format procedure, there are times where it won't always "take" and will have to be redone again. The procedure is to get the mail light blinking from the remote control by holding down the pause button. Once blinking do not press anything else except the page down (page -) button on the remote three times while watching the display. The display should say something like HDD-1 and then HDD-2 or HDD-F. Once on the setting you want (typically the third press) leave it alone and put the remote down. In a few minutes, the DVR will reboot and reformat on it's own. Once complete in about 10 to 15 minutes (depending on RDC and FDC signal level quality) the unit will be available to be turned on, but it's best to leave it off and come back at a later time after it has completely downloaded all of the guide data and info.

1. Press and hold PAUSE until Mail led is lit.
2. Press PAGE down or (-), and then press LIST three times.
3. Turn box off. When turned back on, formatting will begin.
post #8646 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiujitsumaniac View Post

I have the 8300HD and am located in Albuquerque, NM.

I called Comcast again and requested that I be put on the list to receive the new DVR model with the 500GB HD in the next few months, but in the mean time I am SOL I think.

"I would try to run a command to "first birthday" the unit, wiping out all settings and causing it to reformat the internal drive. (I don't have an 8300, but all of these boxes have a command that can accomplish this)." -- unfortunately, the "hard reboot" procedure did not work, and I can no longer enter into diagnostic mode or do anything else by holding down the "select" or "pause" buttons...so unless you all know another way to do it, I think I am stuck.

Try this to enter Diagnostics It may or may not work.
Simultaneously press and hold the SELECT and EXIT buttons until "DIAGNO" or "DIAG" appears. Release the buttons, then press EXIT and the the box tunes itself to the multi-page Diagnostics channel.

The i-Guide version S25, for SA/Cisco is developed by the GuideWorks joint venture between Comcast and Rovi Corp.

Here are some other forums that might help:
http://www.dslreports.com/forum/r235...-systems?r=310
http://blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-...ble-boxes.html
post #8647 of 8998
Here is what the comcast blog site says:

"Hello and thanks for your feedback. Apologies for the issues you experienced with your external hard drive and the new guide.

For our DVR customers in Scientific Atlanta areas who may be using a separate external hard drive (connected via e-SATA) for additional DVR storage, that functionality is expected to continue and the existing DVR recordings should have been preserved. While not an officially supported Comcast configuration, we have extensively tested the new guide with external hard drives and the e-SATA port in our labs and in the field. Any existing external hard drives will be able to be used with the new guide for future recordings similar to how it is used today. We have had several customers also report in this blog that their existing recordings were preserved on their external hard drive.

Thanks again for your feedback and thanks for being a Comcast customer. "



This is not true in my case and apparently not in the case of this other person who wrote in and complained. Fair warning to others out there.........
post #8648 of 8998
In my area (Montpelier, Vermont), I have been working quite closely with Comcast just prior to and after the S25 guide update on March 9, 2011.

I was assured by Ted Hodgkins of Comcast Voices, a Comcast Blog, that totally functionality would continue for external hard drives after the S25 update. It is posted on the blog dated Feb. 3, 2011. I am listed on the blog as ButchSS. Ted Hodgkins directed that my local Comcast Tech Supervisor in charge of the guide update and digital bandwidth reclamation in my area contact me. He was concerned how this upgrade would affect those of us running externals and how it would affect saved programs. Needless to say, I was thrilled for the opportunity to offer some feedback to Comcast to someone who actually knew what I was talking about.

The box I was using on the day of the upgrade was a SA 8300HD. It took the upgrade and I retained most functionality with the external, bar one. The box did not like to pause live TV. Accessing recorded programs worked perfect. Not good enough. The Comcast tech brought over a Cisco RNG-200 and with it brought a complete set of different problems. Even though the Cisco recognized and formatted the external, I had freezups, random reboots, dropped audio and dialog boxes popping up stating that DVR functionality was disabled.

