Terk TUNVR1 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 27 Old 04-12-2017, 11:14 PM - Thread Starter
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Terk TUNVR1

Hi all, my old Homeworx HW-150pvr died, and I found a tuner with recording capability, the Terk TUNVR1, at a local Fry's Electronics. I purchased it as it seems to be a really recently released product, hoping that the tuner would be decent.

SW Version: Nov 24 2016-11:09:51 -V2
HW Version: ABL7802-R836-A

Can't find any info about this on Terk's website. The manual is quite nice, and it does have very similar menus and recording capability like the Homeworx.

Does anyone know what type of tuner/demod hardware is in these?

Cheers!
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post #2 of 27 Old 04-21-2017, 01:10 PM
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I, too, purchased one of these at Fry's. I have had it use for 3 weeks now.

Observations:

The tuner is very good. 1080 video is clear and sharp. It gets all the channels my other TV's have scanned. The built-in signal strength meter shows strong on all transmitters in my broadcast area. I am about 50 miles from the main antenna farms. I use an attic mounted antenna.

The unit gets quite warm. I took it apart to see if I could add some heat sinks to the SMD's only to find that they are already there. The tuner section is fully shielded. The HDMI driver chip is obscured by a large heat sink. There are but 4 IC's on the PCB, the brands of which I could not discern.

The PVR function works fine though the unit needs to be on in order to record if programmed from the EPG menu. This is strange because the unit has a "wake up" timer menu as well. It would be logical to have the EPG record function automatically populate the entries for the wake up timer but it does not. So, I just leave it powered up.

The EPG works well. You can set a recording for just a single instance or multiple (series). However, the unit seems to only make note of the channel and time of a recording. Thus, if you set a series recording for a program that runs 5 days a week, you will still get a recording of whatever was in that time slot on the other days.

It does not seem to be too particular about what type of USB stick is in it. I'm using a Patriot 3.0 32GB which works fine. The recording format is .mts which makes it portable to PC's. MTS files can get large though. I get about 5 hours of record time with my stick. The stick does not have to be dedicated to the PVR as it creates its own directory in which to store recordings. It can be FAT32 or NTFS.

The remote feels cheap but it is functional. Some of the button-command assignments are a little strange but you get used to it.

When I first got it, there was no information (not even a mention) about it on the Terk website. Now it is detailed as a mainstream product. Terk, by the way, appears to to owned by Voxx Intl., maker of a number of well known consumer electronics products.

While there appears to be no firmware upgrade yet, the only reason I could see a need for that is to correct some grammar issues with the OSD and to correct the timer issues as detailed above.

Summation: So far, so good.
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Last edited by teachsac; 04-21-2017 at 01:14 PM.
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post #3 of 27 Old 05-03-2017, 02:35 PM
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Can you hook up something bigger than 32GB stick? Like a 1TB drive, for instance? Need more space!
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post #4 of 27 Old 05-05-2017, 04:59 PM
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Yes - but remember there are power limitations if not externally powering the drives. Also know that the larger the drive - the longer the delay in functions starting that use the hard drive. Personally - I think anything over 1 TB introduces an unacceptable delay. I'm actually using a 320 GB hard drive with a Mediasonic box (using a powered hub to avoid the 800 ma limitation with the boxes usb port) where response time approaches flash drive speed.
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post #5 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 12:22 PM
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Remote failed after 8 days

I was looking for a way to record ATSC broadcasts but I will never pay a monthly subscription for a program guide that never keeps up with channel changes. (I see that complaint all the time in other threads.)

An earlier post here mentioned the tuner appears to be sensitive. That is critical as I pick up stations from three states. A review for Channel Master CM-7003 on Solid Signal said sensitivity was lousy. So no dice there.

When Fry's had this on sale for $30 recently, decided to take a chance.

The tuner sensitivity appears to match the Digital Stream DTX9950, Zenith DTT901 and Dish DTVPal. So that is good. (Must pick up La Crosse for Packers games.)

