Expressvu (Bell) PVR – Upgrade Your Receiver with an External Hard Drive

expressvu-6141-hd-receiverWhy buy the Expressvu 9242 PVR Plus Receiver $699 when you can buy the much cheaper Expressvu 6141 HD Receiver for $299 and turn it into a PVR for under $100.  Let me explain.

During one of the Boxing Day sales I purchased a 46″ Sony Bravia 1080P HDTV and upgraded my Bell Expressvu Satellite receiver to a Bell Expressvu 6141 HD receiver.  My choices in Expressvu HD Receivers were limited at the time to the 6141 HD Receiver or for $299 or the or 9242 HD PVR Plus receiver for $699.

While I truly wanted to experience HDTV with my Bell Satellite system and was truly searching for a Bell Expressvu PVR Plus HD receiver, the price of $699 was not attractive.  In fact, the $299 price tag for the standard Bell Expressvu HD Satellite Receiver was still a little steep.  If I was a new customer, I could have purchased these Bell Expressvu HD Satellite Receivers for $100 less than they were being advertised for existing customers.

Aproximately 1-week prior to my Disney Vacation, Expressvu had a promotion offering $100 off all satellite receivers and I picked up the Bell Expressvu 6141 HD receiver for $199, which included a free dish upgrade.  To my surprise, this receiver allowed me to add an external hard disk drive.

I purchased a 500 GB external Hard Drive for $90 and plugged it into the Expressvu 6141 HD receiver and within 10 minutes I had the full function of the PVR Plus.

Turning the Expressvu 6141  HD Receiver into a PVR Plus was easy and I can now record up to 66 hours of HD programming and over 450 hours of regular programming on the external hard drive I had purchased, and all for under $300!

If you are planning on turning your Bell Expressvu 6141 HD Receiver into a PVR, you must purchase an external hard drive that has the following specifications:

  • 7200 RPM rotation speed
  • 40 GB – 750 GB capacity
  • Single hard disk drive in the enclosure (2 drives are not supported)
  • USB 2.0
  • External AC Power Supply
  • No Sleep Mode (cannot power down when idle)

When this drive is plugged into the Expressvu 6141 HD Receiver, the system detects that the storage device has been plugged into the satellite receiver and asks if you want to enable the PVR features of the receiver.  It checks for compatibility of the hard disk drive and asks you to format the device.

Once the Expressvu 6141 HD Receiver formats the external hard drive, the satellite receiver reboots and the PVR features are now enabled.

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About Barry Wheeler

Barry Wheeler is a blogger, novice SEO, geek and passionate Newfoundlander. Operating several successful websites and online communities, Barry has started exploring the social internet and its impact on all facets of society including personal life and business relationships. Find Barry on Twitter @barrywheeler and FaceBook or on his website Barry Wheeler - Blogging for Success.
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83 Responses to Expressvu (Bell) PVR – Upgrade Your Receiver with an External Hard Drive

  1. Norm says:

    I connected a Western Digital 2TB drive with external PS to my 9242 last night, but when plugged into the rear USB port I received an error that an unsupported USB device had been connected. When I plugged it into the front USB port I was prompted to format the drive and after that when the 9242 rebooted everything seemed to work fine. I now have 266 hours of HD storage available. Now that the 9242 has recognized and formatted the drive I attempted to connect it to the rear USB port again and received the same error as before. Have I done anything wrong? I would prefer to use the rear USB port.

  2. perchiste says:

    Hi Barry,

    Is it possible to record the TV signal on my laptop and then replay it on another device?

    Here is what I have:

    46 ” Sony flat screen with 3 HDMI sockets
    A 6131 Bell Express Vu box with an HDMI slot
    A laptop with USB2 capabilities

    Thanks for your input.


  3. Bob says:

    Hi Barry

    I have had the 6141 for about a year now with an external hard drive. Everything worked great until recently, when my receiver no longer recognized that the PVR was there. A message appeared that basically said I could add an external hard drive to use as a PVR?
    I thought maybe the drive was corrupt or over heated. I bought a new one only to get the same message.
    Now I re-installed the old drive and it asks if I would like to format it. I say yes and it does abosultely nothing. Same message just stays there and it does not recognize it.

    Any help?,

  4. If i buy an external hard drive without ?External AC Power Supply, with only USB cable, will it work with a 6141?

    Thank You

    Fé Morin

  5. Jam says:

    Hi Barry,

    My 6131 receiver suddenly starting showing system integrity check messages that ran for hours instead of the indicated 10 minutes. Since then, my external HD was not recognized until I did a full reboot (this was the suggested course of action from Bell). As of yesterday, the receiver will no longer recognize my exernal hard drive. Under Bell’s advice, I took the EHD to a Bell store and hooked it up to one of their receivers and it recognized it and asked to format it. Bell then replaced my 6131 receiver, but the new receiver is still not linking to the EHD although it does go into reset mode when the EHD is turned off, then back on. Any suggestions?

    the EHD was close to full and I wonder if, when the receiver resets, it tries to download the program guide to the EHD, and subsequently freezes when there is not enough space. Thoughts?

    Any advice is most welcome!

  6. Lynn Gates (@lynng_westlake) says:

    What do I do now that the external hard drive has stopped working after 2 years? Can I recover the saved shows? Next time, is there a back up system I can put in place?

  7. Desmond McGirr says:

    I have a 6131 receiver. I have used the WD My passport as a PVR with the 6131 and worked great. The 6131 had to be replaced. With the new receiver it does not recognize the WD My Passport. I suspect I have to reset my WD My Passport to factory settings. How does one do this?

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