"Idle" Option for DVR?

Nickel Contributor
Nickel Contributor
Posts: 42
Registered: ‎08-02-2009

"Idle" Option for DVR?

Message 1 of 3

Hello Techies,  I have a Motorola 6416 HD DVR STB. I use it very seldom. I know it probably doesn't draw a lot of amperage while not in use, if you touch it you can feel what seems like a hard drive buzzing. I looked in the downloaded pdf owner's manual, and there doesn't seem to be a way to power it down to some sort of "stand by" mode. If not just to save power, it would save the wear and tear on the disk drive that is indeed what that buzzing noise is. Has any of you techies rigged up a work around to accomplish this? I know my chances are slim, but I thought it would not hurt to try.


I have had home delivery of pay TV services since the early 80's, when Comcast was the only game in town with those push button STBs, and tried every vendor since. FiOS is the best quality, mot consistently dependable service I have ever had. I wish you could compel these companies like Dish and DirecTV to come and take their lousy dishes off of your roof when you rid yourself of them with their lousy download dependability and even worse customer support.    Thx In Advance,  MacReady

Employee Emeritus Employee Emeritus
Employee Emeritus
Posts: 3,216
Registered: ‎02-24-2011

Re: "Idle" Option for DVR?

Message 2 of 3

Sorry there is no idle mode. When you power off the DVR it will turn off the audio and video outputs of the box which reduces electricity. The hard drive needs to be running full tilt 24 hours a day. This way it can record anything you have on the schedule and also to maintain the live TV buffer which allows you to rewind live TV. The only other way to conserve it would be to unplug the power cord. I wish I had better news for you, but thats the current setup for it.


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Platinum Contributor III Platinum Contributor III
Platinum Contributor III
Posts: 7,547
Registered: ‎12-15-2010

Re: "Idle" Option for DVR?

Message 3 of 3

There's nothing wrong with the hard disk spinning constantly. They're built to run for years with (hopefully) no trouble what so ever. I've got some hard disks here that have been spinning for 12 years and they still continue to run today. Also have a few 20 year old disks that still work perfectly fine too (they are in storage). The disks don't use that much power, and they shouldn't overheat provided they're being cooled properly (I think the STBs, the last I checked use Seagate Barracudas. They don't run too warm, but they can heat up. The Barracudas are 7200RPM disks so they will vibrate line crazy though if they aren't secured the best).


I know when I first got a DVR with Dish Network, if the receiver wasn't doing anything for a while, it would in fact spin down the hard drive. This was usually after 15 minutes of the receiver being powered off if there was nothing needing to be recorded. If something needed to be recorded, it would spin the disk and prep it 30 seconds before the receiver was set to record it. If the receiver was powered on, the disk would also spin up if it were off and it would simply make DVR services unavailable for ~5 seconds until the disk initialized and mounted. The new DVRs made these days do NOT do that, but it might be something to bring back.

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