I dont have time to take many vacations anymore, what with two CEDIA EXPOs, two EH Expos, one CES that feels like two of something, and miscellaneous other industry events thrown into the mix. So despite the fact that Im paying for the time off now with late nights and extra deadline pressure than usual, Mrs. Resi Editor and I took our daughter back east last week to visit friends in coastal Maine and "peep" at the fall foliage.
A relaxing time was had by all, but upon our return home I realized that Id forgotten to protect some programs that Id recorded on my DVR. Yes, I know, big tragedy, but this is important stuff! The first indication that my DVR had begun cannibalizing itself came when the wife accused me of deleting a show that I actually didnt erase (Im a neat freak and love to clean up everything, especially daytime soaps and cooking shows left on the list for more than a day). Nope, it wasnt me this time.
The big realization that Id forgotten to protect our saved content was when I finally made my way past all of my daughter's "Dora" and "Wonder Pets" episodes to find that Ken Burns WWII documentary, The War, was no longer waiting there for me to watch. Big bummer.
Thats why a press release in my in-box this morning caught my eye. Titled, My DVR Expander External Hard Drives Verified Compatible with TiVo Series3 HD And TiVo HD DVR, the release describes an after-market product designed to add capacity to most HD DVRs, simply and inexpensively. For the custom installation channel, large-capacity media storage devices are nothing new, but a big part of who I am is the average consumer. Especially when you throw the wife and the babysitter into the equation, I dont want complicated electronics in my home.
Western Digital Corporation's My DVR Expander
Manufactured by a company called Western Digital Corp. (WDC), My DVR Expander external hard drives apparently are capable of storing up to 300 hours of digital standard-definition (SD) or up to 60 hours of high-definition (HD) television programming, based on 500 GB of hard drive storage. Beyond the obvious storage expansion capabilities of this new external hard drive, the other marketing gimmick here for TiVo is that this product can provide space for broadband content that it makes available through TiVoCast partners, including movie and TV downloads via Amazon Unbox.
But My DVR Expander, as its name implies, is not only for TiVo subscribers. It also is certified compatible with Scientific Atlanta 8300 Series digital video recorders (including models 8300 HD, 8300 MR, and 8300 HD-MR). Further compatibility of the My DVR Expander drive is planned as other cable and satellite DVR manufacturers enable the eSATA (external SATA) ports on their currently deployed DVRs.
The new product is available now at Best Buy retail stores and online at TiVo.com for $199.99. In the meantime, Ill be asking for the DVD box set of The War for Christmas. Although I still believe that hard drives are the future of media storage, sometimes its still smarter to keep certain programs archived on shiny silver discs.