The remote is small and kind of hard to use. Plus I don't like using original remotes as the keys wear out. Tried using the pre-programmed universal remotes I have. Didn't find a match. Dug out my old Memorex CP8 remote (remember those?) and taught it a few codes just to get started.

Then 8 days after I got the unit, the original remote started sending a stream of 1s with any key press. 4 sets of 111-111 for the channel. The CP8 still works, and when I teach it a code now, it sends 111-111. Plus the LED that blinks when learning a code blinks for 30 seconds, a lot longer than at the beginning.

Will have to consider my options now.

UPDATE (7/12):

Since I would need to pay return shipping to FRYS, I decided to live with it as the box itself was still working and the shipping cost would be a significant portion of the original cost. FRYS had another $30 sale, so I got a second one for a spare. I then remembered my 6 device One For All universal remote OARI06G is also learning. With a working remote I was able to program all but one of the Terk buttons (Audio) onto the One For All. Much easier to use than the Terk remote or the Memorex CP8.

I went to the Terk website and on the TUNVR1 page I wrote a review that the remote failed after 8 days. Not sure if it took, as it never appeared on the TUNVR1 page. But two days ago I received an email from Voxx Customer Service offering to send a replacement remote! So it looks like things will work out in the end.

Last edited by tachmn; 07-12-2017 at 12:45 PM. Reason: Update
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post #6 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 01:45 PM
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Wish this was available at Wallyworld.............

Nick

Every day I beat my own previous record for the number of consecutive
days I've stayed alive. - George Carlin - 1996
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post #7 of 27 Old 06-07-2017, 04:05 PM
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Wish this was available at Wallyworld.............
Available at BuyDig for $50.
https://www.buydig.com/shop/product/TRTUNVR1

-- Mehdi
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post #8 of 27 Old 06-09-2017, 09:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tachmn View Post
I was looking for a way to record ATSC broadcasts but I will never pay a monthly subscription for a program guide that never keeps up with channel changes. (I see that complaint all the time in other threads.)

An earlier post here mentioned the tuner appears to be sensitive. That is critical as I pick up stations from three states. A review for Channel Master CM-7003 on Solid Signal said sensitivity was lousy. So no dice there.

When Fry's had this on sale for $30 recently, decided to take a chance.

The tuner sensitivity appears to match the Digital Stream DTX9950, Zenith DTT901 and Dish DTVPal. So that is good. (Must pick up La Crosse for Packers games.)

The remote is small and kind of hard to use. Plus I don't like using original remotes as the keys wear out. Tried using the pre-programmed universal remotes I have. Didn't find a match. Dug out my old Memorex CP8 remote (remember those?) and taught it a few codes just to get started.

Then 8 days after I got the unit, the original remote started sending a stream of 1s with any key press. 4 sets of 111-111 for the channel. The CP8 still works, and when I teach it a code now, it sends 111-111. Plus the LED that blinks when learning a code blinks for 30 seconds, a lot longer than at the beginning.

Will have to consider my options now.
Thanks icarah & tachmn for the details. I'm looking to buy it from Fry's today. Since this seems to be a relatively unknown/new brand, I'm wondering if Logitech Harmony remote can be programmed to control this tuner. Has anyone tried it with Harmony or another universal remote? TIA!
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post #9 of 27 Old 06-14-2017, 12:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prabu View Post
Thanks icarah & tachmn for the details. I'm looking to buy it from Fry's today. Since this seems to be a relatively unknown/new brand, I'm wondering if Logitech Harmony remote can be programmed to control this tuner. Has anyone tried it with Harmony or another universal remote? TIA!
So I picked this up at Fry's for $30. Hooked it up last night...I think for the price, it seems like a good setup.

It's far from great, the EPG is goofy, the recording is timer based rather than show based, the remote sucks. However, for the price, I'm hoping this works for me.

For recording OTA, I've had a WMC HTPC for a few years, but the PC eventually started quitting on me. It never really played nice with my receiver/TV in terms of waking when switching to the input, etc. anyway, so I always kind of wanted to replace it with something less wonky, although the WMC recording and quality was rock solid.

