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eSATA - Has been enabled, but....


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#1 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:07 AM

First question: Why isn't this in the release notes?

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
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

DIRECTV employee since April 2008.
All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

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#2 OFFLINE   PoitNarf

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:11 AM

Didn't expect this so soon at all. Gonna be very interesting to see the experiences people are going to have playing around with it.

#3 OFFLINE   911medic

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:16 AM

Cool! I vote "sticky" on this one, too!!!

Current Hardware:
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#4 OFFLINE   spidey

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:18 AM

the feature I REALLY desire is the ability to transfer a recorded program from one HR20 to be played on another in my house. This way I dont need to dual record but until the disappearing recordings is totally fixed it may be a way of life

#5 OFFLINE   911medic

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:20 AM

Cool! I vote "sticky" on this one, too!!!

:D

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#6 OFFLINE   PoitNarf

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:21 AM

the feature I REALLY desire is the ability to transfer a recorded program from one HR20 to be played on another in my house. This way I dont need to dual record but until the disappearing recordings is totally fixed it may be a way of life


I'm sure we'll see if it's possible to transport an external drive from one HR20 to another and try to play the same content stored on that hard drive on both HR20s before the end of the day :D

Who's gonna try it?

#7 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:22 AM

I'm sure we'll see if it's possible to transport an external drive from one HR20 to another and try to play the same content stored on that hard drive on both HR20s before the end of the day :D

Who's gonna try it?


I can tell ya know... it isn't going to work.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#8 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:35 AM

Okay... I was corrected by my DirecTV contacts (after they saw the thread).
I had a mis-interpretation from our phone converstation yesterday...

When adding an external drive, DirecTV will use some of the space... the same amount they use on the 300gb drive now 50gb~100gb.

So if you add a 1TB drive, 900gb is for user recordings, 100gb is for DirecTV pushes. 21TB enclosure; 20,900gb for user recordings, 100gb is for DirecTV...

ShapeGSX and PoitNarf... I deleted our threads discussing that, since the basis of the discussion was wrong, and I didn't want to confuse future readers.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#9 OFFLINE   Ed Campbell

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:36 AM

Ditto on sticky.

Tell 'em to turn the ethernet port on! Tee hee. !Devil_lol

#10 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:42 AM

Very nice. If only I had an eSata drive to test. :)

One question though: I assume even though it would use the external drive as primary all your series links and other settings are retained?

Also I assume you'd want to power down to unplug it and then the HR20 goes back to using the internal drive as normal?

#11 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:50 AM

Very nice. If only I had an eSata drive to test. :)

One question though: I assume even though it would use the external drive as primary all your series links and other settings are retained?

Also I assume you'd want to power down to unplug it and then the HR20 goes back to using the internal drive as normal?



I just edited the original post... well a few minutes ago.

1) Yes, you will have to have the unit unplugged when adding and removing the eSATA drives
2) No, it doesn't retain your series links and other settings, it is like starting with a blank system.
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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#12 OFFLINE   PoitNarf

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:51 AM

Okay... I was corrected by my DirecTV contacts (after they saw the thread).
I had a mis-interpretation from our phone converstation yesterday...

When adding an external drive, DirecTV will use some of the space... the same amount they use on the 300gb drive now 50gb~100gb.

So if you add a 1TB drive, 900gb is for user recordings, 100gb is for DirecTV pushes. 21TB enclosure; 20,900gb for user recordings, 100gb is for DirecTV...

ShapeGSX and PoitNarf... I deleted our threads discussing that, since the basis of the discussion was wrong, and I didn't want to confuse future readers.


Gotcha, no biggie. At least spell my name right next time :D

#13 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:53 AM

Gotcha, no biggie. At least spell my name right next time :D


Huh? I don't know what you are talking about there.... I spelt it right...

Right after you pointed it out to me, and I edited both mine and your osts.... :D
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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#14 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 08:58 AM

A request.... if you connect an eSATA device... please post your results here...

List the make/model/size of your eSATA device.
Especially if you built it your self (purchased an enclosure, and add a drive).

If anyone out there has endless amounts of money... I am curious to see if this bad boy will work:
http://www.rad-direc...-RAID-Array.htm
Earl - Gotta Love Karma

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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#15 OFFLINE   cuibap

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:15 AM

I don't think eSATA is needed right now. Instead, what I really really want to see is to be able to network HR20 boxes together and the ability to view recording on each other. This is going to be Tivo killer feature and will differentiate DirectTV from the rest of the crowd...

