Problem with SA 8000 video skipping - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 11 Old 10-05-2004, 01:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Hey all --

I have an SA 8000 box from TWC here in NYC, and it's started to have problems when playing back video. The main issue is that it will just stop in the middle of playback (probably while the hard drive catches up). So, a few questions:

1. Anyone having the same issue?
2. Anyone have a fix? Should I just delete a lot of programming I have on it, or is there a utility on it to defragment the drive?

Any help greatly appreciated!

Damian
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post #2 of 11 Old 10-05-2004, 01:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by droskill
(probably while the hard drive catches up)
IMHO it's more likely signal related. Getting a clean cable signal can be rather tricky ... and these boxes are rather 'sensitive'.
1) Go into the diagnostics screens and see what the signal level, S/N ratio, Err/sec are.
2) Call the cable company and tell them you suspect you have a weak or noisy signal. Get them to send someone out to test/measure your signal and fix appropriately.
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post #3 of 11 Old 10-05-2004, 08:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Well, that would make sense if I was watching live TV, but I'm talking about stuff I've already recorded.....or am I confused...(probably)...
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post #4 of 11 Old 10-06-2004, 12:00 PM
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When I first got my 8000 ... it never had any problems with live content. Recordings gave me freezes ... stutters ... etc. Got the signal cleaned up and all was well. My guess is that the MPEG encoders get a little flaked out by certain bad signal issues ...

However ... I only said 'more likely'. You could also be just seeing a glitch ... or a more serious hardware problem (which would require a box swap) ... hard to know for sure ...

I will say that I run my 8000 (and 8000HD) constantly full (I use the 'Auto Delete' option) ... never 'defrag' or 'reformat' the drive ... and never have any problems. This is what led me to discredit your hard drive theory. Of course ... anything's possible ... I don't have the source code to be able to say for certain :)

Note: there's a 'reformat' capability that some use ... you might try that
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=421666

Anyway ... my suggested route for freeze / stutter / glitchy problems on the 8000s are:

1. Reboot the box (unplug, wait a few seconds, plug back in)

If this doesn't fix the issue (note, it might not fix problems in old recordings ... only new ones)

2. Check signal levels ... get the cable company to come out and check them

Always a good thing anyway ...

If this doesn't fix the issue (or at the same time)

3. Try the 'reformat' process on the thread listed above. I've never really seen this fix any problems ... but ... might as well try it before the next step ...

If this doesn't fix the issue

4. Swap the box out for a new one

Repeat steps 2 and 4 as you deem appropriate ...

Several people have reported that their 8000 worked fine untill a 1.83.x.x software upgrade at which point they got severe freezing on certain recorded content and the only fix was to swap the box out for a new one (probably some hardware flaw that was only apparant with the new software).
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post #5 of 11 Old 10-06-2004, 02:32 PM
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Then again ... according to a Yahoo group ... WNBC (ch 4) has been teasing a news story tonight ... "Is your digital video recorder not working properly? It might be your cable company's fault" and "Trouble with your digital video recorder freezing all the time? Well, you're not alone. Roseanne Colletti will break it down for us."
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/explor...0/message/7057

Might be interesting ...
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post #6 of 11 Old 10-09-2004, 08:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by droskill
Hey all --

I have an SA 8000 box from TWC here in NYC, and it's started to have problems when playing back video. The main issue is that it will just stop in the middle of playback (probably while the hard drive catches up). So, a few questions:

1. Anyone having the same issue?
2. Anyone have a fix? Should I just delete a lot of programming I have on it, or is there a utility on it to defragment the drive?
It's likely you have the Pionner Passport Echo software on your SA8000 because what you're describing sounds like a problem with the last two releases of this software that started about mid-August, and has infected boxes nation-wide. I live in Los Angeles County and my friends and neighbors report the same problem in my town and others 50 miles away in Orange County. Other users in other states using the same software also report the problem. All of us are on the Passport software. Before they sent this new software our boxes performed flawlessly, then the old software was overwritten by the new one and it screwed up a perfectly good machine.

If you do indeed have the Passport software, here's the problems that me and everybody i've talked to with this software is having:

1. The image (and audio) will pause for about 6 seconds then resume and it takes a second for the image to catch up with the audio. This happens 2 to 6 times per half-hour show and lots of others around the country report the same exact thing. Sometimes it's in the recording and will happen every time you replay the affected scene, and other times it will be during live TV, watching from the buffer. Sometimes you can replay the scene and this time instead of freezing like before it will tile or pixelate instead and not freeze like it did before. Sometimes i can watch a whole show and it will will only freeze once or twice and sometimes even not at all, but that's rare.

