Symphonic CSHP80G DVR / DVD Player - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 24 Old 09-18-2006, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Hi,

Has anybody used this DVR/DVD Player ("Symphonic CSHP80G")? It's made by Funai and sold at Walmart. I just got a unit and it is a pretty bare bone device. It has a DVR + a DVD Player (not a DVD recorder).
Although it's a pretty cheap device it does a resonable job to replace a VCR. The only problem is that there is no way to get the content on an external support from the HDD (like other DVR/DVD recorders can do by copying the content on a DVD).
I would appreciate If somebody knows a way to read the HDD and is willing to share that knowledge. The unit has a standard HDD that I tried to move into a computer but the HDD does not have a partion recognizable by Windows XP.

BTW the manual for the device can be found here:

symphonic.us/pdf/om/CSHP80G.pdf
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post #2 of 24 Old 01-02-2007, 06:37 AM
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I Have One Got From Walmart And It Is Working Very Well. For The Price Below Cs$ 100 This Unit Is Ok
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post #3 of 24 Old 01-20-2007, 12:18 AM
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Does anyone know if it is possible to remove the 80 GIG in there and add something like a 250 GIG?
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post #4 of 24 Old 02-21-2007, 10:27 PM
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Sorry for the NooB post.
I started my search on this unit after finding this thread.
I have discovered a way to upgrade the drive, but not how to access the recorded data.
Anyone else alive here
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post #5 of 24 Old 03-02-2007, 07:43 AM
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Hey all,

Jamykid, I've got the same unit, and am doing some testing to see if/how to upgrade the HDD, any info on that front could save me a little time. What I know so far is that the HDD doesn't contain a partition table, so this might be tricky.

I'm also going to see if it's possible to offload the recorded data, it's a work in progress at this point.
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post #6 of 24 Old 03-02-2007, 01:29 PM
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Update -- here's what I know:

- The drive that was shipped with this unit is a 82.3 Gig Hitachi DeskStar (DeathStar)
- Uses a proprietary file system
- Has no partition table on the drive
- Drives need to have the jumper settings set to cable select

We were able to get a 80 Gig Maxtor drive to work in the unit. I had a few shows saved on the original drive, and we did a sector by sector copy to the Maxtor, which worked.

It seems there are some files that need to be on the new drive before it will work. However, we don't have anything larger then a 80 Gig drive to work with at the moment.

We're encouraged that we were able to clone the disk with data on it and get it to play back. It's a step in the right direction.

We'll continue and see what we can come up with.

If anyone else has any info, please post.

Thanks!
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post #7 of 24 Old 04-10-2007, 01:39 PM
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Jason
Pl tell me in more detail how you can exchange the hard disk. I also want to change mine to something like 250GB so that I can make a whole week's tv programs when I am out of town. How you cloned it and using what cloning software? Thanks.
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post #8 of 24 Old 04-15-2007, 09:33 AM
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Jason, Hi there...I was wondering if you had any success with removing the Symphonic harddrive, and whether or not it can be plugged into a removable cartridge and then plugged into a desktop pc via a USB cable?....I own one of these Symphonic units, it works very well for what I want it to do........I have quite a few programs recorded on the drive that I want to transfer to my pc so I can edit the programs and then burn in vob format to disc......any help would be appreciated., thx, Steve
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post #9 of 24 Old 04-17-2007, 07:21 AM
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It appears that there a files on the hard disk that must be on any new drive installed in the system for it to work. That being said, we've tested a larger drive, with those files on it, and it only records 80 gigs worth of data, no matter how large your drive is. From what we can tell, there must be some kind of limit on one of the chips inside the PVR.

The good news, is you can do a sector by sector copy of the disk, to a new 80 gig disk. Once that's done, swapping disks around isn't a problem. However, due to the length of the cables, and the location of the hard disk, it seems impractical to me that anyone could install a drive caddy/enclosure for quick removal of drives.

