The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 52 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews

AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews > HDTV > HDTV Recorders > The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic!

HDTV Recorders

BargainHunter's Avatar BargainHunter
08:15 PM Liked: 17
post #1531 of 18607
01-14-2009 | Posts: 263
Joined: Feb 2004
Don't necessarily rule out HDMI quite yet, especially if you have Sony devices that support a feature they call Control for HDMI, which serves to power on and off other compatible devices connected via HDMI. If Sony can do this, other companies may be enabling similar capability--whether they realize and document it or not.

Excerpted from the Manual for my KDL-32XBR6:
LL
Rogee's Avatar Rogee
10:25 PM Liked: 10
post #1532 of 18607
01-14-2009 | Posts: 44
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

The Pal DVR has a cooling fan (or so I've been told).

I can hear the fan on my unit running all the time, so its completely obvious to me that it has a fan.

Some people reported earlier that the Pal DVR was silent. Well, mine is definitely not silent.

FYI, my Pal reboots about once a week.
byucougar's Avatar byucougar
07:10 AM Liked: 10
post #1533 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 27
Joined: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by isnms View Post

Use an infrared thermometer. I scanned over mine and it ranges from ~70° on the left side (fan and hdd side) to ~89° on the right side(power supply side). If you get on the right side and aim inside at the transformer it register ~100°.

My unit is on order so I can't test this myself yet. To dissipate the heat generated, can anyone tell me if the USB port on the DTVPal DVR will operate a laptop chill mat for the unit to sit on. I thought this might be a good way to help reduce heat problems.
RegGuheert's Avatar RegGuheert
07:32 AM Liked: 10
post #1534 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by byucougar View Post

My unit is on order so I can't test this myself yet. To dissipate the heat generated, can anyone tell me if the USB port on the DTVPal DVR will operate a laptop chill mat for the unit to sit on. I thought this might be a good way to help reduce heat problems.

I don't have a USB fan to use for testing, but I did just test to see if it would spin up a 500 GB 2.5" external drive. No problem: it spins up and the DTVPal DVR detects it just fine.

One thing interesting about the DTVPal DVR is that there are NO holes in the bottom of the unit for cooling. This solid plastic plate *does* get somewhat warm. I would venture to say that a laptop chill mat might lower the temperature somewhat. Please let us know if you try it!
electrictroy's Avatar electrictroy
08:20 AM Liked: 10
post #1535 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 776
Joined: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Everything you say is true and more. I've gone all through the TiVo HD specs and would love to have that unit, especially after they added NetFlix streaming. Is the TiVo HD worth $400 more than the Pal DVR?

Maybe you should get a ReplayTV DVR which has no subscription fee of any kind. You just plug it into your phone jack and it automagically downloads the next two weeks of TV Guide data. Plus it can squeeze the video to fit into 200 hours of drive storage.

Of course the DTVpal DVR has the same functionality, with two weeks advance guide data, but only stores about 20 hours of HD video (it can't squeeze).
Fred-Tel's Avatar Fred-Tel
08:30 AM Liked: 10
post #1536 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2007
Here's what I did when I had to receive signals from 2 VERY different directions.
IF you have space (and its VERY low tech)... get 2 antennas, point them at your 2 targets.
Get a Combiner (which is just a splitter turned around - RadioShak has one actually labelled
SPLITTER/COMBINER). For some reason the leads from the antennas should both be 6 feet long.
That's it - now you come off the combiner's single output into your distribution system
(mine included an amp) and it magically (to us non techies) delivers both markets to your TVs, DVR's , etc.
Fred-Tel's Avatar Fred-Tel
08:32 AM Liked: 10
post #1537 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 21
Joined: Jul 2007
[quote=nolim2873;15557551]Well, I wouldn't call them fantastic, but I have different situation - I'm trying to get two DMAs (Baltimore: south, Harrisburg: north).

SORRY I've never posted with a quote hope this works.