Back to another meeting with the Tech Supervisor. We then decided that we should next try a brand new Cisco box, and replace the esata cable just to be sure.

Today, the box finally came in. I noticed it now says Xfinity on it instead of Comcast. Two techs showed up this afternoon, took signal levels which were good. After the software downloaded and verified that I was receiving all channels, we rebooted the box with the external and it came right up, we reformatted it and as of right now it is working flawlessly. Trust me, I have given it a work out. Recording two HD channels at the same time. With the new software you can now use the old PIP swap button to swap between channels and have both channels maintain buffer. (Try that with your TIVO, LOL) I tested that by freeze framing both channels and leaving them to buffer while I watched a recorded program. FF, RW and freeze framing the recorded program repeatedly as well. Not a hiccup. Finally, my wife had enough and grabbed the remote to watch Swamp Loggers. :-)

Moral of the story. Those of you that are having difficulties, don't give up. Took me three weeks to work out all the wrinkles. To those of you that are getting feedback from your local Comcast office that all this will not work, that is bull$hit. Show them the Comcast Voices blog. Link here: http://blog.comcast.com/2010/05/new-...omment-content Post # 401-500 Answer to ButchSS (me) on Feb. 3, 2011 and ask them if Ted Hodgkins, Senior Director of Video Development is full of Sh** and doesn't know what he is talking about. I think at that point you should get some results. Good luck and PM me if anyone has any further questions.
post #8649 of 8998
A few more thoughts

One thing I noticed is that the picture quality seems a bit better on the Xfinity branded box versus the Comcast versus box as well as smoother transition to FF, RW and guide navigation. I thought at first it was just wishful thinking on my part, but my wife noticed it too.

I don't remember where I read it, but I read that there were some issues with the RNG boxes in 2009 and there was some sort of recall or update performed. It would be in everyones best interest to get the latest box with the Xfinity brand on it.

A 500 GB internal is news to me. Cisco lists a 320GB version right now as an option but my local Comcast office has no plans at the moment to offer these.
post #8650 of 8998
I am also in Albuquerque and have a SA8300HD coupled to a WD DVR Expander. I am in the exact same boat as jiujitsumaniac. I not only lost all my recordings on the external drive,the SA8300HD doesn't expand my recording capacity any more. It was all working perfectly before the SARA update. The SA8300HD still reports that the DVR Expander was correctly recognized, but the recording capacity just doesn't improve. I had Cisco RNG200s (or 150s) here last year when Comcast made the digital switch in Albuquerque, but the Ciscos were flakey and wouldn't tune in certain channels where the SA8300 would have no problems. So the techs just gave me another SA8300HD which had been fine until now. Not sure what to do next. Tivo, Moxi or just wait?

BTW, I have tried all the resets, reboot, hard reboot, and the total disconnect overnight, but no improvement. The only thing I haven't tried is the reformat.
post #8651 of 8998
Hi All,

I currently have two (2) SA 8300HD cable boxes from Time Warner Cable. During a recent TWC service call to my house, I complained to the technicians about some HD channels being intermittently and independently unavailable on each cable box. At that point, they suggested upgrading to a more recent cable box, at which point I told them that I use the 8300HD because I utilize eSATA hard drives on both cable boxes and that this was a crucial feature for me. The technicians then suggested upgrading to the Cisco 8642 or 8640 cable boxes, which they claimed worked with eSATA hard drives.

I am writing to find out what this group thinks about this suggestion.

Please advise.

Thank you!
post #8652 of 8998
You may want to check out this thread

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1219141
post #8653 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJVega View Post

I am also in Albuquerque and have a SA8300HD coupled to a WD DVR Expander. I am in the exact same boat as jiujitsumaniac. I not only lost all my recordings on the external drive,the SA8300HD doesn't expand my recording capacity any more. It was all working perfectly before the SARA update. The SA8300HD still reports that the DVR Expander was correctly recognized, but the recording capacity just doesn't improve. I had Cisco RNG200s (or 150s) here last year when Comcast made the digital switch in Albuquerque, but the Ciscos were flakey and wouldn't tune in certain channels where the SA8300 would have no problems. So the techs just gave me another SA8300HD which had been fine until now. Not sure what to do next. Tivo, Moxi or just wait?

