Sony RDR-HX715 & Verizon FIOS - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 10-02-2007, 08:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Pardon me if this scenario is old hat.

My unit used to work nicely with my old Comcast setup (no STB) and I received the TV Guide listings and recorded at will.

Now, I have Verizon FIOS and I can't get the IR blaster that came with the unit to work with the supplied Motorola HD STB.

I have tried nearly every manufacturer code listed in the Sony manual.

Do I have any alternatives or work arounds here? Or am I out of luck because the STB is newer than the Sony unit?

Can anyone please point me in the right direction?

-scott
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post #2 of 10 Old 10-02-2007, 04:03 PM
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That DVD recorder must be pretty old not to support Motorola STBs. The Verizon STB uses a generic, 4+ year-old Motorola STB code. Before you call it quits, you might see if there is code for GI equipment. Motorola purchased GI's STB business.

In the next month or so, Verizon expects to introduce a lower cost Motorola SD-only DVR. I would consider that as an alternative. If you have a HDTV, then the FiOS HDTV DVR ($12.95/mo) or a $250 TivoHD is the obvious choice. Both of these DVRs will also work just fine with standard TVs.
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post #3 of 10 Old 10-03-2007, 10:36 AM
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When it comes to DVRs, there are few that are better than the now old RDR-HX715. This DVR is a workhorse and has tons of features that no other DVR out there has in America. The whole idea of TV GUIDE is so the user does NOT have to pay TiVo or the cable companies just for a guide.

You might try calling or emailing Sony customer service and ask them about an IR code. I found them via their web site; here is some of the info:
Sony Service Contact Information
Location: MT PLEASANT, PA
Phone number: (866) 748-8272 8:00AM - 4:30PM EST

Note: The 2 features on the '715 that I love the most are:
1) playback at 1.5 speed with sound
2) Next chapter that skips commercial groups with one button press

Good luck

CA GUY
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post #4 of 10 Old 10-03-2007, 02:23 PM - Thread Starter
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CA_Guy,

Thank you very much. If I could get my Sony remote programmed to control the Motorola box, I'd be half way there. Minimally, I could at least record a program while watching another. If the TV Guide programming still doesn't work, I would think it has more to do with TV Guide not having Verizon FIOS schedule in their system yet. Around here, FIOS is only about 6 months old.

Right now, the darned thing only records what I am watching. Very frustrating.

I'll try the Sony phone number and let evryone know how I progress.

-scott
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post #5 of 10 Old 10-04-2007, 10:08 AM
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I'm not sure I understand your problem with regard to TV GUIDE. On my unit I am able to "map" channels. I am able to decide whether or not they are displayed, whether or not the guide captures data for the channel, the order they are displayed and most importantly the channel to select to watch/record that "channel". I am not using mine with a (cable) box, so perhaps there is an issue there.

I understand one issue is the lack of (cable) box control. Can you explain in more detail your other issue?

Thanks

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post #6 of 10 Old 10-17-2007, 07:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Hello,

I want to clarify my situation.

I have Verizon FIOS with a QIP6200 Motorola HD converter and I have a Sony RDR-HX715 DVD/HDD Recorder with TV Guide built in.

Before this new scenario, I had comcast cable without a converter box. TV Guide listings worked. I could select anything in advance, and I could record one thing while watching something else.

With this new scenario, I am not getting TV Guide listings and I cannot watch one thing while recording another.

I did get the IR blaster to control the STB. So I can change channels with the Sony DVR. I bought a splitter and connected one F connector to the STB and one to the DVR. Supposedly, this will allow the DVR to receive TV Guide listings. BUT, when I turn the DVR off (which is what is required in order for TV Guide listings to be initially deciphered), my STB starts cycling through ALL of my available FIOS channels. ??????

AND, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to record one channel while watching the other. The DVR records only what I am watching via the line out on the STB to the line in on the DVR. If I change channels, the DVR records those changes. This would make sense to me because why would the DVR see anything other than what I'm forcing out the back of the STB.

So what is the secret??? I mean I feel like I have incredible technology just sitting there. What would make a dummy DVR see all of the channels that only a STB can convert separately so as to record a particular channel while I hop around with the STB.

The Sony unit is only 3 years old and is a great unit. Cost me about $750 at the time.

Please help me understand what my connections should be. How do you all watch/record two different channels with a third party DVR?

TYIA,

scott
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post #7 of 10 Old 10-18-2007, 11:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scottwaz View Post

...I have Verizon FIOS with a QIP6200 Motorola HD converter and I have a Sony RDR-HX715 DVD/HDD Recorder with TV Guide built in.

Before this new scenario, I had comcast cable without a converter box. TV Guide listings worked. I could select anything in advance, and I could record one thing while watching something else.

The TV Guide data is received via the vertical blanking of analog signals. I believe the data comes from your local PBS station, with some data from each station. So if the Sony does not have an analog signal connected, it cannot acquire guide data. Keep in mind that after 2/17/2009 there will no longer be OTA analog signals anyway, so at best you'd only make this work for another 16 months.


Quote:


With this new scenario, I am not getting TV Guide listings and I cannot watch one thing while recording another.

The guide problem is explained above. Obviously to be able to record one channel while watching another it would require you to have TWO (HD) receivers. I'd dedicate one to the Sony and one to your TV. Now I do expect that you're able to watch a previously recorded show while a recording is in progress.