Here's what I did when I had to receive signals from 2 VERY different directions.
IF you have space (and its VERY low tech)... get 2 antennas, point them at your 2 targets.
Get a Combiner (which is just a splitter turned around - RadioShak has one actually labelled
SPLITTER/COMBINER). For some reason the leads from the antennas should both be 6 feet long.
That's it - now you come off the combiner's single output into your distribution system
(mine included an amp) and it magically (to us non techies) delivers both markets to your TVs, DVR's , etc.
electrictroy's Avatar electrictroy
08:49 AM Liked: 10
post #1538 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 776
Joined: Jul 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nick Smith View Post

I just dislike the idea of the hard drive spinning constantly which wastes energy and shortens the life of the drive."

Actually, you're only half right. Yes stopping the drive increases the life of the motor, but it shortens the life of the read/write head. Every time the drive stops the head "grinds" against the outward-most track and a small amount of damage occurs. Although heads are supposedly designed to handle 10,000 "grinds" before they die, if you figure 5 of these events per day then you shorten the headlife to just five years time.

I've always prefered to keep the disc spinning and thereby avoid damaging the read/write head.

BTW, the official term is "parking the head" which sounds innocent enough but if you think of parking your car, and every time you park your car you rub sandpaper across the paint, pretty soon you'll have a paint-free and rusty car.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pabeader View Post

Quote:


Would you endorse this product if your reputation depended on it?

yes

Really? Your life? Hmmm. Well you made that promise once before aboutthe DTVpal converter box, and now I have three of them that refuse to show the correct time, shoot-off recording events at random, and only get half as many channels as my Zenith or Channel Master boxes. ----- I guess we should schedule a time to meet with Dr. Kevorkian. Make sure your affairs are in order. ;-) (Just a little joke.)
Super_Nerd's Avatar Super_Nerd
08:55 AM Liked: 10
post #1539 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

Maybe you should get a ReplayTV DVR which has no subscription fee of any kind. You just plug it into your phone jack and it automagically downloads the next two weeks of TV Guide data.

All ReplayTV 4000s, and any older ReplayTV models, are exempt from the Service Activation Fee since it was included in the initial purchase price.

But the newer units require a monthly $12.95 or one-time $299 subscription fee, after a 10-day trial period.
Sailn's Avatar Sailn
08:59 AM Liked: 10
post #1540 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 757
Joined: Nov 2002
[quote=Fred-Tel;15561439]
Quote:
Originally Posted by nolim2873 View Post

Well, I wouldn't call them fantastic, but I have different situation - I'm trying to get two DMAs (Baltimore: south, Harrisburg: north).

SORRY I've never posted with a quote hope this works.

Here's what I did when I had to receive signals from 2 VERY different directions.
IF you have space (and its VERY low tech)... get 2 antennas, point them at your 2 targets.
Get a Combiner (which is just a splitter turned around - RadioShak has one actually labelled
SPLITTER/COMBINER). For some reason the leads from the antennas should both be 6 feet long.
That's it - now you come off the combiner's single output into your distribution system
(mine included an amp) and it magically (to us non techies) delivers both markets to your TVs, DVR's , etc.

Actually, nothing low tech about it. It is the right way to do it. IMHO rotators are a PITA. The biggest problem you will have is if the 2 antennas are 180 degrees apart ( if the signal is very strong, even with high back rejection you can still receive a signal, this can cause multipath problems. )

Oh BTW, the leads from the 2 antennas do not have to be 6 ft, they just have to be the same length.

I have done the same thing ( one LD uhf/vhf for almost all my HD channels and a MD uhf for the one PBS station that is in another direction ) works great.
isnms's Avatar isnms
09:08 AM Liked: 10
post #1541 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 149
Joined: May 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by byucougar View Post

My unit is on order so I can't test this myself yet. To dissipate the heat generated, can anyone tell me if the USB port on the DTVPal DVR will operate a laptop chill mat for the unit to sit on. I thought this might be a good way to help reduce heat problems.

