Taking a Look Inside the Cisco 8742HDC Cable Box

My Samung cable box recently stopped working and had to be replaced.  When the Time Warner technician arrived I expected he would replace the box with an identical model but instead he left me a Cisco 8742HDC box. I did a quick search of Samsung’s website and I couldn’t find any product info for the SMT-H3270, or SMT-H3272 anymore so I believe they may have been discontinued but I haven’t been able to confirm this.

Currently there is very little information available regarding the 8742HDC cable box.  I wasn’t able to locate a users manual or even anything that mentioned the 8742 on Cisco’s website.  A little searching on Google turned up a brief article that indicated Time Warner has just started testing the 8742 DVR in the field.

Front Panel

One of the cool features of the 8742 is the touch panel on the front of the unit.  You’ll find no buttons on this unit, instead the front panel is completely smooth.  To activate a feature you can simply touch the text labels.  The touch panel is a neat feature but it doesn’t seem very practical to me.  I don’t find myself sitting in front of the cable box very often, 99.9% of the time I’m sitting on the couch using the remote.  Besides looking cool I’m not sure what purpose the touch panel really serves.

Touch buttons on the front panel

  • Power – Turns the DVR on or off.
  • Guide – Brings up the on screen program guide.
  • Info – Displays information about a selected program in the guide.
  • List – Opens the list of recorded programs.
  • Exit – Exits the program guide or other menu.
  • Select – Opened the highlighted item in the menu.
  • Volume Up/Down – Increases or decreases the volumes
  • Channel Up/Down – Scrolls up or down through the channels.

Back Panel

The rear panel design of the 8742 is pretty clean.  The box includes a decent selection of input and output connections.  The cable card slot is located on the upper right side of the back panel.  Since the box doesn’t have an integrated power supply there is no switched outlet for powering another device.

  • RF Input –  Connects to the cable outlet connecting to your service provider.
  • RF Output – Legacy output for connecting to the RF input on older devices. (Lowest Quality)
  • Composite Out – Connects to the composite input on a TV or receiver.
  • Component Out – Connects to the YPbPr HDTV inputs on a TV or receiver.
  • Infrared In – This can be used to connect the DVR to an approved infrared receiver.
  • Digital Optical (SPDIF) Out – This can be used to send digital audio to a TV or receiver.
  • Ethernet – Used for connecting the DVR to a home network.  (Mine was disabled)
  • USB – USB 2.0 port used for connecting equipment approved by the service provider.  I’m yet to find out what this approved equipment is.
  • HDMI – Outputs high definition video and audio to a TV or receiver.  This is the best available connection on the 8742.
  • eSATA – This port can be used for connecting an external eSATA hard drive to expand the storage capacity of the device.  The DVR I examined had this port disabled through the firmware image.
  • Firewire (1394) – Used for sending video output to a firewire device.  (May be disabled)
  • 12V DC Input – The AC/DC power adpater connects to this port.

Power Usage

The Explorer 8742HDC is an Energy Star qualified STB.

Power for the DVR is provided by an external power brick manufactured by LiteOn, part number 4035345.  The maximum power output from the adapter is 36 watts (12V * 3A).  Using a watts up power meter I measured an actual draw of about 20 watts while the DVR was powered up.  I was surprised to see that this cable box uses such a low amount of power.

In sleep mode power usage drops down to about 18 watts.  When enabled sleep mode activates after 4 hours of inactivity.  To enable or disable sleep mode press the settings button on the remote and access the timers tab.  Highlight power save mode and press select to toggle the sleep mode on, or off.

The power adapter has an efficiency rating of level V which is currently the most efficient rating on the scale.  Having a good efficiency rating means the adapter doesn’t waste much electricity when it’s plugged into a wall socket but not power a device.

  • Input- 110 volts AC / 1 amp
  • Output – 12 volts DC / 3 amp
  • Polarity – Positive center pin

Getting Inside

Opening up the cable box is pretty simple.  The box is held together using tamper resistant torx screws (size T10).  Most security bit sets include a size 10 tamper torx bit since it’s fairly common, most Cisco / Scientific Atlanta boxes use this same size.

There are 3 screws on the back of the box and 1 on each side that must be removed to remove the cover.  Once all the screws are out pull back and lift up on the cover to remove it.

Under The Cover

Removing the cover provides access to the hard drive and mainboard of the box.  This model doesn’t have an internal power supply, instead power is provided from a 12 volt , 3 amp DC power supply.  Personally I prefer to have the power supply integrated into the cable box but I suspect it’s more expensive to produce a system with an integrated supply.  DC power bricks are typically much less efficient than a quality integrated power supply.

Cable Card

As expected the system contains a PowerKey multistream cable card or, M-Card.  The cable card can be removed but it requires breaking the tamper evident seal to do so.  It’s really ironic that manufactures try to secure the cable cards to the boxes at all since they were intended to be separable security.  Unfortunately cable cards have been nothing more than a massive failure.

Internal Hard Drive

The hard drive caddy can be removed from the chassis by taking out the 4 gold screws holding it in place.

The 8742 includes a 500GB Western Digital Green Power hard drive, model WD5000AVDS.  Green power drives are a good choice for DVRs or NAS systems since they are cool and quiet.  The lower operating temperature of the drives leads to longer life spans.  They are also designed to keep the power draw levels to a minimum.

GP drives don’t offer as much performance as the Western Digital Caviar Black drives do but for a dual tuner DVR they offer plenty of IO performance.

Removing the Front Panel

The front panel is held in place by 4 clips (2 top/2 bottom), and one screw on each side.  After removing the screws the panel can be popped off, be careful not to break the clips.

The cable connects to the mainboard using a single 12 pin ribbon cable (2×6).

The control panel board is secured to the plastic case using glue making it a pain to completely remove the board.  The touch button functions are printed directly on the board.  I’m not sure what “HIDDEN” is supposed to indicate, there might be a special button on the system but if there is I wasn’t sure how to use it.

IR Sensor Location

The infrared sensor for the remote is located just to the right of the USB port on the front of the box.  It sits behind the plastic bezel hidden from view which makes it pretty difficult to locate unless you take the front panel off.  The plastic is actually semitransparent allowing the signal to pass through the front bezel to the receiver.

The infrared eye is the black box on the right side.

Slingbox IR Blaster Placement

Below is a picture taken by Silvia which shows the placement of a Slingbox IR blaster on the 8742 cable box.  The external IR blaster allows the Slingbox to change channels and perform other functions to control the cable box.


To access the on screen diagnostics hold the select button down for 15 seconds, then press the channel up button.  After performing this key sequence the main diagnostics screen will load.  The summary screen (show below) displays basic status information about the cable box.

The manufacturer diagnostics section contains 42 pages of diagnostics information.  My provider (Time Warner) did not have a password configured to protect this page.

Page 30 of the manufacture diagnostics displays the current OpenCable middleware image loaded on the box.

My box is running vmlinuxCVT-87xxHDC-OHT169_0501-std-noesata-p.csimg.

From the image file name you can see that the eSata port is disabled in this version.  I’m not sure why cable providers are so concerned about enabling the external sata ports, unfortunately it’s very common to see them disabled.

MoCA Support

The 8742 is fully certified by the MoCA Alliance to support multimedia over coax.  Unless the provider disables the MoCA module the box should be able to support multi-room DVR functions.

Ethernet Support

I connected the ethernet port on my cable box to a linksys switch and I was able to obtain link.  The device did not attempt to obtain and IP address via DHCP.  The diagnostics pages indicate that the ethernet port is disabled.  So although the port appears to be electrically active it doesn’t appear to be useful currently.


I’ll update this section with documentation for the 8742HDC as it becomes available.  So far the only item I have been able to obtain is the quick reference guide.  I’ve opened a request with Cisco for the complete users guide.

Cisco 8742 Quick Reference Guide

Performance and Other Thoughts

Overall I’ve been pleased with the performance of the 8742 DVR.  The box runs very cool and quiet which should provide a long life for the hardware, especially the hard drive.  The menus and functions are responsive and so far I haven’t had any issues with the box crashing.

I do like the small footprint of the DVR but I don’t like having to use an external power supply.  I would much rather have an integrated power system since I’m running out of room behind my entertainment center for power bricks.  Although they are some nice cable management systems available such as the Blue Lounge cable organizer.

