How to Add an External Hard Drive to a TiVo

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Add an external hard drive to a TiVo if you need more storage space to record TV shows or movies. TiVo makes it easy by providing an eSATA port on the back of Standard Series 3 and TiVo HD units. An external hard drive can greatly increase the recording capacity of your TiVo. A 500 GB drive can give you up to 300 hours of SDTV and up to 60 hours of HDTV storage. A 1 TB external hard drive adds 600 hours of SDTV and up to 120 hours of HDTV.

Things You'll Need

  • TiVo Series 3 or TiVo HD box
  • External hard drive
  • Obtain a compatible, external hard drive with an eSATA port. TiVo and Western Digital guarantee that the Western Digital My DVR Expander external hard drive will work. Two models are offered – a 500 GB and a 1 TB drive.

  • Turn off the power on your TiVo box by disconnecting the power cord from the back of the TiVo box.

  • Plug the eSATA cable into the back of the TiVo box.

  • Plug the other end of the eSATA cable into the back of the external hard drive.

  • Plug the power cord into the power port on the back of the hard drive. This power cord should be plugged in to the same power strip as the TiVo box. As an additional precaution, the TiVo box and the external hard drive should be turned off at the same time or you may lose recorded data.

  • Turn the TiVo box back on by plugging in the power cord. After the TiVo box powers on, you will see an "External Storage" message. Select "Yes set up this device." Press the “thumbs down” button three times and then press the “Enter” button. Do not unplug the TiVo box or the external hard drive while the system reconfigures both devices.

  • Verify that the external hard was added successfully. Go to "Account and System Information" from the TiVo menu. Select "System Information." A TiVo HD should report a recording capacity of 93 hours of HD and 810 hours of SD when a 500 GB external hard drive is added. A TiVo HD should report a recording capacity of 153 hours of HD and 1,110 hours of SD when a 1 TB external hard drive is added.

References

  • Photo Credit Thomas Northcut/Photodisc/Getty Images
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