Sounds like a neat idea and Reg confirmed there is power to the port so it should work.
arxaw's Avatar arxaw
09:10 AM Liked: 10
post #1542 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 10,909
Joined: May 2002
[quote=Sailn;15561713]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred-Tel View Post

...I have done the same thing ( one LD uhf/vhf for almost all my HD channels and a MD uhf for the one PBS station that is in another direction ) works great.

YMMV. This works sometimes. But not always.
sivartk's Avatar sivartk
09:24 AM Liked: 16
post #1543 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 5,073
Joined: Nov 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by Super_Nerd View Post

All ReplayTV 4000s, and any older ReplayTV models, are exempt from the Service Activation Fee since it was included in the initial purchase price.

But the newer units require a monthly $12.95 or one-time $299 subscription fee, after a 10-day trial period.

Do these automatically dial in if you have no land-line phone service? Or is that another $30 a month
PhilB's Avatar PhilB
09:26 AM Liked: 10
post #1544 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 2,102
Joined: Jan 2001
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegGuheert View Post

I don't have a USB fan to use for testing, but I did just test to see if it would spin up a 500 GB 2.5" external drive. No problem: it spins up and the DTVPal DVR detects it just fine.

What do you mean "detects it just fine"?

Does the DTVPal DVR somehow acknowledge that an external storage device has been plugged in?

-phil
seattlemark's Avatar seattlemark
09:33 AM Liked: 13
post #1545 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 78
Joined: Mar 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillN937 View Post

Since several people had reported that they could not get the TVGOS Digital to Analog conversion to work with their DRVPals I thought I would see if I could get it to work with my DVR even though I knew it would not be a useful feature with a dual tuner DVR. I couldn't. I contacted TV Guide to see if they had any ideas or special chants to make it work. This is the response I received.

Unfortunately at this time we are not passing the data in the format that the DTVPAL is looking for. At this point I do not have date as to when we will start providing the data in that format. Also to let you know, with the DTVPAL when we start broadcasting the format that it is looking for, if you set the DTVPAL to pass the TVGOS data to your DMR-EH85, the DVR function will no longer work on the DTVPAL.

WillN937, how did you contact TV Guide?
RegGuheert's Avatar RegGuheert
09:54 AM Liked: 10
post #1546 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post

What do you mean "detects it just fine"?

Does the DTVPal DVR somehow acknowledge that an external storage device has been plugged in?

-phil

Yes. It's under Menu->Setup(3)->System Setup(2)->Diagnostics(6)->USB Test.

It also pops up a dialog notification whenever a USB device is unplugged (and plugged?).
RegGuheert's Avatar RegGuheert
10:16 AM Liked: 10
post #1547 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rogee View Post

I can hear the fan on my unit running all the time, so its completely obvious to me that it has a fan.

Some people reported earlier that the Pal DVR was silent. Well, mine is definitely not silent.

FYI, my Pal reboots about once a week.

I'm not convinced you are hearing the fan. I suspect it is the hard drive. I have the cover off so I stopped the fan with my finger. I detect no difference in the sound I hear with the fan stopped or running. My conclusion is the fan is virtually silent and the sound I hear is all coming from the hard drive.

What's funny is that I initially thought that my DTVPal DVR was silent, as others had reported. But that was with it sitting in the open room. Once I put it in my entertainment center, however, I can hear it when the door is open. Strange.
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44
10:22 AM Liked: 45
post #1548 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 2,193
Joined: Feb 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by RegGuheert View Post

Yes. It's under Menu->Setup(3)->System Setup(2)->Diagnostics(6)->USB Test.

It also pops up a dialog notification whenever a USB device is unplugged (and plugged?).

