The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 471 - AVS Forum
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HDTV Recorders > The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic!
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 05:28 PM 03-05-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Here is the unit I bought:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250990044554...#ht_500wt_1156

Other than the ad description and my question which is posted in the ad, the seller and I had numerous other email conversations concerning the unit and he actually did some troubleshooting for me with the unit before I ended up bidding to win the auction.

Based on what he found, and what others told me in this thread based on what the seller reported, I had a pretty good idea that the problem was the HDD. Still, it was a risk which luckily paid off for me. This unit makes it 3 DTVPal DVRs in the house and one Sony DHG DVR which i am now probably gonna sell to pay some bills.

Followed the link and went to some of the "you may be interested" links and found http://www.ebay.com/itm/TiVo-HD-TCD6...62349234772796.

Are subscriptions transferable?

joecass's Avatar joecass 10:16 PM 03-05-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Here is the unit I bought:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/250990044554...#ht_500wt_1156

Other than the ad description and my question which is posted in the ad, the seller and I had numerous other email conversations concerning the unit and he actually did some troubleshooting for me with the unit before I ended up bidding to win the auction.

Based on what he found, and what others told me in this thread based on what the seller reported, I had a pretty good idea that the problem was the HDD. Still, it was a risk which luckily paid off for me. This unit makes it 3 DTVPal DVRs in the house and one Sony DHG DVR which i am now probably gonna sell to pay some bills.

Thanks for the reply and info. The DTVPals die after a few years, the Sony DHG's were manufactured in 2005, most of them are still operational.
It's none of my business, but I think you should keep your Sony DHG ( and the box if you have it ). I also have the OCD box disorder, I never throw any boxes away of any equipment I buy, especially when it comes to electronics.
Jack Morris's Avatar Jack Morris 05:34 AM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecass View Post

Thanks for the reply and info. The DTVPals die after a few years, the Sony DHG's were manufactured in 2005, most of them are still operational.
It's none of my business, but I think you should keep your Sony DHG ( and the box if you have it ). I also have the OCD box disorder, I never throw any boxes away of any equipment I buy, especially when it comes to electronics.

The Sony has a better Guide, has a clear QAM tuner and a cablecard slot, but has one serious flaw... there's no way to set the current time manually. So if you live in an area where TVGOS sucks, then so does the Sony.
In my area, there are no clear QAM channels anymore outside OTA ones and Comcast has increased the monthly charge for a cable card to that almost of just getting the Comcast HD DVR. And, SDV is lurking on the horizon which would make the whole non-OTA benefit of the Sony moot.

Still, if my DTVPals are all about to break, then I guess I could stick one of those on Ebay and grab what I can while I can....

What specifically breaks on the DTVPals after a couple of years... the HDD? If so, as I already found out, it is an easy fix.
LenL's Avatar LenL 07:21 AM 03-06-2012
How do you know they die after a few years? If that is the case then my 2 should be dead or dying already.

If you have facts to back this up I would like to see them.
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44 09:35 AM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

How do you know they die after a few years? If that is the case then my 2 should be dead or dying already.

If you have facts to back this up I would like to see them.

+1. I've had mine since Dec 2008.
jrpastore's Avatar jrpastore 02:08 PM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

The Sony has a better Guide, has a clear QAM tuner and a cablecard slot, but has one serious flaw... there's no way to set the current time manually. So if you live in an area where TVGOS sucks, then so does the Sony.

Ditto the DTVPal. You can't set the time manually if the unit detects a TVGOS supplier in your channel list.
phildaant's Avatar phildaant 02:12 PM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpastore View Post

Ditto the DTVPal. You can't set the time manually if the unit detects a TVGOS supplier in your channel list.

Can't you disable TVGOS in DTVPal DVR? I remember there was an option. Just no guides and other features from it when you do that.
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44 02:27 PM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by phildaant View Post

Can't you disable TVGOS in DTVPal DVR? I remember there was an option. Just no guides and other features from it when you do that.

You can disable TVGOS, but the Pal DVR will still set the clock using a TVGOS stream if found.
That even holds true if you delete the TVGOS station from the channel list.
Jack Morris's Avatar Jack Morris 02:52 PM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpastore View Post

Ditto the DTVPal. You can't set the time manually if the unit detects a TVGOS supplier in your channel list.

I may not have stated the problem correctly...
Having TVGOS set the time is what is preferred for both the Sony and DTVPal, IMO. The problem with the Sony is that if TVGOS is non-existent or doesn't set the time on your DVR you can set the time manually with the DTVPAL but NOT with the Sony.
There is NO way to set the time manually on the Sony, TVGOS datastream or not.
joecass's Avatar joecass 07:58 PM 03-06-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post

How do you know they die after a few years? If that is the case then my 2 should be dead or dying already.

