Which models can take an external hard drive?
External hard drives can only be added the following Bell TV model receivers: 9241, 9242, 9400, 6131, 6141, 6400. It cannot be added to any other models including the 9200 (which is no longer active on BTV anyway).
Do I need to buy the EHD sold by Bell?
No. Many readers have used various drives in external cases with success, however, there is no guarantee that any drive you buy will work.
The vast majority of external 7200 RPM USB 2.0 hard drives with a capacity between 50GB and 2 Terabyte should work. Please note that Hard drives less than 50GB and over 2GB will not work and 5400 RPM drives are not recommended.
Can I use a 3TB Drive?
No. The maximum hard drive size is 2TB.
Can I use a Flash Drive?
As noted in post #1, EHD stands for External Hard drive so flash drives will not work.
Can I use a small external notebook drive that is powered by the USB Port?
No. Your external drive must have its own power supply.
Note: One member claims to have successfully used a USB powered drive for several months. Although you might have success with some USB powered drives, the USB port on the Bell receivers were not designed to handle the power requirements of an external hard drive. Bell advises users to use a drive that plugs into an AC outlet. To minimize the risk of damage to your receiver, its advice we recommend members take.
Can I use a drive with Sleep mode
Although some readers say they have used them, our advice is to avoid using External Hard Drives that can be programmed to go into a hibernation or sleep mode because they can conflict with PVR timers and cause problems.
Heat is your enemy
Like any hard drive, your external hard drive will generate a lot of heat, therefore ensure it is in a well ventilated location. Sticking it in an enclosed cabinet or right up against several other components is likely to cause problems.
9242 / 9241 / 9400
- EHD functionality introduced in firmware v182. Many problems with firmware V182 were reported by readers who lost data, drives and encountered many other difficulties.
- Firmware V183 appears to have corrected data corruption problems.
- External hard drive on the 9242/41/9400 can be moved to another 9242/41/9400 receiver on the same account.
- Programming from an EHD mated to a 9242/41/9400 drive cannot be viewed on a 6131, 6141 or 6400. Attempting to do so could result in your drive being reformatted.
- Multiple drives can be added to the 9242/41/9400 but only one at a time
Note that the eHDDs from the above are apparently incompatible with the 9500.
Update July 15th: To the best of our knowledge, the 3 strike rule is no longer in effect.
- EHD functionality introduced in firmware v165.
- EHD's can be shared between 6131/6141/6400s that are on the same Bell TV account.
- Programming from an EHD mated to a 6131 or 6141 or 6400 receiver cannot be viewed on a 9241 or 9242 or 9400 receiver. Attempting to do so could result in your drive being reformatted.
- Multiple drives can be added to the 6131/6141/6400 but only one at a time
Timers reside on the receiver, so if you move an eHDD, the timers stay on the receiver and will need to be redone on the "new" receiver if desired.