Thursday, May 15, 2008

DVR Full? Add Drive and Keep Recording!

It's a problem I hear far too often... those households that have made the leap to digital video recorders (DVRs) such as TiVo, ReplayTV or those built-in to receviers from Comcast or satellite providers, all end up with the same quandry: What shows should I delete to make room for more favorites? (And those households that haven't lept really ought to discover all the commercial-skipping, show-recording glory we've all had for years.)

Enter hard drive maker Western Digital with a solution in a box: a 500GB external hard drive for DISH Network's ViP Series HD DVR. This low-power gizmo plugs into the DISH Network DVR receiver and adds 60 hours of High Definition recordings.

While the DISH Network DVR version is new today, a previous version works with many TiVo DVRs, including our Series 3. One caution: the TiVo version uses an eSATA interface and (as of Christmas 2007) did not come with the right interface cable. (Order online early, eSATA cables aren't, as I discovered recently, exactly corner store items.) Fortunately, WD's DISH Network DVR expander lists an external USB cable as an included accessory. Unfortunately for me, while a happy DISH subscriber, I don't have their DVR receiver -- though it seemed a less-expensive, yet quite acceptable, substitute for a separate TiVo device.

The new DISH DVR Expander (500GB) lists at $149.99. The Western Digital MY DVR Expander series for both DISH, TiVo and Scientific Atlanta DVRs can be found on their website at (and presumably all the usual outlets soon).

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