Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 184 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #5491 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 04:10 PM
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Why would they? The purpose of a DVR is to select which shows you want to record, and if the DVR+ recorded everything from a particular frequency, then people would complain that it was wasting their HDD space by recording programs they didn't ask for.
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post #5492 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 05:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Yes; you'd think the $249 DVR+ would at least have the features the $40 iView has

I mentioned another issue on Videobruce's DVR comparison thread. The DVR+ can't control volume or even mute the sound on its own, but the iView can. The DVR+ remote can do that, but only if there's a code for your TV or AVR in its code book, since it's not a "learning" remote; but the remote for the iView is!

Then there's the lack of analog outputs (yes, I know; analog is eevul. I won't get back into that debate; just pointing out that iView does have analog outputs). And don't forget the inability to set recording start/end times that don't end in a 0 or 5.

None of these is a disaster, of course. Just a pile of little annoyances that are starting to add up.
I'm unfamiliar with the iView unit.
Is it safe to assume that it's guide is strictly PSIP?
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post #5493 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 05:56 PM
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I received my brand new DVR+ today direct from Channel Master. (It did not have the 111 Firmware. I foolishly upgraded to the latest Firmware as the instruction thing said to do.)

After upgrading to latest Firmware, the volume output of the DVR+ dropped dramatically.

I searched Online and found others here have posted here similar complaints with the volume being too low.

I thought I'd add my two cents here so others will know this brand new box sucks right now for me! If their Firmware version 111R is gonna lower the volume so much, and then they do not release a quick fix, this is unacceptable. I paid $250 for this box.

Yes, I did a factory reset after the firmware update. After the factory reset, the decreased volume problem is still there.

I have to turn the volume up on my HDTV to 100 now when watching the box, and it still is not loud enough. Then of course if I switch to another HDMI source, such as DVD player, that volume is way too high at 100.

Channel Master, I am very disappointed and unhappy.

I cannot revert back to the earlier firmware, unless someone found a way to do it.
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post #5494 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 06:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
I'm unfamiliar with the iView unit.
Is it safe to assume that it's guide is strictly PSIP?
Yes, PSIP guide only. There's not even an Internet connection! It's also not a grid-style guide like the DVR+. You only see one channel's shows at a time. And it only goes out about one day, even if the station broadcasts more than a day's worth of guide data. Also, all recordings are manual; they have nothing like the DVR+'s name search feature.

As their low price suggests, the iView and clones like the Homeworx are very basic one-tuner DVRs. And they have issues of their own. I don't want to imply that they're in the same league as the DVR+, although they do make a good "overflow" DVR for when two tuners isn't enough. Still, it surprises me how many "little things" these cheap boxes do that the DVR+ doesn't, or at least doesn't do as well.

For instance, the iView and clones are pretty good media player boxes. You can put photos, .mp3's, and videos of many formats on your HDD and the iView will play them.
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post #5495 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 07:05 PM
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@midas89 , there is a glimmer of hope. CM is supposedly readying a new firmware update for release in the next couple of weeks. They have not mentioned any bug fixes, such as fixing the low volume on 111R, but there's at least a chance.

I would probably wait until mid-November, and if they do release an update, install it. If that doesn't fix the low volume, you should still have time to return it if you wish.

(BTW, a few returns should get CM's attention on these 111R bugs. I think we'll eventually get a fix. I just hope it's soon.)
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post #5496 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
@midas89 , there is a glimmer of hope. CM is supposedly readying a new firmware update for release in the next couple of weeks. They have not mentioned any bug fixes, such as fixing the low volume on 111R, but there's at least a chance.

I would probably wait until mid-November, and if they do release an update, install it. If that doesn't fix the low volume, you should still have time to return it if you wish.

(BTW, a few returns should get CM's attention on these 111R bugs. I think we'll eventually get a fix. I just hope it's soon.)
Thank you, JHBrandt!
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post #5497 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 07:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
Why would they? The purpose of a DVR is to select which shows you want to record, and if the DVR+ recorded everything from a particular frequency, then people would complain that it was wasting their HDD space by recording programs they didn't ask for.
If a user wants to record multiple programs from the same transport stream at the same time, this should only require 1 tuner and not result in a tuning conflict if there happes to be another recording on the other tuner on a different frequency. Many/most DVR's are not smart enough to recognize they can filter the TS on the single tuner and store both programs from that TS in a single file.
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post #5498 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 08:01 PM
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I agree, although it's a niche enough feature that I'm not surprised the developers haven't thought of it, considering how many other more basic things they also have not anticipated people wanting to do (e.g. jumping to a specific point in a recording).
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post #5499 of 8202 Old 11-03-2014, 08:48 PM
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Well, I did find one DST issue with my DVR+ today. It's a minor one, and it may only affect those using the PSIP guide instead of the Internet guide, but basically, all my name search events today recorded (or scheduled for recording) the show 1 hour before in addition to the one I wanted.

