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Copper Contributor Dallas22
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎11-30-2008
Message 1 of 20
(18,924 Views)

I was told by Verizon that my: Motorola 6416 HD DVR has the firewire connection enabled.

I want to know if I can connect an external hard drive from Western Digital to it.  It has a firewire port. We are very dissatisfied with the capacity of this unit.

My shows continue to be erased. This unit is in a media room and it is silly to record in Standard definition.

 

 


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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Message 2 of 20
(18,866 Views)

@Dallas22 wrote:

I was told by Verizon that my: Motorola 6416 HD DVR has the firewire connection enabled.

I want to know if I can connect an external hard drive from Western Digital to it.  It has a firewire port. We are very dissatisfied with the capacity of this unit.

My shows continue to be erased. This unit is in a media room and it is silly to record in Standard definition.


The FCC requires that every cable company offer at least one device with a functional Firewire port for two reasons: (1) to support those older HD displays that rely on Firewire for their video connections, and (2) to allow recording of all local and cable content to D-VHS tape using Firewire HDTV VCRs from JVC, Mitsubishi, and Panasonic.  Although not supported by Verizon, you can also connect the DVR to your PC with Firewire; using the DVHSCAP software, that will allow your PC to record local HD channels in realtime as they are viewed.  You cannot use Firewire to record cable channels with a PC.

 

Motorola does not currently support any form of drive expansion.  USB expansion is not supported and will not work.  Firewire expansion is not supported and will not work.   eSATA expansion is not supported and will not work.  This is true for all cable providers with Motorola equipment, not just FiOS.

 

Thus far, Motorola has not been able to make eSATA drive expansion work reliably with their boxes, but they continue work on that feature, so either the 6416 or 7216 could see a firmware update with that capability next year.  Various reports suggest that is something Verizon hopes to add some time in 2009.

 

Note Motorola's 6416 and 7216 firmwares are "hard coded" to support a maximum of 160Gb internal.  Even if you were to replace the internal hard drive with a 500Gb drive, it would still see only 160Gb.  Even if it wanted to, Verizon could not upgrade the hard drives in its DVRs.  Motorola is expected to offer DVRs with 320Gb drives in 2009, which Verizon may or may not purchase.

 

Currently, the only way to get a HDTV DVR with more capacity on FiOS is to buy your own, i.e. the TivoHD.  The TivoHD is available in 160Gb and 1000Gb models.  Both TivoHD models support an external 500Gb hard drive, and both can be upgraded internally.  I bought the TivoHD 160Gb ($199 from Costco) and replaced the hard drive with a Western Digital 1TB DVR drive ($125), which provides 150+HD hours capacity. More information on the TivoHD for FiOS can be found in this forum post.

 

If you have any other questions, feel free to post.

Message Edited by KenAF on 12-01-2008 02:16 AM
If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
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Copper Contributor wilhelm10
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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-01-2009
Message 3 of 20
(18,368 Views)

With the TIVO stb are you able to get on demand? Also is there an option to send the recording to a VCR? On the Verizon DVR the only option is to play it to the VCR. This a real pain! Also sending the HD picture it comes out wide screen with the top and bottom black. Standard picture is sub par.

Any ideas would greatly be appreciated.  Bill

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Message 4 of 20
(18,301 Views)

@wilhelm10 wrote:

With the TIVO stb are you able to get on demand? Also is there an option to send the recording to a VCR? On the Verizon DVR the only option is to play it to the VCR. This a real pain! Also sending the HD picture it comes out wide screen with the top and bottom black. Standard picture is sub par.

Any ideas would greatly be appreciated.  Bill


With a TiVo, you lose Verizon's On Demand.  TiVo offers Netflix VOD and just announced an agreement with Cinema Now for pay on demand, but you would lose access to all the On Demand content from FiOS unless you rent a second STB for that purpose.  Some people find less of a need for VOD with 5-10x as much storage capacity on the DVR, however.  I have about 150 HD recordings on mine:

 

 TiVo Now Playing list

 

I'm not sure what you are asking with regard to a VCR.  VCRs can only record content as it plays.  That's how VCRs are designed.  The TiVo has a few more options for VCR recording, such as the option to select multiple programs to play back to back, but that's about it.

