Is there an expander for the Gateway ? Can it be connected to a Portal?
An eSATA PVR Expander that Shaw sells will work. You have to connect it to the gateway. The portals are "players" for content.
You can actually add up to 6TB of external storage to the Gateway. At the moment, the largest 'expanders' that Shaw offers are 1TB but I believe they are exploring larger units. There are 'aftermarket' solutions that you might be able to find if you do a google search (try: 'posts by jetranger' and that should get you in the neighbourhood). I would post a direct link to another forum but that forum frowns on directing members to other forums so I won't do it here.
Shaw is indeed looking at larger expanders...
One issue is that some of our current (legacy) PVR's have issues with expanders > 1GB. Future firmware updates to these models will address this compatibility issue.
The Gateway and DCT3416 have no issue with the 2TB expanders we have tested. While we haven't tested any larger expanders, we don't expect there to be any issues with up 6 TB drives...
IT has been a few months. Any update on larger drives for gateway? Can you provide any no on the 2 TB that you tested on 3416? Brand, model?
For the most part, if the external drive is less than 6TB, and has eSATA only (no USB ports), it should work.
Shaw won't officially reconize anything but their own Expanders to work.
kevinds, this is very helpful. I had not thought of the need to only have an esata port and no others.
It is more of an issue of poor firmware in the interface that causes issues.
Only eSATA seem to be much better.
And the external drive, has to present 1 drive to the PVR or computer, if you have a 6 hard drive enclosure, it has to show as one drive, not 6, so it has to RAID them on it's own.
eSATA only drives have no controller between the interface and the drive. Drives with a USB interface require a controller / interface board, which seem to cause a problem for some set-top boxes even when the eSATA port is used.
It is not that Shaw wants to corner the market on expanders or anything like that - merely that Shaw goes through and tests the drives it sells in order to ensure compatibility. In addition, Shaw sends samples to the set-top box manufacturers ands asks them to also certify compatibilty.
If you want to use a non-Shaw provided expander, that is up to you, however Shaw can not make any promises about compatibility.
Shaw typically tests samples from Iomega, Western Digital and Seagate, so any expander from these companies is "expected" to work. That being said, these manufactures will often swap out the internal drive for whatever one they can buy most cost-effectively at the moment, so Shaw will wait to do a final approval until they are just about to sell them. Once Shaw has started selling a particular model of expander, new samples are provided every time the manufacturer switches the internal drives, so Shaw continues to test these to ensure they remain compatible.
Regarding capacities - all Shaw set-tops that support an expander (i.e. those with a eSATA port) currently are compatible with up to 1 TB. Over 1 TB, some set-top boxes with older firmware have issues reporting the correct capacity (i.e. report a 2 TB as a 1 TB, however the drive still works ok) and some will not even recognize the drive.
Since it would be a logistics nightmare for Shaw to provide different expanders for different set-top box models, the decision was made to not sell any 2 TB drives until the firmware can be updated on all models to address this issue.
Since firmware often incorporates dozens of fixes and possibly even a couple of new features, it takes quite a bit of time to fully test a new canditate for release. Especially given that the firmware is quite stable on older set-top boxes, Shaw does not want to risk releasing firmware that might worsen the experience, so firmware that fixes customer-facing problems always takes priority. This being said, Shaw is expecting to release new firmware for older set-top boxes soon that will address this >1 TB expander compability issue, however they can't be specific on a time frame.
Sorry for the long-winded explanation, but I thought it might help...
All Pace boxes, Motorola DCX boxes (DCX3400, DCX3510) and Gateway should have no issue running 2 TB expanders as these have been tested in the lab and no issues have been found.
This is a very helpful and informative update. Thank you
I have recently installed a Shaw gateway system for 3 TVs.
I will give the Seagate 2 TB expander a try if I can source one in Canada.
Ok, I thought the 1TB limitation in the firmware on the older PVRs had been addressed already.
One thing to note is that it is possible that if you start with one setup, then add more room, that you are actually creating a new storage space, thus causing for the identity number to change. If this is true, then the Gateway may see it as a new device and you may have to format it as a whole before you can use it. I've not had to test this before so I can't say for sure. If you do try it, come back and update the post.
Please note that the links are set for examples only, you can insert your preferred store/options.
Has anyone actually tried and had success with an eSata hub?
rolya77: I'm going to ask the rest of the team and see if I can find you that answer. I'm quoting responses from the Arris Gateway technical information I've read, but I'd like to say that yes we've seen it in action. I'll come back to this thread and update once I get a positive answer.
I defer to Jorton's expertise with these things as he has done the most testing and seemingly has the most experience at getting aftermarket solutions to work. Mark-VSE has us on the right track now with letting us know a port multiplier can be used but I don't know that Shaw will have the answers, as he says, because they won't test or support other options. I'm looking forward to trying the possible plug and play solution that will make a more simple job of adding the spare expanders I already have. This won't be the most efficient or elegant solution but it may just be the most practical for others who have more than one Shaw expander and want to make use of them without having to get up and physically swap the connections each time.
I have ordered the unit that Jorton mentioned and will test it out early next month when I am able. I will certainly post my results and do hope it will be good news.
Moderators note: Just FYI - have moved part of this discussion regarding using multiple eSATA drives to a new thread here: https://community.shaw.ca/thread/1294
Please continue there - apologies for leaving a few posts behind, that didn't seem to go as I intended.
Shaw Community Moderator
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