Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 19 - AVS Forum
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post #541 of 29262 Old 08-12-2005, 11:32 AM
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I got a call back from a Sony 'product specialist'. I do not have good news.

First of all, he does not seem to understand the capability of the unit. He kept saying that I shouldn't get any TV Guide data without a cable connection. And, the unit is not supported for Guide related issues if I do not have cable connection. I told him that, Sony did not market the unit that way and the unit is completely useless as a DVR without the TV Guide data.

Next, I asked him about the decoding problems. I think he sort of understood what I was telling him. The problem appears to be with the decoder in the unit. It trips on some data in the stream often. I told him that if I pause the unit, rewind and play it back, it plays fine for another 5 seconds before the video freezes/messes up.

He said he wants a tech to look at it. But, there is no field tech to look at it at my home. Instead, I will have to send it to a suburb of Philadelphia, PA paying for the shipping. Then wait for 3 weeks or so to get the unit back.

What is the guarantee that Sony will even find the problem when the unit not receving channesl 4.1 & 11.2 in the SF bay area.

I bought it just about 2 months ago from Frys. I will see if there is any way I can return it back.

Sony has very poor support for an expensive piece of equipment.

So, buyer be warned.

Baskaran

Quote:
Originally Posted by baskaran View Post

I called Sony's toll-free number and explained the problems I have with the HDD250. The rep said she is documenting everything I said but did not have anything to help. She said she is referring me to their product specialist and someone will call me tomorrow. I will post back if I have any more information.

I request others having similar problems to call sony and complain.

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post #542 of 29262 Old 08-12-2005, 01:50 PM
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Originally Posted by baskaran View Post

I request others having similar problems to call sony and complain.

While calling and complaining may help you feel better in the short term, it will do nothing in the long term.

Make sure that when you call Sony that they open a case to document your problem and have the CSR you speak to read back the case contents to ensure they properly document your issues. I have had too many instances where CSRs failed to understand what my issue was and put in the wrong information.

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post #543 of 29262 Old 08-12-2005, 06:42 PM
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After enjoying the unit for a few months I had no issues. I moved and the cable company is the same(Service Electric) but different city. I had to remove the cablecard and now I am just stuck on 2 OTA channels. I cannot even bring up the tvguide data or enter the Menu... One other note, I have my connection onto a SD 13" TV until I get to setup my room. I do not have the component cables connected, only a composite to the 13" tv...How do I hard reboot???

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post #544 of 29262 Old 08-12-2005, 07:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baskaran View Post

Next, I asked him about the decoding problems. I think he sort of understood what I was telling him. The problem appears to be with the decoder in the unit. It trips on some data in the stream often. I told him that if I pause the unit, rewind and play it back, it plays fine for another 5 seconds before the video freezes/messes up.

I bought it just about 2 months ago from Frys. I will see if there is any way I can return it back.

Baskaran

Before you return the unit, you may want to call the TV stations in question and ask to speak to engineering. Explain the problem to the engineer and see if they have any ideas. In my experience, TV engineers are helpful and want to resolve such issues as it goes against their engineering grain to have some unexplained issues with their product. Give as much info as you can including what other channels do work. Many of the engineers in city know each other personally and may be able to talk to the other station's engineers to find a solution.

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post #545 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 06:43 AM
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My system is now froze. I can get a channel for only about 2 minutes then it resorts to going to channel 99... I cannot bring up the "Menu" or my "Recordings". I need to input a new zip code. Does anyone know how to hard reboot this device??? This is getting to be a pain... I have the device unplugged until later tonight... Thank you.

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post #546 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 07:59 AM
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The manual list two ways of doing a 'reset' (does not state if hard or soft and may not be what you are referring to as a reboot). One is to unplug the device for more than a minute, which you have already done by moving. The other is, with power on, press the 'exit' and 'TV Guide' buttons simultaneously on the front face of the receiver (not the remote).

After a reset, the receiver will go through finding the clock and its startup routine. There is no image on screen while this is happening. It will then shut down. You can then turn it on and it will behave normally (or what passes for normal )

I had to do this when the TVGOS was not allowing me to re-order channels or add or delete channels. It worked. Prior guide data, timer settings and recordings were retained.

It also sounds like one of the first steps after reset would be to re-scan channels and re-do TVGOS setup.

I am using OTA only and have no cable card experience.
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post #547 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 09:29 AM
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I tried both ways, still no luck... I wonder if the menu options only appear over compnent,dvi??? I have it temporarily hooked up to a 13" standard definition television. Does the change in cable companies change anything? I have the Cablecard removed. Still no option to get to my "menu" screen.

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post #548 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 09:56 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kong View Post

I tried both ways, still no luck... I wonder if the menu options only appear over compnent,dvi??? I have it temporarily hooked up to a 13" standard definition television. Does the change in cable companies change anything? I have the Cablecard removed. Still no option to get to my "menu" screen.

Bingo!

Tried the composite output, which I have connected to a VCR: the menu and TVGuide do not appear over the composite video! In addition, no channel information or logos appear on screen.

