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post #841 of 859 Old 09-13-2008, 11:49 PM
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Well it sure has been quiet in here for a while. I was getting pretty good service from my 633 since the change that added the advertisements. I would occasionally get the "timer ready" problem and the recordings would get screwed up, but this was infrequent. Then about 2 weeks ago, almost all of the recordings were off. What I would see was that the recording would start 6 minutes late or it might end 6 minutes late. What a mess. I did a system reset and everything loaded back up ok and now it seems to be much better but I get the 6 minutes late thing showing up about every 5 shows. It even does this when I program with the timer and not the EPG. Yeah, it sucks but I really like the EPG system and it doesn't seem that there are good alternatives except for Tivo or getting satellite and using their dvrs. I just don't like the idea of the monthly fees, but maybe I'll break down. Maybe I'll just limp along and wait till the digital conversion is over and see if anything comes out then.

How are others doing with their Pioneer 531 533 and 633s?

RMR
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post #842 of 859 Old 09-15-2008, 05:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RMR View Post

Well it sure has been quiet in here for a while. I was getting pretty good service from my 633 since the change that added the advertisements. I would occasionally get the "timer ready" problem and the recordings would get screwed up, but this was infrequent. Then about 2 weeks ago, almost all of the recordings were off. What I would see was that the recording would start 6 minutes late or it might end 6 minutes late. What a mess. I did a system reset and everything loaded back up ok and now it seems to be much better but I get the 6 minutes late thing showing up about every 5 shows. It even does this when I program with the timer and not the EPG. Yeah, it sucks but I really like the EPG system and it doesn't seem that there are good alternatives except for Tivo or getting satellite and using their dvrs. I just don't like the idea of the monthly fees, but maybe I'll break down. Maybe I'll just limp along and wait till the digital conversion is over and see if anything comes out then.

How are others doing with their Pioneer 531 533 and 633s?

RMR

My Hard Drive got corrpted a while back. No resests helped. After researching the problem I arrived at the conlcusion that I needed a special remote, and a spceial CD with the original firmward to recover the hard disk. I ended up lettting it die. It was at point that I couldn't set any timer recordings.

Oh well -

Rick
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post #843 of 859 Old 09-15-2008, 07:06 PM
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My 531 is still chugging along after three years, occasionally I get the "EPG" front panel display and if I don't notice it my timed programs don't get recorded. This does seem somehow linked to the time of year- it happens in April, August and December. Of course, I'm in the minority here because I actually don't like the TVGOS, the first thing I did was trick it into not loading its data so the hard drive would settle down and I could input all timer settings manually. Not using the TVGOS is what's probably saved my hard drive from crashing. On the other hand, I'm on my second 531 burner...

The 633 and 533 units I've had were not so pleasant. Their HDDs corrupted, and despite every trick outlined on every board and thread, any attempt at repairing these hard drives or replacing them with new drives with fresh software resulted in another failure shortly after. The machines are very resistant to repair because of their insanely complicated TVGOS implementation. Since the TVGOS-reloading process alone is enough to drive anyone to drink, nevermind the likelihood of failure, these are the only Pioneer models I feel are not really worth repairing. Don't buy a broken 633 on eBay for $150 thinking you got a bargain because you "know how to fix it cheap": trust me, you'll be re-listing it two weeks later and taking a $50 loss on it.
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post #844 of 859 Old 09-16-2008, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by RMR View Post

How are others doing with their Pioneer 531 533 and 633s?RMR

My 531 has been doing just fine, except for a total lockup last Saturday. The orginal HD is holding up well. The TVGOS seems to be working ok. My 3 - 7 scheduled recordings a week are reliable. The DVD player works well.

Now that I have said that, it will probably explode.
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post #845 of 859 Old 04-18-2009, 03:48 PM
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Someone asked how others are doing.

I first found this forum in 2005 when my new 531 couldn't load the EPG. Thanks to you wonderful people I learned that connecting it through the digital cable box was the problem. After that the host station for the EPG had major issues. Again this forum had the details on how to enter the service mode and monitor who was the host and how to reset the EPG. After TVGOS changed hosts here in Toronto, the system has been working flawlessly since. That's about 3 yrs of not having to mess with it. I haven't even defragged the drive yet which is something I should have done but I hate to invite trouble. The bonus of this box is that sometimes my PC will destroy a DVD-RW and won't recognize it anymore while the 531 will reinitialize it without a hiccup and make it reuseable again.