BTW, I have tried all the resets, reboot, hard reboot, and the total disconnect overnight, but no improvement. The only thing I haven't tried is the reformat.

Fortunately for me, Comcast got me up and running with my external drive. I did some research on Tivo during the process, so I could pull the trigger on one just in case things did not work out.

Do your homework on Tivo. Great product, but not the DVR promised land as some would lead you to believe. Many have issues with the new Series 4 Premieres. Can be had for 99 bucks right now but only subscription offered is $19.99/Mo. To much IMHO

New still in the box Tivo HD (later gen Series 3) can be had on ebay for 90 bucks and are eligible for the 12.95/mo or 129 annual rates. Much better and the one I was going for. Oh, your DVR Xpander will work with it too. These also accept 1 M stream cable card to keep things simple. PM me if you want links and more info.


Today from Mr. Ted Hodgkins of Comcast Voices:


Hello Mr. Hall

The short answer is yes. For our DVR customers with a Cisco or Scientific Atlanta branded cable box who may be using a separate external hard drive (connected via e-SATA) for additional DVR storage, that functionality will continue and the existing DVR recordings will be preserved. While not an officially supported Comcast configuration, we have tested the new guide with various external hard drives and the e-SATA port in our labs and in the field. Any existing external hard drive is expected to be able to be used with the new guide for future recordings similar to how it is used today.

If you do a little digging online I am sure you can find some devices that are very compatible and how to set that up.


If your external is not working with the guide update, call your local office and ask them why. Comcast is now officially on line stating that it will work.
post #8654 of 8998
to be fair, TiVo does maintain a buffer for each tuner.
I have both a Premier & an SA8300HDC, and while the TiVo is far from perfect (I was spoiled with ReplayTV which was as close to perfect as analog got), it still runs rings around the Comcast DVR.
post #8655 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by NewPrometheus View Post

Hi All,

I currently have two (2) SA 8300HD cable boxes from Time Warner Cable. During a recent TWC service call to my house, I complained to the technicians about some HD channels being intermittently and independently unavailable on each cable box. At that point, they suggested upgrading to a more recent cable box, at which point I told them that I use the 8300HD because I utilize eSATA hard drives on both cable boxes and that this was a crucial feature for me. The technicians then suggested upgrading to the Cisco 8642 or 8640 cable boxes, which they claimed worked with eSATA hard drives.

I am writing to find out what this group thinks about this suggestion.

Please advise.

Thank you!

Seek the advise of BenJF3 >> http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/member.php?u=7635882
He is a very active member of the TWC Forums

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post20251126
post #8656 of 8998
Someone should start a new thread for the Comcast S25 IPG for SA/Cisco Equipment.
post #8657 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by Borif View Post

to be fair, TiVo does maintain a buffer for each tuner.
I have both a Premier & an SA8300HDC, and while the TiVo is far from perfect (I was spoiled with ReplayTV which was as close to perfect as analog got), it still runs rings around the Comcast DVR.

Yes, you are correct. I should have clarified. Tivo maintains a 30 minute buffer for each channel. My RNG2000 maintains a 1.5 hour buffer for each channel on S25 NOT the old SARA.

