It seems that with the recent rebranding of their PVR’s to the Next Box, Rogers has been slowing phasing out the smaller capacity 160 GB in favour of the 500 GB model of the Cisco 8642. This is not surprising due to the proliferation of HD content now available on it’s cable service. The 160 GB version is only capable of recording 19 hours of HD content compared with 60 hours for the 500 GB model. I have an old 160 GB PVR and it fills up awfully quickly with HD movies, concerts and sporting events.
The good news is that the price of the 500 GB model has been reduced, it was previously $599.99 but it is now listed at Future Shop for only $499.99, which was the price of the 160 GB version. The 160 GB model is not even available for purchase any longer. In addition, Rogers website now only lists the 500 GB model for purchase or rental; although the size of the hard drive is not listed on the website, it mentions that it can record up to 60 hours of HD programming. A quick check with my local Rogers store verified that PVR renters can swap out their older 160 GB 8642 for the larger 500 GB version at no charge.
If 500 GB is not large enough you also have the option of purchasing (rentals are not available) a PVR extender from Rogers which will give you an amazing 1 TB of storage, capable of recording up to 120 hours of HD video. This external hard drive is compatible with the Cisco 8642 and Scientific Atlanta 8300 models. Although there seems to have been some problems with earlier versions, all the bugs seem to have been worked out and it should work fairly seamlessly. You should note that a reconfiguration of your main box may be necessary when this external device is added which may result in you losing all of your content.