My other complaint relates to the program guide Time Warner uses on this box, unfortunately they still haven’t updated their program guide to support wide screen displays.

Thanks for reading, I’ll continue to this post as I experiment with the box.  If you’ve had any experiences with this box please leave a comment below.  Also if anyone has access to a manual, or any other documentation for this box please contact me.


Sam Kear

Sam graduated from the University of Missouri - Kansas City with a bachelors degree in Information Technology. Currently he works as a network analyst for an algorithmic trading firm. Sam enjoys the challenge of troubleshooting complex problems and is constantly experimenting with new technologies.

157 thoughts to “Taking a Look Inside the Cisco 8742HDC Cable Box”

  1. TWC will eventually have a 16:9 UI. TWC finally realized how bad their guide is and hired a new dev team to work on Navigator (program guide). This new team created ODN v5.2 which fixes a bunch of bugs and is considered an overhaul to the software. Most of the changes were done under the hood and there is a permanent guide filter. TWC also gave Navigator a nice facelift. It is now all black, which helps match the iOS/Android/TWCTV.com app.

  2. Yes it will be coming as TWC wants to have it on all boxes by the end of this year. This team said that Navigator was a complete mess. The original coders must not have had the skills to make a quality program guide. ODN 5.2 is still not 16:9 on HDC boxes, but Samsung boxes will stretch it to 16:9.

    I have the Cisco 8642HDC which is fairly similar hardware wise, but has an internal PSU. CPU is slightly slower (1000 DMIPS vs 1200 DMIPS which is what the 8742 has) and it has a less capable GPU. I also have a Samsung 3272 as well, but I do not tamper with my boxes.

    eSATA is probably disabled as TWC does not want the hassle of supporting and it probably does not make TWC any money :P. TWC would consider it if it makes them money.

    Expect the black UI as TWC will be advertising it in commercials as well as the website. Some divisions have it and the response seems to be positive.

    Hope this helps.

      1. The policy now these days, is to get the bugs out of Navigator and then add new features. I think this is a good policy for TWC when developing Navigator or software in general.

      2. Then again, I have heard reports of ODN v5.2 causing slowdowns to the newer boxes. Could be the Java MW, but the Cisco 8742HDC seems to perform the best with this new release.

  3. I just got this box from Time Warner, have you noticed that when watching DVR playback the info and FF /ew guide does not come up on screen? Also when a incoming phone call comes up on the tv screen the box cannot be paused.

    1. Hi Yo,

      I attempted to reproduce the problem you’re having but I didn’t notice the same issue on my box. You might try power cycling the box to see if it picks up a software update or just clears your issue all together.

      Unfortunately I don’t have home phone so I can’t test the last item you mention. Maybe some other readers can comment on these problems.

      1. It takes 24 hours before caller ID starts appearing on the box. If it has been longer than 24 hours and caller ID is still not working, hit the settings button on the remote, go into devices, and make sure caller ID is enabled.

      1. Actually, the general consensus is to do a reboot everytime TWC does a Navigator update, as Navigator can do strange things after an update.

    1. Hopefully, the new dev team is working on hard on fixing the quirks, so you do not have to reboot after an update.

  4. My old DVR was just replaced with this 8742. The box is inside a wooden cabinet and solid door. I’ve spent long time trying to get my IR remote device that transmits from sensor outside of cabinet to inside with a light indicator. Typically you can see the box’s IR sensor and locate my indicator in front of it. I cannot find the box’s IR sensor. Any ideas? Thanks, B

  5. hi, I want to attach a slingbox to the Cisco 8742HDC cablebox just installed by TWC but I can’t find the ir sensor in the front of the box. I tried near the led clock as suggested above, but it still does not respond…. can you confirm where the ir sensor is?

    thanks for your help

    1. I put it towards the left edge and it does respond.

      HOWEVER, I am getting HDCP errors with composite out to a slingbox solo which I did not get with now-swapped-out samsung. If my receiver is on it works. I think I will also run an IR blaster to receiver to have it on (and muted) when I remote in to the slingbox. Any other thoughts?

      1. ixnay on this idea. Slingbox does not allow receivers as controllable devices. Next idea is to go with component for video and either coax or fiber optic for sound out of Cisco box to receiver. The slingbox website suggests this. Hopefully, the Cisco box will output video via composite whilst a component connection is in place but inactive. This defeats the elegance of a single HDMI cable which is unfortunate. Why does the Cisco (Time Warner) implementation of HDCP prohibit lo-fi video out via composite just because an inactive HDMI connection is also present? Of note, this lately was not the case with my swapped-out samsung. At an earlier time, I had the same issue with the samsung, but it spontaneously resolved.

  6. I have heard that this box has a Mali 200 GPU which should help in the graphics department. Then again, it requires additional software that is not enabled in this HW/SW configuration. TWC could develop games, or use it to accelerate the guide.

  7. Thanks for this review, and the accompanying comments. Was having the “status banner missing on playback” issue, which is now (obviously) solved.

    Like the box thus far, but was mildly annoyed by the deleted S-Video connection that was on the old SA boxes. But at least they left a composite video, so I can adapt that. Why do I still need either…it’s a bit complicated, but the bottom line is that it involves multi-room playback from the one box.

  8. Hi Sam –

    Thanks for all your research on this box. I’m a TW subscriber and got this box a few months ago. I’ve had a number of niggling issues, but when I had a technician in the home, he told me to just ‘deal’ because this is the best box they have, and I wasn’t supposed to have one in the first place (not a Whole Home/Signature user).

    Today it quit on me while recording a show 14 minutes in. I’ve mostly filled the hard drive in the past few days while recording the Olympics. I deleted a bunch of shows yesterday and got it down to 65% full, but it must still have issues. The biggest problem I have is that some upper channels just quit coming in, usually overnight. When I wake up in the morning and turn on the TV, if I had it on the NBA channel, for example, it will say channel not available. If I channel-up and back down, it will come in. I think that’s what happened today; when I turned on the tv after recording for an hour, the screen was blank on the channel I was recording.

    I had another problem that the TW technician confirmed to me. When I’m watching a show previously recorded while one tuner is recording, if the second tuner is programmed to record a show, when that SECOND one starts, the show I’m watching freezes and the DVR changes to that second tuner. I know, that’s pretty unlikely, but it happened a few times during the NBA playoffs when I had that second tuner set to record overtime, and it ruined the surprise/outcome.

    FYI – I’ve had that problem someone mentioned above re: not pausing while a phone call is coming in. I tried to see what firmware/software I’m running, but I could not access the diagnostics. If I hold down the select key, I do see the flashing mail icon, but none of the Up keys will bring up the menu. Secondly, I was looking for a key combination that would do a soft reset; I used to be able to hold down the power button on my SA8300HD. Any ideas?


    1. That problem with two shows starting to record while you watch one that’s being played back is a known issue (not just on this box) but they haven’t fixed it since I first reported it to them maybe two months ago. I’ve also noticed the problem with it saying a certain channel is not currently available. No idea why it does that but if you go up and down a couple of channels, it always comes back so it’s not a biggie. I did have a Scientific Atlanta box until yesterday, I’d been there four times asking for a replacement over the past two years and finally got this new box yesterday, yay!

  9. I just traded out my old DVR box from TWC
    Why dosent my HDMI cable that fits the back
    Of my tv not fit in the back of the cable box
    Do I need a different size? If so won’t it not
    Fit in the back of my tv

      1. It’s 2016. TWC subsidiary placed this box on my system after being customer for >15 yrs. It deletes shows, switches to HDTV guide which renders regular tv recorded series null. Our 2016 Holiday viewing was a nightmare. Techs have no clue and none have been dispatched to residence since March 2016 when the 8742 was swapped out. Found this and am amazed at wealth of information herein. Any data for transferring contents to PC would be helpful.

    1. Did you remove the label off the back of the DVR? It’s a white label that says HDMI on it and your HDMI cable will go in there after you remove it.