I'm also not a fan of the TVGOS implementation and the constant grinding of the harddrive in the unit but it has held up it's end. but I'm sure less tech savy people returned these things by the truckload. Now if I could only get my logitech remote to update my new settings.......

Skip.
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post #846 of 859 Old 04-27-2009, 12:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skipl View Post

Someone asked how others are doing.

I first found this forum in 2005 when my new 531 couldn't load the EPG. Thanks to you wonderful people I learned that connecting it through the digital cable box was the problem. After that the host station for the EPG had major issues. Again this forum had the details on how to enter the service mode and monitor who was the host and how to reset the EPG. After TVGOS changed hosts here in Toronto, the system has been working flawlessly since. That's about 3 yrs of not having to mess with it. I haven't even defragged the drive yet which is something I should have done but I hate to invite trouble. The bonus of this box is that sometimes my PC will destroy a DVD-RW and won't recognize it anymore while the 531 will reinitialize it without a hiccup and make it reuseable again.

I'm also not a fan of the TVGOS implementation and the constant grinding of the harddrive in the unit but it has held up it's end. but I'm sure less tech savy people returned these things by the truckload. Now if I could only get my logitech remote to update my new settings.......

Skip.

Mine is still doing good. Harddrive and the DVD drive are still working with weekly recordings. I've had two runaway records fill up the HD and cause the EPG to stop updating, in the last year however.

I am wondering if the EPG is going to survive the DTV switch over and Comcast's digitialization of a good portion of their analog channals.
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post #847 of 859 Old 09-17-2010, 11:07 AM
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After 5 years or so of reliable service (except for the EPG nuisances), last week my Pioneer DVR-533 started hanging up.

I was deeply involved in this Pioneer EPG TVGOS thread back in 2005 or so, and again last year (in other threads) when the digital shutdown changed things, as we all tried to get the blasted machine to work. Other than those periods, though, it has in fact worked fine -- and yes I am getting TVGOS data, via cable, reinserted in analog VBI by my local cable headend.

My particular symptoms now are that I found the machine stopped doing its scheduled recording four days ago. I can not get into TVGOS. I power cycle it, and it seems to work, but after 90 seconds or so it hangs up, won't even change channels.

Curiously, as long as I do it during the first 90 seconds, I can get into the HDD recordings listing, or the Home Menu screens, do whatever in there, exit, and then it doesn't crash until ANOTHER 90 seconds later. I can even edit recordings and copy to DVD, although when it's copying I have to be careful to leave it in "Home Screen" mode and not on the tuner. It seems to only crash if left in regular tuner mode. Well, at least I can get my recordings out.

Thinking it might be some bad VBI coming in, I disconnected the cable signal and the problem persists. If I change the tuner to select the "L2" or "L3" input, it's fine. If I select "L1", it dies. And "L1" happens to be the only input of the three that I have active video on! So right now my theory is that if the thing is "tuned" to anything that has active video (even black), it dies within a minute or so, perhaps because it's choking on VBI decode or something. So I leave it on L2 or L3 and it keeps going while I burn the discs. Fascinating.

Can't ever get into the TVGOS menu. Pressing that button is always the instant kiss of death (as is entering it via the home menu).

I tried the hard reset (via front panel buttons: press and hold stop-record, then press power button) but it didn't do anything.

Working on it ... If I can't recover it, at least it's been a good 5 years.

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http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...7#post16732147
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post #848 of 859 Old 09-20-2010, 01:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC47 View Post

After 5 years or so of reliable service (except for the EPG nuisances), last week my Pioneer DVR-533 started hanging up.

I was deeply involved in this Pioneer EPG TVGOS thread back in 2005 or so, and again last year (in other threads) when the digital shutdown changed things, as we all tried to get the blasted machine to work. Other than those periods, though, it has in fact worked fine -- and yes I am getting TVGOS data, via cable, reinserted in analog VBI by my local cable headend.

My particular symptoms now are that I found the machine stopped doing its scheduled recording four days ago. I can not get into TVGOS. I power cycle it, and it seems to work, but after 90 seconds or so it hangs up, won't even change channels.