After this is done, then eSATA will be next, of course I want to see to ability to add eSATA drive as the 2nd storage space, not a replacement.

#16 OFFLINE   bonscott87

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:17 AM

2) No, it doesn't retain your series links and other settings, it is like starting with a blank system.


Hmmmm. While it makes sense to retain series link capabilities and such across drives this method instead does provide some interesting options. Such as having a "baseball" drive for recording games or an "olympics" drive. Only problem is recordings like that are usually mixed in with regular stuff.

Anyway, those kinds of things are in the future, perhaps months from now, when they can get back to the eSata drive. I like the fact that they at least enabled it and allowing techies to play with it and come up with ideas for them to work on in their "spare" time. :D

#17 OFFLINE   Rob55

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:18 AM

Since an eSATA drive will become the primary drive when connected and the internal drive will not be used, is there a way to power down the internal drive? It generates a fair amount of heat and it would be nice to shut it down when using an eSATA drive.

#18 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:19 AM

Since an eSATA drive will become the primary drive when connected and the internal drive will not be used, is there a way to power down the internal drive? It generates a fair amount of heat and it would be nice to shut it down when using an eSATA drive.


I don't think there is a software way to do it......
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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#19 OFFLINE   YankeeFan

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:19 AM

Does it format the drive EVERY time you connect it? I like bonscott87's idea of having a drive for different types of programs....


HR20-700 --> HDMI --> Mitsubishi HD1000U DLP PJ (1 TB eSATA RAID)
HR20-700 HDMI --> DVI --> Toshiba 57HX93 RPTV
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#20 OFFLINE   YankeeFan

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:20 AM

One more question. Is the E-SATA controller limited to 1.5GB/s or can it handle a 3GB/s?


HR20-700 --> HDMI --> Mitsubishi HD1000U DLP PJ (1 TB eSATA RAID)
HR20-700 HDMI --> DVI --> Toshiba 57HX93 RPTV
Philips DirecTivo --> S-Video --> Toshiba 57HX93 RPTV
Philips DirecTivo --> S-Video --> Samsung 20" LCD

AT-9 Dish
Zinwell WB68 6x8 Multi-Switch

#21 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 09:20 AM

Does it format the drive EVERY time you connect it? I like bonscott87's idea of having a drive for different types of programs....


From what I have been told... it will look at the disk first... see if it is already formated... and only format if necessary
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All comments are my own. Unless specifically stated, my views do NOT represent the views of DIRECTV

#22 OFFLINE   DVRaholic

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:15 AM

Thanks Earl, so happens I'm getting my second HR20-700 installed today.
So after it downloads the new software, and since the internal drive has no recordings, I'm going to hook up the eSata.

I have a 500GB MaxtorQuickview Hardrive just waiting to be hooked up.
I estimate since the 300GB gets 50 Hrs MPEG-4 then my 500GB should get me a bit over 80 hrs MPEG-4.

I already have a enclosure but I cant remember where I got it online
I was using it for over a year with my Explorer 8300HD with no problems, so it should work just fine with the HR20!!

I cant wait to give this a try....

I will keep you posted


One more thing Earl,
If I did have recordings on the internal Drive Could I watch them If the External was Disconnected ????

Thanks
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#23 OFFLINE   rkester

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:19 AM

Interesting. Anyone actually tried it yet? :) (curious why this was chosen to be implimented before the OTA activation)

#24 OFFLINE   Earl Bonovich

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:21 AM

One more thing Earl,
If I did have recordings on the internal Drive Could I watch them If the External was Disconnected ????


I don't know... give it a try.
Quickly record one item before rebooting with the eSATA connected.
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#25 OFFLINE   carlsbad_bolt_fan

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Posted 04 October 2006 - 10:21 AM

A request.... if you connect an eSATA device... please post your results here...

List the make/model/size of your eSATA device.
Especially if you built it your self (purchased an enclosure, and add a drive).

If anyone out there has endless amounts of money... I am curious to see if this bad boy will work:
http://www.rad-direc...-RAID-Array.htm


Ah! Now I see where you got the "21Tb" number in your previous posts. :D

I've got 2 Seagate 400gb SATA drives I bought from the local Fry's. They had a Labor Day sale, each was $99. I might try this if I can find an enclosure that will hold both drives and do RAID 0.




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