Pioneer Disappearing EPG - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 859 Old 10-28-2005, 11:07 AM
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After 4 weeks, my EPG data finally came back last night.

When the unit is turned off it usually says the time and "EPG" in the display, indicating that it is receiving (or lacking/needing) EPG data. Mine ALWAYS says "EPG" in the display, and I mean always. Someone on this forum had mentioned that if you have this thread's problem, if you see the EPG has disappeared from the display, you can turn the unit on to find that the EPG data is back. I noticed last night that the "EPG" display was gone (clock only) and turned it on and -lo!- I had my listings back.

And it wasn't just the 1-2-8 day listings -- it was 5 of the 8 days (i.e. missing 3 days), so it had been receiving and retaining data, just not displaying it. I think that's been well established by all of us in this thread. The data is coming in, but the unit is confused and won't display it.

I hadn't done much of anything, except:
A) after a couple weeks I tried reseting the ZIP/input information, that was a week ago
B) I tweaked my OTA antenna to maximize the picture quality of the PBS station that carries this data in my market (WGTV, Ch 8 Atlanta) -- that was about 5 days ago. The picture has a slight amount of static but I've seen the EPG work with worse signals so I don't think the signal strength is the problem, although maybe it's aggravating it (lots of dropped packets).

Which leads to the really interesting thing. Despite the fact that I had 5 days of listings, the debug screens looked as if I had just done a complete reset, with most counters (packets, channel, etc.) at zero, counters that I would expect to be non-zero since it had listings data. I just don't get it.

And it's back to displaying "EPG" all the time on the front, but I still have listings. The pendulum swings ...

Anyway, here's to waiting for the next glitch *clink*

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post #92 of 859 Old 10-31-2005, 04:49 AM
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[... finishes glass, orders another]

THREE DAYS. That's how long I had listings before they disappeared again -- this morning they were gone.

OK, having spent so much time scanning the debug screens, I think I'm now recognizing what's different when it's in this failed mode. Here's what I notice this morning:

Screen name Data
System - Statistics Host Chan blank again
Memory - Channels Available [channels] = 0 (was 300+ before)
Memory - Channels On or Auto [channels] = 9 (same as before, my 9 OTA channels)
Memory - Channels Rebuild Error = 4294967295 (**** SEE BELOW ****)
VBI Data - Packet Still shows packets coming in just before I turned it on
VBI Data - VBIDL no successful starts today (LstSuStrt) despite attempt
VBI Data - Packetmatch 2 Pass = 0x3A (unremarkable value)
VBI Data - Packetmatch 2 Fail = 0x2994 (far higher than before)
Reset Info - Error Tracker *NO* abnormal errors to note

That rebuild error is new. And that number ... is a 32 bit overflow! 2^32-1 = 4294967295. Now maybe that's just their code for a certain type of error (e.g. 0xFFFFFFFF) but I always look for those kind of numbers (1024, 1045509, etc.) when debugging things like this because it could indicate an overflow or similar problem.

I believe I've seen that rebuild error every time the unit has failed in the past (and maybe have noted it in previous posts) but this time I'm going to harp on it since it seems to be an obvious flag.

The packetmatch fail counter is interesting too. When it's working, that number is non-zero but not that high, if I remember correctly. Of course, it's a chicken or egg problem: is the unit in the woods because of a sudden rash of failed packetmatches, or is that counter elevated because the unit's off in the woods?

The machine definitely got the Tuesday data (today is Monday, so Tuesday would by day #2 in the 1-2-8 scheme) because two regular show recordings that were listed as ????? last night (i.e. grey) are now resolving to their actual upcoming times (i.e. green). And I have confidence that it will record them, since it's been doing that throughout this all. I just can't see the listings and I can't program new recordings from those listings.

Aaaanyway, I seem to have a dialog going with Pioneer support now (though they could just be humoring me), so I've documented today's failure here and will refer to it the next time I talk to them. [thanks AVSforums for the excellent resource!]