No biggie - I deleted the unwanted recordings and un-scheduled any upcoming unwanted recordings. Once I got to tomorrow evening the anomalous scheduled recordings stopped, so it looks like things will be OK going forward. Manually scheduled recordings were not affected.

Hopefully by next spring the 111R issues will be resolved and I'll be on the Internet guide, so I won't see these "extra" recordings again.
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post #5500 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 01:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by midas89 View Post
I received my brand new DVR+ today direct from Channel Master. (It did not have the 111 Firmware. I foolishly upgraded to the latest Firmware as the instruction thing said to do.)

After upgrading to latest Firmware, the volume output of the DVR+ dropped dramatically.

I searched Online and found others here have posted here similar complaints with the volume being too low.

I thought I'd add my two cents here so others will know this brand new box sucks right now for me! If their Firmware version 111R is gonna lower the volume so much, and then they do not release a quick fix, this is unacceptable. I paid $250 for this box.

Yes, I did a factory reset after the firmware update. After the factory reset, the decreased volume problem is still there.

I have to turn the volume up on my HDTV to 100 now when watching the box, and it still is not loud enough. Then of course if I switch to another HDMI source, such as DVD player, that volume is way too high at 100.

Channel Master, I am very disappointed and unhappy.

I cannot revert back to the earlier firmware, unless someone found a way to do it.
Having to increase the volume on your TV to 100 sounds drastic!
I found that the volume level since 111R was released has decreased considerably (why this occurred makes no sense whatsoever!) but not to where I've needed to max out my TV volume!
My standard level (on my Sony HDTV) was 40. Since 111R, my standard level became 55-60. That's a pretty substantial difference (in terms of db level).
Try changing the "Digital Audio Setup" (HDMI) to "Auto Stereo/Surround". In my case, it increased the volume but then it would become distorted at times and I had to revert back to the "Stereo Only" setting (which should be the normal setting for TV's). Better to have decreased volume vs. distorted audio!
My question for Channel Master is:
What was wrong with the original setting(s)?
Prior to the 111R release, these levels were perfectly normal and equal.
Since 111R was released, it seems that "Stereo Only" is too low and "Auto Stereo/Surround" is too high (and can produce distorted audio).
Hopefully, they'll fix this bug with the very next release!
Perhaps they should consider the following:
"If it ain't broke.....don't fix it!"

Last edited by OTA_jay; 11-04-2014 at 01:23 AM.
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post #5501 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 01:55 AM
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Regarding the lower sound level since the 111r update, I also have Cox cable and their Contour DVR and I have noticed a similar volume decrease on that as well.
They sent out an update a couple of weeks ago that had the DVR tied up in knots and required a couple of reboots to fix.
Watching live programming the volume is fine but any thing recorded on that DVR now has a reduced volume level similar to the DVR+.

It makes me wonder if both platforms incorporate some code in common like maybe a third party compression library that is responsible for the volume issue,

I think I will check some of my oldest recordings on both units and see if the volume problem exists in the pre-update recordings.
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post #5502 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 05:10 AM
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I don't think you guys have it right when you blame 111R. I have a DVR+, a SAMSUNG 55inch LED TV and a DTVPAL next to each other. The DVRs run into the SAMSUNG TV. I regularly switch from one DVR to the other and I am listening to recordings and live shows with the TV volume setting in the 10 to 12 range using both devices. No volume issue.


So I think something else is going on with your DVR+ devices. Quality or type of HDMI cables? Perhaps using USB powered drives sucks the power for the volume? I don't know but seems puzzling. Maybe I am the only one not having an issue or at least posting here?
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post #5503 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 06:14 AM
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Originally Posted by LenL View Post
So I think something else is going on with your DVR+ devices. Quality or type of HDMI cables? Perhaps using USB powered drives sucks the power for the volume? I don't know but seems puzzling. Maybe I am the only one not having an issue or at least posting here?
No, it definitely is 111R. Apparently, it only happens to some DVR+ units with 111R. Here is response from CM after I told them that the suggested Factory Reset didn't restore the volume, and that I have a very simple hookup DVR+ -> HDMI -> TV:

