Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD Hi-Def DVR


Today I picked up an HD DVR, the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD (shown), from my local Time Warner Cable office. Here are my thoughts after setting it up and using it for 2 hours or so.


First, setup was easy since it basically replaced my previous HD set-top box -- same cables and everything. For outputs, I use component video (direct to TV) and digital coax audio (to the stereo). While I could have used the DVR's HDMI output to feed into the TV's DVI port, given the so-so picture quality, component video is about all it merits (but more on that later). As far as ports, the DVR also offers optical digital audio out, s-video out (?), and standard stereo audio out (via RCA jacks).

During the first couple of hours, the DVR reset/rebooted itself once, after which some really bizarre gobblety-gook appeared on the screen on some channels (see photo below). I hope this clears up soon. At least it's not on the channels I watch the most.


While the picture quality is better than standard, or even enhanced TV (you'd expect it to be since it's a hi-def box), it's noticeably worse than the Pioneer 3510HD STB (cable tuner) it replaced. Using the same cables and settings, compression artifacts are much more prevalent on most channels, especially those with marginal HD feeds. Watching ABC news tonight in HD, the border of the reporter's face against the dark background would literally shimmer as the compression algorithm tried to adjust to the moving, angled line. Not great, for sure.

Now, before I discuss the interface, I have to confess that I am a diehard TiVo junkie. TiVo is my gold standard that any other DVR will be compared against when it comes to the UI. With that said, the SA box is mediocre. It's not horrible, but some anthropological engineering of the user interface could offer some dramatic usability improvements. Plus, there are several features that I miss already (e.g., recording quality setting per show, auto-record by keyword, and the "boing"....where's the "boing?"). They may be in there, but I didn't find them in my brief usage tonight. And why is the remote (center) so darn big?


However, on the plus side, the 8300HD is chock-a-block full of good specs. It has dual tuners, meaning that you can record two programs at the same time while watching a different pre-recorded one. It sports a 160GB hard drive (20 hours of HD content or 90 hours of SD content), and, most surprisingly, an external SATA connector so you can hook up an external hard drive to expand your storage capacity without monkeying around in the DVR's guts...nice!

Anyway, I'm sure my opinion will evolve with time. Perhaps I'll even forgive the lack of a cute little mascot and forget about that big, friendly, yellow Pause button. Not likely, but maybe...

Update (2008-12-9): I've posted a step-by-step HOWTO: Expand the Recording Capacity of your Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR (it's easy...give it a try)


Hey guys!
***Somebody please respond to this so I know I am not being ignored.***

I just got my 8300HD and I was wondering how to hook it up to my computer and then download my recordings onto it, and ofcourse watch the files.

Can somebody tell me exactly what cables I need aswell as drivers/software.

Thanks alot,
Taylor Fenwick


Call your cable customer support number and they'll tell you how to reset the box.

Has anyone had the unfortunate experience of spilling any liquid (in this case, water) on the top of a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable box?

If so, and you have any possible solutions or advice or information on whether the box is salvagable or not, I would love to hear from you.

Help, I cannot figure out how to hook up external speakers to my 8300 dvr. Can anyone help?

I purchased a Seagate external drive (640GB) and installed in accordance with instructions for the ESATA drive. An error message says it does not recognize the external conection. Is there a limit on drive size for the formatting to work?

I have the SA 8300HD box with Cox in Phoenix. Bought a new Samsung 55" LCD 650. Of course, it works with the RGB cables, but only at 480i.... even when you manually set the dvr box with the buttons on the front of the box to put out 1080i it switches back to 480i instantly when the TV is turned on. Bought two different HDMI cables and neither one works... TV says no signal. Cox phone rep says its supposed to work. Cox cable guy is supposed to be here this afternoon... probably will tell me to switch boxes. Problem is I have a bunch of recordings on the current box with no way to get them off other than realtime playing to a dvd recorder. I also have a SATA expander drive that has half the recordings on it, but still no way to transfer the recordings from the dvr to the expander drive. If the cable guy doesn't have a solution for the HDMI connection issue and the lack of 1080i, I'm going to be stuck between a rock and a hard place. It seems a shame to spend money on a new HDTV with all the new technology and the cable box is so bad I can't use it. Don't want to lose my recordings... don't want to spend time recording them all... not satisfied with RGB at 480i... Why can't someone provide the service we are paying for? I had similar problems 2 years ago with Cox... no solution then, so far no solution now. Does anybody out there have answers for any of the topics I've presented here? Anything would be helpful... I'll let you know what the cable guy comes up with if anything.

as far as I know, the SATA external hard disk drive capability is not "activated" by Time Warner in New York City (and elsewhere).

The External SATA is enabled when the box ships from SciAtl, the cable company can disable it, but most don't as there is no benefit to limiting. To use the sata, you must have a sata1.0 to sata2.0 cable, as a 1.0 cable will not work in the dvr. Once plugged in and powered on the OS will detect the new hdd and ask you if you'd like to format it.

I have adelphia and I am really unhappy with their software rollout. I am not sure which software package it built off of, but it is terrible.

Problems include but are not limited to:

When watching a show that is recording you have to rewind back to the beginning as it doesn't start at the beginning, but where it is currently recording.

When the show you are watching finishes recording it boots you out to the menu and forces you to start from the beginning again, thus you have to now fast forward to where you left off.

Season passes are hardly season passes. You must choose your show and then choose wheter to only record this show in this time slot, or in all time slots. This doesn't allow you to filter first runs from reruns etc.. Shows like realworld etc.. on mtv, will fill your dvr in 2 days if you set a always record season pass, as mtv likes to run marathons on shows like that, and if there is a week where the network decides to show later than usual, you won't get it if you don't have the "all times" enabled. It is really a bad implementation, I've heard that other cableco's don't have these issues, so just commenting on my own.


I have the 8300HD from Charter cable and I was wondering if I can plug the USB into my laptop to access the drive in the box. It would be a great way to record on my laptop dvd recorder the programs I like, does anyone know anything about this or if this is a possibility?

I have an 8300HD connected to a Toshiba HD projection TV with DVI input. I have an HDMI to DVI adapter connected to my DVI cable at the 8300HD end as per page 9 in the connection booklet. I have RCA audio cables for sound. Get no picture or sound when I select DVI input with the TV tuner. I am only able to get picture and sound using component input. Cox Cable can't solve my problem. Any one have an idea what's going on?

I have the Pioneer 3510HD, and read the earlier posts here about it. Can someone tell me how to get the best standard definition picture with it? My HD channels look awesome, but the SD channels leave a lot to be desired. I'm using component cables to a Sony 34XBR800 CRT.



I just received my 8300HD. I upgraded from the 8000hd specificaly for the ability to add additional storage via the SATA port. Does anyone know what specifica SATA hard drives are compatible or will any SATA work?

I think I have the same problem as Al does above. I have a Samsung 42" DLP with an HDMI input...I got an HDMI cable from Best Buy where I work and tried to go from my 8300HD into my TV. My TV said there was no signal coming from the HDMI input! But when I use component cable for video and RCA cables for the stereo audio it works just fine. It sucks that I spent so much cash on a 3 foot HDMI cable and not have it work. Anyone know how to enable the HDMI output on the 8300HD???


To set HDMI audio out:

Go to settings, digital out. scroll to HDMI and press, "Select". Exit settings. That should work.

I have the same problem as Al. I could not get sound or picture to my Tobisha 57" HD projection TV when I hooked up to the 8300HD with a DVI-HDMI cable. Cox could not help! I can change the Audio setting to HDMI, but how do I get a video signal?

If the 8300HD is in 480i the HDMI interface will not output a signal

To get to 480p 720p 720i 1080i turn the power off then hold down info and guide at the same time then follow the promps for setting up the advanced settings it will step you through the various screen formats and to can accept them or block them. I found that the output from the HDMI was not a crisp as I would have liked as I was seing quite a bit of compression noise specifically in the blacks. Also if you forget to remove 480i from the list of available screen modes and you go to the picture setup menu and choose auto by accident you better be ready to hook up the component outputs again as auto on my box went back to 480i again. I must say that even comcast was not all that knowledgable about this box.

I Have Adelphia cable and would like to expand the recording time of my 8300HD DVR. Could someone recommend the largest external SATA that would be compatible with my DVR.

Can I record a video that I am playing from a hd video camera playing through the rca inputs on the front of the 8300?

480i problem. Arrrgh --- it looks like I just ran into the 480i problem. I mistakenly approved 480i output, and my box is connected only by HDMI to my Samsung HDTV. Now I can't see the damn TV, and even though I hit info/guide on the cablebox to try to fix it, I think the **menu itself** is now outputting at 480i, so I can't even see the @#$$# menu to fix it?!!? HAs anyone run into this problem? Is there a way to hard-reset the cable box so that when it starts back up, it's at least outputting at 480p (which I assume my TV will show?) Otherwise, it appears I'll have to temporarily put in component cables from the box to the TV, fix the menu, and then remove the component cables. ********RELATED QUESTION: I was having problems getting digital surround sound through a receiver -- was this because I was using the HDMI audio output, instead of "Dolby Surround" output option? I switched it to Dolby, and now my receiver seems to realize it should be doing audio output as Solby surround (I had a digital audio output going from the box to the receiver, and an HDMI from the box to the TV??)

Getting the HDMI to work just about drove me nuts. In fact, I still don't know what fixed it. It wasn't working, so I turned off my TV (still set to DVI input) and left the room. What I came back and turned it on, suddenly it worked. I didn't do anything that I hadn't done 20 times already (including the power cycle).

Mathmn - That path above doesn't work/exist to enable HDMI sound on my 8300HD. I can't get my sound to work either.

Kevin, I just read SA's site a little while ago and it says the front RCA ports are disabled. They claim they may enable them at some point via a software update.

Sound problem solved. For those who may come along later, here's the answer: HDMI and DVI are quite different. HDMI includes sound, but DVI does not. The adapter cable only converts the video signal; you still have to connect audio separately.

If your HDTV has a DVI connector, and you have an 8300HD DVR, you need an HDMI to DVI adapter, and you need a separate audio connection.

As to why the Setting for Audio: 2-channel vs digital does not appear, I can only surmise that the 8300HD_DVR is smart enough to detect whether there is a HDMI-capable device on the other end of the cable. DVI doesn't qualify.

Here's the link to the user guide:

Cool, Brian, thanks for the tips!

Also, I wanted to update this post. I think the firmware in the 8300HD has since been updated, since I now have no complaints about the picture quality of either live or recorded content. It's quite good, I'll admit -- I can't tell live from recorded, even in HD, which is impressive.

So many have figured how to connect an external drive to the 8300HD and fill it up with shows, anyone take the next step and be able to connect it back to a pc and read the files on it? I know windows sees nothing, but can you pull the files off in linux for osX or windows viewing?

How do you download into a pc? I tried connecting it to my pc using firewire but windows kept asking for a driver. The 1394 driver was already installed in my driver list so it should have worked. Are the firewire outputs activited in the 8300?

Also, when I use the copy to vcr function, the sound eventually kicks to whatever else I'm watching, but the picture will still be recording. Anybody else have this problem?

I just bought the Samsung DLP HL-R5067W and picked up the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD box. I had a real tough time getting the HDMI to HDMI connection to work. Component worked fine, but the HDMI did not work at all. I even had the Cable Guy (Brighthouse Networks, Orlando) come by, and he had no clue. I replace the 8300HD box and the HDMI cable, but it did not fix the problem.

Based on the 8300HD documentation, you should only need to connect the HDMI cable to TV, but Samsung’s documentation says to also connect the Composite and Coax cables. Once I did that and selected either of those sources on the TV it had the following message "Your HDTV does not support HDCP please use the Component connections to watch TV." (Not the exact wording.) I thought this was very interesting. The Samsung claims to support HDCP, which is an encryption protocol that runs over the HDMI connection.

Something that I read on this forum was that the Samsung HDMI port can not support 480i. So I went ahead the change the setting on the 8300HD to only support 1080i and 720p and it worked. I can't believe how much time I wasted.

Thanks for all the great information.


I have 3 8300HD's and this is what I have found.
1. In Houston, Time Warner does not broadcast digital sound on cable channels 2 thru 47. Only analog sound. So, your HDMI will have sound only from cable channels 48 and higher.
2. Time Warner sends out programming signals from about midnight until 9 or 9:30 every other night. Your 8300HD dvr makes a small noise then spins up for about 2.5 minutes then spins down. This goes on every 5 minutes of the night and morning unless you power up your box. Time Warner e-mailed me they are aware of the problem, and "the engineers are working on it". Time Warner will not let me contact "the engineers" nor will they give me a time frame for fixing those issues.

I have a 8300HD from Time Warner and I cannot at all get the "info and guide" advanced setting to work. I can access basic aspect ratio and output formats through the regular setting menu.
Any thoughts?

Derek, I have the same problem and my cable company cannot help me. I'm going to the SA site to see if the 8300HD help guide really helps. -T

I have the SA 8300HD from Time Warner Cable in Raleigh, NC - can I use the usb port to record to a portable drive mounted in an enclosure?

Adding an external hard drive to boost the capacity of the 8300HD is easy.
I purchased a 250GB SATA hard drive and external SATA enclosure from for about $135. Then, I purchased a SATA to eSATA cable from for $20. I installed the hard drive into the enclosure, and connected the SATA end of the cable to the enclosure and the eSATA end of the cable to the 8300HD. I rebooted the 8300HD, and it recognized and formatted the hard drive. Now I can record 50 hours of HD material on the 8300HD. Awesome!!!!!

The hard drive on my 8300HD is running contantly, even when the box is off and not recording anything.
The constant chugging is driving the wife nuts.
Anyone else have this happening?

In response to Milton's post about the HDMI, I have a Samsung TV as well, but I had to disable 480i and 480p inside the 8300HD before HDMI worked properly. Now my box shows 720p for everything except the 1080i channels.


Posted by: Craig at December 28, 2005 08:26 PM

So many have figured how to connect an external drive to the 8300HD and fill it up with shows, anyone take the next step and be able to connect it back to a pc and read the files on it? I know windows sees nothing, but can you pull the files off in linux for osX or windows viewing?



Did anyone ever respond to your post? I was hoping to pull content from my SAE 8300 to my Dell laptop for viewing while travelling on business...

BTW, my nephew is in his first year at UC studying business...go Bearcats!

andycapp: Nah, I haven't found an answer, but then I do what you're describing with my TiVo (their TiVoToGo service is really slick), so I haven't looked into it at all for the SA DVR. And yeah, go Bearcats! :-)

Objective: Get .tsp files off of the Satellite-based DVR (Digital Video Recorder) to PC Hard Drive.
(The following steps were tested on a dish network DishDVR model 625.)
(This info is considered to be current as of January 2006.)

Stumbled across this recently... I'm assuming the 8300 uses the same linux type filesystem...pretty interesting article, good info for windows users, including a link for installing the EXT3 filesystem (ext2fsd) for windows...

and oh yeah, Go Bearcats!!!

I have an 8000HD now but am hoping to pick up one of the 8300HD before the Olympics start tomorrow. A few comments.

1. I am very interested in expanding the HD storage capability of the unit. I see Mr. Torres above was successful. Anyone get this working with Time Warner Cable? Is it a TWC issue or an SA issue?

2. A number of people have asked about moving their external drive back to their computer to rip or save the shows elsewhere. From my cursory research, it appears there is an encryption key to prevent that. I think I found that on

Thanks to all who've participated and helped out here - it's much appreciated.

Michael Levy

sorry, forgot to post the url last time....this is not the explorer 8300 or 8000 or TW cable, but if someone has an external drive, i think it's worth a shot...I'm still waiting for my drive to arrive...

Anyone please help.

I know my stuff when it comes to this but I cant figure it out!!

I have the 8300HD box, I have HD service and everything works fine untill I noticed burn in occurring on the sides from the stupid black boxes when watching non-HD content!! I finally discovered that you can hit settings once and scroll down to change it to "stretch" to eliminate the bars---The only problem in doing this is that you stretch the HD channels and have to change it back!!!

Does anyone know the safest settings to leave it on so no further burnin will occur, and if I can eliminate the black bars all at once?????


Has anyone figured out a way around the issue of the two problems with the SATA HD8000 that
1. When watching a show that is recording you have to rewind back to the beginning as it doesn't start at the beginning, but where it is currently recording.
2. When the show you are watching finishes recording it boots you out to the menu and forces you to start from the beginning again, thus you have to now fast forward to where you left off.

Because I just got this machine through Comcast and it is really annoying...especially when I was watching the Olympics and then got booted out of it and had to fast forward through 3 hours of programming..yuck! If anyone has figured this out, please let me know.

Is 8300HD compatible with JVC HM-DH5U digital VHS recorder? I understand this VCR uses a FireWire for its video input.

I use the optical output to supply the sound to my amp when using HDMI in most cases. I found if you changed the audio settings inside the 8300HD it would also output to the TV.

I have hooked up a SA 8300 to both a Sony VPL100
(SXRD Projector) and a LG Plasma, Both with HDMI
When they both were hooked up they would work for 5 to 10 minutes, then I got the Your TV does not support HDCP, please use Y-CR-CB. Both of these sets support HDCP and both manufactures said the problem is with the box. Time Warner has no clue what I'm talking about. I believe, but will double check that I had all outputs but 720p or 1080i selected. Can anyone help me.

I have installed an SA8300 to both a Sony VPL100(SXRD Projector) and a LG Plasma. Both with HDMI. Both sets worked for 5 to 10 minutes after being hooked up for the first time. After that I got the (Your television does not support HDCP, please use Y-CR-CB) I have swapped out cable boxes, turned off all outputs but 720P or 1080i. I talked to both manufacturers and both sets support HDCP, they said the problem is with the cable box. I talked to Time Warner and they have no clue what I'm talking about. PLEASE HELP ME!!!!

To anyone that got the SATA jack to work, do you know if your scientific atlatna 8300 is running scietific atlanta software or pioneer software. Time Warner and Comcast in Kansas City use Pioneer software on all cable boxes.

also hooked the 1394 port to the back of my computer.. it recognizes that the box is there, but i can't find a driver for it... anybody else figure this out yet?

Can I run a USB from my laptop to my cable SA 8300HD, so I can convert my favorite programs to play on dvd and mpeg? If so, do I have everything, if not what do I needd?

I have the SA 8300 HD, a sony 7.1 DD reciever and a sony wega 36" TV. I cannot get the reciever to play in surround sound when watching TV. The receivers little blue light does come on (indicating 5.1 DTS sound) when I watch a DVD but never when I watch a tv show... even if the show says it is dolby 5.1.

Any advice as to what I'm doing wrong?


Well, I'm getting the 8300HD tomorrow and after reading all of your comments, I think maybe I'm nervous. I'm a die-hard ReplayTV junkie..and aside from the obvious HD quality issues, it sounds like the ReplayTV is a far superior unit to this SA8300. I hope I didn't make the wrong decision...any comments from former ReplayTV owners would be greatly appreciated!


I consider the ReplayTV (& Tivo) units way superior to the SA8300HD. The only problem is RPTV doesn't record HD. And I believe Tivo HD is only available from DirecTV. Additionally the cost for either unit (RPTV/Tivo) with subscription is not cost effective. I was looking at $100 (unit) and life time subscription ($300). With $400 / $8/m (rental of equip) equates to 4 years before break even point. I'm not to sure that either ReplayTV nor TIVO will support (ie: continue developement) a 4 year old product.

I have 3 ReplayTV units and got my SA 8300HD on Tuesday (02/21/2006). So far, I hate the GUI. :)

Just food for thought,


Jim D,

You can press the '#' on the remote to toggle between all the stretch/zoom modes....
I think this works for all 8300's but I have Cablevision and I know the remote is different than other cable companies.

Also does anyone know what happens if you use the external SATA drive and then disconnect you loose all of your recording or just the ones on the external drive....basically does it span the drives when recording??

I just received a new SA 8300 HD-DVR from Time Warner. When I switched out my SA 3100 HD receiver for a SA 8300 HD-DVR the recording part of the DVR worked fine. However I am having a problem with my picture. With the HD receiver I ran my component video cables from my tv to my cable box and I received a perfect HD picture. I hooked up my HD DVR exactly the same way, but the picture looks “overexposed.” Even with the channel guide, everything white is too bright. I have tried to adjust everything picture wise with both my tv and DVR, but the picture still does not look like it should.

Has anyone ran into this problem?


I am setting up a home theatre with a Sharp XV-12000 front projectore. Will my Exp;orer 8300HD box allow me to access TV programing or will I need a separate tuner?

I have a 8300HD connected to a Panasonic plasma with a HDMI to DVI cable. I was having a problem where if I turned the plasma off, the 8300HD would turn off. I could not turn the 8300HD back on without first turning the plasma back on. The unit would not record shows overnight without the plasma on, and I could not listed to music over a cable chanel without the plasma on.

I discovered a fix. Here is what I had to do:

1. Turn the 8300HD off and unplug it. Turn the plasma off.

2. Unplug the HDMI cable from the 8300HD.

3. Plug in and power up the 8300HD. (I had no picture when doing this because the plasma was not connected). I waited about 5-10 minutes until it appeared to be fully booted up.

4. Plug the HDMI cable back into the 8300HD.

5. Turn the plasma back on.

After that everything works without any problems. I am able to turn the plasma off and still listed to music and record shows.

I hope this helps for some people because it drove me &*$@& nuts for a while :)

Hi, I've read the above with great interest as I just upgraded to the SA8300HD yesterday to hook up to my new Denon receiver and Samsung 32" HDTV. I'm on Time Warner NYC.

First, using component connections I only get a few channels that appear at all. The others are just grey boxes. Channels that do appear are of so so quality and there is clear pixelation.

Second, the 8300HD doesn't have any "Setup Wizard" functionality enabled from the front of the box (holding down the guide/info keys does nothing, holding down the Set key button does nothing). I've tried changing the settings via the onscreen but I only get the most basic setup options...which leads to:

I would rather use the HDMI output but I too am getting the "your monitor doesn't support HDCP" when it clearly does. I have a feeling that because I don't have access to advanced setup options on the cable box that I can't set it properly...any thoughts!


HDMI Prevents record/rewind/stop/ff when initially turned on or when turn tv on/off.

I have the 8300HD and hooked up HDMI to my Sceptre 37" LCD. Everything worked well, some audio/video glitches when going into the menu (though not always). After a few days I noticed a strange glitch.

When I first turn the tv & 8300HD on I can not rewind/record/stop, etc. I can display what is on and go into the kind. I have to change channels to record. This means I can not rewind the show if it was the first thing on since powering up.

I tested some things and noticed if I turn the tv off and then back on the 8300HD does the same thing. If I do this via component it works fine.

Anyone seen this? Anyone know a fix? Thanks.

I found SATA to eSATA cable to connect my external SATA drive to the 8300HD. Plugs in the back and the cable box took care of everything. The cable from this place was a good deal compared to others. See

HDMI Prevents record/rewind/stop/ff when initially turned on or when turn tv on/off.

Further comments to my dilemma. This is WEIRD.
I have HDMI hooked up to my Sceptre 37" LCD from the 8300HD ver

I have the 8300HD OFF. I turn on my tv from the remote or the tv directly and the 8300HD changes from showing the clock to displaying the channel I am on. It then goes back to the time, however the audio and video is enabled. The 8300HD is STILL OFF though.

From this point I can rewind/ff/stop/record, etc. I can not change channels or anything at this point as theoretically it is OFF.

I then turn on the 8300HD and I can change channels but I can NOT rewind/ff/stop/record until I change a channel. This goes along with my post above.

Anyone seen this? Why does the 8300HD display audio/video and allow DVR functionality when it is suppose to be off?

On a further note, if I turn the TV off after this (without turning on the DVR) the sound continues through my receiver (via analog RCA's). The only way to turn the sound off is to turn on the 8300HD and then turn it off again.

It just gets stranger the more I try to figure it out. I have rebooted the box.

Thank you!




I just picked up my 8300HD from Adelphia. The constant sound of the hard drive(?) whirring is a real pain - especially when all I want to do is sit in a quiet room and read. Is there a way to stop it?

Pressing the power button will put the 8300 in sleep mode, which will stop the hard drive, and also save some electricity.

I have a 3800 HD cablebox. Is there really a benefit in picture quality with HDMI connection vs. components cable? Anybody out there tried and see a difference... I would appreciate any info.

Hello. I have been following these forums for months now trying to resolve my issues without any help. But &^%$#!! I can't do it...
I have a Sony Grand Wega, Scientific Atlanta 8399 hd, and a Sony Vaio Computer.
I have tried to connect all three for this purpose. Not only do I want to record cable broadcast with my pc, but I would like to do this in real time in High Definition (HD). Windows media center sucks (image is poor and the sound is always distorted and the only connection into the comp is through coax cable or rca jacks?! whatever!) and meedio is just not there yet.
What steps are needed in order for me to get results?
(pc spec) pentiumR 4 cpu 3.40ghz, 3.39 Ghz, 2.00 gb RAM. Hard drive memory is over 500 gb
I have firewire, and Esata connections. Also, I already have the setup done to view hd on my tv (dvi out on computer to hdmi in on tv; dvr- hdmi to hdmi)
please help

can't get my io to work, everytime i press guide button it just flashes a black screen then goes back to program, anyhelp as how to get my guide up and running

For Jim D.

