The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 646 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #19351 of 19400 Old 03-26-2017, 06:35 PM
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In that case, P Smith is probably right. Sounds like the corrupt timers bug described in post 1. It probably happened when the DST bug struck and scrambled your timers. Usually disconnecting the antenna will get around it and let you do a factory reset, but not always.

There's a chance it will self-recover when the corrupt timers expire, but it's a slim one. If it's been over a week and still won't boot, you probably need to have the firmware re-flashed. I'm pretty sure P Smith can do that, but you'll have to send at least your main board to him. Actually, probably the whole Pal; I'm not sure he has one to install your main board in.

If the animation had been very jumpy, that would've indicated a failed or failing HDD. That animation is supposed to play while the firmware checks the HDD for filesystem errors, and if it has trouble reading a sector from the HDD, the animation will freeze until the read command times out. (It would've been a bad news/good news situation: your recordings would probably have been toast, but at least you could've fixed the Pal easily by just replacing the HDD.)
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post #19352 of 19400 Old 03-26-2017, 07:34 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
In that case, P Smith is probably right. Sounds like the corrupt timers bug described in post 1. It probably happened when the DST bug struck and scrambled your timers. Usually disconnecting the antenna will get around it and let you do a factory reset, but not always.

There's a chance it will self-recover when the corrupt timers expire, but it's a slim one. If it's been over a week and still won't boot, you probably need to have the firmware re-flashed.

If the animation had been very jumpy, that would've indicated a failed or failing HDD. That animation is supposed to play while the firmware checks the HDD for filesystem errors, and if it has trouble reading a sector from the HDD, the animation will freeze until the read command times out. (It would've been a bad news/good news situation: your recordings would probably have been toast, but at least you could've fixed the Pal easily by just replacing the HDD.)
Thanks for your response.

How long should I wait to see if the timers expire? As of now, it's off and had the power board and main board separated since Friday night.

Would it start if the hard drive is removed? This is how I last tried it.
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post #19353 of 19400 Old 03-26-2017, 07:44 PM
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I'd wait 7 days from when the Pal first failed to boot. That time period may have passed already, but you mentioned it here on the 23rd, so if it's not working by the 30th, it's probably P Smith or nothing....

If the problem were the HDD, disconnecting the HDD should have allowed it to start. No DVR functions, of course, but you could have at least used it as a tuner.
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post #19354 of 19400 Old 03-26-2017, 08:31 PM
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I think I only noticed it a day before I posted. This DVR was used as an alternate to a CM DVR+ since the DTVPAL has a superior tuner to it. It could generally get better reception of channels which the CM DVR+ struggled with in bad conditions. It also served to record a third show at the same time as the DVR+.


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PM me, I think we could arrange the repair this summer.
Thank you for the offer. I really appreciate it.
I hope to recover it, if only for sentimental reasons, but I will not invest in any serious money in it. I prefer to invest in a brand new unit instead for the long run. I have my eye on a Roamio.

Last edited by velix; 03-26-2017 at 08:35 PM.
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post #19355 of 19400 Old 03-26-2017, 09:44 PM
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I wouldn't consider the repair as spending "serious money", it would cost s/h one way around 10 EUR or , for cheaper option, a delay for July-Aug window if send the main PCB to/from CA.
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post #19356 of 19400 Old 04-01-2017, 05:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'd wait 7 days from when the Pal first failed to boot. That time period may have passed already, but you mentioned it here on the 23rd, so if it's not working by the 30th, it's probably P Smith or nothing....

If the problem were the HDD, disconnecting the HDD should have allowed it to start. No DVR functions, of course, but you could have at least used it as a tuner.
Tried it today without the hard drive and unfortunately it did not work. I guess it will be good for spare parts only minus the main board. I imagine only the eeprom reprogramming could save it.
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post #19357 of 19400 Old 04-01-2017, 11:36 PM
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Originally Posted by velix View Post
Tried it today without the hard drive and unfortunately it did not work. I guess it will be good for spare parts only minus the main board. I imagine only the eeprom reprogramming could save it.
Yeah, that's a bummer.

I found in 80-90% cases, reprogramming the flash does revitalize the DVRs.
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post #19358 of 19400 Old 04-02-2017, 09:51 AM
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Yeah, that's a bummer.

I found in 80-90% cases, reprogramming the flash does revitalize the DVRs.
Thanks again all for your assistance in trying to fix it.

I hate to retire this DVR because of a software problem, but unfortunately Dish stopped making software updates years ago for these to fix the bugs of the firmware. If reprogramming could have been done locally, then I would have decided to keep it. I preferred to invest more for a new Roamio OTA DVR instead. It's more expensive, but can do much more than the DTVPal DVR.

I'm down to one DTVPal left but that one needs to have the two bulging capacitors replaced. It's starting to freeze up more and more. Fortunately, it wasn't affected by the DST bug.
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post #19359 of 19400 Old 04-02-2017, 10:59 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by velix View Post
Fortunately, it wasn't affected by the DST bug.
So what precautions can we take to avoid being victim to this bug? Shut the unit off during DST changeover or have no timers spanning the DST time switch?