  10. Thanks Sam for this pretty comprehensive look at the 8742. I’ve been trying for almost 3 years to get TWC to replace my old Scientific Atlanta box which was hideous and would only hold 20 hours of HD recordings. The past few days trying to record the Olympics in HD sent me over the edge so I went to TW’s office this morning, not really expecting much and they gave me one of these. What I need to know and which nobody seems to have mentioned, is how many hours of HD recordings will this hold? I’m also having the missing navigation bar issue but from what I just read here it seems that if I reboot it, that will come on (but I only just booted the damn thing up!). I hope so anyway because it’s a severely big problem to not know where you are in a show or even what that show is!

  11. I just got a Cisco box this past Friday at Time Warner in Albany. It worked until this evening, Sunday night. When I turned the system on, the cable service froze. I have a total of four boxes in the house; two non-dvr; two dvr. For information, my other boxes all worked fine. This is the only Cisco box. My reason for trading my Scientific Atlantic box in had to do with Olympic coverage issues, many issues. After rebooting, everything ran slow meaning when I changed a channel it took almost a minute to change, when I hit the list to view what was recorded it took many more minutes. It was like having to wake up the dead if that is possible. A technician is scheduled for Monday. Meanwhile, are we stuck with these boxes and is their a way to change the color of the time display? The time appears in blue? A very difficult color to read.

  12. hello, I have also been having trouble with my 8742 box. Is there any way to add memory? can I replace the 500GB Western Digital?
    Or add an expander?

  13. TWC is going to update the OCAP boxes to v5.2.0_9 in a few divisions. If you are having any issues, reboot the box by unplugging it for 30 seconds. This clears the stray code, and helps the update work better.

  14. i’m trying to confirm which IR extender is compatible with this box. i bought this one: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Cisco-Cable-Box-IR-Extender-12ft-/320947704029?pt=US_Remote_Controls&hash=item4ab9f950dd#ht_500wt_1358
    but it’s not “plasma proof”, so it’s extremely glitchy and not going to work.
    i want to buy this one:
    which is supposed to be plasma proof.
    not sure what’s my best option… i would like to get the simple cord type, so i just plug it in and attach the eye to the tv, not one that has multiple parts.
    please help!
    thank you!

  15. Great write-up! Any idea if there is a way to activate the multi-room function on our own? I have 2 of these boxes with TWC in the NYC metro area.

    Also, the display is very bright, even when the unit is off. I know how to turn the display off always, but we like having the time on. Is there any way to dim the brightness?


    1. Hey Adam,

      I’m not aware of any methods to enable the multi-room capabilities without going through TWC. I’m sure they’ve locked it down in order to sell you the feature in the signature home package.

      There isn’t an option to dim the display but you can turn the clock off. You can disable it in the clock options menu of the display settings.

  16. I only have problems with the 8742hdc, it stop working last week it was replaced with a new one, after it downloaded a software refresh the channel it defaults to is a non HD channel going to a HD channel made the TV connected via a HDMI cable to make a very loud noise and stop working, it burned the mobo on the TV I need help. By the way the cable company is BrightHouse

    1. Sorry to hear about your TV, is it still under warranty? You could contact BrightHouse but I’m not sure if the cable provider is liable for any damage that may have been caused by their equipment.

      If you could get a statement from a TV repair shop stating that the damage was caused by the cable box then you might have a case.

      Best of luck.

  17. Sam, excellent review. I see the USB ports. Can I DVR a movie then download it to an external hard drive? Vice versa? If so, how do I do this? Thanks!

    1. Thanks Brooks! Unfortunately there isn’t any method to transfer content to / from external devices. I don’t believe they have implemented any functions for the USB ports yet either. Who is your cable provider? Time Warner recently implemented services that allow you to stream live / recorded TV to your computer / Android phone.

      TWC PC Streaming Site

      Android App – Requires Android os 4.x (Ice Cream Sandwich)

  18. Hi. Nice review. Lots of useful info. I recently got one of these boxes after switching to whole house DVR. I had the tech come out to look into my picture quality issues and check the signal quality. He brought up the diagnostics screen shown above and I asked him if he was allowed to show me how. Of course he couldn’t but I thought it couldn’t hurt to ask. I know he held down the OK/Select button, but I’m not sure what else he did. I tried the method above (hold down OK/Select, then press channel up) but it doesn’t work for me. I do see some flashing on the display (I think the envelope), but the diagnostics screen never comes up. Any ideas? Is there an alternative method? Thanks for your help.

    1. Hey Sam I was able to figure it out. You have to let go of OK/Select when the mail light flashes, then press the arrow up (not channel up). Silly mistake on my part. Do you know what numbers are considered a “good” signal? I assume green is good. Mine shows -3.0 dBmV, 37 dB inband quality 1 and -4.0 dBmV, 37 dB sometimes fluctuating to 36dB for inband quality 2 and around -1.1 dBmV, 37 dB FDC RF Quality. Unfortunately I have no idea what any of this means.

  19. By the way, for others reading this wondering about upgrading their older box, I would highly recommend it if you have the opportunity. I went from a Scientific Atlantic Explorer 8300HDC (the big old grey one). The guide was unresponsive and would take literally 2 seconds to just go up and down one channel in the guide. Since upgrading to the 8742, the response time in the guide is immediate. A dramatic improvement. Not only that but it looks much sleeker and matches the rest of my electronics and the hard drive is much much bigger.

  20. A problem mentioned before is a HUGE problem! When watching something I recorded and two programs begin recording, playback stops, goes to a black screen, then changes the channel to the 2nd program being recorded. I have to search through dozens of recordings to find the show I was watching on play back. Worse, when I resume play, it starts back at the beginning of the program, not where it left off. So annoying, this machine is worthless!!! All of the previous same boxes didn’t work when set up or quit within a week. It would fill up with recorded shows, but when I deleted them, it doesn’t free up the space, still shows 70% full for example when it’s actually only 20% full. Eventually, it automatically deletes shows I didn’t mark to not delete, displays 100% full when NOTHING is recorded! The most worthless piece of junk I’ve ever used, been through 10 boxes from May – Aug. Brighthouse Cable can’t figure out problems.

    1. I’m having a similar problem with recorded shows.
      The problem is, when i record a program it starts with the PREVIOUS show and cuts off the end of the program that I want to record. Its extremely annoying !
      Other than manually extending my recording, which will not let me record the next program without a “conflict” in recordings.
      What other options do I have?

  21. Geez…TWC just gave me this one…I can’t handle rebooting it as many times as the black DVR given to their Signature Service customers that was crap, as was the S/A !!!!!!

  22. Sam,
    I just received a new 8742 HDC box today. TWC sent it to replace my old Scientific Atlanta box that was having a myriad of problems. Everything seems to work fine except I have no volume control with the remote or the touch areas on the front of the box. There is also no response from the select button on the front of the box. I have gone through each of the Ok/Select & Device options on my own and with a TWC rep on the phone and still no volume control with the remote or the buttons on the box. My TV remote can control the volume so I am not totally stuck. Thanks.

    1. @Kevin: The volume control from the box is fixed (no variable option like SA had). My box came with a CLIKR-5 remote, which you can program to control the volume/mute on the TV. I have not been able to make the remote change the TV input source (this worked on my old remote with SA box).

      @Sam: Just got mine from TWC yesterday. Thanks for this write up.

      I had a 1TB external drive hooked up to my SA box, my old remote would control most of the functions on my TV, and I could read the clock (I find the new display hard to read)– so overall I feel like I’ve taken several steps back with this “upgrade” since I have less recording space and have to use 2 remotes now. Sigh.

    2. The volume on the 8472 box can be changed to variable if the “Audio:Ditigal Output” setting is set to other. If it’s set to HDMI then it is fixed since it assumes you’ll use the device at the other end of the HDMI cable to control the volume.

  23. Josh,
    anywhere from +10 to -10 is a “good”signal according to twc specs. However I’ve seen bpxes work fine at -13 or so.

    As for Kevin volume control is done by your TV not the box. You probably need to program your new remote to your TV and everything should work fine.

  24. I record a lot of sports, so I can never have enough space. Ha Does anyone know of a dvr expander that would work with the Cisco 8742HDC

  25. Thanks for all the information on this device.
    Is resetting done by holding the power button down for several seconds?


