Increase Recording Capacity on Your DVR or HD DVR

August 11, 2011

Want to record even more hours of your favorite shows, movies and sports? You can increase the recording capacity of your DVR or HD DVR simply by connecting an external hard drive with greater storage than the receiver’s internal hard drive.

First, make sure you have a compatible receiver. Check the model number inside the small door located on bottom right corner of the front of the receiver. The model number should read:

  • R22 (DIRECTV Plus® DVR)
  • HR20 or above (DIRECTV Plus® HD DVR)
  • HR-34 or above (Genie HD DVR)

You’ll need an external hard drive that uses an eSATA connection. The following hard drive models are recommended:

  • Seagate DVR Expander 1TB – Model #STAP1000103
  • Seagate DVR Expander 2TB – Model #STAP2000102
  • Western Digital 1TB – WDBABT0010HBK-NESN
  • Western Digital 2TB – WDBACS0020HBK-NESN

Follow these steps to connect the external hard drive:

  1. Turn off your receiver by unplugging the power cord. (Do not rely on the power button.)
  2. Look for the port on the back of your receiver labeled SATA.
  3. Connect the eSATA hard drive with an eSATA cable. Make sure the cable is firmly connected on both ends.
  4. Turn on the eSATA hard drive and give it several seconds to spin up to speed.
  5. Plug in the power chord of your receiver.

When your receiver reboots, it will automatically see the newly-connected hard drive. The hard drive inside your receiver will be disabled.

You now have expanded recording capacity. With a 1TB hard drive, you can record up to 200 hours of HD programming.

Because the content on the external drive is paired with the HD DVR receiver it’s connected to, you will have to reformat the external drive if you want to connect it to a different HD DVR receiver. Reformatting means you will lose the recordings you made with the original HD DVR receiver.

Please note: We offer this tip because we want to help you get the most out of your DIRECTV experience. It is recommended for advanced users who are comfortable working with electronic hardware. This modification of your DIRECTV system is not officially supported by DIRECTV. DIRECTV, Inc. expressly denies any liability relating to any and all injuries and damages of any and every kind from the use of above equipment. User is responsible for the loss of or damage to the above equipment and assumes the costs and expenses of all necessary servicing and repairs. DIRECTV expressly denies any guarantee or warranty, either express or implied regarding the quality and performance of the above equipment.