External hard drive

aclowers

DTVUSA Member
#1
Did you know that Dish network offers an external hard drive option for its digital video recorders? They don't actually sale the hard drives, but they will activate it for you. They recommend you pick one up at Office Depot, Staples, Circuit City, Best Buy or any computer sales center. You can use almost any external hard drive. They have a link on their website that tells you more about it. If you don't have enough storage space on you DVR, you can transfer your movies or shows onto the external hard drive and then recover them when you need. Here is the link if you wish more information. DISH Network -- Dish HD
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#2
Awesome Find!

It's kind of intersting that they charge almost $40 for enabling the use of your own hard drive on their unit.

It looks like you can use up to 750GB HD, which for instance, could hold approxmately 375 hours of standard-definition television or 75 hours of HD movies or TV Shows.

I wonder if you can purchase multiple drives, and switch them out if you happen to use up all of the memory on one drive. Or does the $40 fee just cover one Hard Drive.
 

aclowers

DTVUSA Member
#3
It is a one-time activation fee. You can use as many hard drives as you wish. This was very appealing to me, as I use up a lot of space very quickly. If you are recording in HD, you use up more memory a lot faster than standard definition. I like being able to record several seasons of different shows and just keep them to watch whenever. I also like the option of recording movies and keeping them as long as I want.

So, the external hard drive was a very big selling point with me. I was ready to throw my beloved Direct TV back to the satellite from which it came. But, when the technician came out he apparently didn't want to bother with the whole installation. He was 3 hours late and he was ready to go home. I had done a lot of research and a lot of phone calls to all three major providers before making my decision to switch to Dish.

Of course, they got another call from me when he left. The customer service people were fantastic. They were very apologetic regarding the technician and offered to send a district manager out along with a new technician who would be willing to run wires under the house or where ever necessary. Well, we decided we didn't want a pole out in the middle of the front yard. We live on a major highway and was concerned about the appearance. So, we passed on the offer. But, that external hard drive is very tempting. I am hoping Direct TV will come up with it as well. Maybe, if I bug them enough about it.
 

Byte24

DTVUSA Member
#4
It is a one-time activation fee. You can use as many hard drives as you wish. This was very appealing to me, as I use up a lot of space very quickly. If you are recording in HD, you use up more memory a lot faster than standard definition. I like being able to record several seasons of different shows and just keep them to watch whenever. I also like the option of recording movies and keeping them as long as I want.
Oh great, I thik I just found my next purchase... lol
 
#5
Hi Guys
I have a place where I buy all my drives from called XPCGear they have some of the best prices on drives. I also buy the 5 1/4 drive cases which have their own power supplys and fans then I just pop in a regular IDE drive up to 500 gig and it's ready to go. they come in usb and firewire or both. also Tiger Direct had a 1 terabyte drive for sale for 160.00 last month I don't know what it is now.:D
 

Jason Fritz

Administrator
Staff member
#6
Hi Guys
I have a place where I buy all my drives from called XPCGear they have some of the best prices on drives. I also buy the 5 1/4 drive cases which have their own power supplys and fans then I just pop in a regular IDE drive up to 500 gig and it's ready to go. they come in usb and firewire or both. also Tiger Direct had a 1 terabyte drive for sale for 160.00 last month I don't know what it is now.:D
Wow, and to think I was getting a good deal 8 months ago when I bought a 500GB for $145. Prices have really come down on computer components, I picked up 4GB of ram for my laptop last week for $85 too.
 

aclowers

DTVUSA Member
#7
Thanks Cowboy for the info. I just sent you a rep. It is amazing how if we can manage to wait long enough, that technology prices have a tendency to come down after the novelty wears off. Let's hope they continue to do so. Good find!!!
 
#8
Dish External Hard Drive is VERY Cool

This feature is one of the biggest reasons we stay with Dish, instead of going with what would be a much cheaper TV/Phone/Internet bundle from Verizon Fios or Cox cable. I've got a 622 DVR and a 750G hard drive, and we can't fill it up. The $40.00 activation fee is cheap. With an external hard drive, nobody's DVR equals what a Dish DVR can store.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#9
Just to be clear on this..

