When the provided USB converter cable was connected to the docking station, the Xacti Library screen came on. As the HDD was not turned on, the following message appeared.
"HDD not on, disconnect converter cable if not using Xacti Library."
Once I turned on the supply to the HDD, the Sanyo offered to Format the hard disk. This was because the Maxtor HDD came preformatted in NTFS and the Sanyo can only work with the FAT32 format. The formatting took about one minute.
One this was done, I was able to transfer files from the SD card to the HDD. The process was a bit slow. In the case of a 8GB card, it took about 15 minutes for the actual file transfer and another 20 minutes for some processing; the screen says Sort by Date but dunno why it took so long. Anyway, it worked.
You can watch the proceedings from the LCD screen or from a TV if one is connected. One use of this will be if you are on a long holiday, you can bring along an external HDD and after a day's shooting, transfer all the videos from the SD cards to the HDD in the hotel and reuse the emptied SD cards for the next day. In this way you do not have to carry too many SD cards and the cost of a HDD is much cheaper than getting the equivalent capacity of SD cards and it is much easier to manage. The only downside is that you need an external HDD that is self-powered and thus only the 3.5 inch HDD can be used. It will be more convenient if the USB powered 2.5 inch HDD can be used.
You can watch any files from the HDD and also create and edit albums for playback. Files can also be copied from the HDD to the SD card for basic in-camera editing.
Here are the specs for an external HDD that can be used.
1. USB 2.0 compatible. 2. Powered by self power. 3. FAT32 format only. 4. A maximum capacity of 1 TB.
Looks like I need to carry some extra load for my trip to Turkey later this month. Sigh.