Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 245 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #7321 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 03:52 PM
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I've tried numerous north Texas Zip codes and never had the issues Jay had. (And in case anyone's wondering, this was on 114R.) Generally what happened is that the guide data would disappear momentarily, then fill back in. The only time I had any problem was when I moved too far north: everything reverted to PSIP except the one channel I get that broadcasts from Oklahoma (KXII/12). But when I moved back closer to DFW, everything was restored.

(I should point out that it did take several minutes for the channel icons and guide data to recover. Perhaps Jay just didn't wait long enough after restoring his original Zip code.)

Of course, there's no reason to expect re-downloading the Rovi guide to magically fix any missing or incorrect show titles or descriptions. It might help if you had an incomplete download due to an Internet outage, but otherwise, you can try every Zip code within 50 miles of the towers and you're just going to keep getting the same incomplete info.


Regarding the Plex/media center idea, I believe some DVRs (specifically, the PHD-VRX and TViX 6620) provide a function like that. (@Aleron Ives; has a TViX and may give us more info.) Unfortunately, those DVRs have weak PSIP-only EPGs, the PHD-VRX has buggy firmware, and the TViX is out of production and rather pricey. Hopefully CM will consider adding a similar function to the DVR+; then we can have it all
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post #7322 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 05:02 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
(I should point out that it did take several minutes for the channel icons and guide data to recover. Perhaps Jay just didn't wait long enough after restoring his original Zip code.)

Of course, there's no reason to expect re-downloading the Rovi guide to magically fix any missing or incorrect show titles or descriptions. It might help if you had an incomplete download due to an Internet outage, but otherwise, you can try every Zip code within 50 miles of the towers and you're just going to keep getting the same incomplete info.
Insofar as allowing sufficient time, I waited approx. 30 minutes prior to the full factory reset (in the hopes that the guide would normalize). This should be more than adequate (as the download process had already ended at least 20-25 minutes prior).

In contrast to what you stated, insofar as the missing/incomplete descriptions are concerned, I have been able to improve upon this by
re-scanning the channels (to force a guide update).
The timing of this is important. It appears as if they may be updating the listings only once a day. If you re-scan prior to this time, the data remains the same. However, if you re-scan beyond that point, it will fill in (at least some) missing or incomplete descriptions.
I've found (from my experience with this) that a safe time would be after 6:00 PM (east coast time).
Having a quick guide update option incorporated into the menu would save considerable (and sometimes wasted) time with this process!

Last edited by OTA_jay; 01-24-2015 at 05:08 PM.
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post #7323 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 05:20 PM
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Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
I would love to see some method to add something like a Plex channel to the guide to access our home media, or the ability to list a media center in the guide. I don't think there is anything like that currently, and it probably would not be part of the linear TV initiative, but it would make the DVR+ the mythical "convergence device" I have been seeking since about 2000.
I too would love plex integration.

Someone asked them about it on facebook and they said they have plans to try to implement it. So there is some hope.
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post #7324 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OTA_jay View Post
Insofar as allowing sufficient time, I waited approx. 30 minutes prior to the full factory reset (in the hopes that the guide would normalize). This should be more than adequate (as the download process had already ended at least 20-25 minutes prior).

In contrast to what you stated, insofar as the missing/incomplete descriptions are concerned, I have been able to improve upon this by
re-scanning the channels (to force a guide update).
The timing of this is important. It appears as if they may be updating the listings only once a day. If you re-scan prior to this time, the data remains the same. However, if you re-scan beyond that point, it will fill in (at least some) missing or incomplete descriptions.
I've found (from my experience with this) that a safe time would be after 6:00 PM (east coast time).
Having a quick guide update option incorporated into the menu would save considerable (and sometimes wasted) time with this process!
Well, I certainly didn't have to wait 30 minutes! My guide "normalized" after 5-10 minutes. But it does seem like, if there's any chance of some problem happening, you're the one it will happen to. Maybe you should change your handle to "Murphy"

My experience has been that Rovi starts with a "default" guide that has no or generic descriptions and a lot of mistakes, then updates it with corrected and more detailed info weekly. Often I don't see info for a Mon.-Fri. show get corrected until Sunday, or even Monday - but once it does get fixed, it's fixed at least for the rest of week 1. (Week 2 is often less reliable, although some networks are better than others.)

So for me, forcing a download on Sunday, then refreshing my timers, might be of some benefit, but not so much the rest of the week. YMMV.

I agree there should be a menu option to download the guide without having to resort to kludges like changing the Zip code, rescanning channels, or doing a cold boot (another method that works, BTW). WMC has an option like that; I don't use it often but it does come in handy on occasion.

BTW, CM/E* could steal another WMC idea: let you set the time of day the guides are auto-downloaded. I have my WMC set to run after 6:30 PM Central time, as M$ seems to update their servers usually around 6 PM Central (4 PM Pacific).

Also, I think the whole Zip code idea is outdated. It started with TVGoS, where each TVGoS station in a market (typically the CBS affiliate) would broadcast guide info not only for stations in its own market but also for nearby stations in surrounding markets. TVGoS devices needed a Zip code to determine which market's guide to use.

