Tivax STB-T9 EPG - Page 5 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #121 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 09:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aethyrmaster View Post

What type of cable are you using to interface between the boxes? I was thinking of making one (I have all the spare parts), but I didn't know what I should use for the pinout.

You would just need two female 9-pin sub-d connectors and a 3-wire cable. The pinout is:

2 --> 3
3 --> 2
5 --> 5
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post #122 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 11:40 AM
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a.k.a. null modem cable. They used to be widely available.
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post #123 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 11:46 AM
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I picked 2 parameters to play with.

Index 17, AspectRatio
Index 412, BlackBarDetect

The AspectRatio does not change until I flip the channel. But it does change.

BlackBarDetect does not do anything. Does anyone had any ideas what it does?

BTW, I think just the ability to send remote codes using serial link would open a lot of possibilities.
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post #124 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 12:50 PM
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Does this one increase/decrease as you change the volume with the remote?
- You know run the command then increase volume and rerun the command -
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMon>view 0 1 View Post

Index..Name....Default..Minimum..Maximum..User/System
1.......Volume.....32..........0............63..........User ......

I wonder if it is also sending the remote code x-times to increase/decrease the volume?

That or can you change the Minimum and Maximum volume?

Yes - I agree the ability to send remote codes using the serial link could open the possibility of using some scripting like AutoIt or VB to write a script to access the box and record a program on your computer Automated or you could use your computer to access the box becoming the event timer and program your VCR to record in sync like you would with the DTVPal.
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post #125 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 01:05 PM
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One thing about the view output is that it does not seem to contain the "current" value. The Default value does not change.
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post #126 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 01:20 PM
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After all you said when you power cycle nothing gets saved so nothing is getting saved running these set commands to change the view command.

Were you able to control to volume however?
How about exceeding the maximum of 63?

So far it looks like unless a way is found out to save the set command to memory that it is only going to affect the converter until a power cycle.

It looks like for now this is good for sending send remote codes for now but that could change.

Thanks pixelation
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post #127 of 256 Old 05-27-2008, 04:26 PM
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I'm glad everyone is having fun hacking the firmware via the RS-232 port, but back to basics for a bit...

Though this box is undoubtedly worth the 18 bucks PP I paid for it (after coupon), like almost every electronic item from China (where apparently engineering and attention to detail don't seem to be a priority), I've observed a number of flaws in the design:

1) The aforementioned zoom issue is a little more complicated than previously stated. If "zoom" is selected on an HD subchannel, it does the right thing. If "zoom" is selected on an SD subchannel, it either: a) has no effect at all if the SD mode is 528x480i or 640x480i (which is the desired effect and would be wonderful if not for b), or b) stretches the picture horizontally (off the screen at the ends) but not vertically (a purely nonsensical effect) if the SD mode is 704x480i; SD subchannels in 704x480i seem to far outnumber the others, but here in Philly there are some of both (for example 10.2, WCAU's weather channel, is unmodified by "zoom", as are all the WPPX/ION 61.*).

2) On my unit, at least, the NTSC video output leans toward the left at the upper right hand side. Normally, you wouldn't notice this on an SD channel, or on an HD channel showing widescreen content. But on an HD channel showing 4:3 content (or on telecasts with some vertical object or a vertical edge on the right side of the screen) the lean very obvious, as it is when displaying the menu; it's as if the upper NTSC scan lines are shorter and more compressed than the lower ones - some kind of analog distortion. No, it's not my set... I've tried it on several. May be a sample defect, or may be intrinsic to the design.

3) One OTA channel in the NJ/Philly area scans in with the wrong subchannel number (WMCN-DT, which PSIPs as 44.1 on any normal DTV, comes up as 44.3 on the Tivax, with no 44.1 or 44.2 at all.) Fortunately, this station shows automobile advertisements all day long, and is virtually worthless anyway.

4) After a power failure, the unit DOES remember what channel it was last tuned to. BUT, if it was in the "standby" state prior to the power failure, it comes up in "on" state after power is restored. That is, it can remember the last channel, but not whether it was on or off!

5) The "standby" and "mute" buttons on the remote are positionally reversed compared to virtually every other (i.e. Japanese) remote. Power is almost always the upper right button on a remote, and if colored, almost always (for whatever reason) green; on the Tivax green-top-right is mute. Bizarre.

6) The overscan in all aspect ratios is excessive, chopping off useful portions of program material, like the tops of heads and scrolling news at the bottom of 4:3 and zoomed 16:9 pictures- much more so than any typical NTSC tuner.

7) This unit's tolerance of varying multipath (i.e. trees blowing in the wind) is rather mediocre. I think a lot of folks who buy CECBs are going to be pulling their hair out because of this issue, which is by far the most significant problem with ATSC reception in the suburbs.