There is a known issue with the 8300HD and HDMI in the 8300HD user manual. (Go to Scientific Atlanta's Explorer Club to download the manual and discussion of HDMI). If you select the HDMI output, when you switch to a non HD channel you need to switch to component output since they are in 480i. Sometimes the 8300HD will remember the settings and automatically stretch the video, sometimes it will not. It is best to not leave your HD monitor on if you are not watching it in case it forgets to stretch the non-HD channels. If you always use component video you will have to over ride the component settings of the 8300HD or it will up convert all 480i channels to 1080i (obviously with no improvement of video quality). Dan already talked about using the "#" shortcut to stretch non HD channels. Also, the unit will not automatically stretch all 4:3 HD broadcasts; just watch HD HBO - all HBO intros are 4:3 but the movies will be shown in 16:9 (unless the show is recorded/broadcast in 4:3 aspect ratio like most network HD broadcasts, you can select to stretch those too). Hmmm...

For non-HD recordings I use an HP m1195c Media Center PC and play them back using VGA output. Noisy thing when the cooling fans kicks in but I save the 8300HD for HD recordings only. I have an Akai 42" PDP 4225M monitor and a Samsung HT-WP38 home theater. I always use the Dolby 5.1 output in the 8300HD settings for audio output and the digital optical in on the home theater. HDMI settings on the 8300HD disables all Dolby 5.1 output unless you specifically over ride and select the Dolby 5.1 settings on the 8300HD. (The stereo speakers on the Akai are poor for audio.) All "low end" of the "high end" gear but good enough for my purposes.

How do you get the audio video inputs on the front of this unit to work?

I have an 8300HD and a 42" LG HDTV. They are connected with an HDMI-to-HDMI cable. Sometimes when I turn on the TV I have no sound. If I turn the TV off and back on (sometimes it takes a few tries) I will get the sound. Any suggestions as to why?

Also, I paid $150 bucks for the HDMI 1000 Monster cable. Is it worth it?

I have the Explorer 8300 HD from Charter. Anyone know how to successfully connect it to a pc so I can store shows or make DVDs? Please help!!!

1) Passport and SARA seem to be the Operating system of the 8300HD... so when the box formats a sata hdd, it is no longer in the standard PC format. Just like MAC and Windows drives cannot be swapped without certain steps (not HOT-SWAPPABLE).
2) I would like to know more about using linux to read a HDD formatted with SARA or Passport. Is the data still in a MPEG file format?
3) Has anyone found out what the USB or the Flash card reader on the front does? It would be very unlikely that video and audio go thru such an interface. Firewire is a bit faster than USB 2.0 but only because it has direct access to the CPU. Has anyone confirmed that any multimedia has passed thru any of these interfaces?
4) I think that the USB or the Flash card reader on the front is for loading configurations or doing diagnostics or transfers of small data.
5) The firewire is a mistery to me because it can stream data for a decent video quality but I am sure that the 8300HD does NOT have a device driver for windows which is necessary to make it compatible. The SciAtl box is not a PC. And its internal HD is NOT PC formmated.
6) You can burn HD-DVD's if you have the latest technology. Regular DVD's cannot hold that quality of video. High Def must be supported along the whole path. An HD cable box, an HD video capture card (ATI HDTV WONDER), an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray Burner(SH-B022A, Samsung), and then an HD-DVD or Blu-Ray Player. $$$
7) The best (cheapest) way to get your recordings on your PC and to DVD is to get a Video capture device ($40-$300) the cheaper it is, the worse the interface and quality. $ Composite(yellow RCA), $$ SVideo(4pin round), and $$$ Component (3 cables red, green, blue) which will get HD to your PC. Software is needed but usually included with hardware.

abe, this is a HDTV Tuner from Newegg for $113...

I've run into a problem with my AS 8300HD. When I first hooked it up to my new Toshiba LCD tv through HDMI, the picture was great. Now, I'm getting color replacement, where blue turns to red, and vice versa. It's not a permanent feature, but it happens with extreme regularity (once every few seconds). Any thoughts?

I was told by Time Warner Austin that the sata port wasn't enabled yet, that this would happen in the "future"; should I believe them or risk getting an enclosure for one of my sata drives? I have several 300 gb sata drives and it sure would be nice to have the extra storage for the 8300HD.

Hello, everyone.

***Somebody please respond to this so I know I am not being ignored.***

It has been a month now since I posted my questions, with no response from anyone. But I have noticed others' questions being answered. Just curious on why the only way I can get this unit is by paying a monthly rental & service fees with Time Warner Austin just to get it to work? Why? All I want one for is to record normal standard analog channel programs, so I can replace my vcrs. If I buy one myself an not pay the Time Warner Austin's monthly rental & service fees will it work the way that I want it too? According to Time Warner Austin, if I buy one and not from them, they will not activate it because they would consider the unit that I purchased to be a lost or stole unit from some other cable company. I explained to them that I do not want the HD channels just want a DVR (hard drive) to record standard analog programs, so I can replace my vcrs. They said that the unit will do that, but I have to pay them for it. For it to be activated and linked to their system. To me this does not sound right. You don't have to call them to activate or link your tv's, vcrs, and other equipment that you buy yourself. You do if you want certain features and/or type of channels like digital or HD channels, which I do not want right now. So I am asking again. If I buy one myself and do not call or pay Time Warner Austin to activate it & etc, will it work the way that I want it too? Or is the only way that I can get one is paying the monthly rental & service fees by Time Warner Austin and according to them it is an additional $20 a month for rental fees and service? To me this does not sound right? To me it would be cheaper for me to just buy one myself and etc, without paying Time Warner for rental or service. Am I right or wrong? Please someone response to my questions?


can you hook up your camcorder to the 8300
and record home movies onto it?

Maybe someone here can help me....I just got my SA 8300 and am waiting for my 2 new hdtvs to arrive. For now I have my box hooked up to a crt. My problem is that I have the box connected via component and using optical for sound. I am running it thru my Onkyo TX NR1000. I am experiencing a bad lip sync problem....especially on the HD channels. I have 8300 set to output 480i. Can someone tell me why I am having a lip sync problem and maybe a solution to fix it. My other set does not have this issue. Although on the other set I am not using optical. I am using the rca for audio....any suggestions?

I have Cox cable and recently got a 32" LCD tv and ordered the HD DVR, it's a SA 8300HD. Composite works fine, but when I tried to use an HDMI-HDMI cable I thought it did not work at all, then I noticed something strange about it. The picture quality is fine on all the digital channels (and "normal" on the non-digital ones), but I get no sound on any digital channels. However, I do get sound on channels 1 through 99.

I do have HDMI audio selected in the settings menu. Support said they would send an update to the box that should fix it, but after that I still have the exact same problem. They said if the update didn't fix it, then they would send a technician out to look at it. I'm thinking to skip the tech visit and just use the 5 bulky component cables instead of the single HDMI cable.

this is for Jules and Joe...and anyone else looking for HDMI cables

Jules...I am not a fan of any Monster product, and I'm what you'd call an audiophile, or audiosnob. And you paid retail price. So I'll put this in bold print for everyone


that said I'll tell you that I was going to buy the Pure A/V by Belkin, or the SonicWave HDMI cables, both of which are technically vastly superior to Monster in wire construction, and the retail price for the Pure A/V at Circuit City is $119, and I got it from for $52. 'nuff said.

Joe...if you have sharp bends in your HDMI cable anything can happen, and I would think color smearing would be at the top of the list


Why not just get Tivo if HD is not your concern?

Anyone figured this one out... it has been posted here a few time but no responses yet:

1. When watching a show that is recording you have to rewind back to the beginning as it doesn't start at the beginning, but where it is currently recording.
2. When the show you are watching finishes recording it boots you out to the menu and forces you to start from the beginning again, thus you have to now fast forward to where you left off.

I find this to be sooooo freaking annoying - I seriously considering going back to Comcast - as their Motorola boxes are way better then these pieces of junk Scientific Atlanta boxes - i just really hate Comcast.... so I kinda don't want to do that

Very weird error. I have a Mitsubishi WD-62627 and a 8300HD obviously. I'm using the HDMI input on it. I recorded Prison Break and 24 yesterday in HD and House IN HD the tonight and when i went to watch them I saw that the shows have besically been split up..the Entire hour show was chopped into several section 28 minutes..then 2 minutes...then 23 and so on. It almost looks like the commercials were causing the box to cut on and off...except for the fact that there were commercials on there that didn't cause the error. Any thoughts? Also on top of that...when i'm watching a show live and then the DVR starts recoding another will switch to the channel that is being recorded..and i'm NOT recording 2 at a time so that's not the error. Any help is greatly appreciated!

I have a sucess story to adding a SATA drive to my Explorer 8300HD. My provider is Cox(Phoenix, AZ).

Buy drive and connect to case. external SATA cable included with case.

Then followed the instructions I read on the net:
1. disconnect wall outlet from Explorer.
2. Connect hard drive. Power it on.
3. reconnect power to Explorer. After boot, message appears: "do you want to format the external drive ?". 30 sec later, it was done.
4. My space taken dropped from 75% to 16%.

The equipment I bought at
- Seagate SATA II 500GB
- Penguin Gear PG380 SATA to eSATA enclosure.
no fan but alum case

cost $325 with shipping.

To phlojo:


Why not just get Tivo if HD is not your concern?"

At last a response from someone! Thanks for your response and suggestion. But doesn't Tivo require a monthly service fee to use, just like if I rented a DVR unit such as the SA8300HD unit from Time Warner Austin? I do not want to pay a monthly service fees & other fees just to record standard analog programs to replace my vcrs. That would sort of be defeating the purpose now wouldn't it. Since nobody pays monthly service and rental fees to use vcrs to record progarms. I just want to upgrade and replace my vcrs without paying any monthly service or rental fees. That is why I would like to have a DVR such as the SA8300HD or a unit that has a Hard Drive & has the capabilities to record standard analog programs which hooks up to my entertainment center equipment without paying the monthly service & rental fees to use. I have also been looking into a DVD Recorder with Hard Drive, but most of them have issues with the TV guide feature or other major annoying issues or do not have correct connections and/or number of connections on back and/or do not record on all available DVD formats. But I guess I am just picky on what I am looking for! I like the Sony RDR-HX715 because it has a Hard Drive, the correct & number of connections that I need, and records in all available DVD formats, but has a major problem with the TV guide feature and other annoying issues. Plus it is too expensive for a piece of equipment that has major issues or annoying issues, to justify the cost. If anybody else has suggestions or answers to my questions, I would really appreciate it. Please post them here or email me.

Here's my issue with this box. SO I have this Mitsubishi 55' rear projection HDTV. I LOVE it and so does my wife. This is the thing. When we first met I just had digital cable with some HD channels. The TV would auto adjust the format when you changed to an HD channel and then change back to whatever setting it was on when you went back to a regular channel. The deal with the ratio difference between an HD signal and the regular signal the TV gives me about 7 settings to choose from... from stretch, stretch plus, to standard... you get the idea. It allowed us to pick the best way to stretch the Cable TV signal to our liking. We chose to make it only stretch the edges which made a gradual distorotion on the edges of the regular signal but it looked good. Then Hurricane Rita hit and we stayed with some friends in Dallas who had a DVR. We got hooked so soon after returning to Beaumont Texas after the storm we called up our Time Warner Cable company and got them to give us a box that included a DVR. So now we have digital tv, HD channels, and a DVR. Sounds great right? Well here's the issue. NOW the tv will not allow us to adjust the picture with the new DVR. It just allows us stretch mode and standard mode! Stretch mode stretches the entire screen and makes things look strange. I thought it might just be the TV but when I play my Xbox 360 through another input it still allows me all the options I had before. So I changed inputs but still no luck. any idea what the problem is with the Time Warner DVR and HDTVs?

I have an SA Explorer 8000 and an SA Explorer 8000HD. Both DVR's have a USB port on the front of them. I would like to pull my recordings of the DVR and onto my hard drive for viewing. Is it possible to do that, for example, with an external hard drive connected via the USB port? Is there another route I must take? Am I asking for too much?

My local cable company does not carry PBS' HD channel, which I can receive and view on my HDTV. If I run the antenna coax into the 8300 instead of the cable company coax, will I be able to record PBS HD shows on the DVR for playback later?

Anyone figure out yet how to save off programs to computer? I have seen this asked and no one has reponded. Any ideas?

To ""
With Tivo, you are really just paying the monthly fee for the easy-to use, nicely formatted, and up-to-date tv guide information. The SA 8300 is a dual-tuner HD-DVR, which if you check with any electronics retailer you will see can cost $600 or more. Renting one from your cable company is a better deal because it would take you 5 years to break even to buying one($10/mnth x 12mnth/yr x 5yrs = $600). And you would have to pay for repairs yourself, etc... The DVD Recorder with Hard Drive that you mentioned from Sony (also Pioneer, Panasonic, and Toshiba make good ones) all use the TV-Guide On Screen program guide. This guide is totally free to use with no monthly fee at all. This free guide may not be as "nice and simple" to use as a Tivo guide, but again, that guide is something many people are willing to pay for. If you really are just asking to "replace your VCR" the go ahead and buy the Sony unit, you can disable the TV-Guide and continue to set recordings as you do with your VCR...looking in the newspaper for the time and channel, and then setting them in the Timed Recording screen for each tv show. An awkward way to use a DVR, but the only way you'll be sure to avoid monthly fees and TV-Guide issues.

I picked up the SA8300HD (incl. DVR) on Saturday at the Time Warner Center New York and hocked it up to my A/V receiver and the Panasonic HDTV. Everything works great except that all my on-demand channels are missing (200, 210, 220, etc.), the food network and the HD channel 706. Also, it doesn?t have any data available. Every channel gives me the message NO DATA and the program guide doesn?t even come up when I press the GUIDE button. I re-booted the box several times and I also unplugged and restarted it. No success.
Any idea what?s going on and how I can resolve that problem?
I would be very thankful for help.

I just received an Explorer 8300HD box for my 65 inch Toshiba HD TV. My old box let me stretch non HD stations to fill the TV screen. This one only allowes me to zoom1 zoom2 or normal can any one tell me how I can stretch the screen so I don't chop off the top or bottom

How does one set up the Media Center PC to receive signal from the 8300HD using coax, s-vid, or composite, while my component output goes to my projector? Any chance of getting the Media PC recording the same time that 8300HD is recording itself?

When I attempt to get Media Center to talk with the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD, it keeps complaining about the IR. Any ideas?

Thanks in advance

You can buy a 300GB Maxtor QuickView SATA Hard Drive "designed to work with the 8300HD" from I have connected it to my 8300HD supplied by Cablevision and it is basically working as expected. However, recordings have frequent dropouts causing pixelation and sound gaps, and I do not remember having the problem before adding the expander drive. Live TV is fine, so I know it is not a weak cable signal.
The drop-out problem is much worse with HD programs but does occur with standard programs. It's my impression that the problem is worse when using both tuners, e.g., recording one program while viewing another.
The worst scenario is to record two HD programs while playing back a previously recorded program. There are gaps in the recordings probably due to inadequate buffering either in the 8300HD or in the QuickView external drive.
It's really annoying.

Hey Guys, first time posting
one of the things in here is that everybody brags about their equipment. Anyway. Did anyone figure out how to transfer the digital media stored in the external SATA and play if with a WIN based PC.

OK, a few things. First, for the people who want to use a DVR for free, well good luck. Cable operators are not going to allow you to do that. You can buy a 3rd party device, but you will not be able to get it provisioned with digital access so you'll only be able to record analog channels. Further, you won't get the EPG (program guide).

Now, for the 8300HD. I have 3 on the Adelphia system in PA. I've had both DishPVR (including the 921 HD model) and TiVo. Of these, the least reliable and worst user interface - along with worst quality - is the SA8300HD. Actually, I guess the dish 921 was the least reliable to be honest but I was a very early adopter and only kept it for 3 weeks. The ONLY reason I've got these is because they are the only PVR solution to get HD. Dish and Direct have no real network HD content so I got rid of Dish after years. Since I don't think they'll ever get local networks in HD in the next couple years at least, they are a non-player for me. That leaves Adelphia. Since TiVo doesn't (yet) have a cable HD unit, that means that I'm stuck with the SA8300HD. The specs look good. The execution is horrible. The user interface iw unbelieveably bad. The search (if you've used ANY other DVR) worthless. The box locks up on occasion. Sometimes it just wacks out and records stuff you never programmed. Sometimes it just doesn't record things you HAVE scheduled. Sound and picture frequently drops out on HD recordings. Many times content aired in Dolby 5.1 only record in stereo. Lots of pixelation. This is NOT a unique situation. ALL of mine exhibit this behavior, as do many others in my area. Adelphia can't solve it, and Scientific Atlanta won't talk to consumers (I've tried - you can try by calling 610-238-6800 and asking for John Hall). The instant TiVo releases their multi-tuner HD model, my 8300s will be dropped off at Adelphia never to be seen again.

Bottom line, if you've got ANY other choice - such as not needing HD - go for it.

Dear Seller

I just received the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 HD. However, when I plugged (Power Cord)it the Green LED screen displays (Er.63) then stays on (h) with numbers ascending quickly from about 066 to about 874.

I kept it on for several hours and overnite, but with the same results.

If anyone has any suggestions or resolution to this problem it would be great to hear about them.

I think based on LED display the converter is going through some diagnostics process and is unable to proceed due to en error. During this process, you can't start the system using the power-on button because it does not work.

My guess is that there is something wrong with the internal hard drive.

I just received the scientific atlanta explorer 8300hd from a friend that was moving out of state. I hooked up the new box to my TV and all I got was the LCD in front saying BOOT..
Anyone have ideas on if this is a compatibility problem or a HD error?


QUOTE: I was told by Time Warner Austin that the sata port wasn't enabled yet, that this would happen in the "future"; should I believe them or risk getting an enclosure for one of my sata drives? I have several 300 gb sata drives and it sure would be nice to have the extra storage for the 8300HD.

I have Time Warner Austin, and now have an extra 300GB of storage. Unless I was just a lucky SOB, they are on crack!

Thanks, glad I found this discussion.

i have had issues since January with this box & the Vizio HD TV I acquired for my wife for X-mas.

I got an HDMI cable at the NEX for under $40.00 and it worked well until I or my 5 yr old accidently hit the PIP button. Fixed that but still not super quality. Cox rep out yesterday to replace a standard def DVR in the bedroom that died after a power out. I discussed the glitches and freezez in ff & rw of the dig DVR but she was clueless, blamed it on my having the coak run thru a surge protector, I hoped sha was right but todays TV viewing proved otherwise. I just tried eliminating the 480i & p settings as discussed here and currently have a great picture of Sheryl Crowe in HD. More may be revealed. Seems I may have lost my analogue HD options in the process though.


I have an 8300HD cable box hooked up to my TV, HDMI/HDMI. I also have it hooked up to a Tivo through non-digital connections and then the Tivo to my TV. Because of this, I often switch inputs on my TV to go from Tivo to the HDMI connection if I want to watch something in HD. My problem is that when switching to HDMI, I often don't have sound (though not always). I have to go into settings, more settings, audio digital out, select something other than HDMI and then re-select HDMI. This fixes it every time, but it's very annoying - especially because I can't do it with the Tivo remote. Anyone have any suggestions?

Also, in a totally unrelated questions, how does the video quality from coaxial cables compare to the other connections? Tivo doesn't have any digital inputs/outputs, but would S-video look a lot better than coaxial?

SATA II standard should be used with the SA8300 HD.

The reason you pay a fee to your cable company or TiVO is for 2 reasons 1.Program Guide (without the program guide the DVR would not know what to record when or what is on). 2.DVR capable box from cable company for TiVO you purchase this equipment.

In order to get the guide you must pay a subscription service. Media PCs have this service free, that is your other option.

Problem with 8300. When schedule recording and begin to watch part way through recording, the early portion of the recording is erased and as I watch, all except rolling last few minutes is erased. Hard drive is not full. Any ideas?


I'm having similar problems. When I schedule a recording and begin to watch partway through, it simply stops recording, so that when I reach the end of the prerecorded part, I'm booted to live TV and can't get back whatever happened in the second period (in the case of tonight's Stanley Cup final). At that point, it won't even record the channel live until I delete the partial recording of the program.

Also happens when I pause live TV for too long. I know it's only supposed to have an hour buffer, but even if I start watching before that hour is reached, it'll just stop recording and boot me to live TV at what seems like a random point of its choosing.

Hard drive says it's about 20% full. Anybody have another idea?

I have a problemn between my Scientfic Atlanta Explorer 8300HD and my JVC RX-D402 A/V Receiver. I connect my 8300 HDMI or component outputs to the receiver. I then connect the HDMI or component outputs to my TV. There is a signal level coming out because my TV has an indicator, but its black, nothing else. If I connect my JVC prograssive scan DVD player to my receiver via component then I do get a picture out via HDMI-DVI to my flat panel. Also if I connect the the 8300 to my tv directly it works fine. JVC says to send to depot for repair. sent me another to try. Charter Communications has no idea of the problem (sounds like I got an India call center) and was going to swap the 8300. I was upset and asked them to research before they sent a tech which I think would waste my time and their money!

I have an RCA 25" tv, which is only 2-3 years old. It was fine last night, through a wicked thunder storm. We never lost power, not even a flicker. The other sets in the house are fine. When I turned it on today, the entire screen was red! Never saw anything like it. Does anyone know what that is? I really don't want to bring it somewhere and pay a lot, only to find out it would cost less to buy new. Can anyone offer any advice?
Thanks much.

i've gone thru at least 4 of each the 8000hddvr and 8300hddvr for various problems....the one recurring problem with all of them (and an increasingly occuring issue) is recordings not taking place, time grid shows it red, its in the 'scheduled recordings' list, but it just outright doesn't record shows sometimes. just a little research shows people complaining about these boxes constantly, yet the local time warner says 'we haven't gotten many complaints'
another bizarre issue i'm having is recorded show in list, shows appropriate length of recording, hardrive space is shown being used in the preferences, yet you select the program in the list, then select 'play ______' the screen blinks, then goes back to the basic dvr channel with the big green 'list' image in the middle, thats happened a few times now i wish TW would offer other dvr options like the motorolas or toshibas, anything other than this SA garbage

I've seen many posts asking how to hook up a pc to the 8300 HD DVR. I've never seen a response so I thought it wasn't possible or it was so easy that a response wasn't necessary because you could just play around with the connections and figure it out yourself.
Fortunately the latter is true. Here's how I did it.

I'm using the 8300 HD DVR, a Dell m170 laptop with XP 2005 Media center. I have a TV tuner.
First, keep your computer and DVR turned off. I connected the S-Video cable to the back of the 8300 and connected it to the TV tuner. I connected the red and white audio cables to the back of the 8300 and connected them to the TV tuner.
I then connected the TV tuner to the laptop with the supplied cable. Turn on your laptop. I set up the Media center to recognize the TV.

I was able to tune to any channel including HD. I wanted to copy some saved shows from the DVR to the laptop, so I put in a DVD-Ram disk, started the show from the DVR and set the DVD on the laptop to record and Presto! Copied the shows perfectly. Excellent picture quality too.

I haven't tried copying live TV, timer recording or using a DVD other than a DVD-Ram yet. I imagine it's simple and possible to do.

I forget to include that I hooked up the cable to the TV tuner as well

In response to Ryan who had the burn-in problems -- I think the setting you want to look at is Set: Picture Format. I've found (with two different cable companies) that this is usually set by default to Fixed, which generally means it outputs 1080i widescreen for every channel (upconverting if necessary). This also means it will add the left and right side bars if that channel is not HD. My TV does 480p and 1080i natively, so I use the "Upconvert-1" setting -- that makes the box pass on 480p and 1080i signals untouched, upconverts 480i to 480p, and 720p to 1080i. One side effect of this is that on the non-HD channels, it doesn't add the sidebars. So maybe this is what you're looking for. If you go to the Scientific Atlanta website you can find an HD guide for the 8300HD that will explain the different settings.

My SA 8300 HD Explorer running a 50" Panasonic Plasma TV hangs up every 5 minutes for 10 seconds. The connection is HDMI and, frankly, the picture, even with HD broadcasts isn't all that great. Any one know if setup can cause this hang problem? The disc drive noises make me crazy.

Is there anyway that one can plug in an IR sensor in the back of the unit so as to put the box in a cabinet and only have the IR sensor sticking out? I tried it, but it doesn't seem to work. Any advice or suggestions/alternatives

8300HD connected directly to Panasonic plasma via HDMI works fine; Connect 8300HD to Harmon Karden 745 AVR via HDMI then from HK HDMI out to plasma, get the no HDCP, use component message.

Sony HDMI to HK to plasma works fine.

Has anyone solved this mystery yet? Is SA in self denial about the problem? Can anyone help.

Local TW techs haven't a clue what you are talking about.



I Would like to save recordings from my 8300HD to a Panasonic DMR-ES46V DVD recorder that I just picked up at Costco for $299.00 Anyone else tried connecting the two together with any luck?

8300HD to panasonic plasma HDMI to HDMI - I loose the video and sound a couple of times per hour. Any ideas?


