I have a QIP 7232 MR DVR (500 MD internal drive) with an eSata 1T WD drive attached. This external drive is one of those specified by VZ for this application. The system operates according to specifications and performs quite well. Just thought I'd pass along a recent observation about where content is recorded on the system.
As is well known, a setup like mine will record content to the external drive preferentially until it is full. When that happens, the system will record content on the internal drive. However evidently that's not always the case, as I learned recently while recording the French Open tennis tournament.
The program is being broadcast on Tennis channel HD, ESPN2, NBC, and probably a few other channels. I have chosen to record as much of the tournament as possible using the "Record Series" option for all channels. This results in quite a bit of recording time, somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 plus hours per day (20 hours a day on selected weekend days). That's almost more tennis than I can stand to watch, but so be it.
What I noticed is that the system does not in fact record exclusively to the external drive until it is full, but instead records some of the material to the internal drive well before the external drive is exhausted. This is the first time I've observed this behavior since setting up the equipment.
Some of the recordings are 9 hours long, so it appears that the system is taking that into account somehow and trying not to get into a situation with insufficient space on the external drive. However when this recording pattern was first observed, my external drive was showing about 80 hours HD content and roughly 53 % used capacity. It's possible that at some time during the last few days there actually was much more recorded material on the external drive and it defaulted to the internal drive for that reason. If that's the case, I did not notice it at the time, but in any case I don't recall ever seeing an indication of higher than approximately 73% on the external drive. I make it a practice to record selected material to DVD if I want to hold it permanently.
As I said all's working well but I just thought I'd pass along this apparently anomalous behavior.