I have had numerous problems with my DVR but now that I have battled through them, I love the thing.
If you turn it on and the screen is blank(black) but the guide still works here is what comcast told me... (after the 6th or 7th call)... press your dvr button, play anything you have recorded for a second or two, then stop it. Sure enough, your picture will return. This is a known problem that they have said "should" be fixed on either the newer boxes or with to-be-released future firmware.
Let's say your DVR is off and you are not home... if a scheduled recording starts, it will turn on the DVR and start the recording... but to keep from blasting the audio when no one is home (if you left the tv on) it mutes the cable box, not the tv. I called comcast several times regarding this one, and someone was finally able to help me. If you reprogram the mute button on your remote, to control the mute on the cable box instead of the TV... it will both, remove the mute that may appear at the top center of the screen and let you mute normally using the mute feature on the cable box instead of the TV. (hey, as long as it mutes, it mutes,... what does it matter if it's the tv or cable box eh?) :)
see this page for instructions on how to reprogram your remote as well as the other codes to do other fancy things...
(please excuse this... I can't use urls... it's my first post, take out the minus signs and make it one line...)
30 second skip feature:
Watching a recorded program? Want to skip the commercials without pressing fast forward and the rewind when you go to far? Reprogram one of your unused remote buttons to skip 30 seconds at a time. example: your watching a recorded show, the commercials start, press the button your reprogrammed button 6 times in a row to jump 3 minutes ahead. (different networks have different commercial break durations, but you get the picture)
see the same site I listed above,...
I don't have kids and don't use the parental lock features on my unit... so I chose to use the "orange triangle, A lock button" to reprogram since I didn't use it for anything else.
Yellow and/or Green pixalated screen:
This one sucks... if you are watching TV at the time, even live show or recorded show will be pixalated with yellow and green bands. There are only two ways to get rid of this.
WARNING: This will make your guide data disappear and say "to be determined" so remember/write down what is on when and on what station.
WARNING 2: If you are in the process of recording something and you follow these procedures, the recording will be terminated and you will not have a full recording.
If it does happen to you, and you are recording something... you can wait it out, and then follow the procedures and your recording should be unaffected after the procedures are followed.
1) if you are not recording anything at the time, unplug the unit for a 5-10 seconds.
2) Call Comcast and have them send a reset signal to your box.
Well, if anyone can can point me to a way to use USB to download recorded content to my pc,... let me know!! I have seen some stuff out there about using the firewire port, I just have to buy a firewire cable.
Hope this helped someone! I struggled to get this crap fixed... but now that I have, I love this thing. Next? Well I am going to rip it apart and try to add another HD or replaced the HD... and see what other nifty things I can do.
Happy Hacking,... i0scan :D (pittsburgh, pa)