I wounder how Time Warner justifies what they told you considering that they are required to allow you to provide your own equiptment. Here's the passage from Title 47, Sec. 76.1201:

No multichannel video programming distributor [Cable Co] shall prevent the connection or use of navigation devices [converter boxes] to or with its multichannel video programming system [Cable TV], except in those circumstances where electronic or physical harm would be caused by the attachment or operation of such devices or such devices may be used to assist or are intended or designed to assist in the unauthorized receipt of service.

Sounds to me like they are stonewalling you expecting that you will not know your rights. I imagine if you start talking about complaining to the FCC they will start singing a different tune.

I have Cox Cable and just got the SA 8300HD box. Connected to my Sharp 45"LCD via hdmi and while I get both picture and sound, the sound cuts out intermittently every 10 seconds or so. It's really annoying and I can't figure out if it's my hdmi cable, the 8300, or my TV that is the cause. When I use component, everything works perfectly.

I am currently using a Scientific Atlanta 8300-HD DVR with 160 GB with Time Warner Cable. Can anyone tell me with absolute certainly that when I turn in my two old boxes and hook up this new box to my plasma it will work with no problem? Time Warner says they only rent the box I am tired of paying the monthly fee with the digital package. I just want to make sure this box will work with timer warner and know for sure that their is no way they can shut it the box off or anything like that ... right? And, will the DVR, service still work also? Thanks to the person(s) who answer this question with certainly! Spygosh...

Hey folks!
Wanted to let you know I added an external HD to my Cablevision provided 8300HD.

From CompUSA for about $250 total:
500GB Maxtor SATA HD (
External Drive enclosure (

I didn't need to buy an extra cable as the drive enclosure had the right cable.

Easy install:
Unplug the cable box.
Connect the external HD to the cable box with the eSATA cable.
Plug the external HDD and power it up.
Plug the cablebox.
Wait a couple of minutes and the you will be prompted for a format of the HD.
Click yes and you are ready to go.
I had to unplug the cable box and the ext. HD to you see an increase in recording space.
Follow the above instruction again.
Always make sure you power up the ext. HD before the cablebox.

BIG space increase!

Scientifc Atlanta 8300HD and samsung HDS4253 Plasma tv

you can get these 2 working together, problem is that after rebooting the tv, it doesn't see the HDMI signal. I have not solved that yet.
Note that the only connnections in my tests were the HDMI cable between the cablebox and the Samsung 4253.

The below sequence does work with the above caveat. If i solve it (with Samsung) i will post the answer here.

1. Turn on Samsung TV, set input as HDMI
2. Turn off Scientific Atlanta 8300HD
3. Press INFO+GUIDE buttons on 8300HD (you will see nothing on screen)
4. Press A B B A B on cable remote (8300HD HD Setup Wizard will now appear). By doing this I think you set the 480p mode ,so the wizard will appear on screen.
5. Step through Wizard - I was told by Samsung the 4253 supports 480p and 1080i (so these are the ones i selected)
6. You must then press EXIT on the 8300HD remote, if the wizard quit out on you prior to pressing EXIT, start again (step 2)
7. After pressing EXIT, turn on the 8300HD
8. The picture should appear

Unfortunately now, when i turn off the Samsung TV and turn it on again, it cannot see the 8300HD and i must start again at step 2
every time i turn on the tv. hat f'ing sucks. But I do note that the 8300HD does remember my choices
for screen choices (480p and 1080i). So the
8300HD is remembering the settings, but on reboot of the TV, it seems the TV does not accept the signals.
Cablevision (NY) says it has something to do with copy protection on the Samsung, the person speaking was working from a
script (IMO). They said Cablevision gives out composite cables as they know they work, and they have seen lots of issues
with HDMI, and they don't support it. Seeing the posts in this forum confirms that.
I am continuing my calls to Samsung on Monday when their 2nd tier support comes in.

The above will work 95++% of the time, but it sometimes becomes erratic (i have witnesses!).
Again, the only cable i have between the HD8300 cablebox and the Samsung 4253 is the HDMI cable

I have a LG 42 inch HDTV HD-DVR. The cable card makes the tv power off completely after the tv has been turned off for more than 5 hours. The only way you can turn it back on after this happens is buy unplugging the TV from the outlet! Has anyone had any similar problems???

Bought a SA Explorer and when I turn it on it says Please contact the cable co. is there anyway around this? Or do they have to activate it. Thanx

Bought a SA Explorer 8300 and when I turn it on it says Please contact the cable co. is there anyway around this? Or do they have to activate it. Thanx

I am having difficult using SA Explorer 8300HD wit Panasonic TH-50PHD8UK Plasma TV. When I connect HDMI signal to TV (Input 1) then the Composite Signal (Input 3) no longer functions. When I disconnect HDMI from Plasma then Input 3 (Composite Signal) functions fine. I would like to have both signals on Inputs 1 and 3 function on Plasma. Is there a setting on SA Explorer to enable?

Does anyone have any recent experience using the 8300HD with Brighthouse as the cable provider and accessing the SATA drive port to provide additional capacity? Just FYI, Woot ( has a 250G SATA drive on sale today until midnight for $54.99, so I want to get one if this will indeed work with my setup. Any help appreciated. Thanks!

Gee, after reading all the posts I feel lucky I'm not experiencing MOST of the problems. My concern is not mentioned here; to wit: I cannot get closed captioning to work when using the 8300HD component output. I've been back and forth with Panasonic (TC-32LX60 TV) and Adelphia and they are just pointing fingers at each other. The cable company says it is up to the TV to decode and display the text; Panasonic says the opposite. Does anyone know? The 8300SD has a setting for CC -> "digital 1" though "Digital 6". I've tried all the settings to no avail. Does anyone know what they mean or what they should be set to?
Thanks, John -- k2cib "at" arrl "dot" net

Apparently I am not the only one who has experienced this - Time Warner SA 8300HD users in Houston have been reporting a problem where shows are not recording at all. For example, when I schedule 2 shows to record at the same time, only 1 show is recorded. I also have a show that is supposed to record daily (record all shows) which does not record at all. After rebooting the DVR (Info, vol -, vol +), it shows that the shows are there, but when I try to play it back, nothing happens. Have not tried to record again after the reboot... but apparently this is a Scientific Atlanta issue which they need to address - hopefully soon!!!

I just got the 8300SD from my cable provider. The thing seems to make a lot of noise - the cooling fan, I'm sure. But the fan seems to stay on even after the power is turned off. Is this possible?

Spygosh, from what i've read, the enclosure you are using is only suppose to recognize hard drives up to 400gb. Did it recognize your full 500gb hd? Thanks.

Anyone know if the 8300HD has a limit on the items in "scheduled recordings" and if so, how to increase it? I occasionally lose things from my list of scheduled recordings. A friend says there must be limit. He once told his 8300HD to record all episodes of something having a marathon and it removed almost every item from his list except the new ones. He believes the limit to be around 25. I don't normally record that many shows in a single week but my list contains things in the off season and I often have shows in the list that are cancelled and I'm just not aware yet (I just removed "Convicted"). I currently have 27 shows set to record first runs only and occasionally will add 1 or 2 single episodes of something to the list.

Reporting success attaching 300GB external SATA drive to Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300 obtained from BrightHouse in the Clearwater, Florida market. Drive would format correctly only after DVR was powered off and unplugged for about ten seconds.

Nobody has commented on other people's question. But I just got the 8300HD and I am receiving No Program Data and the Guide isn't working.

I called TWCNYC and they said it had to be escalated to IT. I know have to wait 24 to 72 hours for it to be resolved and they never said they would call me back. I just turned in a perfectly working 8300.

For all "new" HDTV customers: I had my 8300HD hooked up 15 months ago. The HD channels certainly looked better than the analog channels but I wasn't really blown away.

Fast forward to now. I was in search of a HDMI cable so I could hook up my XBox 360, DVD and Cable box directly to my TV (two component and one HDMI connection).

I plugged in the HDMI cable and got pic but no sound. Find this forum and read about how to setup the output for HDMI from the 8300.


Argh! For over a year I could have had output to 1080i and never knew it because BrightHouse Networks only setup my box to output the most common signal.

NOW I know what HDTV can really look like!

I have had my SA8300HD for a couple weeks now, and man do I hate this thing. A couple of responses to previous questions:
1) Watching a recorded program while it is still recording - yes, when the recording stops, you get booted out, and have to restart the show and fast forward to wherever you were when the recording stopped
2) On the audio out, when using and HDMI cable *and* a digital audio connection to a receiver, selecting HDMI will send the audio to the TV, selecting Dolby Digital sends it to the receiver. Not intuitive, but it works...

Let me also say that I have used Tivo for the last few years, and a $700 price point plus subscription is starting to look really appealing to me. Whoever worked on this SA8300 should be embarassed to call themselves "engineers". The interface for this thing is pathetic, and the functionality is surprisingly unintelligent. For instance, as mentioned above, the unit has no way to understand what is a new episode of a show versus a repeat, even though it implies to be able to tell the difference. I am left with the choice of hoping a network wont change the time of a show I subscribe to, letting the DVR fill with the same episode shown at multiple times, or setting it to only keep 2 episodes or so, and hoping that one of them is the new episode I want.
I have accepted that I cant do anything about these factors, but I do have one annoying issue - when I power on the Panasonic plasma and the cable box, and I am on an HD channel, the signal seems to be lost between the dvr and the tv every few seconds, so that the tv goes black, and the dvr shows the channel like it is changing the channel or rebooting or something. The really weird thing is if I change to an analog channel, it is fine, change back to hd, goes on and off. My only solution is to change to analog, change back to HD, change the resolution a few times, and then let it do this for a couple minutes and it stops. What a piece of crap. And I know the issues are not related to the TV, because my PlayStation 3 is hooked up via HDMI, and it rocks.


I have a 8300HD from TWC NY. Everything works fine as of now. My system comes with passport OS.

My only problem is that my TV is 32" windescreen LCD, when I use the guide or any other menu, it appears in 4:3 format. So basically, the menu does not strecth to the whole screen size.

Anyway I can see the menu also in 16:9 format?


I've just posted to my blog about my Charter Communications debacle, in which the 8300HD features prominently:

I have an 8300HD DVR box through Time Warner in Rochester, NY. I had no problem setting it up for HDMI output to my Sony LCD through my Denon 2307 DD receiver via HDMI switching.

But I didn't want to ALWAYS run my receiver when watching the news and tv shows that didn't call for surround sound, particularly when guests/babysitters are in the house.

I connected the 8300 directly to my LCD via component and audio cables (in addition to the HDMI connection to my receiver). When watching TV, the 8300 outputs via component/audio to my LCD. Now here's the great part. The 8300 senses when I turn on my receiver and automatically switches the output to HDMI (sound and video). All I have to do is change the input on the LCD from component to HDMI or vise versa.

Somebody was thinking when they designed the 8300 firmware and operating system. Kudos to Time Warner for supporting this functionality.

I just got the 8300hd from TWC and hooked it up to as Sony SXRD 55" TV via HDMI. I run the setup and select the formats I have and everthing works fine. The problem im having is that I have my locals in HD via an antenna. The problem im having is when I switch my TV to antenna or turn it off by remote the 8300hd automatically jumps to a 480i output and hangs up there. If I want HD output from the box I have to run setup again. This is driving me nuts since I do watch the local channels alot and obviously have to turn off my tv. Any help would be appreciated.

I was able to connect and use an external SATA drive to my SA 8300HD box from Brighthouse cable in Bakersfeild CA, even though Brighthouse says it doesn't work. The Scientific Atlanta web site has setup documentation.

The constant spinning up of the hard drive and humming of this box is driving me insane. My wife called Time Warner Austin and they said that this is normal. Normal? This is insane. When the box is sitting still, powered off, not recording anything, it should be quiet. Is this just my box or do they all do this? I have seen at least 2 comments indicating that they have this "feature" on a 8300HD.

I had the problem with not able to watch a show from the beginning while it's recording and had to restart when the show finished recording. However, my box seems to received a software update and now both of my problems went away.

Around the middle of February I happened to be up at 2AM and got a message the box had to shut down for an hour to be reprogrammed.

The firmware update fixed a lot of problems � finally after two years.

If you access a show you are recording through the List (not the Menu) you have a choice of watching from the beginning or starting from the current location. The show no longer stops when it finishes recording.

They also added a fourth speed to the fast forward and rewind, so if you have to scroll through a long program you can get there pretty quickly now.

I also haven�t encountered the problem of recorded shows that won�t play but just revert back to the list button screen. It wasn�t that frequent a problem so maybe I just haven�t encountered it since the firmware update.

They have eliminated most of my major irritations with the box. It seems to take their programmers a long time to write firmware code.

Slipe's comment reminded me that I should probably update my opinion here. Now, after several firmware updates, I don't feel the picture quality of the 8300HD is too terrible. In fact, I can't tell the difference between HD content streaming in live and pre-recorded HD content played off the unit's disk. Granted, that's like comparing two apples from the same tree, but I've no complaints about the PQ of this DVR. Now, the menu system and overall DVR functionality still stinks, especially compared to the ever-improving TiVo, but at least the HD image is enjoyable.

Ive gotta give out a big thanks to everyone here! I got my 8300HD just a couple weeks ago and have TW NE Ohio. The installer mentioned picking up an HDMI cable because they don't provide them. Made sense at the time, he had Composite's so we went that route. Problem is that the RCA 52" I have only comes with one set of composites and then a DVI. I figured the dreaded 'can't use this' message would come up and for the pricing of cables lately was it going to be worth the shot just to find that out?

Thanks to this thread -yes! Not only did I find a place that sells the lowest priced HDMI-DVI cable ($10 shipped to me!) but I plugged it right in and went to town. Followed some of all of the instructions here like killing off the 480/720 settings on the 8300HD - worked like a charm!

First I got Audio but black video, so again I followed the instructions here and unplugged the 8300HD - waited about 30 secs - plugged it back in (cable already connected between 8300 & TV) and fired both up - full image and great picture quality! As someone mentions, I believe I have the latest Passport OS w/fixes as I have the same features like 4X FF and little quality loss.

So now it's back to sitting in the chair flipping to the 360 and back to the HDMI feed instead of a goofy Pelican manual switchbox! Was looking at $40 for a refurbed composite switchbox with IR remote to replace that, no need now.

Kicker of the deal is when I called into TW for something else and asked about the HDMI port being dead. I had what sounded like an experienced TW Rep, she said 'you have the Sci Atlanta, the 8300, the one that says 8300HD on the front top right corner?' and I replied 'yep', she then replied 'yes, the HDMI ports are turned off on those and won't work.'

Thank God I didn't buy anyone's story and went with the experiences here! And since the cable I needed to take a whack at it was only about $10 shipped compared to pricing from $35-$150 + S/H (for those not in-store close to me) I figured I had little to lose!

Here's a link to the cable I'm using, I see very little - if any - signal loss or impedance that'd cause stuttering, etc. and I've put it through it's paces on HD and SD channels as well as the Demand & TW Util pages. Everything autosizes when it should, very little distortion at all and I'm not seeing artifacts or black-loss like I did with DirecTV.

$6, and fully capable of 1080i uncompressed without loss. Went USPS Priority and had it in 48 hours, excellent company for all kinds of cabling too!

Next project is the SATA HDD, I've also reviewed everyone's comments & suggestions here about using 16MB buffered HDD's and what brands to avoid. Finding quite a few solid cases and noting the biggest failure problems seem to be people not getting external HDD SATA cases with fans?? Same as a PC - no cool = fail. Since we can't control the HDD's use with the 8300HD, you know it's going to get spun like mad. I see the WD's tend to fail under that load but I've had that problem in the past and it always came down to not using fans on the HDD's (not what normal PC's come with) if you beat on the drive.

So my plans are to use a specific eSATA/USB case I'm seeing at Newegg, picking up a 300-500GB drive like a WD or Maxtor with a real 3 year warranty on it and ensuring it's a 16MB buffer and 7,200 RPM for playback. I'm only on a signle-room DVR but why skimp on slower/smaller? The combo I'm looking at's only around $150ish (amazingly). Figure if we dropped TW or anything else happened I've got an eSATA or USB pluggable portable HDD for my PC or laptop?

Thanks again to everyone here though! I know I'd have spent hours beating the thing to death without the tips, tricks and experience here - and thanks to Google for indexing it! LOL


I have a Sony KP-61HS10 Rear Projection TV and recently had an 8300HD Converter box installed from Cablevision. My t.v. does not support HDMI. It was therefore hooked up through my component jacks. I am having a problem with HD channels in only the 1080i format when the program changes scenes or goes to a commercial. The signal drops off for a second which causes my t.v. to display lost signal. It only seems to have in 1080 format. It never happens on Analog channels. Has anyone out there had this problem?

I have my cable box and other audio/video equipment in a media closet which is about 30ft away from my tv. I found it very difficult to find a long length high quality HDMI cable. but eventually I have found some awesome long-length cables at I am using Sonicwave cables. These cables are much better than monster cable and they are also cheaper too.

I'm on TW Manhattan. Want to add external drive to 8300-HD. Getting mixed messages on whether it will work with Passport operating system. (Of course the local reps say they don't support external drives and leave it at that.) Anyone here in NYC get it to work or someone on TW elsewhere that can confirm that it works with Passport? If so and you have specific hardware recommendations I'd love to hear them. Thanks.

Just hooked up a 32" samsung LCD to 8300HD via HDMI. When scrolling through HD channels using time warner NYC, I get a delay of upto four seconds for the audio to come on after the video and sometimes the video loads on a delay of upto 2 seconds. Any thoughts what the cause might be?

Hi Lucy! Photo I received! Thanks!

Just FYI with the dual tuners you can record two programs at once only if you are watching them. What it says up at the top about recording two and watching another won't work.

Has anyone found a solution to the problem Steve talked about when after rebooting the tv, it doesn't see the HDMI signal? When i turn off my Sony KDL 52XBR3 and turn it on again, it cannot see the 8300HD and i must reset the cable box
every time i turn on the tv. I also note that the 8300HD remembers my screen choices. So the
8300HD is remembering the settings, but on reboot of the TV, it seems the TV does not accept the signals.

I am so glad I finally found someone who has been having the same problem. Both Sony and Cablevision have been making me think I am crazy. PLEASE HELP!

Java manny,

i also have a 32 inch Sammy LCD. love the tv and it looks great with component, but since my xbox is using component, i opted HDMI from my SA 8300HD dvr box (time warner as well, in NC)to the TV. the picture is not nearly as good as the component picture. Plus, with HDMI, there are little white lines on the borders (grey borders while the viewing guide is pulled up), and, for example, on ESPN, the bottome line scores, show up very faintly in that same white in the middle of the screen. it is weird. I put component back in and beautiful. So i am going through a switch right now, but am i missing something with the HDMI? i tried both ports, and same thing, faint white lines and not a good picture.
any thoughts from anyone?

I need help!! Someone may have already posted this question / problem, but I am too tired to go back and look.

I have a Samsung DLP TV and an Scientific Atlanta 8300 HD receiver. Comcast hooked up the two by way of HDMI on the television and DVI on the receiver. I am constantly getting a sound problem. (Sounds like a CD is skipping.) The picture flickers a lot as well. I can admit that I am not technically savvy. However, it seems to me if the HDMI is both a video and audio connection and the DVI is video only that my problem might lie in that connection.

Has anyone else had this problem with a Samsung DLP and an 8300 HD receiver? How should I connect everything?!! I'd love to enjoy this television!!

I've now got about 6 months experience with the 8300, provided by Time Warner in Southern California. I switched over at the same time I purchased my Mitsubishi 65" 1080p DLP.

My biggest conclusion thus far is that there are a LOT of bad boxes out there...each coming with their own unique set of issues. Since all of these boxes are effectively recycled (there are no new ones available from Time Warner), I suspect that one's new box for today is often someone else's problem box of yesterday.

To date, my 4 (and counting) 8300's have had pixelization issues, sound issues, auto-resetting issues, and color-shift issues. I haven't had any DVR recording issues....yet.

My advice is to hook up your system, go through all the basic set-up, and if something is still not quite right...go get yourself another box. Who knows? You might get lucky!

Just got the box yesterday from Time Warner in Raleigh and attached it to my Samsung LNT3253H 32" LCD. The box appeared brand new and still had the film over the front display. I had no problems with the setup. I did have to enable 480p and 720p and it would not let me turn on 480i [a modification to the software?].

I tried both the HDMI and Component inputs on various channels. I have to say they were equal showing bright outdoor stuff, but the component looked better when the stuff was darker. Less compression effects and better fast motion. I am leaving the connection on the component [supplied by TW] and put the HDMI in the drawer. At least I only paid ~$8 for it.

So, any way to get items from the DVR to a PC without a TV tuner on your PC?

Hooked up Seagate 500GB 7200 rpm 16M Cache Barracuda drive to SA8300HD DVR. Used the listed
procedure, but unit would not recognize drive. Had to set jumper on HD for 1.5GB (factory default)(tried on 3GB no go)so back to default.
Finally after 3rd try, I just held the power button in(for the SA8300HD) for about 15 secs and then when it finished the reboot it recognized the harddrive and asked the "do you want to format" question. By the way, called TimeWarner cable in Milwaukee for capacity and how to view
capacity if that was possible - TW absolutely NO HELP - in fact tech was almost hostile to the fact
that I "Dared" to hook-up to their unit. I asked the tech if TW were to charge me $10 a month for the additional hard drive space, I bet they'd suddenly find the answer to my ? and they'd be glad to help. End of phone call with TW. So does
anybody have a way to view capacity of the internal and external drives.
TY if U do.

Since my post yesterday + being corked off by the tech's response at Time Warner, I decided to do some snooping on my own. All I wanted, was to see the hard drive capacity of the internal hd - 160GB + the capacity of my external SATA 500GB HD, + what space had been used, + what was left for free/useable space. I tried to access my Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD using the "remote" instructions listed in an earlier post. Did not work. NOTE: For "VIEWING" ONLY, DO NOT ATTEMPT TO CHANGE ANY SETTINGS that you will be able to see on the SA8300HD DVR.
This does work:
1.)TV on, SA8300HD on.

2.)Press + hold "Select" button on the front panel of the SA8300HD (not on the remote). While holding in the "Select" button, press and hold in the "Exit" button on the front panel of the SA8300HD. After about 5 secs the front panel led will show "diag" and your tv may beep. You are now in "diagnostic mode" on the SA8300HD. Release both buttons on the front panel.

3.)Now press and release the "Exit" button on the front panel of the SA8300HD. You will see a long list of items on the TV screen. This screen contains many, many items. The two items I was interested in are way down the list.

4.)Now use the SA8300HD front panel "Channel -" and "Channel +" buttons to scroll down/up the list.

5.)The first item is "DVR INFO" that will show you the info of the internal 160GB HD.

6.)The second item just below is "DVR AVFS". The info here will show you the "Total" of both the internal 160GB HD + the 2nd External HD. It does not show them individually, but as the combined HD capacity. It will be less than the individual capacity, I believe this total is similiar to what happens in pc capacity. A certain amount is lost in "overhead" formatting of the drive. For me this was 160GB + 500GB came out to 600GB of total HD capacity.

7.)The item "DVR AFVS" also shows how much "Free" space BOTH drives have left. I've recorded in regular definition and find that I'm using between 1.3 - 1.8GB of HD space per hour of DVR recording. High definition is not very consistent
either. I find Hi-Def recording uses anywhere from 6.4 - 8.3GB of HD capacity for each hour of recording. I suspect that the lower number may be from a certain lack of "content" in the signal. And the higher number of 8.3GB per hour is "full blown" Hi-Def signal, one with all the high definition "content" being streamed in the signal.

8.)As far as getting out of the "Diagnostic Mode"
I use the remote and input 2 channels on the cable box and I don't see the "Diagnostic Info" anymore. I'm not sure if this actually takes you out of "Diag Mode" or it it eventually times out on its own. And if you "Power Off" the cable box I know you are out of "Diag mode". If you power any electronic device off, WAIT at least 5 secs or more before turning the power button back on. Else you face the possibility of causing a damaging power surge in your electronic equipment by rapidly toggling the power switch or plugging out and in rapidly.

9.)I experimented with recording that went to the external HD, I recorded regular and Hi-Def that went to the external Sata HD. I followed the instructions for adding and removing the external HD using those posted on the Scientific Atlanta website. Part of the reason for using their procedure is to avoid a "short circuit" that would damage the cable box, your external HD or both. The external Sata (eSata) cable and its corresponding connector on the cable box have some "slop/wiggle" room in them, and it may be possible to cause a short while inserting or removing the eSata cable. My content that was recorded to the external HD remained after removing the external HD. The "LIST" button on the remote still showed the program list, but with the external HD removed, the actual "content" was not available for viewing. When I reconnected the eSata HD my data was now viewable. So as previously mentioned in another post, the content is on the eSATA HD, but the directory is actually on the internal HD.

10.)The are many items listed in the Diagnostic mode on the SA8300HD box. One I found interesting is the one that shows whether "HDMI" is "enabled"
on the box when the TW tech initially installed the box. HMMMM. Seems as though many are having trouble with HDMI on their sets. Mine shows that HDMI is NOT enabled. I'll be calling TW after this post to find out why not. The same goes for the "SATA" port, is it enabled - yes or no. If you've followed the directions for adding you eSata HD and it is still not working, that could be the reason.

