Jump to content

Adding external HDD to Dish receiver


Recommended Posts

Is it possible to attach an HDD only when needed? Some articles I've read intimated that the HDD has to be attached and powered 24/7 or else it will attempt to reformat the HDD every time it is attached. Is this true?

 

What I would like to be able to do, but don't know if they work that way is as follows. My TV gear is typically completely powered down. I power up, start up the receiver and watch without the HDD powered up/plugged in. Say I watch it for a couple of hours and a show I want to record comes on. I would like to 'then' plug in/power up the HDD, record, then power it back off.

 

If it doesn't work that way it's no biggie and not worth it to me to have a constantly powered device or complicated work around.

 

~ Cheers

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That will work fine on a 612, 622 or 722, we add and remove ours all the time as well as moving them among our receivers. Haven't tried moving them to a receiver on another account though.

 

Not sure how it will work on a Dish 211 or others.

 

Which Dish box do you have?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Which Dish box do you have?

 

Thanks Stan! I have the 211k with a tailgater.

 

I 'do' know that you can't move the HDD between accounts or view the programs on a computer with the 211's and an HDD. Other receivers may be different.

 

Yours is like a DVR though isn't it? I don't know if that makes a difference. I guess if I add one there is a one time payment to configure the receiver to kind of act like a hopper (?). I dunno... I'm not satellite/receiver/tivo/hopper savy in any stretch of the imagination.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The 600 and 700 series Dish boxes do have an internal disk drive to do their DVR stuff and allow a bigger external drive for more storage. We have never had a 200 series box to play with.

 

I'm not sure what will work for you but we got all our 612 box upgraded to a 622 for no charge when we called Dish to complain that it was confusing to use the 612 along with our 622. A year or so later they replaced one failing 622 with a 722 for no charge since the guy with the Dish service truck had some of them left and was out of 622s. Another call to Dish got out 622 upgraded to a 722, again for free and for no other reason than it was aggravating to have two dissimilar boxes.

 

 

I'm not sure how much power your external drive will use, ours sit is a spun down, inactive state unless we are watching them or during the nightly system update. My power meter showed almost no power draw, can't recall the exact number. Compared to the 20 some watt draw of the Dish box we never worried about the small use of the drive. You may find it too much aggravation too but if you don't you might want to look into a USB extender / port saver to keep the wear and tear on the Dish USB socket down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have a 211K and an external hard drive. I do power down the receiver but leave the surge strip it is pluged into power up so I think the receiver always have some power. The hard drive has a separate power cord and is also plugged into the surge strip at all times.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how much power the 211 draws in active or standby but thinking back to our pre-DVR Dish boxes power draw was about the same in either mode. To save power we had to switch off the surge suppressor they were plugged into.

 

A cheap, about $20.00 Kill-A-Watt meter will give you a lot of good info on your AC power use for anything that has a plug on it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It may add some boot up time since the receiver won't find the hard drive and will make note of the absence and re-boot (I think).

 

Thanks, Chirakawasama. Since I kill the power between uses it always runs through a reboot on start-up anyway. Good to know.

 

I'm not sure how much power the 211 draws in active or standby but thinking back to our pre-DVR Dish boxes power draw was about the same in either mode.

 

You're right Stan. Standby or active drinks nearly the same (211). In large part I think that might be due to the receiver feeding the tailgater. It doesn't drink all that much, but it doesn't have a "standby" mode. In the whole scheme of things it's very economical, but still... combined with all the other little draws around the rig nickel and diming my battery bank it can add up. Especially this time of year where solar production is significantly reduced.

 

I'm thinking I might give it try. Appreciate all the info folks.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Thanks, Chirakawasama. Since I kill the power between uses it always runs through a reboot on start-up anyway. Good to know.

