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· AllStar
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I thread-hijacked someone else's "Plugged in my new eSATA disk and it didn't work" thread which is rude, so I'm posting this separately.

I recently read the "2 year review" post here on DBSTalk, and it got me thinking about the eSATA "support" and why there aren't any migration tools available yet.

I have a Venus DS3DR Pro RAID1 external eSATA enclosure with two 1 TB WD Green drives sitting in it, just raring to go. I've had it for over a week now.

But meanwhile, my existing 320 GB internal is 85% full, and I don't see myself watching all that content any time soon so that I can drain it down to 0% and make the switchover.

Plus, some of that content is stuff I don't want to erase! (Federer-Nadal Wimbledon 2008 anyone, hello!)

Yes, yes, I know - I could hook it up now and then disconnect it if I wanted to go watch that old existing content, and then reset/power-cycle/reconnect the eSATA. To me, that's just silly. (Not to mention risky - I'd prefer to keep the total number of resets and power-cycles down to a minimum.)

I have 3 times the storage and it's "safe" in RAID1. I don't want to go back and forth, I want to move the stuff off the internal and onto the eSATA, period. But there's no migration capability in the HRs to do this with.

Putting a port on a consumer device and maintaining after 2 years that it's "just there" and is not fully supported is ludicrous. Support the hardware you ship, or pull the port off of successive generations of the hardware if you aren't going to support it. :nono2:

The only way I've seen (here on DBSTalk) to migrate the internal drive's recordings to the external eSATA is to have a desktop PC with room for 2 internal SATA disks, with a SATA data cable & power cable available to the HR's internal drive (either by stretching to reach the HR or taking out the drive entirely from the HR, which voids the warranty and is not advisable).

Well, that doesn't work too well for those of us with a Mac laptop, now does it? :mad:

As of now, the eSATA port is nothing more than a giant toggle power switch.

I know enough about Linux (I am a Systems Programmer and admin over 100 Linux boxes daily) to know that combining the internal drive with the eSATA into one mondo volume isn't really feasible (especially when you have Real-Time latency requirements for filesystem performance), but the fact that there are no migration tools at all at the 2 year mark is absurd.

You get your HR. You fill it up. You need more capacity. But you don't want to give up your existing recordings.

So you plug in a new, fresh eSATA drive. What should happen then? No on-screen feedback at all??? :eek2:

Why not something like this?

"New external drive detected. Initialize? [Yes] [No] [Ignore]" (in a pull-down menu)
"Initializing..."
"Initialization complete. Migrate recordings to external drive? [Yes] [No]"
"Migrating recordings. Please wait..."
"Migration complete. Restarting..."

(and it either resets again, or gets to the "Step one of two" screen and continues)

We all know that the internal drive is formatted into 3 partitions, and the 3rd one contains the "raw" recordings on a Linux XFS partition. (Right?)

How hard would it be for D* to initialize the external eSATA as a single partition (XFS volume) and provide a means to move all the recordings over to it, and use that as the partition (instead of the 3rd one on the internal) from that point onwards? :confused:
 

· The Shadow Knows!
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36,634 Posts
It's not a bad idea, and it is something we've been asking for, for about two years. However, I don't think it's in the planning stages right now.
 

· Icon
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Riot Nrrrd™ said:
How hard would it be for D* to initialize the external eSATA as a single partition (XFS volume) and provide a means to move all the recordings over to it, and use that as the partition (instead of the 3rd one on the internal) from that point onwards? :confused:
I've said this for a long time (or something like it). The best option (from a user, not an engineer's perspective), IMO, is to let the external and internal 'co-exist'. If 100GB is reserved for DirecTV use, the remainder of the internal drive, and all of an external drive, should be available for user recordings.

The next best option would be the one you described and I quoted above.

The "least best" ;) would be just the "migration" of internal to external you described elsewhere - before turning the internal drive "off".

All are better in varying degrees than the current state of affairs.