If you have facts to back this up I would like to see them.

I'm not pretending to be an expert on this, but I researched the DTVPals
before they became available to the general public. They were originally $249 straight from Echostar. When I began reading of all the problems,
not just on AVS but on other forums and review sites, it became apparent
that these units were unreliable. Most of the software problems were corrected with the last firmware update, but I waited two years until 2010
before taking the plunge. In 2010, when Sears started to sell new and refurbished models for lower prices, I investigated further, and read hundreds of comments from other web sites regarding their reliability. Even so, I was
lucky enough to get a Sears refurb back then for the paltry sum of $49. That
was after paying $350 to KMart for a brand new one.

Since that time, other than common issues, most of what I read is .....
"my unit worked fine yesterday, now it's dead and won't turn on" OR
"my unit is stuck in the re-boot loop, does anyone know how to fix it ?"
So, what does that tell you ? Not EVERY single DTVPal DVR dies within a few years of useage, but since they're unrepairable, it's likely to happen randomly to anyone who owns one..... including me. Either the hard drive dies, or something on the mainboard goes awry, making it a doorstop.
If you've ever taken one apart like I have, you can see just how cheaply
made the Chinese components are.

The same logic applies to the replacement Channel Master 7000, I just saw someone on EBay selling refurbished 7000 units for big bucks. Now Channel Master got rid of the 7000 and replaced it with the CM7400, which itself is not getting good reviews from people who bought it.

IMHO, DVRs that run constantly are not a good bet for long term reliablity.
Older non-Hi Def DVRs that had On-Off switches lasted for years. I know, I have five of them. You can also read up on cable co DVRs and TIVOs, which also have a habit of dying within a few years of use. You can draw your own conclusions like I did, or find someone that has a fact sheet or database to
get a definitive answer.
atmusky's Avatar atmusky 04:32 AM 03-07-2012
News Flash: Mechanical devises spinning at over 5400 RPMs 24/7 eventually ware out and fail. Who would have guessed

Everything with a hard drive fails - all DVRs have hard drives so guess what? What is important is how easy it is to replace a device's hard drive. My understanding is it is pretty easy with the CM 7000.

Regarding the rest of the units electronics ya cheap sh** designed to not last that long. A problem common to almost all electronics being sold. The best we can do is take steps to reduce failures. Plug everything into high quality UPS and keep it as cool as possible.
LenL's Avatar LenL 06:13 AM 03-07-2012
You make some godd and valid points but I think for the most part the PALDVR can't be judged by people who have bad experiences and post reviews. Most people I think are like me. Purchased a unit (2 actually) and never posted a review. I might have if I had problems but I won't bother unless I am approached liked some companies do and ask you to submit a review. Even then I sometimes ignore the request. I can't be bothered.

So I would bet that the vast majority of PALDVRS sold are in use and working quite well. I have NO way of knowing the facts about this. Most complaints I see on this forum are about features we would lilke to have or program guide issues. Mostly due to the stations send the guide having issues and or ROVI. I don't know if this forum is representing the PALDVR owners or not. Possibly many more people who own PALDVRS don't even know about this forum.
jrpastore's Avatar jrpastore 08:37 AM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

I may not have stated the problem correctly...
Having TVGOS set the time is what is preferred for both the Sony and DTVPal, IMO. The problem with the Sony is that if TVGOS is non-existent or doesn't set the time on your DVR you can set the time manually with the DTVPAL but NOT with the Sony.
There is NO way to set the time manually on the Sony, TVGOS datastream or not.

Agree. So here's a summary:

With no TVGOS supplier in your area at all:

Sony DHG = Useless doorstop

DTVPal = Still functional DVR w/ limited PSIP guide and ability to set clock manually or from weighted average of PSIP clocks



With defective TVGOS supplier in your area (primarily clock skew issue):

Both Sony and DTVPal are "held hostage" to that defective TVGOS clock. I still believe the DTVPal can be forced to drop the bad TVGOS clock if the trasmitting station is deleted from the channel list. A default-reset may also be required. Then the unit behaves as if there is no TVGOS supplier in the area and the user is unable to view/record anything from that deleted channel.
jrpastore's Avatar jrpastore 08:41 AM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

You can disable TVGOS, but the Pal DVR will still set the clock using a TVGOS stream if found.
That even holds true if you delete the TVGOS station from the channel list.