  26. I Just replaced my old Samsung cable box with the Cisco 8742 HDC model. soon as i get home it shows “This cable box is not authorized for service Please call your cable division 1-800-222-5355.” already called, sounded like the lady was trying to read the manual to me and its still showing the same, i cannot change any of the channels or anything at this time. i am located in the el paso area, so it maybe due to that, ….who knows, and no I didn’t steal the box. not wanting to wait till Thursday for the technician so i am writing this and asking for help. thanks,


  27. Thanks for this review Sam,

    TWC in NYC replaced my old SA box with one of these a few months ago, and for the most part it’s been great. My only complaint is that as time goes on the available hard drive space appears to be shrinking, as though when I delete recordings a lot of them are not really being deleted. At the moment it’s reporting that the three hours of HD programming I’ve recorded is taking up 45% of the available space, a huge difference from when the box was new.

    Is there a way (perhaps via the diagnostics menu?) of reformatting the drive and completely clearing it of any “ghost” recordings that may have been accumulating?

    Thanks in advance for whatever light you may be able to shed.


  28. I just received my 8742 HDC box today and am trying to get it to reboot so it will work but all I’m getting is a flashing APP, then 1A09. I have no idea what this means and Time Warner is no help at all. Has anyone had this issue and does anyone know how to fix?

  29. Sam,

    I have a Cisco 8640 and would like to know about the filesystem. Everything I try to look at it with says it is unrecognized. Would like to upgrade to a WD 1 TB but have had no luck. The old 8300 was a piece of cake, just install the unformated drive and the OS would be installed. Any ideas on how to upgrade the 8640? Thanks in advance for whatever light you may be able to shed.


  30. Thank you, thank you, thank you…I searched everywhere for the IR sensor and couldn’t find it…of course, the people at Time Warner Cable could not help. I read your report and Wa-La it worked!! TWC needs to educate their employees so they can actually be of service to their customers who don’t want to have their DVR in full view.

  31. A couple of things to answer.

    The reason you see “this channel is currently unavailable” sometimes after long periods of idle time is due to switched digital video. Its a bandwidth saving feature we enabled. In other words, if you’re not watching, we aren’t sending the signal for that channel. Changing the channel and then back to that same channel works because you are requesting the channel again.

    Anytime you get a new box you will most likely be greeted with “this cable box is not authorizes” . Call TWC and have them send a hit ( don’t let the automated system reboot your box). Its either that it or an equipment hierarchy issue that can be fixed internally.

    If you get 1A09 on the front display make sure you have the coax cable coming from your wall plugged into “cable in” and not “cable out”.

    This iit is also normal if you here weird noises come from this box at nights. TWC has been pushing lots of software updates lately. The usually happen on Tuesday mornings (1:00am -3:00am)

  32. Good job on the review. I have the 8742 HDC and find the LED color (blue) very difficult to read from a distance 8 feet or more. I guess this is a problem for folks like me in their 70’s. Is there anyway to change the LED color to a more legible shade like green or white? Please advise.

    Using Brighthouse Cable in Florida.

    Thanking you in advance…….Paul

  33. I am having the same problem as in comment #50. The available recording time has shrunk a lot since we got the box. Any suggestions?

    1. Or you can reboot the box by unplugging the power for 30 seconds and then rebooting it. That will fix it, but may not be a permanent fix. It will take a few minutes for it it recalculate disk space.

  34. Press A,B,C, settings, power , settings

    While the box is off.

    When the menu comes up, press left arrow and it’ll show field tools, select that and you should see format

  35. I installed one of these last week (Brighthouse customer in central FL). Replaced my 8300HD. Processor was too slow to keep up with HD demands today.

    I tried hooking up ethernet. The unit was assigned an IP address, and I can see it with my Win7 machine… however, I have no idea how to access it. When I put the assigned IP address in a browser and try to directly to the unit I get the following:

    Forbidden – access allowed only on return path interface.
    ODN Webserver[00:21:BE:ED:BA:43]

    1. I get the same thing. However, I have two, and if you connect them together with a switch (router) then they will be able to see each other. Then you have Whole house DVR and can play shows from either DVR on the other via the ethernet connection.

  36. I, too, am having trouble with shrinking storage on the 8642. At present, it will only hold about 24 hours of programming. For awhile the unplugging and plugging back in worked, but not anymore. At various times the box has had several of the other problems listed here, but this one might be the deal breaker. I just dread trying to get another one. The last time it took months before TWC finally came up with a box that wasn’t several generations older than the one we had that had failed. I’d rather find a way to purge it and avoid TWC.

  37. Brighthouse is my provider, Orlando. Box – Samsung. However, I think it uses the same or similar software. A few weeks ago, they did a major software upgrade.

    It is necessary to kill the power for a reboot about every 2-3 days. The box gets sluggish in responding to command. Reports some channels are not available. This gets worse with time.

    As it is getting worse, I can have a window in the upper right and if it says it is waiting and I exit, it takes some time for that window to go away – minutes.

    If tech support sends a reboot, that does not solve the problem. The only way to regain reasonable performance is to disconnect the power. It takes 3 -4 minutes to become operational again.

    Box software V5.0.2.5 (V2126)
    Build: Jun 6, 2012 11:17:22

    It has bugs.

  38. I currently have the Cisco 8742HDC. Please HELP – I’ve had 4 boxes in just under one yr – now it looks like this’ll be #5. They’ve all had very similar & some of same symptoms. This new box, (8742). starts to get sluggish performance when pressing ch +- & also is sluggish when scrolling up & down in the DVR section. Shortly after these symptoms started occurring this particular time, I rcv’d the banner notification that the DVR was full, (& it was @ 100% full). So, it asked me to delete shows to make room for new recordings & I did so. However, even after deleting 15-20 one hr shows – it still reads as 100% full & it will no longer record ANYTHING at all. During this cable box failure, (over a 3-4 hr time period), the DVR also said it was still recording a one hr show that had actually ended more than an hour prior – odd. I’ve tried hard booting it, (unplugging/re-plugging power cord/waiting for any updates), 3-4 times – still the same results. Strangely, before the 1st reboot, there were several one hr shows on the DVR list & showing up as recorded. The problem is that they were gone from that list after the box 1st restarted & they never came back. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks & Aloha, C

    1. Is your cable provider Time Warner Cable? If so, you may have noticed a guide update in the last 6 months. Said guide update is causing the sluggish response time between the remote and the cable box. Last I heard TWC’s Engineering team is scrambling to find a solution. In my area they rebooting the boxes every 2 weeks from the main office as they have found this to be a temporary fix. When it comes to the DVR, it sounds like your box has gone out of two way mode, thus they can’t reboot it from the customer care center. I would call the customer care center and ask them to send a “Factory Hit” to the box as you are manually rebooting the box. Be advised though that this will cause you to loose any saved shows, but it should get the box back up and running. If all else fails it is most likely a hard drive failure and you would have lost any saved shows anyway.

  39. Hey Sam:

    Thanks for all this info.

    I just got a new 8742HDC box from Time Warner in Queens. The tech refused to tell me the remote keys to access the diagnostic. I tried your method: select then channel up (‘select’ for 15 sec – then release and hit ‘channel up’) and it didn’t work, so I tried it with ‘up’ (just ‘up arrow’ above ‘ok/sel’ button) after holding down ‘select’ for :15 – and that did work. They may have changed it.

    Chuck – check out this thread for a potential 8742HDC hard drive re-format.


  40. Any idea if the ir on the 8742 is single band or dual band? I am guessing dual to the Qam256 listed above but I hate assuming. Thanks

  41. I have a Cisco 8742 cable box and the RCA outputs seem to put out a mono signal. The HDMI signal is stereo but the RCA connectors sum to mono. I have tried switching cables, swapping inputs and outputs and looking for setting in the audio menu but no luck…..

    1. Other users have also reported that the RCA outputs don’t produce stereo audio. I’m guessing it’s either a design flaw , or something Cisco intentionally did to cut costs.

  42. A wwk ago BHN replaced my DVR with the Cisco 8742HDC. This DVR doesn’t have a plug in the back like the previous DVR had so I can’t plug my TV. I want the TV to power on/off by using the DVR device settings screen which the DVR turns on and off at the set times but it leaves my TV on when it powers off and doesn’t signal the TV to turn on when the DVR does. I’m using a HDMI cable on a Sharp Aquos TV. The Master Power on the remote turns on the DVR what do I need to set to make the TV come on and off?

