Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 169 - AVS Forum
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post #5041 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 02:29 AM
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It's simply rare for firmware updates to introduce revolutionary new features. It happens sometimes, but it's the exception, rather than the rule. Feature sets are often dictated by hardware capabilities, so programming magic can't change them.
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post #5042 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 07:38 AM
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Originally Posted by RosinBow View Post
Was looking for an IR connector instead of RF remote but an RF remote could be workable in our setup.
With an RF remote you never have to worry about where you are pointing it to hit the sensor. They make RF extenders for IR controlled equipment.

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post #5043 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 08:06 AM
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Originally Posted by SirCrow View Post
By the way, what inside info tells you that the feature set is largely complete? A CM guy on the phone, maybe?
I've been in contact with a beta tester starting months before the DVR+ was released. The documentation for the last three FW updates (some of which I have posted) indicates the priority is to fix the major bugs to make it a stable and reliable DVR, then start adding streaming channels. Tweaking UI cosmetics is on the table but there hasn't been anything substantial around added features -- which generally introduce more bugs. The feature set hasn't really changed from what was in the pre-release manual I had. The last FW update purportedly introduced internal changes to facilitate adding streaming channels which is in focus now. Streaming channels are money makers -- they will pay to have their channels included in popular devices.

As I have said many times, the DVR+ is an excellent mid-range DVR for OTA with a mid-range feature set that is sold at a mid-range price. Nothing touches it in its price class. Buy it for what it is today and not what you hope it will be tomorrow and you will be happy with the purchase. People that want more will need to spend more.
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post #5044 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 08:57 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
With an RF remote you never have to worry about where you are pointing it to hit the sensor. They make RF extenders for IR controlled equipment.
Thanks, as I mentioned in response to your original refence; "an RF remote could be workable in our setup". This is indeed tipping our scale toward Roamio Basic with lifetime subscription.

Amazon has got 500 GB model for $170. Someone mentioned a discount code to get the lifetime subscription for $399 but how can this be taken advantage of? Is the $399 lifetime still valid, restrictions on where unit is purchased etc.?

Sorry, I know this is a Channel Master DVR+ thread which was our original target and why I didn't mention the direction we are leaning since an RF remote will fit our needs. We are most certainly leaning toward the Roamio basic with lifetime if the lifetime subscription can actually be purchased for $399. Some members have posted that the code didn't work so if the subscription code is no longer valid Channel Master's DVR+ is not completely out of the running.

We had eyed the DVR+ when it was released but didn't purchase then because of their DVR growing pains as we didn't want an under developed product. We recently decided to re-examine DVR+ now that the new television viewing season has begun and enough time has elapsed for Channel Master to fix bugs and develop product enhancements to the DVR+.
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post #5045 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 09:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosinBow View Post
Thanks, as I mentioned in response to your original refence; "an RF remote could be workable in our setup". This is indeed tipping our scale toward Roamio Basic with lifetime subscription.

Amazon has got 500 GB model for $170. Someone mentioned a discount code to get the lifetime subscription for $399 but how can this be taken advantage of? Is the $399 lifetime still valid, restrictions on where unit is purchased etc.?
You might want to ask this question in the TiVo Roamio thread. You will get informed answers there from people who have done it and that thread is more appropriate to further discussion. You will also get much more information on the Roamio + Mini whole-house solution which is currently under discussion.

From personal experience, an RF remote is most appreciated during the winter time when you are snuggled under an afghan and don't have to poke your hands out from under -- breaking the heat seal -- to change the channel.

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Last edited by Kelson; 10-08-2014 at 09:53 AM.
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post #5046 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 03:03 PM
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I've noticed a new problem with sound on my DVR+.

It only occurs on one channel. When I view the channel live, there is no sound. If I hit the skip back button, or pause and unpause so I'm using the .. uh.. buffer, or whatever you want to call it, then the sound works fine.

