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Is MDVR the way to go? How much can I save this way versus several STB's?

Is MDVR the way to go? How much can I save this way versus several STB's?

Copper Contributor
Copper Contributor
Posts: 19
Registered: ‎10-26-2010
Message 1 of 5

Here's what I'm thinking of doing. Not only to try to save some money but to be able to watch any recording from any other STB. I currently have two HD DVR STB's and one SD STB. One HD DVR STB has an external 1tb hard drive, which has served me well for about the last year now with plenty of room to spare. My thought is to replace the older (not able to add external hard drive) HD DVR STB in the master bedroom with a MDVR for starters. I know this will increase my bill a few dollars to do that. What I would do is add at least a 2tb or possibly a 3tb external hard drive to that MDVR, if that is possible. Then after that, once I have watched everything on the living room HD DVR STB with 1tb hard drive, retire the drive and replace the HD DVR STB with a HD STB without DVR. Now, after posting all of this, it comes to mind that I would not actually save any money but for a few dollars more, add a real nice capability to the house. Especially after adding the larger external hard drive to the MDVR. Any thoughts or comments on all of this? Have you been thinking of doing something like this too? If so, what's is stopping you? On second thought maybe I should keep the HD DVR STB with the 1tb external hard drive in case of catastraphe with the MDVR in the future. It's too bad but I read once on a post somewhere that you cannot move an external hard drive to another DVR STB. I almost cannot believe that is true. Would have to try this myself. Has anyone had experience with that? I know this is a lot for one post but hopefully it will help those of us who have had these questions on our minds already with no answers.

Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 2,325
Registered: ‎08-05-2008

2 comments to your post.


First, the maximum drive size that is supported is 2 TB and you need to be careful as to what drive / enclosure you use (no "sleep" mode).


Second, the external drive is "married" to the specific hardware (DVR) it was formatted on.  Moving it to a different DVR will require a reformat and the loss of all recordings.  It's a shame that the content providers are so paranoid and apparently won't allow locking the drive to an account as opposed tot he hardware (or at least that is what I have been told).

If a forum member gives an answer you like, give them the Kudos they deserve. If a member gives you the answer to your question, mark the answer as Accepted Solution so others can see the solution to the problem.
Gold Contributor IV
Gold Contributor IV
Posts: 1,416
Registered: ‎04-10-2012
Message 3 of 5

@Pstreicher1 wrote:

... currently have two HD DVR STB's and one SD STB. One HD DVR STB has an external 1tb hard drive ...  My thought is to replace the older ... DVR  ... with a MDVR [and] add at least a 2tb ... external hard drive ... On second thought maybe I should keep the HD DVR STB with the 1tb external hard drive in case of catastrophe with the MDVR in the future ... 

As noted by "keyboards" there is an actual limit to how large an external drive you can add, and each external drive is in effect "married" to a specific DVR.  No way around it, I'm afraid.  Also you can only have a single multi-room DVR on your network.


Having said that, can you give a concise exact description of your planned final layout?  Then someone here can have a go at it. 

Gold Contributor VII Gold Contributor VII
Gold Contributor VII
Posts: 1,759
Registered: ‎05-22-2010
Message 4 of 5

Only one mr dvr feature can be added (some places its listed seperately as a $4 fee, others as a higher priced MRDVR).  However since the previous IMG, once you have a MR DVR they should be adding the the Multihub feature that allows all your DVR's to be accessed multi-room.

Silver Contributor I
Silver Contributor I
Posts: 227
Registered: ‎12-02-2012

As answered in another thread:



To Pstreicher1: 


With IMG 1.9,

if you have a Multi-Room DVR, you can set-up recordings from any of the other set-top boxes (standard or HD) on the DVR.

The only set top box the MRDVR cannot communicate or share content with is a digital adapter.

Also, with the MRDVR feature, if you have more than 1 DVR at home, the functionality is extended to a multi-hub DVR and you can name each of your DVRs (the DVRs can talk to one another) to access the recordings from that individual DVR.  You can also protect recordings from the main DVR so that the recording(s) cannot be deleted from other DVRs. 


The lay-out for the STBs and DVRs at home is specific to each household.


If you already have a good working DVR in the master bedroom, I am not certain why you need to have it replaced, unless it's an older model DVR (Motorola 6416).

Upgrading to the MRDVR requires just a software change for the same day when you call to place an order for it.


Moreover, the DVR models that are expandable via an eSATA external storage device are the Motorola 7216, Motorola 7232 and Cisco 435.

If you connect an eSATA device to the DVR, the recorded programs will be saved to the external device first and then to the DVR after the external drive becomes full. Once the external device is connected, the recordings on the eSATA will only be recognized in the same DVR and cannot be moved to another DVR.


Like I said, the TV setup at home is based on customer preference.  Some things to consider, though:

1) some folks who tend to record alot would likely have more than 1 DVR at home with eSATA drives on each DVR with the MRDVR.

2) the folks who have many TVs and lean towards saving money will opt for 1 MRDVR and the rest are all HD STBs.  There are bundled savings with the FiOS TV equipment package where with an MRDVR and the more HD STBs you add to the account, the cheaper each one gets.

3) recorded episodes of mainstream shows on many FiOS TV channels are available for viewing after 2-3 days ON DEMAND.  This saves recording space on the DVR, especially if one does not need to watch them on the same day they are recorded.


Hope this helps! 



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