But now that it's all on-line, it would make more sense to just upload all the stations' TSIDs from the DVR+ to Rovi and let Rovi send back the correct guides for whichever stations the DVR+ actually receives.
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post #7325 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 07:50 PM
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Has anyone opened it up to see if they could add a 1 or 2TB drive internally?
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post #7326 of 7337 Old 01-24-2015, 11:47 PM
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Has anyone opened it up to see if they could add a 1 or 2TB drive internally?
If you would read or search in the thread you will find - the question asked a couple times and the answer is I did that and posted here.

[If someone need a drawing of the plastic holder, let me know.]
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post #7327 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 03:39 PM
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Originally Posted by sxr71 View Post
Has anyone opened it up to see if they could add a 1 or 2TB drive internally?
Yes; it might be theoretically possible but it's not practical. Several specialized components are missing from the 16GB model.

Of course, you could try to use the internal space as merely a case for a USB-SATA bridge and small HDD, and route a USB cable to one of the existing ports. But there's very little room to work with, and you'd probably need to drill holes in the metal case to pull it off. That's the drawback to a design as thin and small as the DVR+.

I often wonder why folks are so fascinated with the one-box model. There are advantages to being able to easily remove and replace the HDD: you can more easily back it up and transfer recordings to a PC. So, just Velcro a nice USB-powered HDD to the DVR+ case and be done with it!

Edit: To be fair, it would've been nice if CM had included a 2.5" HDD dock in the case, so that you could just slip in a bare drive.

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post #7328 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 03:53 PM
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My HDD is a 1TB WD WD10EADS ("caviar green?"). The HDD is encased in a Vantec Nexstar external drive enclosure.

On 3 separate occasions about 6 days apart the DVR+ stopped in the middle of a scheduled recording while I was not watching TV. The error message is: "A fault has occurred with your external storage device and DVR functionality has been disabled. Please remove the external device to enable internal storage." Each time I followed those directions and then turned off the HDD manually for a few seconds and then turned it back on again. In each case the DVR+ detected the device and accepted it as the external HDD. So all I lost was remaining part of the unfinished recording(s) and any unstarted recordings. The recordings were all set from the Guide as individual recording, I think.

I spoke with a tech person at CM named Cheryl who blamed the WD HDD, but could give no special reason except she naturally reminded me that it was not a recommended Seagate.

Any ideas of other strategies or causes?

Brian in Atlanta
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post #7329 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 06:04 PM
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Well, I doubt the brand is the problem! Many folks are using WD drives with the DVR+ without issues.

But your particular drive may be starting to fail, I suppose. I'd probably check the drive out with a PC program such as MHDD. (MHDD is a DOS standalone program, so you may have to connect the HDD using SATA instead of USB to use it.)

If the drive checks out OK, it's probably something to do with the USB connection. In that case I'd probably try:
  1. The other USB port on the DVR+
  2. A different USB cable
  3. A second enclosure
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post #7330 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 06:26 PM
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Originally Posted by zerowords View Post
My HDD is a 1TB WD WD10EADS ("caviar green?"). The HDD is encased in a Vantec Nexstar external drive enclosure.
...
Any ideas of other strategies or causes?
The very first thing I'd do is check is to make sure the USB cable is firmly attached at both ends. If you have a spare USB cable, swap it for the one you're currently using. Then check the power cable to the enclosure for a snug fit to the enclosure and that the power cube is fully plugged into the outlet.

You didn't say if the HD and/or the Vantec is new. If you recently mounted the drive (ie, this combo hasn't been used elsewhere so you don't have a track record of it working properly), you might want to take it apart and make sure the drive is plugged in securely.

I am also using a WD Green 1TB drive (in a Rosewill enclosure) for the DVR+ and I have had no problems whatsoever.
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post #7331 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 06:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Well, I doubt the brand is the problem! Many folks are using WD drives with the DVR+ without issues.

But your particular drive may be starting to fail, I suppose. I'd probably check the drive out with a PC program such as MHDD. (MHDD is a DOS standalone program, so you may have to connect the HDD using SATA instead of USB to use it.)

If the drive checks out OK, it's probably something to do with the USB connection. In that case I'd probably try:
  1. The other USB port on the DVR+
  2. A different USB cable
  3. A second enclosure
Regarding checking out the drive, I took it to Microcenter and the tech guy was able to read it with his PC, but said he did not have a Linux box to try to read it with. When I put the drive into my Mac using the USB connector it says it does not recognize the drive. My Mac mini has limited ports -- only USB, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet -- so I don't know how to connect using SATA. Even if I could, I don't have a way to run DOS. As a last resort, I could ask an acquaintance, but that is not easy.

The drive is not newly manufactured, but has only been used with this DVR+. I bought it in 2013 as a backup in case the drive in my DTVPal died, but never used it. The enclosure is brand new. So I sort of doubt the drive is failing.

I'll try using the other USB port, but I'll have to remove the Rovi dongle, so it'll take me some time. I'll get back to you on this.