Its a weird problem. Has anyone else encountered it? Most of what I watch is recorded, and its not that big of a deal to just skip back 30 seconds in the broadcast to correct the problem. I'm just curious if its happening to anyone else and if there is a way to get rid of the issue.
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post #5047 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 04:13 PM
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Originally Posted by blakepro View Post
I've noticed a new problem with sound on my DVR+.

It only occurs on one channel. When I view the channel live, there is no sound. If I hit the skip back button, or pause and unpause so I'm using the .. uh.. buffer, or whatever you want to call it, then the sound works fine.

Its a weird problem. Has anyone else encountered it? Most of what I watch is recorded, and its not that big of a deal to just skip back 30 seconds in the broadcast to correct the problem. I'm just curious if its happening to anyone else and if there is a way to get rid of the issue.

Is it ABC?
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post #5048 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 06:49 PM
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Not sure if anyone's interested, but you don't have to buy a DVR+ to get an IR extender, and you don't have to buy a TiVo to get an RF remote. There are standalone products that will do both. Here's my personal favorite: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Combine that with a universal remote and you can put all your doodads in a cabinet (obviously except the TV itself) and control them all via RF.

BTW, CM did offer a 15% holiday discount, I believe last Christmas but it may have been the one before. It was good on any product on their Web site. Unfortunately, neither of CM's earlier DVRs was available by that time and the DVR+ hadn't been released yet.
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post #5049 of 5747 Old 10-08-2014, 09:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Not sure if anyone's interested, but you don't have to buy a DVR+ to get an IR extender, and you don't have to buy a TiVo to get an RF remote. There are standalone products that will do both. Here's my personal favorite: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00...?ie=UTF8&psc=1. Combine that with a universal remote and you can put all your doodads in a cabinet (obviously except the TV itself) and control them all via RF.

BTW, CM did offer a 15% holiday discount, I believe last Christmas but it may have been the one before. It was good on any product on their Web site. Unfortunately, neither of CM's earlier DVRs was available by that time and the DVR+ hadn't been released yet.
I've jumped over to the TiVo Roamio thread as we've concluded at this stage that DVR+ isn't the path for us even after the respectable refinements Channel Master has made with the DVR+.

One additional factor that did linger with us was the experience we had with a Channel Master D2A Converter Box. It was one of those coupon eligble converter boxes, the only one that had an S-video output. As I recall we had to pay extra for that box because it was priced over the coupon value but we felt the S-video output was worth the extra dollars. Bottom line that box failed prematurely and Channel Master support was no help in replacing/repairing it so we replaced it with a reliable Zenith converter box that is still in service in a guest bedroom on an old tube set. This is why we were hoping they may offer the extended warranty for free as a promotion. As a rule we don't purchase extended warranties and it is assuring that since CM did offer an extended warranty for free on DVR+ recently that they have faith in its relability.

Not trying to put the DVR+ down, it is simply "horses for courses" and our course headed in a different direction than the DVR+ which can be a fine solution if you are looking to spend less money and can live with it's feature set, UI and limitations. The device may be developed and further enhanced down the line but at this point we're not on board with it and don't imagine we'll regret the decision. Thanks to this owner thread we were able to weigh out the device for our desired features.
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post #5050 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 08:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RosinBow View Post
I've jumped over to the TiVo Roamio thread as we've concluded at this stage that DVR+ isn't the path for us even after the respectable refinements Channel Master has made with the DVR+.

One additional factor that did linger with us was the experience we had with a Channel Master D2A Converter Box. It was one of those coupon eligible converter boxes, the only one that had an S-video output. As I recall we had to pay extra for that box because it was priced over the coupon value but we felt the S-video output was worth the extra dollars. Bottom line that box failed prematurely and Channel Master support was no help in replacing/repairing it so we replaced it with a reliable Zenith converter box that is still in service in a guest bedroom on an old tube set.
Sounds like the TiVo is the best choice for you at this point.

Interesting you mention CM's converter box. Back in the day I bought one myself for the same reason, and yes, it was pricier than the competition, but it was the only one with S-video for months. (Apex did eventually come out with a cheaper CECB with S-video, but I'd already used both my coupons by then.)