You got to be nuts; you want me to pay to watch commercials?
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post #19360 of 19400 Old 04-02-2017, 11:26 AM
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So what precautions can we take to avoid being victim to this bug? Shut the unit off during DST changeover or have no timers spanning the DST time switch?
I wish I had the answer for you, but I don't. If I did I would have done it to protect my DVR from it.
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post #19361 of 19400 Old 04-02-2017, 12:57 PM
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So what precautions can we take to avoid being victim to this bug? Shut the unit off during DST changeover or have no timers spanning the DST time switch?
That's a good question. I don't think anyone has a definite answer yet, but your second suggestion (deleting all timers before the switch, then recreating them afterwards) sounds like it would work. If there are no timers, there's nothing to corrupt.

The problem is, most of us would have to do it four times a year: before & after the two changeover days, and also before & after the two days one month before the changeover. It'd be very easy to forget.

Luckily, corrupted timers rarely brick the box - but as we've seen, it can still happen.
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post #19362 of 19400 Old 04-09-2017, 04:10 PM
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On Screen Display Jagged egdes

All,

After many years of use of my DTVPal DVR, I recently noticed the On Screen Display, menus, etc seem to have jagged and even ghost edges instead of the smooth lettering that I once saw (or thought I always saw...has it always been like this?). The TV is the same one its always been hooked up to, and its picture quality is still great, so it has to be the DVR.

Has anyone else noticed this happening on their DTVPal DVR and is there a way to fix it or is it part of the units aging?
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post #19363 of 19400 Old 04-09-2017, 04:43 PM
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How is your Pal connected to your TV? HDMI, component, composite, or RF?
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post #19364 of 19400 Old 04-09-2017, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by nwiser View Post
All,

After many years of use of my DTVPal DVR, I recently noticed the On Screen Display, menus, etc seem to have jagged and even ghost edges instead of the smooth lettering that I once saw (or thought I always saw...has it always been like this?). The TV is the same one its always been hooked up to, and its picture quality is still great, so it has to be the DVR.

Has anyone else noticed this happening on their DTVPal DVR and is there a way to fix it or is it part of the units aging?
what you described is happening in analog domain, it could be cabling or your TV if you connect to it by component or composite cable
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post #19365 of 19400 Old 04-17-2017, 05:20 PM
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Last year, I noticed difficulty in bringing in WHAG & MPT 31.x & 25.x where we keep an RV. This year, they are unwatchable. The Sharp TV picks them up fine. I am unaware of any changes at the stations. Could it be that the tuner is degrading? There are no more, and no less, trees in the area. Near Falling Waters, WV.

Does the CM DVR+ have a better tuner?

Reunite Pangea!
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post #19366 of 19400 Old 04-17-2017, 11:00 PM
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to check the theory about degradation of electronics, you should check other stations, perhaps at all location where you're watch or did
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post #19367 of 19400 Old 04-18-2017, 08:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by navychop View Post
Does the CM DVR+ have a better tuner?
Many folks have complained about the tuners in the DVR+. The DVR+ works fine in my environment, but others have noted more problems with multipath when using the DVR+ than when using the DTVPal.

Your best best is probably to ignore the fact that your Sharp TV can receive those stations, and treat this as a reception issue. Getting a better signal will never hurt, regardless of which DVR you use.
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post #19368 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 07:22 AM
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I have the exact opposite situation with my Sharp TV. It has an atrocious tuner, and is virtually unwatchable beginning in the afternoon. The DTVPAL DVR and Roamio OTA have no issues using the same antenna. I don't have any experience with the DVR+.
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post #19369 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 02:40 PM
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Only a few months ago, I switched out a flat-lined Sony CRT for a Samsung I had in the backroom - the remote never worked very well and the lithium batteries didn't really help. Anyway . . . last night it went 'pop' when I turned it on and no power after that. I have an old Emerson TV/VCR combo that I tried to hook to the Pal but none of the TV codes work and there are no Emerson options under TV/VCR. Is there any way to get this working with the Pal? I currently have it hooked up to a Zinwell converter box and that worked ootb.

Do you have any suggestions for a small flatscreen - the 'dumbest' one available - when I can finally find time to get out to buy one.

Thanks,

golinux

May the FORK be with you!
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post #19370 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 02:56 PM
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Sounds like you just want a remote that works with both the Pal and the Emerson. I'd recommend a Dish 20.1 remote: it works OOTB with the Pal, and even if there's no TV code for Emerson that works, it's a learning remote so you can teach it the Emerson remote's codes. (Of course that's assuming you still have the Emerson's original remote.)
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post #19371 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 03:05 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Sounds like you just want a remote that works with both the Pal and the Emerson. I'd recommend a Dish 20.1 remote: it works OOTB with the Pal, and even if there's no TV code for Emerson that works, it's a learning remote so you can teach it the Emerson remote's codes. (Of course that's assuming you still have the Emerson's original remote.)
That's good news! I'm using a Dish 20.1 with the Pal - prefer it to the Pal remotes. And yes, I have the original Emerson remote too. Is there a HOWTO somewhere?