Steven Hatch (Channel Master Support)
Oct 14 08:40 AM
Okay, I will make sure to pass this information along to the engineers so they can look further into this issue and find out why this is happening on some and not on others. Thank you for sending us this information.
Channel Master
Technical Support
1-877-746-7261 Ext:3
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post #5504 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 07:27 AM
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I found that the volume level since 111R was released has decreased considerably . . .
. . . Hopefully, they'll fix this bug with the very next release! . . .
. . . "If it ain't broke.....don't fix it!"
I would not hold my breath in anticipation. The issue with decreased volume levels is something that was readily apparent to beta testers and no doubt listed in their evaluation reports. Yet it was ignored for the final release of the firmware which concentrated on establishing the software platform for expansion of streaming channels. Lower volume level is not exactly a bug but rather a feature that works differently than it did before. Some people may not like the way it works now but the unit is still perfectly functional -- "it ain't broke", not really, so there may be nothing that CM sees as needing fixing.

Hopefully I'm wrong for the people who want it changed, but the direction of future development seems clearly pointed at expanding the market appeal of the DVR+ by introducing streaming channels. Like it or not, that has a lot of appeal in the general market because people don't like to change inputs on their TV and value a box that does it all. A key channel going forward will be Netflix -- I'm sure they are working very hard to make that a reality.

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post #5505 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 07:45 AM
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No, it definitely is 111R. Apparently, it only happens to some DVR+ units with 111R. Here is response from CM after I told them that the suggested Factory Reset didn't restore the volume, and that I have a very simple hookup DVR+ -> HDMI -> TV...
I didn't notice any difference in volume level going from 108R to 111R. My settings are Auto/Surround, with midnight mode off. I always use an AV receiver for audio (which also does the HDMI switching to my TV).

I have sometimes wondered if the 720p recording audio dropout issue only occurs with some AV receivers, but it sounds like a few folks have heard the issue with just a direct TV connection.
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post #5506 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 07:54 AM
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Originally Posted by midas89 View Post
I received my brand new DVR+ today direct from Channel Master. (It did not have the 111 Firmware. I foolishly upgraded to the latest Firmware as the instruction thing said to do.)

After upgrading to latest Firmware, the volume output of the DVR+ dropped dramatically.

I searched Online and found others here have posted here similar complaints with the volume being too low.

I thought I'd add my two cents here so others will know this brand new box sucks right now for me! If their Firmware version 111R is gonna lower the volume so much, and then they do not release a quick fix, this is unacceptable. I paid $250 for this box.

Yes, I did a factory reset after the firmware update. After the factory reset, the decreased volume problem is still there.

I have to turn the volume up on my HDTV to 100 now when watching the box, and it still is not loud enough. Then of course if I switch to another HDMI source, such as DVD player, that volume is way too high at 100.

Channel Master, I am very disappointed and unhappy.

I cannot revert back to the earlier firmware, unless someone found a way to do it.

Send it back for a refund and tell them why.
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post #5507 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 08:26 AM
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This was done on Linux since the DVR+ uses Linux partitions. I have an idea of how to do this on Windows but I need to test it later this week.
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Originally Posted by Kelson View Post
It is so easy these days to install Ubuntu onto an 8GB memory stick and use it to boot a PC into working Linux without damaging or modifying anything on the PC. It's not worth the hassle of installing Windows Ext drivers. I was going to dual-boot my main desktop for Win-7 & Linux but for the limited amount I use Linux I can't see going past Ubuntu-on-a-stick.

I never found an easy way to copy the files to a larger disk under Windows. I was hoping to use EXT2FSD but there is an issue overwriting or deleting pre-existing files on USB devices. EXT2FSD works great if all you want to do is copy the video files from the DVR+ USB disk to your Windows PC.


As Kelson pointed out installing and booting Linux from a USB stick works well. I did this using SLAX because it is very easy to install on a 2GB USB stick from Windows. However for anyone who has never used Linux before trying to do a disk copy might not be easy. Linux makes it easy to destroy files with a few mistyped keystrokes.


On another topic I have not had any of the sound lowering issues that others have had after upgrading to version 111R. My setup has the DVR+ connected to a Pioneer HDMI amp which then connects to the TV.

Last edited by jsdevops; 11-04-2014 at 11:01 AM.
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post #5508 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 08:37 AM
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Of course, my DVR+ being just a day old, I called tech support this morning. They answered right away, and the tech was nice. I was able to show the tech the remarkable difference in the sound volume by switching on the TV from the HDMI source of the DVR+ to the same channel using a different source, keeping the volume level on the TV the same.

Through the speakerphone, he could hear the huge difference.