The USB cable is new because I returned and replaced the original enclosure thinking it was the problem. They gave me a new enclosure which included a new cable.

Thanks,

Brian
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post #7332 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by owburp View Post
The very first thing I'd do is check is to make sure the USB cable is firmly attached at both ends. If you have a spare USB cable, swap it for the one you're currently using. Then check the power cable to the enclosure for a snug fit to the enclosure and that the power cube is fully plugged into the outlet.

You didn't say if the HD and/or the Vantec is new. If you recently mounted the drive (ie, this combo hasn't been used elsewhere so you don't have a track record of it working properly), you might want to take it apart and make sure the drive is plugged in securely.

I am also using a WD Green 1TB drive (in a Rosewill enclosure) for the DVR+ and I have had no problems whatsoever.
Those are good suggestions, I'll attend to them. And that you are having no problems is encouraging.

As I said in my reply to Brandt, the drive and enclosure are sort of new.

I am a little suspicious that the problem only has occurred when I am not watching TV and the DVR+ is in standby mode. The last two times it occurred (I can't remember exactly the first time in this regard), two 1-hour recordings stopped within 3 seconds of one another at about 30 minutes, and one 90-minute recording failed after about 76 minutes.

Thanks,

Brian
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post #7333 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 08:12 PM
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Regarding checking out the drive, I took it to Microcenter and the tech guy was able to read it with his PC, but said he did not have a Linux box to try to read it with.
He still might be your best bet for getting the drive checked out. You could download MHDD and burn a boot CD or DVD, which he could then run on his PC.

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When I put the drive into my Mac using the USB connector it says it does not recognize the drive.
Unfortunately I'm not too familiar with Macs. It could be that it just doesn't like the Linux ext4 partitions. There's probably something similar to MHDD for the Mac, but again, I'm not much help with Macs (sorry).

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My Mac mini has limited ports -- only USB, Thunderbolt, and Ethernet -- so I don't know how to connect using SATA.
You'd probably have to take the Mac's cover off and connect a SATA-eSATA transition cable directly to the motherboard. Kind of a pain.

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I'll try using the other USB port, but I'll have to remove the Rovi dongle, so it'll take me some time. I'll get back to you on this.
If the DVR+ is in standby and not recording (dim blue LED) and the drive activity light on the Vantec isn't flashing, it should be safe to just pull them both and swap them. You'll probably get some messages when you turn the DVR+ back on, but it won't hurt anything.

I actually prefer that method to the official "disconnect external drive" menu option, which leaves an "orphan" buffer file on the HDD. (A minor bug, which CM/E* may or may not ever fix.)

If the port is the problem, you may occasionally lose Internet connectivity with the WiFi dongle plugged into it. But that's still better than having a recording interrupted.

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The USB cable is new because I returned and replaced the original enclosure thinking it was the problem. They gave me a new enclosure which included a new cable.
OK. So you've already tried #2 and #3 . Seems like it's gotta be either the HDD or the port on the DVR+. I guess there's also an outside chance that there's some incompatibility between the Vantec's USB port and the DVR+, but since it works most of the time, that doesn't seem likely.
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post #7334 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 09:03 PM
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I spoke with a tech person at CM named Cheryl who blamed the WD HDD, but could give no special reason except she naturally reminded me that it was not a recommended Seagate.
I would like to hear her response if it was a Seagate drive (especially if you purchased it from them)!
The simple fact that it's a WD drive isn't the source of this problem!
Are they really "tech" people?......
or just someone sitting in front of a screen with a database of potential answers to potential questions?

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post #7335 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 09:13 PM
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BTW......just because the USB cable is new doesn't guarantee that it's good. There could always be a defect in the cable and/or it's connectors.
I would swap out the cable and the enclosure (try a different brand enclosure altogether) first before assuming that the drive is N/G.
I've had excellent results with a "StarTech" brand USB (fan cooled) enclosure (model SAT3510BU3). $30.00 on Amazon.com.
Then there's always the possibility of a problem directly related to your DVR+ unit.

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post #7336 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 11:53 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
...

Edit: To be fair, it would've been nice if CM had included a 2.5" HDD dock in the case, so that you could just slip in a bare drive.
Hmm ... Let me try to engineering different idea with my HDT-610R ... I'm thinking to make a rectangular window on bottom side to slide in the HDD's holder.
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post #7337 of 7337 Old Yesterday, 11:57 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Well, I doubt the brand is the problem! Many folks are using WD drives with the DVR+ without issues.

But your particular drive may be starting to fail, I suppose. I'd probably check the drive out with a PC program such as MHDD. (MHDD is a DOS standalone program, so you may have to connect the HDD using SATA instead of USB to use it.)

If the drive checks out OK, it's probably something to do with the USB connection. In that case I'd probably try:
  1. The other USB port on the DVR+
  2. A different USB cable
  3. A second enclosure
Just additional main point: get SMART, run Scan+Remap and get second SMART data to make adequate assumption about functioning the HDD and its future use. You could use Win free program Victoria v 4.4b for do that - just keep your PC free of program for a testing time.
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