 

When you have 16:9 widescreen selected in TV setup, the TiVo downconverts HD channels through SD outputs in 16:9 widescreen, without black bars.  That said, recording quality on a VCR is never going to be that good.   VCRs were not designed for high-quality recording, which is why we now have DVD recorders, and soon, Blu-ray recorders.   VCRs only record with 320 lines of horizontal resolution, compared to 540 (720 pixels) for DVD and 1080 for HD and Blu-ray.

 

The TiVo does allow you to directly download recordings to your PC or Mac over your home network.  Basically, the TiVo runs a private web server in the background that lets you connect to it and download the recorded files.  You can then use these recorded files to create high quality DVDs with Dolby Digital 5.1 surround sound using the DVD writer in your PC.  You can even use it to create high-definition Blu-ray disks, if you have a Blu-ray writer.

 

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
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Copper Contributor wilhelm10
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Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-01-2009
Message 5 of 20
(18,229 Views)

                     KEN, THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY. WHAT I REALLY AM LOOKING FOR IS MORE STORAGE. YOU  SPARKED AN IDEA, IN MY HEAD. DO YOU KNOW IF I COULD PURCHASE A TIVO BOX AND NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THERE SERVICE. WOULD I BE ABLE TO RECORD FROM THE MOTOROLA TO THE TIVO. THEN EVENTUALLY WATCH THE PROGRAM FROM THE TIVO?

A SECOND THOUGHT WAS TO BUY A STAND ALONE DVD BURNER AND RECORD OFF THE HD MOTOROLA ON DVD-RW DISCS. THEN PLAY BACK ON MY UPCONVERT DVD PLAYER?  PICTURE IS CLOSE TO HDTV, AS THAT IS HOW I WATCH DVDS NOW.

WITH A DVD BURNER I WOULD NEED ONE WITH AT LEAST A COMPONENT INPUT AND I DON'T THINK THERE IS ONE OUT THERE.

IF ONLY FIOS HAD MORE STORAGE.      BILL

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Message 6 of 20
(18,201 Views)

@wilhelm10 wrote:

                     KEN, THANKS FOR YOUR REPLY. WHAT I REALLY AM LOOKING FOR IS MORE STORAGE. YOU  SPARKED AN IDEA, IN MY HEAD. DO YOU KNOW IF I COULD PURCHASE A TIVO BOX AND NOT SUBSCRIBE TO THERE SERVICE. WOULD I BE ABLE TO RECORD FROM THE MOTOROLA TO THE TIVO. THEN EVENTUALLY WATCH THE PROGRAM FROM THE TIVO?

A SECOND THOUGHT WAS TO BUY A STAND ALONE DVD BURNER AND RECORD OFF THE HD MOTOROLA ON DVD-RW DISCS. THEN PLAY BACK ON MY UPCONVERT DVD PLAYER?  PICTURE IS CLOSE TO HDTV, AS THAT IS HOW I WATCH DVDS NOW.

WITH A DVD BURNER I WOULD NEED ONE WITH AT LEAST A COMPONENT INPUT AND I DON'T THINK THERE IS ONE OUT THERE.

IF ONLY FIOS HAD MORE STORAGE.      BILL


All TiVos require a subscription.  TiVo's business model is to sell the box at a loss and recoup the loss (and ultimately make a profit) through the subscription.   That's why you can get a TivoHD for about $210 online when Verizon pays around $400 for their Motorola DVRs.  TiVo wouldn't be in business long if they allowed customers to use their product without any kind of subscription, be it a monthly payment, yearly payment, or a one-time-only "lifetime" payment.

 

DVD recorders can't record HD input, so you'd have to record SD from the analog outputs (ex. s-video).   Upconverted DVD is not comparable to HD quality on larger screens, but if you sit relatively far from a smaller 40-46" screen, you may not see much difference.  

 

Eventually, Verizon FiOS will offer DVRs with more capacity.   But some customers like myself could not wait.

If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
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Copper Contributor wilhelm10
Copper Contributor
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎01-01-2009
Message 7 of 20
(18,092 Views)

Hi Ken, another question hope you don't mind. Originally I wanted more hard drive space, which is not in the realm right now.