Yes, per Channel Master policy, he had me do another factory reset with the external drive not attached, to rule out the possibility the external drive being attached was the cause.

The factory reset had no positive effect whatsoever fixing the greatly diminished volume level.

The tech told me the volume drop after the 111R update is a known issue for some. He said that a factory reset has fixed the issue for some, but not for all. And certainly not for me.

He said the "engineers are aware of this confirmed bug, and that they intend to eventually push out a patch to fix."

I requested and received an extension of time I have to return my box for a full refund to 2 months.

If a successful patch is not pushed within the time period, I will indeed have to return my DVR+ for a full refund. The diminished volume on this DVR would just not be acceptable.
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post #5509 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 09:01 AM
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Good luck.
I guess it all depends on their definition of "eventually" being 2 months or less.

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post #5510 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post
I don't think you guys have it right when you blame 111R.
Since I didn't experience this pre-111R, and I am experiencing it post-111R, Occam's Razor suggests the problem was created by the 111R "upgrade."

Furthermore: Several people, almost certainly using a variety of different hardware, have experienced it, and CM has apparently as much as conceded the problem exists.

Jim
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post #5511 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 09:15 AM
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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
Try changing the "Digital Audio Setup" (HDMI) to "Auto Stereo/Surround". In my case, it increased the volume but then it would become distorted at times and I had to revert back to the "Stereo Only" setting (which should be the normal setting for TV's).
Quote:
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I didn't notice any difference in volume level going from 108R to 111R. My settings are Auto/Surround, with midnight mode off. I always use an AV receiver for audio (which also does the HDMI switching to my TV).
The change in volume between 108R and 111R was probably due to a change in the way the firmware decodes, compresses, and downmixes the audio. I suspect the Auto Stereo/Surround setting simply passes the DD-encoded audio straight through to the TV or AVR (at least when Midnight Mode is off). If so, that should eliminate any low volume issues irrespective of the firmware release. The only drawback is that it might not work with some monitors or older TVs that have HDMI but not ATSC tuners and don't know how to decode DD audio.
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post #5512 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 01:43 PM
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So I think something else is going on with your DVR+ devices. Quality or type of HDMI cables? Perhaps using USB powered drives sucks the power for the volume? I don't know but seems puzzling. Maybe I am the only one not having an issue or at least posting here?
Theories aside, there was an immediate drop in volume to the TV as soon as I installed 111R. Multiple factory resets accomplished nothing. This has nothing to do with USB drives, power issues or HDMI cables and has been reported by numerous people here. It's also been acknowledged by Channel Master. This problem exists and 111R is the catalyst.
As I specified previously, in my situation, the volume in the "Stereo Only" setting dropped off considerably.
In the "Auto Stereo/Surround" setting it became louder and often distorted (distortion varied from channel to channel).
I chose the lesser of two evils ("Stereo Only"). My unit is connected directly to my HDTV. It appears as this problem may only be related to this type of basic hook-up (which is the most common).
Reports seem to vary regarding this issue, as some rely entirely upon audio components (such as surround receivers) as opposed to a direct connection to their HDTV's. Perhaps in this type of configuration, it's not an issue (or it's a minor problem).
It seems likely that this low volume issue isn't simply affecting some but not all units. It's my belief that this problem is rampant, so advising Channel Master that it's occurring only on some units could create a lax attitude on their part, which won't benefit anyone here (certainly the ones whose hook-ups are affected by this problem).
For now at least, we need to focus on users that simply have their units connected directly to their HDTV's.
No outboard equipment connections.
Simple and straightforward comparisons. Apples to apples.
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post #5513 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 02:30 PM
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It sounds like CM doesn't know how to use DRC correctly. If you compress and amplify the audio too much in an effort to eliminate the dynamic range, you'll get distortion and crackling, but DD usually has pretty low levels, so you'll get really low volume if you play the audio without any amplification.
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post #5514 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 03:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
It sounds like CM doesn't know how to use DRC correctly. If you compress and amplify the audio too much in an effort to eliminate the dynamic range, you'll get distortion and crackling, but DD usually has pretty low levels, so you'll get really low volume if you play the audio without any amplification.
I believe (please correct me if I'm wrong) that the "Midnight Mode" is their term for DRC. In the "On" position, the audio is supposed to be compressed (to maintain a consistent level and eliminate sudden jolts in volume).
I can tell you that, with my HDMI/HDTV direct connection, I hear no difference whatsoever.
Does this feature function only via the digital audio out (Toslink) jack or is it simply non-existent?