Also, all the programs that i had recorded before the software upgrade play back perfectly and show none of the problems which practically proves it is caused by the new software.

2. Tiling - whole chunks of the image will move up and to the right or left and superimpose themselves over the rest of the screen for a moment, then go back to it's corner.

3. Picture pixelates and breaks up often, sometimes painting lime green checkerboard pattern over most of the screen for a few seconds and other times the picture will just break up and pixelate for a moment then return to normal.

4. There are other little niggling problems and changes caused by this new software but the above three are the biggies.

I (and my neighbors) complained to TWC within the first few days of getting this new software forced upon us and they denied there was a problem and insisted on sending a Tech out to check my cabling and signal. He came and checked things out and said i have a good signal, and replaced an older splitter with a new 1100Mhz one which improved my signal a teensy bit, but it was already way better than it needed to be. This did nothing to fix the problem. So next they came again and replaced the cabling all the way from the pole to my TV and still did nothing to fix the freezing problem because it's still here. Now two months later, TWC has acknowledged that there is a problem with the new software and says they're working on it so hopefully they'll get it fixed soon.

Roseanne Colletti (WNBC) in your area just did an article about the problem. She was alerted to it by a subscriber of the SA8000 Yahoo groups mailing list. The problem is nation wide and not just in NYC. She was told that the freezing problem was nation wide yet mentioned nothing about it in the article:

http://www.wnbc.com/rcstories/3788159/detail.html

Randy
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post #7 of 11 Old 10-12-2004, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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RandyWalters - wow - that's amazingly helpful - you've described my exact problems.....thanks very much.

Damian
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post #8 of 11 Old 10-12-2004, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by droskill
RandyWalters - wow - that's amazingly helpful - you've described my exact problems.....thanks very much.

Damian
You're welcome. There may be good news for us, a guy posted in the SA8000HD Thread that he just recieved a new software update (1.1.159) in San Diego so hopefully the rest of us will soon get the upgrade and hopefully it will solve the pesky freezing problem. FWIW i just got an SA8000HD and it has the same 1.5.151 software that my regular SA8000 has but the new one doesn't freeze or pixelate like my old one. This lends credence that the problem might be in the older boxes inability to deal with the new software and maybe not a problem with the software itself. Dunno . . . . we'll see.

Randy
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post #9 of 11 Old 10-12-2004, 01:09 PM - Thread Starter
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I've got an 8000HD waiting for me at my TWC store - I just haven't had time to get it and get it set up....how do you like it?
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post #10 of 11 Old 10-13-2004, 06:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by droskill
RandyWalters - wow - that's amazingly helpful - you've described my exact problems.....thanks very much. Damian
Good news - i woke up to find i got the new Passport firmware upgrade ! Ii've been watching live morning news now for over an hour and so far it hasn't frozen or tiled or pixelated once !! I don't want to count my chickens just yet but it looks like the new software has fixed the problems i've been having since the problematic mid-August firmware upgrade that caused all the problems in the first place.

Here's what i got:

ResApp Version: Passport Echo 1.5.159
OS Version: Power TV 6.4.11.1sp

Hopefully Passport boxes around the country will get this new version :)

Randy
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post #11 of 11 Old 10-16-2004, 11:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyWalters
Good news - i woke up to find i got the new Passport firmware upgrade ! Ii've been watching live morning news now for over an hour and so far it hasn't frozen or tiled or pixelated once !! I don't want to count my chickens just yet but it looks like the new software has fixed the problems i've been having since the problematic mid-August firmware upgrade that caused all the problems in the first place.

Here's what i got:

ResApp Version: Passport Echo 1.5.159
OS Version: Power TV 6.4.11.1sp

Hopefully Passport boxes around the country will get this new version :)
Update: People across the country are reporting getting the new Passport 1.5.159 upgrade and that it seems to have fixed the terrible Freezing/Tiling/Pixelating problems caused by the bugged mid-August 1.5.075 (and 1.5.075 a month later) upgrades.

So far since this new upgrade last week i've watched several hours of new recordings and it hasn't frozen or anything once so it appears they actually fixed it rigth this time.

When i play back older shows that i recorded on the bad software still freeze and tile and pixelate (green checkerboards and all) just like before so it's obvious the problem is in the recordings from 1.5.151 and 1.5.075 .

Randy
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