As for cablecard and cable company, I have no idea.
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post #549 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kong View Post

I have it temporarily hooked up to a 13" standard definition television. Still no option to get to my "menu" screen.

If you want to get the User Interface to use the composite outputs, just press the FORMAT button until you see SD OUT on the front panel, then press enter or just wait a few seconds.
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post #550 of 29262 Old 08-13-2005, 08:13 PM
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Badda Bing!!! Thanks!!! You guys just saved me from a migraine...

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post #551 of 29262 Old 08-15-2005, 06:23 AM
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I currently have a Replay DVR and use the Quick Skip to skip over commercials. I'd like to move to HD recording, but am concerned that the Sony unit does not have the skip feature. How difficult would it be to skip commercials using the fast forward feature?
Don
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post #552 of 29262 Old 08-15-2005, 06:33 AM
 
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Don,

You can set the advance and replay buttons to custom settings. I have my replay button set for 15 seconds, and my advance button set for 1 minute. To skip the commercials, I press the advance button from two to four times, depending on the length of the commercial break. It works very well for me.
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post #553 of 29262 Old 08-15-2005, 09:23 AM
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I had the same problem, last week, with TVGOS, and I live in Union City, CA. So, it might have been something with the Guide here in the Bay Area. Frustrated the hell out of me, took about an hour to redo everything, and I blamed the kids :-)

But - at least the recording schedules were not messed up!

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post #554 of 29262 Old 08-16-2005, 03:43 PM
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Bump in the night

ITS HOW YOU LOOK AT IT
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post #555 of 29262 Old 08-16-2005, 07:41 PM
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Is there a way to tell how much disk space or estimated hours are left for further recordings?
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post #556 of 29262 Old 08-16-2005, 09:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ay221 View Post

Is there a way to tell how much disk space or estimated hours are left for further recordings?

Sure... Menu->Preferences->System->System Menu will show remaining disk capacity in percent. You can look in the Record List to see how much disk space (in percent) your recordings use. When the remaining space gets low, you will see an indication on the DVR progress bar... something like "Near Full" and "Full".
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post #557 of 29262 Old 08-17-2005, 08:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MrU View Post

Sure... Menu->Preferences->System->System Menu will show remaining disk capacity in percent. You can look in the Record List to see how much disk space (in percent) your recordings use. When the remaining space gets low, you will see an indication on the DVR progress bar... something like "Near Full" and "Full".

Thanks, I see it now. I think it would of been more helpful if Sony had the percentage remaining in the record list screen instead of having to do menu-pref-sys-sys menu.
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post #558 of 29262 Old 08-17-2005, 09:27 AM
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Am I doing something wrong with recordings?

I set the Sony to record House "regularly" last Tuesday. I got the show from last Tuesday, but it made no attempt to record the Monday showing?

I tried to add Arrested Development "regularly" which has been showing four episodes a night for the past few weeks, I had to add it *four* times to get all episodes.

Does this only record shows with the same title in the exact same timeslot? What am I doing wrong?
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post #559 of 29262 Old 08-17-2005, 12:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ruidh View Post

Am I doing something wrong with recordings?

I set the Sony to record House "regularly" last Tuesday. I got the show from last Tuesday, but it made no attempt to record the Monday showing?

I tried to add Arrested Development "regularly" which has been showing four episodes a night for the past few weeks, I had to add it *four* times to get all episodes.

Does this only record shows with the same title in the exact same timeslot? What am I doing wrong?

You aren't doing anything wrong. The unit just doesn't do name-based recording as you'd like. Your suspicions are correct; you need to have them with the same title in the same timeslot. I'm with you, though, I sure wish it did.
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post #560 of 29262 Old 08-17-2005, 12:46 PM
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You aren't doing anything wrong. The unit just doesn't do name-based recording as you'd like. Your suspicions are correct; you need to have them with the same title in the same timeslot. I'm with you, though, I sure wish it did.

Well, that's just stupid. My 5 year old Series 1 TiVo can do *that*.

It looks increasingly like this Sony is a placeholder for a Cablecard TiVo somewhere in my future.
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post #561 of 29262 Old 08-18-2005, 01:30 PM
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I am so glad that I came across this thread before I purchased one of these units. It seems to have a lot of problems, and these issues have helped me to make the decision to get a Media Center PC and HD card instead.
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post #562 of 29262 Old 08-18-2005, 02:03 PM
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That's kind of funny. My experience with a media center PC made me buy the Sony.
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post #563 of 29262 Old 08-19-2005, 05:21 AM
 
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Quote:


Am I doing something wrong with recordings?

I set the Sony to record House "regularly" last Tuesday. I got the show from last Tuesday, but it made no attempt to record the Monday showing?

I tried to add Arrested Development "regularly" which has been showing four episodes a night for the past few weeks, I had to add it *four* times to get all episodes.

Does this only record shows with the same title in the exact same timeslot? What am I doing wrong?

Sounds to me like it is working just right. Why would you want to record the same episode of the same show more than once?

If you are looking to build a "House Special Channel" that's a whole nother thing, but with what you described, it seems like the Sony is working perfectly...?