At this point, we need someone who knows something about IC's and programming to take a look at where the data telling the PVR how large the drive is, would be located, and to see if it's even at all possible to be changed/flashed. If it's embedded in the code, or in the chip, then it's probably not possible to change.

It would be nice to hear from someone else who's done some testing, see if they made any discoveries or came to any conclusions? Anyone?
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post #10 of 24 Old 04-21-2007, 09:42 AM
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Does anyone know if it is possible to connect a vcr to this device and record a program from the dvr to a vhs tape? I have used a vcr as input and recorded to the dvr but I haven't been successful the other way.
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post #11 of 24 Old 05-11-2007, 06:23 AM
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Hi again Jason..Thx for the info..So, at this point...I don't really want to swap harddrives. But I can? pull the drive from the PVR?, now, not having taken it apart as of yet I am assuming that the drive has a standard 40 pin connector and the drive in the PVR is laptop sized? or is it full sized?, so I can insert it into a portable harddrive/adapter, plug that into the USB port on my PC, hopefully the op/sys will *see* the drive and copy the material currently on the drive....thx again, Steve
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post #12 of 24 Old 05-16-2007, 12:08 PM
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The drive included in the PVR is a standard, full sized IDE drive. However, connecting it to your Windows system and transfering the data off is not possible. Windows will not detect a file system on the drive and ask you if you want to format it, which would be bad.

We have not been able to "see" the shows recorded on the drive.

From what we have been able to tell, the file system is stored on a chip inside the PVR using a obscure DVD type of hybrid file system. That's also how the hard drive size is "locked" on the unit.

What we need is for someone with more technical know how to figure out how that data is stored, and then we can learn how to transfer the data.

Has anyone else done any kind of testing with this thing? Or am I the only one?
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post #13 of 24 Old 05-21-2007, 08:06 PM
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It appears that you are the only one who has dived into this matter. I do have a friend who does a lot of programming he's a wiz when it comes to reading code, formatting and such, only trouble is. I can't get him to sit still for 5 mins to come over here to take it apart and get into the harddrive particulars.
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post #14 of 24 Old 05-28-2007, 09:29 AM
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hi jason,

just bought the CSHP80G n loving it except:
1. can't export to external source/media. but learn to accept it already.
2. region 1 on DVDRom only. i actucally really need this and i was not aware that it is lock into region 1 until i bought it. any body able to crack the all region code on the dvdrom?

i would like to take out the hdd to back up it's contains just to make sure that i can repair it with another hdd if the original one dies. will back up the contents in an image file onto a DVD-R(s). however, my question is that how difficult is it to open and unit without damaging it?? this is one of my biggest concern.

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Originally Posted by JasonSensation View Post

The drive included in the PVR is a standard, full sized IDE drive. However, connecting it to your Windows system and transfering the data off is not possible. Windows will not detect a file system on the drive and ask you if you want to format it, which would be bad.

We have not been able to "see" the shows recorded on the drive.

From what we have been able to tell, the file system is stored on a chip inside the PVR using a obscure DVD type of hybrid file system. That's also how the hard drive size is "locked" on the unit.

What we need is for someone with more technical know how to figure out how that data is stored, and then we can learn how to transfer the data.

Has anyone else done any kind of testing with this thing? Or am I the only one?

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post #15 of 24 Old 05-29-2007, 09:11 AM
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To physically remove the drive is the easy part. Remove the case screws, remove the cover and then remove the screws holding the drive mounting bracket. Carefully turn the drive/bracket upside down, remove the 4 screws holding the drive to the bracket.

We examined the disk by using software such as spinrite in order to look at the data structure. All we did was a sector by sector copy of the disk to another disk, which made an exact, working clone. You could use software like Norton Utilities or anything else that will do a bit by bit or sector by sector cone of the disk. I don't think you could actually copy the data to a CD or DVD because the data resides on the disk, but doesn't use a traditional file structure. I would be interested to learn how you did it, if you were able to.