Curiously, as long as I do it during the first 90 seconds, I can get into the HDD recordings listing, or the Home Menu screens, do whatever in there, exit, and then it doesn't crash until ANOTHER 90 seconds later. I can even edit recordings and copy to DVD, although when it's copying I have to be careful to leave it in "Home Screen" mode and not on the tuner. It seems to only crash if left in regular tuner mode. Well, at least I can get my recordings out.

Thinking it might be some bad VBI coming in, I disconnected the cable signal and the problem persists. If I change the tuner to select the "L2" or "L3" input, it's fine. If I select "L1", it dies. And "L1" happens to be the only input of the three that I have active video on! So right now my theory is that if the thing is "tuned" to anything that has active video (even black), it dies within a minute or so, perhaps because it's choking on VBI decode or something. So I leave it on L2 or L3 and it keeps going while I burn the discs. Fascinating.

Can't ever get into the TVGOS menu. Pressing that button is always the instant kiss of death (as is entering it via the home menu).

I tried the hard reset (via front panel buttons: press and hold stop-record, then press power button) but it didn't do anything.

Working on it ... If I can't recover it, at least it's been a good 5 years.

Does kinda sound like bad guide data. My machine has been doing well, except for two cases of total machine lockup while recording. Both times I held the power button in until the machine shutoff and it fully recovered upon power up.
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post #849 of 859 Old 09-28-2010, 12:11 PM
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AHA! After 3 weeks of occasionally trying to fix this, I decided today to search back in this thread for my own posts about this machine. I'd spent way too much time on this a few years ago and I knew I had written up some posts about various resets.

So, I posted above:
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I tried the hard reset (via front panel buttons: press and hold stop-record, then press power button) but it didn't do anything.

And I got THAT from somebody else, and it was wrong! The hard reset method is to A) hold the Stop button and then B) press the Power button. The stop button and the stop-record button are not the same thing!

I had typed up this hard reset sequence in this 2005(!) post. After doing that hard reset, the machine seemed to recover, I was able to get into the TVGOS and do a TVGOS reset*. It's gathering data now -- it's already resynced the clock. I'll know in another day if it really worked.

As you said, it was probably corrupted TVGOS data, so I knew I just needed to get it to do a hard reset ...

* To do "TVGOS reset": TV Guide -> Setup -> arrow down to "System Settings" but DON'T select -> enter code 6532 74147

Update 2 days later: it's baaaaack! Woohoo! It wiped out my channel number reassignments (long story) but I can redo those. And it kept all my scheduled recordings!

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post #850 of 859 Old 10-20-2011, 02:22 PM
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My unit seems to be unable to receive any guide data since last month when I noticed it. The EPG indicator is on while powered off, but little hard drive activity, no tv listings and the ads are the default Welcome to TV Guide ones. Wonder if they are finally switching off the feed. Is anybody else's still used and working?
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post #851 of 859 Old 10-20-2011, 07:01 PM
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It seems from earlier posts you are familiar with all the technical details of Pioneer TVGOS recorders, so I'll assume you already tried the various resets and whatnot that sometimes restore TVGOS after a random malfunction. If so, most likely your problem is the TVGOS signal has been dropped in your area. It vanished from off-air broadcasts when we made the switch to DTV, and has slowly been dumped by one cable system after another as they shift towards digital QAM. Its kind of a hassle for them to jump thru the hoops of analog>digital>analog TVGOS conversion and patching it back in to the host channels, and they have no real incentive to do it, so its been phased out in many areas.

You could put a call in to your cable customer service office to request they turn TVGOS back on, but the process of getting thru to someone who even knows what you're talking about is difficult. You might want to look at the AVS Panasonic TVGOS recorder threads for detailed info on how to speak to your cable reps on this topic. Most Pioneer TVGOS recorder owners gave up on their machines long ago due to breakdowns and other issues, but the Panasonic owners are like rabid dogs whose bone is being threatened: they really keep the pressure on to extend TVGOS service as long as possible. You want help with your TVGOS service, you need to talk to a Panasonic owner.

