I was recently selected to participate in their beta program of this MR DVR, and was provided a new Cisco (formerly Scientific Atlanta) 8642HDC DVR ‘server’ with 500gb hard drive storage (replaced my old Scientific Atlanta 8300HDC with 160gb storage). Additionally, they swapped out my other two cable boxes for new Cisco 4642HDC ‘satellite’ boxes.
Immediately I noticed the new MR DVR box has the eSata storage expansion port disabled. I also noticed the fast-forward and rewind features work MUCH better on the new DVR than it had on the older one. The hardware is also much more aesthetically pleasing in my opinion, both server and satellites being solid black. They go much better with the hardware and furniture in my home.
Currently, the only new features being offered are (a) more (and faster ) storage (+340gb) – hopefully they enable the eSata port again after beta testing, and (b) ability to play recordings on a home DVR unit from satellite units – no set-up/delete/schedule from satellite boxes (yet), and (c) now the audio output settings on the DVR will allow simultaneous audio output to both the HDMI output AND the Digital Optical audio out, when set to DOLBY DIGITAL.
All in all, I am very impressed with the new hardware and feature. It is my hope that the other functionality comes in very soon – scheduling from remote DVR and re-enabling of the eSata port, etc.