I really only need to record 1 or 2 shows, and occasional football games, and to be able to pause/timeshift when watching certain event shows like sports or the Oscars etc. It's amazing for such a seemingly simple task, the cost of all the available options quickly rises over $300+, if you're not starting with a PC. And even with a PC, getting an HTPC working just right is it's own hobby, one which I don't feel like taking up again.

If I was a heavy user, recording and watching stuff every night, I think the less than sophisticated operating system would eventually drive me a bit crazy, but for my needs, I think it's going to do the job. At least I hope.
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post #10 of 27 Old 06-17-2017, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nclou View Post
It's far from great, the EPG is goofy, the recording is timer based rather than show based, the remote sucks. However, for the price, I'm hoping this works for me.
Actually it does both. Take a look at pages 16 and 17 of the manual.

One "Books" a program from the EPG using the OK key to schedule a recording. The start and end times can still be tweaked to prevent the EPG starting the recording late or ending early. Like start a couple of minutes early and end a couple minutes later. One test recording I booked ended during the credits.

A timer recording is accessed by using the INFO button. It is annoying that the recording process always starts with the lowest channel. Need to go to the desired channel and then set the times.
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post #11 of 27 Old 06-17-2017, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by tachmn View Post
Actually it does both. Take a look at pages 16 and 17 of the manual.

One "Books" a program from the EPG using the OK key to schedule a recording. The start and end times can still be tweaked to prevent the EPG starting the recording late or ending early. Like start a couple of minutes early and end a couple minutes later. One test recording I booked ended during the credits.

A timer recording is accessed by using the INFO button. It is annoying that the recording process always starts with the lowest channel. Need to go to the desired channel and then set the times.
I get that, but even if you book the show that way, you're still just booking the time, right? Not the show. So if you book a show, and then they did a special extra episode, or change nights one week, you're not going to get it, are you? That's what I'm trying to say.

I did some test recordings and they were very flawed. Dropped 1-2 seconds pretty frequently...too frequently to put up with. I switched to a 3.0 USB thumb drive and it didn't make a difference. Anyone experiencing this? Any solutions?
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post #12 of 27 Old 06-18-2017, 11:59 AM
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Originally Posted by nclou View Post
I get that, but even if you book the show that way, you're still just booking the time, right? Not the show. So if you book a show, and then they did a special extra episode, or change nights one week, you're not going to get it, are you? That's what I'm trying to say.

I did some test recordings and they were very flawed. Dropped 1-2 seconds pretty frequently...too frequently to put up with. I switched to a 3.0 USB thumb drive and it didn't make a difference. Anyone experiencing this? Any solutions?


Ok, I think I found the bad recording issue. I had t a USB 3.0 Patriot "Slate" flash drive, and had the same bad recording glitches as when I just tested the Terk out on an old 2.0 drive. Just for the heck of it, I looked up reviews of that stick, and apparently it's trash. According to Amazon reviews, speed is worse than most 2.0 flash drives. So I returned it and exchanged it for a Samsung 3.0 low profile drive.


The test recording I did with the new flash drive was rock solid perfect. This machine is a bit goofy, but for the price, it might work out great.
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post #13 of 27 Old 06-19-2017, 11:07 AM
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I get that, but even if you book the show that way, you're still just booking the time, right? Not the show. So if you book a show, and then they did a special extra episode, or change nights one week, you're not going to get it, are you? That's what I'm trying to say.
I misunderstood the issue as I have never owned a DVR that requires a subscription. So no idea what scheduling capabilities a subscription provides (i.e. book a show independent of the date/time).

Without a subscription, the Terk is totally dependent on the EPG the station sends for scheduling (it doesn't even have an internal clock). And yes, booking from the EPG is just an easier way to book the time. Think of it as a digital VCR, where the recording can be scheduled once, or repeated daily or weekly. But no intelligence to determine what it is recording.
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post #14 of 27 Old 06-28-2017, 07:57 AM
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Ok, I think I found the bad recording issue. I had t a USB 3.0 Patriot "Slate" flash drive, and had the same bad recording glitches as when I just tested the Terk out on an old 2.0 drive. Just for the heck of it, I looked up reviews of that stick, and apparently it's trash. According to Amazon reviews, speed is worse than most 2.0 flash drives. So I returned it and exchanged it for a Samsung 3.0 low profile drive.