So like most Chinese stuff, decently manufactured but poorly engineered and/or tested. My $.02.
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post #128 of 256 Old 05-28-2008, 02:46 PM
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I'm glad to hear someone talk about overscan. I personally detest it. It's one of the reasons I didn't like the Digital Stream box as well as my Tivax LX1000. They both cut off a fair part of the screen. I have my TV set for basically 0% overscan and don't like a tuner cutting off things. As far as overscan my Zenith CECB cuts off the least. Still a little bit but the best I've seen.
I setup the DS box for my inlaws who had a el cheapo Funia tube set which already had a ton of overscan. After hooking up the DS box they couldn't even see the station bugs, it was off the viewable part of the screen. I guess overscan of the converter boxes add to the overscan of your TV.
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post #129 of 256 Old 05-29-2008, 05:22 PM - Thread Starter
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So my Tivax arrived today - Will begin testing probably tomorrow, maybe tonight.

Is there a way to manually tune to RF stations the way the DTX9900 does? I didn't find one.
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post #130 of 256 Old 05-30-2008, 11:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aethyrmaster View Post

So my Tivax arrived today - Will begin testing probably tomorrow, maybe tonight.

Is there a way to manually tune to RF stations the way the DTX9900 does? I didn't find one.


How to tune the Tivax STB-T9 manually:

Find the "REAL" channel number from someplace like tvfool.com. NOT the virtual channel number.

Punch in the "REAL" channel number in the keypad on the remote.

That's all you have to do!

P.S. Let us know how the DTX9900 compares to the Tivax on RF sensitivity.
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post #131 of 256 Old 05-30-2008, 12:05 PM - Thread Starter
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As for sensitivity, I think it's noticeably higher. There is a channel on RF 32 in my area, WQPX-64 (actual 64; RF 32). I can get 2-4 % on the DTX9900 when looking at it with my current antenna, but it's rare (bigger and higher would get it to me I'm sure).

The autoscan skips it on the DTX9900 because of how weak it is, but the auto on the Tivax sits on it and chews and chews for 10~15 seconds before giving up - it's trying like all get out to pull a good lock, but just can't do it to it's liking.
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post #132 of 256 Old 05-30-2008, 07:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by camteax View Post

How to tune the Tivax STB-T9 manually:

Find the "REAL" channel number from someplace like tvfool.com. NOT the virtual channel number.

Punch in the "REAL" channel number in the keypad on the remote.

That's all you have to do!

That's all you have to do now, but what happens if it's after 2009-02-17 and another channel, already scanned and known to your STB-T9, uses that same channel number as its virtual channel?  (There will be many cases like that after the transition.)  Your instructions will tune it to the virtual channel of the known station.

The three boxes I've hand my hands on all have a way to get to a given RF channel even if some other station is using it as its virtual channel.
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post #133 of 256 Old 05-31-2008, 06:44 AM
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Has anyone figured out yet if the serial port can be used to change channels (in my case, for use with a Series2 TiVo)? If I can identify a converter box that can communicate via serial port, then I won't have to mess around with the IR blasters.
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post #134 of 256 Old 05-31-2008, 02:16 PM
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You can change channels using serial port (see my post 1 page back) but the format is custom to the Tivax. You will need some sort of a PC to translate the commands from TiVo (usually for satelite or cable box) into Tivax's remote command.

If you use a PC to translate the commands, you can even get the zoom modes the way you wanted, customized by channel, even by time.

BTW, I poked around changing tvAspectRatio (set 18 0/1) but did not found anything. I don't think that parameter is being used. It would be cool if I can fix the poor aspect ratio defaults.
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post #135 of 256 Old 05-31-2008, 03:13 PM
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Thanks pixelation! I ordered the TIVAX STB-T9 today from Digitalstar.com. I can't wait to see if I can make the serial port work with my over the air TiVo Series2. Of course I could always use the (old fashioned) IR blasters, but that wouldn't be fun (or reliable, in my experience).
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post #136 of 256 Old 05-31-2008, 04:24 PM
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How does the quality of the STB-T9 EPG compare to these other Tivax models?

Broadcast TV - a vital national public resource

Just say "no" to a never-ending subscription TV bill that increases faster than the rate of inflation.
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post #137 of 256 Old 05-31-2008, 05:33 PM
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Hah, I've just been wondering that myself Otaman. In fact, that's why I accessed this thread.