I use a better DVD player to play my DVD's. This is just a cheap PVR that I thought could be cracked open and exploited. It seems we'll need help from someone who knows circuitry and rom programming to make any further progress. I don't, nor do I know anyone in that field so I'm pretty well at a dead end.

Alas, it seems the people at Symphonic did a pretty good job thwarting people like me! :-)
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post #16 of 24 Old 06-01-2007, 08:34 AM
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thank you for your explaination for unit removal instructions.
i'll have to try it.

i believe it can be done by norton ghost to copy from hard drive to an image file.
such function exists, and i have used it before. so theoretically it is possible to make it in a DVD for a back up purpose.
if i get a copy done, i will let u guys know.

>>Symphonic did a pretty good job thwarting people like me! :-)
well said, ppl like me too!
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post #17 of 24 Old 06-10-2007, 05:14 AM
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Hi Jason,

I'm a software developer and did some 'hacking' like this in my younger days...

Would it be possible for you to send me a sample of the first sector of the drive, let's say the first 1MB for example, this could MAYBE allow me to give a try...

I also bought this device last year at walmart and it's nearly full, i could remove mine and check this one, but im feeling lazy!

If you can't send me this file, i would unscrew mine and give a try....

Who knows!

Tnx!
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post #18 of 24 Old 06-13-2007, 04:06 AM
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Just a point of interest that might help...

I have an 800.00 PVR for my satellite system. It has two 200gb hard drives.

I saw on techtv one time, they took one apart....and they said if you put an absolutely blank (new) hard drive in, that the unit would automatically format it to the unusual format that it uses (within the dvr unit)...I have never had to try it yet but they claim it works fine. So I would say the unit probably can take a bigger hard drive perhaps. Hope this helps someone....Bob
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post #19 of 24 Old 06-15-2007, 07:55 AM
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I don't happen to have a copy of the first sector of the drive anymore. One of my co-workers may, I'll have to check.

Sorry Bob399, if it's not a Symphonic CSHP80G DVR / DVD Player then you don't understand. Please review my previous posts to see why simply installing a completely blank drive does not work.

Anyway, I'm retiring from the project for a little while. I'll check back regularly to see if anyone else has picked up the ball and ran with it and maybe made a little more progress.

Ciao.
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post #20 of 24 Old 06-24-2007, 02:53 PM
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hi all. i finally step up to the plate to disassemble my PVR. the disassembling steps are very east and quick. but cloning the drive into an image using Norton Ghost 2003 is NOT successful. Ghost simply see the drive as an unformatted drive and therefore it doesn't believe there is any data in it to duplicate. any body else wanna take a shot at this?
jason, which software did u use the clone the drive to another 80g?
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post #21 of 24 Old 06-24-2007, 07:52 PM
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Hi everybody sorry for my bad english...

I got cshp80g cloned with R-Studio, but with hdd bigger than 137 gigs no way.
the dvr don't recognize lba (like windoze... without spack installed). i did't find the way
to change the standard 34 hours recording but i think it is in a file on drive.

The dvr don't check the size of hdd by hardware cause i tryed 40 gigs and it give me
the same 34 hours when i reset it in setup. I think the max hdd we can put is 128 gigs.
I still working on that and post last news.
BTW i look for the service manual, someone got one?
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post #22 of 24 Old 06-24-2007, 11:17 PM
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f4tboy,

this is the link to the manual
ww.symphonic.us/pdf/om/CSHP80G.pdf
the hard copy should be inside the box anyway.

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post #23 of 24 Old 06-26-2007, 04:29 AM
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Hi Avatarsys

thank for link but is it for owner manual already in file.
I look for service manual to study the player.

f4tboy
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post #24 of 24 Old 06-27-2007, 01:47 PM
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hi f4tboy

do u have the R-Drive Image software?
if the R-Studio works. then R-Drive Image will probably work!
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