Last edited by OTA_jay; 11-04-2014 at 03:16 PM.
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post #5515 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 03:32 PM
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Dynamic Range Compression is the way volume information is represented in Dolby Digital, and "Midnight Mode" is the name of the option on the DVR+ to enable DRC. DD normally has three compression levels (light, normal, and heavy), but most DVRs don't seem to let you select which one you want to use. The effects, however subtle they might be, should be audible over HDMI, as long as the DVR+ is decoding the audio. If you connect to a receiver and have the DVR+ send the original DD audio to the receiver for decoding, then the DRC setting on the DVR+ will have no effect, as the receiver is the device doing the decoding and deciding how loud the final signal should be.
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post #5516 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 09:50 PM
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Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post
It sounds like CM doesn't know how to use DRC correctly. If you compress and amplify the audio too much in an effort to eliminate the dynamic range, you'll get distortion and crackling, but DD usually has pretty low levels, so you'll get really low volume if you play the audio without any amplification.
Can't miss an opportunity to say again: CM did or doing or will nothing to FW, algos, methods of audio decompression and licensing such technology.
All fingers must be pointed to echostar (perhaps Eldon UK branch)
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post #5517 of 8202 Old 11-04-2014, 11:05 PM
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Can't miss an opportunity to say again: CM did or doing or will nothing to FW, algos, methods of audio decompression and licensing such technology.
All fingers must be pointed to echostar (perhaps Eldon UK branch)
So basically what you're saying is that Channel Master had little or nothing to do with the design and implementation of this unit?
If that's the case, I certainly hope that our complaints are being taken seriously and being forwarded consistently to the UK!
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post #5518 of 8202 Old 11-05-2014, 02:29 AM
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hope so ... but, would be this a surprise for you, if I would remind: any middleman create distortion in process of transfer info/requests/orders ?
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post #5519 of 8202 Old 11-05-2014, 05:04 AM
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Theories aside, there was an immediate drop in volume to the TV as soon as I installed 111R. Multiple factory resets accomplished nothing. This has nothing to do with USB drives, power issues or HDMI cables and has been reported by numerous people here. It's also been acknowledged by Channel Master. This problem exists and 111R is the catalyst.
As I specified previously, in my situation, the volume in the "Stereo Only" setting dropped off considerably.
In the "Auto Stereo/Surround" setting it became louder and often distorted (distortion varied from channel to channel).
I chose the lesser of two evils ("Stereo Only"). My unit is connected directly to my HDTV. It appears as this problem may only be related to this type of basic hook-up (which is the most common).
Reports seem to vary regarding this issue, as some rely entirely upon audio components (such as surround receivers) as opposed to a direct connection to their HDTV's. Perhaps in this type of configuration, it's not an issue (or it's a minor problem).
It seems likely that this low volume issue isn't simply affecting some but not all units. It's my belief that this problem is rampant, so advising Channel Master that it's occurring only on some units could create a lax attitude on their part, which won't benefit anyone here (certainly the ones whose hook-ups are affected by this problem).
For now at least, we need to focus on users that simply have their units connected directly to their HDTV's.
No outboard equipment connections.
Simple and straightforward comparisons. Apples to apples.

All I know is I hooked up the DVR+ right out of the box and connected it to the internet via Ethernet and it immediately updated to 111r within minutes. I never touched any audio or other settings and the audio is fine. It has a 500GB external hd. Seems strange that my box works fine and everyone else is having issues with 111r. That's all I am saying. If it is the 111r then why am I not having the sound issues? Why would I have a DVR+ that works with 111r? Also I never did a reset.

Last edited by LenL; 11-05-2014 at 05:05 AM. Reason: addition
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post #5520 of 8202 Old 11-05-2014, 05:22 AM
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All I know is I hooked up the DVR+ right out of the box and connected it to the internet via Ethernet and it immediately updated to 111r within minutes. I never touched any audio or other settings and the audio is fine. It has a 500GB external hd. Seems strange that my box works fine and everyone else is having issues with 111r. That's all I am saying. If it is the 111r then why am I not having the sound issues? Why would I have a DVR+ that works with 111r? Also I never did a reset.
Understood.....
However, since you're working with 111R from the outset, you don't have the option of comparing it to previous versions. The majority of users (myself included) reporting here had previous versions (certainly 108R). There is a definite reduction in volume level (as of 111R) but it seems as if it can vary (related to the equipment that the unit is connected to).
Fortunately, you're satisfied. However, more than likely you'll experience an increase in volume once they resolve this issue (hopefully very shortly).
Perhaps that will serve as your means of comparison (unless your unit is a rare exception to the rule).
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