May the FORK be with you!
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post #19372 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 04:21 PM
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That's good news! I'm using a Dish 20.1 with the Pal - prefer it to the Pal remotes. And yes, I have the original Emerson remote too. Is there a HOWTO somewhere?
There are lots of Emerson TV codes on page 30, and starting on page 25 are the learning instructions. See here: https://www.mydish.com/filestream.ashx?ID=3025
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post #19373 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 05:43 PM
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There are lots of Emerson TV codes on page 30, and starting on page 25 are the learning instructions. See here: https://www.mydish.com/filestream.ashx?ID=3025
Thank youfrank70. I had already found this which has the same instructions as the PDF (but not as clearly written). I tried that sequence several times but it's not completing. Haven't had a chance to try the codes. I don't quite 'get' how they will work if they aren't stored in the Pal. Busy day tomorrow so will do more over the weekend. The solution might be that I have to use two remotes which is not ideal but gets the job done.

May the FORK be with you!
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post #19374 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 06:17 PM
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Haven't had a chance to try the codes. I don't quite 'get' how they will work if they aren't stored in the Pal.
The codes are stored in the remote; the Pal has nothing to do with controlling the TV. Make sure you're trying to set up the code (or learn) the TV mode button. The last step in the learning process, pressing the TV mode button without too much delay to save all the learned buttons is crucial. If you are going to try to get the remote to learn, just try one or two buttons first to make sure you've got the process down correctly; learning all the buttons can be very nerve wracking and prone to failure because of the rather short timeout. I'd try the codes first, it will be pretty likely that one of the Emerson codes will give you all the basic functionality, and if you're missing a few buttons you can always learn just those over top of those programmed with the code.

Last edited by frank70; 04-19-2017 at 06:22 PM.
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post #19375 of 19400 Old 04-19-2017, 08:55 PM
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Up and running!

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Originally Posted by frank70 View Post
The codes are stored in the remote; the Pal has nothing to do with controlling the TV. Make sure you're trying to set up the code (or learn) the TV mode button. The last step in the learning process, pressing the TV mode button without too much delay to save all the learned buttons is crucial. If you are going to try to get the remote to learn, just try one or two buttons first to make sure you've got the process down correctly; learning all the buttons can be very nerve wracking and prone to failure because of the rather short timeout. I'd try the codes first, it will be pretty likely that one of the Emerson codes will give you all the basic functionality, and if you're missing a few buttons you can always learn just those over top of those programmed with the code.
Thank you! You were absolutely right! About 2/3 of the way through the list of codes, I found one that works all the needed TV buttons. So I'm good till this relic dies. The picture quality is excellent but the 13" screen is a bit of a challenge for my eyes. Not much worth watching on TV these days anyway so I'm OK with it . . .

May the FORK be with you!
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post #19376 of 19400 Old 04-20-2017, 11:12 AM
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Vizio

Quote:
Originally Posted by golinux View Post
Only a few months ago, I switched out a flat-lined Sony CRT for a Samsung I had in the backroom - the remote never worked very well and the lithium batteries didn't really help. Anyway . . . last night it went 'pop' when I turned it on and no power after that. I have an old Emerson TV/VCR combo that I tried to hook to the Pal but none of the TV codes work and there are no Emerson options under TV/VCR. Is there any way to get this working with the Pal? I currently have it hooked up to a Zinwell converter box and that worked ootb.

Do you have any suggestions for a small flatscreen - the 'dumbest' one available - when I can finally find time to get out to buy one.

Thanks,

golinux

I've had good luck with Vizio flat screens from Walmart
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post #19377 of 19400 Old 04-20-2017, 09:39 PM
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DST bug? Bad tuner?

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Originally Posted by P Smith View Post
Yeah, that's a bummer.

I found in 80-90% cases, reprogramming the flash does revitalize the DVRs.
Greetings! Think I may have the same problem as velix. Pal was showing signal strength 143% (interesting) but no picture and no response from remote. Powered off and back on and was stuck on the loading screen. Tried rebooting a few times - still stuck. Unplugged hard drive data and power and it let me get to the menu. Factory reset settings. Once everything came back up, Pal doesn't find a signal at all. Now I'm stuck there whether hard drive is connected or not, whether antenna is connected or not. Tuner (silver cover) and F-connector are hot.

Had it since the release... one bad cap repair and it's been great until today. Thoughts? Thanks!
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post #19378 of 19400 Old 04-20-2017, 11:49 PM
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Need to replace OTA tuner chip or two of them (under the hot can - it's normal, the chips are overheating by design - see my old posts with temp reading of various chips in the TR-50 model).
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post #19379 of 19400 Old 04-21-2017, 12:20 PM
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Did you find a source for those tuner ICs, Microtune MT2131? I looked once a couple years ago and they were obsolete parts.

Last edited by ed_in_tx; 04-21-2017 at 05:09 PM.
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post #19380 of 19400 Old 04-21-2017, 09:54 PM
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Quote:
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Need to replace OTA tuner chip or two of them (under the hot can - it's normal, the chips are overheating by design - see my old posts with temp reading of various chips in the TR-50 model).
Thanks for the info!
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