11.) Please remember that this information is presented for Viewing only and I'm not a tech, nor
am I trying to "hack" anything. I just wanted a place to see how much capacity was available to record on, how much was used, and how much was free to use.

12.)Maybe Scientific Atlanta can do a software/firmware upgrade to their units, and give us a button on the remote to actually view this information. Hey, Time Warner - Thanks for "ALL" your help. Can't wait for some competition to move into the area.

First off, thanks to everyone for all your posts. They have been extremely helpful!

I have TWC in Raleigh, NC. I got my box in April 2007 and it has been working perfectly, thank goodness. I decided to try and hook up an external hard drive using the advice from this forum. I purchased a Seagate 500GB, 16MB cache, 7200RPM eSATA drive from Newegg.

Last night I hooked everything up; the first try was a no-go, so I unplugged everything and did it again, and it worked. The external drive formatted and when I tuned to channel 999 (which shows a lot of techie info) and scrolled down to DVR AVFS, the capacity had indeed jumped. I recorded and watched Grey's Anatomy with no issues.

However, this morning, I was watching the news and wanted to rewind to hear something again, and I discovered that I could not. When the progress bar displayed, there was no green part, indicating that I could not rewind live TV. I could pause and resume, but could not FF or RW once I started replaying. When I hit the back arrow to replay 10 seconds ago, it started playing something I had been watching 10 minutes ago (on a different channel!), and I could not view live TV without changing the channel. Very odd.

Just today I read that external drives may not be compatible with 8300HD's running Passport, which mine has. I hope this is not the case. I have fallen in love with HD and want to record so many things but the drive fills up so fast!

So close, and yet so far, it seems. Any suggestions?

I have an sa 8300hd from time warner, is there a way to hook this to a dvdrecorder and get the programs you record on the sa to the dvd recorder.

I am having the same issue as Melissa above.
I have Passport Echo 2.6.002, TWC-NYC.
I added an Azio enclosure with WD 7K 16M SATA2 500GB drive.

Everything works fine - recorded several programs to external with no problems. But I can't rewind/ff programs while watching live shows. Same as above, I get no green bar when I hit INFO.
If I hit the Instant Replay button it goes back to when I switched to the current channel. Can't even use the LIVE button - I have to switch channels to get back to live.
I was able to record back to when I switched over to current channel.
Does anybody know if this is Passport related?
Is there a way around?
I just added it today, so I'll keep playing with it. If I find anything, I'll post back.

I have had a Scientific Atlanta 8300HD DVR for several months. When I got an HDTV and started watching HD channels, I noticed that there is a picture disruption every 5 minutes. This only shows in the HD channels, and it is worse in prime time. The only time of day it is not there is in the wee hours. I can recore an HD show at 3 in the morning and there is no disruption. I suspect an EM pulse of some kind. The Time Warner guys have swapped out the DVR, and checked everything. They can't find it. Above in this discussion "Stevie" seems to be having the exact same problem. Can anyone help me get to the core of this problem? Please please please Help!

How do i download movies that i recorded onto my computer

You have to take an external drive, fill it with programs, and connect to your PC.

Problem is, the drive is not readable by windows. You have to get an EXT3 viewer. I have a linux box that I can attach it to.

Anyway, the programs need a key to play back; they are encrypted.

ok on the time bar when playing back recorded shows there are hash marks in it one is at 15 min anouther at 30 min and so on is there anyway that I can just skip to that hash mark so I dont have to FF through the whole show

Thannx for any help

the USB port on the front is for a keyboard, the box can access the internet if your cable CO installs the softwear and allows you to use that feture but most all of them dont. so other then that you cant use it for much more then changing channels.. as for the HD i have a 300 gig ESATA harddrive by maxtor hooked up, it seems to work, it just takes a long time to set the drive up.. im about to hook it up to my computer to see what filesystem the cable box uses. ill repost soon

I have a Toshiba HL67 42" LCD HDTV and recently picked up the SA 8300 HD DVR from Time Warner (Rochester, NY). So excited to watch 24 and the Sabres in HD (when they are on NBC). I hooked everything up on Wednesday night (using HDMI). After running the setup SEVERAL times, I finally got an HD signal on YES HD (man baseball looks cool in high def). Anyway, I decided to select a local channel so I went to FOX - no picture and no sound. I tried other channels. No NBC, CBS, ABC, FOX, CW, Discovery and no PBS. WTF! I immediately called Time Warner. The service rep, although very nice and understanding, couldn't really help so they are sending a technician out tomorrow. I am scanning all these posts and I am getting a feeling that the HDMI on this set top box is flawed or that it may not even be enabled. But if it's not enabled, I would be able to see the baseball game on YES.

BTW, if your TV has a built in ATSC/QAM tuner - plug the cable wire directly into the TV. Do a channel setup. I got all the analog channels plus digital ones (like the missing local channels). Of course I can't record them though but if I am watching it comes in great and never breaks up.

I will repost after the visit from the Time Warner Cable fairy on 5/12.

Forgot to mention that I didn't get the premium channels when I plugged the cable wire directly into the TV. However, Time Warner does offer a cable card to unlock them. Problem is that the guide still isn't available.

I have the SA8300 HD DVR and am using a HDMI cable from the 8300 to a HD 720P native Front projector.

When I ran the 8300 setup wizard and made my 16:9 format selection and then I simply selected only the 1080i signal which was easily seen on the projection screen. The 8300 wizard then says the usual Congratulations you are ready to view 1080i content. I then power up the 8300 and select a KNOWN broadcast channel here in Houston that sends a 1080i signal.[311, for instance during the 6:00 pm news broadcast] THE DARN 8300 ONLY depicts 720P on the front of its little display ! IS TIME WARNER TAKING THESE ACTUAL 1080i signals from the supplier and downscaling to 720P before sending the signal out to the distribution cabling system? Are they doing this to save bandwidth are what? My projector will accept up to a 1080P signal and the projector will do the scaling down to its native resolution which is what I want to see done.

When I use the TWC DVR remote & hit the settings tab and then hit more settings, cursor down to picture I see 4 choices the user can select: #1. FIXED #2.Auto DVI/HDMI or pass through. #3. Upconvert 1 #4.Upconvert 2.
Mine is set to FIXED. Should I set this to pass through?

Not one person at TWC customer service can tell me you know what to do!

One service rep did tell me that TWC Houston is ONLY actually broadcasting HD in 720P until all the analog signals are converted over to digital next year!

I am definitely NOT receiving a 1080i signal to my projector since its signal input information shows the signal as only 720P being fed into it from the 8300.

My projector has a better scaler then the 8300 so that simply is why I want the true 1080i signal to come in.


I set mine to #2 (Auto DVI/HDMI) and my local channels, when they are in HD, come through as 1080i. However, I do know that Fox and ABC are only in 720p cuurently.

My TV is a 720p but it says 1080i on the info and on the set top box.


TWTC update...

The Time Warner service rep came out on Saturday afternoon and took care of the problem. There was something amiss at the box outside. Something along the lines of not being plugged into the right spot (if using HD). Seems kind of odd, but it worked! Now, if they can only get more HD channels (like Versus)!

As Posted by silent1 earlier in this post i found that with time warner of ne oh the diagnostics screen can be found by entering channel 611, to get out of the diag screen simply enter the NUMBERS of any other channel

I think the 8300 is the biggest piece of junk. I am on my 5th one---went on vacation, got a back up dvr 8300, since the 4th one was NOT working well. Each one of them recorded intermittently. It's almost like they refuse to record certain shows. 24 and Heroes did NOT record on EITHER one. Yes, I know how to work them, yes, I turn them off at night. One of them will list shows on days that they do not even run in the recording list---which is why I feel it skips the stuff I DO want to record. I returned the 4th one today, got the OLD 8000, we'll see how that goes. I have boosters, and two HD sets, yes the cables are connected correctly. I do NOT have the HDMI cable though. Does anyone think that is an issue? I have an LG 42" LCD, 6 months old and a 32" Samsung HD, a year old.

I just got one of these. The screen turns completely gray for two whole seconds when tuning to a different channel. WHY IS THIS HAPPENING? PLEASE TELL ME!

I just upgraded my home entertainment system with a HDTV and the SA HDDVR. Previously I was using a Tivo based DVR/DVD recorder from Humax/Weakness.
As has been said before, the interface is no as good as Tivo's, but there are 2 positives that outweigh the negatives in my book.
1)Dual tuners...the ability to record 2 programs at once is a huge benefit.
2)External SATA drive capability...having previously gone through the complicated process of hacking an early model ReplayTV DVR to upgrade the hard drive, this is wonderful. For $140 I got a 500G HD and external case, which has increased my storage capacity 4 fold over the base unit. I can now record almost 80 hours of HD programing.
So, overall, I am happy. Now if Comcast would just upgrade to a Tivo interface.

When you use an external hard drive, does the 8300HD treat the internal and external hard drives as a combined single volume? Or can you somehow copy shows from the internal to the external? Can you detach the external and connect it to your computer so that you can use your computer's DVD-authoring software make DVDs so that you can clear off programming from your DVR's hard drives? My guess is that the 8300 formats the drive in some proprietary format that your computer won't recognize, and that the 8300 sees the internal and external as a single volume.

i have a brand new samsung ln-4042h,and i have a time warner 8300 hd cable dvr box.when i try to go hdmi from the tv to the 8300 hd cable box which also has the hdmi,the picture is beautiful but the sound cuts in and out.any help would be nice.please help
solve this please

I am having the same problem as was mentioned by two other posts and was wondering if anyone figured out how to solve the problem. I recently purchased a Samsung LN-4053H and am using an HDMI to HDMI connection. I went through the 8300HD setup to display only 720p and 1080i (excluding 480i which the HDMI connection will not transmit). After setup, the picture displays content through the HDMI cable in HD. I turn the TV off.

When I turn the TV back on I have the problem: the display on the cable box switches from 720p to 480i and the TV does not display through the HDMI connection. I have to switch to a co-axial connection and re-perfrom the set-up by pressing the guide and info buttons. When I go into the set-up, the only displays highlighted are 720p and 1080i (even though the cable box says its displaying 480i).

Has anyone figured out how to solve this probelm? Thanks.

I am having the same problem as above. When I turn off my cable box it switches back to 480i no matter what I do.

Anyone have a suggestion to fix?

Its very easy to setup the HDMI on the 8300HD.
1. Plugn in the HDMI cable
2. Switch to HDMI on the TV
3. Press settings on the cable remote, settings for the 8300HD Box)
4. Go to advanced settings
5. Go to digital audio
6. You will see HDMI, jsut change, accept, and let there be sound
In case you do not see the HDMI, it is because you have not plugged in, or turned on the HDMI interface

I have found that you can keep the 1080i setting on my 8300hd by setting the output to auto HDMI and switching to a HD channel, then setting the output to Fixed. This seems to force the HDMI to upconvert SD channels properly when channel surfing.

Do to a recent power hit of some kind, I will have to replace my SA dvr - the HD 8300 model. The box simply reboots every 20 to 30 minutes. Very annoying. Anyway, I have a few hours of shows on the dvr that I want to keep. I hav e a couple of days before they come to switch it out. Without opening the box and taking the drive, what are my options? I need to make every effort to save the programs that are on the box now. Thank you all for your time and help!!!

Hello all. Great forum. I have an SA 8300HD from Time Warner w/ passport OS. The "set bars" option is not available in advanced settings with this software. I really-really want to set the side-bars to black, the bright grey sux. Anyone know of a workaround or hack ?

Brighthouse SA8000 series box...Can't figure out why I all of a sudden can not hear audio (just a one second blip comes thru when switching onto the channel, then silence) on channels above about 100? Great video...Anyone have any ideas? Thanks, Alex

I have a Panasonic TH-42px50u bought back in June of 05'.

Came home tonight and played a little Wii which is connected via component cable. Then went to watch some TV so I switched over to HdMI and the screen was black w/no signal.

Went over to the CAble box Sci-Atl explorer 8300 hd and made sure it was on, then unplugged and plugged back in and still nothing. I then selected the cable input on my tv and the screen showed up perfect, switched back to hdmi and the screen was black. I then selected the cable input again and put on HBOHD and switched to HDMI when the screen displayed the show and the picture was green then the screen went black. I then turned off the cable box and the screen had green vertical lines going down it.

Anyway, I then changed it back to cable and the picture is perfect.

I then thought that possibly it could be something with the TV not processing HD so I hooked component cables up to my cable box and tv and the tv displayed the HD perfectly.

Any suggestions as to what this could be??? We had thundestorms here in PA tonight but pretty much everything is working aside from using the HDMI.

Steve, your cable box may have been remotely updated with new firmware that affected its HDMI capabilities. I'd request a tech to bring out a new box and see if that fixes it.


Plugged a DVD player into my HDMI input and it worked perfectly.

Cable tech is coming out tommorow to give me a new box.

Thanks for your help,

I just got my 8300HD from Time Warner to play around with to see if I like it better than my VIP622 from Dish Network.

I have my VIP622 connected to my HDTV via HDMI and I have it connected to my Slingbox Pro using component.

I tried to do the same thing with the 8300HD, but I get no video from the component output when an HDMI cable is plugged in too. Is that configuration possible with the 8300HD?

the SA8300HD formats drives in ext3. the contents of the drive can viewed on any linux PC or any PC with an ext3 viewer.

I have
SA 8300HD from Raleigh Time Warner.

It works OK via HDMI to Sony HD TV. However when I try to record from COAX output on back of DVR, there is no sound. I've scrounged around and cannot find setting to change this (found setting that gave "2 channel sound", but did not help).

I also found a user manual from Scientific American. But it seems Time Warner has modified the DVR software to their own liking. I cannot find much in the manual that works as described.

Any ideas?

I have a Sharp Aquos and a 8300HD. My problem was I had sound but no picture.

The solution is clicking the �settings� button twice on the cable remote. Scroll down and select �Set: picture format.� Then select Hdmi/Dvi auto. It works.

I also caution when I first did this there was no �Hdmi/Dvi� option. I think you have to remove the red/white/yellow cables first.

Good luck.


i have a sony lcd projection hd-tv, AS explorer 8300HD, and a surround sound/dvd player.i want to hook up the tv to the cable box with a hdmi cord but how do i hook up the surround? please help!!!!

What am I doing wrong. To record a "season pass" I go to Guide, browse by whatever, find my show ( it's now highlighted) and push the record button. Nothing.

You cannot record Pay per View

I am using the SA8300HD DVR with Comcast and desire to get the eSATA Port working with my external Segate 500 GB drive. I have read all the above posts and the external drive should be working? The Box is using SARA software but I am unable to confirm that the eSATA Port is enabled or has been enabled by looking at the diagnostics screens. I have even formatted the external drive for Linux ext3. It appears to be recognizing the drive as a Msg appears after powering up the 8300HD "to check the cable for bad connections". I have been unable to get the "Format the drive msg"?

Perhaps I have a bad eSATA cable, as the drive does become erratic or turn off if you move the connections at all. My question is what do you look for on the diagonstics screen to see if the eSATA Port is enabled? Also, how an you enable the Port if it is disabled? I don't have a way to check the eSATA cable to determine if that is the problem as yet, so I'm trying to confirm the Port status first.

Any help willl be appreciated!

"i have a sony lcd projection hd-tv, AS explorer 8300HD, and a surround sound/dvd player.i want to hook up the tv to the cable box with a hdmi cord but how do i hook up the surround? please help!!!!"

What are you using to hook up the DVD player to the TV? What type of player do you have? Is your DVD player capable of digital sound input?

Put another post on here or you can reach me at Make sure to put HD DVR 8300 in the subject line though. Thanks.

"i have a sony lcd projection hd-tv, AS explorer 8300HD, and a surround sound/dvd player.i want to hook up the tv to the cable box with a hdmi cord but how do i hook up the surround? please help!!!!"

Just so you know, HDMI contains the digital signal for both the video and sound. In order to use your surround sound receiver, you might need an output from the TV into the player or take the sound out of the cable box into the player.

Hey mike I have no problem recording ppv to sa 8300. You do need to be on the same channel as the ppv.

I have the 8300HD and an running HDMI to an Olevia LCD. I shut down every format except 1080i and 720p. I keep getting pulsing green over my screen. If I change to an HD channel sometimes it will go away but as I tune through the HD channels, I will eventually hit one that causes the green flash. When I hit one, hen all the channels that previously did not flash green, will flash green. Why???

Bob wrote:

"It works OK via HDMI to Sony HD TV. However when I try to record from COAX output on back of DVR, there is no sound. I've scrounged around and cannot find setting to change this (found setting that gave "2 channel sound", but did not help)."

That's a tough one.

Coax is an input on your TV. Like the HDMI format, coax also contains the sound. Are you trying to play it back on the HDMI input?

Try pressing the Settings button twice. There should be one for Audio output. What does that say currently? If you were to change it, what are your options? There might be something in there that you will have to change (probably as you switch between HDMI and coax).

"i have a sony lcd projection hd-tv, AS explorer 8300HD, and a surround sound/dvd player.i want to hook up the tv to the cable box with a hdmi cord but how do i hook up the surround? please help!!!!"

1. Connect HDMI from set-top to TV.
2. Connect optical digital audio port from set-top to your audio receiver
3. Within your set-top application, select digital audio setting to 'Dolby Digital'
You will not get audio from HDMI (ie TV) at that point. However, you will get audio from the audio receiver.

SATA interface is always active on the Explorer set-top box. You just need to realize it's not a plug and play interface. You need to always leave the SATA drive and set-top "on" at the same time. You cannot turn off the SATA drive once it's part of the system.

I just got the new 8300 HD DVR from Time Warner New York. I hooked it up and find that when I change stations and the resolution changes from station to station, the picture on my TV goes from picture to black to picture to black and stays black for about 5 seconds. I called Time Warner about this and they said they don't support HDMI (or DVI) and to use the component cables I was given. That would fix the problem. I told them that the cable doesn't give as sharp a picture as the HDMI. They said they couldn't help me and that is the way the box works. I called Scientific Atlanta and they said I have to go into the service menu in the box and I can choose just the 1080 resolution and that should solve the problem. I am not sure that I believe this but I am willing to try it. The problem is that Time Warner has the code (what buttons to press either on the box or the remote to get into the menu) and they won't give it out. They say the box shouldn't be changed. Considering the amount of my cable bill each month I am not willing to accept second rate cable. Is anyone else having this problem and what can I do about it? It is extremely annoying and I am considering going to Direct TV.

Most of the issues with the cable boxes not recording shows have to do with signal and connection problems not the hddvr. If your screen is blanking out between channel changes, you should call twc in your respective area and ask them to send a service tech to change the output format. Most of the time this is found under the settings that are available to the customer by pressing the settings button on the remote, then pressing the more settings button (the yellow triangle button) and going to output format and removing all formats except 1080i.

This is all changed in the new OCAP DVR's. You can't change the resolution output when using HDMI and DVI, at least not with the DVR's TW NY is giving out. Everything is different and not for the better. The resolution has to be changed in the box not with the remote and the settings menu and you can't get into the box.

This is all changed in the new OCAP DVR's. You can't change the resolution output when using HDMI and DVI, at least not with the DVR's TW NY is giving out. Everything is different and not for the better. The resolution has to be changed in the box not with the remote and the settings menu and you can't get into the box.

I'm looking for some help or advice. I have an Explorer 8300 dvr that I bought just recently and I am already having problems with the dvr feature. I have tried to record a few shows this past week and when I try to watch them later, the recording log says "will not record because the channel is not available" and for later shows episodes that I tried to record, it said "not recorded due to an unresolved recording conflict (6)" . I know that I have the channel included in my cable, so I know the recording conflict is not due to the channel not being there, so is there anyone that can tell me how to fix the problem with the box? I appreciate any advice you can give me.

I am reading your blog as I just had a technician from Time Warner replace my HD set-top box with SA 8300 HDC DVR. I was glad I did by paying $30.00 instead of installing it myself, as it took the technician more than an hour to display the picture through the new set-top box.

As he was running late for the next appointment, he left in a hurry after getting the pictures on the screen at last. He connected the set-box HDTV to the HDTV component video (YPbPr) and set-box secondary Video/Audio Out to the VCR, leaving the VCR connection to the HDTV composite video as is.

After he left, I was surprised to find out that, now I see exactly the same picture from both component video and composite video of the HDTV, displaying both HD channels and non-HD channels with 480i resolution and the same wide aspect ratio. (Before, on the component vidoe, the HD channels showed 1080i with the wide aspect ratio and non-HD channels 480i with the narrow aspect ratio.) The sharp 1080i pictures I used to enjoy on HD channels are gone.

I realize that the built-in DVD of DVR box is capable of producing only 480i. Am I supposed to get the convenience of DVR at the price of losing 1080i? If so, what is the merit of having the component video connection? Or did the technician miss something when installing the set-box? Tim

If you have an HD DVR they should record the show in 1080 with a full 16X9 picture. What type of DVR do you have--the Mystro or the Passport? It sounds like he definitely screwed up. You should be able to fix this in the settings which you enter by pressing settings on the remote and going into ersolution output. You find this differently depending on whether you have the Mystro or Passport box

Hey everyone. I'm currently renting an SA8300HD box through Rogers Cable here in Canada. As of last night, none of my channels work. I can't access the program guide because it states that "the settop box is in standalone mode". I've gone through all the troubleshooting (pressing INFO & GUIDE) etc. What's more is that every time I plug the box back in, it goes through the BOOT process and the time on the front always goes back to 7:58. I've checked all my cables, including trying different ones as well as plugging the box into different outlets, and I'm still getting the same problem. I called Rogers, and the signal in my area is fine. In fact, my mother lives a few doors down from me and her's works perfectly fine. I thought I'd check in here to see if anyone has any suggestions. A technician is coming tomorrow to look at it, but if I can find a fix beforehand, I won't get charged for it. Any help would be GREATLY appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Andy at August 29, 2007 1:22 PM

Try using your mother's set top box. If it works, then you need a new 8300HD box. Otherwise, having the technician there would be extremely beneficial.

"...Time Warner about this and they said they don't support HDMI (or DVI)..."

Posted by: MOU at August 22, 2007 2:11 PM

I have the 8300HD DVR with Time Warner and I use a HDMI cable without a problem. There wasn't anything special to set up either. However, you might want to press the settings button twice on your remote and find out your picture format. Probably should say Auto HDMI/DVI.

Do you have the Passport or the Mystro DVR? I had no trouble with the Passport. A few weeks ago they gave me the Mystro and it is horrible. You can't do a lot of the things that were on the Passport including change the resolution with HDMI.

Um anyone know how to hook this piece up to a play station?

I have the 8300HD from Time Warner and they GAVE me an hdmi cable, component cable and RCA audio cables too. I've got it set up with the HDMI cable to the TV and optical audio straight to my stereo and it works perfectly so far.

I have to 8300 hdc from time warner and i was wondering how to hook my ps3 up to this i want to use the hdmi on this box because for some reason my hd tv does not have the plug so i just want to know how to get my ps3 hd on this tv by hooking it up to this 8300hdc

"I have to 8300 hdc from time warner and i was wondering how to hook my ps3 up to this i want to use the hdmi on this box because for some reason my hd tv does not have the plug so i just want to know how to get my ps3 hd on this tv by hooking it up to this 8300hdc."


I don't think it's possible to set the PS3 as an input to the cable box. Instead, plug an HDMI cable into the PS3 and out to the TV. I just did this on Tuesday and the presentation on my Toshiba 42" LCD was freaking awesome!




After re-reading the post, you said your TV does not have a HDMI input. The cable box's HDMI is an output, not an input. I don't think you can hook the PS3 into the cable box via HDMI.

Had an interesting situation today where neither of my SA 8300s would boot, even after repeated hard resets (pulling the power plug). Here's how I solved it:

1) Unplugged hdmi and/or component video output.
2) Connected cable box to tv via plain old coax.
3) Entered Diagnostic Mode by pressing and holding Select button, then pressing info.

After a paged thru a couple pages of diag info, both boxes came back to life.

I don't know if using coax out or entering diag mode is what actually fixed the issue. But it allowed me to keep both my boxes instead of returning both to Comcast.

Addendum to previous post: I should add that component and hdmi out both worked after this. Didn't want to imply that I gave up and used coax out as a solution.

Why is there a USB port on the front of this receiver?

Can someone tell me how to reset the memory in the 8300HD box?

Please help me. Last night I hooked up the 8300HD to my Sony Bravia KDL-V40XBR1 via an HDMI cable. It worked fine. Today, after hours of running cables, I've been through the 480i issue. Now the 8300HD shows 1080i HDTV, but I'm still getting that msg that my HDTV doesn't support HDCP. Well, it did last night! I'm aiming to connect the 8300 to a Sony DVD home theatre system (HT-7100DH) but to be sure it wasn't a problem with that unit, I've disconnected it. Any ideas???
I couldn't get the 8300 to go into setup mode until I brought over another tv to hook up with a coax. I still can't get it to go into setup mode with the Sony Bravia but it does show 1080i now.
My home theatre and 8300 have to go in a cabinet on the opposite side of the room from the tv. Cables are running under the house. I am using a different HDMI cable -- much longer than the 3ft I used last night. But the longer cable is from Accel Ultrarun HDmi Series (Supports up to 1080p resolution and multi-channel audio UL Listed and CL3 rated cable is ideal for in-wall installation Tested and certified by HDMI Authorized Testing Center (ATC) 15m and is Fully compatible with HDCP compliant components). So, the cable should be ok, and the HDTV worked with this same cable box last night. I really need some help!