I like TIVO, certainly not bashing them in any way. Some people will think they are prefect. Nothing is perfect. I'm just too cheeep to buy one right now.
post #8658 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJVega View Post

I am also in Albuquerque and have a SA8300HD coupled to a WD DVR Expander. I am in the exact same boat as jiujitsumaniac. I not only lost all my recordings on the external drive,the SA8300HD doesn't expand my recording capacity any more. It was all working perfectly before the SARA update. The SA8300HD still reports that the DVR Expander was correctly recognized, but the recording capacity just doesn't improve. I had Cisco RNG200s (or 150s) here last year when Comcast made the digital switch in Albuquerque, but the Ciscos were flakey and wouldn't tune in certain channels where the SA8300 would have no problems. So the techs just gave me another SA8300HD which had been fine until now. Not sure what to do next. Tivo, Moxi or just wait?

BTW, I have tried all the resets, reboot, hard reboot, and the total disconnect overnight, but no improvement. The only thing I haven't tried is the reformat.

MJ,

Any luck on finding a solution? I received a reply from comcast suggesting I reformat my external drive - but i tried hooking it up to 3 different computers with no luck - none of them would recognize it as a formattable drive. I think the "guide" update fried it.
post #8659 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiujitsumaniac View Post

MJ,

Any luck on finding a solution? I received a reply from comcast suggesting I reformat my external drive - but i tried hooking it up to 3 different computers with no luck - none of them would recognize it as a formattable drive. I think the "guide" update fried it.

Here are my Instructions on how to reformat (using windows) an already DVR formatted HDD:
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post18414497

After initializing and reformatting, use Windows or other utility to run a Scan Disk or Check Disk to look for and correct any bad sectors.

Hope it helps, any questions, just ask.
post #8660 of 8998
If you follow those instructions, it takes a loooooong time. I've found that if you start the initialization process then abort if after a couple of minutes, that's enough to cause the DVR to want to do a reformat when you attach it. Of course, if you suspect physical problems with your disk, you may want to run a full initialization. In any case, I doubt that doing a Windows format would be useful as the DVR is going to ignore it and use it's own format scheme.
post #8661 of 8998
Disk Initialization takes just a few seconds.
A Quick Format takes just a few minutes for a 1TB HDD.

A full Check Disk could take an hour or more.
post #8662 of 8998
I guess I was thinking of the format step. When I had to do it, I recall being given the advice to not wait for the full procedure because the information that the DVR looks for to trigger it to format the disk is cleared out early in the process. I didn't think you could do a quick format on disk that has been reinitialized.
post #8663 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiujitsumaniac View Post

MJ,

Any luck on finding a solution? I received a reply from comcast suggesting I reformat my external drive - but i tried hooking it up to 3 different computers with no luck - none of them would recognize it as a formattable drive. I think the "guide" update fried it.

Well, I am having interesting problems, jiujitsumaniac. My DVR Expander is connected after finally doing a full SA8300HD reformat (but not the DVR EXpander). Again the SA said the DVR Expander was correctly connected. After a 1hour HD recording, my % capacity went from 0% to 43% (!), and it was the only recording on the SA8300. I watched the recording and deleted it and the % went correctly to 0% filled.

So I recorded another 1 hour show in HD and again back to 43% filled. So then I recorded more movies and shows, all in HD. the % used never went above 50%, so I am still not sure if the DVR Expander is really active or not. Clearly the % capacity reading is not correct, both in going to 43% after one 60 minute recording, then by not changing much after another 8-10 hours of HD recordings.

I am on a Mac, so I can't use the method suggested to try to reformat the e-SATA My DVR Expander hard drive. If I recall correctly, the DVR Expander /SA8300HD combo was at 43% capacity with 20-40+ hours of HD recordings when Comcast pushed the SARA update and I lost all the recordings. It may be a coincidence that the My DVR wants to immediately show 43% capacity with whatever I first put on it, or... not. I don't know.

I think if I could reformat the My DVR Expander hard drive, it just might fix the problem.
post #8664 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJVega View Post
Well, I am having interesting problems, jiujitsumaniac. My DVR Expander is connected after finally doing a full SA8300HD reformat (but not the DVR EXpander). Again the SA said the DVR Expander was correctly connected. After a 1hour HD recording, my % capacity went from 0% to 43% (!), and it was the only recording on the SA8300. I watched the recording and deleted it and the % went correctly to 0% filled.

