Tivax STB-T9 EPG - Page 6 - AVS Forum
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post #151 of 274 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 #152 of 274 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 #153 of 274 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 #154 of 274 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?

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post #155 of 274 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 #156 of 274 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 #157 of 274 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 #158 of 274 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 #159 of 274 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 #160 of 274 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 #161 of 274 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 #162 of 274 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 #163 of 274 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 #164 of 274 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 #165 of 274 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 #166 of 274 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 #167 of 274 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 #168 of 274 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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post #169 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 10:08 AM
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If that is the case, can you do a full rescan and then manually add the missing channels? Could there be a station broadcasting a virtual channel that is used by a different station at the same time?
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post #170 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 10:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

Could there be a station broadcasting a virtual channel that is used by a different station at the same time?

No, not in the same local broadcast area. Real channel and virtual channel number will always be a unique pair in the same local broadcast area.
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post #171 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 12:02 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

Could there be a station broadcasting a virtual channel that is used by a different station at the same time?

No two stations in the same market can share the same virtual channel, but after 2009-02-17 it will be possible (and not that rare) for one station's physical channel to be the same as another station's virtual channel.
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post #172 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 04:38 PM
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If your TV/Monitor can remember the channel or video input to which it was tuned prior to power cutoff, and return to that channel or video input after power is restored (and assuming that it also can remember that it was on, and come back turned on when power is restored), you can build an add-on to your Tivax STB-T9 that will eliminate the need to keep the TV's remote around just to turn it on and off. With this add-on, changing the box from standby to on, and later back to standby, will also turn on and off the connected TV. As an added benefit, you'll waste less power because the TV will be completely powered down instead of just in standby watching for a signal from its remote.

This project relies on the presence of a switched 12 volt DC supply and ground on two pins of the 6-pin "Smart Antenna" connector. You'll need to connect the project to the Tivax box with a 6-conductor RJ-12 modular cord (e.g. Radio Shack #279-422), and you'll need to modify the RJ-12 plug slightly to get it to fit the jack; this involves lightly filing the right side of the plug's locking tab (tab facing up) until the tab just clears the offset slot on the Tivax connector. If you take your time and do this carefully, the plug will seat all the way in and fit snugly. You must use a 6-conductor cord, not one with only 2 or 4 conductors as is common among RJ-11 telephone cords.

Pin 1 (the rightmost pin) is ground and pin 2 (the next pin to the left) is the switched 12V. The project otherwise requires only a relay (Radio Shack #275-248 or similar - I chose this one because it can handle 10A@120VAC while only requiring 30ma. from the Tivax unit, which it seems to have no trouble supplying), a standard 2-prong AC power plug, a standard 2-prong AC power socket, wire and solder to put it all together, and some way to safely house the project.

Connect the wire from pin 1 of the modified RJ-12 plug to one of the relay's "coil" contacts, and the wire from pin 2 of the modified RJ-12 plug to the other of the relay's "coil" contacts. Connect the neutral (wider) AC plug blade directly to the neutral (wider) AC socket blade. Connect the hot (narrower) AC plug blade to the relay's normally open (NO) contact. Connect the hot (narrower) AC socket blade to the relay's common (COM) contact. You're done. Plug the modified RJ-12 plug into the Tivax "Smart Antenna" connector. Plug your TV/Monitor into the AC power socket, and plug the AC power plug into the wall. When you turn on the Tivax box, the 12V power actuates the relay and switches on your TV; when you turn off the Tivax box (put it in standby), several seconds later the 12V power disappears, the relay opens, and the TV turns off.

The challange, should you choose to attempt this, is to build this neatly and safely. Recall that you are fooling around with AC line voltage (120VAC) that could injure or kill someone or start a fire if this project is constructed sloppily; and that the 12 volt control voltage from the Tivax box must not be short circuited nor ever allowed to contact the high voltage portions of this circuit. Also beware that if you plan to use the plugs on both ends of the 6-conductor modular cord, these are sometimes wired in a criss-cross fashion such that pins 1 and 2 on one plug end up on pins 6 and 5 at the plug on the other end of the cord; always ring out or trace the cable to see where Tivax-end pins 1 and 2 end up at the project end of the wire, preferrably using a meter to check for the switched DC voltage.

Because I hate fooling around with AC cords and outlets, I built mine into a defunct X10 appliance module, retaining only the built-in plug and outlet (both of which are very sturdy and well-made), snipping out all the remaining parts on the circuit board, then gluing the relay upside down on the board near where the X10 relay was removed. The resulting unit is shown in the attached photo (were it not for the RJ-12 jack on the side, it would look just like it originally did.) Obviously there are many other ways to approach this, the simplest being basically an extension cord with a plastic box (containing the relay) in the middle and the control cable also emerging from that box.