Peter, I don't know what you mean by "reset the memory," but to simply reset/restart the unit, press and hold the Power button on the unit (not on the remote) for 5 seconds.

If you want to totally wipe the hard drive's store of recorded content, other than going in and deleting each one-by-one, I've no idea how to do that.

bj - hook the box back up with the short cable. If it works fine, then your long cable is the problem.

Update: I managed to scrounge enough coaxil to reach across the room and test the SA 8300HD with a short HDMI cable and the Sony HDTV and everything worked -- got video and audio. So, it must be the 49ft UltraRun HDMI cable since that's the only part that's different. I'm very disappointed in that this UltraRun cable by Accell was supposed to be able to handle long runs. I even used the "Built-in miniature signal equalizer and booster for exceptionally long cable runs of up to 147 feet". Does anyone else have any experience with these cables?

Craig, Thanks for the reply! I did exactly that - but it was a lot of trouble:-)

I think I know the answer to this, but I wanted to check it out with you all first. I have a SA Explorer 8300 HD box.

Lately, I've noticed that when I'm watching a show, sometimes the picture freezes up. If I change the channel and then switch back, everthing is fine. I was beginning to think that my hard drive was about to bust. So, I deleted a lot of things and was recording onto DVD what I could.
Then, no picture at all. The box began rebooting and kept rebooting over and over again. I'm not sure how long this process repeated, because I went to bed.

This morning the correct time was displayed. I turned the box on and was watching TV again.
I wanted to check the status of my recorded items. A message appeared on the screen saying that there might be damage to the hard drive. It gave me two choices to choose from as the next step. If I pressed the yellow triangle the memory list would try to again to appear. I did that and...nothing. The other choice was the blue button, I think, and if I pressed that I would get a systm reboot. So that's what I did. Once I began rebooting, the box went off and that whole procces of rebooting over and over again began. Hours and hours later it is STILL rebooting!!

Should I just give up, call TW and get a new box? I've heard that when the tech takes the machine back to "headquarters" they strip the hard drive and reuse it again. Who knows and I guess who cares, right?

So, finally, what's the opinion of the board??

Silly question:
If I hook up my cable box to my Plasma's HDMI-1 port and a home theater in a box receiver to the Plasma's HDMI-2 box, how can I get sound through the home theater? I had to change the audio settings in the cable box to HDMI.
Thank you

Daniel, if the HTIB can pass through HDMI input (i.e., it has both an HDMI input and output), then you need to hook up your components like this:

cable box ===> HTIB receiver ===> display

If it does not have an HDMI input, then you should hook up some other form of audio connection between the cable box and your HTIB (e.g., SPDIF). Why exactly do you need a connection between the HTIB and your plasma? Does it have OSD or something?

Sorry so basic here -
Goals: Watch DVD's from the HTIB and listen to sound from cable box on both plasma and HTIB.


Daniel, let's take your goals one at a time:

Watch DVD's from the HTIB: Hook up a video cable from the HTIB to the plasma. HDMI is preferred; component is next best.

listen to sound from cable box on both plasma and HTIB: This is confusing to me...why would you want the sound on _both_ units? What I would suggest is that you connect the cable box to the HTIB using either HDMI or SPDIF -- both will get your cable audio to the HTIB. If you can hook up HDMI from the HTIB to the plasma, it will carry both the video and the audio.

If that's not helpful or clear, post what outputs your cable box has, what inputs and outputs your HTIB has, and what inputs your TV has. Or find a buddy who understands this stuff and can just come over and take a peek first-hand ;-)

Thanks Craig:

I think I get it now. Should I buy a HTIB with HDMI Pass-Through? Does that mean if the HTIB is off, I can hear sound on the TV's speakers and I can hear sound from cable channels if the HTIB is on?
Thank you.

Daniel, what I don't understand is why you want to hear sound through the TV's speakers. Doesn't the HTIB offer much better sound? And if so, why not use the HTIB always when watching TV or listening to music, regardless of source?

Whether or not an HITB will act as you describe above is hard to tell...would require understanding the particular model you're considering to find out. Basically, though, if you want to mimize cables, then send audio and video from the cable box to the HTIB using HDMI. Then, pass on only the video to the TV and output the audio through the HTIB's speakers. If HDMI is missing from one or more points on that chain, then you'll need to substitute other audio or video links.

I have to wait until Monday for a Time Warner tech to visit. Meanwhile, I thought I could try the DVD player that's part of the Sony HT-7100HD package. So, I've got HDMI from DVD player to the receiver, coax from DVD to receiver, and HDMI from receiver (out) to HDTV. I'm getting sound when I have the coax from the DVD to receiver, but the picture is not coming through. It flashes purple and green on the screen -- almost like it's trying to get a picture. Would this necessarily indicate that the cable from the receiver to the tv is the problem? (It's that 49ft UltraRun with the signal booster.)

bj, I thought you'd already determined that the "Ultrarun" cable was bad? If it's bad on one connection it's not going to miraculously work on another. Throw it away or take it back and get a refund.

Ok, thanks Don. I just wanted it to work so bad. :-)

This has been an interesting thread to read.

I just installed a Samsung 50" plasma (model 5054) and this cable box via Charter. The connection is HDMI.

I haven't encountered any catastrophic problems, but what I have noticed is that the common information bars that the stations display during a sports broadcast (either along the top or the bottom) are totally hidden below the edge of the display, or are cut in half.

My cable box displays '1080i.'

I've gone through the various options for the Samsung, and none fix the problem. The best it looks is when the mode is in its 'Just Scan' mode. When I hit 'Info' on the TV, it tells me I am watching a show in 1920 x 1080i resolution.

I called Charter to ask about the cable box and whether I really ought to set it to 720 instead of 1080i. But the woman angered me by suggesting that this was a TV issue and I really ought to read through the TV manual and fix my problem that way.

So, I've heard terms like 'overscan' and whatnot, and since I've never had HD before I'm grasping at straws. But my intuition tells me that if I can 'force' the cable box to send a 720 signal rather than a 1080i signal, then I will 'see' what is now being cropped at the bottom and top of my screen. Is that a logical thesis? I just don't want to monkey around with the advanced settings on the cable box and do more harm than good.

I just got a Sony HDTV. I use Cable Vision's Explorer 8300.I can't change the channels on the P&P. The split screen works fine but when I change channels they always are the same on both screens.I have it hooked up with HDMI.I also have a compotent connection.The TV does not show this connection in the input menu. Thanks for any help!!

I just got the SA 8300HDC, and when I watch recorded shows, the sound cuts out constantly. Video looks fine, it's just the sound. I'm using a hdmi to dvi cable, and for sound, I'm just using the standard red/white cables.

I have a samsung dlp tv. The only instance I can think of that you're having a problem with this is when you have the 8300 in "zoom 1" mode. Make sure your remote is on the "cable" mode and press the "#" key on your remote to cycle through the modes. Also, have you set up your cable box to view all modes? There are 2 buttons on the front of the box you have to push to get you in setup mode (though I dont remember which ones at the moment) and you pick which modes your tv displays.
I really think it's the Zoom option that is affecting your display though.

I've read this entire thread and my eyes hurt. Could anyone please tell me why when I use the remote that comes with the SA8300 HD-DVR I can't push down the volume button and have it go more than one blip at a time? The constant pushing of the volume button to get it where I want it is hurting my thumbs. The techs in the area where I live are morons. They keep trying to get me to use global volume lock/unlock. I have told them and shown them this just decides which volume controls what and has nothing to do with whether or not I can get the volume to move continuously by pressing the up or down button. I did not have this problem on either of our previous 2 televisions, just this Samsung 46" DLP. When we lived in SA and had TW the tech there fixed it for me somehow but now I seem to be SOL unless one of you fine gentlemen can help me.

is it the volume on the tv or the cable box? if it's the tv does the tv remote do the same? if it's the cable box i'd just take the remote in and tell them you want another one.

I have two HDTV sets. The one in the living room is using the 8300HD box and looks great. My new set is in the bed room and is using the 8300HDC box.

My question is, should the 8300HDC box show on the LED "HDTV" when on a HD channel just like the 8300HD box does? If so that may explain why my new set doesn't look as crisp as the one in the living room.

All the channels display in 1080i and I connect using HDMI cables on both sets.

Any help will be appreciated.

I've read this entire thread and my eyes hurt. Could anyone please tell me why when I use the remote that comes with the SA8300 HD-DVR I can't push down the volume button and have it go more than one blip at a time? The constant pushing of the volume button to get it where I want it is hurting my thumbs. The techs in the area where I live are morons. They keep trying to get me to use global volume lock/unlock. I have told them and shown them this just decides which volume controls what and has nothing to do with whether or not I can get the volume to move continuously by pressing the up or down button. I did not have this problem on either of our previous 2 televisions, just this Samsung 46" DLP. When we lived in SA and had TW the tech there fixed it for me somehow but now I seem to be SOL unless one of you fine gentlemen can help me.

Posted by: Kara at September 26, 2007 3:19 AM

is it the volume on the tv or the cable box? if it's the tv does the tv remote do the same? if it's the cable box i'd just take the remote in and tell them you want another one.

Posted by: don at September 26, 2007 10:14 AM

It's the volume on the TV that is the problem. If I use the Samsung brand TV remote then I have no problem with continuous volume change by holding down the vol +/- button. It's only after I program the HDDVR remote that I have problems. I have used this same remote on other brands of TV and it works fine. I own 3 Samsung DLPs, all different size screens, and they all have the same problem with the remote. 2 of the TVs are hooked up to SA8300HDDVR and one is hooked up to just the digital box w/o DVR capability.

It's the volume on the TV that is the problem. If I use the Samsung brand TV remote then I have no problem with continuous volume change by holding down the vol +/- button. It's only after I program the HDDVR remote that I have problems. I have used this same remote on other brands of TV and it works fine. I own 3 Samsung DLPs, all different size screens, and they all have the same problem with the remote. 2 of the TVs are hooked up to SA8300HDDVR and one is hooked up to just the digital box w/o DVR capability.

Sorry for the repeat posts. My computer said the first one didn't take.

yeah, it sounds like an issue with that remote and samsung tv's.
You might want to search the net for that brand of remote and see if anyone else has posted a "fix" for that issue. I'm not sure what remote your cable company uses for your box but my remote is the "Universal Electronics Atlas DVR/PVR 5-Device Universal Remote Control"
I'm not sure if my remote has an issue with the volume on my Samsung DLP because I've never used the TV sound, I use mine to control my stereo volume.

I don't know if you guys agree with me, but I feel absolutely frustrated with Time Warner Cable.

I moved from Dish Network to Time Warner like a month ago and since then, it hasn't ended one single day that I haven't regretted that change.

I continuously have problems with the Explorer 8300HDC box. I have to reboot it frequently because it starts going extremely slow. It should have Microsoft Windows inside.

Besides that the customer service is extremely bad. And I have had to call them like eight times in less than a month! Last time they had me 55 minutes on hold!

I really don't know how they can still be on business with such a terrible service.

This is a question about the Scientific Atlanta Explorer HD DVR. I bought a SATA 300gb disk drive that came with an sata cable. Now, I want to connect it to the DVR but the cable does not fit into the sata slot in the dvr. What am I missing?

You need an esata cable.

Commenting on TWC service:
I must admit that I've had nothing but good service with TWC service during the years that I've used them. TWC Cable is high as hell costwise but the service in my city (GreensboroNC) is exceptional. If I was to call them with your problem they would try to resolve it over the phone 1st, then if that didnt work they would offer a service call or I could bring the box in and swap it.

Does any of you know if I can just buy DVR 8300hd from internet and ten connect it to TWC? I already using 8300hd and I was hoping to save money on buying one from ebay and then just connect it. Does any of you think it would work or not?

Diana, no you cant. Any box connected to TWC has to be authorized/activated through their system electronically. Anyway, the monthly charge for the 8300HD is only 5.95 a month. It would take several years for you to get to the purchase price of the unit and by then something new will come out and you can swap for new technology.

My Question is when I have the HDMI cable plugged in the my Mitsubishi 52” model WD-52528 TV and in to my Brighthouse service Scientific Atlanta 8300 HD Digital Video Recorder it works but from time to time (about every 8 minutes) it goes to blue screen and back on the the picture I have been told this could be a bad signal from Brighthouse and a booster could help or is this a problem in the TV or the setup.

You might want to try swapping the hdmi cable out and/or make sure that the connections are plugged in tightly. OR plug it into a 2nd hdmi input on your TV if available and see if you still have an issue. If you have a component connection on your tv you might want to try that connection from the 8300 and see if you still have dropouts. If you do it's your signal from Brighthouse. CALL them if it is. They can boost your signal or make sure your signal is up to par.
Sometimes you can turn off the "blue screen" mode on your tv too and you can still see your picture.

Don Thanks I swapped out the hdmi cable and rebooted and it's work OK. Thank you again

When HDMI is plugged in, my component video output 1 does NOT work.
Does plugging in HDMI disable component output 1?

(My secondary output, composite works, when the HDMI is plugged in?) Thanks!

I've used this new out of the box set for about two months. Recording quality is very good in both HD & SD; user interface is abysmal. I have Replaytv & TiVo & prefer the Replay. If only it could HiDef.
The 8300HD box locks up on occasion; either the picture freezes OR none of the remote functions work. So far my only recourse has been to reboot. TWC San Diego tells me no one else has reported these symptoms. Anyone have any experience with this problem?
Also, anyone purchased one of these & had it work with their cable provider?

Twice my box has lost the picture, the sound is still there, the channel info is still at the bottom of the screen, it'll change channels, list channels in the guide, "play" a dvr recorded movie (no pic, just sound)... reboot fixes it. It's disturbing.
TWC wont let you use anything but their equip on their network. I've even called them about an external hd hookup. They'll only enable the esata outlet if you rent their harddrive for $9.95 month. sucks huh.
kim, my component works when hdmi is plugged in.

I have a SA 8300 DVR box for about 2 months now and am looking to purchase an external eSata external HD. In one of the posting last spring I read that 1 person was unable to rewind live TV after installing the external drive. Is this happening rarely or most of the time? I have Bright House in the Tampa, FL area.

I also read that you always have to have the HD on - no problem for me unless the power goes out (which it does every so often during rain storms here in FL). What happens to the recorded data if the power goes off? I am thinking of a UPS for it which would probably get me an hour or more before I would have to worry (the power usually is only off a short while). I wouldn't want to have hours of recording and lose it all when the lights flash. I read about the order of turning things on and can see having to do that after a power outage????

First question, has anyone definitively confirmed from TWC if the eSATA function is disabled or not? I want to be sure it works before I buy an eSATA drive. On another note, I am a long-time TWC customer and I've had a Plasma w/DVR for as long as they've offered it. I've encountered the issue with not being able to use the component output with HDMI. They have not been able to provide an explaination other than the earlier comment about it is intuitive enough to recognize when HD is available and it disables the component output. Doesn't happen with other outputs though.

Almost forgot, anyone looking to save a ton of money on video cables can go to I got an HDMI-to-DVI cable for less than $6.

lee, TWC told me that the sata connection is not enabled. But I have read that several ppl that have TWC have had no problems with adding an external drive. Sooo... I've ordered one and it should be here friday (10/12/07). I'll post whether it works or not.
To the previous post, I've read several places that different ppl have had different issues after connecting an external drive, not just the rewind issue, but I believe a lot of those were earlier posts where the software was new. I believe a lot of those issues have been resolved in software updates over the past year or so. And yes the hd needs to be on (cant go into sleep mode or power saving mode either). You wont "lose" data on the hd during a power failure, when the 8300 boots back up it still recognizes the drive etc. All recording indexes on the 8300 are kept in the 8300 also, not on the external drive.

I have had this DVR box for about 2 weeks now and have sent it back once for a bad hard drive. Now the new box is better but still has issues. When I am recording something and try to watch another recorded movie or live TV at the same time I get sound pauses in the show I am watching ... very annoying. Also, I am having trouble with trying to play back recorded programs, when I press the play key my screen goes blank and I nothing happens. The only way I have found to fix this is to keep trying to play it by going back into the DVR List and hitting play again and again. Usually after 2-3 times, the show will start playing. I have had TiVo for a number of years now and NEVER had one problem with it. I would have to say that so far I am not pleased with the functionality and performance of this unit one bit!

Ok: I'm getting my HTIB
1) Cable box connected to Plasma via HDMI Port1
2) Audio Setting on cable box set to HDMI
3) HTIB Unit will output HDMI to TV Port2
4) What to do with the digital audio cable? Should it connect from the plasma or the cable box?
The fact that I had to change the audio setting on the cable box confuse me - do I have to switch that back? Will that mean I won't hear sound on the TV? If I don't switch it back, will I have 5.1 audio?


Robert, I'd continue to complain to customer service and switch out the boxes until one works like it's supposed to. What a pita though!
Shouldnt you connect the cable box to the HTIB via HDMI and then the HDMI out on the HTIB to the plasma? Video and sound are transfered through HDMI.
Or... I connect my HDMI to the tv and used the optical audio out on the 8300 to my stereo (which doesnt have hdmi inputs) which works fine.

Being slowly driven insane by the constant whirring/digital clicking type noises even when the box is off. HOW DO I MAKE THEM GO AWAY??? I've resorted to just pulling the plug before I go to sleep, but I doubt that can be good for the device.

Ive read several posts of the 8300 clicking etc and generally making a racket, though mine never makes a sound. Seems you could swap it out for another one, at least that's what I'd do.

Shouldnt you connect the cable box to the HTIB via HDMI and then the HDMI out on the HTIB to the plasma? Video and sound are transfered through HDMI.
Or... I connect my HDMI to the tv and used the optical audio out on the 8300 to my stereo (which doesnt have hdmi inputs) which works fine.
If I do optical audio out on the 8300 to the HTIB, and the audio setting is on HDMI, will I have 5.1 surrond sound, or do I need to change back to dolby digital? (In that case I know there will be no sound to the plasma.)


let me think about that -

BUT... got my external drive today, hooked it up with TWC here in Greensboro NC to my 8300 and it works perfectly. Sooo... the esata connection is live. oh yeah

Do you know if an external hard drive will work with TWC in Charlotte? Which drive did you buy?

Second plasma is coming tomorrow. Already have the second cable box. :)

Silent1 post:
"I have TWC in Raleigh, NC. I got my box in April 2007 and it has been working perfectly, thank goodness. I decided to try and hook up an external hard drive using the advice from this forum. I purchased a Seagate 500GB, 16MB cache, 7200RPM eSATA drive from Newegg.

Last night I hooked everything up; the first try was a no-go, so I unplugged everything and did it again, and it worked. The external drive formatted and when I tuned to channel 999 (which shows a lot of techie info) and scrolled down to DVR AVFS, the capacity had indeed jumped. I recorded and watched Grey's Anatomy with no issues.

However, this morning, I was watching the news and wanted to rewind to hear something again, and I discovered that I could not. When the progress bar displayed, there was no green part, indicating that I could not rewind live TV. I could pause and resume, but could not FF or RW once I started replaying. When I hit the back arrow to replay 10 seconds ago, it started playing something I had been watching 10 minutes ago (on a different channel!), and I could not view live TV without changing the channel. Very odd.

Just today I read that external drives may not be compatible with 8300HD's running Passport, which mine has. I hope this is not the case. I have fallen in love with HD and want to record so many things but the drive fills up so fast!

So close, and yet so far, it seems. Any suggestions?"


I have a strange problem with my explorer 8300. Whe selecting the list of recorded programs, I get an error message, 'recording space low' and the pictre blanks out - I cannot get the list to erase any programs. Does anyone know how I can get this operational again??

I know my 8300 in greensboro TWC has SARA, I actually dont think I have tried rewinding live TV yet but will when I get home tonight.

Dan, try rebooting your machine and see if that clears it up.

ok...just checked out the rew/ff and it works fine. But it is the SARA OS.

Thanks for checking Don. I am not sure then if it is a Passport issue? The random pixeling accompanied by sound distortion never occurs watching a pre-recorded program but does continually occur with Live TV.
WHile Time Warner doesn't support external SATA can I ask them to send a general update to my box? Is there anything that I can do form home? Tx!

Thanks for checking Don. I am not sure then if it is a Passport issue? The random pixeling accompanied by sound distortion never occurs watching a pre-recorded program but does continually occur with Live TV.
WHile Time Warner doesn't support external SATA can I ask them to send a general update to my box? Is there anything that I can do form home? Tx!

Lastly, could my issues have to do with the passport software OR with the SATA hardware/connectors. I bought a SATA II cable, but neither end matched up with the hardware. I used the SATA cable included with the enclosure, SATA to eSATA. (Transfer rates up to 3GBPS.)

Seagate 500GB SATA-300HDD
Seagate/Barracuda 7200.10/500GB/7200
8MB/Serial ATA-300/OEM/Hard Drive

-Do I have to "take out the jumper"? If so please explain?

Thanks AGAIN!

Personally I would think the live tv issues are a problem with the signal you're receiving from TWC. If you call them I believe they'll try resetting your box etc to see if that clears it up. If it doesnt I'd try swapping the box out. But remember you'll lose everything you've saved on your dvr because the external HDs dont swap from one dvr to another, they'll always reformat.


TWC in Charlotte must have pushed an update two nights ago. All of a sudden, both Panasonic Plasma TV's connected to 8300HDC's have these two problems:
1) Push Guide, exit guide Picture stays in top-right part of the screen (like when in guide mode) and fails to resize back to entrie screen. Work around - switch to HD channel and switch back.
2) STB is in stretch mode. SD channels do not stretch.

Try setting up the screen resolution again... I think it's this way:
Make sure the box is off and the tv is on.
Press GUIDE and INFO at the same time to enter the setup screen for resolution and follow instructions.

Running the 8300HD/dvr box

Question on external hd connection-- I bought a Western Digital 500gb eSata drive, hooked it up per the Sci. Atl. instructions, yada yada. Box does not ask to format disk (it is already formatted Win32) but says it is improperly connected. So it seems to know the drive is there but doesn't quite know what to do with it.

Do I need to use an unformatted disk?

Comcast here in NoVa was unable to help in any way.

It should format it no matter what OS has formatted it previously. Could be the drive you are using is in "sleep" mode - you cannot use a drive that shuts itself down like that.
Do you know what operating system the box is using? SARA or PASSPORT?
I'll go over the steps for you (just in case):
You can leave your TV on.
Turn box Off.
UNPLUG Box. Let it sit for a few minutes.
Plug in the External Drive (SATA to ESata on the box).
Turn Box ON.
After it boots it should say on the TV that it recognizes a new external drive and asks if you want to format it or not. Say Yes.
I let mine sit for approx 15 mins after saying Yes.
Then turn OFF the box. Wait a few seconds, then UNPLUG the box. Let it sit a min or so then plug the box back up.
Check your space, it should be considerably larger.
Here's s good link for external drives:
please add the www infront of it.
sorry for the funny link, this site wont post a link.

yo can anyone out there help me? im trying to hook up my xbox 360 with my 8300HD box and cant get it to work. anyone out there?

What cant you get to work? the xbox or the 8300? You dont need to hook the xbox to the 8300, hook it to the TV

Is it possible to switch between tuners on the 8300HDC?
I used to have a DirecTiVo.
A feature that I used a LOT was I switched between the 2 tuners by pressing the down arrow.
This is technically called "Dual Live Buffers".
I have Time Warner cable.

The only way I know to do this is to use the PIP function then you can switch between them on the fly. I believe it buffers both tuners when you do this. The PIP functions are located on the bottom left of the remote.

I have a Samsung HL-5687 LED rear screen display and an SA 8300SDC. I just put an HDMI cable between the two, and I am amazed at just how poor it looks compared to the component (analog) signal. Does anyone have any ideas why this might be? I have the SA set to 1080i and 720p only, and the digital picture is extrememly over blown.


The component output is a digital signal also. HDMI just combines digital and audio together and provides some DRM features. What do you mean by "over blown" ?

Thought I would report that i was able to hook up an ext sata drive to my time warner NYC 8300hd box. So far so good, the only problem i have with the set up is I am no longer able to pause live TV when the system appears to be using the ext drive. Programs record, then play and pause fine. So the temp fix is just to record anything i'm watching if i think i may want to pause or rewind. I'm wondering if it may have to do with the fact that i'm using an older drive w/ only 8 cache

It's probably an issue with the 8300 box using the PASSPORT OS. This OS has caused problems with many external drive users. The SATA OS doesnt seem to pose a problem here. You can check to see what OS you have (and a lot of other information) by Pressing and holding the SELECT button on the box for 5 seconds and then pressing the INFO button.

"Posted by: TWC CONTRACTOR at October 20, 2007 4:15 PM

TWC in Charlotte must have pushed an update two nights ago. All of a sudden, both Panasonic Plasma TV's connected to 8300HDC's have these two problems:
1) Push Guide, exit guide Picture stays in top-right part of the screen (like when in guide mode) and fails to resize back to entrie screen. Work around - switch to HD channel and switch back.
2) STB is in stretch mode. SD channels do not stretch."


