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External Hard Drives for Your DISH DVR Receiver Give You Extra Space

Updated on October 22, 2012
Hitachi XL 1000 External Hard Drive
Hitachi XL 1000 External Hard Drive

While DISH’s DVR receivers generally offer an ample amount of storage space for recorded programs, some customers require more to fit their needs. If you’re looking for extra space to store more of your favorite programs, try adding an external hard drive to your current setup. It’s quick and easy, and it gives you instant access to your recordings. The setup is simple, too: Just purchase, plug it in, and follow the on-screen instructions. There’s no fee involved in activating your external hard drive, so your only investment is the hard drive itself. Read on for all the details on adding an external hard drive to your DISH DVR receiver.

External Hard Drive-Compatible Receivers

First, make sure you have a compatible receiver. External hard drives work with ViP 612, 622, 722(k), 922, and the Hopper. Also, you can now add DVR functionality to a ViP 211(k) receiver using an external hard drive. However, I don’t have the details on that just yet – I’ll have more for you soon.

Hard Drive Criteria

Once you’ve determined that you have the right receiver, the next step is purchasing a compatible external hard drive. Here’s the criteria:

· 50 GB – 2 TB of storage

· Own power supply

· Supports USB 2.0

· Does not use flash memory

· Is a single-disk hard drive

A couple of specific models that DISH advertises as compatible are Western Digital My Book A/V and Hitachi XL 1000, but if you happen to find another, it will work with your receiver as long as it meets the above criteria.

Set Up Your Hard Drive

As I mentioned, setting up an external hard drive is super easy. First, connect it to the receiver via a USB port and plug it into a wall outlet. Then, turn on the TV and the DVR receiver and follow the instructions that appear on the screen. The external hard drive has to be cleared and formatted before it will work with your receiver, so choose to format it when the prompt appears during setup. Once it’s formatted to your DISH receiver, it cannot be used on a DVR receiver associated with another DISH account. However, it can be switched from one DISH receiver to another on your account.

Transfer and Access Your Recordings

When you record your programs, they won’t automatically record onto your hard drive. Instead, you’ll have to transfer them manually. If you have a ViP receiver (not a Hopper), follow these steps: Menu > Multimedia > My Media > Send to Device > Select individual programs from My Recordings to Media > To Archive. If you have a Hopper, just press the Menu button on the remote, select My Recordings Transfer, and follow the prompts. The only recordings that cannot be transferred to your external hard drive are Pay-Per-View, Video On Demand, or Internet Protocol Video On Demand (IPVOD) such as DISH Online content.

Just as your recordings won’t automatically be stored on your DVR, they’ll also be accessed from a different location once they’re on your hard drive. If you have a ViP receiver, hit the DVR button on the remote, select My Recordings, and then My Media to watch your recorded shows. With the Hopper, press the DVR button and then select your external hard drive from the menu.

Adding a Hard Drive to Your DISH Receiver is Easy and Convenient

For many DISH customers, the space allotted in their DVR receivers is plenty. However, for those who would like more space, DISH makes it easy to add it. Just make sure you have a compatible receiver, find a hard drive that meets the criteria, and plug it in to set it up, and then you can start transferring your recordings to your hard drive so you can access them whenever you’d like.

Will you be adding an external hard drive to your DISH DVR receiver?

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