And if you're talking "wish list" pie-in-the-sky type stuff, external drives should have a "DirecTV account" identifier - so that within the same account, a drive can be moved to any DVR listed on the account. Probably won't happen - and maybe the need for something like this will be mitigated by MRV (when and if it happens)..... ;)
 

· Godfather
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308 Posts
dbmaven said:
And if you're talking "wish list" pie-in-the-sky type stuff, external drives should have a "DirecTV account" identifier - so that within the same account, a drive can be moved to any DVR listed on the account. Probably won't happen - and maybe the need for something like this will be mitigated by MRV (when and if it happens)..... ;)
This would be especially useful if you need to replace the DVR for any reason.

It would also be good to be able to migrate data from one external drive to another, for those of us who might like to go to a bigger drive, or just to change to a new drive before an old drive goes out.
 

· Premium Member
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36,659 Posts
Riot Nrrrd™ said:
I thread-hijacked someone else's "Plugged in my new eSATA disk and it didn't work" thread which is rude, so I'm posting this separately.

I recently read the "2 year review" post here on DBSTalk, and it got me thinking about the eSATA "support" and why there aren't any migration tools available yet.
The best suggestion we've come up with is to have all eSATAs and SATAs within an account work with any 20/21 on that account. That would not solve your "migration" problem, but at least you would be able to put the internal drive in another 20/21 and still be able to see the recordings.

I've started two threads about this over the last bunch of months and have pretty much come to the conclusion that the only people who care are those that have a 20/21 fail and can't access their recordings from their eSATAs. In other words, a catastrophic occurrence must take place before anyone wakes up and acknowledges this problem.

Maybe they will listen to you. They sure didn't listen to me.

Rich
 

· AllStar
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
rich584 said:
The best suggestion we've come up with is to have all eSATAs and SATAs within an account work with any 20/21 on that account. That would not solve your "migration" problem, but at least you would be able to put the internal drive in another 20/21 and still be able to see the recordings.
Well, I'm a single (old) guy who only has the need for one single HR21, so that won't help me too much :)

I doubt I'll get listened to much, either. From a Linux weenie standpoint I can understand why trying to use both internal and external from a spanning viewpoint is too hard; but not having any migration capabilities (either keeping the swap and OS partitions intact on the internal and simply switching from using partition 3 for recorded storage to the entire disk on the eSATA, or by migrating all 3 partitions to the eSATA and turning the internal into a non-operational paperweight) just blows my mind.

I expect that sort of thing from, say, Network Media Player vendors (whose products often seem like they are in "perma-beta" state). But not from DirecTV.

Arrrgh.
 

· Premium Member
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Riot Nrrrd™ said:
Well, I'm a single (old) guy who only has the need for one single HR21, so that won't help me too much :)

I doubt I'll get listened to much, either. From a Linux weenie standpoint I can understand why trying to use both internal and external from a spanning viewpoint is too hard; but not having any migration capabilities (either keeping the swap and OS partitions intact on the internal and simply switching from using partition 3 for recorded storage to the entire disk on the eSATA, or by migrating all 3 partitions to the eSATA and turning the internal into a non-operational paperweight) just blows my mind.

I expect that sort of thing from, say, Network Media Player vendors (whose products often seem like they are in "perma-beta" state). But not from DirecTV.

Arrrgh.
Don't know how long you've been with D*, but logic rarely prevails. As for the internal drive's inability to migrate to a larger drive, I think that most people start off with larger drives now. Makes migration of data kinda moot.

Rich
 

· Legend
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144 Posts
The option that Dish Network has for their DVRs is better than the implementation that DirecTV has.

They support any USB drive connected to the HD DVR. You pay a one time fee per account ($39.99) to activate the capability. You can move recordings from the internal drive to the external drive, move them back or even play them on the external drive.

It also allows mutliple HDs for archival storage and they can be connected to multiple receivers on an account.

I agree - the encryption should be account based not DVR based. That would be the best of all worlds.