Quote:


I did get the IR blaster to control the STB. So I can change channels with the Sony DVR. I bought a splitter and connected one F connector to the STB and one to the DVR. Supposedly, this will allow the DVR to receive TV Guide listings. BUT, when I turn the DVR off (which is what is required in order for TV Guide listings to be initially deciphered), my STB starts cycling through ALL of my available FIOS channels. ??????

I'm not 100% certain, but it sounds like the Sony is searching for the TV guide data. It doesn't find it, but keeps on searching.

Quote:


AND, I cannot for the life of me figure out how to record one channel while watching the other. The DVR records only what I am watching via the line out on the STB to the line in on the DVR. If I change channels, the DVR records those changes. This would make sense to me because why would the DVR see anything other than what I'm forcing out the back of the STB.

Your choices are: another TV source (cable, antenna) that the Sony can receive directly, or another STB as explained above.

Quote:


So what is the secret??? I mean I feel like I have incredible technology just sitting there. What would make a dummy DVR see all of the channels that only a STB can convert separately so as to record a particular channel while I hop around with the STB.

The Sony unit is only 3 years old and is a great unit. Cost me about $750 at the time.

I paid $600 for mine from Amazon.com. Athough only 3 years old, some aspects of it are outdated. I still use mine daily, but will need a new solution in 16 months. I don't use the guide, but the data is there. Sony also had an HD version of that machine, and it is no longer available either. The killers are: ATSC (turning off of NTSC), deployment of fiber, newer STBs it cannot control and lack of HD. It's pluses are: no monthly fee, free guide (for now), 1.5x playback with sound, "auto chapter" (finds commercial group starts and ends) and lots more.

Quote:


Please help me understand what my connections should be. How do you all watch/record two different channels with a third party DVR?

If I am watching something "live", it is a live broadcast such as football. Otherwise I limit what I am recording to "one current show" and only watch what is stored on the HDD.

If my only choices are TiVo or a DVR rental, I'll continue to use the Sony until it is dead. There just are no GOOD DVRs out there right now.

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post #8 of 10 Old 10-18-2007, 01:12 PM
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There is supposedly a D/A converter box of sorts in the works so that the analog-based TVGOS versions will still be usable.

So don't give up on that just yet. There are just so many recorders and TV's with TVGOS out there, that they would like to try and keep them usable if possible, especially considering that they contain paid ads.

As far as the OP's problem right now, if the FIOS box has the ability to set timers on it independently, that's probably his only real solution (then set the timers on the recorder manually to coincide).
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post #9 of 10 Old 10-19-2007, 08:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

There is supposedly a D/A converter box of sorts in the works so that the analog-based TVGOS versions will still be usable.

I've heard about "converters" which receive ATSC broadcasts and down-rezz them for analog sets, but I have not heard of any that capture guide data and generate a VBI with that guide data in it.

Quote:


So don't give up on that just yet. There are just so many recorders and TV's with TVGOS out there, that they would like to try and keep them usable if possible, especially considering that they contain paid ads.

There are NO paid ads on my RDR-HX715.

Quote:


As far as the OP's problem right now, if the FIOS box has the ability to set timers on it independently, that's probably his only real solution (then set the timers on the recorder manually to coincide).

That is a solution to a problem he no longer has. He indicates the IR blaster now works. His new problems are only being able to record what he is watching, and no acquisition of guide data.

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post #10 of 10 Old 10-19-2007, 11:41 AM
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There has been talk of the converters in the Sony DHG-HDD500/250 thread. I'm not sure offhand where people heard this from. I know that people have talked a lot to different Sony and TVGOS reps.

As far as the ads, I'm guessing the HX715 uses the V7 version of TVGOS. My HX900 does, and that's a bit older, so I thought maybe it might have the V8, which most definitely has the ad space active.

And for the last part - if he uses the method of setting timers independently (if the cable box is capable), he at least doesn't have to watch the numbers cycling through non-stop when his tuner's off. It sounds like that happening might not interfere with set recording timers (even though I'm not even sure of that - but I wouldn't think so), but it sounded like it was a bother to him just seeing it. It was more a suggestion.

But they're obviously not sending any guide data. And those channels are just gonna keep cycling like that whenever the recorder's off.

The only way I found that somewhat works with my HX900, is to get an A/B switch, and at night set it to an external antenna to get the guide info (yes, I get the cable channel's info OTA) - I don't know if every market's the same), then as soon as I get up in the AM, switch it over to the other input (the cable) so that it can record during the day (I used a remote-controlled switch, which made it a little easier). I think I also had to change the setup between using and not using an IR blaster every night and morning, also. It's a huge pain in the butt, but it actually works. If you want to record anything during the overnight hours, though, your definitely SOL.

I was able to record from my E* tuner this way while using the guide (with all info) directly to schedule recordings. But it was such a hassle it wasn't worth it. It was much easier to just set timers manually (and live without the recording titles). When I got the Panny EH75V awhile back, that solved a lot of the problem. Now all I have to do is set the timers on the E* tuner, and the recorder starts and stops automatically and even titles the recordings.

I also remember someone else finding a way to do what I did, but with a lot less hassle. But it was a long time ago, and I would even know where to start a search. It'd be a lot easier to accept not being able to schedule recordings through the guide. If he has a FIOS guide, just use that for info. Setting up manual timers isn't that bad, once you get the hang of it. It still beats paying them extra if it's a matter of principal with you. I don't know if the HX715's the same, but my HX900's got a button on the remote which directly brings up the manual timesetting screen. And if you have to use the IR blaster, just put some tape or paper over the LED display on the cable box if the cycling bothers you that much.
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