Just bought a Pan TH-50PZ750

Got the same thing as you. But also some SD channels such as CNBC are in stretch mode. Other times they there are four vertical bars on the screen. Two on each side. We constanly have to use the TW remote and adjust the aspect ratio.

We have SA 8300HDC

Thanks. PS - anyone in Charlotte who can adjust the TV/SA 8300HDC for best picture.


I am on my 3rd 8300HDC and it is the worst box. It will not reboot, it is stuck on "h" with numbers in no particular order. I cannot even get Time Warner to accept responsibility that there is a problem. I am so frustrated it is not even funny. I am ready to go back to the dish

They wont let you bring it in and swap it out? Unusual

"In response to Milton's post about the HDMI, I have a Samsung TV as well, but I had to disable 480i and 480p inside the 8300HD before HDMI worked properly. Now my box shows 720p for everything except the 1080i channels."

i have an olevia 32in hd, when i first plugged in my hdmi cable to my explorer 8300 it worked fine all the sudden it went half screen after calling bright house they had no idea and scheduled a tech, but after researching it and found this site did what the blog said above me and worked fine, thanks alot guys saved me alot of trouble

Charlotte Time Warner Again.
The tech gave on my my HDC box and replaced one of the two (he didn't have two in the truck) of my HDC boxes with an HD box. The issues posted above seem to be better?

Are there other trade offs (besides OCAP) between the HD and HDC box? I noticed that a few new on-demand shows were missing (i.e. on the 1 HDC box but not on the 'new' HD box)? Could tht be because the HD box didn't update yet?

I just got my 8300HDC a week havin problem with it freezing up, then ill have glitches where it makes a weird noise then will pause and start back almost like a record skipping. it does this alot. and i just unplug and plug it back in. the best way to describe it is like the screen just skips almost then makes that skipping sound then restarts..very this normal problem. please help

I have had comcast/SA 8300 for a few years and have had numerous problems. Had my boxes replaced several times. My newest problem has to do with my HDMI connection to my new Panasonic Plasma.
When connected via HDMI...everytime I turn off my SA 8300 OR my plasma tv the 8300 automatically reverts back to 480. (we even disabled all formats except 720 and 1080). Every time I turn off either tv or box I then have to got thru a pain-in-the-butt process of going through the menu (turn off...hit guide and info simultaneously...and so on..30-45 second process). I must do this EVERY TIME I turn one or the other off. I had a tech out today and he tried replacing box, same problem. He could not fix it and said he has had several calls in the past week with this same problem. Ultimately, I was offered no solution other than only using component connections. The tech said he would report to supervisor and call me later this week.
The comcast support team says I must have had a bad box and it must have been replaced with another bad box. I told them the tech said he had repeated problems with the 8300 and HDMI connections. The cust. serv. rep says they have never heard of issues with the 8300 and HDMI connections.
I google for 8300 HDMI problems and google explodes with links to forums, articles, etc.
Sorry for the length (venting)...but has anyone had this particular issue?
Any suggestions??

Problem using SA 8300 HDC / Time Warner Charlotte / HDMI

Aspect ratio goes to about 1:1 on standard definition channels such as 32 when you swich channels on the DVR box from 182 to 32. If you cut the power off the cable box and then go to channel 32 the aspect ratio is about 4:3 as it should be.

When the aspect ratio is "1:1" there are 2 additional vertical bars shown on the TV. I believe Time Warner is working hard to resolve 8300 HDC problems but why can't they support HDMI? Why do they want you to watch SD channels in only "stretch" mode? That distorts TV programs.

Anone else have similar problems?

What is 1:1 aspect ratio?

I went ahead and purchased the 500 GB DVR Xpander direct from Apricorn. The price is basically the same that you would pay for a 500gb drive + enclosure -- $179 plus free shipping. Plug and play. Setup took about 5 minutes, and I now have 660gb of storage (hopefully enough to store all the episodes of Dirty Jobs and Mythbusters my kids think it necessary to record, even though we have seen them all 5 times over)

And as a bonus, the FF and Rewind still seem to work while watching live.

I'm using Comcast in northern VA.

Re: weird behavior on the 8300HD as described in a few posts above. I had some problems initially, then bought a TrippLite power conditioner/battery backup/UPS (maybe $100 at Costco) and now everything works perfectly. I also have my LCD tv and DVD-R plugged into it to protect from surges and dropouts. The 8300 seems to be pretty sensitive to line fluctuations and having the TrippLite on there seems to have fixed it.

Aspect ratio of 4:3 is 1.33 as a number. By 1:1 maybe I should have said 3:3 to be more clear.


Pete, is your box running SARA?

When it reboots it says Mystro (spelling?. There seems to be changes in behavior orver the last few days due to software changes at Time Warner in Charlotte but problem still persists.


Problem using SA 8300 HDC / Time Warner Charlotte / HDMI:

I am plauged by problems with the HDC box. I managed to replace one of the HDC boxes with a HD box, but can't get my hands on a 2nd one.

Check out for HDMI cables. I bought two from them from different vendors for less than $2.00 each and they work great.

I've got a weird anomaly happening with my cable and/or box...
Anytime my cellphone receives or sends a text message my picture/sound on the tv distorts/pixelates for a few seconds when I'm in the same room. I dont believe this happened before I added the external drive.


Comcast is my provider (Northern VA)

> Pete, is your box running SARA?
> Posted by: don at November 7, 2007 10:46 AM

Thought so, SARA seems to be the OS of choice for running an external hard drive with the minimum of problems

JJDOOLS: I am experiencing the exact same problem with my dad's new LCD Toshiba set on Time Warner cable in the Cleveland area.

Seems like the box only "loses" its memory about how to auto-detect resolutions if it's off overnight. If I do the whole rebooting process, it works fine. If I turn it off and back on, it's fine. If I leave dad's house and come back a few days later, and he's had the box off overnight, the "memory" is gone again and I have to reboot it to get the auto-detect to work again.

I am going to try component cables next - I have a set. I'll see if that solves the problem.

I recently bought an external hard drive to hook up to 8300hd. Is it possible to use this hard drive for the dvr AND use it for a backup of regular computer files? I have files on the hard drive now but it wants to reformat to allow hookup to the cable box. If I format for the cable box can I then disconnect the hard drive and hook it up to my computer for a few minutes and connect it back with no problem?


No you cant. When you hook the drive to the DVR it is formatted to the OS that is running on it. You cant read the drive in any other way. The files are encrypted to the security key of each processor in the DVR, you cant even hook it to another one of the same model/make and use it. It will always reformat.

Hey Everyone. Haven't visited this forum since May - Its grown quite a bit since then.

I have Passport Echo 2.6.002, TWC-NYC.
I added an Azio enclosure with WD 7K 16M SATA2 500GB drive.

When I first added ext HD back in May I had the same Passport related SATA issues everyone was experiencing.(Couldn't Rew/FF live TV) Something wonderful happened a couple of days ago! I disconnected all of my equipment (Had to make everything neat for Thanksgiving guests) and when I reconnected everything I was able to pause/rewind/ff and jump to Live while I was watching live TV. Best I can figure is that the box auto updated when it restarted. All I know is that I had gotten used to temporarily recording shows if I wanted to rewind - Now I don't need to. :)
Here are my version numbers:
Passport Echo 2.6.002
PowerKey PKEY_3.9.3.2-p +dvrs3

Hopefully this gives others hope.

does anybody else get this weird count-down thing when the 8300HD boots?

Yeah, it's normal

With the 8300HD you can record and watch two broadcasts simultaneously, or record two and watch a third program as long as it was previously recorded.

Component video cables always give the best results - HDMI cables are not worth the trouble unless you have no choice (limited number of inputs on your set).

The guide tells the DVR whether a program is first run or rerun, but once in a while a program that should have recorded doesn't (annoying).

Pixelation due to intermittent signal seems to happen a lot even though iO digital cable through cablevision of NJ is supposed to be a top notch network and they have wired my house twice (including replacing the drop from the pole).

I think it's time to try Verizon FIOS while it's still cheap, or maybe DirectTV? Anything would probably be an improvement over this device, which does turn on and off a lot at night, not just for a few minutes at 4AM like it's supposed to, and some units are noiser than others. One of ours was making a racket so I whacked it as hard as I could figuring worst case scenario, it breaks and gets replaced. It quieted down after that.

I have an 8300HD from SC hooked up to a Panny 50px77u via HDMI. I also have a amplifier on the cable line coming in. I get all of the channels perfectly, except for the On Demand from Comcast. Gives me a 1112 error. Comcast said it was my signal coming in, but when I hook up the 8300 non HD box via coax, it works fine. Any suggestions????

Tried it without the coax amp yet?

Did try it without the amp, and On demand worked but was dropping channels.

depending on the amp it could be blocking the return path. may have a signal problem without the amp.

Its a onq-legend VM7640-V1 amp. I have it connected to a 4 way splitter.

I'd have Comcast do a service call and make sure your signal is strong to your box (should be a no-charge service call) without the amp. Their responsibility that your signal is good. Then once your box is giving you all the channels like it's supposed to you can try splitting it off again. Don't know how you're splitting it but comcast might check that route too and see if youre getting the signal you need off the split (unless you're doing it illegally).

Can I connect a USB to my 8300hd to store on it programs I have recorded from my box?

No, I dont believe the USB port is active yet and I dont think that's what the port will be used for anyway. I believe I read somewhere that the port will be used for a keyboard?

Also, meant to say that you CANNOT copy movies off the box, this includes movies on an external HD if you've connected one (or even view them if you disconnect it and hook it to your pc). All files are encrypted specifically to the core processor in each 8300 so you can only watch files you've saved on that specific 8300. If you ever have to replace your 8300 the external hard drive you connect to it will always reformat and you'll lose your recordings. Now maybe *someday* someone will hack the encryption and that will change for the external hd but as of now, it's not happening.

I have Wideopenwest, and have a Explorer 4250 box, I just bought a 8300HD DVR and would like to swap them, is there any buttons on the 8300 box I'd have to hit for setup and does WOW have to do anything for this box to work. I pay WOW enough money.

Hello all
Today I got my new Scientific Atlantic 8300HDC
I have a brand new Sony DVD player and a new Sony amplifier.
Can anyone tell me if there is a universal remote I can use to replace the three remotes I am now using to just one remote?

Sorry- I forgot-
Time Warner Cable HD in Manhattan
(New York City)

Has anyone had any luck dumping recordings from their Explorer 8300HD to a DVD Recorder? (I never even actually copied any programs I'd recorded on the DVR to a VHS/VCR because by the time I'd gotten the HD TV, VHS's were already obsolete and I was using a DVD player).

It looks like there's only one OUTPUT on the DVR/cable box (OUTPUT2) that will send to anything and I wonder if movies, etc. are copyright protected for both VCRs and/or DVDRs... I would think so. We're just getting ready to connect a DVD Recorder - as opposed to just a DVD player - to our HDTV w/Comcast digital cable via the Explorer 8300 HD DVR box.

Does anyone know if there's any hope that I'll be able to copy the programs I've recorded on the DVR to our new DVD Recorder?

Thanks for anyone's input... I appreciate the time.

The 8300 has a "copy to VCR" function which will copy a recording from the s-video connection which of course is a low quality copy. I have often wondered if you can connect a dvd recorder off this output (I dont see why not). But you cannot copy a hi-def recording as hi-def. Copyright restrictions.

I've disabled everything except 1080i on my SA8300HD, yet every time I change inputs to DVD or AppleTV, the 8300 switches to 480i. I'm using HDMI output, have Picture Format set to Auto/HDMI. I have to go through Guide/Info to reset to 1080i each time it switches to 480i. Why is 480i even an option since I have it disabled?

This fixed the 480i revert problem for me:
1) Turn both STB and TV off
2) Disconnect HDMI from STB (left it connected to TV)
3) Connect Component cables to TV and STB
4) Turn TV on and select Component input
5) Press and hold info-guide on STB and run Set-up wizard
6) Power on STB. Confirm Picture Format in settings is Pass-thru.
7) Check channels, HD, etc. Turn TV off. then back on. and try switching to any other HDMI inputs (this step is to just confirm that the STB doesn't reset which it shouldn't since it's connected via component)
9) Turn off STB and TV
10) Connect HDMI to STB and TV while leaving Component connected
11) Turn on TV then STB and select the HDMI input on the TV.
12) Again repeat step 7 and confirm box does not reset itself.
13) Turn off TV/STB and disconnect component cables.
14) Turn on TV, then turn on STB. Double check everything should be working and reset problem should be resolved.

I have a Scientic Atlanta 8300HDC from Brighthouse in Central Florida. I've noticed when watching recorded programs that the menu displayed when using ff or rw just shows what is currently playing live on that particular channel. My old box had a timeline that showed where you were in the program. Anyone else with this problem or a fix?

Thanks for any help!!

I've seen a few ppl ask if you can record from
the DVR to a DVD Recorder, yet no-one seems to
have addressed that.

I am trying to do the same. Can anyone help?
The secondary outputs on the back do not appear
to have a signal.

Thanks in advance!

i have a scientific alanta explorer 8300hd and when i hook up hdmi cable i have no sound when hmdi is selected but when i switch back to tv to channel 3 i have sound with the hmdi cable any solutions?? It works fine with pb3 cables but why hve technology and can't use it. can anyone help!!!

I think the s-video output is the only "live" output and you can only copy shows you've already recorded. It is only an analog output and will not be HD

I have a SA 8300HDC from Time Warner in Winston-Salem, NC. It is connected via HDMI directly to my new Sony Bravia LCD. I am on my third box because they all have had sound problems with playback of recorded TV. The sound just drops out for a second or two and then returns. This happens inconsistently, but is extreemly annoying. Anyone have this problem? Should I try connecting via component?

I have a SA 8300HDC from Time Warner in Winston-Salem, NC. It is connected via HDMI directly to my new Sony Bravia LCD. I am on my third box because they all have had sound problems with playback of recorded TV. The sound just drops out for a second or two and then returns. This happens inconsistently, but is extreemly annoying. Anyone have this problem? Should I try connecting via component?

Problem with SA 8300HD from Time Warner in Rochester,NY.
Exactly every 5 minutes the screen freezes the action for approximately 10 seconds. Also, on a couple of the HD channels I am getting intermittent pixalation. The signal strength is very good.

Is this a characteristic of a faulty 8300HD box?

I can't seem to find the remote code to program my new Samsung LN-T4053H into the SA 8300's universal remote. The provided codes don't work. Any suggestions? Is there a good third party universal that will fully program (including on demand) both devices?

Thank you.

Also, thanks for the great posts about getting sound via the HDMI set-up. For those that haven't seen it, go to the digital audio sttings for the cable box using the cable remote and select HDMI.

I recently added a 250GB SATA harddrive to my SA8300HD. Since adding this, I am unable to rewind live tv. I am able to record a program, but cannot rewind while recording. Also is there a way to see if the SATA drive is working. The box said it was formatted and ready to go, but how do I see how much space is left?

You probably cant rewind because of the operating system your box is running. Look up in the past posts and you can see how to check what OS your box is running. It's probably running Passport instead of Sara, which has had issues with your problem.

I just replaced my DVR with a new 8300HDC (Time Warner in Columbus, Ohio). The "999" code doesn't work, also, I attached an external SATA HD, and the box found it, but it wants either a "A" to format or a "C" to cancel. I also tried to connect a USB keyboard but it didn't work (lights on kb work, but typing does nothing). I tried using the yellow triangle key on the remote for the "A" (no luck). Also, pressing the guide and info keys at the same time doesn't do anything, either (from console or remote). So I have no idea if the external HD is being used, or any other information about the box's condition. Any ideas? Thanks!

Does the remote "A" button work normally like when you are in the guide etc? Make sure you have pushed the function button on the remote that makes it so it controls the cable box. Then try it. It will have to format it to use it.
From what I understand the HDC boxes are a PIA anyway. Maybe call TWC and see if they have an 8300HD box they can swap it for?

Some venting.

I'm on my 3rd SA8300 HD box in a month (Time Warner, NYC). I swaped out the last one because I got random channel jumps and because I lost 20 minutes of live recording and live viewing in the middle of the day because of some sort of program upgrading that nobody could explain.

There were about 40 people ahead of me in the Time Warner office, many swaping out their defective boxes.

Unfortunztely, all you get is somebody else's refurbished reject.

Anyhow, I have no doubt that if SA had to sell to the ultimate consumer instead of to some anonymous corporate purchasing agents working for a company that can just pass its costs on in rate increases, they would be out of business.

They would have hundreds of "one star" ratings on and similar rating sites, and they would be history.

In my opinion, this is a bad product. Its tuning function is much slower than the old Jerold boxes; the DVD is much inferior to TIVO. It has too many glitches.

Consumer Reports recently gave Time Warner a dismal rating. I suspect that the SA boxes were one of the reasons that those surveyed penalized TW.

The one saving element is that, within the next few years, Verizon will have wired much of TWC's area with FIOS and we can say goodbye both to TWC and Scientific Atlanta.

That can't be too soon, in my opinion.

I tried hooking a 500 GB Western Digital My Book Home edition to my 8300HD, using eSata cable from Best Buy. I unplugged the 8300HD, attached and powered up the WD, then plugged the 8300HD back in. Nothing happens. Am I doing something wrong? Or is it a problem with this particular external hard drive?

Bought a 500GB Western Digital "My DVR Expander" from Best Buy and it works on the Scientific Atlanta 8300 HD DVR from Time Warner Maine.

I had tried a 500GB Seagate FreeAgent PRO because it was the cheapest 500GB drive with an eSATA port. Plugged it into the eSATA port on the DVR (using an eSATA to eSATA cable I had bought online) and the DVR saw something was connected but would say it couldn't recognize the drive.

Took it back to Best Buy and got Came with an eSATA cable which I now can use as a spare I guess since I already had a cable at this point. Unplugged the power for my DVR, plugged the drive into the back of the DVR, powered the drive on and then reconnected the DVR's power.

After it's normal boot-up process, I hit the power button and the DVR asked if I wanted to format the drive. I hit the A button to confirm I wanted it formatted. After a few minutes I checked the storage space on my DVR, no change, power cycled the DVR and then it showed my used space was 21% (had previously been 90-something percent).

Couldn't be easier now that I have the right drive. :)

Thanks, Ryan -- I will try that!

I had to recycle the DVR to make the sound work correctly but am now up and running -- having gone from 74% full to 18%.

Just curious, once you record to the external hard drive can you then read them from a PC?

No, the drive's contents are encrypted to the unique processor in your dvr. Even another dvr cannot read the files.

Another option is the Apricorn DVR Xpander. I have been using one since August and it works great. Completely quiet.

Thanks @ Mike on Dec 31 - You solved my biggest problem with this box. Every time I switched an input on HDMI this piece of crap reverted to 480i and I had to get up and go fix the box (usually giving it a good beating for my trouble)

This box is nothing but nice hardware with super crappy software - I'm saving your 14 step workaround for future use. Thanks!

I purchased a Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD off the eBay site from California and found that there is no support from Scientific Atlanta. Contacted the seller and found that it was connected to a cable company that does not service this area. Contacted the local cable provider (Verizon FIOS) and found no help there. The DVR powers up and I can see the programs from the cable provider if the DVR is on channel 3 but as far as recording or play back that is not working. I have been able to see the configuration but cannot seem to change it in any way. Can the Explorer 8300HD be set back to factory standards? Can this Explorer 8300HD be interfaced with the Verizon FIOS so that it can record programs? Is the programming on the hard drive and if so is it accessible from a desk top computer or is the programming in the dram inside the box? If anyone can help I would be grateful for the help.

From what I understand your 8300HD has to be "activated" by your cable company so their system can see your box. With copyright restrictions the way they are these days it's very difficult to set up your own equipment on a closed system. Some cable companies dont let customers put their own equipment on the system no matter what (for support issues and of course so they can lease their own equipment). Hate to bust the bubble but you might just want to sell it.

Help with 8300HD DVR and Maxtor Quickview 500 Gig external eSATA
---Cox San Diego
--The Standard DVR and box works fine, and the Expander external disc worked great at first, but now the content on the external disc skips, locks ups or otherwise won't function. How can I re-format or erase the contents? I want to start over with this external drive. I figure I am lucky that the SA 8300 works fine as is, so I don't want to swap it. ( my pc does not have a SATA or eSATA interface )

Just got a well worn "new" 8300hd from comcast. first tried component video. works in 1080i (Samsung 5084 plasma). But I'm trying to make it pass-thru. I can't find the option for pass-thru. If I press the guide+info button, all I get is to select various resolutions (I only selected 1080i). If I go in settings once powered-up - I see no option. HELP???

Also I tried connecting hdmi to my onkyo receiver (605) and then out to tv with hdmi. I keep pressing the info + guide but nothing comes up. In fact even the Onkyo says no signal. Do I have a bum unit or am I missing something?

I have the 8300hdc hooked up to a Panasonic VCR/DVD play/record unit. I've been able to DVR programs & copy them to both the VCR tapes & the DVD disks.
I haven't tried a movie yet.

I'm using component cables with Svideo cable. No drivers r needed. Plain old cable hookup worked for me. I opted for the Svideo connect for better video. Came in handy when Hawaii went to the Sugar Bowl & we were all rah rahing on every TV station.

Just ordered a Apricorn 500 GB eSATA & am eager to hook it up to my TWC Hawaii system.

To Jim with the Samsung LN:

I just got a Olevia HDTV & my remote didn't have a code for it. The TWC people couldn't give me one either.

Well, I read the manual, went to the "find code" mode, & after hitting the channel button about 280 times, the remote "found" the Olevia.

I've seen a few questions regarding the usb port on the front of the 8300HD. It's used for extending the range of your remote - you can purchase from SA (for about $25) a plug in 12ft or 25ft that allows you to put the box out of sight and just point your remote at the IR receiver on the other end of the cable - it transfers the command to the box. My cable box is facing at a right angle from me and I find myself waving the remote all over the place trying to connect - I've tried the remote extender products but they work better for room to room extension - this works perfectly for same room range increase.

2 weeks ago I went down to TimeWarner Milwaukee and 'upgraded' to the 8300HD DVR (from 8300 standard def). The user interface was nasty. The programming marked EVERY show as new so it recorded some shows way too many times, and didn't record others at all. Many reboots in the first several days. Reboot took about 15 minutes. Twice during recorded program playback the thing totally locked up to the point we had to pull the plug after waiting close to 1 hour for it to sort itself out.
Time slip didn't work while you watched anything recorded. You did not have to be recording at all and the time slip didn't work at all.
The entire program search thing was horrible.
I yanked it out and put another standard def DVR back.
OMG! still gives me a headache!
They took the smoother well known interface and wiped it all out and started over.
The good things they did add were the day skip.
The addition of Closed Caption off/on/on with mute was a good idea, but didnt work yet.
They took away the 15minute fast forward skip. I was ecstatic when I discovered that on the standard def DVR.
Random shows were blocky - maybe a few minutes r the entire program -, like low signal. No such trouble with the standard def unit.
20 total HD channels. Only 20. 13 free. The rest are part of other packages or OnDemand for money.

IT was such a bad 2 week experience, I wont be trying TimeWarner high def until I get a real Tivo or switch to DirectTV. Even if that had been my first DVR, I don't think I would have put up with it.

It has been less than 1 month since I switched from digital to 8300HD box. I am on my 4th box TW Charlotte box. I am plagued with problems.

- At times, preview window stays in upper right corner until I reboot
- when watching DVR recording, one of the recordings has pixelation or "ghosts" or video goes black; another recording is ok
- numerous times at end of watching recording; the remote no longer fuctions until I reboot
- Told by technician not to use HDMI connection, only use component output
- at times, when selecting HBO On-demand channel, it immediately starts up either a movie or some series show

So, are others experiencing these problems at TW Charlotte?

The port on the back of my 8300HD is labeled "SATA" but the label is wrong. A SATA cable will not fit into the plug, but an eSATA cable will fit. (I have tried a SATA type I and a SATA type L, but neither fits the port.

I have tried repeatedly to connect a 1 terabyte Western Digital MyBook to the 8300HD, carefully following the sequence prescribed (all powered down; connect eSata between 8300HD and external drive; connect power to external drive; connect power to 8300D; wait for full boot process to complete; turn cable and television on.

What I get is a message that a cable is not connected properly. No formatting, nothing. Clearly the drive is not being read, since the space avaialble on the DVR does not increase.

If anyone has any ideas, please, please post a response. I know this has to be possible. Cox, the cable company, says the 8300HD is not disabled, so it should work.

It has been less than 1 month since I switched from digital to 8300HD box. I am on my 4th box TW Charlotte box. I am plagued with problems.

- At times, preview window stays in upper right corner until I reboot
- when watching DVR recording, one of the recordings has pixelation or "ghosts" or video goes black; another recording is ok
- numerous times at end of watching recording; the remote no longer fuctions until I reboot
- Told by technician not to use HDMI connection, only use component output
- at times, when selecting HBO On-demand channel, it immediately starts up either a movie or some series show

So, are others experiencing these problems at TW Charlotte?
I'm in Charlotte I went through 4 8300HDC boxes before switching to the old 8300HD boxes. (They are VERY HARD to find in Charlotte now) I experienced the preview box problem with the HDC boxes as well as the box not streching SD channels. This was with HDMI. I don't think component will make a difference.