From the Dish FAQ:

How many receivers can the external hard drive be connected to?
As long as the external hard drive authorization is on the account, the external hard drive can be transferred an unlimited amount of times between the receivers that are active on the account.

How many times can a recording be transferred between the receiver and the external hard drive?
If the recording does not have Copy Protection, there is no limit to the number of times a recording can be transferred between the receiver and the external hard drive. If the recording has Copy Protection, the number of times the recording can be transferred is limited, depending on the rules for the recording

Can the recordings on the external hard drive be accessed from TV2?
The external HDD can play back only one event at a time. That event's playback can be controlled from the TV1 or the TV2 location, but not from both at once. That is true in both single and dual modes.

Can the external hard drive be used between the computer and the receiver?
No. The computer and receiver will prompt to reformat the hard drive when connected from the receiver to a computer and from a computer to the receiver. Dedicate an external hard drive specifically to the receiver as all data will be lost if reformatted

Can recordings be played back directly from the external hard drive?
Yes. In the Manage Device menu, select Play to play recorded events from the external hard drive.
 

· AllStar
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #10 ·
davidjplatt said:
From the Dish FAQ:

How many receivers can the external hard drive be connected to?
As long as the external hard drive authorization is on the account, the external hard drive can be transferred an unlimited amount of times between the receivers that are active on the account.

How many times can a recording be transferred between the receiver and the external hard drive?
If the recording does not have Copy Protection, there is no limit to the number of times a recording can be transferred between the receiver and the external hard drive. If the recording has Copy Protection, the number of times the recording can be transferred is limited, depending on the rules for the recording

Can the recordings on the external hard drive be accessed from TV2?
The external HDD can play back only one event at a time. That event's playback can be controlled from the TV1 or the TV2 location, but not from both at once. That is true in both single and dual modes.

Can the external hard drive be used between the computer and the receiver?
No. The computer and receiver will prompt to reformat the hard drive when connected from the receiver to a computer and from a computer to the receiver. Dedicate an external hard drive specifically to the receiver as all data will be lost if reformatted.

Can recordings be played back directly from the external hard drive?
Yes. In the Manage Device menu, select Play to play recorded events from the external hard drive.
Wow. That sure sounds a lot better than the bone DirecTV has thrown us.

Well, I guess I'm getting nowhere. I was hoping DirecTV had lurkers on this board and they'd be tempted by this thread's Subject line, but I'm not going to hold my breath for any satisfaction anytime soon. :rolleyes:
 

· Hall Of Fame
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1,886 Posts
I wholeheartedly support this requested feature set.

However, there are other things much more important to me like MRV, media share, MRV, more MRV... you get the idea.

The fact that any external (or internal for that matter) drive is tied to a specific DVR is still a strong detractor to setting up any large-scale storage device.
 

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Riot Nrrrd™ said:
Well, I guess I'm getting nowhere. I was hoping DirecTV had lurkers on this board and they'd be tempted by this thread's Subject line, but I'm not going to hold my breath for any satisfaction anytime soon. :rolleyes:
DirecTV does monitor this site. Don't get your hopes up for something anytime soon, but if enough people indicate an interest, eventually this will become a priority item. Right now, it's probably not - I'd guess MRV and some other things are up at the top of the list. Patience......
 

· Premium Member
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Riot Nrrrd™ said:
I thread-hijacked someone else's "Plugged in my new eSATA disk and it didn't work" thread which is rude, so I'm posting this separately.
I had hoped for a better response too. Shame that nobody cares until they lose their recordings. And yet, a thread like "What are your thoughts on DLBs?" has a bzillion hits. And now people want MRV. Two concepts that nobody needs or has much use for.

This is like saying you don't need auto insurance because you're not gonna get into an accident. I feel really bad for the people who only have one or two 20/21s with eSATAs. All the programs on those eSATAs are going to be lost if the DVRs they are attached to go South.

This is an issue that we all should be concerned with. This is NOT "bells and whistles". Happened to me several times. DVR goes bad, you start all over again. And they do go bad.

