eSATA - What is it and how can I make use of it?

My Telewest TVDrive PVR has an eSATA socket on the back of the set top box and the engineers tell me that it is to plug in an external hard disk to gain extra storage space when the internal 160GB HD is full - the service is brand new so this hasn't been confirmed yet but the majority are sure that the feature has been provided for that purpose. I also am considering building a new PC for the lounge (the one my dad uses the most) with a motherboard that has an eSATA socket on the rear plate so I can fill up eSATA drive using the PVR and then simply yank it out and shove it into the PC, and download the recordings to the PC's Hard disk to edit out the commercials and stuff and then rip them to DVD or HD-DVD/Blu Ray if the media is HDTV depending on which format wins.

My only question is - how the hell do I utlilize the eSATA feature - what kind of hard drives will I need and can these be used like an external drive where I simply plug and play.

Thanks for your help
4 answers Last reply
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  1. The new Asus MBs have e SATA built into the back of them!

    If you get a new system going get a MB like a P5WD2 Premium or P5N32 SLI deluxe etc etc. they will suport e SATA.

    You can also buy an e SATA PCI based card if you want to have e SATA on your old comp. But these cards are hard to find...

    Yes e SATA is just like adding an additional external HD that can transfer files as fast as in internal SATA HD.

    It is quite a new thing, maybe a couple of months old.

    I have a setup like this:

    P5N32 SLI Deluxe
    Internal WD raptor 150 Gb
    External HD with e SATA connection 300Gb Maxtor

    You can get external HD enclosures that support e SATA, but you must have a SATA HD inside the HD enclosure.

    e SATA is perfect for your needs because it can transfer the lare movie files 10x faster than USB connections.
  2. As I thought - it seems eSATA is more of a DIY approach to creating an external hard disk. Where can I get these enclosures for my SATA drive. I have been searching high and low for eSATA products but cannot find them - I know what SATA drive I want I just need a good enclosure for it which makes it plug an play on the PVR and PC.

    BTW your setup does look pretty sweet - how much faster are the raptor 10,000rpm drives compared to the normal 7,200rpm drives?
  3. eSATA differs from the insternal SATA port in both mechanically and electrically. It sends a stronger signal and can accept a weaker signal extending the possible cable length from 1 to 2 meters.

    However many manufactures constructed external SATA solutions using the internal SATA port standard because the SATA-IO board waited too long to knock out eSATA.

    What you need is an external enclosure that speficially states that it supports eSATA and an eSATA cable. Most current enclosures use regular SATA.

    On the motherboard side if you don't have an eSATA port, SATA to eSATA adapters are available.

    Again most adpaters are for regular SATA so you need to check before you buy.
  4. i got this product as an external hd:

    The ‘'Pleiades Super S-Combo' (Firewire 400/800, USB 2.0, eSATA) is as of today, the most powerful and versatile aluminum enclosure for your 3.5" SATA hard drive. Features fanless design and passive cooling, ideal for multi-media users and quiet working environments.

    you can use e sata usb everythink.... even hook up 2 comps to the same external HD at the same time....go and look it up....

    Yes the e sata cable is longer its thicker too (well mine is anyway)

    As for the raptor it loads up windows faster, formats faster, read and writes faster etc etc etc....
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