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post #93 of 859 Old 10-31-2005, 06:13 AM
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One more thing I noticed: on the VBI Data - Packet screen, most of the counters are continuing to increment slowly (while the unit is off, thus in EPG data gather mode, I guess) except for the "OtherB" counter which is increasing rapidly. It collects about 1800 packets per hour, or one every 2 seconds. I don't know if it was doing that before (when the unit was working fine) or if that's normal but I thought it was notable. It is far and away the highest packet count on that screen. Also the "version" associated with that counter is 255 -- another funny number (2^8-1 in this case) that could flag a problem.

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post #94 of 859 Old 10-31-2005, 06:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC47 View Post

And that number ... is a 32 bit overflow! 2^32-1 = 4294967295.

It could also be interpreted as the value "negative 1" in two's complement format. In my long coding experience it's not all that uncommon to see -1 used as an error indication.
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post #95 of 859 Old 10-31-2005, 12:55 PM
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Yep, you're right, I forgot about two's complement. It could be a "special error" flag -- remember that the number itself is an error flag field, so I would expect various positive values to represent various errors. Anyway, we're all in the dark ...

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post #96 of 859 Old 11-01-2005, 03:37 PM
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My 531 has been in rebuild mode for about 3 days now... the longest one yet. It will turn up search results, so there's some data in there- but of course nothing shows up in the listings screen.

I sure hope Pioneer comes through with a bug fix... it's not as though these are some $50 throw-away DVD players.
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post #97 of 859 Old 11-01-2005, 07:49 PM - Thread Starter
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My 531 has gotten more reliable, but the EPG still flakes out occasionally. I lost the EPG data when the daylight savings time change occurred, but it was back - full 8 days - 24 hours later.

I was losing the EPG every other day, so losing it only about once a week now is an improvement. It seems like Gemstar must have done some software upgrade that improved things, but didn't totally solve the problem.

Having the ability to search to find listings is a workaround when the EPG flakes out.

If the EPG worked consistently, it would be a great tool, despite the slow paging of the guide and the channels being out of sequence with the cable service.

At least the channel customizations don't get lost when the EPG disappears. I have my most viewed channels all together on the 1st page of the EPG, which minimizes the paging required.
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post #98 of 859 Old 11-01-2005, 07:53 PM
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Oh Pioneer 633, you were doing so well... Why did you have a relapse and lose your EPG data again?

2 days short of 1 month since the last time, my Pioneer has lost its EPG again. Maybe it was time daylight savings change, maybe it was the use of L1 for recording. Who knows? I just hope it comes back soon.
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post #99 of 859 Old 11-02-2005, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by neilck6678 View Post

Oh Pioneer 633, you were doing so well... Why did you have a relapse and lose your EPG data again?

2 days short of 1 month since the last time, my Pioneer has lost its EPG again. Maybe it was time daylight savings change, maybe it was the use of L1 for recording. Who knows? I just hope it comes back soon.

It came overnight, but had lost all of its listings. I just have today and tommorrow. I think maybe it doesn't understand daylight savings.

Interesting enough, my cable service provider decided to change around their channel listings, 25 became 43, etc. Going to system settings, change channel lineup did nothing, so I manually fixed them in the Channel Display.
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post #100 of 859 Old 11-24-2005, 02:28 PM
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Anybody got a bug fix ? I have the exact same problem.....
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post #101 of 859 Old 11-26-2005, 09:41 PM
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I went two weeks, my longest yet, went down today. I have all my programming in place so i'm going to ride this out with out a reset to see if it comes back.

Do the listings come back ever without a reset? Please give me your timeframe if you've tried this.

I have noticed that my listings disapear with manually turning off the machine, rather than it shuting down after a timer recording. I was consciously not shuting it off, unless the day was over. Today my son turned it off at 7pm, I turned it back on, and bingo, the listings were gone. I had never gone over 8 days until today.

I sent Pioneer a letter and all documentation from this shread, they didn't even reply by email or call me.

I don't think they care. Do you know if anyone with a 633 doesn't experience this disapearing EPG.