  43. Well, 7 months in and I’ve had to return the 8742HDC and they’ve given me somebody’s old 8640HDC, which smells of cigars and cheese. Issues with the 8742 started maybe 2 months ago where the box would loose it’s mind and start changing channels by itself, eventually locking up and rebooting. Yesterday it started doing the same thing about once an hour.

  44. Hey Sam. I have a new 8742hdc and started having trouble in the first week. While watching a recorded show the system freezes up leaving a blank screen and the record button keeps flashing on and off. Even after a re-boot the screen remains Blank and record keeps flashing on and off. I can’t get a normal non recorded channel to work currently. Any suggestions?

    1. Hi Dave,

      From what you describe it sounds like there might be something wrong with the internal hard drive. If the drive is not working properly it would explain why you’re having issues with recorded shows. I suspect you might have to exchange the box for a new one. The diagnostics pages might provide some more clues to confirm but other than formatting the drive there probably isn’t much you’ll be able to do.

  45. Got two new Cisco8742 boxes.
    Yes, they do a lot more, BUT the BLUE Clock and Channel display is not visible unless
    you are two feet from the set.

    Cox Cable tech help couldn’t find a adjust for the blue display.

    Hopefully somebody out there can.

    1. Hey Rick,

      I’m not sure what output your referring to, did you mean HD? If so your options for HD outputs are either HDMI or component video.

      If you were thinking of something else could you please clarify?

  46. I appreciate your comprehensive review of the 8742hdc! I am on TWC in Charlotte, NC and I’m having the same issue with no Dolby Digital surround sound. I have done some extensive troubleshooting between the DVR and my home theater system and I am hearing the same thing; mono sound through the analog RCA jacks and the HDMI connection. I know one post said they have stereo through HDMI and mono through RCA. I have my HDMI set accordingly in the “Devices” menu but it’s still mono. Could there truly be a compatibility issue between the DVR and my Sharp Aquos TV? I thought HDMI was a universal digital format. However, I have a Sony TV I could troubleshoot with.

    Any insight would be greatly appreciated!

    1. Hi Bryan,
      I’ve been having the same issue. Mono output no matter from which port. Did you find any new info on this issue? Thanks!

  47. For the past three months I have been using Time Warner in New York with a Cisco 8742HDC. The box appeared brand new when I received it after starting the service.

    When fast forwarding, such as through commercials, it is supposed to backtrack some preset amount of time when resuming normal play. This feature worked exceptionally well and seemed perfectly tuned for my reaction time when hitting the play button. A week or so ago this feature stopped working. Now, no matter which fast forward speed is used, pushing play resumes at exactly the point the play button was pushed and there is no backtracking. Obviously, this makes resuming play at the correct spot when fast forwarding through commercials at X3 or X4 a very difficult and annoying pain.

    Is there some option I inadvertently turned off (or on) to cause the fast forward behavior to suddenly change or is the box just not working properly?

  48. I am on the second Cisco 8742HDC.. The first one messed up, and Brighthouse in Largo, Fl added a signal booster because something was off on the signal. After a short period of use, the recording space was cut to 20 hrs and lost about half of my recordings. Technician said they are sensitive to the signal they receive and the booster caused the issue.
    Now with the second box. We had two wrecks at the entrance of the street I’m on in and my line was messed by both wrecks. The box went crazy kept changing channels and rebooting itself until repairs were made to the line. Since the repair of the line, when ever it gets windy or the temperature changes quickly outside the box goes crazy and reboots itself. I haven’t had any loss of recordings except those in progress when it messes up.
    Have had signal problems for years, picture digitalizes in same locations, worse on some channels. The boxes are always blamed and you just loose what you have recorded if replaced.
    A bad node was found once after years of issues and found out a lot of people were complaining, just not 3 within 10 minutes. It also seems that issues with digitalizing only show up with the DVRs and not a straight box.
    I have also had two different type boxes set to record same shows and had same problems from both boxes for issues in past.
    I’m thinking about Tivo now, they have one that works with over the air signals or a cable card.

  49. Just got this new Cisco from TWC. It took all day (about 12hrs.) to download host info. It got past 50% twice, then failed and started over, but finally got going. One crappy policy of TWC for whole house DVR is that four boxes in the house cost the same ($26) as four boxes and we only need two. They get you coming and going. Trees block us from switching to satellite service cable, so we are stuck with them.
    Thanks for providing this info and forum.

  50. I have two 8742hdc boxes with Brighthouse. I connected them via their ethernet ports. This is good as they can communicate between each other and I can play recordings at either location, regardless of which box it is physically stored on. the LIST simply shows all recordings. It does not differentiate between the storage location.

    I have found that I can see the list of recordings on my Windows Media Player in Win 7 (64bit) but I get an errror that says I cannot connect to the server if I try to play the recordings on the computer. Any help or ideas are appreciated.

  51. Sam,

    I bought the WD dvr expander (my book av) 1 TB and it wont work with the Cisco 8742 hdc box. Anyway to get it to work? Can the eSata port be turned on? Will this do the trick?

    Thanks in advance.


    1. Hey Pete, the cable provider determines whether or not the eSATA port is disabled/enabled so it depends on your provider. My provider (Time Warner) does not enable the port so I’m not able to use any external hard drives with my DVR. If you can contact a knowledgeable person within your cable company they might be able to either confirm the status of the port, or possibly enable it. Finding someone to talk to who understands what you’re trying to accomplish might be hard though.

      Good luck!

  52. I just replaced my Samsung dvr box with the new Cisco box because the Samsung model caused the audio/video to not match up. I am very displeased with the picture quality. There are grainy little spots that appear an disappear every couple seconds. I’m wondering if I hooked one of the cables wrong? I even tried to change the picture from 480p to 720p in the box settings, but it didn’t seem to help. I would rather have my Samsung box back and deal with the voice not matching the picture than the terrible picture quality with this box. Has anyone else experienced this? Does anyone have any suggestions?

    1. Hi Cassaundra,

      What type of cable are you using to connect the DVR to your TV? HDMI will give the best quality, followed by component (Red, green, blue). If you’re using another connector like coaxial you won’t be able to get HD quality.

  53. is there not a infra red remote sensor on the front of the receiver to place the sensor over or just the one in the back to use

    1. Yes, there is an IR sensor on the front of the receiver. It is located just to the right of the USB port. It’s hard to tell the the black plastic there is actually semi transparent.

  54. hi sam,

    I have a cisco 8742 hdc box and want to program the box to my Mitsubishi remote. what code would I use?

  55. I am on my second 8742 Brighthouse. Both have the same issue. A (series) program shows “scheduled” to record and the program shows as “recording in progress” in the guide at the appointed time, (red color and REC) in the box but the program does not record. I though it was the box, hence the changeout, but the new box is doing the same thing. It’s not a conflict issue. Only one show scheduled for a specific time slot. When I reboot by unplugging the power the show starts recording but of course the show is now missing the first several minutes. Thoughts…suggestions….

  56. Very informative Sam. There have been two mentions in the thread regarding random channel switching and reboots. The behavior occurs regardless if watching recorded media or live. I have had this box for just under two months. Initially I did not have this issue and really liked the performance. However, for the past two and a half weeks it will randomly exhibit this behavior. I live in a small apartment surrounded by other small apartments. I was wondering if the unit has radio receiver capability as I have noticed this mostly occurs when my neighbors are mostly home and ceases when they are not. If so, where is the antenna and how do I disable it? TWC tech helped to try and locate such settings but we could not find one. Alternatively, would it be more likely this is either a faulty box or poor signal? Thoughts or ideas?

  57. Time Warner did release a new firmware for those in Charlotte that now has a 16:9 guide. Both Cisco and Samsung boxes are capable of HD graphics. This new guide might cause readability issues. TWC did include the 4:3 guide as well, if you change the aspect ratio in the settings to 4:3. All TWC divisions will deploy this guide at one point or another, so it is coming. Also includes a new search and VOD portal which is cloud based.