I don't think that's true. I believe we have results from Georgetown, TX and DC that demonstrate that deleting the TVGOS supplier channel (or channels) in your area and then resetting the DVR will cause it to release the "TVGOS lock" on the clock. You can then either set it manually or allow it to determine time from a weighted average of the PSIP times being transmitted by the other stations remaining in the channel list.
dvdchance's Avatar dvdchance 09:35 AM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrpastore View Post

I don't think that's true. I believe we have results from Georgetown, TX and DC that demonstrate that deleting the TVGOS supplier channel (or channels) in your area and then resetting the DVR will cause it to release the "TVGOS lock" on the clock. You can then either set it manually or allow it to determine time from a weighted average of the PSIP times being transmitted by the other stations remaining in the channel list.

I thought I read a procedure that can include the TVGOS station in your channel list but not have it use the time but resetting it and giving your zip as 00000 or something. It won't use TVGOS time because it will be a different time zone.
tmn1's Avatar tmn1 11:52 AM 03-07-2012
Does anyone know offhand if you have two of these units in the same room can the remotes be set to different channels so they will be independent of each other? If so how is that accomplished. If it is in this thread somewhere could you give me an idea where to look so I do not have to look at all 472 pages. Thanks
Pete-N2's Avatar Pete-N2 12:04 PM 03-07-2012
Search this thread for remote codes and/or 20.0 IR...

also

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...ostcount=11446
tmn1's Avatar tmn1 12:26 PM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pete-N2 View Post

Search this thread for remote codes and/or 20.0 IR...

also

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...ostcount=11446

Thanks. I read the earlier reply and noticed a bit further someone suggested using one remote and setting the second machine to the AUX button. Do you understand how to do this? I understand how to change the remote to unit code on each separate pair but how would you transfer this information from the second set to the AUX button on the first remote? Thanks again.
P Smith's Avatar P Smith 03:12 PM 03-07-2012
isn't it described in a manual ?
WillN937's Avatar WillN937 03:27 PM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by tmn1 View Post

Does anyone know offhand if you have two of these units in the same room can the remotes be set to different channels so they will be independent of each other? If so how is that accomplished. If it is in this thread somewhere could you give me an idea where to look so I do not have to look at all 472 pages. Thanks

Didst thou read post one? See how to item 15.
tmn1's Avatar tmn1 04:44 PM 03-07-2012
Thanks to both P Smith and WillN937. I did read the first page of this thread but misinterpreted #15 to be when using the old Dish satellite control remote. Anyway, now I see how to figure out the problem and have finally also learned how to do a search of this thread! Thanks again you guys. Some of us just need a little extra help.
jrpastore's Avatar jrpastore 05:02 PM 03-07-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by dvdchance View Post

I thought I read a procedure that can include the TVGOS station in your channel list but not have it use the time but resetting it and giving your zip as 00000 or something. It won't use TVGOS time because it will be a different time zone.

That method was suggested after the Austin clock skew issue was resolved, so I've never tried it, but I recall the posts saying that it works. If so, then there are at least two methods of forcing the DTVPal to disregard TVGOS clock data. Either way you lose access to the extended EPG, but at least it's not impossible as the previous poster stated.
Nokorola's Avatar Nokorola 10:30 PM 03-07-2012
Just as a casual "throwing it out there", the K-Mart in Altoona, PA has a DTV Pal hanging around still for ~$260ish if anyone relatively nearby is searching for one.
Jack Morris's Avatar Jack Morris 05:25 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nokorola View Post

Just as a casual "throwing it out there", the K-Mart in Altoona, PA has a DTV Pal hanging around still for ~$260ish if anyone relatively nearby is searching for one.

Wow... I can't imagine you wouldn't be able to talk the manager down to under $200 if you present him with the facts of no warranty, discontinued, etc...
Jack Morris's Avatar Jack Morris 05:34 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by atmusky View Post

News Flash: Mechanical devises spinning at over 5400 RPMs 24/7 eventually ware out and fail. Who would have guessed

Everything with a hard drive fails - all DVRs have hard drives so guess what? What is important is how easy it is to replace a device's hard drive. My understanding is it is pretty easy with the CM 7000.

Regarding the rest of the units electronics ya cheap sh** designed to not last that long. A problem common to almost all electronics being sold. The best we can do is take steps to reduce failures. Plug everything into high quality UPS and keep it as cool as possible.

Heat will kill all electronics, especially those with hard drives. This is coming from someone who had two Xbox 360s die due to heat before MS fixed the design flaw.
Just keep your DTVPals in open air(no enclosed cabinets) with room on all four sides of the box and it will probably last as long as would any PC in the same place left running.