If it turns out the pilot signal is no longer available to you, its probably a good idea to deactivate the TVGOS feature and use your Pioneer under full manual timer control (to avoid the endless EPG alert on the front panel causing random operational problems). In case you haven't already bookmarked the procedure, here it is again (courtesy AVS member Sean Nelson):

*************************

IF THE TVGOS SIGNAL HAS SIMPLY STOPPED IN YOUR BROADCAST AREA, AND YOUR PIONEER 531, 533 or 633 IS OTHERWISE WORKING NORMALLY:

All you need to do is tell the recorder that TVGOS service is gone and it needs to stop trying to use it. This can be a little tricky, because the recorder is engineered around the fundamental assumption that it will always have a TVGOS signal to rely on. This is the number one problem with the 531-533-633: they cannot let go of TVGOS, even when you turn it "off" you have to remain vigilant against the machine over-ruling your instructions and reactivating TVGOS on its own, usually in the middle of the night while you're asleep. When the Pioneer TVGOS cannot find a pilot signal, it grinds the hard drive relentlessly until it corrupts itself and becomes one huge headache to deal with. This is what you must do to prevent that:

1. Do a hard reset of the recorder: turn it on, wait for the "Please Wait" alert to go away, then hold down the "STOP REC" button on the front panel. While holding down "STOP REC", press the "STANDBY/POWER" button and hold both buttons until the recorder shuts down. If it does not restart by itself, wait five minutes and then turn it back on.

2. The recorder will have cleared all of its settings and should present you with the initial settings menu for the clock, etc. If it does not, press the Home Menu key on the remote and select the onscreen Initial Setup button. Enter all the setup information (date, time, etc.). At some point in this process the setup screen for TVGOS should appear- if it does not, press the Home button on your remote and select the onscreen TV Guide button. With the opening TV Guide Setup screen showing (the one with a picture of a television on the left), press the remote's enter button to begin setup.

6. Choose "Canada" as your location.

7. Set Postal Code to A 0(Zero) A 0(Zero) A 0(Zero)

8. Choose Cable

9. Choose No Cable Box

10. Confirm Settings OK and exit.

11. Immediately go back into TVGOS Setup and repeat steps 6 thru 10 a second time, to be sure your choices "stick".

12. Press the Timer Rec button on the remote and set a recurring manual timer entry: you MUST do this to lock TVGOS in manual mode, otherwise it will begin searching for a pilot signal the moment you power off the recorder. If you have a show you normally record every day or every week anyway, thats ideal, if you don't normally do this then just set a random odd time like 5:00am to 5:15am every Wednesday. Then just delete this "dummy" recording every week afterwards.

BTW, the manual timer setting screen takes some getting used to if you have previously only used the point-and-click automatic TVGOS timer grid. Some of the data entry fields (date, time, channel) are only set using the numeric keypad on the remote. Other fields (AM/PM, input, recording speed, once-daily-weekly) are set using the left and right arrow keys. You navigate up and down the entry fields using the up and down arrow keys.

13. You're done! TVGOS will stop spinning the HDD and stop searching for the now-gone TVGOS signal. When you want to set a timer recording, pressing the "timer rec" button will bring you directly into the manual timer screen. When you turn the recorder off, it will turn completely off. There should be no more alert displays due to TVGOS.
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post #852 of 859 Old 10-21-2011, 09:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Electric T-Bird View Post

Wonder if they are finally switching off the feed. Is anybody else's still used and working?

Our Pioneer 533 and 633 machines are still getting EPG data just up the road from you here in Vancouver.
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post #853 of 859 Old 02-27-2012, 05:56 PM
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I have a 531 connected to analogue cable, no digital box, with a pass-thru to a TV. I have lost channels 19,21-29 on the 531's tuner but not on the TV tuner. When I try to tune the 531 channel, the on screen display and front panel say 21 but the image has clearly not changed and remains the previously tuned channel. I have a DVR-650 elsewhere with a similar set up that recieves those channels perfectly. From what I can tell, my cable is buried, and all cable in the house originates from the same area of the basement. I am with Rogers cable in Ontario. I recently lost the TGOS/EPG in October 2011 and wondered if this latest development is a result of conversion to digital. Any suggestions?
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post #854 of 859 Old 02-27-2012, 07:42 PM
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Originally Posted by dvdiva View Post

I have a 531 connected to analogue cable, no digital box, with a pass-thru to a TV. I have lost channels 19,21-29 on the 531's tuner but not on the TV tuner. When I try to tune the 531 channel, the on screen display and front panel say 21 but the image has clearly not changed and remains the previously tuned channel. I have a DVR-650 elsewhere with a similar set up that recieves those channels perfectly. From what I can tell, my cable is buried, and all cable in the house originates from the same area of the basement. I am with Rogers cable in Ontario. I recently lost the TGOS/EPG in October 2011 and wondered if this latest development is a result of conversion to digital. Any suggestions?