 

 

 

I understand that. However, I'm thinking that when you power the receiver and it goes into boot-up, it will see that you now have a hard drive when you did not before. Then, it will ask for verification, then start another boot-up. So, what I'm saying is that after you go from not having a hard drive attached the last time you used it to having one this time, the receiver will actually go through at least parts of two boot-ups. Not a big deal, just wanted to mention it since you asked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not a big deal, just wanted to mention it since you asked.

 

Ooooo_k.. NOW I understand. :) I guess I can handle that. Probably not that useful for 'on the fly' recording, but that's not really why I've been toying with the idea to get one anyway. Thanks, brother.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I was a long time DirecTV subscriber but shortly after going FT I switched to DISH & glad I did. Purchased the VIP211Z for $99 new. I had a 2TB external Hdrive with AC adapter BUT will switch to just a USB powered external because the VIP211z has enough USB power to drive an external Hdrive.

1st time you connect the drive you will get a message that you have to "activate" the feature. Co$t$ $40 called a "one time fee". Connected the drive & it configured everything and is now a DVR. Best to leave the drive connected unless you don't mind having to reboot the box between changes. I don't believe that you can disconnect the drive & simply play the movies.

 

Note that the drive you connect will be formatted so make sure you don't have any backups on the external drive.

 

I was happy with DirecTV when I lived in our house but the KVH R5 in-motion dome would not get HD on DirecTV. With Dish I now have HD & costing me about $100/month.

 

Robert

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an external hard drive that I put my extra movies on from the 722. One thing I ran into was that I had to have a replacement 722 receiver and after hooking it up I hooked up the external hard drive and it had to be completely reformatted and also the reciever wouldn't even play the movies it had on the hard drive. I'm not really sure what happened with that. Any idea's for further reference?

 

Dave

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Normally you can move drives between 612, 622 and 722 boxes on your account with no issues.

 

If you get a new box you do need to go through the whole commissioning process to make sure it realizes it is now on your account before plugging in the hard drive. Plug the drive in before the receiver is aware it is assigned to your account will likely get you the offer to format the drive, decline it and remove the drive until the receiver is finished the internal account configuration.

 

We move external drives fairly often and have gone through several receiver swaps with no issues keeping and viewing our external drive stored movies. I go through the whole setup process and confirm the box is showing my account, power it down (plug pull, not the power switch which doesn't really turn it off) and wait for it to come back up from a cold restart.

 

I've been told, but not seen the sense of risking it myself, that you can skip the unplug / replug and just hold the power switch down until the box boots. Too many saved movies for me to risk trying that here.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

We move external drives fairly often and have gone through several receiver swaps with no issues keeping and viewing our external drive stored movies. I go through the whole setup process and confirm the box is showing my account, power it down (plug pull, not the power switch which doesn't really turn it off) and wait for it to come back up from a cold restart.

 

Great info! Much appreciated, folks.

 

I'm feeling confident enough I think I'm going to ask Santa for an ext HDD this year. Now I just have to wade through all of the available options to find one that would fit my needs. I really like the idea of being able to power it via USB, but will have to test the port on the 211 to see what its capable of delivering.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

USB power wouldn't be my first worry, adding a wall-wart powered drive isn't a big power draw compared to the Dish box's draw and it bypasses a lot of issues.

 

My priorities:

1. Durability, having the drive die means all your stuff is gone.

2. Sleep mode, drops power use and adds a lot to the durability factor.

3. No aggravatingly bright lights or noise.

4. Power draw.

 

Seriously look at the maximum supported capacity for your box and get a matching drive, moving to a bigger drive is no fun on a 6XX or above box, I don't think you can move on a 211 box.

 

Think twice about reliability and power issues before stepping down from a 3.5 to a 2.5 inch drive.

 

If you do go with using the USB port power from the Dish box make sure you leave yourself plenty of cushion on power draw, it might be fine when new and warm but as things age and/or get a bit cool power draw can go up. I have no clue about the actual power available from the Dish USB port is. With the Dish warnings not to use it for powering external drives it may not meet USB standards.

