The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 25 - AVS Forum
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post #721 of 18461 Old 12-30-2008, 09:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald1800 View Post

Somebody PLEASE clarify this situation.

Output through HDMI and component is selectable 480p / 720p / 1080i. There is no option for 480i. You select one and all live and recorded content is converted to that resolution for output to display.

These settings do not affect how content is saved to disk, only how it is output to display. If a program is broadcast in 720p, then it will be recorded on the DVR as 720p, regardless of what output option you select.

The DTVPal DVR always downconverts HD channels to SD through composite and coax to support older televisions that lack 480p/720p/1080i capability.
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post #722 of 18461 Old 12-30-2008, 10:22 PM
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That is unfortunate, and a bad decision by Dish. I will have to call tomorrow and cancel my order. Their documentation sucks being full of confusion factor. It's too bad that it is hardware related and not just a firmware omission that is patchable. I can not continue with either composite or RF re-modulation/ch 3, 4 after using component 480i from other video sources. Dumb!

Donald1800
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post #723 of 18461 Old 12-30-2008, 10:30 PM
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Donald,
I posted the same question in the other DTV Pal DVR forum, and pabeader, a beta tester, claims it does output 480i over the component outs. Here's his reponse: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=1621

Any users out there care to give it a try to verify?

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #724 of 18461 Old 12-30-2008, 10:39 PM
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I was watching a movie tonight via DVD player. During the movie I noticed that the lights on the front-panel of the PAL changed from just the green light to the green & red lights. Earlier when this happened I had to unplug the unit to get it to reset; it would not respond to the remote.

This time since I was watching the movie, I just ignored the event. Sometime during the movie, the unit returned to just the green light on its own.
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post #725 of 18461 Old 12-30-2008, 10:56 PM
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txmatt

How much are you going ask for it? there are some of use here that have yet to get one. you could post this on the other thread and sell it today.
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post #726 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 01:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegGuheert View Post

Thoughts:

5) I'm wondering what factors determine whether a drive can be used or not. Is it the characteristics of the drive or the type of partitioning pre-existing or something else?

Thanks for such detailed reports! Good to hear another person with success with a 500GB drive.

5) It's definitely not partitioning. I have tried a zeroed-out 500GB and 750GB drive. It never took my 750GB. I even did a dd copy of the 500 into the 750 and then plugged it in. Still no go. I spent about a day looking at its proprietary filesystem but I haven't found any clues as of why 500GB is the largest it would take.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bootymonger View Post

Perhaps 7200 vs. 5400 RPM matters? The 2.5" laptop drives tested that kind of worked but had picture breakup were both 5400 RPM. The WD "green" disks aren't 7200 RPM most of the time.

This theory will probably be shot down based on other results, and I don't even believe it would matter, but it's something to ponder.

Have people tried a non-green drive that otherwise works, is 7200 RPM, and is larger than 500GB? The 750GB previously tried was later found to be dead.

I tried a Seagate Barracuda ES 750GB and the unit didn't take. The drive is still alive.
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post #727 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 03:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bootymonger View Post

Perhaps 7200 vs. 5400 RPM matters? The 2.5" laptop drives tested that kind of worked but had picture breakup were both 5400 RPM. The WD "green" disks aren't 7200 RPM most of the time.

This theory will probably be shot down based on other results, and I don't even believe it would matter, but it's something to ponder.

Have people tried a non-green drive that otherwise works, is 7200 RPM, and is larger than 500GB? The 750GB previously tried was later found to be dead.

I'd say that's certainly a possibility, since we don't really know what's going on in there. I DID test the 500 GB 2.5" drive by recording two HD streams simultaneously. It seemed to work, other than the breakups. But perhaps it wasn't keeping up.

The only 7200 RPM drive I have is a 100 GB laptop drive. I may give that a try today. Unfortunately, a 7200 RPM laptop drive is not as fast as a 7200 RPM desktop drive in terms of internal data rates, so I'm not sure what this will prove.

Thoughts?