Rich
 

· AllStar
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65 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
RunnerFL said:
Wow, and you waited a whole 19 hours after your initial post to decide that your post was getting nowhere?

And I thought I was impatient. :D
lol :D

I actually said "I guess I'm getting nowhere" because of the previous respondents' overall tone of "Yeah, we've wanted this for two years too, join the club but don't hold your breath" - I just figured I wasn't going to have any better luck at being the squeaky wheel than the rest of you ;)
 

· AllStar
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I agree with the OP on everything. I'm glad I at least can use an external drive (and I am... the built-in ~40 hors or whatever it was of HD recording on my HR20-100 isn't enough), but the implementation details are pathetic. Using both drives simultaneously, or at least migration abilities, would be a million times better.

On a related note, even with RAID, if the HR2X flakes out on you and decides to reformat the external drive, RAID doesn't help you, does it, because then both drives will be reformatted? Just something to keep in mind, we've lost all contents of our external drive twice over ~1 year of use, and I don't -think- it's a bad drive because it's worked fine to start recording again after each wipe.
 

· Premium Member
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Riot Nrrrd™ said:
lol :D

I actually said "I guess I'm getting nowhere" because of the previous respondents' overall tone of "Yeah, we've wanted this for two years too, join the club but don't hold your breath" - I just figured I wasn't going to have any better luck at being the squeaky wheel than the rest of you ;)
The forum puts up polls for some issues. It would be interesting to see a poll detailing how many people use eSATAs, and how they use them. I've seen many polls on this forum, but none that address the possible loss of a TB or two worth of programs. Just because we can't swap eSATAs within an account. If I have read correctly, Dish has that ability. Can't be that hard to implement.

You have to remember, I am a raging pessimist. Just because nobody really paid any attention to the eSATA threads I have started doesn't mean that they won't take better notice of your thread.

Try to keep this one going, but learn from my threads: The best solution is to allow hard drive swapping within an account. If a program is recorded on one of your DVRs, you should be able to play it on any of your DVRs. Is that simple concept not easy to understand? I would think there would be hundreds of hits on this thread. Probably won't happen.

I wonder how many 20/21s are in use? I also wonder how many people use eSATAs. I also wonder why they wouldn't use eSATAs. I wonder how many people who own 20/21s don't have clue what that eSATA port on the back is for.

Rich
 

· Dry as a bone
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I would like to see this as well.

Two of my units are stock, but my HR21-700 has a 1TB external drive. I currently have 75 hours of HD (mostly movies) and about 25 hours of SD on it. It would really suck to lose all that programming if the 700 goes bad.
 

· Dry as a bone
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rich584 said:
If a program is recorded on one of your DVRs, you should be able to play it on any of your DVRs.
That would be fantastic and IMO, better than MRV (cause even with MRV, I could lose the recordings on my 1TB HD if that DVR goes).

Just think, instead of having a display case loaded with DVD's, you'd have a case with various HD's. Each HD containing 100 movies in HD that you could plug into any DVR/TV in the house.
 

· Premium Member
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machlis said:
I agree with the OP on everything. I'm glad I at least can use an external drive (and I am... the built-in ~40 hors or whatever it was of HD recording on my HR20-100 isn't enough), but the implementation details are pathetic. Using both drives simultaneously, or at least migration abilities, would be a million times better.

On a related note, even with RAID, if the HR2X flakes out on you and decides to reformat the external drive, RAID doesn't help you, does it, because then both drives will be reformatted? Just something to keep in mind, we've lost all contents of our external drive twice over ~1 year of use, and I don't -think- it's a bad drive because it's worked fine to start recording again after each wipe.
The only hard drive issues I've had were immediate. A 20-100 destroyed an FAP and then killed itself. For some strange reason I hooked up the eSATA before trying out the "replacement" first. Bad move.

Aside from that, you're right. If the DVR goes South, you can be certain that the eSATA will play on the new or replacement DVR. Never had a problem.

Rich
 
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