But I guess it still does not show the drive's content?
If so, that would be earth shaking news.
Super_Nerd's Avatar Super_Nerd
10:34 AM Liked: 10
post #1549 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 24
Joined: Jan 2009
Quote:
Originally Posted by sivartk View Post

Do these automatically dial in if you have no land-line phone service? Or is that another $30 a month

It depends on the model you have. Some have telephone only, some ethernet only, and others have both.

eBay has these boxes listed cheap, with some going for ~$100, but they only have 40GB HDs.
Patriot12's Avatar Patriot12
10:46 AM Liked: 10
post #1550 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 53
Joined: Jul 2005
[quote=Sailn;15561713]
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fred-Tel View Post


Actually, nothing low tech about it. It is the right way to do it. IMHO rotators are a PITA. The biggest problem you will have is if the 2 antennas are 180 degrees apart ( if the signal is very strong, even with high back rejection you can still receive a signal, this can cause multipath problems. )

Oh BTW, the leads from the 2 antennas do not have to be 6 ft, they just have to be the same length.

I have done the same thing ( one LD uhf/vhf for almost all my HD channels and a MD uhf for the one PBS station that is in another direction ) works great.

How far from 180 degrees is good enough to work?
WillN937's Avatar WillN937
11:03 AM Liked: 25
post #1551 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 756
Joined: Sep 2008
Quote:
Originally Posted by seattlemark View Post

WillN937, how did you contact TV Guide?

The link was on their web site: Ce_customer_support@tvguide.com.
MakoShark's Avatar MakoShark
11:05 AM Liked: 10
post #1552 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 75
Joined: Jul 2004
Quote:
Originally Posted by byucougar View Post

My unit is on order so I can't test this myself yet. To dissipate the heat generated, can anyone tell me if the USB port on the DTVPal DVR will operate a laptop chill mat for the unit to sit on. I thought this might be a good way to help reduce heat problems.

I believe that all USB ports have a +5V DC power line in them. I cut the cable on an old USB mouse and wired the black and red wires to a CPU fan that I used to cool my Comcast DVR in my entertainment center.
mw390's Avatar mw390
11:20 AM Liked: 10
post #1553 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 376
Joined: Dec 2004
If I'm not the first, I'm sorry,but the DVR support page has instructions for USB and Ethernet update of firmware and the F202 firmware downloadable (7.9 MB)
RegGuheert's Avatar RegGuheert
11:28 AM Liked: 10
post #1554 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 337
Joined: Nov 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by MakoShark View Post

I believe that all USB ports have a +5V DC power line in them. I cut the cable on an old USB mouse and wired the black and red wires to a CPU fan that I used to cool my Comcast DVR in my entertainment center.

That's true, but the "default" current capability for USB is 100 mA, which is not typically enough to operate more than a flash drive. The "high power" USB ports that come on most laptops are capable of 500 mA. Finally, the recent USB power supply specification provides for output current up to 1500mA.

Based on the fact that the DTVPal DVR can spin up a 500 GB hard disk, I will go out on a limb and say that it puts out more than 100 mA. Since I doubt that they went to the trouble to provide 1500 mA, I'll guess it is a normal 500 mA "high power" USB output.
Chuck44's Avatar Chuck44
11:54 AM Liked: 45
post #1555 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 2,193
Joined: Feb 2007
Quote:
Originally Posted by mw390 View Post

If I'm not the first, I'm sorry,but the DVR support page has instructions for USB and Ethernet update of firmware and the F202 firmware downloadable (7.9 MB)

Thanks for the heads up. I hadn't checked the page yet today.
There is no info on the page as to what changes there are in the F202 fw from F201, so I wrote to EchoStar and asked.
I've been updating fw in DVD drives (and other machines) for years, but usually not until and unless I know what changes there are...
chapelrun's Avatar chapelrun
12:02 PM Liked: 10
post #1556 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 74
Joined: Sep 2006
Quote:
Originally Posted by mw390 View Post

If I'm not the first, I'm sorry,but the DVR support page has instructions for USB and Ethernet update of firmware and the F202 firmware downloadable (7.9 MB)

If you want to go directly to get the F202 update it is here.

http://www.dishnetwork.com/dtvpal/do...202_06UC00.upd

And yes, many thanks for pointing this out!
willscary's Avatar willscary
12:12 PM Liked: 29
post #1557 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 550
Joined: Jun 2002
I have FOUR antennas pointed in different directions. It CAN be done. However, you must understand several issues. First, combining 2 antennas on a splitter/combiner will cost you over 3db in signal strength. This means that you lose over 1/2 of your signal.

