Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 04:05 PM
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Some Updates.
1. Like Russell mentioned, I can see two weeks of programming for all the channels. The Info indicates "Powered by Rovi".
2. With a hard disk inserted (I went for a Seagate 1TB - recommended model in Channel Master list bought on Newegg for $59), I am able to select "record all programs with this name". So its not like a season pass in Tivo, but its more convenient than recording just the timeslot. Will see how smart the recording options get over time.
3. One neat feature (at least for us) is that the closed caption options are extensive with respect to font color, size and background (transparent, translucent, solid). I find it quite useful since we like the CC to be there but unobstrusive.

One slight annoyance is that when I pull up the guide and scroll down to the specific channel I want to view, I always have to select between "Watch this program", "Record this program". So need two remote clicks to move to a different channel. On my Dish Network PVR, if it was a program in the current timeslot, it would just switch to that channel and only offer the recording option if it were a recording in the future.

BTW, the recorded content is indistinguishable from the original content, so there is no funky compression going on here. Again, the colors are simply stellar, not sure whether this is due to a good processor or whether its because the processor leaves the signal untouched.

For an overall damage of $250+$13 (shipping)+$59 (hard-disk) ~ $325, I believe I have a great DVR option. Only time will tell how reliable it is.
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post #542 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 04:22 PM
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Ordered mine on 12/25 and just got an email saying it shipped. Oh happy day.
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post #543 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 04:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiteface View Post

Some Updates.
1. Like Russell mentioned, I can see two weeks of programming for all the channels. The Info indicates "Powered by Rovi".
 

Sounds nice so far. Thanks for the info.

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post #544 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 06:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiteface View Post

BTW, the recorded content is indistinguishable from the original content, so there is no funky compression going on here. Again, the colors are simply stellar, not sure whether this is due to a good processor or whether its because the processor leaves the signal untouched.

It just dumps the MPEG-2 TS to the HDD. No transcoding takes place, so the recording quality is identical to that of the original broadcast.

Now that a few people have these, we need some of them to connect their HDDs to their PCs to see if they can play and copy the recordings. wink.gif
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post #545 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 06:25 PM
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I've had mine for a week as part of giving feedback to Channel Master. I've hadn't made any comments here to give them feedback first but since others are commenting and I haven't found any deal breakers.

Pro's:
Easy to setup. Hardest part was finding an unused HDMI port on my video processor.
Picture quality is great. Live and Recorded shows both have great picture quality.
Rovi guide is excellent. Takes little bandwidth.
Deleted channels are not display in the Rovi guide.
IR remote
Tuner has great sensitivity.
Each time the channel is changed the Rovi guide displays the show listing for that channel at the bottom of the screen. Even if a commercial is on. (Great for channel surfers without bringing up the full guide)
Gives percentage of hard disc usage above recording listings.
Good support fro Channel Master.

Con's
Signal Strength meter access is awkward. You are supposed to change channel to get different station's signal strength but it seems to be locked to either a channel you just recorded or some other issue.
Channel Master website doesn't provide Discrete IR ON OFF codes. (Useful for Home Theater integration where macros are used). I've asked Echostar for info.
Channel Master doesn't provide an IR integration cable (Cable from IR port to a Xantech IR distribution amp) or wiring to make your own. I've asked Echostar for info.
After installing external hard drive I lost access to the recording I had on the internal flash.

General Comments:
As mentioned earlier you have to have an external hard drive before the weekly or daily schedule options are active in Manual recording options.

I was able to record the IR commands from the provided remote with my universal remote (An old Pronto TS1000).

For people who have HD projectors or HDTVs without ATSC tuners this appears to be a great device.

Aspect ratio is adjusted to fill width of screen. Standard 4:3 with normal sidebars are stretched to fill screen. If the SD signal has both sidebars and top & bottom bars the display is stretched to fill width but it leaves some top & bottom bars. Overall the stretch is acceptable. It works for me.

Some SD channels show no info on Rovi guide but it also is blank on the PSIP guide the station transmits or in this case doesn't transmit.

Channel Master responded to my request for Discrete IR codes. They are:
0x37 = ON
0x38 = OFF
The RCU IR transmission is based on the NEC TC-101 protocol.
The nominal carrier pulse frequency is 37.9 KHz with a nominal mark:space ratio of 1:2.
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post #546 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 06:37 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aleron Ives View Post


It just dumps the MPEG-2 TS to the HDD. No transcoding takes place, so the recording quality is identical to that of the original broadcast.

Now that a few people have these, we need some of them to connect their HDDs to their PCs to see if they can play and copy the recordings. wink.gif


A recorded file has already been reported to have played using SMPlayer on a Windows PC which had ext2fsd installed to access the Linux formatted USB drive:

 

http://www.avsforum.com/t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/360#post_24099731

 

But additional confirmation would be good as long as everyone understands that Windows will not even see the USB drive without ext2fsd or similar driver for ext2/3 file systems.