And, as mentioned with the cm7000, replacing the HDD on a DTVPal DVR was much easier than I anticipated and took less than an hour of work.
phildaant's Avatar phildaant 05:49 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Morris View Post

Heat will kill all electronics, especially those with hard drives. This is coming from someone who had two Xbox 360s die due to heat before MS fixed the design flaw.
Just keep your DTVPals in open air(no enclosed cabinets) with room on all four sides of the box and it will probably last as long as would any PC in the same place left running...

Mine probably won't live long since my room can go up to 90F degrees during the heat waves. However, I do disconnect it during the summer when there is nothing on TV. Hopefully, this extends its life longer. I only had this DTV Pal DVR since the end of 2010/beginning of 2011.
phildaant's Avatar phildaant 05:51 AM 03-08-2012
So far, no problems yet! Weird. I remember the autumn/fall back really messed up my DTV Pal DVR's timer weeks in advanced. Has anyone had timer problems for the upcoming time change yet? Thank you in advance.
mabuttra's Avatar mabuttra 06:11 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by phildaant View Post

So far, no problems yet! Weird. I remember the autumn/fall back really messed up my DTV Pal DVR's timer weeks in advanced. Has anyone had timer problems for the upcoming time change yet? Thank you in advance.

For the first time in two years my timers are messed up BEFORE the time change (they are always screwed up after the time change). I think what may have set this off is that I added a new timer on Monday night, for this coming Sunday. The next day I noticed my timer that had been set for Tuesday at 8:30pm showed as 10:30pm. As I looked at other timers, I saw several that were fouled up. One timer was set to fire at 1:00am this morning. Several timers had the 'Std' on the stop time so they would show as 8:00pm - 8:00pm Std. Some were right, some were off an hour, and some were off two hours. I needed to correct yesterday's timers, so I thought I'd fix all of them that were off. Things really got squirrely then. As I fixed each timer, it caused other timers to change. I ended up editing each timer, effectively changing them all to manual timers, and changed them from 'Weekly' to 'Once', since I'll be doing this again Sunday. The moral may be don't mess with your timers during time change week.

Mark
Jack Morris's Avatar Jack Morris 06:27 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mabuttra View Post

For the first time in two years my timers are messed up BEFORE the time change (they are always screwed up after the time change). I think what may have set this off is that I added a new timer on Monday night, for this coming Sunday. The next day I noticed my timer that had been set for Tuesday at 8:30pm showed as 10:30pm. As I looked at other timers, I saw several that were fouled up. One timer was set to fire at 1:00am this morning. Several timers had the 'Std' on the stop time so they would show as 8:00pm - 8:00pm Std. Some were right, some were off an hour, and some were off two hours. I needed to correct yesterday's timers, so I thought I'd fix all of them that were off. Things really got squirrely then. As I fixed each timer, it caused other timers to change. I ended up editing each timer, effectively changing them all to manual timers, and changed them from 'Weekly' to 'Once', since I'll be doing this again Sunday. The moral may be don't mess with your timers during time change week.

Mark

Good tip that probably saved a bunch of us alot of headaches.
Thanks Mark!
phildaant's Avatar phildaant 06:38 AM 03-08-2012
Quote:
Originally Posted by mabuttra View Post

For the first time in two years my timers are messed up BEFORE the time change (they are always screwed up after the time change). I think what may have set this off is that I added a new timer on Monday night, for this coming Sunday. The next day I noticed my timer that had been set for Tuesday at 8:30pm showed as 10:30pm. As I looked at other timers, I saw several that were fouled up. One timer was set to fire at 1:00am this morning. Several timers had the 'Std' on the stop time so they would show as 8:00pm - 8:00pm Std. Some were right, some were off an hour, and some were off two hours. I needed to correct yesterday's timers, so I thought I'd fix all of them that were off. Things really got squirrely then. As I fixed each timer, it caused other timers to change. I ended up editing each timer, effectively changing them all to manual timers, and changed them from 'Weekly' to 'Once', since I'll be doing this again Sunday. The moral may be don't mess with your timers during time change week.

Mark

Crap, I spoke too soon! My TV Guide's The Big Bang Theory got pushed an hour later (9:00 PM PST instead of 8:00 PM PST). I had to delete and readd it. I do remember adding new recordings a few days ago from TV Guide and manually.

Does anyone know when these annoying changes happen during the time change weeks? Or is it just random? I guess we will ALL have to check often before we go away for our buggy DVR to record.
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