Ah, I love the Internet! I especially appreciate communities that are made up of people who use the same toys I do and are committed to making those toys work better. This post is a perfect example. A poster at AVS Forums discovered the secret that allows you to plug an external SATA drive into an 8300HD DVR and magically increase your storage capacity:
I plugged the unit in as described in the 8300HD manuals found online, and the 8300HD recognized the external drive and asked me if I wanted to format it. Once this was done (it did this very quickly) the remaining disk space on my existing 8300HD increased accordingly.
I tried this months ago, with no success. The secret, it turns out, is to get a cable with a standard SATA connector on one end and a SATA II connector on the other. (A standard SATA cable will not work.) I searched extensively, and I can confirm that only one vendor appears to have this cable available for sale. Will I order it on Monday? Oh, you betcha! And then I will quadruple my high-def storage capacity. Woo-hoo!
(Now, if only someone could figure out how to activate a 30–second skip function for the execrable SARA software. Anyone?)
Update: When I wrote this item, SATA II cables were nearly impossible to find. It appears now (late August 2005) that they’re a little more common. If anyone has tried this and succeeded using a standard SATA II cable, leave a note in the comments, OK?
Reader David Adams reports: “I found the following link to a company that prepackages all that’s needed to hook up to the SA Explorer 8300HD. They definitely indicate the sata 1 to sata 2 (esata) cable is required. Their prices are decent, but I can do better by purchasing the individual components off eBay and online stores.
But at least their site is very helpful for this and you can refer anyone else who inquires to it. Thanks again for your help.
“PS: cheapest place to find the cable is here.”