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post #547 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 06:56 PM
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So far 2 initial reports state that the tuner sensitivity is very good, which is very important to hear. Unlike the previous 7400 model which was problematic. I am going to place an order come payday on Friday. I hope there are still some in stock. Although I would have been happy to have been a beta tester and provide feedback, as I have been interested in this box since last summer. But I don't know how you get selected for that list. But hope to order on Friday.
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post #548 of 4266 Old 12-30-2013, 08:13 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tylerSC View Post

So far 2 initial reports state that the tuner sensitivity is very good, which is very important to hear. Unlike the previous 7400 model which was problematic. I am going to place an order come payday on Friday. I hope there are still some in stock. Although I would have been happy to have been a beta tester and provide feedback, as I have been interested in this box since last summer. But I don't know how you get selected for that list. But hope to order on Friday.
Make that three. I pick up 47 stations which is more than I get with my television and Simple DVRs.
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post #549 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 04:26 AM
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post #550 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 05:35 AM
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That is good to hear. They were not very forthcoming about when the units would actually ship out, only listing JANUARY. Hopefully I get an email soon myself. I ordered one on 12/17, but it is still listed as PROCESSING in the order status on their site.
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post #551 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 05:43 AM
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Harmony Remote support
Now that the units are shipping and available, I wonder how long it will take for the unit to be a supported device for the Harmony Universal remotes? I don't want to have to program every button in manually. Hopefully this is something that Channel Master is proactive on and partners up with Logitech to support.
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post #552 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 07:09 AM
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I preordered min on Dec 16th. I received an email confirmation the same day. I checked my order status on CM website and shows no order in last 30 days. Looks like preorder people will be waiting longer.
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post #553 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 09:27 AM
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Just received an email shipping confirmation from Channel Master.  I had placed an order on 12/19.

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post #554 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 09:51 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

I've had mine for a week as part of giving feedback to Channel Master. I've hadn't made any comments here to give them feedback first but since others are commenting and I haven't found any deal breakers.

Aspect ratio is adjusted to fill width of screen. Standard 4:3 with normal sidebars are stretched to fill screen. If the SD signal has both sidebars and top & bottom bars the display is stretched to fill width but it leaves some top & bottom bars. Overall the stretch is acceptable. It works for me.

Is there an original aspect ratio setting? Can you override the stretch?

Thanks
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post #555 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 09:52 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by petiteface View Post

Again, the colors are simply stellar, not sure whether this is due to a good processor or whether its because the processor leaves the signal untouched.
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

Picture quality is great. Live and Recorded shows both have great picture quality.
You folks may be new to digital video recorders. All it's doing is decoding the digital transport stream (from either the live broadcast or a recording) and sending the digital video & audio over the HDMI cable. With few exceptions (e.g., the PHD-VRX processes the video), any OTA tuner or DVR will give you identical "stellar" colors via HDMI.

Aside from that quibble, though, thank you both for your very useful initial reports. Looking good so far!

(Perhaps your prior experience was with DVD recorders, which convert an analog signal to digital and compress it to some (usually adjustable) degree; a process which can degrade the picture quality. This will never happen with most tuners or DVRs with an HDMI output.)
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post #556 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 09:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wiscojim View Post

I just got a call from Channel Master about two hours ago letting me know my DVR+ is on the way. From what I understand they only have a small number of these currently available. I was asked if I'd like to participate in their feedback program to get my thoughts on the unit. Gladly! I should expect a couple calls from a product manager in the weeks ahead.

.
IIRC you also own a Pal DVR, right? Don't know if you're still using it, but if so, when you get your DVR+ please let us know if there's any remote conflict between the Pal and the DVR+. (I'm guessing no, but since both were made by E*, it can't hurt to check!) Thanks smile.gif
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post #557 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:06 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

Aspect ratio is adjusted to fill width of screen. Standard 4:3 with normal sidebars are stretched to fill screen. If the SD signal has both sidebars and top & bottom bars the display is stretched to fill width but it leaves some top & bottom bars. Overall the stretch is acceptable. It works for me.
Hoping there's a way around this. I can't stand the "fathead" look (though it doesn't bother my wife). The Pal DVR can change this (with the Page up/down keys, oddly).
Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

Some SD channels show no info on Rovi guide but it also is blank on the PSIP guide the station transmits or in this case doesn't transmit.
Those are probably low-power stations, which aren't required to broadcast guide data in PSIP.
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post #558 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

IIRC you also own a Pal DVR, right? Don't know if you're still using it, but if so, when you get your DVR+ please let us know if there's any remote conflict between the Pal and the DVR+. (I'm guessing no, but since both were made by E*, it can't hurt to check!) Thanks smile.gif

Yes, I currently have 5 Pal DVRs. I will indeed let you know unless I see that someone else answers it before I get my DVR+ hooked up.