LDK
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post #102 of 859 Old 11-26-2005, 11:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WardCleaver View Post

My 531 has been in rebuild mode for about 3 days now... the longest one yet. It will turn up search results, so there's some data in there- but of course nothing shows up in the listings screen.

My 531 was giving me the rebuilding channel lineup message starting on 11/13/05. During the next week I tried reselecting my area code/ provider by trying each of the two providers shown. Didn't help. I finally on 11/22/05 used the service code listed in
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=602644
and it started repopulating the listings the next day. You will have to wait a few minutes to select your area code and provider. I was surprised to find that my previously manually reordered channel numbers (my favorites at the top) were remembered. I did call my provider who said they hadn't changed anything in the TVGOS signal. But he did mention that they were in the process of adding a channel. So I don't know if that had anything to do with my problem. I should mention that just a few days before 11/13/05 I had rearranged the channels to group my favorites at the top of the list and I PROBABLY manually changed one of the channels instead of changing the position of the channel in the list. For instance, telling TVGOS that my HBO was on channel 6 instead of 501. So, I don't know if that would have confused the machine on the channel lineup. So far as of 11/26/05 I have all but days 3, 4, and 5 in the listings.
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post #103 of 859 Old 11-27-2005, 11:51 AM
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Surprisingly, the 24 hour rebuuilding message was gone in the AM, and all was normal, the listings for all 8 eight days were back. My area only has one cable provider, rogers.

LDK
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post #104 of 859 Old 12-04-2005, 07:46 PM
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Hey kids, I've got some good news on this problem.

Short story: do a TVGOS reset with the code below.

Long story:

I'd been continuing to have this problem -- the listings would work for a few days at a time, but most of the time they weren't working. The data was still visible by searching for particular programs, and the regular recordings were still happening, so the data was coming in, it just wasn't displaying the listings. And thus I couldn't easily program new recordings, and certainly couldn't just browse the EPG listings.

The Pioneer guy kept calling me back once a week or so to see if my problem was still existing, and I assured him that it was, so he was leaning towards doing an RMA on my unit. I don't want the hassle of losing the use of the unit, and having to dump the recorded shows from HDD to DVD. Further, I think the problem probably has something to do with my particular environment (OTA lineup, VBI signal quality, disc use) that is causing the machine to go nuts, so they probably would have found no problem in the factory anyway. So I rejected the RMA idea.

Two weeks ago he called me with a procedure to try. After you enter the debug code and get to the first grey screen, you then type in 653274147 which is some sort of TVGOS reset; after it comes back you repeat the TVGOS setup (zip code and RF input).

It seems to reset just the listings data -- the channel lineup and recording settings persisted. About 2 days later I had listings building up again. Of course, the reset had indeed wiped out the 8-day accumulation of listings and so it only had the 1-2-8 days at first, but over the next week it all built up again. As long as you do this reset when you're in a period of 2 days of no programmed recordings, I don't think you'll miss any recordings.

It's now two weeks later, and the unit is still working just fine. I haven't lost the listings once since the reset, which is the longest I've gone since my first incident in September. Maybe it'll screw up again soon, but now I think we've got a procedure to at least get it back in a couple days. In my case, I just do the reset over the weekend when I have no regular recordings.

Looking at the debug screens, the only odd thing I see is that lots of the packet counters are sometimes zero'd out, including the Pass / Fail counters and lots of the VBIstats numbers, which are usually very much non-zero. I do see the download history and everything else looks normal, just lots of counters remain at zero.

If it hits again, I'll try this TVGOS reset and report here on the results. For now I'm happy with the unit again.

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post #105 of 859 Old 12-05-2005, 05:20 AM
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I would think a hard reset back to factory settings would accomplish the same thing, except that you would lose any TVGOS settings. Why didn't you try that first?

RG
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post #106 of 859 Old 12-07-2005, 07:37 PM
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I gave up on resets. I have all my programs set to record after the unit lasted 8 days ( a miracle in itself). I lose the guide now about twice a week, and it usually lasts 1 day and there back. Even when down, I can still program with search guide. I am pretty happy now that I stop resetting every satuarday.


