External hard drive vendors eye DVR upgrade market

External hard drive vendors eye DVR upgrade market

As consumers begin to record television shows and movies on digital video recorders (DVR), storage manufacturers have spotted an opportunity for selling them extra storage.

Hoping to cash in on the growing need for extra DVR storage, external hard drive companies, Maxtor and Seagate Technology, are planning to develop and market external hard drives for DVRs.

About 4.2 million DVRs were shipped worldwide in 2003.

About half that number shipped to the US, according to market research from IDC.

Last year, shipments to the US grew by 180 per cent, the company said.

Most DVRs available today provide a minimum of 40 hours of storage.

DVRs with higher capacities were available, but when most users initially purchased the device they didn’t understand how quickly their DVRs would fill up with content, director of global consumer electronics marketing for Seagate, Rob Pait, said.

Both Maxtor and Seagate said that cable and satellite operators that were entering the market would want to offer external products that consumers could simply plug into the back of an existing DVR without having to open the case, send the machine back to the manufacturer or co-ordinate a service call with the cable or satellite provider.

Last week, Maxtor unveiled the QuickView Expander external drive, designed for DVRs. It would come with 160GB of storage, and be available in the US early in the third quarter, director of digital entertainment for Maxtor, David Barron, said. Pricing has not been disclosed.

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