 

I'd really look at directly connecting the drive to the Dish box and not using a hub, it eliminates a potential problem source. Some folks have gone this route to get more power to their drives when they find the Dish box won't reliably start them but it wouldn't be something I'd care to do.

 

A split power / data USB cable and a USB power brick might prove to be a less aggravating solution than a hub and power brick.

 

From Dish:

 

 

While most major manufacturers' external hard drives are compatible, keep in mind the following guidelines when purchasing an external hard drive:

 

The external hard drive should be no smaller than 50 GB and no larger than 2 TB
The external hard drive must have its own power supply
The external hard drive must support USB 2.0
The external hard drive must not use flash memory and should only be a single-hard disk drive

 

Personally I'd go with this one as they have a good reputation and decent price, I have several of this model here on my Dish boxes. The USB 3.0 is backward compatible to the Dish box's 2.0 and it includes the correct cable.

 

$93 on Amazon with free shipping: http://smile.amazon.com/Book-Desktop-External-Drive-WDBFJK0020HBK-NESN/dp/B00E3RH5W2/ref=sr_1_20

 

WD 2TB My Book Desktop External Hard Drive - USB 3.0 - WDBFJK0020HBK-NESN

 

 

A 2.5 drive that is USB powered if you really want to go that route:

 

$77 on Amazon: http://smile.amazon.com/dp/B00DULWSXI/ref=psdc_595048_t2_B00E3RH5W2

 

WD Elements 2TB USB 3.0 Portable Hard Drive (WDBU6Y0020BBK-NESN)

 

No idea if it will work off the Dish USB power though!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

If you have the VIP 211k box, it will require a self powered drive, as in one powered from a 120 volt power source, and you can get the specs for what will work on the Dish site. If you have the newer VIP 211z box, they are fully capable of running an independent drive from the usb port. In the over three years we have had our system. the power is lost when we pack up in the morning, and restored when we connect at the next night's RV park. The only time it was manually turned off and disconnected from the box, was when one of our 211k boxes died recently, purchased a new one, connected everything, and the new box saw the drive without having to do anything special. I believe the drive that was recommended by Dish at the time was a 500GB Western Digital 120 volt powered unit, and was available through Amazon, and do not remember cost.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I appreciate the info. I went ahead with Stan's recommend. I figured.. since the little inverter (600w) is on anyway for the TV and the receiver, the power brick for the My Book wouldn't make a whole lot of difference. I have no idea how to fill 2TB though. :P My gosh! 2 friggin TB's?? TV much? LOL :D

 

Thanks again, Stanley.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

2 TB fills up pretty fast if you grab a lot of HD movies, I only have 313 saved on my external drive and my free space is down to 644 GB. Looking at my list low quality HD movies run about 3 MB each, high quality ones run just under 8 MB. A few outliers at 1.5 to 11 MB but most are in the 4 to 7 MB range.

 

You can scarf up a lot of movies to watch even if you don't have any premium movie channels by watching for free promotions and loading up your drive with anything that looks interesting. Think of it like you do a digital camera, take a whole lot of shots because you can for little effort and no cost, then delete stuff later when your you need more space. You never know when you'll want to watch Shrek with a grandkid.

 

A work saver for some receivers is an option to record directly to the external drive which saves the long, slow process of moving from the internal to external drive.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

Guest
This topic is now closed to further replies.
RVers Online University

campgroundviews.com

Our program provides accurate individual wheel weights for your RV, toad, and tow vehicle, and will help you trim the pounds if you need to.

RV Cable Grip

All the water you need...No matter where you go

Country Thunder Iowa

Nomad Internet

Rv Share

Dish For My RV.

RV Air.

Find out more or sign up for Escapees RV'ers Bootcamp.

Advertise your product or service here.

The Rvers- Now Streaming

RVTravel.com Logo



×
×
  • Create New...