When the preview problem happens try switching to an HD channel (280-DSCVRHD works) and back.

I'm sad to hear they haven't fixed the problem. I really want to dump the 8300HD for a fixed 8300HDC since the SD channels do not look as good.

These problems started for me in November 2007 after a firmware push.

I am in Phoenix AZ, on Cox cable. I just bought the Western Digital 1TB my book external sata, and connected it to my Scientific Atlanta 8300HD. I get a message saying there is a communication problem between the 8300HD and the external drive. I am unable to get it to format.

1. Is there a size limit (whether SA or COX) on the E SATA drive? (Maybe 1 TB is too larger?)

2. Is there a way to manually force a format of the external drive?

3. Any advice would be appreciated.

Ed - See my post just a couple above yours. Like you, I have the same Western Digital drive and an 8300HD cable box, and cannot get it to work either.

I called Scientific Atlanta, and they said that anything up to one terabyte will work. Some of the earlier posts in the thread indicate success, although I don't know what external hard drives they used.

First, a general comment. I've experienced various of the annoyances that people have reported. Many of those problems eventually cleared up with automatic firmware updates from the cable company (Charter, in my case). So other people may have different problems/solutions than yours. It might be worth providing feedback to your cable company with such problems; if enough people do so, they might enhance their firmware.

Many of the questions asked here can be easily answered by going to Scientific Atlanta's web site and looking up the user's guide. Really, it's quite easy to do.

I recently hooked up a DVD recorder to my 8300HD. The only reasonable option was to use the S-video output of the 8300, into the DVD recorder. This works fine for recording programs saved on the DVR. I just recently discovered that the "Copy to VCR" menu option will dump a recorded program to the S-video output (OUT2) separately from the program you're watching, so your TV is not tied up when you copy. That's a nice thing to know.


Given the above setup, I'd like to record HD programs onto the DVD recorder. I know DVD is not HD, and I don't expect the high quality. However, the 8300HD letterboxes HD programs when it sends them out over S-video. Thus, HD programs are actually LOWER quality than SD! This stinks.

What I'd like to do is have the 8300HD squeeze the entire 16:9 widescreen picture down to 4:3 (ie, opposite of the common "stretch" option) on the S-video output, so that the entire picture will fit on the DVD, without the letterbox bars. I believe this is pretty much what anamorphic widescreen DVD's are. Thus when I play back from the DVD player, I can tell the TV to strech the picture and end up with a true widescreen picture. This will no longer be HD, but at least the quality won't suffer from having been letterboxed.

Any ideas?

JeffT - You may be referring to the Scientific Atlanta User's Guide for connecting to an external hard drive. I have followed the directions, step by step, at least a dozen times and it has not worked. I agree that the directions are easy, but for some reason they do not work with my external drive. Others here report the same problem.

I have read most (but not all) of the comments on this page, and have yet to find the answer to my problem... I have the Samsung HL-T5076S (DLP 50" 1080p TV), and my problem is that with my 8300HD the picture is cut off at the edges.. Either that, or its "zoomed in" therefore making the image bigger and distorted alittle. On channels like TBS that have TBS.COM as their logo on the bottom right, mine shows TB and thats it... When messing with the settings I got it to show TBS. and thats it. I have it hooked HDMI to HDMI, and have run through the setup and set it to WIDESCREEN & the 720 / 1080i standards as the only options (since my tv does not support 480i formats)..... also, with tv on, I click settings and have had it set to PICTURE FORMAT as HDMI/DVI AUTO / FIXED / Upconvert, and none allow my TV to display correctly..

Any ideas?

Andrew, have you checked the Picture Size settings on both the TV and the 8300HD? The Samsung setting should be on the Picture menu, and might also be on the remote (mine says P.Size). You probably want "Wide" or "16:9". On the 8300HD, it's either the # key on the remote, or in the Quick Settings (press the Settings key once). Here, you want Normal.

Sorry if this is obvious stuff that you've already checked; but this may help others, since I'll bet that picture size is a common problem people have.

Thanks for your reply. I don't mind obvious responses, any are better then none...

In either case. Pressing # on my 8300HD remote yields NOTHING. And when I press settings I only get the following options:

Start Recording *****
Set Sleep Timer******
Choose Language******
Add (channel) to Favorites List
Block this channel
Turn off Parental Controls
Captions Off/On/On with Mute

That is it... I do not get any sort of options that pertain to video or picture format/size.

Also, when I press SETTINGS > SETTINGS AGAIN, and go to picture format, I have it on HDMI/DVI AUTO. When I have it on FIXED mode, pressing settings once will yield the new option that allows me to select HD format like, 720p, 720i, 1080i, the options I selected during the intial HD Setup Wizard... On either up-convert I don't get the options for picture format/size still.....

I really want this to look right. Its a great TV but I can't find out whats going on... When I use the P.SIZE button on my TV remote I cycle through all the P.SIZE's and in every format (4:3, 16:9, Wide, Just Scan) the icon is still cut off and the picture still appears to be "zoomed"......

I thought I'd also mention that I've used the component cables as well, and they yield the same result as with my HDMI cable.

All help is appreciated!

Thanks again,

how do i burn a dvd from an already recorded program on a scientific atlanta 8300 hd, using a panasonic s52 dvd player?

The standard way of recording on DVD (or VHS) from programs recorded on the DVR is to connect the DVD recorder to the OUT2 output of the 8300HD. This is the composite (yellow RCA) or S-Video output. Then you can play back the recorded program, and record on your DVD recorder.

Or, instead of playing back the recorded program, you can use the Copy to VCR menu item for the recorded program. This will play the recorded program on the OUT2 output, so you can record the program on your DVD recorder. But you can still watch a separate program on your TV.

simple enough. thanks jeff

Does anyone know if there is a software driver available that would allow a firewire connection from the 8300hd to a PC with Windows Vista?

I have an AS8300HD DVR. I find that the audio, specifically on HD recordings, will cut in and out. I see many posts of a similar nature. I'm on my 4th cable box with Brighthouse. I have done reformats of the internal drive many times. Has anyone made any headway into finding a solution to this issue?

The Explorer DVRs are never going to be compatible with PC or MAC systems for the simple reason that none of the companies involved in their production (and many companies not involved who are opt to sue) want you sharing high quality digital content from user to user. //

I just bought a Apricon DVR Expander for my 8300, and the content can't even be shared between my second box. Try to hook it up to another 8300 and it will reformat the drive, erasing everything stored. //

Also, a couple of tips about the external drives: //

Not all external esata drive are compatible. For instance, the Freeagent Pro drives are not compatible. //

If your DVR is full, it will begin recording live content to the expansion drive. When this happens, or if a full show is being recorded to the drive, you cannot rewind or fast forward live shows. You can jump back using the replay feature, but it will jump all the way back to where you first started watching the show. (Remember, no fast forward). //

Officially, there is supposedly no way of telling whether a show is recorded on the DVR or the external. However, if you play back a show and press GUIDE while its playing, if the channel is on the same channel that the show was recorded on, then that file is on the DVR. If it is on the channel you are currently watching (if different that the one the show was recorded on), then the file is on the external. (Don't ask my why, I don't know).

Many thanks to Mike for his post on 12/31 about how to fix the problem of the STB reverting to 480i every time TV is turned off and back on (or HDMI source was changed). Out of desperation I tried his 14-step procedure and IT WORKED! I was getting ready to give up on HDMI and settle for component. Thanks again.

Good lord I just read every single entry on here and thank god I haven't had as many problems with my 8300hd. I have officially decided to just buy a dvd recorder and copy onto there to send my hubby in Iraq. (I was hoping to avoid that, but there seems to be no other way.)

My sound cuts out as well for a second or two at a time, but it seems to only do it when it is a recording from Fox in HD. Any ideas?

I am seriously thinking about dumping TWC and going back to Dish. Anything is better than this interface.


All digital channels (which includes all HD channels) have a clean picture and clean sound, with essentially no noise. The fuzzy picture (or sometimes noisy sound) you get on analog channels is eliminated by digitalization. Essentially, the digital signal masks noise which may be present on the electrical signal. That is, to a point.

What happens when the noise becomes too great for the digital signal to mask? Instead of getting noise in the way you do with analog signals, you get dropped pieces of picture or sound. For the picture, this usually shows up as pixelization, or chunks of the picture which look broken up, usually temporarily. For sound, this usually takes the form of the sound dropping out for a bit.

There are other possible explanations for drop-outs, but I believe this is the most common cause. If you're truly thinking of switching to satellite, call your cable company and let them know what your dissatisfied with. There are often solutions to such problems (such as improving the signal quality), and many cable companies will send someone out to try to fix it, rather than lose customers.

Well I got my DVD recorder! I think it might be interfering with my HD channels though. The picture isn't coming through as large as it was before, and the bars are back on the side. (They are always there on nonHD channels though.) What did I do wrong? Ugh.


Is there any way to reset a box that the cable company has shut off? I have four dashes that are showing and I wanted to see if I could restart it.

My Explorer 8300HD has started to make an odd annoying clicking noise- like a smoke detector low battery warning. (It still works fine)

Any ideas on how to fix this?

I have a SA Explorer 8300HD set top box. I would like to enter into "service mode" to view my signal strenghts. I used to be able to get to that mode by pushing EXIT & SELECT at the same time. On this box that feature does not work. How can I get into the service mode?


Ive had a scientific atlanta dvr for a couple years now.Ive had to replace it once because of a glitch with the hard drive,and now it randomly does not record programs ive set and never works consistently.this is the only company that makes dvrs for my cable company[which is the only cable company in my area]so im stuck with it.
I just want shit that works like its supposed to,i want to watch the simpsons,yet every now and then it doesnt want to record it[always when im not home]ive been trying to reset everything and now its being a pain in the ass.someones getting called and sworn at.

Can you help. I have an explorer box through Optimum (Long Island) - Wondering can I hook up a video camera to the cable box and record it? Looking to use the DVR to record some video that I want to watch, and am hoping there is some input on the box.


my explorer 8300 hd 2month use to work
i move to defrent add the 8300 stop work complitly show on screen to call cable combany.
looking to maket work......

Hi all,
Quick question;
Do any of you know if the 8300 will output audio thru HDMI and optical at the same time?
Reason being, I would like to hook my 8300 via hdmi to my television, and to my receiver via optical. This would let me use tv speakers or surround system depending on the situation.

Is there a way to hook up a SA8300HD box to a DVD recorder? If not how does one "crack" the code in the HD Box to get past the encrytion that is preventing the DVD recordings?

i got an 8300 HDC DVR from ebay. i hhave time warner cable and i do have a HD Box already working; i tried to hook up this box but once i plug the power on it starts scaning and it has this hxxx that roll and roll, any idea whats going on..
Thanks for the help


Here is the answer from my previous post last year to Mel.. which applies to your question also..... from Explorer 8300HD DVR: Some More Observations ... link..

I personally do not have one, but to my knowledge and from reading previous posts on this site. The only way that the SA8300 will work is that if you rent it from the cable company, since they have to input the serial number (something like the mac address for cable modems & etc) of the unit to link it to their system so where the handshake is possible. The cable service has to be able to know where the unit is (via the serial number of the unit or mac address) to say hello to it, and where the unit can say hello back aka the handshake. Plus you also have to subscribe to their Digital Tier to be able to use it. I know with Austin Time Warner, they will not let you rent one if you do not subscribe to the Digital Tier. So you have to pay twice each month to be able to use the SA8300, once for the Digital Tier service and then to rent the unit. That is why I do not have one.

I got told by Austin Time Warner several times, because I have called repeatedly last year. That if I purchased one from eBay or received one via someone else and not renting it through them, in their opinion it is a stolen unit and they will not activate it. This may have changed, someone might have been able to hack it so where it connects without having to have digital service or renting the unit. But I have not seen anything yet, via web searches.

I do not want digital channels, not yet anyways. But I would like to have a DVR (not a Media PC) that hooks up to my entertainment center to record standard channels to replace my VCRs, without having to pay for monthly service fees or rental fees. From the suggestions I have received from this site and others are. The only options that I know of are a Media PC, TiVo (but have to pay a monthly service fee), or a DVD-Recorder w/ HDD (but these have problems with the online interactive tv guide from what I have read online, some taking a full day 24 hours or so to get a correct tv guide listing and some I have read are taking over a week to get a correct listing. And during this time having no use of the unit.) Things may have changed, I do not know.

Just replying to your post. I hope this answers some of your questions. And if I am wrong on anything please someone correct me. Or have other answers or suggestions, please post.

This is a reply from socal151 to Mel's question also..

Unfortunately bmheiar is right. I just spoke with a tech at Time Warner and she stated that they will not have the capability to allow users to access from after market or e-bay bought systems until early 2009. I was just about to buy a second one on e-bay too.

Posted by: socal151 at March 25, 2008 5:02 PM

And to further expand on this subject...

I do not know what or how the change over from Analog to Digital/HD OTA signals on Feb 17, 2009, will effect the use of DVRs, or if possible establish a free use of aftermarket non-rented no monthly fee to use retail/eBay purchased DVRs with cable/satellite providers systems. Since I have not contacted Austin Time Warner in over a year now, about the use of personally purchased retail/eBay DVRs without having to subscribe to Digital Tier &/or rent the DVR from them. If anyone does know if that has changed or will change in future, please reply on it? But socal151 state that the person that they talked too, hinted that there might be a change in the future, early 2009. Which I would hope so. Since I would prefer to buy my own DVR (NOT Media PC or TIVO) instead of having to rent it & then on top of that be only able to use it, if I pay for the monthly fees for the Digital Tier packages.

I would prefer to buy my own DVR (NOT Media PC or TIVO), I am particularly looking for a DVD/HDD Recorder that has an actual full HDTV ATSC/QAM Tuner NOT a SDTV ATSC Tuner (SD described as "Standard Digital" also known as "Standard Definition"), that are available in the U.S. market. All the ones that I have noticed by doing searches online, are all on overseas models (220 V not 110 V). These will not work in U.S. market because of the voltage difference. There are DVD/HDD Recorders with no ATSC Tuner (neither HD or SD) so you have to hook it up to a HD/Digital cable box (only via RCA/Composite & S-Video connections NOT via Component &/or HDMI connections, so you will lose signal quality audio & video) to be able to record channels, and then there are the DVD-Recorders with ATSC Tuner (SD only! NOT HD) but with no HDD, available in the U.S. market. But nothing as of yet in U.S. market, that has all 3 features (DVD recorder, HDD, & full HD ATSC/QAM Tuner combined into one unit) that I am looking for. If someone knows of a new or future product that has all these features & more, please reply back?

can you add memory to your scientific atlanta dvr 8300 without using an external box. Like you could with Tivo

as a former video trouble shooter for cox communications and an all around bull%##$@ for time warner i can tell many of the folks on here that if you're picture is freezing/tiling/pixilating you most likely have a signal egress problem- could be at the line coming in to your home, could be a fitting- but especially at time warner (and this is not a reflection of all techs) but many will completely b.s. you and tell you it's a box problem- switch out your box and leave ( a whole lot easier than replacing the drop coming in to your home) dont even get me started on how little the c.s. reps know when you call in- at T.W. they are trouble shooting roadrunner, video issues (hookups, dvrs, signal issues, as well as billing issues, etc)

I have a problem similar but not identical to a lot of people:

I have a 1080p. After going through the advanced set-up everything works fine (and looks great). If I change components (i.e. - go to HDMI2 to play Xbox) it automatically changes to 480i on the cable box EVERY TIME. The only way to fix this is to turn the box off and do the advanced set-up again. Very annoying.

After several hours on the phone with Comcast I have received no help. No other boxes are available in my area either.

Any ideas? Thanks in advance!

Comment on 2 posts:
1: You can use the optical output at the same time. I have mine setup like this.

2: At this time you cannot copy "HD" quality programs off the unit. You CAN copy a program to disc but it is stepped down to lower quality. All the programs are encrypted to the processor of the specific box. You cannot take the external hard drive off and use it ANYWHERE to copy the programs off of it, even another 8300HD box.

Does anyone know if there is another Universal Remote that will work with the SA 8300HD DVR? The huge silver one that Comcast distributes with the unit is too huge, too cumbersome to work and is just plain awful!

THANK YOU!!! I have HDMI switch and the DVR get resetting back to 480 and my TV did not recognize or as you said" output a signal" I changed the settings and now I'm rocking it....recognize

Didn't have time to read all these comments, but I just got the SA8300, and it doesn't keep recording the "live" channel while I'm watching a recorded show. Is this normal or is there a setting that needs to be changed, or is my box not working properly.

If you're not "watching" it, it's not recording it unless you tell it to record it. As you change channels it starts a recording of what you are watching and backlogs it for 1 hour. If you press the record button while watching it it will record the whole thing unless you've switched channels during the program.

Ok, Ive had my explorer connected to my receiver with an HDMI cable for the last 5 months without any problems. Both audio and video have been fine. However just a few days ago my explorer stopped outputing the audio via the HDMI cable. Does anyone have any idea of how to fix this? Im guessing one of my kids messed with some setting of some kind. Thanks


i have the same problem with my dvr as mou did way back in august 2007. didn't see any replies to his post...wondering if anyone has seen the "Will not record because the channel is not available (2)" error message and knows how to fix. or mou, if you're still around did you ever get your problem resolved?

oops my bad it was posted by 5ft ninja not mou

Don, Thanks. My old "Non-HD" DVR would "buffer" whatever channel I happen to have on while I watched a "recorded" show. I guess the HD DVR doesn't do that. But that does suck.

Wow, to think my CLT TWC experience could be even worse! My old 8300HD ran HDMI OK for a year before the audio went out (HDMI "not supported" by TWC for the next couple of years). It is now restored since they dumped Passport and went to Mystro. Recordings still look good, but is Mystro using different compression? It seems like I have more capacity, but maybe it just came with the writers' strike. FF is now half the speed it was w/Passport (and FF jump-back delay is no longer synced to my reaction time); sometimes three pushes on RW will JUMP to the start of the playback bar, and some combo puts it in SLOW-MO sometimes! Never had Guide/Aspect problems listed above. Playback buffer (bar) seems to shorten when checking LAST channel infrequently, and will go to zero when switching from HDMI set to composite output I use on smaller set.


I want to connect my cable box dvr 8300 (scientific Atlantic) and have two outputs. I want to be able to listen to music and watch a game (obviously without audio). Currently my HDMI output from the cable box connects to my reciever and and my reciever is connected to the TV. I wanted to connect the componet from the cable box to my TV but they say one or the other you can't use both. I haven't tried this yet but I should be able to use the coax connecter fron the box to my TV but I don't know if the audio would conflict plus I will only get analog channels. Do I need an HDMI splitter but then what happpens to the audio ? Any thoughts ??

To Don,

Regarding 3rd party remote:

I use the Radio Shack "5-in-1 Family Favorites" remote. The only thing it does not mimick are the "A," "B" and "C" buttons, but otherwise works well.

To Hdbahn,
The box is not made to be able to broadcast mult things at once but what you can do is hook up to secound video output on the box directly to the tv(Just RCA). Then you have to record your game and once it is in the dvr list you can select the option to copy to vcr. Then you will be able to do what ever you want on the hdmi and just change video inputs on your tv. Good luck

I have the Scientific Atlantic Explorer 8300HDC. What is the best way (or is there a way) to record only audio from a recorded show to my desktop. Video is not needed. I have S-video, firewire, HDMI inputs on my computer.

2nd question is once it is hooked up, do I need to play the recorded show in real time (watching it on a tv at the same time)in order to capture the sound or should my computer recognize it as another HD that I can access, view the recorded content, and play it? Thanks in advance.


Just wanted to report a success with the external SATA drive. Bought a 750GB drive with an eSATA connection. Bought an eSata - eSata cable, hooked them up, powered them on and it formatted it fine. The only extra step was that I had to cycle power once more and it gave me a popup that the drive was working correctly. Capacity is up over 120hours of HD. I'm with Comcast in Houston.

i have this particular cable box from brighthouse cable and i really enjoy it.

unlike the previously mentioned adelphia problem, wen a show finishes recording, u don't have to restart the show; u merely "resume playback."

impressive cable box; more so than dish and directTV in my opinion.

i have the 8300 hdc box and don't know if anyone figured it out yet or not, how to put a portable usb drive in it to copy recorded programs and then copy to computer, if anyone has figured it out email me the instructions at thanks

To Anyone buying HDMI Cables. HDMI is a Digital signal, it is eather there or it is not. Stop buying those "Premium" Cables as there no better than the cheap ones. Same goes for Component cables. Unless your useing one longer than 25feet you do not need to worry about a premium cable. A good source for quality reasonably priced cables go to

There cables are all properly shielded and have quality connectors and wires. STOP paying out the ass for "Premium" cables that are no better than a coathanger. One AV website recently compared "Monster Cables" speaker cable to a wire Coat Hanger in a double blind test with "auadiophiles" and noone could tell the differance!
Stop paying for the name!

My new SA 8300HDC, which I got in anticipation of getting an HD tv, seems to have no automatic live buffer! Could this new model really have dropped such a useful feature from the older non-HD 8300 model? I'd appreciate a response to my email at

I dont understand...

If we cannot copy "HD" quality programs off the unit and Play it in Vista.Where the heck are all these people getting these HD recordings?

If you go to PB, and type in "HD" or "HDTV"
you get thousands of hits. When you download them, they play on Vista perfectly and in High Res HD quality.

Where are people getting them?

How are they doing this?

WHy cant I do it? I pay for this freaking 8300HD every month, I pay for cable, I dont wanna trade this stuff with anyone, I just wanna watch it on my 3 hour train commute!

I heard FIOS has a system for watching DVR movies in Vista, but I think you have to be "in the house" for it to work.

Our DVR explorer 8300 is smaking funny kinds of numbers on the screen what does that mean?

Hey Don, don't know if you still read this board or solved your old volume problem with Samsungs, where the volume only moves up one notch at a time, but here's the answer anyway...

Don't stop at the first Samsung code that works. Try them all. I lived with this for almost a year and then I had it, so I tried all the other codes. The last one in the list on my Cablevision website also worked and fixed the volume. Try code 192. I was using code 101 and that had the volume issue.

I keep hearing about the "copy to VCR" option under menu?? I am on TWC Columbus, Ohio , Mysrto and do not see this option when I hit menu. Is it burried in something or shunted off by local cable?

I successfully hooked up a DVR Expander eSATA drive to my 8300HD. However, I'm experiencing the same problem of not being able to FF or REW live shows. I've seen other posts on this same problem, but no resolutions. I am in Orlando and have Brighthouse. My 8300HD is running Passport v2.6.002. Any help would be appreciated.

I have the 8300 and trying to use it with a new Toshiba 22LV505 LCD TV with DVD I cant get the TV to use the 720p setting on the 8300 it only shows a picture set at 480i Please help.

I'm trying to connect a SA 8300HD to my laptop computer with a fire-wire cable. The computer recognizes the SA unit, but a message box says it needs a driver. Under Vista, no driver seems available. TWC says they don't support anything other than getting a picture. Bummer. Can someone point me to a driver?

Could anyone tell where I can buy a new (not used) Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR? Thank you very much. Adam (

To my knowledge at this point in time. You can not purchase a new (unused) or retail version of the Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD DVR. They are only made for cable/satellite providers, who in turn offer them for rent to those who purchase Digital services. This may change after Feb. 17, 2009. You can purchase used (stolen) ones off of ebay. But most cable/satellite providers will refuse to allow them to be connected to their systems. I have asked Time Warner this question several years ago. According to Time Warner Austin, if I buy one and not from them, they will not activate it because they would consider the unit that I purchased to be a lost or stole unit from some other cable company.

These are from my previous posts & others:

I personally do not have one, but to my knowledge and from reading previous posts on this site. The only way that the SA8300 will work is that if you rent it from the cable company, since they have to input the serial number (something like the mac address for cable modems & etc) of the unit to link it to their system so where the handshake is possible. The cable service has to be able to know where the unit is (via the serial number of the unit or mac address) to say hello to it, and where the unit can say hello back aka the handshake. Plus you also have to subscribe to their Digital Tier to be able to use it. I know with Austin Time Warner, they will not let you rent one if you do not subscribe to the Digital Tier. So you have to pay twice each month to be able to use the SA8300, once for the Digital Tier service and then to rent the unit. That is why I do not have one.

I got told by Austin Time Warner several times, because I have called repeatedly last year. That if I purchased one from eBay or received one via someone else and not renting it through them, in their opinion it is a stolen unit and they will not activate it. This may have changed, someone might have been able to hack it so where it connects without having to have digital service or renting the unit. But I have not seen anything yet, via web searches.

This is a reply from socal151 to Mel's question also..

Unfortunately bmheiar is right. I just spoke with a tech at Time Warner and she stated that they will not have the capability to allow users to access from after market or e-bay bought systems until early 2009. I was just about to buy a second one on e-bay too.


But who knows, this could all change after Feb 17, 2009.


For the past few months, when viewing HD programs that I've recorded on my 8300HD, the picture will break up into tiny little squares for 2 to 5 seconds; this can happen 3 or 4 times during a 1-hour program. Sound does not seem to be affected. I've had my 8300HD over 2 years, and am wondering if the 160GB hard drive has become fragmented from numerous re-recordings, and needs to be defragmented? This problem never happens when watching live TV. How do I defragment the hard drive on the 8300HD?

