Eric Stewart: Running Off At The Mouth

BrightHouse Networks/Scientific American Explorer 8300HD

by Eric Stewart on Apr.07, 2008, under Technology, TV

The Explorer 8300HD is a HD-DVR/cable box with a 160GB hard drive in it. On the advice of an online friend, I purchased an eSATA capable hard drive to add additional storage to the unit. It would seem that the possibility exists (BHN did not disable the port, near as I can tell), but that I chose to purchase from Sam’s Club an incompatible unit, the 500GB Seagate FreeAgent Pro drive.

I’m now using that drive on my primary system (through FireWire) and looking into what drives might actually be compatible with the unit. I’ll also be keeping an eye on just how well the 160GB (according to reports anyway) is doing as far as storing everything I want it to.

If you get from your cable/sat company an HD-DVR that has an eSATA/SATA/SATA2 external drive port on it, and you think you can add a drive to it to get more storage, be sure to take the time to determine if you really need an additional drive (I probably will in the long run) and what drives might be compatible!


I really should just realize that half the time I can build it myself, better and cheaper.

Link of interest: Discussion thread with links to compatibility databases, a discussion thread about the 8300HD and external SATA drives that has links to a listing of known tested hard drives with the 8300HD, including listings of the cable provider in question, as well as links to other software databases.

I’m getting from NewEgg:

Koutech IO-EEA323 3.5″ Glossy Black eSATA External Enclosure – Retail
Western Digital Caviar SE16 WD5000AAKS 500GB 7200 RPM SATA 3.0Gb/s Hard Drive – OEM

The enclosure has a review where the reviewer specifically mentions using it to add a hard drive to his 8300HD, and the drive is listed as being compatible in the LoI (though probably in any number of other enclosures).

Of course, if I run into issues, I’ll post about it … Mind you, even with shipping, it was $30 less than the Seagate FreeAgent Pro I got from Sam’s Club …


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