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Old 08-18-2003, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
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I recently replaced my Replay (showstopper) with the SA8000 from TWC NYC. While I miss the 30 skip button, I'm really enjoying the new box for the most part. One question that I have is whether it's possible to hide channels in the Channel Guide because I only really care to see about 15 or 20 of the 300+ channels in the guide. I set up some favorites, but I'd much prefer to remove channels from the guide altogether.

Thanks,
Ed

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Old 08-18-2003, 10:26 PM
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Ed,
No known way to do that, sorry. And as you know the 8000DVR does not support a 30sec skip function either in its firmware (used to; but was taken out early this year).

Bruce

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Old 08-19-2003, 11:11 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the info, Bruce. I actually wasn't aware that it previously had the 30 sec skip capability. While there are certainly some features that I will miss from my Replay, I think there are plenty of reasons to be happy about my new cablebox dvr. One thing that would have been nice is some sort of manual that describes what I can and can't do with this unit. The TW guy gave me a manual for programming the remote and a quick guide for how to use a DVR, but nothing that details all of the features of the box. Oh well...I'm sure I'll figure it out as I go along.

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Old 08-20-2003, 09:29 AM
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stimbuktu,

Suggest you visit SA's web site and visit their Explorer Club (registration required; free). They have a FAQ for the 8000 that may be of help to you.

Bruce

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Old 08-21-2003, 10:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by stimbuktu
One question that I have is whether it's possible to hide channels in the Channel Guide because I only really care to see about 15 or 20 of the 300+ channels in the guide. I set up some favorites, but I'd much prefer to remove channels from the guide altogether.
I haven't found a way to do it. I agree that removing unwanted channels from the guide is a much-needed feature. Having all the channels there makes some of the guide functions (sort by title) mostly useless. I tried setting up parental blocks ... it still shows all the channels (and programs) in the guide. Even lets you record blocked shows ... it just won't play them back.

I think this is more than a matter of convenience ... Having two kids in the house ... I don't particularly like the idea of all the adult programs showing up in the guide at all ... kind of like dangling the poisonous fruit ...
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Old 08-21-2003, 10:05 AM
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stimbuktu,
One other note ... there are two main interfaces for the SA boxes ... one from SA itself ... the other from Pioneer (Passport). Lots of functionality is the same ... but some is very different. If you have the Pioneer Passport interface, you may want to find some information that is specific to it. I have the SA software ... and the link provided by Bruce (above) has the most information I've been able to find.
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Old 08-22-2003, 08:10 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the advice. Mine does use the Pioneer Passport. They have two versions of the software on their site. The DCT version seems to have channel removal, but that only appears to be compatible with a certain line of Motorola cableboxes. The other version of the Pioneer software doesn't seem to support the feature at all. Oh well. I suppose they could always do a software update (hint hint...if anyone's reading this). I guess while I'm putting together a wishlist, it'd be nice if they did a keyword search for finding shows that had an on screen keyboard that you could navigate with the directional arrows. My Replay had that and it is much easier to find shows that way than using the Page Down button to scroll through every show on earth in alphabetical order. And I guess bringing back the 30 sec skip button would be nice too...but I can live without it.

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Old 08-22-2003, 08:22 AM - Thread Starter
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Actually...I just realized that the PioneerBroadband.com site only mentions Passport and Passport DCT. I assumed that the SA8000 was using the regular Passport since DCT was for Motorola cableboxes only. However, I just realized that the SA8000 actually uses Passport Echo, which isn't even on their site. Upon closer inspection, the site hasn't been updated in a while considering their last press release on the site was in March but the Echo software was announced in June. So maybe we'll get a more complete manual...eventually.

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Old 08-27-2003, 06:42 AM
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There is a Yahoo Group on the SA8000 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/explorer_8000/) where there are some useful posts, as well as links to the manual in PDF format.

Drew
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Old 08-28-2003, 06:57 AM
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I fell so sorry for anyone who has one of these awful PVR/DVRs. My Mom has the explorer 800 and it is utter junk (lots of bugs, horrible interface, very limited software) compared to DTIVO. If only a few trees weren't in the way, she would have a real DVR!

-G

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Old 08-28-2003, 07:52 AM
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boomertsfx,
Some of us find the 8000 DVR works quite well though I do believe that how well a person's box works depends largely on their cable company's implementation (server software used and set top box OS version). There are definitely folks whose experiences have been horrible; ours on the other hand has been more than acceptable... definitely worth the $5/mo more it costs us to use it . - Bruce

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Old 08-28-2003, 10:57 AM
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I'm glad others are having better experiences with the 8000!

Here are some of my beefs about the Explorer with Cox Cable in Northern VA:
  • Cox started off charging $10 for the box rental and $10 for DVR service -- they have since dropped to $10 rental and $4 DVR.
  • If you are watching live tv and press rewind, it pauses and goes black for about a second before it rewinds. tivo is seamless.
  • No wishlists (program description keywords, actor, etc.)
  • No season pass-type recording with ability to tape only first-run programs
  • UI design is horrible. For example, when you press guide on the 8000, it will go to 2 hours in the future and to channel 2 -- it should go to the current channel you're watching or at least be configurable to do so.
  • When searching for program titles, you can only search by the first letter, and not by typing a more specific prefix so you don't have to scroll through pages of programs beginning with a certail letter.
  • It forgets to record sometimes
  • When starting a recording in the background, the interface will stall for a few seconds like it is locked up.
  • If a program appears on multiple channels, you can't tell the box to just record the show whenever it comes on
  • No predictive FF/RW
  • No 30-sec skip
  • Can't filter by category
  • and others I can't think of...

Here are my mom's 8000 OS versions:

PTV OS: March 20, 2003 6.0.4sp
Flash: March 21, 2003
SARA: v1.80.51.a7

Maybe I'm just spoiled with my DirecTIVO, but for all of the ranting cable companies do about how satellite sucks, they need to get their acts together -- they should have done what DTV did and have Tivo develop a box for QAM -- which I guess still wouldn't work, because alot of cable systems are still analog/digital hybrids.

Graeme B Davis
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Old 08-28-2003, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by boomertsfx
  • UI design is horrible. For example, when you press guide on the 8000, it will go to 2 hours in the future and to channel 2 -- it should go to the current channel you're watching or at least be configurable to do so.
If you are in the Guide and hit the 'red C' button ... it will automagically go to the current time/channel.

I understand this came about because of the GemStar lawsuit ... hopefully now that that's resolved the Guide button will act as you describe ...
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Old 09-15-2003, 03:13 PM
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Hey Boomertsfx,

Wow, if your mom's sa8000 has all those problems then cox cable should definitely switch to the software twc is using, because I have none of those problems except no 30 sec skip, but I can ff at 4x and it automatically backs up a bit to put you right on track.
The fee is only $7.95 more for digital customers and i can choose first run shows only, the times I want or even just a certain day, or a certain channel etc... very customizable, season pass etc..

I guess all sa8000 are not equal, i would complain to cox.

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Old 12-10-2003, 04:48 AM
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Same as above here with Brighthouse (basically TWC).
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