  58. My TWC remote has failed to communicate with the box. I will get a new remote, however, until then, the touch controls on the face of the box work to change channels, and to see programming already on the dvr, but no scroll feature to select a particular selection, or to scroll the guide to future program. It appears that without a remote paired to this particular box, viewing options are extremely limited

  59. Getting close to a year now with the Cisco 8742HDC. I previously posted #85. Box has never been changed for about a year now. I did have the power cord replaced about a week ago. Still have random channel changes that usually happen during weather issues. I noticed this time that the box seemed hot so I directed a fan at it, and it has not messed up with fan. Last night with fan turned off it rebooted a number of times and finally showed an error 41. Starting to believe its over heating and with new power cord it is messing up more, it has always been well ventilated, just not with a fan.

  60. I purchased an IR extender (4022323) as suggested , and plugged it into the IR port in the back of the box. It does not work. Cable company told me to call cisco and cisco tells me to call the cable company. Any suggestions….

  61. We have the Cisco 8742HDC. It is in a rack, so very difficult to unplug when we have to do a hard reboot. At one time, a savvy Time Warner rep told us how to do it by pressing a few buttons on the front. We neglected to write that process down. Do you know what those buttons are and what that process is? It would be very helpful to us. Thanks!

  62. FYI, the external power supplies are all about truck rolls (service calls). The two most common component failures on a DVR will be the power supply and the hard drive. Pulling the power supply out of the box TW and the other providers can have the customer to a power supply swap at their store rather than sending out a tech or doing a box swap. Additionally, it externalizes some of the head load.

    Each box that returns from the filed needs to be screened, cleaned and tested before being redeployed which for TW is an expensive and manual process.

    Great detail on the box.

    (5 years experience with a company specializing in box repair.)

  63. Hi I am a subscriber of Cox and I am trying to use the composite video (yellow) output from the back of the 8742 HDC. I am not getting any signal at all. Should all the outputs on the back of the unit work concurrently.

  64. We have had this box (TWC) since 8/2012 and it has performed very well for us. Has anyone had any success using the firewire port on the back? Or any of the USB ports for that matter – like adding additional harddrives?

  65. Over the past few years I have had at least two Scientific Atlanta boxes and a 8742HDC thru Time Warner. With every box I have had I have a problem with the remote only working from a foot or two away for the first 3-5 minutes that the box is on. After 3-5 minutes it works from a longer distance and I am able to sit on my couch. Time Warner just swaps out boxes and remotes. Finally the last time they came out I convinced them to check the signal strength coming into my house as I am at the back end of my subdivision. The tech put in a booster but it didn’t help. The room is big (30′ by 17′ with cathedral ceiling), but my TV and other devices work fine while sitting on the couch about 15 feet away. Any thoughts on how to resolve?

  66. The Select/CH+ didn’t work on my box. I found the following does work:
    Press SELECT and EXIT till the message light flashes. Release and then press EXIT.
    On the remote press Settings. Hit the left button to get to the FIELD TOOLS menu.
    This displays the following options:
    Reset NV RAM
    Reformat Hard Drive
    Display Diagnostics
    Reload Catalogs
    Clear NV RAM
    Save Settings
    Restore Settings
    NCL Channels Catalog

    1. After I had difficulty starting a TWC on-demand movie with the 8742HDC due to “Network Error 101”, I called their Tech Support. They sent a “Reset” to the DVR which took 10+ minutes and appeared to also do a firmware install (“loading APP”). It then finished and the on-demand movie played. However now during TV viewing I am getting bursts of picture “pixelization” several times an hour. On recorded shows, I get sound dropouts that last 1-2 seconds at about the same frequency. Never had either before this TWC reset. Any ideas?

  67. I am having trouble getting my Cisco 872HDC to be compatible with my home system. I have a Sony Bravia TV hooked up with an HDMI cable to the cable box but have the audio coming through my Bose Lifestyle DVD surround sound system. No matter how many 3 digit codes I use to try and get my universal remote to sync with my Bose system, it still will not work, and I’m forced to use two remotes (one for my cable and another for the volume for my Bose). It’s not the end of the world but pretty inconvenient. What I have concluded is that the cable box is permanently set to FIXED for volume control and I believe this is the issue. Is there anyway to set my volume control to Variable for the volume control rather than fixed? Time Warner says there is no way to change it but I can’t believe this. Really inconvenient. Please help if you can. thanks

  68. So Folks,
    I have a massive issue with IR interference effecting this box.
    The TV is a vizio backlit LCD, white walls in the house –
    I’m not going to get into the problem too much as it’s too annoying to even describe, but something in the room is interfering with the IR sensor in this box causing sporadic channel changes, remote not working at all, stuff like that. I know that the box is not the problem (tried 3 of the same type, same result, and tried 3 diff remotes)
    I’m wondering if anyone has any pro tips.

    1. I have seen issues with boxes and specifically Vizio tvs (but includes some other models of tvs). A trick to find out if the tv is the source of the interference is to change the settings on the cable box to show the tuned channel rather than the clock. Then with the box ON and the tv UNPLUGGED, try to change the channel. You may have to let the tv sit for five or ten minutes, but if the channels change easy try plugging in the tv again and with it ON try changing the channels again. If the interference is coming from the tv, with the tv now back on it should make the channels difficult if not impossible to change. Hope that helps!

  69. My 84 year old parents have one of these, and it is difficult for them to actually see if the cable box is actually ON. I can see that the clock works, but is there some way to make it show the channel if it is ON instead of the clock? I’ve looked for a manual, but I still can’t find anything that would help me answer this question…

    I could figure it out if I was there, but I am 400 miles away and won’t get there for a month. Any ideas?

    1. With Time Warner cable there is an option under settings \ display that allows the box to display the current channel instead of the clock. Other providers may use different software that may or may not have this option.

  70. Hey Sam, my box is showing Error code 02 when I turn it on. I un plug it also and right away displays this code and cannot find out what it means. Any ideas?

    1. Unfortunately there is no documentation on the error codes that I have ever been able to find for these units. I suspect the codes are specific to the firmware the local cable company is using in your area. I suspect you’ll have to give them a call in order to find out what’s wrong.

      The only documentation for the 8742HDC I have ever found is the quick start guide which doesn’t provide much information.

  71. I reran my cable lines since I had a bad one going to the box. Afterwards my box is showing H and cycling through numbers. I read this is updating and i should just wait but it keeps going to h999 and restarting from 000. I dont want to unplug it and ruin it, all i did was swap out a bad coax coard for a good one. What should i do?

  72. Have had the 8742HDC for just a few weeks now (TWC in NC)… Live viewing is fine. However, during playback of recorded shows, or during playback after pausing a show, the picture gets distorted, shows groups of individual pixels, pauses itself a second or two, and is generally impossible to watch. I think I’ve heard this called “tiling”? Any ideas on how to fix? TWC customer service has been useless…

  73. Does anyone know if the cisco 8742HDC cable/DVR box will ever be able to work with the TWC TV App for android phone?

  74. I received the new CYSCO 874HDC about two weeks now (TWC in Queens NY) and overall it is a much better box than the old one. However, I am having a problem using my BOSE 321 system with this box. Every time I turn off the cable box and TV a loud annoying “interference” sound plays for about 10 seconds or so. Even if I turn off the Bose first, the sound still comes on. Any ideas on how to correct this problem. It is very loud any very annoying.

    I have a digital fiber optic cable that runs from TV to Bose. This allows me to watch Netflix and have sound on the Bose system. I tried running fiber optic cable from TV to cable box but then I have no sound on Bose when I watch Netflix. If I do this I get sound on TV but I get a PCM 2.0 sound on Bose in lieu of the Dolby Digital 5.1. Not sure if I hear any difference.

    On the old cable box I had the same problem BUT the old box had not only a fiber optic cable for sound but a digital coax cable (RCA type jack) so I was able to run fiber from TV to Bose and then run the digital coax cable from Bose to back of cable box. This solved the problem.

    The new box only has the digital jack. Any ideas? I appreciate any help in this matter.