Right now I am recording onto my VCR , which is actually a DVR & burner thru the S video connector.Picture is fair with black bars top and bottom. You had explained to me why. This recorder has a DV (I.Link). Would I be able to record from the I EEEE 1394 port.If so would there be any improvement in the quality of the picture?

I don't have a cable or I would have tried it. Please let me know what you think? Thanks Bill

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Silver Contributor IV
Silver Contributor IV
Posts: 585
Registered: ‎10-22-2008
Message 8 of 20
(18,055 Views)

@wilhelm10 wrote:

Hi Ken, another question hope you don't mind. Originally I wanted more hard drive space, which is not in the realm right now.

Right now I am recording onto my VCR , which is actually a DVR & burner thru the S video connector.Picture is fair with black bars top and bottom. You had explained to me why. This recorder has a DV (I.Link). Would I be able to record from the I EEEE 1394 port.If so would there be any improvement in the quality of the picture?

I don't have a cable or I would have tried it. Please let me know what you think? Thanks Bill


The DV (I.Link) port is not compatible with Motorola STBs or DVRs.  Furthermore, no standard or S-VHS VCR can record the Firewire output from a Motorola STB or DVR.

 

To record with a VCR from the Firewire / IEEE1394 output, you will need to buy a HDTV D-VHS VCR like the JVC HM-DH5U.  These HDTV D-VHS VCRs record both local and cable channels from the Motorola DVR in full high-definition with Dolby Digital 5.1.   Recordings are copied just as they are played, like a traditional VCR.  The main disadvantage of these products, beyond the fact that they use tapes, is that they are discontinued by JVC; they may require expensive D-VHS tapes to record.  You get up to 3.5 hours of HD on a single D-VHS tape.  Some D-VHS units can record from S-VHS tapes (to hold 2.5 hours of HD), but I don't recall what models that works on.

 

Before I got the TivoHD, I used an older D-VHS HDTV VCR with the Motorola DVR.  Ultimately, I decided it just wasn't worth the time.  Pressing play on the Motorola DVR, hitting record on the D-VHS, and then waiting for the recording to finish before I could watch or record something else was just way too much trouble.  The Firewire / IEEE1394 will only output the same program that you are watching via component / HDMI; you can't use it to record something different than you are currently watching.

 

 

Message Edited by KenAF on 01-04-2009 01:46 PM
If you are the original poster (OP) and your issue is solved, please remember to click the "Solution?" button so that others can more easily find it.
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Bronze Contributor II
Bronze Contributor II
Posts: 90
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
Message 9 of 20
(17,826 Views)

I highly highly doubt that Verizon pays $400 per HDDVR box.  With the amount of boxes they utilitze, I am sure they pay way less per box.  Anyway these DVR's are no where near worth $400, I can't stand the  bubble interface from the 90's. 

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Copper Contributor Jolard
Copper Contributor
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎01-07-2009
Message 10 of 20
(17,797 Views)

Now I may just start getting really angry....

 

Last night I went through the ordering process for a new triple play installation (phone, 20/5 and Extreme HD) and while I was in the process I had some questions and went into the chat functionality, and chatted with Patricia. During that process (amongst other Q&A's) I asked her specifically 

 

"Can I plug in an external hard drive to the home media DVR to increase storage capacity?"

 

Her reply was yes, you can.

 

Then I asked "Can you use your own external hard drive, or do you have to purchase one from Verizon?"

 

Her answer was that I can use my own hard drive. 

 

This exchange was one of the main reasons why I went ahead and ordered the package. The 20 hours of HD recording is very small, and coming from a Dish 622 with an external drive attached, I was fine with the smaller recording size, AS LONG as I could just utilize the external drive. 

 

Now everything I am reading states that this is not possible. 

 

Did Patricia flat out lie to me to get me to purchase? I have the chat window saved as a JPG, because I wanted to have reference to the discussion, not just for this question, but for the others I asked as well. If she did flat out lie to me, then isn't that deceptive sales practices? I am kind of mad about being lied to. 


The only other option I can think of is that this functionality is brand new, and will be in place before my installation, and then technically her answer is correct. But I will be mighty mad if she lied to get me to sign up. 

Message Edited by Jolard on 01-07-2009 01:26 PM
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