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post #107 of 859 Old 12-08-2005, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LDK View Post

I gave up on resets. I have all my programs set to record after the unit lasted 8 days ( a miracle in itself). I lose the guide now about twice a week, and it usually lasts 1 day and there back. Even when down, I can still program with search guide. I am pretty happy now that I stop resetting every satuarday.LDK

That whole "losing EPG" thing seems to happen mostly on the Pioneers. I wonder why.

RG
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post #108 of 859 Old 12-08-2005, 06:18 AM - Thread Starter
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My cable system recently added some channels. On the day the new channels were to be effective, I got the rebuilding message on my 531. I expected this, due to the additional channels.

I continue to lose my guide 1-2 times a week, with it coming back on it's own without any action needed by me.

I guess I'm glad Pioneer builds electronic entertainment equipment instead of cars. If my car failed to start once a week, I'd probably be out of a job.

I have learned to take a few minutes to go through the guide while it is available and mark any programs I might be interested in recording in the next few days. That way, when the guide flakes out I still have the good stuff marked, and it continues to record - whether the guide is available or not.
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post #109 of 859 Old 12-08-2005, 10:17 PM
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You should be aware that it is possible for the guide on the Pioneers to loose data in such a way that shows scheduled via the guide will not record. See this post for details.

For critical shows that you absolutely must record, it's safer to schedule them manually (by pressing the "Timer Rec" button on the remote).
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post #110 of 859 Old 12-09-2005, 06:11 AM
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Hi all, New here. First I'd like to thank all of you for your valuable info. I'll tell my expierence with my Pioneer 633 h-s. I never got the TVGOS to download at all. It just kept cycling through all the channels. I went out and bought an OTA antenna, no luck. Funny thing happened I set it up again and the cycling stopped, still no data but at least I can set the timer manually. Thanks again for all your help, Dennis
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post #111 of 859 Old 12-09-2005, 06:27 AM
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Hi all. I live in New York City and recently bought a Pioneer 633H-S and use Time Warner Cable. I never got any TVGOS info at all. I sent an email to tech support at TW and got a reply that said they don't support TVGOS. When I spoke to Pioneer they said they were working with TW to resolve the issue so I just assume it won't be working for awhile. Till then its manual timer I guess. Thank's for all your help, Dennis
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post #112 of 859 Old 12-09-2005, 07:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson View Post


For critical shows that you absolutely must record, it's safer to schedule them manually (by pressing the "Timer Rec" button on the remote).

I don't think there is such a thing as a "critical show".

After all, it's just TV.

THanks for the tip, though.
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post #113 of 859 Old 12-25-2005, 09:05 PM
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Just checking in to report on my experience, and bump this thread up in case some newbies are running into this problem.

Since doing the "TVGOS reset" I described above on Nov. 21st, my unit has performed flawlessly. Previously the longest it had run was 4 weeks; right now I'm at 6 weeks straight.

At the same time that I did the reset, I improved my antenna setup to improve reception of the EPG data carrier in my market (WGTV / Ch. 8 / Atlanta). Obviously I don't know which of these two steps fixed it, but the problems have definitely not recurred. So my theory is that IF the EPG VBI data signal is weak, and lots of packets are getting missed or corrupted, then the unit sometimes gets itself into a screwed up state.

It's important to understand that I certainly expect a weak signal to sometimes cause gaps in the EPG data, but NOT to cause the unit to go belly-up as described in this thread (no EPG display at all). Any transmission protocol can be expected to have some sort of error checking built in to protect against corrupted data. I think that somewhere in Pioneer or TV Guide's code is a bug that causes it to get upset when a lot of EPG packets (or certain important packets) are missing or corrupted; perhaps the error checking isn't working right.

So while I still hope for some sort of software upgrade to fix this, for now it's all working for me.

If I ever see this problem again, I'll be back!