Secondly, multipath may be an issue, but more of an issue will be co-channel and adjacent channel interference. The multipath would occur if one antenna picks up a straight signal while the other antenna picks up a weaker signal from the rear or side. This can confuse the tuner into not knowing which signal is desired, or it could cancel out the signal. Either way, you may lose the channel entirely, especially with a digital signal. Co-channel interference occurs when 2 stations broadcast on the same frequency. This is not a problem in one market, but when aiming for 2 different markets, it becomes possible, especially if a 3rd market in the same path as one of the main target markets is receivable. Adjacent channel interference is a very good possibility. This is when 2 channels are right next to eachother and have different signal strengths. the stronger signal may drown out the weaker signal. This is not much of a problem with one market, but becomes fairly common when looking at two markets.

If you are only looking for one market, plus one channel in another market, then it can be simple if there are no channels in market #1 that are closer than 3 channels away from the desired single channel in market #2.

Point your main antenna towards market #1.

Point a second antenna that is capable of easily receiving the single channel from market #2.

Join them with a Channel Master "Jointenna". These are channel specific and must be special ordered from Warren Electronics.

Finally, if it works out that all of the desired channels in market #1 were UHF, and the single channel in market #2 was VHF, then all you need is a good UHF/VHF combiner.

If the jointenna or the VHF/UHF combiner are used, there will be only an insertion loss of about .5db. You will have double the signal you would by just combining 2 antennas with a splitter.

I hope this helps.

Bill
jmonier's Avatar jmonier
12:19 PM Liked: 13
post #1558 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 670
Joined: Jan 2003
Quote:
Originally Posted by electrictroy View Post

Maybe you should get a ReplayTV DVR which has no subscription fee of any kind. You just plug it into your phone jack and it automagically downloads the next two weeks of TV Guide data. Plus it can squeeze the video to fit into 200 hours of drive storage.

Of course the DTVpal DVR has the same functionality, with two weeks advance guide data, but only stores about 20 hours of HD video (it can't squeeze).

I don't think ANY ReplayTV handles ATSC (HD) signals. So unless I've missed some new announcement it would be useless in a month from now.

And, of course, the DTVpal has vastly different functionality.
WillN937's Avatar WillN937
12:33 PM Liked: 25
post #1559 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 756
Joined: Sep 2008
As mentioned eariler I inserted a thermocouple in one of the exhaust holes of my DVR. The other end is connected to a meter that records min and max temps.

The average reading is about 95 degrees. A little while ago I saw a 5 degree rise over the course of a few seconds to 100.5. This is interesting because over the last 24 hours the temperature has slowly wandered between 93 and 97. This rapid change was accompanied by a reboot.

Since the change was so rapid I have to assume the fan stopped or the rise was the result of excessive activity due to the software in a loop or something. So which was the cause and which was the effect? I don't know but both events happened very close in time. I suspect the rise was due to the impending reboot but you can connect the dots as you please or ignore them.
WillN937's Avatar WillN937
12:49 PM Liked: 25
post #1560 of 18607
01-15-2009 | Posts: 756
Joined: Sep 2008
A few people have noticed that sometimes you get a message that parts of the program were not recorded but don't see anything missing. Also sometimes you get find something in your recording list that a recording was skipped because it failed to start recording.

I don't have the exact internal details but it appears that the DVR fills a buffer and writes one or more sectors or tracks at a time. There is not any other way to do it that I am aware of. If there is no data coming in nothing gets placed in the buffer. In other words the DVR records based on the incoming data bits not by time (no fill if there is a missing signal). If there is a signal dropout all you will see is a glitch in the sound or picture not a blank screen. If there is signal dropout at the start of a recording the DVR just skips the recording. In other words, the DRV will not record nothing.

You can verify this by removing the antenna cable during a recording and observing the playback. That is what I did.

Reply HDTV Recorders

Subscribe to this Thread

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3