I've been playing around with the hard drive in my DCH3416 and decided to hook up an external drive via the eSATA port on the back. The port is active and a message appeared on the screen that said "The use of external drives is not authorized with your account. Please disconnect the external drive and contact your provider. Alert 08"
I've always read that the port is inactive in the US, so I was surprised to see anything occur at all. I may call Comcast (SF Bay area) and see if they can authorize my drive. I've read that Shaw cable in Canada allows external drives and they have to get the serial number of the drive and authorize it before it is usable.
I understand that it's a long shot and that Comcast likely has an iron-clad policy refusing to support any external drives, but I figure it can't hurt to ask.
Here's a screenshot of the message:eSATA_Not_Authorized.jpg
BTW, I've done some reading on other websites and discovered how it is that some eBay auctions have 1 TB hard drives pre-formatted to work inside the 34xx and 64xx: These people are in an area that allows eSATA external drives and they merely format the drive externally via eSATA and then sell it. The formatted drives can be up to 1TB in size and they will work as either internal or external drives so long as the DVR's firmware isn't ancient (of course, if you're in an area that doesn't allow any external drives, your only choice is to use it as the internal drive).
I find that a little disappointing, as I was hoping somebody really clever had found a good way to read the IBM GPFS filesystem and extend the partition size. But I'm thinking that's a lot more unlikely, being that GPFS is not freely available and is rather esoteric. It's way more likely that someone merely did the eSATA format on one drive and then dd'd that formatted drive till the cows came home (a far less impressive feat, but still one that is beyond my grasp unless Comcast allows external drives).
Anyways, if anyone has any thoughts, I'm all ears.