The test recording I did with the new flash drive was rock solid perfect. This machine is a bit goofy, but for the price, it might work out great.
Ok, I'm disappointed in this again. The new flash drive definitely improved things, so when I just watched a couple minutes, it looked solid. But watching a full show...every couple minutes the recording pauses, glitches, and frequently gets out of audio sync. It's much better with this drive, but far from perfect.

I really don't want to spend $20-40 bucks a pop trying out different flash drives trying to find one that works better, when the unit only cost me $30. Frustrating. Is there any reason to think an actual external hard drive would be any better?
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post #15 of 27 Old 06-28-2017, 01:52 PM
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I use a 320 GB external drive on a Mediasonic box powered by a usb hub (so I don't fry the meager power limits supplied by the usb port). I chose 320 GB because it still gives me 50+ hours of recording capability. (We are an archive or delete house on recordings. We don't stockpile). By keeping the size of the drive lower, it also means I get responsiveness that is acceptable for accessing the drive. At 1 TB or over, the responsiveness for accessing the drive hits a level that is unacceptable to users in the house. The 320 GB responsiveness time hit the sweet spot for our tastes. I haven't had any issues with recordings on the drive. I was using a usb flash drive from Sandisk that I verified with Flashbench was fast enough at time of testing -- but the problem with flash drives is that you can never guarantee that speed. The speed you get when the drive is nearly empty is not the same speed you'll get when the drive is nearly full -- or has been rewritten to many times over the course of a month. Eventually you'll be disappointed using a flash drive.
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post #16 of 27 Old 10-06-2017, 01:40 PM
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I'm just checking in to see if there is any firmware update available. Could not find one on the terk support page.

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post #17 of 27 Old 10-09-2017, 01:03 PM
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I'm just checking in to see if there is any firmware update available. Could not find one on the terk support page.
There was one there, not sure why they would pull it. Unless all shipped boxes now have the update.

The version was Apr 20 2017-17:32:26-V3

This was their description of the update:

If you’ve tried to rename a program in the “Program Edit” and found that the curser [sic] does not
move across the entire keyboard, we have a fix for you.
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post #18 of 27 Old 10-09-2017, 02:30 PM
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I got one of these things last week at Frys; with the email promo code. It was $30

It has the Apr 20 2017....V3 software in it; but I do not see it listed on the Terk or Voxx web site.

So far: It seems like an ok device. I am hoping this will replace my Sony DHG-HDD500; which still works but was a pain without a clock etc.

Last week I started with an HP USB Flash Drive 3.0 32MB (speed about 100MBs). Generally, it did seem to be ok except occasionally there would be some "blocking" in picture about a half a second every 10-15 minutes or so. Also, there would be times the lip sync would be way off and other times it would be close to be spot on; but not 100% perfect.

Today I got an old 500GB Seagate Pro external drive USB 2.0 with external power supply (speed about 480MBs). This drive has not been made for a few years now (out of date) and has been in a storage closest for a few years. It's natural format is NTFS, and I also did a full NTFS format (via Win 10 computer). That took it about 5 hours.

I hooked it up to the Terk and put the Seagate through its paces. Lip Sync issue is now resolved (will know for sure during the coming week). I changed the live TV buffer from 1GB to 4GB; that seems to work just fine.

I like that the Terk can be left in Standby mode all the time. Any scheduled recording with turn on the Terk and the Seagate. After the recording is made, both the Terk and the Old Time Seagate will turn themselves off.

I also think the Seagate drive is giving me a better picture than the HP USB Flash Drive. The Flash Drive would seem to have the tiniest about of "ringing" - tiny sharp close ghost around items. Now the picture appears to clear and clean with the Seagate.

My next issue is to get a remote I like with it. I am use to the Terk Remote now; but I have not been able to get my very old Sony Remote to "learn" the Terk commands. I may end up getting a Harmony? Time will tell?

