Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 103 - AVS Forum
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post #3061 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 06:04 AM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

What's happening is that, even while watching live TV, the video will lose sync with the audio, the video will suddenly freeze and then resume within a second or two! Scenes will become interrupted by the video actually skipping over a section and then resuming normal playback! Video will "bump" forward several times and then normalize (aka "choppy" video, I suppose)! When this occurs during playback of a recording and you were to skip back over that section, the replay of that section is consistently OK!.....which clearly rules out reception issues and/or any other issues related to the recording itself.
Just to clarify for anyone reading -- there is no such thing as truly "live TV" when using the DVR+. Even when you are watching TV in "real time" it is not "live" because everything is first buffered to the HDD and then played from the HDD. That's how you get trick play functions like pause and rewind. So watching TV in real time through the DVR+ will go through the same internal video paths as watching a recorded show.
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Originally I stated that it was intermittent or highly intermittent.
It seems to have become more frequent and more typical, so, for the sake of accuracy, I would consider it simply intermittent vs. being highly intermittent.
It still requires time and patience, as, at times, the video and/or audio is completely normal. However, when it occurs, it can be extremely annoying!
Hopefully this will be given some priority by the engineers, as it represents a very serious problem!

I am not a representative of CM and do not claim to have anyone's ear at CM -- I don't. I am simply corresponding with a beta tester who has been involved with unit testing all the way back to the Pal DVR. The rules he plays by are simple -- anything I pass on to him will be passed along to CM, if he can reproduce the bug on his test unit. I don't doubt the issues you are experiencing. From the descriptions it sounds like a playback buffering issue between the DVR+ and the external HDD. Are you experiencing these problems using one of the external HDD's that CM has qualified for the unit? I only ask this because that is going to be the first thing they ask you -- they do not guarantee the unit will work with every brand and model of external USB HDD out there. If you are having problems, they will suggest first that you use one of the qualified drives that were tested and known to work.

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post #3062 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 07:39 AM
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Originally Posted by DrDon View Post

Bickering removed and thread rolled back a bit. Discuss the topic and not each other, please.

DrDon, as others have asked for in this thread earlier, is there anyway the moderators could make this thread much more usable by adding all the pertinent data to the first post such as was done in the DTVPal thread? There is no way we can expect newbies to follow the mishmash here looking for answers to their questions in the current form. Additions should include all features, noted problems, work-arounds for procedures not covered in the user manual, etc.? Seems this should have been done by a forum moderator from the start. That could have eliminated a good percentage of the posts here.
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post #3063 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 09:22 AM
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^^^
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I don't think the moderators had anything to do with the way the initial post in the DTVPal thread was set up. That was done by user bfdtv, a long-time member of the forum who is obviously knowledgeable about how to set it up AND took the time to maintain his/her initial post and add info as it became available. The responsibility to do the same with this thread ultimately resides with user Aero1, the initial poster. smile.gif

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post #3064 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 09:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Just to clarify for anyone reading -- there is no such thing as truly "live TV" when using the DVR+. Even when you are watching TV in "real time" it is not "live" because everything is first buffered to the HDD and then played from the HDD. That's how you get trick play functions like pause and rewind. So watching TV in real time through the DVR+ will go through the same internal video paths as watching a recorded show.
I am not a representative of CM and do not claim to have anyone's ear at CM -- I don't. I am simply corresponding with a beta tester who has been involved with unit testing all the way back to the Pal DVR. The rules he plays by are simple -- anything I pass on to him will be passed along to CM, if he can reproduce the bug on his test unit. I don't doubt the issues you are experiencing. From the descriptions it sounds like a playback buffering issue between the DVR+ and the external HDD. Are you experiencing these problems using one of the external HDD's that CM has qualified for the unit? I only ask this because that is going to be the first thing they ask you -- they do not guarantee the unit will work with every brand and model of external USB HDD out there. If you are having problems, they will suggest first that you use one of the qualified drives that were tested and known to work.

Kelson, I've to disagree here (we got dig into the suggestion before, at TR-50 aka DTVpalDVR thread). For TR50 it was easy to proof - just disconnect a drive and you can watch a program w/out trick mode eventually.
Restoring HDD connection and watching two identical TR50s same time (one w/out HDD, other with) doesn't show any delay in video/audio.

Same for all E* DVR - satellite or cable type.

I don't see any difference in design of K77. While it would be hard to demonstrate as here is a internal storage [NAND] always employed.
I would go into extensive tests (by removing the NAND chip) if someone willing to provide a DVR+ device to me. But my engineering experience and education telling me we have same method in all the DVRs.
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post #3065 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 09:37 AM
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The responsibility to do the same with this thread ultimately resides with user Aero1, the initial poster. smile.gif

 

Or one can simply start their own thread with such details. Much like the projector forum where multiple threads exist.. owner's, calibration, etc.