A couple of years ago I bought a Scientific Atlanta explorer 8300. It does not work anymore.

Nobody wants to repair it or change the hard disk Sata.

They say they will sell me a disk and I can replace it myself, I am 75 years old and dont know nothing about electronics.

I dont even know if it is the disk that is out of order

I have to buy a new one for $500. + taxes

Now I know why the economy is flat on its ......

Can anybody help me please

How I can find someone to repair my SA explorer 8300

I have a samsung 40inch hd lcd tv and a Explorer 8300HD cable box (Cleveland Suburbs). I have it connected via hdmi cables and a dvd player connected via component cables. I did the info - guide setup and removed 480i and everything worked perfectly. However whenever I turn off the TV and turn it back on, it goes to 480i and stays there no matter what channel I look at. Anyone have any ideas?

I have an Oleiva 32 inch 1080P HDTV, I love it. I also have TWC Scientific Atlantic Explorer 4250 HDC. When I hooked it up to HDMI cable last night it brought up a picture, but it only fit half the screen, the top half, and it was split, but the sides were switched. Right side edge was in the middle and left side edge was in the middle with the middle being on either edge. Does that make sense? How do I fix it? Could it be the HDMI cable? Thanks

Good day, there's a FAQ listed at the following url, you'll have to cut and paste and remove ALL the dollar signs to navigate to it. (This site wont let you post a direct link). It lists the DEFRAG mode of the 8300 and many other features.


Good day, some people have had some problems with their 8300HD, which I believe has to do with the operating system that each cable company uses. I actually like my 8300HD, I have a 250gb hard drive hooked up with TWCable as my provider and I havent had any trouble with mine at all.

Hi I have Scientific Atlanta Expl. 8300 HD & Sony Bravia and a good HDMI cable..
My problem is : the sound for no reason start to cut in and out ;3-4 seconds no sound and again sound and after 4-5 seconds again no sound and so on.I try to do everything ;change channes;change audio properties,power on-off : the only thing to get rid of is : unplug box and reset it..Then it is good for some day but again for no reason in some point it starts ..Any idea ?
Thanks for your efforts

Have you tried a different cable? or even a different hookup (like component cables)?

No Don, I didn't try but (((when I reset it works till a uncertain time and then again starts ,etc,so I thought it might be something with the box,not with the cable ))if you reccommend changing cable;I will try..Thanks for your efforts..

I need the procedure and codes to set up the remote for my sa explorer 8300hd I do not know which remote I have but it is gray and the dvr control buttons are almost on the top of the remote I have an aoc tv L26w861 envision series 26" hd tv

I searched google images for "8300hd remote" and there are several "gray" ones shown but none with the dvr controls at the top. Get a number off the back of it or call your cable company and get a number for it and search google. I did this for mine and got the actual manual for the remote (which TWC doesnt provide) and was able to activate several features that TWC doesnt document (like turning dvr, stereo and tv all on/off at the same time with one button).

Afo-- Your box is either not getting enough signal or isnt refreshing when it should with your cable co. computer. If you are running the signal through a splitter, it MUST be a "two way" splitter of 5-1000 allow the box to receive its information from the company. If there is no splitter you may have low signal at the box. If you did a "self install" to HD, there are a ton of little things that can cause picture and sound problems. If your cable company did the install, call them out to fix the problem. And last but not least the box its self could be the problem. I just had my cable co. out to replace mine last week as it was dropping channels. It was indeed the box that was my problem. Since then no worries with the 8300 HD.

Does anyone know if you can use both the coax and optical audio outputs on the SA Explorer cable Box and the same time? I need to send the audio to 2 differnt amplifiers in different rooms. If not can I split the coax out?


You can use both outputs at the same time.

Hey... I need some help! I just got a scientific atlanta 8300 HDC box and hooked it up to my Samsung TV(1080p)with a hdmi cable. The problem occurs when the box is turned off with the system off button. If it is tuned off independently then the problem does not occur. When the system is turned back on, the box switches itself from 1080i to 480p. The only way to fix this, so far, is to go into the setup wizard, every time I turn the system on, and then exit out. Then I can go into the quick settings menu and adjust the format from 480p to 1080i. Why does this happen? 480p is not even selected on my format choices in the set up wizard.

Explain "system off button" and "independently"?

Any advice for this newbie ?

On Christmas Day I will be opening the 1080P TV for the first time and also activating the Scientific Atlanta 8300HD cable box (Time Warner, Central NY)).

Are they are common screw-ups that you can warn me about? Am I correct in assuming from previous posts in this thread that I should make sure I do not set the box for 480I ? Seems odd that this problem is common, still.

I also saw an old post in this thread about TW not supporting HDMI in a particular area. Would I be correct in assuming that in 2008 this is quite rare, and that most Time Warner outlets support HDMI ? It would be MOST annoying to get an HDTV 1080P and find out that may cable company does not support it !

Any other rookie mistakes to watch out for?

Question... I have a standard SA 8300 PVR and was wondering if anyone knows if I can plug it into my PC so I can burn and save some of the cooking shows I have recorded. No I don't want to burn movies as they are copy writted. There is a USB port on the front of the unit and I have a USB cable to reach my PC. Anyone with some help?
Thanks a lot.

I've got the SA Explorer 8300HD but can't seem to get an Optical Audio Cable plug to go into the female plug on the DVR...the plug hole emits a bright red light but when I try to insert the plug, it seems to be blocked. I looked inside the input hole and it does appear to be blocked by a small metal hook instead of being an open circular hole...I tried Time Warner Support but as usual, they were comepletely clueless (what did I expect huh?). Can anyone tell me if there is something I'm supposed to do to enable this plug opening? My other components had plug covers on them but this does not. My other componenets readily accepted the cable once I removed the covers but the DVR does not....any suggestions?

Question... I have a standard SA 8300 PVR and was wondering if anyone knows if I can plug it into my PC so I can burn and save some of the cooking shows I have recorded. No I don't want to burn movies as they are copy writted. There is a USB port on the front of the unit and I have a USB cable to reach my PC. Anyone with some help?
Thanks a lot.

Posted by: John at January 2, 2009 7:41 PM

To answer your question. No. The HDD is encrypted to prevent HD recordings from being transferred (HD to HD, per digital media copyright laws/DRM), other than the Copy to VCR (VCR or DVD Recorder) option through the RCA/S-video connections, which down converts the HD (720i/p,1080i/p) recordings to SD-analog (480i/p).

The USB port is mainly to hook up an external HDD, to expand HDD space.

I hope this helps you.

I've got the SA Explorer 8300HD but can't seem to get an Optical Audio Cable plug to go into the female plug on the DVR...the plug hole emits a bright red light but when I try to insert the plug, it seems to be blocked. I looked inside the input hole and it does appear to be blocked by a small metal hook instead of being an open circular hole...I tried Time Warner Support but as usual, they were comepletely clueless (what did I expect huh?). Can anyone tell me if there is something I'm supposed to do to enable this plug opening? My other components had plug covers on them but this does not. My other componenets readily accepted the cable once I removed the covers but the DVR does not....any suggestions?

Posted by: Enonnone at January 3, 2009 11:43 AM


Optical (fiber) Audio Cable connection ends have a specific shape (6 sizes some what like a house with flat roof that angles down towards the sides, not a circular hole), only plugs in one way. If you can see a red light from the connection port on the back of the unit, then it is active. Also it is not wise to look direction into the laser light, even though it is a low class laser it still has the potential to damage the eye. There is also a Digital Audio Out connection on the back for a Digital Audio Cable (just like an RCA cable), if you can not get a Optical (fiber) Audio Cable to connect. Thou the Optical (fiber) Audio Cable connection is better than the Digital Audio Cable connection, for Digital Audio.

If there is something blocking the Optical (fiber) Audio cable connection port on the back of the unit from allowing the cable end to be inserted, then the unit should be taken back to TW to be replaced.

You should not have to remove nothing from the connection ports on the back of the unit. Just connect the cables and go, basically plug & play. The Optical (fiber) Audio Out port should have a one way flap door (some what like a doggy door), that gets pushed in when the Optical (fiber) Audio Cable is inserted correctly.

I hope this helps you.


Thanks Bmheiar,

I didn't expect such a quick answer but I do appreciate it. I may have to try using a Digital Audio Cable in this case. The SA Explorer does not have a one-way flap but is just open as I got it from Time Warner. My Harmon Kardon receiver had the "doggy door" as you described it and I was able to connect just fine to it...for some reason the DVR side does not allow me to plug into it. I guess I can contact Time Warner again but that is such a painful process that I do not look forward to it. Again, your response was much appreciated!


You can copy recordings from the DVR (any of them) to whatever recording device you want to use that accepts an svideo connection. But as stated before it will be "low quality" only.
NEXT: The "USB" connector you believe you have on the REAR of the unit is an E-Sata connector for connecting an external hard drive to increase your recording time. Time Warner will consistently tell you that it's not active when it generally is. Of course they will connect an external drive for you for 9.95 a month, but you can do it yourself for free. The FRONT USB port is not usable at this time.
NEXT: If your optical audio cable wont fit then there is a problem with the cable or the box. Swap the cable first, if that's not it you should take the box in and swap it out if you really want to use the optical audio.

I have an SA 8300HD DVR box from Time Warner here in Raleigh (Mystro software). With the old Passport software I could shift to SD output (so I could record to my DVD burner) with a two-key combination but that doesn't seem to work under the new software. The "Copy to VCR" function doesn't appear, either. Any suggestions on how I can record to my DVD burner?


I've read all the posts in the string and did not see my issue addressed. I have been watching my SA 8300HDC from Time Warner on a standard televisoin for the last few weeks.Last night I took a new Samsung HDTV out of the box and set it up using component cables from the cable box to the HDTV. After making all the connections I let the 8300 HDC boot up, and now the IR receiver is not receiving any of the signals from the remote control. The remote is working fine on my audio receiver and my television, and the 8300 works when I use the front panel controls. Does anyone know how to reset the 8300 so the IR receiver will become functional again?

You might be doing this already, but are you pushing the far right top button (under the power button) first? Will the remote turn the box on/off? If not, call TWC and they'll be able to give you the procedure for resetting the remote (it's prob that, not the box).

I think I might have read your post wrong. Are you talking about the remote for the TV or the CableBox? Here is a link for the cable box remote manual. Add www in front of this link

I have the same issue as Alan. I called TW for the procedure for resetting the remote. They were no help at all. Alan, did you get your problem fixed?

Reading thru the comments I see that my issue isn't new:

I've run an HDMI cable from my BrightHouse/Tampa
Scientific Atlanta 8300HD to HDMI IN on a Yamaha
AV receiver, with HDMI Out to monitor, for close to two years with no problems. The other night, it dropped out. Playstation 3 HDMI In works fine: swapped the cables, and that's not the problem. The receivers' Diagnostic mode shows HDMI Error, which the Yamaha manual relates to an HDCP issue.
Dead end.

Bypassing the receiver, the 8300HD HDMI to monitor
worked for awhile, but now it too is zozted.

The 8300HD outputs fine thru Component cables that feed a Sony DVD recorder, but the image is standard definition. The "Pass Thru" setting is on.

I'll try the Setup wizard fix, but I'm curious as to why this just became a problem now: could it be a software-upgrade glitch? I'm perplexed and annoyed.

Other than swapping out the set-yop box, any advice? Any others with Yamaha receivers have similar issue? Thanks for your feedback

But that's never been a problem for two years

You're prob right that it was an software "upgrade" that was performed against your wishes overnight. AND that your cable tech department prob has no idea how to remedy the situation and prob wont know wtf you're talking about when you call them. Swapping out the box will prob be the cure, if other boxes arent also fcked. I feel lucky that whatever "upgrades" TWC has pushed upon me the last few years hasnt screwed my setup. I also have a Yamaha receiver but an older one that doesnt have HDMI. I use the optical output on the 8300 to the receiver with the hdmi video to the tv, but it seems you've gone that route already.

My Adelphia/Comcast 8300HD used to allow for me to turn off the 8300HD and restart at the same point in a DVR recorded program. Now it defaults to Ch. 2.
I can't see any way to set it back to the "last channel" setting that used to permit me restarting a DVR recording from where I left off.
This is a passport OS system in a Comcast aquired Adelphia area (Orlando, FL).
This has happened over the last few weeks or so, and in the interrem the option of "record new episodes" or something to that extent became available.
I called Comcast and the tech stated that Comcast has disabled this feature as part of an "upgrade"....WTFO?

I have an SA8300HD PVR and have been having problems with the sound chopping out (sound chops out until box unplugged and 'cools' off). I had a service tech take a look and he said that it is a problem with the HDMI cable overheating. To solve the sound issues, I was told to turn off the HDPVR box and unplug the power cable for a while to let it cool off. Then plug it back in. We've been doing this for a while now. The box will overheat 1-2 times a month. Rogers is adamant it's a problem with the HDMI cables.

I doubt that this is an HDMI cable problem (I'm using a Monster HDMI cable) ...I was thinking maybe the box doesnt have a sufficient heat sink in it or the fan isn't strong enough (because, why would unplugging the power cable relieve the problem).

Has anyone else experienced this issue? If so, have you solved the problem? what did you do?

I have a quick question,

When our DVR gets to be 100% full it stops taping. Is there a way to set it up to delete the oldest programs saved on it, so it can keep taping new shows? We used to have a DVR from Dish Network that would do that. It's kind of annoying when you go to watch a program, and find out it was never taped.

Thanks in advance for any help,


How much power does the 8300HD draw when it's "on", when it's "off", and when it's "off" but spinning up the HD to download program info, etc.?

If I use the "UpConvert 2" function on the Explorer 8300HD, will it save HDTV recordings down converted to 720P thus saving storage space or does it only output 720P to the display & store the recording at 1080i / whatever original resolution that was broadcasted?

You don't need to defragment the hard drive. If you have problems you may need to re-format the hard drive. To format the hard rive:
Press and hold PAUSE until Mail LED is lit.

Press PAGE down or (-), and then press LIST three times.

Turn box off. When turned back on, formatting will begin.

For those who want to try firewire capture.

Adding an external drive.

This is an email I sent to Rogers cable TV in Canada Re: HDTV compression. I sent it due to pixelation becoming increasingly present.
Please respond to this by addressing this issue in your next mail letter to all customers.
Is Rogers compressing my HDTV signal?
Many web sites report that you are compressing HDTV signals to obtain more bandwidth. I have noticed CBS HD time shift cahnnel 148 has much lower quality especailly after 11 pm EDT.

If Rogers is not compressing the HDTV signal as many of your telephone support analysts maintain, I would appreciate that you include that information in your next mail out letter to your customers. Information about where you obtain the HDTV source signal from would also be appreciated since if Comcast is your signal supplier (as opposed to CBS over the air broadcast in the case of channel 148) then the signal would have been compressed by Comcast!

I am presently having the same problem with the SA8300HD sound and picture chopping in and out every 3-4 seconds. It sucks when you plan on watching a show and this happens. I am using a a yamaha rx-v1800 reciever adn have everything running through it. I am trying to solve the problem with Rogers, no word yet. This has happened two times in the past and I had to return the box and get a new one, which results in losing all of your recorded material. Does anyone have any other ideas.

Can I put home movies and pictures on an external hard drive and hook it up to the 8300HD DVR and view them on my TV?

I have the 8300hdtvdvr with brighthouse networks orlando and, I would like to hook up a jvc hm40000u dvhs via the firewire. It worked for and hour then I got a gray screen and the pm light on the vcr was flashing. The vcr Id the tuner after a reboot. The only way it seems to get an hd signal to the vcr is the firewire. I have the cable hookup which is the 4 to 6. Now I am back to the s-video feed again. Can any one help me with this. Thanks Bryan Hopper

Can I put home movies and pictures on an external hard drive and hook it up to the 8300HD DVR and view them on my TV?

Posted by: Pete at April 7, 2009 8:47 PM


To answer this question. From what I have read on previous posts. I believe for the 8300HD DVR to recognize the external HDD it will have to reformat it to be able to see it and use it. So once it has reformatted that external HDD, you would lose everything that was already on it. Unless something has changed, since I do not have one.


I have the SA 8300hdc dvr (using Mystro) and I run an optical cable to my reciever and an hdmi to my tv. The problem I am having is the box keeps changing my audio setting everytime I turn everything on. To get surround sound, you have to set the audio output in the devices menu to Dolby Digital. It keeps changing it back to HDMI. No surround sound that way. Does anyone know a fix for this. It didn't do it at first, but I think they sent down a firwmware update and that screwed it up.

I have a Samsung HDTV connected to the SA8300HCD and use TWC. I use HDMI to connect the two.

The problem I'm experiencing is that my scheduled shows do not record when I turn off the TV and cable box. When trying to keep the cable box on but turn TV off, the shows still don't record. The TV must be turned on in order for scheduled shows to record. The recording log says "Channels were unavailable".

I've talked to TWC, had technicians out, switched out boxes and the problem remains. I've gathered it's either the cablebox software or my TV.

Does anyone know how to resolve this issue?

I have a rented SA8300 HD from Rogers Cable here in Toronto, Canada - will it work with Time Warner in North Carolina -

In NC I just hook the cable into the back of my HD TV and I can get HD signals without a box.

I want the 8300 to record programs for me. The place I rent in NC gives free cable FYI

I have Brighthouse Tampa FL and a SA 8300HD box. I just called their technical service and was told that they have choosen not to "activate" or offer the availability to connect another drive via the esata port on the back. They said they are using the SARA operating sytem. Is this a feature they can choose not to use?

Before I buy a new esata hard drive, has anyone with Brighthouse had success in adding an external hard drive and what did you use. Thanks from someone who has spent hours reading the threads but couldn't find some one in my exact situation. All my other equipment (amp, speakers, dvd player (blue ray)and Samsung 1080i Tv) are all hooked up usind hdmi cableswith no problems other than an "expected" power down/up reset of the 8300HD every couple months when it quits.

Thanks, Jim

Comcast Cable TV Repair Service!

Now, there is hardly any free repair service from Comcast, as they decided to make it a profit item! Yes, now you have to pay an addition $3 per month to get any repairs done free, even though its their equipemnt and its their job to maintain their system and equipmenmt including cableing!

This Blog post is to let you know that most Comcast repairmen sent out don't know how to do anything more than change out the Cable Box. If you have any other problem or a real problem, good luck as they won't or don't know how to fix it! I had a servicemean swap out 2 of these boxes and he finally left with the picture worse than when he arrived! He was too lazy to go into the atic again to check the Cable signal amplifier or the cable or didn't know what to do. He blamed it on the old size cable that was left in my line by Adelphia and said he would have to charge $80 to replace a short run of the cable he said was bad, and then left! What a jerk they have working for them!

This post is to warn you never to accept just the replacement of the Cable box, as its probably something else wrong if you have pixilated pictures in HD and the sound breaking up! Once a trained serviceman came out, the problem was quickly found to be the signal amplifier and the spliter that injected 12 volts into the cable to power the amplifier! Make them change out these two parts at least, before they are allowed to leave! My picture is now perfect on all channels including HD ones in the high 750 MZ range! The only problem is his foot fell thru the ceiling, but luckily Comcast has Insurance!!!

Do not let the repairman just change the Cable Box!

This action would fix 99% of all the problems I've seen in this Blog!! Nuf said!

following Jim's advice will get you charged and will not ensure that your problem gets fixed. i don't know about anyone else but i just love being told how to do my job.

Harold i think its the hdmi cable. the hdmi is a true data cable, it allows two way communicate between box and TV. the color stream cables just send signal to the TV. you cable provider's box operating system is allowing it to control it. you might have a setting in TV to disable the TV from trying to control the box. if not use the color stream cables (red,blue and green) and you will have to run audio red and white or an optical audio. some will argue that the color stream is not digital and i say so. the box is converting digital to analog then sending it to the TV and its converting analog to digital, then displaying the digital image. comparing both side by side , IE same TV and same type of box. you will not see a difference in picture quality. sound is the issue here i do not believe that is is being converted at all going through the RCA outs. the answer for that is use the optical out to get the equal quality of sound. this will only be notice if you have audio reciver. it sounded like you just have a tv and box so you will be covered with the color stream and RCA's.

jcorona do a search on "clear qam" and you find out about the cable signal and that your TV has a digital tuner and is receiving the signals that your cable provider is sending.

Bryan the last i heard the fire wire port was not active on the Orlando/central florida system

To Howard:
Time Warner will not let you use any "box" to integrate into their system unless it's theirs and they're renting/charging you for it. Any cable/dvr box that is hooked to their system has to be authorized by their computer/system for it to communicate and they're not going to let you have it for free. Just return the "rented" box you have and rent from TWC.

To Jim:
Just from my personal experience with TWC and what I've read on other 8300HD forums is that more than likely you CAN add an external esata drive. TWC/Greensboro flat told me over the phone that it wouldn't work, but they would be glad to add an external drive for $9.95 a month. Well, I bought one anyway (500gb) thinking that if it didnt I would just add it to my computer for extra storage. Followed the instructions offered here and guess what, it works beautifully. I have so many programs now I'll never get to watch them all.

Don, Jim,

I have TWC in Chapel Hill, NC. Just got a WD 1Tb DVR Expander which I hooked up just two days ago. The connection was simple and totally painless. Went from 65% full to 8%. I hope this helps you.

I do not have time to read ALL of the comments, but I have read some of the more recent ones. None of which have helped me. The ones I do that have helped me have disabled links. I am trying to pull off the files from my DVR box. Switching companies and cannot pull all the shows off just yet.


Brian, the shows you have recorded on your box or hard drive connected to your box are coded specifically to that box. Unless you can use the "Copy to VCR" option and possibly burn to a dvd burner (at standard resolution only-even HD) you will lose all your recorded shows. There is no way around this.


I have a 8300 HDC

and it got unplugged so when i went to plug it back in, it starts loading then says "APP" and stays like that. what should i do?

thanks, charlie

where can i get an ir blaster for my cable box so i can change channelswhile the doors to my cabinet are closed? sci atl explorer 8300

I may have missed this but can you use the usb port on the front of the 8300 HDC to connect to my laptop?

Want a way to copy from Time Warner DVR - have my Mom on newscasts & want to share with relatives - - thanks in advance

1: The usb port is not usable at this time - it's rumored to be used by a keyboard in the future.

2: The only way you can copy off your dvr is to hook up a "vcr" or a dvd burner to the standard output (rca or s-video) connection on the rear of the unit and use "copy to vcr" function in the menu. It's not going to be HD and it's a real PIA to use.

The front USB port can be used for the proprietary IR blaster that you can buy from TWC at one of their bigger stores (in the mall) for around $50.00. OR, you can use it to charge your cell phone.

TWC is rolling out the "passport" software here. Anyone been "upgraded" yet that has an external drive connected? And how did the conversion go...

Hello, I have exact problem the same problem with Explorer 8300HD in CA and Charter cable TV. I was wondering if you found a fix for that!
Charter says it's normal....

Success with 2tb external drive!!!

I just got the 8300hd from Cox cable in Northern Virginia. I hooked a 2 terrabyte drive up using a ministack V3 enclosure. I put the drive in the enclosure then connected the drive to the 8300 with an esata cable. Just a regular esata to esata cable. I powered on the external drive, then powered on the 8300. It prompted me to format the drive, I did. After the format it didn't work. I reset it all and it told me that the drive was corruptly formatted.

*I powered it all off, powered the external drive on, powered the 8300 on and was told it was corruptly formatted. I chose to reformat. there was no blinking activation lights like I expected on the external drive, so I waited 1 hour (I figure that should be plenty of time. The space available did not increase. I powered it all off, and then powered the external drive on. I then powered the 8300 on. It didn't prompt me to format the drive. I checked the space and sweet! the space used decreased from 100% to 7%--meaning I can now record nearly 300 movies!!!!

Good luck.

NICE!! I was wondering if anyone had/was going to try a terabyte(and up)drive. I only see one drawback. You'll probably archive a lot of shows/movies on it and if you EVER have to replace the DVR you're gonna be SOL on everything on the drive. But enjoy it anyway!

what model sata drive is reliable for the 8300hdc

can you specify which drive you purchased?

With the Explorer 8300 HD box, I can't get the component plug ins in the front (yellow, white and red ) to recognize input from our Wii game box so that we can play Wii on our Samsung HD Tv. Is it broken or not supposed to work that way? (There is no way to plug non- HDMI Wii cables directly into the TV.) Thanks.

You can purchase a stand-alone digital dvd recorder and use it to record shows from your dvr (cable box).

Which 2 TB drive model did you use with your SA8300HA. Western-Digital, Seagate? Do you have the part number?


I have a cox cable box given to me but since I love in Canada I can not use it as Rogers will not activate the STB. Anyone who has cox want to buy it off of me?

cavalier 250gb

Is it possibly to physically open the 8300HD, remove it's hard drive, then connect it to another PC and mount it? Has anyone tried this? What type of filesystem does the 8300HD use? What format does it use for storing the files? Has anyone tried hacking this?

um, do you care? you don't own it - it's your cable company's problem. just take it back and tell them it doesn't work - I wouldn't mention the water. they'll give you a new one free - unless you get into that thing about the water.

I have an explorer 8300hd will this box accept a hdmi 1.4 cable in place of my 1.2 thanks