How to Upgrade Storage Capacity on a Comcast DVR

Introduction

In This Guide
You'll Learn How To:
  • Increase your Comcast DVR's data space.
Before We Begin:
  • Be near your DVR.
  • Your DVR must have an eSATA port on the back.
  • Your external hard drive must be eSATA compatible.
Xfinity

1 Expand Your Capacity

If you've run out of space to record your favorite shows on your DVR, you may be able to add an external hard drive to expand its storage capacity.

Never place an external drive directly on top of the DVR. Placing the external drive directly on top of the DVR may result in overheating and damage to the external drive.

Can I Expand My Capacity?

The following models of Comcast DVR boxes support external hard drives:

  • Motorola: DCH3416, DCH6416, DCT3412, DCT3416, DCT6412, DCT6416, DCX3501, RNG200N

    If your Motorola DVR has an eSATA port on the back, it should support external hard drives with up to two terabytes of storage capacity.

  • Cisco/Scientific Atlantic (SA): Cisco RNG200, Cisco RNG200N, SA 8000, SA 8000HD, SA 8010, SA 8010HD, SA 8300, SA 8300HD/HDC

    If your Cisco or Scientific Atlanta DVR has an eSATA port on the back, it should support external hard drives with up to one terabyte of storage capacity.

What Kind of Hard Drive Do I Need?

In order for an external hard drive to function with your DVR, it must have an eSATA connection. The external hard drive must be connected to your DVR's eSATA port.
eSATA logo and illustrations of eSATA ports compared to USB 3.0.

The majority of external drives on the market currently come equipped with USB 3.0 connections.

It may be possible to use your USB external hard drive anyway if an eSATA adapter is used. This must be purchased separately and may not be compatible with all drives.

External drives come in two form factors:

Desktop External Hard Drive
Desktop external hard drive.Desktop external hard drives need to be plugged into a power socket as well as connected to the device it is being used with.

Portable External Hard Drive
Portable external hard drive.Portable external hard drives are physically smaller and lighter than desktop external drives, and do not require any external power in order to function. Portable external hard drives draw power from the USB port of the device they're connected to.

Comcast DVR equipment only supports eSATA external hard drives with maximum capacities of 1TB or 2TB depending on the model. If anything larger is connected, you will encounter an error.

Connecting Your Drive to Your DVR

  1. Turn on your TV and your DVR box.
  2. If your external drive requires it, connect the power source at this time. A power cable should have been supplied with your external drive. Plug one end of the power cord into the external hard drive, then plug the other end into an available electrical outlet.
    Power port
  3. Connect one end of the eSATA cable to the DVR's eSATA port.
    The eSATA port of a DVR
  4. Connect the other end of the eSATA cable to the external drive.
    External drive sata connection
  5. Your television will display a message asking if you would like to format the external drive. All content on the external drive will be erased if you format. Select YES to begin the formatting process or select NO to dismiss the message without formatting the drive.
    Formatting external drive
  6. If YES is selected, the DVR will begin formatting your drive.
  7. Once the system has completed the formatting process and the external drive is ready for use, a confirmation message will appear. Select OK to dismiss the message.
    Formatting completed

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In This Guide
You'll Learn How To:
  • Increase your Comcast DVR's data space.
Before We Begin:
  • Be near your DVR.
  • Your DVR must have an eSATA port on the back.
  • Your external hard drive must be eSATA compatible.
Xfinity

If you've run out of space to record your favorite shows on your DVR, you may be able to add an external hard drive to expand its storage capacity.

Never place an external drive directly on top of the DVR. Placing the external drive directly on top of the DVR may result in overheating and damage to the external drive.

Can I Expand My Capacity?

The following models of Comcast DVR boxes support external hard drives:

  • Motorola: DCH3416, DCH6416, DCT3412, DCT3416, DCT6412, DCT6416, DCX3501, RNG200N

    If your Motorola DVR has an eSATA port on the back, it should support external hard drives with up to two terabytes of storage capacity.

  • Cisco/Scientific Atlantic (SA): Cisco RNG200, Cisco RNG200N, SA 8000, SA 8000HD, SA 8010, SA 8010HD, SA 8300, SA 8300HD/HDC

    If your Cisco or Scientific Atlanta DVR has an eSATA port on the back, it should support external hard drives with up to one terabyte of storage capacity.

What Kind of Hard Drive Do I Need?

In order for an external hard drive to function with your DVR, it must have an eSATA connection. The external hard drive must be connected to your DVR's eSATA port.
eSATA logo and illustrations of eSATA ports compared to USB 3.0.

The majority of external drives on the market currently come equipped with USB 3.0 connections.

It may be possible to use your USB external hard drive anyway if an eSATA adapter is used. This must be purchased separately and may not be compatible with all drives.

External drives come in two form factors:

Desktop External Hard Drive
Desktop external hard drive.Desktop external hard drives need to be plugged into a power socket as well as connected to the device it is being used with.

Portable External Hard Drive
Portable external hard drive.Portable external hard drives are physically smaller and lighter than desktop external drives, and do not require any external power in order to function. Portable external hard drives draw power from the USB port of the device they're connected to.

Comcast DVR equipment only supports eSATA external hard drives with maximum capacities of 1TB or 2TB depending on the model. If anything larger is connected, you will encounter an error.

Connecting Your Drive to Your DVR

  1. Turn on your TV and your DVR box.
  2. If your external drive requires it, connect the power source at this time. A power cable should have been supplied with your external drive. Plug one end of the power cord into the external hard drive, then plug the other end into an available electrical outlet.
    Power port
  3. Connect one end of the eSATA cable to the DVR's eSATA port.
    The eSATA port of a DVR
  4. Connect the other end of the eSATA cable to the external drive.
    External drive sata connection
  5. Your television will display a message asking if you would like to format the external drive. All content on the external drive will be erased if you format. Select YES to begin the formatting process or select NO to dismiss the message without formatting the drive.
    Formatting external drive
  6. If YES is selected, the DVR will begin formatting your drive.
  7. Once the system has completed the formatting process and the external drive is ready for use, a confirmation message will appear. Select OK to dismiss the message.
    Formatting completed
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