So I recorded another 1 hour show in HD and again back to 43% filled. So then I recorded more movies and shows, all in HD. the % used never went above 50%, so I am still not sure if the DVR Expander is really active or not. Clearly the % capacity reading is not correct, both in going to 43% after one 60 minute recording, then by not changing much after another 8-10 hours of HD recordings.

I am on a Mac, so I can't use the method suggested to try to reformat the e-SATA My DVR Expander hard drive. If I recall correctly, the DVR Expander /SA8300HD combo was at 43% capacity with 20-40+ hours of HD recordings when Comcast pushed the SARA update and I lost all the recordings. It may be a coincidence that the My DVR wants to immediately show 43% capacity with whatever I first put on it, or... not. I don't know.

I think if I could reformat the My DVR Expander hard drive, it just might fix the problem.
Just find a friend, neighbor, relative that has a PC, with an eSATA port.
post #8665 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by MJVega View Post

Well, I am having interesting problems, jiujitsumaniac. My DVR Expander is connected after finally doing a full SA8300HD reformat (but not the DVR EXpander). Again the SA said the DVR Expander was correctly connected. After a 1hour HD recording, my % capacity went from 0% to 43% (!), and it was the only recording on the SA8300. I watched the recording and deleted it and the % went correctly to 0% filled..... I think it may be my DVR expander........

The bad news - i am having the same exact issues you are post reformat and full disk check (all checked out 100% good). It is not your expander unit - i am running a WD black 1tb with the same results.

I called comcast - they are sending me a new box. stay tuned.

Update: Getting frustrated - Comcast said I would have my box by Weds - no show - then Thursday they said they would overnight another one - now, end of day Saturday and I still don't have a new DVR box. Trying to be patient....
post #8666 of 8998
[quote=jiujitsumaniac

Update: Getting frustrated - Comcast said I would have my box by Weds - no show - then Thursday they said they would overnight another one - now, end of day Saturday and I still don't have a new DVR box. Trying to be patient....[/QUOTE]

Which box are you waiting on? SA8300HD or Cisco RNG200 (I checked my receipts and this is what I tried before going back to the SA).
post #8667 of 8998
8300hd
post #8668 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by jiujitsumaniac View Post

8300hd

Good luck. I do not believe Cisco makes those anymore. I hope you get a better refurb than I did. Piece of crap, got into an endless loop of rebooting trying to get the new guide. That's when Comcast & I decided it was a brandy new RNG-200 or nothing.
post #8669 of 8998
The HDMI port/jack on my 8300HD cable box is so sloppy-loose, I can't get it to work consistently. If I jiggle the HDMI cable just right, I get a signal on my TV, but once I move my fingers it stops working. I ended up connecting the box using component cables.

I'm thinking about trading-in my cable box and getting a new one. Is this a common problem with this box? Are people here able to make solid HDMI connections with their 8300HD? [And, BTW, I used three different HDMI cables and two different TVs, so the problem is definitely the cable box).]
post #8670 of 8998
Quote:
Originally Posted by deanbrew View Post

The HDMI port/jack on my 8300HD cable box is so sloppy-loose, I can't get it to work consistently. If I jiggle the HDMI cable just right, I get a signal on my TV, but once I move my fingers it stops working. I ended up connecting the box using component cables.

I'm thinking about trading-in my cable box and getting a new one. Is this a common problem with this box? Are people here able to make solid HDMI connections with their 8300HD? [And, BTW, I used three different HDMI cables and two different TVs, so the problem is definitely the cable box).]

I have a similar problem with my 8300HD. In my case I think that one of the soldered pin contacts is flakey rather than the problem being a loose port fit. Fortunately the component cable works just as well.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Recorders
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › 8300HD and External SATA - It Works!!