Friday, February 04, 2011

Expanding Directv DVR storage

Late last year,  I switched to Directv.  I've been very pleased with the quality of the service, ease of use and low cost.  However, the 500GB hard drive was filling up fast and affecting the performance of the service (e.g. slow to change channels).   Based on advice on the web, I upgraded to a larger hard drive.

I previously had Dish Network and it allowed me to connect an external USB hard drive, for a $40 fee, and expand the capacity.  Directv works a bit differently:


  • USB hard drives are not supported.   Only eSATA drives are supported
  • When you connect a new eSATA drive, the internal drive won't be visible anymore.  You should watch any unwatched shows before connecting the new hard drive since you'll be starting with a clean slate.  You can, however, unplug the eSATA external drive, reboot the box and then you can play programs you had recorded before
  • You lose your program guide settings (e.g. custom lists) when you attach a new drive
I purchased a Fantom 2TB GreenDrive from Buy.com for $85 shipped after a $15 mail in rebate.  To connect it, I turned off the Directv box, connected the drive, turned on the Directv box and after a few minutes of formating the drive, I was up and running - quick and easy.

2 comments:

James Lam said...

Is that Fantom drive still doing its job with your DirecTV setup?

Chris Pepin said...

Still working great. Plenty of storage for all my HD recordings