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post #3066 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 10:12 AM
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I experienced some of the same issues you detailed in your post. I assumed it was my HDD (Seagate Barracuda ST1000DM003 1TB 7200 RPM 64MB Cache SATA 6.0Gb/s 3.5" Internal Hard Drive Bare Drive) but after testing, I am thinking it might be somewhere in the DVR+ buffer software that writes out to the HDD. The one event that occurred to me was a DVR+ error alert that stated "DVR+ could not initialize the HDD". This occurred when in the DVR+ "play DVR mode" and viewing a "new" recorded file. The machine just froze when trying to play a new recorded file. I re-booted both the DVR+ and HDD but when loaded the DVR+ could not initialize the HDD and/or read any of my recorded files. The DVR+ did continue to stream "live" but there was no DVR recording function. At that point I had to do a HDD re-format.

On another occasion where the DVR+ in play DVR mode froze, I just did a power off/on cycle and everything booted back up fine. After a CHDSK, everything tested good.

Everything works fine after I did the complete reformat of my HDD EXCEPT for the occasional freezing of the video when playing back a DVR recording and/or playing live streams. Most of the time, if I just wait 15 sec or more, the DVR+ will resume w/ the video. Before, I would press too many keys like "Exit", "Menu" and the system would stay frozen until I powered off the DVR+ (using remote) and then power on.

Part of this may be explained by the "signal quality" on some of my channels if they fall to under 70% (usually in the early PM as nearby trees blow in the afternoon wind) causing the video to go black and then good again ( my "signal quality" reception gets intermittent). I assumed the DVR+ buffer software gets locked up and then eventually cycles back on when the signal is good again.

The sensitivity setting of the receiver in the DVR+ may be set too "high" (just my guess). My TV turner (a Vizio 60" flat panel) only breaks up occasionally (and only on a few channels) and recovers to clean video quickly (w/i seconds). For my strongest channels both the DVR+ and my TV appear to work fine.

So maybe there is something going on w/ the DVR+ buffer software that locks up if/when the signal quality degrades to a certain point (even briefly). Most of the time the DVR+ will recover in just a few seconds. This type of event could have caused the DVR+ to write out bad blocks to my HDD when in the DVR record mode. Since my HDD reformat event, the DVR+ has been on 24/7 for over 30 days and seems to be working ok except for the occasional video freeze ups described above.

FWIW, I have installed a new MS-2002 Amplified MetroStar 360HD Omni-Directional Antenna on my roof w/ power amplifier. Also, I suspect w/ Spring weather here in Northern California, the trees are now full w/ leaves and with afternoon winds here, my OTA "signal quality" is in that intermittent 70% zone (from time-to-time in the afternoon) that may be causing my occasional video hiccups.

Have you tried your DVR+ using a cable channel feed guaranteeing 100% "signal quality"?

EKS
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post #3067 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 10:33 AM
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EKS, could you please correct your big post above ?
- HD means HiDef,
while HDD is a drive using as an extension of DVR+ storage.

It's hard to read your text with wrong acronyms.
.
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post #3068 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 10:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Kelson, I've to disagree here (we got dig into the suggestion before, at TR-50 aka DTVpalDVR thread). For TR50 it was easy to proof - just disconnect a drive and you can watch a program w/out trick mode eventually.
Restoring HDD connection and watching two identical TR50s same time (one w/out HDD, other with) doesn't show any delay in video/audio.

Same for all E* DVR - satellite or cable type.

I don't see any difference in design of K77. While it would be hard to demonstrate as here is a internal storage [NAND] always employed.
I would go into extensive tests (by removing the NAND chip) if someone willing to provide a DVR+ device to me. But my engineering experience and education telling me we have same method in all the DVRs.

In this case there is always storage available and as long as you can do pause or RW, the input stream is being buffered. So for practical purposes, with the DVR+ you are never watching "live TV", it is always the buffered stream being played back. There are recorders without a "live TV" buffer like the Philips 5710 which has no trick-play features for real-time TV unless you specifically hit the record button.

As far as delay, that depends on design. When I match my TiVo Roamio against the TV in the kitchen playing directly from the antenna, there is a barely perceptible delay in the Roamio.

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post #3069 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 10:51 AM
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I mean trick modes employ HDD recording what is doing simultaneously with showing live TV on all outputs of the DVR.
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post #3070 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 11:46 AM
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Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

I mean trick modes employ HDD recording what is doing simultaneously with showing live TV on all outputs of the DVR.
So, if I understand you correctly, you are proposing that although the DVR+ is buffering the current channel, it sends live TV straight from the tuner to the output if playing in real time and only plays from the buffer if you initiate trick-play.

OK, doesn't make sense to me but I have no information that would lead one way or the other.