Good luck and happy soldering

UPDATE 6/25/2008 - See post #216 ( http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...6#post14160716 ) for a potential simplification (untested, but based on the Tivax schematic) to interfacing with the Smart Antenna connector.

UPDATE 7/1/2008 - Also see post #216 for a recommendation to add a protective diode to the relay coil circuit.

LL
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post #173 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 05:48 PM
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From one of the earlier post. It seems the Tivax can remember the channel it was on but cannot remember whether it was in standby or not. So after a power outage, it seems the TV will be turned on and remains that way.

IMHO, if you are willing to get an X10 power supply. You might as well attach both the Tivax and TV to the X10 p/s and use a X10 remote to power both of them up.
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post #174 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 06:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank70 View Post

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.

As you may know by now, this info on the DTVPal is not current...i.e., it does use PSIP, so it depends on the individual stations' side data, like most other boxes. It remains to be seen how far in the future the DTVPal will acquire data, i.e., the original version - the TR-40 - advertised up to 7 days (which is part of the reason that many of us thought it would use the TV Guide system) but the newly advertised specs on the DTVPal don't mention any time period...

OTA only. For signal strength at your location: FCC DTV reception map
TVGOS data: Sony 250 from 5.1?, LG3410a from my DTVPal setup here, not any more.

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post #175 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 07:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

IMHO, if you are willing to get an X10 power supply. You might as well attach both the Tivax and TV to the X10 p/s and use a X10 remote to power both of them up.

That would still require 2 remotes, one to turn on/off, and one for everything else - no net advantage (even in power consumption, since an X10 module itself uses standby power.) The X10 module I used the case of was otherwise dead and useless, which is why I gutted it.
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post #176 of 274 Old 06-09-2008, 07:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

From one of the earlier post. It seems the Tivax can remember the channel it was on but cannot remember whether it was in standby or not. So after a power outage, it seems the TV will be turned on and remains that way.

Not quite - all CECBs are required by default to go into standby after 4 hours, so after a power outage, the box (and the set, if controlled by the box) will come on for 4 hours and then turn off. It would have made more sense if they had designed the STB-T9 to remember whether it was in standby or not, and return to that same mode after a power failure... but they did not, so the 4 hour limit is its salvation. If you disable the 4 hour limit (which you might do if the box is connected to a VCR, DVR, or DVD recorder), you sacrifice this energy saving feature, but you can still leave the TV turned off in this case.
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post #177 of 274 Old 06-10-2008, 12:46 AM
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The Memorex MVCB1000 with analog pass-through clone of the Tivax STB-T9 may now be available at your local Rite Aid Drug Store for $59.99. I just got this ad today in a Rite Aid circular enclosed with my local newspaper showing the Memorex box.


LL
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post #178 of 274 Old 06-10-2008, 05:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frank70 View Post

That would still require 2 remotes, one to turn on/off, and one for everything else - no net advantage (even in power consumption, since an X10 module itself uses standby power.) The X10 module I used the case of was otherwise dead and useless, which is why I gutted it.

Actually, the X10 module is just used for the case. There is no power used in the relay when powered down. You are only using .4 watts more for the relay when the unit is on. With really old TV's, mechanical on / off and tuners, this project would make the TV turn on and off with the Tivax. Notice this would work with most units with smart antenna's on them. This would also work well for TV's that remembered their last power state when power is returned.
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post #179 of 274 Old 06-10-2008, 01:40 PM
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I don't think this was discussed before. It appears that the captions output from the Tivax is very poor. At least on a CRT 408i set.

Unlike its menu which has very solid font, even the largest caption font appears hard to read. I don't know what caused it but I would think that it has something to do with interlacing. It appears the caption is not properly de-interlaced by my Sony TV and I see a flickering caption at all times.
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post #180 of 274 Old 06-10-2008, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pixelation View Post

I don't think this was discussed before. It appears that the captions output from the Tivax is very poor. At least on a CRT 408i set.

Unlike its menu which has very solid font, even the largest caption font appears hard to read. I don't know what caused it but I would think that it has something to do with interlacing. It appears the caption is not properly de-interlaced by my Sony TV and I see a flickering caption at all times.

I agree the fonts are bad, but if your Sony TV provides closed captions, don't even bother with the Tivax captions, turn them off and turn on the TV's closed captions. All CECBs are required to pass along digital captions to the NTSC output in analog form (i.e. as VBI data.) The only reason to EVER use the Tivax captions is when connected to either an old TV set or an inexpensive TV set, neither of which is likely to have its own closed caption capability.
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