eSATA right now is an unsupported and undocumented add-on right now.
Think of similar to Microsofts Power Tools.... DirecTV has enabled the eSATA port, but it is not an official feature of the box.
Here are the details:
- eSATA is a complete replacement for the internal drive. By that I mean, the system will only use 1 drive at a time. So if you connect an eSATA drive, it will not use the internal drive
- eSATA has only had minimal testing with eSATA devices out there. DirecTV did not test an extensive list of eSATA drives and enclosures to see what will work and what won't
- When you connected an eSATA drive, you need to do so when the unit is powered off (UNPLUGGED). When starting up, the HR20 will detect the eSATA drive, format as necessary, and then use that drive only. Edited from original post
- After initilization, the unit will be blank... you will have to re-enter your SL, favorites, ect.....
- DirecTV will NOT increase their designed usage space for recordings. (these numbers are estimates)If if you add a 500gb drive; 400gb will be for user space, 100gb for DirecTV. If you had 21TB; 20,900gb for user space, 100gb for DirecTV Edited from original post
- Recordings are TIED to the unit that it was connected to. So you can't record on an eSATA drive on one HR20 and take it to another
- Future software updates may update the file structure on the hard drive, so it is possible that your internal drive (over a long period of time) will be out of sync with the software version on the flash chip. If this does occur (file structure change), and you need to go back to the internal drive, you will need to do a format of the original hard drive (there is a method to do it from the front panel)
- Right now... eSATA is to be used at User's Risk. DirecTV CSR are not going to get training on the eSATA connections until it becomes and official features
- Right now... there is no method to move recordings from the internal drive to an external drive... however, they are investigating to possible to do this with the initial format of the drive on startup (clone the drive instead of just a blank format), but no ETA on when/if it will be available.
Those are the details I have on the eSATA connection.
DirecTV has enabled this feature for the "techies" and those that really want the larger storage options. At a later time, they will re-visit the eSATA features, however this was a "quick hit". Most of the other ideas that we have thrown around here on the forums (using it as an archive drive, expanding the storage ... using more then one drive, using it on multiple systems, ect....) Will take a while to code... and they have other items (like OTA, Networking, Dual Buffers) higher in the priority list.
Note: The added drive needs to be larger then 300gb