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post #114 of 859 Old 12-25-2005, 09:16 PM
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I lost my TVGuide information 2+ weeks ago. I've gone through multiple resets, both TVGuide and the whole Pioneer unit (DVR-633H-S). I'm on Comcast in Edmonds, WA. Despite Comcast's assurance that they are sending the signal properly, I have my doubts. They do admit to having an outage on Dec. 6 when they switched some equipment or software, but they claim that was short and fully recovered. The DVR does not have the continuous disk activity any more. Can anyone tell me if this is normal if there's no TVGuide signal, or is this more likely a problem with the DVR? I've contacted Pioneer, and while they've tried to be helpful, we haven't been into any debugging, only reset and wait.
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post #115 of 859 Old 12-25-2005, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC47 View Post

Just checking in to report on my experience, and bump this thread up in case some newbies are running into this problem. Since doing the "TVGOS reset" I described above on Nov. 21st, my unit has performed flawlessly. Previously the longest it had run was 4 weeks; right now I'm at 6 weeks straight.

Thanks for the follow-up post, Chris. I think I might try this on my 633 and see how it goes.
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post #116 of 859 Old 12-25-2005, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisC47 View Post

Since doing the "TVGOS reset" I described above on Nov. 21st, my unit has performed flawlessly. Previously the longest it had run was 4 weeks; right now I'm at 6 weeks straight.

Chris, the reset procedure has not solved the problem for me. I used the procedure on 11/22/05 and again on 12/10/05. After both resets the data did start to return once the machine got around to asking me to select the provider for my zip code. I'm about the do the reset prodedure for the third time. Sometime since 10pm saturday night and sunday evening my DVR-531 is giving me the "Guide is rebuilding your channel list" and I had not made any setup changes this week. I did put the machine on a UPS a week ago. So apparently power fluctuations is not the problem.

There might be a pattern here though. Each of the last three problem events happened on a Saturday or Sunday.

Gary
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post #117 of 859 Old 12-26-2005, 02:43 AM
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I had the problems all of the time, losing data every 2 or 3 days when I had the unit in the beginning. I did a full reset, then changed the clock from automatic to manual and put it about 2 minutes ahead (hate missing the beginning of a recording) - I always add 10 mins extra to every programmed recording.

Since the manual clock I have zero problems - even when cable went down for 6 hours (overlapping at least 2 EPG time blocks at 10am and 2pm) things restored just nicely.

I know it's claimed clock has nothing to do with it, but that's the only thing I've changed right before the "working" reset was done. I believe the auto clock gets its setting using teletext (have to put in a channel n° to get it from) and this causes problems.

Yves
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post #118 of 859 Old 12-26-2005, 08:32 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been without EPG data for about a week. No hard disc activity during this time.

I re-contacted Pioneer, even though they were absolutely clueless the 1st time I contacted them.

I could always search for programs, so the guide information does seem to be buried somewhere in the unit. It continued to record programs that I had setup for weekly programming.

I finally did a reset this morning. I'll leave it off for a full 24 hours to see if anything comes back.

Pioneer really screwed these units up with this sloppy EPG implementation. Aside from this continual problem, the recorder has exceeded my expectations.

Sure would be nice to get some sort of a firmware upgrade!!!
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post #119 of 859 Old 12-26-2005, 09:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yves Smolders View Post

I had the problems all of the time, losing data every 2 or 3 days when I had the unit in the beginning. I did a full reset, then changed the clock from automatic to manual and put it about 2 minutes ahead (hate missing the beginning of a recording)

My cable provider (local not national provider) does not support the auto time signal. So that is not part of my problem. Thank goodness my 531 keeps very good time.
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post #120 of 859 Old 12-28-2005, 12:09 AM
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Drats. My cable provider only carries one PBS channel. I have to watch to see if it goes off the air late on the weekends. I am guilty of rearranging the channel order though...and I probably did that just before the 1st time I got the dreaded "rebuilding" message. I might have to do the hard reset (so far I've used the hack codes to force a reset) so that the channels go back to the default positions. It's possible I may have reassigned one of the channels to a different channel rather than just to a different position in the line up. I didn't really know what i was doing when I started messing with the order of the channels the first time.

Gary
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