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post #3071 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

I mean trick modes employ HDD recording what is doing simultaneously with showing live TV on all outputs of the DVR.
So, if I understand you correctly, you are proposing that although the DVR+ is buffering the current channel, it sends live TV straight from the tuner to the output if playing in real time and only plays from the buffer if you initiate trick-play.

OK, doesn't make sense to me but I have no information that would lead one way or the other.

It makes perfect sense to me, and is the way it ought to be done.

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post #3072 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 12:04 PM
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it's named "multitasking" wink.gif
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Just to clarify for anyone reading -- there is no such thing as truly "live TV" when using the DVR+. Even when you are watching TV in "real time" it is not "live" because everything is first buffered to the HDD and then played from the HDD. That's how you get trick play functions like pause and rewind. So watching TV in real time through the DVR+ will go through the same internal video paths as watching a recorded show.
I am not a representative of CM and do not claim to have anyone's ear at CM -- I don't. I am simply corresponding with a beta tester who has been involved with unit testing all the way back to the Pal DVR. The rules he plays by are simple -- anything I pass on to him will be passed along to CM, if he can reproduce the bug on his test unit. I don't doubt the issues you are experiencing. From the descriptions it sounds like a playback buffering issue between the DVR+ and the external HDD. Are you experiencing these problems using one of the external HDD's that CM has qualified for the unit? I only ask this because that is going to be the first thing they ask you -- they do not guarantee the unit will work with every brand and model of external USB HDD out there. If you are having problems, they will suggest first that you use one of the qualified drives that were tested and known to work.

Thank you!.....
I'm aware of the buffering and that it's not truly "live TV". It's been expressed as such here and seemed to be the best way to describe it.
Yes.....the majority of the drives tested were Seagate 1 and 2 TB expansion drives as recommended by CM.
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post #3074 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 01:21 PM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Yes.....the majority of the drives tested were Seagate 1 and 2 TB expansion drives as recommended by CM.
Well, that is disheartening. I wonder if your DVR+ may have some defect.

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post #3075 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 01:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

and is the way it ought to be done.
Oh, I don't know about that. I would think implementation of a single audio/video path to be preferable due to simplicity instead of having to switch over back and forth between dual paths. I frankly see no advantage to having a separate path for live TV, especially when proper design could make the delay vanishingly small. But then maybe I'm just used to the way TiVo does it.
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- kelson h

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post #3076 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 01:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Well, that is disheartening. I wonder if your DVR+ may have some defect.

As I mentioned previously, the results have been the same on two (both mine and a friend's) units.
Additionally, this isn't isolated, as others here have had the same (or very similar) issues.
Therefore, whatever it us, it's not a singular unit.....it appears to be affecting numerous units.....hence the urgency in addressing it on this forum.....and with CM!......perhaps as more of these units are circulated it may become a more widespread problem (hence the potential need to "sound the alarm")!
It may not be occurring on all units (including the "test" unit you referred to) but there's certainly need for concern, as, when it occurs, it's a real deal breaker!
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post #3077 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 01:38 PM
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Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

Thank you!.....
I'm aware of the buffering and that it's not truly "live TV". It's been expressed as such here and seemed to be the best way to describe it.
Yes.....the majority of the drives tested were Seagate 1 and 2 TB expansion drives as recommended by CM.

The only HDD problems I have experienced were with the recommended Seagate drives. As soon as I switched to a WD 2 TB HDD, all of the problems went away.

Josh
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post #3078 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 02:18 PM
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The choppy video on mine did not start till I upgrade to 103r and it is at least every 10 minutes or so and if I play it back it is okay.
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post #3079 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 03:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

and is the way it ought to be done.
Oh, I don't know about that. I would think implementation of a single audio/video path to be preferable due to simplicity instead of having to switch over back and forth between dual paths. I frankly see no advantage to having a separate path for live TV, especially when proper design could make the delay vanishingly small. But then maybe I'm just used to the way TiVo does it.

It is better because if there is a problem with the hard drive or the USB cable, it might make it impossible to watch live TV with it. And it also absolutely has to have a signal path that does not go through the hard drive, or it would not work at all without a hard drive.

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post #3080 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 03:53 PM
 
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A couple questions: First off, either from experience or elsewhere what have you found the lowest signal quality to be and still get reliable reception on the unit? The second question is what are the steps to delete unwatched channels?
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post #3081 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post


Oh, I don't know about that. I would think implementation of a single audio/video path to be preferable due to simplicity instead of having to switch over back and forth between dual paths. I frankly see no advantage to having a separate path for live TV, especially when proper design could make the delay vanishingly small. But then maybe I'm just used to the way TiVo does it.


I agree. The old Sony DHG worked that way and the buffer was variable from 30 to 90 minutes. It could be saved (added to "live" TV with a few commands) to save it to disk also.

