I have the same question. Will I loose all my pre-recorded shows?
The simple answer is YES, you will lose all your shows when you swap out your DVR.
On some of the old boxes, it is possible to capture shows using the Firewire port and special software running on a PC, but it's fraught with issues and pretty time consuming (you have to play the show in real time as you capture it), and not really worth the effort. See here for an ancient guide:
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I ordered through Channel 1995 and after only 3 days received an obviously well-used DCX3400-M box with a 500GB drive via UPS. I have to give them credit for the prompt shipment, but the unit was dirty and dented on the top and the front panel is all scratched up. There are 2 lengths of new coax cables included and a new HDMI cable, as well as one of the new XR2 remotes. I suppose it's understandable that Comcast would try to recycle used boxes, but it's disappointing that there seemed to be no attempt to even clean the thing before shipping it.
Unless my old "silver" remote still works with the DCX3400-M, I'll be looking to try to change the new remote, since it seems to be missing buttons (Day+ and -, for example). I'm thinking that the DCX3400-M might need the gray/platinum remote (anyone know the answer?)
I'm not going to install the new box until after the Super Bowl (!), but I'll update this after I try. Let's hope it works!
I'm also interested in attaching the 1TB eSATA external drive that I'm now using with my old DCT6412 III/120GB, but I read conflicting reports about how well it will work, and the DCX3400-M is not on the "supported" list for external hard drives. But I guess as channels migrate to MPEG-4, the recording space required per hour should go down, so maybe I won't need it. But I'll give it a try and see what happens.
Well, I finally installed the DCX3400-M, and everything was working fine (old remote still working, external 1TB eSATA drive working), except that after a couple of days, the DVR's cooling fan started chirping like a bunch of crickets! Not surprising, given how dusty and dirty it looked. Perhaps recycling those old boxes is not such a good idea after all!
I eventually called up support and asked them to send a replacement DVR. The box arrived today -- but it was a RNG110 set-top box, not a DVR! So on the phone again to order another replacement and back to the Xfinity store to turn in the RNG110. I guess we'll have to live with the crickets for a few more days.
So the second replacement box arrived afer just 2 days and this time it's a RNG200N DVR (newer and smaller than the DCX3400-M). It's also obviously previously-used, but not quite so dirty and scratched as the DCX3400-M. I installed and activated it today, and so far, so good (no fan noise!). My old "silver" remote still works and so does my 1TB eSATA external drive, so I'm finally pretty happy!
Well, I guess I spoke too soon! This morning I turned on the TV and there was a message that said: "The use of external drives is not authorized with your account. Please disconnect the external drive and contact your provider". No TV channels were available to watch, but I checked downstream and OOB signal levels and all looked OK. I disconnected the drive and tried "re-activating" the box from the website, and this brought back the TV channels. But connecting the drive again produced the same error message.
I called support, and the first person I talked to tried to tell me I had an X1 box (I don't), so that’s why the external drive is not supported! I eventually got to a supervisor, and he changed something on the account and rebooted the box from his end. Now the external drive is working again. The whole phone support process took about an hour, but at least they fixed it without having to send a technician out, which they threatened to do a couple of times. I just hope the same thing doesn't happen tomorrow morning. Perhaps we can blame it all on yesterday's "leap day"!
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