Dish charges a one time fee of $40 that covers all the ViP series DVR receivers on the account. There is no limit on how many drives you can use.

Not yet said but Dish will also charge $40 to activate the DVR feature on the ViP211 non-DVR receiver effectively turning this receiver into a DVR but only if a hard drive is hooked to it.

The drives for the DVR models and non-DVR model get formatted differently so they may not be inter-shared between other types of receivers. If you have more than one ViP211 on the account, they may share the hard drive amongst themselves. If you try to share a hard drive between different types of receivers (a non-DVR to a DVR, for example), you will cause the drive to be reformatted and everything on it will be erased. You have been warned.

Also, do NOT try to hook your drive up to a computer to view a movie recorded from Dish. Here too you will loose everything on the drive.

Dish will offer support for hard drives up to 750 gigs. Larger drives have successfully been used but if you do this, you are on your own if something goes wrong. Talk is that sometime later they will increase the limit on how big the drives can be.

A few months ago I found WD 750 gig 2.0 USB drives for $110 at Best Buy. At that price, I bought 3. :)
 

Voyager

DTVUSA Jr. Member
#10
Thanks Yes, for letting us know all that valuable information. I have been thinking about switching to Dish for the very reason that I can store extra movies and programs on an external hard drive. I didn't realize that you couldn't watch the movies on your computer. Does this work the same way in that you wouldn't be able to share the drive either way between storage for your computer and the receiver? So, I guess if you go on a trip and want to watch movies you have stored on your drive; you have to take your receiver with you.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#11
Thanks Yes, for letting us know all that valuable information. I have been thinking about switching to Dish for the very reason that I can store extra movies and programs on an external hard drive. I didn't realize that you couldn't watch the movies on your computer. Does this work the same way in that you wouldn't be able to share the drive either way between storage for your computer and the receiver? So, I guess if you go on a trip and want to watch movies you have stored on your drive; you have to take your receiver with you.
Yes. Do NOT bring the EHD anywhere near the computer. Also, if using the drive with a computer then moving it to the Dish receiver, it will reformat so anything on there is wiped out. Just one thing..

Two tuner DVR receivers need to be constantly plugged to a land phone line to avoid an extra receiver charge. The receiver actually "calls home" periodically, say every couple of weeks so Dish knows that is where the receiver is using their caller ID system. Not to worry, your receiver is calling a toll free number. I wouldn't take this kind of receiver on a very long trip.

For the non-DVR ViP211 I mentioned above or any 1 tuner ViP series DVR. Nothing to worry about. Take your receiver.
 
Last edited:
#12
Yes. Do NOT bring the EHD anywhere near the computer. Also, if using the drive with a computer then moving it to the Dish receiver, it will reformat so anything on there is wiped out.
There has been mod programs made to access Xbox hard drive content to the PC, (through a local Ethernet connection, of course) so it wouldn't take too much work to access the content on a Dish Network external hard drive's partition. If it's encrypted to any degree, it could take a little more work to get at the recordings inside.
 

Yes616

The Mod Squad
#13
There has been mod programs made to access Xbox hard drive content to the PC, (through a local Ethernet connection, of course) so it wouldn't take too much work to access the content on a Dish Network external hard drive's partition. If it's encrypted to any degree, it could take a little more work to get at the recordings inside.
I am sure it's encrypted and there might be a work around but I am sure we should not be discussing stuff like this at this nice legal site. :)

hmm.. hacker? lol
 
P

PabloB

Guest
#15
I am working on a project in another city. Is it possible for me to take a dish receiver, for example a 622 and the hard drive, and watch shows from the hard drive without connecting to a satellite? Basically, just plug the 622 and hard drive in to an outlet, do an hdmi to a tv, and watch recorded shows from the hard drive?
 

n2rj

Moderator
Staff member
#16
I am working on a project in another city. Is it possible for me to take a dish receiver, for example a 622 and the hard drive, and watch shows from the hard drive without connecting to a satellite? Basically, just plug the 622 and hard drive in to an outlet, do an hdmi to a tv, and watch recorded shows from the hard drive?
It should be possible, unless Dish has intentionally locked out the DVR unless there's a satellite signal (unlikely).
 

Similar threads

Top