From jjeff's review of the LX comparing reception to the Zenith, it appears the LX is no better at reception than the T1, which I compare to the Insignia. In both cases, there is no comparison. The Tivax's are deaf and dumb compared to the LG boxes. They're just not in the same league. I'm figuring the T1 just about has to be a 4th generation tuner... at best.
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post #138 of 256 Old 06-02-2008, 07:15 AM
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Have had 2 tivax cecb's installed for 2 weeks and thought I would let you know my experiences.

I have a OLD rooftop antenna, and no rotor, needs replacing.

Inside house is a old radio shack amplifier leads to a 4 way coax splitter.

Living room: olevia 32 atsc hdtv. also dell vostro 400 with hauppauge hvr-1600 tuner card as homebrew dvr.

Front room: tivax cecb feeding through a vhs vcr to a old rca 19" analog tv, all connections composite via coax.

Bed room: tivax cecb feeding through a vhs vcr to a sharp 32" analog tv, all connections composite via coax.

Situation before purchase of first hdtv device (the olevia) we are 60+ miles from all station towers and we only had good reception on 3 of 7 analog channels.

With olevia hdtv and same antenna and amplifier we now get all 7 stations with better quality and we also recieve 6 new side channels so great so far.

Dell homebrew dvr has been a disapointment, however as the hauppauge hvr-1600 tuner card really can't pull in these distant hdtv channels depending on weather and season can only pick up 2 stations and 2 side channels reliably.

Very happy the performance of the tivax cecb units they pull in all the channels the olevia hdtv does and allow us to timeshift via the vhs tapes.

In future I would like to make improvements to my antenna and maybe a more sensitive pc tuner card for mt dvr project, but for now the tivax boxes serve us very well.
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post #139 of 256 Old 06-03-2008, 08:35 AM
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The Tivax box sounds more interesting than most of the others - heatsink, geeky rs-232, smart antenna, ez-update of channel list.
So I ordered one this morning from www.consumerelecgroup.com for $49 plus $6 shipping, less $40 coupon (just entered coupon info online). Their site has a video of this box, as well as the Artec. Wish it had s-video out! I couldn't find info on how far into the future the EPG goes. Can anyone report on that?
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post #140 of 256 Old 06-03-2008, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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The EPG only shows now/next onscreen, but you can scroll into the future using the arrow keys. It all depends on your stations, I've had anywhere from 6 to 14 hours on my Tivax.
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post #141 of 256 Old 06-03-2008, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aethyrmaster View Post

The EPG only shows now/next onscreen, but you can scroll into the future using the arrow keys. It all depends on your stations, I've had anywhere from 6 to 14 hours on my Tivax.

Just to clarify how EPG works: There are 2 possibilities, PSIP and TVGOS.

All the current boxes that implement EPG use PSIP, in which the future program information is broadcast by the individual stations as part of the PSIP portion of their digital signal (PSIP carries other non-video things like station name, virtual channel, captioning, time, etc.) For these boxes, how much, little, or accurate the info is depends on how much effort the station put into it; some stations have no info at all, or even incorrect info... blame the station.

At least one future box, the Dish/Slingmedia/Echostar TR-40 will receive special digital information from CBS stations called TVGOS (TV Guide On Screen) from Gemstar. This guide provides exactly 8 days worth of info for all stations in your market, the current day plus 7 days into the future. The info is as accurate as it is in the printed TV Guide, for what that's worth. The TVGOS more closely resembles a cable company or TIVO guide - i.e. it is a grid. Other boxes that are reporting support for a 7/8 day EPG probably also license the Gemstar TVGOS capability.
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post #142 of 256 Old 06-03-2008, 05:04 PM
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Nobody has said what type of EPG the TR-40 DTVPal will have, only that it has EPG up to 7 days. Early on, people assumed it would be TVGOS because CNET in reviewing the TR-50 mentioned TVGuide. But we don't know for sure yet, unless you have special connections.
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post #143 of 256 Old 06-03-2008, 05:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TalkingRat View Post

Nobody has said what type of EPG the TR-40 DTVPal will have, only that it has EPG up to 7 days. Early on, people assumed it would be TVGOS because CNET in reviewing the TR-50 mentioned TVGuide. But we don't know for sure yet, unless you have special connections.

No special connections... it just seems as if Gemstar has no competition in this arena - i.e. there is no other company providing an OTA EPG. There are internet-based EPGs (such as Titan TV), but that would require that a box have a network connection or wireless, not something allowed for CECBs.

There is also a rumor (and I admit, that's all that it is) that the TR-40 will "pass along" the digital TVGOS information in analog form (i.e. on a VBI line) so that existing analog TVGOS equipped TVs and recorders won't become obsolete overnight.

