Western Digital has launched a new external 500GB eSATA hard drive for use with digital video recorders (DVRs), such as the TiVo series 3 that offer eSATA ports. The new 500GB hard drive that WD is calling the DVR Expander is a revised version of the already introduced “My Book” series of external hard drives.
The DVR Expander features a whisper quiet hard drive in the housing that features a revised indicator on the front that is dimmer to cope with low light environments found in most home entertainment center areas in the majority of homes with DVRs. The 500GB drive is able to expand the storage of the typical DVR to allow the user to record about 300 more hours of standard definition (SD) content or 60 more hours of high definition content. The DVR Expander is the first product to be certified by TiVo as a “TiVo Verified” product. Normally, the installation of the DVR Expander requires nothing more than plugging the unit into the DVR.
The DVR Expander is compatible with most DVR units that include an external eSATA port on the DVR unit including TiVo HD, TiVo Series 3, and Scientific Atlanta models 8300 HD/8300 MR/8300 HD MR. Western Digital expects other DVR units to also be compatible with the DVR Expander as satellite and cable companies roll out new DVR units that feature an eSATA port. (Of course it is up to the satellite or cable company if they want to enable the eSATA port on the DVR units.)
The DVR Expander is available now at Best Buy retail stores or online from the TiVo Web site store. The MSRP for the DVR Expander is US$199.99 and is currently only available in the U.S. No plans were announced for a launch of the DVR Expander outside the U.S., but if it proves popular you might see it available outside the U.S. at some point in the future.