Mine was a bit "buggy:" when turning it on, the red LED would often come on and it would take several seconds to reset itself, and sometimes the channel scan would incorrectly identify channels. But mine never went bad. I eventually replaced it with a DTVPal but still have the converter box.

Don't know if you can generalize about the reliability of CM products, since they're usually just rebranded versions of other products. The CM-7000Pal was originally the DTVPal, the CM-7400 was a rebranded Entone DVR, the CM-7001 STB was originally a Centronics STB, and even the DVR+ is another Echostar product (although not made to Dish specs like the DTVPal was). But you might be right to generalize about their customer service and support.
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post #5051 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 09:56 AM
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With the 111 FW version we now have USB hot swap capability.
Has anyone tried using the "disconnect" USB option to remove a drive and then add a second drive?

I only have one 1TB drive but if this works I could buy another additional drive to archive football games on and then switch back to my existing drive for all else.
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post #5052 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 11:12 AM
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Originally Posted by Egbert Souse' View Post
With the 111 FW version we now have USB hot swap capability.
Has anyone tried using the "disconnect" USB option to remove a drive and then add a second drive?

I only have one 1TB drive but if this works I could buy another additional drive to archive football games on and then switch back to my existing drive for all else.

Try unplugging your 1TB and then plugging it back in again.
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post #5053 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 12:34 PM
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Try unplugging your 1TB and then plugging it back in again.
I'm skeered to.
That drive is chock full of stuff I would hate to lose.
Might try it this weekend.
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post #5054 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 05:14 PM
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I'm skeered to.
That drive is chock full of stuff I would hate to lose.
Might try it this weekend.

I did it about 8 times when I was trying another hard drive over the video glitches with out any issues and that was with the 108. Of course for you something might happen so please don't shoot the messenger.

Last edited by artisticimaging; 10-10-2014 at 11:18 AM. Reason: spelled messenger wrong
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post #5055 of 5747 Old 10-09-2014, 08:12 PM
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...something might happen so please don't shoot the massager.
I think you meant masseuse.

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post #5056 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 01:44 AM
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Audio Dropouts...

I believe that the Audio Dropouts are possibly caused by a weak/slow processor, my DVR+ with internal 1 TB drive only has audio dropouts when I am watching a pre-recorded show while recording a different show at the same time. The audio dropouts get even worst when recording two shows at the same time while also watching a different pre-recorded show. Any thoughts on this, the actual recording is fine since I can jump back and replay with no dropouts.
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post #5057 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 07:25 AM
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PSA free shipping on DVR+

Channel Master just sent an e-mail that any order from the Channel Master Store that includes a DVR+ will now ship for free.

Last edited by RosinBow; 10-10-2014 at 07:38 AM.
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post #5058 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 08:11 AM
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Channel Master just sent an e-mail that any order from the Channel Master Store that includes a DVR+ will now ship for free.
OMG ! I'm speechless .

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post #5059 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by SirCrow View Post
Similarly, after watching a recording and exiting, it highlights a different recording in the list, possibly the first one. So, if you want to delete what you've just watched, it involves moving the highlight back to it -- and we all know how unresponsive DVR+ can be to remote input.
Yep, that's an annoyance. After viewing a recorded program I usually delete it immediately. Which means I need to page down to the last page and then scroll down to the last item. The remote control unresponsiveness is my biggest disappointment with the DVR+.
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post #5060 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 09:27 AM
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Originally Posted by ACSWIRELESS View Post
I believe that the Audio Dropouts are possibly caused by a weak/slow processor, my DVR+ with internal 1 TB drive only has audio dropouts when I am watching a pre-recorded show while recording a different show at the same time. The audio dropouts get even worst when recording two shows at the same time while also watching a different pre-recorded show. Any thoughts on this, the actual recording is fine since I can jump back and replay with no dropouts.
I don't know the cause, but I'm still hoping a firmware upgrade will eventually solve it. I don't get the problem when playing back 1080i recordings (or at least it happens so rarely that I haven't noticed it). It isn't clear why audio would be affected at all by the video format, but it seems to be. Not sure why 1080i would require less processor power than 720p.

