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post #1 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 08:46 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm a long-time UTV user (nearly six years now!), on my second unit, and I've never seen this problem before. While watching either a recording or a live program, the picture is mostly pixelated. You can hear the sound just fine, and usually the first frame or two look all right, but after that the screen is mostly green with some outlines visible for moving objects. It's just the program content that's affected, not the guide or menus. I verified that this happens for all recordings, including those that I know I've watched before without this problem. So I unplugged the unit for about fifteen minutes, and that cleared it up, but I'm wondering when the other shoe will fall.

It sounds to me like a video signal processing chip of some sort might be failing, but I haven't heard of this particular problem before. (I've dealt with bad tuners and hard disk failures, and this is obviously neither one.) Is this something that CCS might be able to fix?
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post #2 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 10:12 AM
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It sounds like a tuner issue. These units are sensative to heat, and the tuners are the first to go. If you can keep the unit cooler (raise it up, keep it away from other components and don't keep it in an enclosed cabinet), that may prolong the lifespan. However, the damage is cumlative, so some damage has already been done.


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post #3 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 11:35 AM - Thread Starter
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How could a tuner issue affect the playback of recorded shows that I have already watched and verified that they recorded successfully?
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post #4 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 03:05 PM
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Alf O'Mega,

You make a good point. This issue may be effecting things "After" the recording. So the recording themselves may be just fine but something is causing the pixelation afterwards.

So if you have verified your Tuners are in good shape (no unexpected Tuner Status changes or poor Signal Strength numbers) since you have mentioned that the Guide/Menus are unaffected by this issue... the problem may not be the Tuners but Hard Drive related.

If you are willing to "restore" your UTV to it's "out of the box" condition (All Recordings and Settings will be deleted) the UTV OS will default back to it's "Factory Settings" and any "glitches" that may be causing the Playback to pixelate may be removed.

I'd suggest "backing up" all your important recordings and Series/Auto Recordings to DVD/Tape... and giving this "restore" code a try. 2355 2355 from the remote will do this.


If you want to simply "reboot" the UTV without unplugging it you can try a reset code like 12357 . It doesn't provide the "cool down" a few minutes unplugged offers... but it can usually get rid of most "glitches" for a little while at least.
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post #5 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 05:21 PM
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A-ha! I missed that part of the post (that's what I get for doing this sort of thing at work).

I'm still not sure that it's hard drive related, though. Granted, a bad drive would corrupt existing video.

However, the green frames don't seem to indicate that. I'm still leaning toward something chip-related. It could be a RAM or IDE interface issue.


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post #6 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 06:05 PM
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check your history messages for tuner errors.

But sometimes pulling the plug as you have done will work wonders. Try doing it once a month. I find it speeds things up a bit on my utvs.
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post #7 of 11 Old 03-14-2007, 06:58 PM
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I'm leaning toward a "corrupted data/OS" explanation.

Going step by step is the problem outside or inside the UTV? It would seem to be Inside the UTV. Corrupted Video/Good Interface would suggest that the basic UTV Hardware is OK. If the UTV was run in "No Hard Drive" mode (Disconnecting Power and IDE Cables)... it should work "normal" under those conditions. Since it isn't much fun using a UTV without it's Hard Drive... Is the problem related to the Hard Drive itself, the UTV OS, and/or UTV Hardware "active" when the OS is running?

If one can check/eliminate each of these areas they will be closer to the answer.
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post #8 of 11 Old 03-15-2007, 06:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback, guys.

I don't think it's the hard drive, because everything went back to normal after the unplug. I would expect a data corruption issue to persist after a powerdown.

I haven't checked the history around that time. That's a good idea.

Since it's back to normal, I don't think I'll be spending a lot of time trying to eliminate sources unless the problem comes back. For now, let's just catalogue this as another way an aging system might begin to fail. I think there's a chip that went on vacation until I did the unplug. Maybe I'll write CCS too to see if they've heard of this.
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post #9 of 11 Old 03-21-2007, 07:26 PM - Thread Starter
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The playback problem started showing up more frequently, so I currently have the top off the unit to keep it maximally cool, and that seems to keep it under control for now.

I wrote CCS to see if they thought they could fix it, and they replied that they can fix 95% of the UltimateTV units they get. I'm looking into BeyondTV and a tuner card to see if I can make a decent computer-based replacement for UTV. Then I'll decide if I want to spend anything more on keeping this unit up and running.
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post #10 of 11 Old 03-22-2007, 11:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alf O'Mega View Post

The playback problem started showing up more frequently, so I currently have the top off the unit to keep it maximally cool, and that seems to keep it under control for now.

I wrote CCS to see if they thought they could fix it, and they replied that they can fix 95% of the UltimateTV units they get. I'm looking into BeyondTV and a tuner card to see if I can make a decent computer-based replacement for UTV. Then I'll decide if I want to spend anything more on keeping this unit up and running.

I still have my UTV in my viewing room, however I am a big fan of BeyondTV. The rest of the house is setup using this (including HDTV via Over the air).
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post #11 of 11 Old 03-22-2007, 08:04 PM
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I'd recommend dumping your video while you still can... and maybe try the 2355 2355 "restore" code along with a cooling regimen (sp?). A PC Slot fan bolted/twistied to the back vents seems to keep the UTVs I've used it on much cooler then an unmodified UTV. Elevated or not... Cool thing with that modification is no holes need to be drilled and it can be removed with no real harm done to the UTV.
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