Although there are things that I wished the Sony did, which I can do on my ReplayTVs, I've found the Sony to be very nice as a Cablecard Tuner/HD-DVR. For me, the only real problems I've seen is the inability to set up the guide for the second channels of INHD and HDNET.

Previously, I used an HTPC for timeshifting OTA HD content and the Sony is heads and tails above that box, IMO.
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post #564 of 29262 Old 08-19-2005, 07:48 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc View Post

Sounds to me like it is working just right. Why would you want to record the same episode of the same show more than once?

The Monday showing was not a repeat of the prior week's show. Since I wasn;t watching House in the regular season, all the summer repeat episodes are new to me.

Quote:


Previously, I used an HTPC for timeshifting OTA HD content and the Sony is heads and tails above that box, IMO.

You've got me there. I never did get Myth TV working with HD content. But, I still think it's just a placeholder for a Cablecard TiVo in my future.
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post #565 of 29262 Old 08-21-2005, 02:43 PM
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This afternoon I read all 19 pages of this thread. Why? Because I have had my heart set on
buying the HDD500. It was supposed to ship last
November (2004).

When it didn't ship, I built two MythTV systems,
each with two tuners, one SDTV and one HDTV.
It was the most fun I've ever had building something
from just the parts, but it was also the hardest damn
thing, as well. Nothing worked the first time, and
it always took Google lookups to find how to make
things work.

After reading the 19 pages of this thread, I no longer
want a Sony HDD500. My MythTV systems, each
soon to have an Air2PC HDTV tuner added, suffer
none of the main problems discussed in this thread.

I was very surprised to learn that Sony actually uses
Linux, and find it shocking that while they actually
have two tuners (SDTV and HDTV), only one program at a time may be recorded.

The thing I am most impressed by, with the Sony
HDD500, is the picture quality as reported by all
the owners. The picture quality of my systems
is acceptable, but actually quite poor. No doubt
this is because the TV sets are 10 and 20 years
old, respectively, and obviously not HDTVcapable.

Earlier this afternoon, just after starting to read the
thread I thought, "Well, maybe I'll get an HDD500
just for backup, say if I hose MythTV during an
upgrade". But not anymore. It was so damn hard to
get all the pieces of MythTV (mythtv, ivtv, lirc, etc.)
to work, I wouldn't want to suffer through all the
TV Guide troubles. Troubles that look like they
are not going away anytime soon. (How could
Sony make a design choice to use ANALOG TV
for listings? Yikes!)

Thank you, to all of the current HDD500 owners
who took the time to post their experiences and
answers to all the questions. All of your information
has been a big help to me.

I hope Sony will announce follow-on products
to the HDD500, but I won't be holding my breath.

--
MM

--
MM
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post #566 of 29262 Old 08-21-2005, 04:39 PM
 
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MM,

I don't know about Rochester, but here in Houston with TWC cablecard, the Sony and its' guide is pretty dang good and much better than my previous HiPix HTPC HD-DVR.
YMMV.
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post #567 of 29262 Old 08-21-2005, 08:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mmorris48 View Post

[...]
I wouldn't want to suffer through all the
TV Guide troubles. Troubles that look like they
are not going away anytime soon. (How could
Sony make a design choice to use ANALOG TV
for listings? Yikes!)
[...]
--
MM

There is nothing wrong in using an ANALOG TV channel to retrieve the TV Guide listing information. The main problem with the Sony product and I believe with all products that use TVGOS is the way the information is processed and presented to the user. The user is flooded with TV Guilde data for channels that are not available for viewing. It is left to the user as a painful exercise to filter this and reorder the channels only to be scrambled again at a random point in the future.

Why did Sony choose such a lousy system (TVGOS) that hurts its reputation? Is this another sign of the downward spiral that Sony seems to be caught? TVGOS provides probably the worst user experience compared to TIVO and Dish DVR.
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post #568 of 29262 Old 08-22-2005, 03:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by baskaran View Post

Why did Sony choose such a lousy system (TVGOS) that hurts its reputation? Is this another sign of the downward spiral that Sony seems to be caught? TVGOS provides probably the worst user experience compared to TIVO and Dish DVR.

Both TiVo and Dish charge for program data. Did Sony have any choice other than TVGOS for free OTA guide data? Most stations are not fully implementing PSIP.
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post #569 of 29262 Old 08-22-2005, 08:10 AM
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I don't think that they had any other choice for a free guide. But I sure wish there were some competition. For the past few weeks I haven't received any guide data for Saturday and Sunday. The weekdays I have data, but I get blank half-hour blocks for every station on the weekends. There's no question that this is a pretty decent DVR that's hobbled by a lousy guide. Almost makes me willing to pay that outrageous Tivo fee.
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post #570 of 29262 Old 08-22-2005, 08:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by alerion View Post

Both TiVo and Dish charge for program data. Did Sony have any choice other than TVGOS for free OTA guide data? Most stations are not fully implementing PSIP.

Yes, I agree, TVGOS is the only thing available for free. But, Sony could have integrated this guide in their product in sucha a manner to give a much better user experience.
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