Reg
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post #728 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 03:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by logan22 View Post

I just unpacked mine and hooked it up to discover my hard drive is apparently DOA (see images). I tried unlpugging it as directed and also tried formatting it from the diagnostics>hdd menu but that didn't change anything. Everything else functions fine except that the DVR menu section is grayed out and I obviously can't pause or record anything. This happen to anyone else?

My guess is that the SATA cable has become unconnected from the hard disk during shipment. That is the thick red cable shown in the center of this photograph by bfdtv.

I say this because I noticed in doing my hard disk testing last night that even though this cable has a nice metal lock to hold it into the connector on the hard disk, IT DOES NOT ENGAGE ON THE INCLUDED DRIVE! What's funny is that it locked tightly into every other drive I tested last night.

Finally, I did some testing with my unit to see if I could duplicate your failure. Sure enough, if I disconnect the red cable in my unit and power it on, I get precisely the symptoms you described. Unfortunately, opening the case on this box is not easy, as others have said. If you want to give it a try, the instructions are found in the first post of this thread.

Good luck getting this resolved quickly!

Reg
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post #729 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 05:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by txmatt View Post

I guess I'm gonna miss out on the party. I got my DTVPal DVR last week but have decided to try and sell mine on EBay. I was going to also spring for the a Roku box for Netflix streaming, but that additional money puts the DTVPal DVR + Roku close enough for me to justify a Tivo HD + lifetime subscription. You guys are always a wealth of info. It sounds like the DTVPal would have done a fine job for me. Love the apparent easy HD upgrade.

Have you considered a HTPC instead? Less $$$ than a TIVO HD + Lifetime and way more functionality.
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post #730 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 06:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Clark View Post

I was watching a movie tonight via DVD player. During the movie I noticed that the lights on the front-panel of the PAL changed from just the green light to the green & red lights. Earlier when this happened I had to unplug the unit to get it to reset; it would not respond to the remote.

This time since I was watching the movie, I just ignored the event. Sometime during the movie, the unit returned to just the green light on its own.

Did you have a timer set? That is the appearance when a timer is recording, the red light comes on. The green is if you have the unit in the on status.
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post #731 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 07:31 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isnms View Post

Did you have a timer set? That is the appearance when a timer is recording, the red light comes on. The green is if you have the unit in the on status.

Nope. I thought that this might have been the issue, but there was nothing set. But even if a show was recording I should have been able to control the unit to watch a second channel.
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post #732 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 08:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Clark View Post

Nope. I thought that this might have been the issue, but there was nothing set. But even if a show was recording I should have been able to control the unit to watch a second channel.

it was probably doing maintenance
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post #733 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Output through HDMI and component is selectable 480p / 720p / 1080i. There is no option for 480i. You select one and all live and recorded content is converted to that resolution for output to display.

These settings do not affect how content is saved to disk, only how it is output to display. If a program is broadcast in 720p, then it will be recorded on the DVR as 720p, regardless of what output option you select.

The DTVPal DVR always downconverts HD channels to SD through composite and coax to support older televisions that lack 480p/720p/1080i capability.

----------------

I have a question about how the content is saved? If the content is saved according to its broadcast mode, why we can get up to 150 hr in SD and only up to 30 hr in HD?

Can someone explain this?

Thanks,
AV
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post #734 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald1800 View Post

That is unfortunate, and a bad decision by Dish. I will have to call tomorrow and cancel my order. Their documentation sucks being full of confusion factor. It's too bad that it is hardware related and not just a firmware omission that is patchable. I can not continue with either composite or RF re-modulation/ch 3, 4 after using component 480i from other video sources. Dumb!

Donald1800

It's your decision, but to not even give it a try seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face (all over not listing 480i on component).

The point to the www.svideo.com link was to show you that it MAY be possible to find a 480p component to 480i S-video convertor. Which should provide a better picture than composite to s-video.

Honestly - the 480i composite output is NOT that bad, and yes - there are options on the DVTPAL DVR to set it to output 16:9

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #735 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Donald1800 View Post

Since the composite connection was released prior to HD TV availability and many quality near-HD 480i resolution TVs were released with both component and S-Video inputs, I felt that the DTVPal DVR would fit in with my other component output 480i capable equipment (Sony Blue Ray DVD Player, etc.) for my Sony tube TV.