  75. I have a Cisco Explorer 8642HDC (Bright House in Central Florida is my cable provider). I am leaving Bright House and wanted to see if/how I can copy my recordings onto my PC. I can if needed use the Ethernet port or the USB port in the front. I have over 2 years of some shows unwatched and want to save them. Any help is much appreciated


  76. TWC just installed the whole house DVR – Cisco 8742HDC. After setting up the HD parms. I noticed I was getting 480p SD rather than what I coded in the settings for HD – 1080i HD for my 1080P Sony 120hz TV.
    Had to change HD setting to AUTO to get the highest HD signal. I suspect the box needs to go thru some initial setup where HD defaults are set for using with the TV but I havent found any doc on being able to do this.
    I also lost Dolby 5.1 with the loss of a coax digital cable out to my home theater – only optical is provided but thats already used for my TV to home theater. Older Explorer DVR had the coax audio so I could set the HT to the cable box and change audio in Device settings from HDMI to Dolby but thats no longer possible.

  77. just picked a cisco 8742hdc DVR initial “power boot” seems to be stuck with a L-3 msg? any ideas what this msg means?

    1. I’m not exactly sure what the L-3 message indicates but if it gets stuck for more than 10 minutes there you should try unplugging the box for 30 seconds then plugging it back in. If it happens again you may have to call your cable company and have them reset the box.

      L-1 is the last step in the boot countdown.

  78. Hi Sam,

    Using Cox cable with the 8742 HD. After some glitches with picture and the DVR’s refusal to delete programs we were done with since we were over 95% full, this unit (I) now refuses to play back already recorded programs (they still show up in the list); and (ii) stopped recording scheduled programs for a few days even though it was powered up (the series manager said that it failed to record those due to power interruption to the DVR, power has been on all the time).

    The DVR showed 100% free but still lists the programs. If I try to replay it says error code and call Cox. I unplugged the box, I did a reset and the box is now recording and playing back as if nothing happened.

    Cox just wants to replace the box and will not do any diagnostics on the DVR or attempt to recover the programs.

    Is there a way to confirm that, notwithstanding all the old programs still being listed for playback, that those are in fact gone since the disk space shows 100% free (now 99% free with two 1-hour HD programs recorded last night?) By the way none of the methods to access the diagnostics screen work for me. Thanks

  79. Hi Sam,
    I am new to TWC. I can not change the tv input with the remote, which is annoying bc I lost the tv remote. I have UR5U-8780L. If I hit the video source button, I can scroll through the different inputs but I can’t choose one because the OK/SEL button dors not work in TV mode. TW tech support had no solutions.


  80. I have the exact same problem as Ray, above. I have Cox cable. Shows are still listed, but will not play. Error code Disk space says the DVR is pretty much empty, yet there are a ton of shows still listed as saved, but will not play. My DVR was only 75% full when this all occurred. I am also trying to find out if those shows are permanently gone or can be retrieved somehow. What’s the point of having a DVR that saves shows, if, eventually, one is going to lose the shows or lose access to the shows? At least in this one way, we were better off in the old VCR days. I know there are many advantages to DVR’s, but if they are unreliable, that kind of takes some of the shine away, doesn’t it?

  81. Friend,

    Is there a way to change the original equipment blue color display to a more visible one from a distance? I may be old, but the blue color is not as visible to me as a light green.

    appreciate your input. Thanks

  82. Hi Sam,
    Great info. Do you know of a way to control the brightness of the display of this box? Mine is in my bedroom and is alarmingly bright and unnecessary. Almost as bright as a night light. Hopefully there is a better solution than tape.
    Kind Regards,

  83. Hi Sam,
    My name is Roy and I just stumbled onto your site and hope you can shed some light on a new issue for me anyway. I just received a Cicso 8742HDC DVR. With my old DVR an Atlantic… I was able to use a WD My Book AV to expand my recording capabilityies. With the new 8742HDC I haven’t been able to use the WD My Book hard drive. When following the directions to activate the hard drive, I couldn’t get the installation menu to come up on the screen.
    After a few tries I found out the drive will only work with a TiVo DVR.
    Can you tell me if I can purchase an external Hard Drive that will work with a USB 2.0 cable for expanding my recording capabilities?
    In your vast amount of information on your site, you said the aSATA port was not active and I didn’t see anything about a way of activating it.
    I have been in touch with the IT persons at Staples and I stopped in at Office Dopt, but I’m not sure they where even aware that an external Hard Drive could be used with a DVR.
    If you know and can share you’re information it will be greatly appreciated.
    I’m trying to keep at least 1TB of recordings my wife uses almost every day to develope her painting skills.

    1. The cable company controls the setting that either enables or disables the use of the external hard drive. Most of them don’t seem to support the feature, probably because they just don’t want to deal with customer questions on the subject.

      I recent just acquired Time Warner’s new enhanced DVR which is an Arris DCX3600M box that has a 1TB hard drive which is a huge upgrade from previous DVRs.

      So if you’re on Time Warner cable you may want to go into one of their stores and see if they will let you get one of the enhanced DVRs. I think they’re charging me an additional $7/month or so but its worth it in my opinion.

      The new box also has 6 tuners allowing you to record many different shows at the same time.

      1. Can I swap the wd internal drive with a seagate 2tb had drive from a purchased hopper with sling dvr ? Would I need to somehow wipe the Information dish embedded or is it plug and play and will the Cisco box format the drive ?

  84. July 26, 2015

    Dear Sam:

    My 8700 TV top box would not reset yesterday when I call Cox after trying to reset the box. During the secstion I had a changes to see the first page of the Ocap 1.0 Host Status Summary diagnostics. And one line read ” waiting for MonApp”. What dose this mean? It stops rebooting at “cnF9”

    Thanks, Chelsea.

  85. July 27, 2015

    Sorry, my tv top box is actually a 8742. Anyway, I call Cox cable yesterday Sunday; working with customer support the box rebooted to the extent that it tried to download the “interactive menues” but would not complete the task. The display on the front panel was cnF9. The tv screen would be blank at the end of every time it cycled. Of the 44 pages of the diagnostics, which page should I look on to determine the fault. Or am I being denied service because my two year contract ended with Cox on this past Saturday (July 25, 2015); but I am paid up until middle of August. I received the unit new right out of the box, I have had no outstanding problem with it until now. (I’m not interested in a six tuner box)

    Thanks, Chelsea.

  86. Time Warner just gave me a Cisco 8742HDC today to replace an old Scientific Atlanta DVR. I’m using the component video output and the “stereo” RCA jacks for audio. There is no stereo effect at all, it’s just like mono. Google brought me here as some of you posted about similar issues with the 8742, and possibly other Cisco units, not outputting true stereo over RCA. Has anyone found a workaround or a fix? Can anyone with an 8742 confirm that the stereo DOES work over RCA for their setup? Thanks…

  87. Just got my second Cisco box in two weeks and notice when watching recorded shows and press info, the only info that comes up is from the live show I was previously watching. Old box would show info of the recorded show I was watching as well as a time-line showing the progress i.e. I could tell I what minute I was watching of say a two hour program. This seems like a step backward in technology. What gives?! Is there a setting I’m not aware of or do I have a defective box?

  88. Hi Sam,

    Thanks for all of the useful info.
    I just received my 8742HDC from Cox, because my Scientific Atlantic went into a repeating boot cycle.
    The issue that I am having is that the PIP function does not work. I’ve seen in other forums Cox representatives say that Cox does not support PIP on this box.
    Is there any way to get this function back? Does Cox control this feature?

    1. Hey Dean. The PIP setting is configured by the cable provider so unfortunately there isn’t much that can be done besides complain to them.

  89. I got a Cisco 8742HDC from Time Warner/ Spectrum a couple of months ago and have been generally pleased with it. I listen to Music choice channels a lot, and currently take the audio from the rear apron RCA jacks. I haven’t found any information about the optical audio SPDIF output and would like to use this to get the higher performance of a much higher quality audio DAC. Would this be better than trying to use the MOCA cable or stripping the audio from the HDMI stream? Any idea what the optical digital stream is? i.e. 16-44, or 24-96 etc?
    The audio quality from good cable movie sources is really surprisingly good (off the RCA jacks) – just want to plumb the audio path to the amp/speakers in the best way. Thanks!