Here is something I noticed today with the Terk TUNVR1 tuner: It appears it can also "almost" pickup over the air scrambled signals. I was just going through each station one by one via the channel up button. The TV, the Sony DVR, the TiVo all stop at station 68-5 (Dallas, TX). The Terk did that too; but after 68-5 it went to 68-11 through 68-21 (or something). There it listed others like Showtime, Epix, and a whole bunch of the "pay for" stations etc. The Terk would play the audio to each station but there was no picture. When you would hit the info button, it would give all the details (like playing a Batman movie etc); but instead of a picture it said in the middle of the screen: Scrambled.

Last edited by HoustonPerson; 10-09-2017 at 02:41 PM.
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post #19 of 27 Old 10-10-2017, 07:36 AM
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I did get the old Sony Remote RM-VLZ620 to program so it will handle all the Terk remote commands. This way running the Terk and the Tivo are using the same buttons, which makes it all a lot easier (at least for me).

When the Terk is recording a station, it will not let you watch another from the Terk tuner; not an issue for me.

Still no lip sync issues with old Seagate external drive.

So far I have spent $30. Have a remote I can use and 500GB for recording.

Good enough for $30
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post #20 of 27 Old 10-10-2017, 01:15 PM
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It has the Apr 20 2017....V3 software in it; but I do not see it listed on the Terk or Voxx web site.
The initial post of this thread listed 2016 V2 firmware. I never saw that on the website when the 2017 V3 firmware was there.

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I like that the Terk can be left in Standby mode all the time. Any scheduled recording with turn on the Terk and the Seagate. After the recording is made, both the Terk and the Old Time Seagate will turn themselves off.
I did not know that! I got the impression that it needed to be left powered on from this in the manual:

IMPORTANT: To be able to record a scheduled program, the tuner must be left on a channel with a clock in the Program Guide. The tuner does not have its own internal clock.

I misinterpreted on.

Of course the tricky part is if the clock of the channel the Terk is currently on differs significantly from the clock of the channel it is scheduled to record. I always schedule a recording at least a minute early of the EPG show start time as it is common a show does not precisely sync with the EPG and the recording would start a few seconds late.

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When the Terk is recording a station, it will not let you watch another from the Terk tuner; not an issue for me.
Logical, as the Terk does not have dual tuners. I suppose one could use two $30 Terks, one to watch and one to record.
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post #21 of 27 Old 10-10-2017, 01:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tachmn View Post
The initial post of this thread listed 2016 V2 firmware. I never saw that on the website when the 2017 V3 firmware was there.

I did not know that! I got the impression that it needed to be left powered on from this in the manual:

IMPORTANT: To be able to record a scheduled program, the tuner must be left on a channel with a clock in the Program Guide. The tuner does not have its own internal clock.

I misinterpreted on.

Of course the tricky part is if the clock of the channel the Terk is currently on differs significantly from the clock of the channel it is scheduled to record. I always schedule a recording at least a minute early of the EPG show start time as it is common a show does not precisely sync with the EPG and the recording would start a few seconds late.

Logical, as the Terk does not have dual tuners. I suppose one could use two $30 Terks, one to watch and one to record.
In my case, 98% of my recordings will be from a major channel, which has a time clock provided. The way I understand it; it is able to get the time clock from the station it is tuned too (say NBC); even if it is getting ready to record a CBS show at 9PM. It is able to do this even if it is standby mode. In my area all the major networks seem to have their clocks within 60 seconds of each other. At this point I have recorded about 25 programs that way and so far so good.

Some stations do not even have a time clock (non-majors), so I guess it was last tuned to that station it would go out of whack?

I am using the Terk as a one station fall back to catch what the 2 Tuner Tivo Premier cannot get.
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post #22 of 27 Old 10-11-2017, 01:23 PM
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The EPG or program list seems to be filling out better now that it has been in use over 10 days now. Also, more stations are providing a detailed description of the shows in the EPG. It seems to be about 50% coverage with full program descriptions on major networks.

During the first week, the recorded program list (PVR list) only reflected station call letters, date, time etc. During the last two days it is now shows the actual names for recorded shows (i.e. Lethal Weapon). Hopefully it will stay that way.