One other point worth mentioning is that if your Sony TV is one of the "newer" tube sets, the difference in picture quality between S-Video and Component is mostly academic.

Enjoying crystal clear TV for free.

http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html
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post #736 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:04 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JustForAV View Post

----------------

I have a question about how the content is saved? If the content is saved according to its broadcast mode, why we can get up to 150 hr in SD and only up to 30 hr in HD?

Can someone explain this?

Thanks,
AV

The DVR saves the streams for the subchannel directly. HD streams are typically 5-6 times the bit rate of the SD streams.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #737 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabeader View Post

it was probably doing maintenance

How long should it take to perform maintenance? The first time this occurred I waited over 30 minutes before I decided that I needed to unplug.

By the way, I do like this unit. It is what I've waited for for a long time.
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post #738 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Whidbey View Post

One other point worth mentioning is that if your Sony TV is one of the "newer" tube sets, the difference in picture quality between S-Video and Component is mostly academic.

For that matter - probably not much difference between Svideo and composite as well - since the Sony's had a pretty good comb filter.

You CAN put antennas on your owned and/or controlled property...
http://www.fcc.gov/mb/facts/otard.html

Being A Beacon of Knowledge in the darkness of FUD
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post #739 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jruser View Post

Do the owners think this box is worth the money (even if there are no firmware updates)?

$250 seems like a lot considering the primative software and small harddrive. At the same time, there are not any competing products.

I must say that I'm much happier with this purchase than I expected I would be.

A little history: First off, I have never used any sort of time shifting device in the past. The only thing I have tried was recording special events, such as the Olympics, using Windows Media Center. What a PITA that was! Last Christmas when I did most of my HDTV upgrading, I looked hard to find a suitable OTA HD DVR. All I found at the time was the Sony, which could be had for about $500 new. I was unable to justify that price for a box that had already been discontinued. So I waited. This November, my brother told me he had bought an HD DVR from Philips for $180. When I looked into it, I learned that it was not HD. However, in my studies here on AVS Forum I found out about the DTVPal DVR. It was just the ticket, and only $270 delivered!

I must say that I was not sure I would use a DVR that much, since I don't watch a lot of TV. I was wrong! This thing is what TVs have been missing from the beginning! I find that a DVR becomes more interesting the longer it has sat there and recorded shows on a timer. Now I have the option of watching ANY show regardless of when it airs, AND I can skip over the commercials with ease.

While I realize these are standard benefits of DVRs that many here have enjoyed for years, they are all new for me. While other players may offer better and fancier timers and recording modes, I'm extremely impressed with this one just as delivered, even if there are no further firmware updates.

The icing on the cake is that we already have some limited capability to upgrade the hard disk and I have no doubt that this box will lend itself as a platform for many future custom upgrades as we learn more about how it functions.

Just my US$0.02,

Reg
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post #740 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:46 AM
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DVR Rebooted, Black Screen issue & Still a Much Better DVR than Directv or Cable:

I got a Black Screen Twice this Sunday during the Philips & Cowboys Game, but haven't seen that happen since.

It Rebooted by itself yesterday during playback on a recorded show.

Other than that it works Great! Since there's no other DVR out there, I don't want to pay for Directv or Cable anymore, this is the best option.

I had Directv, $100 for the Upgraded to a DVR and this had to be the Worst DVR ever made. It costed me over $200 just to Cancelled the Contract. Lost over $300.

Went with Cable, leased a DVR, paying about $150 per month. The DVR was so Noisy, I can't sleep, return it and I'm done with Cable.

DTVPal DVR - $270, + RadioShack Antenna - $50 + Unlimited HDTV OTA - $0 = Its Priceless!
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post #741 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:48 AM
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...to add to that, if you consider that I paid about $400 for my Pannasonic DMR-E80H back about 4 or 5 years ago, this is a steal. Sure the E80 could record to a DVD, but it lacked the dual tuner and ability to record in HD. (It also had no guide at all, just the standard VCR type timers which could be named)

It does a fine job downconverting HD even through the lowly composite input, so it will stay around if nothing more than an extra archive machine (it has a 80GB hard drive ~35 hours SD)

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
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post #742 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by C Clark View Post

How long should it take to perform maintenance? The first time this occurred I waited over 30 minutes before I decided that I needed to unplug.

