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Accessing Internal and External HD at the time (future plans?)

Discussion in 'DIRECTV HD DVR/Receiver Discussion' started by Bambler, Dec 1, 2009.

  1. Dec 1, 2009 #1 of 33
    Bambler

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    I tried to search, but wasn't very successful so I apologize if this has been answered many times before.

    I know it's not possible now, but does anyone know if anything is in the works at DirecTV that will allow us to watch programming from both the internal and external HD at the same time, without having to go through the tedious reboot and disconnect steps? Is it even possible considering the hardware setup of their system (which I have no idea how it works).

    I have a lot of programming on the internal HD that I would like to watch that, unfortunately, hasn't been aired since I switched to the external HD.

    Thanks in advance.
     
  2. Dec 1, 2009 #2 of 33
    jdspencer

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  3. Dec 1, 2009 #3 of 33
    CJTE

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    Currently the systems are designed that if there is an external connection present, it completely bypasses the internal connection.

    EX:
    If you're familiar with PCI USB cards, you'll notice some have a USB slot for inside the machine, as well as a header for use with built-in-to-the-case USB ports. You can't use them both at the same time. One cancels out the other.

    Is it possible?
    Yes. With a future firmware update, DirecTV could update the firmware on the internal SATA controller for it to seperately recognize each drive. However at the present time that would probably cause people alot of chaos because they're already used to having everything setup on one drive of the other.

    Is it probable?
    No. One reason being storage management. When things are recorded to the drive, they're not always recorded in a striaght line, they're placed where-ever they can fit (which is why you defrag the hard drive on your computer, to put things back into a somewhat straight line). What if half your show was stored on the internal hard drive, and the other half was stored on the external hard drive, then one crashed? Now you lost the show.
    There are ways to prevent (not as a customer, but as a software developer), but it's not entirely convenient.
    Another reason being the "hacker" mentality. If DirecTV allowed someone to access both drives, they *may* be able to find a way to pull shows off the internal drive, onto the external drive, and then later be accessed off the receiver (from the external hard drive.) This is also extremely improbable, but not impossible.

    Currently the Hard Drives are locked to the Receiver ID, internal and external. If you connect it to a different receiver, it reformats.
    They may have to negate this security feature in order to let both the drives speak with eachother, which would lead to what I mentioned above.

    Could DirecTV allow us to access both drives?
    Absolutely

    Will DirecTV allow us to access both drives?
    Quite improbable.
     
  4. Dec 1, 2009 #4 of 33
    Bambler

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    Thanks for the detailed response!

    I hope they can overcome some of the technical and other difficulties you mentioned and allow it in the future.
     
  5. Dec 1, 2009 #5 of 33
    Doug Brott

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    Don't look for this on the HR2x receivers .. As it is, the eSATA is not technically a supported feature anyway.
     
  6. Dec 1, 2009 #6 of 33
    CCarncross

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    Can this even be done under any OS currently say using a PC running some version of nix? Wouldnt there have to be some JBOD or RAID involved to make it work? Most home PC's cant even do this as far as I know.
     
  7. Dec 1, 2009 #7 of 33
    Doug Brott

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    Linux has ways to do a software RAID ..
     
  8. Dec 2, 2009 #8 of 33
    CJTE

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    Can you explain to me what was asked here?

    If yer is asking if multiple local hard drives can be accessed within an operating system then, yes... internal/external/network drives can be accessed simultaneously.

    If yer asking if multiple hard drives can be shown as 1 drive then yes, that can also be done via RAID configuration. With a little auto-detect work the DirecTV receivers could do it, but not without having to rebuild the RAID array everytime something changes...
    It would essentially be RAID 5...
     
  9. Dec 2, 2009 #9 of 33
    CCarncross

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    So there is currently a way to take a SATA controller, with an internal AND external port, and allow the OS to combine 2 drives in either JBOD or RAID fashion? I understand if this was doable that to "combine" the drives into one virtual drive it would have to wipe out the data to create one large volume, but I still dont think I've ever seen a SATA card or SATA controller capable of doing that on the PC side, let alone having it built-in to our DVR's. Thats what I was trying to say. I know there are SCSI controllers and IDE controllers with software RAID/JBOD that could do it, but it still is rare and requires special chipsets to handle the array config....
     
  10. GregLee

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    It can't be all that terribly difficult, since several years ago when I had TWC, I could use both the internal drive on their Explorer 8500 DVR and the external drive I added to it. I never myself had a drive failure or the occasion to replace the external drive, but other users reported that the Explorer handled that situation gracefully.
     
  11. Stuart Sweet

    Stuart Sweet The Shadow Knows!

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    As an old friend of mine used to say, there are two possibilities: Slim and None, and Slim is on his way out the door.
     
  12. Doug Brott

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    I can get on board with this comment ..
     
  13. GregLee

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    Linux software RAID combines any block devices, possibly of mixed types, to build a virtual RAID device. SATA, IDE, SCSI, whatever. It doesn't work at the controller level. But I don't see why one would think of RAID just to make two disk devices accessible. Just mount the second disk.
     
  14. gully_foyle

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    Another reason why it won't happen is that it results in decreased reliability.

    Since things get really complicated if your DVR has more than one volume, the two drives would have to be joined in a RAID as a single volume. Problem comes up when one of them fails: the entire volume dies. Two drives doubles the chance of this.
     
  15. harsh

    harsh Beware the Attack Basset

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    It is entirely possible to accomplish access to all capacity without having to RAID the two drives together. Most of the DVRs that currently support recording to multiple drives take this approach. When they run out of room on one drive, they move on to the next.

    I despise the apologist attitude that you shouldn't hope for something just because DIRECTV hasn't been able to make it work or that some contract that they entered into prohibits it. If it is important enough, a way can be found.
     
  16. Doug Brott

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    Interesting concept .. still won't happen, and this is not an apologist attitude.
     
  17. Richierich

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    It would be Nice if they would use the User's Account Number rather than the Receiver ID so when they write the header on the recording it would contain the User Account Number and if your DVR failed you could just unplug your eSATA drive and replace the DVR and plug in the eSATA Drive and you would be back in business without losing any recordings.

    Will it happen? I doubt it but we keep mentioning it hoping that Directv one day might implement this idea.
     
  18. Lee L

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    Does this include the next HDDVR, the one that supports the TiVo software? Since current standalone TiVo does use both drives. (though as others pointed out it does double your chance of problems also due to srive failure.)
     
  19. Doug Brott

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    :shrug: I don't have one so I cannot say for certain, but maybe.
     
  20. Starchy77

    Starchy77 Godfather

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    +1

    This would also allow us to take a drive from our living room and watch a show in the bedroom, kitchen, etc. - This is on my wishlist! (Is it on the official one???)
     

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