  90. I am having a combination of the following problems from the three posters below.

    >Ray Katona
    >February 12, 2015 at 11:08 am
    >Hi Sam,
    >Using Cox cable with the 8742 HD. After some glitches with picture and the DVR’s refusal to delete programs >we were done with since we were over 95% full, this unit (I) now refuses to play back already recorded >programs (they still show up in the list); and (ii) stopped recording scheduled programs for a few days even >though it was powered up (the series manager said that it failed to record those due to power interruption to >the DVR, power has been on all the time).

    >The DVR showed 100% free but still lists the programs. If I try to replay it says error code and call Cox. >I unplugged the box, I did a reset and the box is now recording and playing back as if nothing happened.

    >Cox just wants to replace the box and will not do any diagnostics on the DVR or attempt to recover the >programs.

    >Is there a way to confirm that, notwithstanding all the old programs still being listed for playback, that those >are in fact gone since the disk space shows 100% free (now 99% free with two 1-hour HD programs recorded >last night?) By the way none of the methods to access the diagnostics screen work for me. Thanks


    >Roy LaMark
    >April 5, 2015 at 4:02 pm
    >I have the exact same problem as Ray, above. I have Cox cable. Shows are still listed, but will not play. Error >code Disk space says the DVR is pretty much empty, yet there are a ton of shows still listed as saved, >but will not play. My DVR was only 75% full when this all occurred. I am also trying to find out if those shows >are permanently gone or can be retrieved somehow. What’s the point of having a DVR that saves shows, if, >eventually, one is going to lose the shows or lose access to the shows? At least in this one way, we were better >off in the old VCR days. I know there are many advantages to DVR’s, but if they are unreliable, that kind of >takes some of the shine away, doesn’t it?

    >July 13, 2014 at 5:59 pm

    >I reran my cable lines since I had a bad one going to the box. Afterwards my box is showing H and cycling >through numbers. I read this is updating and i should just wait but it keeps going to h999 and restarting from >000. I dont want to unplug it and ruin it, all i did was swap out a bad coax coard for a good one. What should i >do?

    I actually got a second box and tried to swap the HD from m box with the new one to see if it could access the HD contents, but this did not work either. After putting my initial box’s HD back into the initial box it just boots up to first Auld, then Er:62 then Fr:01, Fr:02, Fr:03, then a long boot/update process of a upward cycle of h:000-999, which repeats itself over and over. I never get to the L:9-1 countdown part of the boot process.

    Does anyone know what the h000-999 codes means. I suspect it has to do with the system reading/generating a file system for everything currently stored on the drive, but I tried leaving mine on to continue updated for nearly 48 hours and it was still in that same h000-h999 cycle. Wife is getting annoyed now because she could watch the opening of SNL. Any thoughts? I am convinced the drive still contains all of the recordings but the new firmware update is either incomplete or has an error preventing it from seeing the end time of the programs – because when I tried playing the recording it would load, as if to start playing, and it would display the show’s title and start and end time, HOWEVER the end time was the same as the start time (ex. Conan – 12:30am – 12:30am; instead of 12:30am – 1:30am) So this must be the reason the DVR menu lists all of the recordings in it’s dvr menu, yet it shows the drive as being Zero Percent Full. It must calculate the space of the recording based on the duration of the recording (Start Time – End Time) so if the system reads the start/stop time as identical it will believe the duration of the show is Zero.

    What do you think I can do? I really need to access some of the recordings I had for work. Time Warner/Spectrum in NYC seems to only be willing to swap boxes. I think if that is the only solution they should credit me back what I paid for DVR service for every month I had a recording from that I now cannot access. DVR is supposed to allow us to ‘watch when you want it,’ so if I cannot watch what I paid to record 6 months ago today, I should be reimbursed for that. I paid for the recording.

  91. I got a Cisco 8742HDC from Time Warner/Spectrum, also a couple of months ago, and it’s been a piece of crap. Right now it randomly blinking the record light with hard drive noise and no video, even though everything is plugged in, and I’ve rebooted and had the tech try to reset it remotely. When we got it a few months ago (in 2016) the TWC/Spectrum technician told me wife it was new, but it obviously wasn’t. They also gave us an Ubee modem that is over a foot wide and deep- like something from the 1980’s, and I’ve read that it screws up SIP. Overall, I’ve not been pleased with our new equipment or TWC/Spectrum cable TV. The internet is *mostly* reliable though.

  92. I there a way to turn off the time indicator on the display? the 8742 is in my bedroom and the display is really bright.
    Thanks in advance.

  93. Hey Sam I notice when putting the 8742 on accounts the M-Card Mac comes up in the system but the EcmMac does not this giving the customers no pic. But when both show in the system the work well, any ideas to what the Ecm Mac is needed in the system and why it’s nkt showing? Bad batch??

  94. I received three 8742HD boxes and three remotes from TWC/Spectrum today. None of the touch screens on the face of the boxes work. One of the boxes won’t respond to any remotes. Therefore, although it has gone through it’s installation process and displays the current time and no error message, it won’t “power on”. This is because, like the others, manually touching the power button (for 1 second or many seconds) does nothing and the remotes don’t seem to connect with it. I have reset the remote to factory settings, tried other remotes that work with the other boxes, etc. Any ideas?

  95. I have read a lot of the posts above/prior to this one, but not all. This info may well be a repetition of some stuff above.

    Well … it’s 2018 and I got one of these 8742HDC DVRs about six months ago from Spectrum (NYC) and it is getting relatively full.

    The Spectrum website says on its “DVR External Hard Drive (eSATA) Port” web page that you can add an external eSATA HDD, but (just as in your case) my Linux image name has “NOESATA” in the name string. That means that the eSATA port is disabled. BUMMER.

    To view that image name access the diagnostics screens. To view those screens turn your DVR (and TV) on. Change the channel to some unoccupied channel (888 for me / this step is optional). Touch and continue hold down the power “button” on the DVR for some few seconds (?2 secs?) until the power indicator (LED) on the display the screen starts to flash. Release the power “button” and then press it again. The first diagnostic screen will appear.

    There are 44 such screens. Some of them take a second or two to appear once you flip to them. The Linux image name (on my box) is on page 32.

    Patiently advance through the many pages by either pressing +VOL on the box or PAGE+ (rocker) on the remote. Go to 32 (your page may be different). Seems like you can also use PAGE- = “faster route.”

    Look for “Current Image:” … the string after that will likely end with “csimg” .

    If you see NOESATA in that string then expansion via an eSATA external HDD has been disabled for you (exceedingly likely for most everyone).

    If not then try attaching an eSATA HDD and it might just work. If I were trying to hook up such an HDD I would first “zero out” the first 64+ sectors (512 byte blocks) of it so that the DVR absolutely recognizes that an HDD format is necessary. That “zeroing” obliterates the partition table / etc. You can probably get away without the “zeroing out.” Explaining how to “zero out” an HDD is beyond the scope of this post.

    Then see the Spectrum instructions at the URL below or search for the phrase “DVR External Hard Drive (eSATA) Port” on the Spectrum website.


    Or Google for … site:spectrum.net “DVR External Hard Drive (eSATA) Port”

  96. I have one of these & it works pretty good but I couldn’t get it to give a picture (only sound) when I hooked it up to a dvd recorder, Any clues to what the problem is ?

  97. The IR extender receiver is badly flawed. Every time there is a Spectrum UPDATE or a power outage blip, the 4742 readout says ER : 21 and sends a “No Signal” floater on a blue screen to my Visio TV.

    There is no quick fix for this . My set top box is custom built into the wall. To get the box to function again, the power cord must be removed, the extender must be unplugged from the set top box, the HDMI cable must be unplugged. Then the HDMI replugged, the power cable replugged and FINALLY AFTER the set top box is powered on, the IR extender must THEN be replugged to the set top box.


    Spectrum Tech have no solution other than a complete physical reboot, which is really difficult with a custom built in arrangment. It’s also very upsetting when a late night movie or game are playing and you have to go through the physical reboot. Spectrum know it’s a flaw in the Cisco Set Top Box but have no other equipment to take it’s place. Further, they (Spectrum) will not give the issue much attention because built in arangment are not used that often.

    If anyone has a suggested solution, I’m eager to solve the problem.

Leave a Reply to Doug Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *