What external storage devices does TiVo support for use with HD TiVo boxes?
The DVR Expander from Western Digital is the only TiVo Verified external storage device supported for use with Series3 and Premiere boxes.
Sparklight is not responsible for the results of any attempt to add an unsupported external storage device.
What is the DVR Expander?
The DVR Expander is a TiVo Verified external device which adds storage capacity to your TiVo box. DVR Expanders are available through the TiVo Store, Western Digital, and select retail locations.
Approximate DVR Expander Storage Capacity
|Standard Definition||High Definition|
|500 GB Expander||600 hours||65 hours|
|1 TB Expander||1200 hours||140 hours|
Note: Storage capacity depends upon system quality and signal type (analog or digital). Setting your recording quality on analog recordings to Low, Medium or High will also determine the amount of content you can store on the DVR Expander. Storage capacity of the DVR Expander with the TiVo box may exceed the storage capacity listed on the DVR Expander consumer packaging.
Where can I buy the DVR Expander?
You can buy the DVR Expander directly from TiVo, Western Digital, or at select retail locations.
How do I know whether a recorded program is on the TiVo box or the DVR Expander?
On the TiVo box, each recorded program is stored partly on the internal drive and partly on the DVR Expander.
Can I use a DVR Expander with my HD TiVo box if the internal hard drive has been modified by myself or a third party?
No. We strongly discourage anyone with a modified internal drive from using a DVR Expander. Adding a DVR Expander to a TiVo box with a modified internal drive may damage the TiVo box and render it completely unusable.
Will I lose my previously recorded programs when I connect the DVR Expander?
All your previously recorded programs will still be available on your TiVo box after connecting a DVR Expander.
Can I use the DVR Expander with more than one TiVo box or move it from a TiVo box to a different box?
No. You cannot move the DVR Expander from one TiVo box to another. All or most of the recorded content from the TiVo box and all of the content of the DVR Expander will be lost once the DVR Expander has been formatted by another TiVo box.
Can I use more than one DVR Expander drive with my TiVo box?
No. You can only use one DVR Expander with a TiVo box.
Can I use the DVR Expander to transport recordings from device to another?
No, the DVR Expander is not designed to be a used as a portable device or as an attachment to a computer.
What will happen if the DVR Expander is plugged into a computer?
You cannot view the recorded content on your DVR Expander if you connect it to a computer. To use the DVR Expander with a computer, you must first reformat it, which erases all its current contents.
Can I disconnect the DVR Expander from a TiVo box?
Do not unplug or disconnect the drive while the TiVo box is plugged in or operating. To safely disconnect the drive from a TiVo box, first unplug the box from its power source, wait 10 seconds, and then disconnect the DVR Expander. Disconnecting the DVR Expander while the TiVo box is in use will cause the box to restart. It will not recover until the DVR Expander is reconnected and the TiVo box is subsequently restarted, or you approve to permanently remove it.
Note: If you choose to permanently remove the DVR Expander, you will lose all of your recordings.
Where should I place the DVR Expander drive in an entertainment center?
Ensure that you do not obstruct the front panels of the DVR Expander drive as this will reduce its cooling airflow.
Note: Some electronic components have vent holes in the tops and sides allowing heat to escape. Do not stack the DVR Expander on top of, or block the vent holes of, other components in your entertainment center.
How will I know when the DVR Expander drive is almost out of recording space?
The TiVo box uses the DVR Expander as if it were part of the internal hard drive. When trying to schedule the next recording, the box will provide an on screen warning if there is insufficient space available. If this is the case, you may need to delete some previously recorded programs.
What if my TiVo box needs to be replaced?
Any previously recorded content on your DVR Expander will not be available for viewing on your replacement box. The DVR Expander will have to be reformatted before use with the new TiVo box, causing all recordings that were previously saved to be erased.
Can I connect the DVR Expander using a USB Cable?
Some models of DVR Expander from Western Digital support a USB cable in addition to the eSATA cable, but TiVo boxes do not support a USB connection at this time. If you have connected a My Expander using a USB cable, please follow these steps to correctly install your DVR Expander:
Step 1: Disconnect the power cables from your Tivo box and your DVR Expander.
Step 2: Disconnect both ends of the USB cable from the DVR Expander and your TiVo box.
Step 3: Connect one end of the eSATA cable to the DVR Expander and the other end to your TiVo box.
Step 4: Connect the power cable to the DVR Expander. The power LED will illuminate.
Step 5: Wait approximately 15 seconds for the hard drive to reach operating speed.
Step 6: Reconnect the power cable to your TiVo box.
Step 7: Follow the on-screen instructions that are presented after your TiVo box has started up.