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post #559 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:13 AM
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I just received a call from Channel Master stating my dvr+ has been shipped. Will possibly get it next week due to holidays smile.gif
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post #560 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:13 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

I've had mine for a week as part of giving feedback to Channel Master. I've hadn't made any comments here to give them feedback first but since others are commenting and I haven't found any deal breakers.

Some SD channels show no info on Rovi guide but it also is blank on the PSIP guide the station transmits or in this case doesn't transmit.

 

Could you post the call letters of a station that has no data in the guide? Thanks.

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post #561 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:30 AM
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KCDO
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post #562 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rcrach View Post

Is there an original aspect ratio setting? Can you override the stretch?

Thanks
Yes. You can toggle back to the original aspect ratio.
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post #563 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 10:35 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

Hoping there's a way around this. I can't stand the "fathead" look (though it doesn't bother my wife). The Pal DVR can change this (with the Page up/down keys, oddly).
Those are probably low-power stations, which aren't required to broadcast guide data in PSIP.

I know that Tribune Media doesn't provide guide data for low power repeaters in WMC. Maybe Rovi's guide which is supplied from TVGuide is the same. For instance, KTVU in the SF bay area is broadcast on its main transmitter channel 44.3 from Sutro Tower and from a low power repeater in San Jose on transmitter channel 48.3. My antenna picks up both but Tribune doesn't supply low power channel data since it's the same virtual channel (2.1) so I had to reassign the channel map. Clear as mud.
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post #564 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 11:15 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

KCDO

3.1, an independent, should have data. 3.3, HSN, probably doesn't have much worth looking at. Interesting history though:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KCDO-TV

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post #565 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 11:44 AM
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KDCO is transmitting on 28.3 in the Denver Metro area. It's good for Star Trek Next Generation, South Park and a few other shows. They broadcasted The Running Man on Sunday.
Titantv has their schedule but Rovi doesn't. No PSIP.
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post #566 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 12:03 PM
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OK, if it's KCDO (the FCC has no record for KDCO), it's conceivable that Rovi doesn't have an independent station's schedule, but they are a full-power station, so they're supposed to broadcast 12 hours of PSIP guide data. They have a couple of low-power repeaters across the border in Nebraska, but repeaters will broadcast the same data stream as the main station, so you should still see 12 hours of guide even up there.

Sometimes PSIP encoders stop working and nobody notices for a while. Is there any way you could double-check (via your TV's tuner, another TV, etc.)? KCDO's engineer may need a friendly call wink.gif

Joe: Surprisingly, HSN does provide a schedule! You can see it on Tribune Media (Zap2it.com), or via PSIP if you have an Ion affiliate nearby (many Ion affiliates carry HSN as a subchannel).

Update: RabbitEars to the rescue! According to RabbitEars.Info, channel 28 in Denver is KLPD, not KCDO. I think the confusion is that 28.3 is merely a simulcast of KCDO's channel 3.1.

Unfortunately, KLPD is low-power and very well may not transmit PSIP guide data.

Further Update: If you can get channel 3.1, you should see the same programming, with guide data. Unfortunately, KCDO is a rim-shot transmitter and may be tough to receive in parts of Denver.
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post #567 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 12:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pkeegan View Post

KDCO is transmitting on 28.3 in the Denver Metro area. It's good for Star Trek Next Generation, South Park and a few other shows. They broadcasted The Running Man on Sunday.
Titantv has their schedule but Rovi doesn't. No PSIP.

Interestingly, Tribune Media does not list it on the Denver zip code but does list it on the Peetz zip code which is one of it's 4 repeaters.Weird. As far as PSIP goes, I wouldn't expect that data to be stripped out of the repeater feeds.
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post #568 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 12:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

3.1, an independent, should have data. 3.3, HSN, probably doesn't have much worth looking at. Interesting history though:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/KCDO-TV

They reference Dumont. Now that's a flash from the past. Little known fact, Dumont Labs developed the Trinitron tube. Arguably the best CRT ever made.
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post #569 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 12:23 PM
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rcrach: You're right; PSIP wouldn't be stripped by repeaters or translators. Unfortunately, KLPD isn't a repeater or translator; it's a low-power station that happens to carry KCDO's 3.1 and HSN as two of its five subchannels.

Since it has its own subchannels, it would have to regenerate PSIP for its own subchannel lineup. And since it's a LP, it doesn't have to - and apparently, it doesn't bother. Heck - it even downconverts KCDO's HD (720p) video to SD.
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post #570 of 4266 Old 12-31-2013, 12:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

rcrach: You're right; PSIP wouldn't be stripped by repeaters or translators. Unfortunately, KLPD isn't a repeater or translator; it's a low-power station that happens to carry KCDO's 3.1 and HSN as two of its five subchannels.

Since it has its own subchannels, it would have to regenerate PSIP for its own subchannel lineup. And since it's a LP, it doesn't have to - and apparently, it doesn't bother. Heck - it even downconverts KCDO's HD (720p) video to SD.

Sorry, it was listed as a translator. It must be hell for broadcast TV in the Rocky Mountains
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