Have you tried turning off the EPG on your 531? I had something like that on my unit and have noticed since turning off the EPG, the tuner works fine through that channel range.
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post #855 of 859 Old 02-28-2012, 04:44 PM
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I should have mentioned that I did turn off the EPG after it was lost.
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post #856 of 859 Old 02-28-2012, 07:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdiva View Post

I have a 531 connected to analogue cable, no digital box, with a pass-thru to a TV. I have lost channels 19,21-29 on the 531's tuner but not on the TV tuner.

I'm in Vancouver BC and we're still receiving the EPG without any issues.

My wife's 533 sometimes goes a little off kilter and does things like refusing to tune particular channels. So far I've always been able to fix it by simply unplugging it for 30 seconds or so and then plugging it back in and re-running the initial channel scan (and possibly the EPG setup as well - I can't remember if I had to do that too the last time I did a hard reset).
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post #857 of 859 Old 02-29-2012, 11:40 AM
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Crossposting from the Magnavox HDD/DVDR thread ...

I have been heavily using a Pioneer DVR-533H for years. I was very active in this thread starting in 2005 when I bought the thing and encountered some EPG problems. Over a couple months we documented lots of quirks there, and the machine has more or less survived until now. A couple times over the years it corrupted itself and I had to reset it, and a couple years ago I had to beat on the cable company (and various local broadcasters) to continue the EPG service. But the EPG continued to rot, and there was a start time bug in the Pioneer, and so lately I've been recording everything with manual timers anyway.

A couple months ago the timer control screens got corrupted and no amount of reset would fix it. I literally can't see the schedule, much less edit them or create new timers. So since then I've been running on just recording via the existing timers, which is fine since I mostly just record big blocks of time and then edit down to the segments I want (long story). Well, yesterday I found that one of the shows had moved out of the timer blocks, and now I'm really stuck. Looks like the end of the road for the Pioneer after 7 good years.

I immediately came here to AVSF, learned about the HDD/DVDR situation, and now have a Magnavox 513 on order! It doesn't have EPG but I don't care much about that. It is heavily documented here, so I think I'll be in good hands. But warning, it has been discontinued and retailers are running out of stock on it! Over in that thread they are freaking out about buying up the last units.

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post #858 of 859 Old 03-30-2013, 08:25 PM
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Finally TVGOS ended in my area.
I got many (5) years good use from my pioneer H531s up in Canada, Vancouver region. Shaw or who was providing it, I don't know but now, "no listing".
(:
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post #859 of 859 Old 04-07-2013, 11:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by anyold View Post

Finally TVGOS ended in my area.
Interesting to hear. I too live in Vancouver and we've had a Pioneer 533 running since 2005 until just a few months ago, when I got a Shaw PVR for my wife. She found the PVR guide more useful than the one on the Pioneer, plus the fact that it can record all of the digital channels directly - so the 533 went into storage. I guess that happened at exactly the right time.

Back in the old days we both used to hoard a lot of programs to DVDs, but over time it's become obvious that we never go back and watch them. There are only a few shows from the past that we watch again, and we like those enough to have bought the DVDs of them. So I no longer really value the ability to burn things to DVD the way I used to.

I also have an HDTV tuner card for my PC. It can receive over-the-air broadcasts from our six local stations and that lets me keep a few snippets here and there of some shows that I deem interesting or funny enough to hold on to. I now tend to prefer keeping just "moments" of shows that I really liked rather than the entire episode - I find I'm a LOT more likely to go back and revisit them because (a) they're "best of" moments that are more rewarding to watch and (b) there's a lot less investment of time required to view them.

Between my wife and I we still have a Pioneer 650 and a 640 connected and running, but I honestly can't remember the last show I recorded on it.
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