By the way, I do like this unit. It is what I've waited for for a long time.

For what it's worth, I disabled guide udates and entered all zeros for the zip code (via the menu screens). I haven't observed any "maintenance mode" ("lockup"?)episodes since. Yet my TVGOS continues to be updated correctly, recordings occur as selected etc. One could conclude there may be something that still needs to be addressed, regarding software/firmware.

Overall, I also like this device as well.
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post #743 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RegGuheert View Post

Here are my results:

Included hard disk (250 GB 3.5"):
Western Digital WD10EACS-00ZJB0 (1 TB 3.5"):
Seagate ST9500325AS (500 GB 2.5"):
Western Digital WD2500BEVS-60UST0 (250GB 2.5")
Toshiba MK1246GSX (120GB 2.5")

Conclusions:

1) While some 2.5" drives appear to work in the DTVPal DVR, it appears the the power supply does not like having its 12V output unloaded. Somehow this results in frequent breakups in the picture.

2) The 2.5" drives save approximately 4W over the stock drive.

3) The only 3.5" drive I have on hand does not seem to work in this unit.

4) The low-power 1 TB WD drive saved only about 2W of power in the unit, which is less than I had predicted based on specifications. While the added space would have been nice had it worked, the overall power savings is less than 10%.


Reg

A very thorough testing scenario! Thank you for this.

What are the buffer sizes of the drives you tested above...and could this be a potential cause of the image breakups on the recorded materials?
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post #744 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by larrybmw View Post

I got a Black Screen Twice this Sunday during the Philips & Cowboys Game, but haven't seen that happen since.

They played like they were playing against their coach (Philips). I guess it was trying to tell you something...switch the channel, the game is over

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
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post #745 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 09:55 AM
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I bought this unit for my parents and they are getting frustrated by the random reboots and freezing. I had them disable the guide updates two days ago, but they claim the box still rebooted and froze up yesterday.

They've also have had a few instances of having a picture but no sound. Then when they try to change the channel, the box freezes and they have to unplug it to reset it. The DVR is connected to their SDTV through the included composite cable. All connections were checked and appear to be fine. I have done the firmware update. They do get TVGOS. The PQ is excellent.

Would a factory reset help? Hurt? Make no difference? Reformat the hard drive? Any other ideas?

Thanks for all the good information being posted on this forum.
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post #746 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 10:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffmplsmn View Post

I had them disable the guide updates two days ago, but they claim the box still rebooted and froze up yesterday.

You might have them also try entering zeros in the zip code. My experience is that TVGOS somehow continues to update correctly and I've not observed subsequent 'freeze ups'. (I admit this "fix" may seem odd, but on the other hand it seems to work.)
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post #747 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 AM
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Does this freezing occur on both firmwares? (201/202). I haven't seen this issue on mine (still original firmware), but then again, I probably haven't watched more than 90 minutes in one sitting (its in the theater room for big event TV watching)

At no point in your rambling, incoherent post were you even close to anything that could be considered a rational thought. Everyone in this forum is now dumber for having read it.

My Little Theater
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post #748 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pabeader View Post

it was probably doing maintenance

What maintenance?
Mine rebooted this AM while I was watching a recorded show at the same time it was recording a timed program. No lockup, just a reboot. If it does it again I'll probably disable updates as has been suggested.
In spite of this glitch, which I'm guessing can be addressed with a fw update, I love this machine.

Edit: I'm still using the original fw, and will not be updating it until a new version is posted on the web with a list of issues addressed in the new.
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post #749 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 10:48 AM
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Changing the update time or disabling it is not the answer to the random reboots, mine still rebooted. I have not try changing the zip code to all zeros.

So far I am happy with it. Would be extremely happy if they fix this random reboot.
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post #750 of 18461 Old 12-31-2008, 11:03 AM
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If any beta testers still have the company's ear, please report the rebooting issue so they can start work on a firmware fix.
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