I agree we'll only know for sure in the next few weeks when the TR-40 DTVPal becomes available. What is clear is that the Tivax STB-T9 uses only the PSIP info and therefore it's guide info is at the mercy of the individual stations.
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post #144 of 256 Old 06-04-2008, 10:53 PM
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If you want a Tivax STB-T9 with analog pass-through, try the recently approved NTIA CECB Memorex MVCB1000. It is being offered on numerous websites, but is not yet in stock. ETA 2 weeks.
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post #145 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 12:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

the set modifies the values as seen with view. I don't think we have found a way to modify the options yet.

And you probably won't. My suspicion is that the config command dumps the configuration the program was compiled with and these cannot be set. They are informative, they tell you what flavor of the program you have (version + options = what you actually have).

These are probably equivalent to C language #defines or const. Thus, they probably equate to
#define SUPPORT_QAM 1
instead of
int SUPPORT_QAM=1
In the latter case, the value is stored in a variable in memory which you may be able to change in a number of ways. In the first, the constant is hard coded into the code wherever it is used and may also be used to exclude blocks of code from even being compiled. For QAM, for example the following blocks of code may never have been compiled:
- The frequency table for the QAM channels
- ZRmon commands related to QAM
- Menu options dealing with QAM
- Code to initialize QAM
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post #146 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 08:05 AM
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Just recieved two of these units and would like to pass on my impression and thoughts on this unit. Nice sturdy metal case and plenty of vent holes in the case, which it needs cause it does run warm to touch. On screen menu is straight forwards and not too cluttered. Remote is sturdy and does not seem flimsy or give the impression that it will be fragile. The volume and channel up and down buttons are small for my hands but may be the right size for others. The remote has good range and works correctly. Performace is not as good as other units I have tried which cost more but it is not the worst either. Tuner did pick up a few channels that other recievers missed so I would have to give it high marks. Auto scanning on average takes 5 minutes and it does so with two scans. I only have one complaint and that is the manual scan is wortless if you have a yagi uhf antenna with a rotor. There is no way to manually add channels with this unit and when you auto scan it erases previous scans with no way to keep the previous channels in memory. So if you live between two cities like I do you have to choose which stations in which city you want to see or have two antennas combined together and pointed in the right directions. Channel change is crisp and with the previous button you can jump back n forth between two channels. The remote does have the - dash button for direct entry on the remote and you have the power button and channel change buttons on the front if the remote is not handy. I do not have a smart antenna so I can not check the operation of that feature which might impact the manual scan. The Rs232 port is available for upgrades/hacks when and if availble. In closing I would recommend this unit to anyone for the money, a sturdy vented metal case instead of a plastic case,smart antenna control if you need it, decent peformance and if you are a geek like me a Rs232 port that is just waiting to be explored and exploited.
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post #147 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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I learned by accident that you can manual add channels. You can RF-tune if you just punch the number without a subchannel, and after it locks on, it'll show up in the add/remove channels list - just set it to viewable.

I did this with mine. Unplugged all antennas and autoscanned so that it found nothing. I then typed "4 9 OK." Plugged in an antenna, and poof! Up came WNEP-16, and it's two subchannels. For me (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PA reception), 16 digital is on RF 49. So, it definitely RF tuned, and picked it up.
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post #148 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 10:44 AM
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Thanks for the Memorex info. Can't find any specs on this online. And looks like it will be more than 3 times as expensive after the coupon ($30 or more versus $9). Of course that might be worth it for someone who wanted pass-thru. I haven't seen whether pass-thru has a "cost" - lower signal strength because of the internal switching.
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post #149 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 05:14 PM
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Was mentioned before but important and worth repeating:
leave the tivax volume at maximum and adjust your tv volume with the tv remote ONLY. If you are like me and use a vcr to timeshift the tivax lowers the volume level on your tape recording so low you have to crank your tv volume to hear the audio part of the tape and when you stop the tape - watch out cause it it really loud! leaving the tivax volume max works much better and also you don't get the annoying hum and static thru the audio.
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post #150 of 256 Old 06-05-2008, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aethyrmaster View Post

I learned by accident that you can manual add channels. You can RF-tune if you just punch the number without a subchannel, and after it locks on, it'll show up in the add/remove channels list - just set it to viewable.

I did this with mine. Unplugged all antennas and autoscanned so that it found nothing. I then typed "4 9 OK." Plugged in an antenna, and poof! Up came WNEP-16, and it's two subchannels. For me (Wilkes-Barre/Scranton PA reception), 16 digital is on RF 49. So, it definitely RF tuned, and picked it up.

That method is fine for the next eight months and change, but it won't work if the RF channel of the station you want to add is the same as the virtual channel of a station already in memory.  There will be cases like that in many areas after 2009-02-17.
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