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post #3082 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 04:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack D Ripper View Post

It is better because if there is a problem with the hard drive or the USB cable, it might make it impossible to watch live TV with it. And it also absolutely has to have a signal path that does not go through the hard drive, or it would not work at all without a hard drive.
You are forgetting the 16GB of internal memory that will always be there. It works without a HDD attached, you just can't record much. I still see no reason to have a separate signal path. It adds complexity and I see no benefit. But as far as the DVR+ goes, I can't say what they do.

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post #3083 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 04:19 PM
 
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The only HDD problems I have experienced were with the recommended Seagate drives. As soon as I switched to a WD 2 TB HDD, all of the problems went away.

Which specific WD drive are you using (the closest equivalent to the Seagate drives are the "My Passport Ultra")?
I have had the same results with the WD drive as with the Seagate drives. As I specified previously, it's intermittent and requires patience and the need to pay close attention to the screen. It is sometimes very obvious and other times not as obvious.
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post #3084 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 04:21 PM
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Which specific WD drive are you using (the closest equivalent to the Seagate drives are the "My Passport Ultra")?
I have had the same results with the WD drive as with the Seagate drives. As I specified previously, it's intermittent and requires patience and the need to pay very close attention to the screen.

I will check the model when I get home tonight and let you know.

Josh
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WD drives seem to generally have a better reputation and track record than Seagate drives.
However, ultimately, I'm uncomfortable using these cheaper, portable drives, as they simply aren't as durable and reliable as full size drives (especially certain brands)!
These portable drives aren't designed for this type of use and were likely recommended by CM based primarily on low cost and (possibly) as they're small, cute and don't require external power.
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post #3086 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 05:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

These portable drives aren't designed for this type of use and were likely recommended by CM based primarily on low cost and (possibly) as they're small, cute and don't require external power.

 

Over the last couple of years I have used many 3.5" and 2.5" external USB 2.0 drives with WMC. Often recording four shows and streaming a few concurrently and I haven't noticed any difference between them. I'd guess roughly a dozen of varying brands and sizes. Now I will say overall I don't think they are as transparent as an internal drive as when heavy recordings where going on I would on a rare occasion (once or twice a week) see parts of the image flash for an instant. Regardless of drive size... 2.5" or 3.5".

 

Even my ISCSI drive never has had this issue and one would think it would be more prone to such with all of the traffic flying over the network. Who knows perhaps my motherboard's USB ports aren't the greatest. For reference this is with three recordings and one playback..

 

 

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post #3087 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 05:05 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1 View Post

WD drives seem to generally have a better reputation and track record than Seagate drives.
However, ultimately, I'm uncomfortable using these cheaper, portable drives, as they simply aren't as durable and reliable as full size drives (especially certain brands)!
These portable drives aren't designed for this type of use and were likely recommended by CM based primarily on low cost and (possibly) as they're small, cute and don't require external power.
it's amusing me ... it was answered here so many times, Internet is full of recommendations...

WD AV-GP is the DVR type of drives, AudioVideo-GreenPower; what else is better ? Use any SATA-USB enclosure, buy AV-GP drive, assemble it ...
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post #3088 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 07:22 PM
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it's amusing me ... it was answered here so many times, Internet is full of recommendations...

WD AV-GP is the DVR type of drives, AudioVideo-GreenPower; what else is better ? Use any SATA-USB enclosure, buy AV-GP drive, assemble it ...
Seagate Pipeline AV drives are also very good. I have one in my DVR.

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post #3089 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 07:31 PM
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I recall, Samsung had some good AV drives before merging with WDC... and a few Hitachi ...
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post #3090 of 5179 Old 04-16-2014, 07:53 PM
 
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it's amusing me ... it was answered here so many times, Internet is full of recommendations...

WD AV-GP is the DVR type of drives, AudioVideo-GreenPower; what else is better ? Use any SATA-USB enclosure, buy AV-GP drive, assemble it ...

I'm curious (since I've personally had no experience with this WD AV drive).....
Using such a drive/enclosure with the DVR+, is it safe to assume that it would require it's own power supply?.....
If so, is there any issue with using a independently powered drive/enclosure with the DVR+ (as opposed to USB powered.....as CM recommends)?.....
Additionally, is it possible for these type of drives/enclosures to spin down ("sleep"/"standby" mode) if the DVR+ isn't in use for a lengthy period of time?.....Is there a way of programming the "sleep" function prior to using it with the DVR+?
One more thing.....would there be any disadvantage in simply using a (pre-fabricated) WD AV external drive (such as the one that's intended to be used with cable company DVR's)?

Sorry if this has been covered already..... but in light of these recent video "glitches", I'm concerned that it may somehow be related to these "portable" drives (although it seems unlikely.....after having the same issues with six of them!).
Thanks!
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