I haven't noticed a difference in having 1 vs. 2 recordings going on in the background. But I guess I'd have to do a count to be sure. Like you, I get no dropouts if there are no recordings in process. With a 720p channel, I can pause or back-up in the time-shift buffer, and that will lead to dropouts also until I resume "live" playback.
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post #5061 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 09:50 AM
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Originally Posted by SirCrow View Post
-- and we all know how unresponsive DVR+ can be to remote input.
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Originally Posted by t_f_s View Post
The remote control unresponsiveness is my biggest disappointment with the DVR+.
Do you guys mean the remote control itself has issues or do you really mean you feel the DVR+ has a slow response to remote commands.

There seems to be a developing feeling the unit is "under-powered". I still think a lot of these issues will ultimately trace back to the external USB drives that are being used are really not AV drives.
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post #5062 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
Do you guys mean the remote control itself has issues or do you really mean you feel the DVR+ has a slow response to remote commands.

There seems to be a developing feeling the unit is "under-powered". I still think a lot of these issues will ultimately trace back to the external USB drives that are being used are really not AV drives.
"slow response to remote commands" is the better description. I'm using a Harmony remote rather than the Channel Master remote, and I see the same issues. Responsiveness varies a lot, but the box can be slow (sometimes VERY slow) to respond to page down/up and other scroll operations in the guide or recordings lists. Other commands, such as the playback commands/skip-forward/skip-back, etc. always seem fine to me.
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post #5063 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 01:08 PM
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Originally Posted by mbuchana View Post
I don't get the problem when playing back 1080i recordings (or at least it happens so rarely that I haven't noticed it). It isn't clear why audio would be affected at all by the video format, but it seems to be. Not sure why 1080i would require less processor power than 720p.
Just a guess, but if your DVR+ is set to output 1080i, then it has to rescale 720p video but not 1080i video, and rescaling requires some processing power.

Of course it has to rescale 480i (SD) video too, but that's not as much work because 480i has a lot fewer pixels per frame. Maybe the 720p-->1080i scaling is just too much, something has to give, and that thing turns out to be the audio.

You could try setting your DVR+ to output 720p and see if that makes a difference.
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post #5064 of 5747 Old 10-10-2014, 02:44 PM
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If underpowered I would think the same symptoms would have been noticed long ago on the EU unit.
Unless they are programming in a language like Java....the presumably BCM board should presumably have plenty of horespower to run these tasks and I am 100% confident they profile their software builds to prevent performance bottlenecks......lets all hope to god it is not a harware issue.
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post #5065 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 05:35 AM
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Drat, 111R

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Originally Posted by cah95046 View Post
The latest software (111R) apparently issues a command to the HDD every 20min that prevents it from entering standby (e.g. WD "green" drives). The 108R software did not do this. I have a WD 2T green drive and it would powerdown overnight. After upgrading the software to 111R, it does not powerdown.
You may want to check where you got this information. By observing my drive's LED, I can see that with the DVR+ in standby, it "touches" the drive twice every 3 minutes (after 2.5 minutes, and then again after another 30 seconds).

My unit forcibly and without my permission went into a half-hour download and flash of 111R last night, just as my wife and I started watching a recorded show. This is truly unacceptable behavior - to force the device into an unusable state for over a half hour during prime time, not to mention installing firmware that I had no intention of installing!!!

The upside is that by touching the drive every 3 minutes, it avoids the awful scenario of cycling my drive on and off every 20 minutes (due to its 10 minute sleep timer).

The downside is higher power consumption and shorter drive life (I use the DVR+ rather rarely - it can go for days in standby and then get used for an hour or two, thus the drive spent >95% of its time not spinning; now it spends all of its time spinning. I don't believe these small portable USB drives are designed for 24/7 running. I'm sorry but bearings have a finite lifetime.)