Tuner strength so far seems to be on par with the Panasonic Plasma. My Tivo has the weakest tuner, out of the three devices.
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post #23 of 27 Old 10-17-2017, 09:22 PM
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When the Terk is recording a station, it will not let you watch another from the Terk tuner; not an issue for me.
I have been battling a recording issue where I get the UNKNOWN ERROR when I try to start a recording. It is on a particular channel on a particular night and time. Occurs with different hard drives, different Terks.

It didn't do this before, but has been doing it the last few weeks. Latest firmware. (I just discovered if I unplug the coax (NO SIGNAL), start recording, then plug in the coax I can record successfully. I will have to try this again next week.)

Anyway, while troubleshooting, I discovered once a recording has started, another subchannel can be watched. E.g. if I start a recording on 25-2, I can switch to 25-1. The display in the upper left corner now prefixes Cnnn to the record timer. Where nnn is the position of the channel being recorded (25-2) in the Channel List/All TV List. (OK button)

As already noted, this won't work with a channel on another RF frequency (only one tuner).
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post #24 of 27 Old 10-18-2017, 06:09 AM
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I have been battling a recording issue where I get the UNKNOWN ERROR when I try to start a recording. It is on a particular channel on a particular night and time. Occurs with different hard drives, different Terks.

It didn't do this before, but has been doing it the last few weeks. Latest firmware. (I just discovered if I unplug the coax (NO SIGNAL), start recording, then plug in the coax I can record successfully. I will have to try this again next week.)

Anyway, while troubleshooting, I discovered once a recording has started, another subchannel can be watched. E.g. if I start a recording on 25-2, I can switch to 25-1. The display in the upper left corner now prefixes Cnnn to the record timer. Where nnn is the position of the channel being recorded (25-2) in the Channel List/All TV List. (OK button)

As already noted, this won't work with a channel on another RF frequency (only one tuner).
I am currently discovering all sorts of little tricks with the Terk. One thing that has really help me, is getting full control on my universal remote. This means about 98% of the remote buttons match exactly what I do with the TiVo and the former Sony DHG; plus it is the same remote I use for the TV and BD Player.

So far the major network time here has been spot on 100%. I have noticed that if I do start a program early by 1 minute it then list the previous program name in the Program list as well as record the full 1 min commercial before the real program starts. So for that reason I have gone back to actual start and stop times.

Possibly recording error? Look very closely at the AM/PM indicated when setting up the time OR editing the time. I think that was the same or similar error I was getting when attempting to change a previous schedule recordings time....I was not paying specific attention to the AM/PM thingy. Once I saw it, I could change and/or set up anything I wanted.

Last edited by HoustonPerson; 10-18-2017 at 06:16 AM.
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post #25 of 27 Old 10-18-2017, 06:39 AM
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Sound Settings

Overall I am pretty happy with the Terk. It is turning out to be a great replacement for the Sony DHG.

Sound Settings:

Under settings you have a choice of PCM, RAW, and OFF.

Questions:

1. I assume this applies to "playback" only and has no effect on how it is recorded?
2. What would be the difference in RAW vs. OFF; to me that implies the same thing?
3. I think PCM is the "so-called" default?
4. Does anyone have a preferred choice that they use and why?
5. Does the Terk do automatic 5.1 sound if hooked up to a Denon AVR or whatever?
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post #26 of 27 Old 10-19-2017, 10:11 AM
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Um? It did not record last night?

It had a scheduled weekly program to record. It recorded the first 5 seconds and stopped.

Have no idea why.
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post #27 of 27 Old 10-20-2017, 09:35 AM
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Um? It did not record last night?

It had a scheduled weekly program to record. It recorded the first 5 seconds and stopped.

Have no idea why.
Best I can tell it was an electrical issue between the Terk and the antique Seagate drive I am using. I did a test yesterday with 9 different recordings and the all worked perfectly.

I will most likely upgrade to a newer, faster, and more reliable drive. Most seem to run in the $45 to $55 range.
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