The much-lower volume is very annoying also: now every time I switch over the the DVR+, I need to adjust the volume up considerably; then when putting the DVR+ into standby and returning to my TV, I get blasted. It was quite fine the way it was - they broke it.
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Last edited by frank70; 10-11-2014 at 05:37 AM. Reason: spelling
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post #5066 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 01:12 PM
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....
My unit forcibly and without my permission went into a half-hour download and flash of 111R last night, just as my wife and I started watching a recorded show. This is truly unacceptable behavior - to force the device into an unusable state for over a half hour during prime time, not to mention installing firmware that I had no intention of installing!!!

The upside is that by touching the drive every 3 minutes, it avoids the awful scenario of cycling my drive on and off every 20 minutes (due to its 10 minute sleep timer)....
I agree-forced firmware updates are totally unacceptable and especially during prime time. What the hell were they thinking? The only time I can see a forcible update is if it is required for safety-ie to prevent damage to the device.

I imagine they could offer a setup option for those who prefer to power down the drive when unused and no scheduled recordings are set OR provide the ability to schedule drive power down time - aka during the middle of the night when 99.99% of folks are not and never will record or be watching/timeshifting.

Even if this device has its limitations (Which every device has) I am looking forward to hopefully seeing a discount offered on the top of the line unit with internal 1 TB HDD during this upcoming holiday season. Keeping my fingers crossed. Plus it would be really cool if they offered a Tivo Transfer type option. It would be so very simple for them to export the partition which contain the recordins as a FTP or NFS or SMB share on the network and we could simply mount the share and copy the recordings over to our computers, perhaps edit them with VideoReDo to cutout commercials, then store on the computer or copy back to the DVR+!
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post #5067 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 01:32 PM
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I imagine they could offer a setup option for those who prefer to power down the drive when unused and no scheduled recordings are set OR provide the ability to schedule drive power down time - aka during the middle of the night when 99.99% of folks are not and never will record or be watching/timeshifting
The drive (as with most drives) is quite capable of handling its own spin up/spin down on its own terms. The only control the DVR+ has is by accessing the drive every 3 minutes, it defeats totally the drive sleep timer. Furthermore, there is no reason to inhibit drive sleep just because recordings are scheduled - the spin-up time is quite short, mere seconds, and the drive likely caches write data while the drive spins up anyway. The whole thing is stupid. Yes, an option to just turn off this drive tickling is absolutely a must. I've already written to CM and told them as much.
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post #5068 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 04:51 PM
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With the new firmware, when the DVR+ is in standby is it still buffering a tuner?
If not then I agree there is no reason for the DVR+ to force the drive to keep spinning. Especially true since the recommended drives are cheap little USB powered portables and not AV drives.

Just my opinion but if I were shopping for an external drive for the DVR+ I would be buying a Seagate Pipeline AV drive or a WD AV drive and a $20 USB enclosure and not a portable drive that isn't designed for video use -- regardless of what they recommend or bless.

- kelson h

The bitterness of poor quality lasts long after the sweetness of the low price is forgotten . . . life is too short to drink bad wine

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post #5069 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 05:33 PM
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
With the new firmware, when the DVR+ is in standby is it still buffering a tuner?
No, it doesn't buffer the channel being viewed because no channel is being viewed at all. With 111R, there is no activity on the drive during standby except for the gratuitous 3 minute cycle of hard drive tickles. 108R did not have any activity at all during standby, thus the drive could sleep after it's configured sleep timer expired. Now no rest for the weary (drive motor).
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post #5070 of 5747 Old 10-11-2014, 05:55 PM
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My personal recommendation for a DVR+ external AV drive is the WD BBT00101TB Black AV DVR Expander. This unit is a "My Book" series with its own external case, external power source and flexible eSATA and USB connections to a DVR. I have used this low power device for months with my PalDVR using a eSATA to SATA converter cable without any problems at all. All high CPU loaded recordings (record two simultaneous channels while playing a previously recorded program AND Fast Forward/Reverse, Skip Forward 30 sec,/Skip Back 10 sec.) replay perfectly without any dropped audio/video, pixilation or stutters. Again, highly recommended over standard data drives.
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