Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 3 - AVS Forum
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post #61 of 29332 Old 05-18-2005, 05:04 PM
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Originally posted by BondDude
Some questions:

Here is a link to Sony's support website where you can download the "Operation Manual". It will probably answer a lot of your questions.
esupport.sony.com/perl/model-documents.pl?mdl=DHGHDD500

Can you use the remote to change the display format?
Yes, with the FORMAT button. It toggles through the various fixed formats (1080i, 720p, 480i, 480p), then through some "variable" formats, and "native" (which makes the output format match the input format). However, the "variable" and "native" formats tend to slow down the channel changes when they require a video format change.

Can you use the remote to change the aspect ratio?
Yes, the SCREEN button toggles through various choices for aspect ratio conversion. These choices seem to vary depending on the current input and output video formats.

How about switching between OTA and cable?
The channel list is integrated, so you don't have to explicitly switch. OTA and cable channels are combined in a numerically ordered list. Just channel up/down or 10-key to the channel that you want. In the program guide, you can customize the ordering of the channels to suit your needs.

Any quirks for analog versus digital OTA?
I don't think so.

Does analog OTA or cable look any worse?
Haven't noticed.

Can you pause & rewind a program during scheduled recording (my Zenith does not let you do this)?
I think so... I haven't noticed any time I can't pause/rewind.
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post #62 of 29332 Old 05-18-2005, 06:11 PM - Thread Starter
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well it has been 24 hours and no guide data yet:

left it turned off all night and today

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post #63 of 29332 Old 05-18-2005, 08:04 PM
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Still no guide data on mine either and some quirky behavior with my Gefen HDMI switcher. It seems that on occasion, when I switch back to the new Sony, the resolution drops down to 480, requiring me to manually switch back to 1080i or switch to a different input and then go back to the Sony.
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post #64 of 29332 Old 05-18-2005, 08:18 PM
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no guide data doesn't sound good...i would try rebooting the systems or running through the setup again if it is similar to other experiences i've had with tv guide listings.
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post #65 of 29332 Old 05-18-2005, 10:30 PM - Thread Starter
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I rebooted, reset zip code, and have been leaving unit off: after 30 hours, still no clock data, no guide data

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post #66 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 12:54 AM
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Nearly a year late, one tuner and still buggy? Ugh!

Is there anyone to call for help at Sony?

There is no difference in HDMI cables. If you can see the picture without visible dropouts or sparklies, the cable is working at 100%. No other cable will display a better version of that picture. You're simply wrong if you think there is a better digital cable than one that is already working. (Oh, and plasma didn't die because of logistics problems, nor does OLED ship in big boxes because it comes from Korea.)
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post #67 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 05:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Is there anyone to call for help at Sony?

I will take that as a tongue-in-cheek comment !

I have not had too much luck calling Sony technical support particularly on a brand new product

I wonder if Comcast somehow filters out the guide data?

anyhow this morning I still have no clock or guide data

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post #68 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 07:21 AM - Thread Starter
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I got a Return Authorization (all done on line) to return this box: I can still reconsider if the guide data shows up

but with no guide data the box is useless: the popping noise in the HDMI audio is also a problem for me

Looks like I will stick with the SA8000: I can't see spending a thousand dollars for a buggy stb

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post #69 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 07:47 AM
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Where does the guide data come from? From cable or OTA?
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post #70 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:01 AM
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Update: My unit did show the time when I went down this morning. That's good. I turned the unit on and there was the guide for the first time with all the pretty channel logos on the left of the time grid. That's good. There seems to be no rationale for the ordering of the channels. That's not good. You can reorder the channels in anyway you want. That's good.
I estimate that will take about a week for all the channels that are showing up since it's a time consuming process. That's not good. I have no program information for any channel anywhere. That's not good.

I don't like the number of button pushes to call up your favorites. You press once to call up the favorites menu. Then you must scroll down to the category where you put your favorites in and then you have to press select to call them up. This brings up the channel #s on the right and you scroll to the channel # you want. A bit tedious. I'm finding menus in general to be a bit tedius with this box.

So I'll give it some more time, but if things don't imporve I'll be taking the Mark Rubin approach. I will say the PQ is quite good.
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post #71 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:03 AM
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I'm glad I cancelled my order. In the end, I couldn't are spending that kind of money on a product that had only one tuner and was almost guaranteed to be buggy!

I ordered an external sata enclosure, 400gb hd and esata cable for my 8300 and will just hope that the gui is improved further over time...I don't find it to be that bad...of course i've never owned a tivo so I'm in a good position


Thanks for your time and efforts mark...I'm sure you saved many here a lot of time.
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post #72 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:09 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:


Originally posted by Foxbat121
Where does the guide data come from? From cable or OTA?

the box setup first asks you if you have an antenna connected: I clicked no and went on the cablecard setup,

so I assume guide info must be carried on both cable and OTA

My OTA is spotty since 9/11 so I did not connect the OTA antenna

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post #73 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:09 AM
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Ben, that's really my only real issue with the 8300, that UGLY GUI!! I still don't understand why the menu is obviously designed for a 4:3 set when this is an HD PVR? They could have included an extra hour's worth of data with a 16:9 format. Make no sense to me.

But it is faster than the Tivo and it's PQ is good.
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post #74 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:11 AM
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It seems that Cablevison does provide at least the channel numbering scheme for the TV Guide feature, but thus far I see no program information.
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post #75 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:54 AM
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I can't imagine any cable operator will offer 3rd party cable guide info through its cable line. Your only chance is OTA via existing broadcasting channels. So if you don't have OTA reception, you probably will never get guide info.
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post #76 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 08:56 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Foxbat121
I can't imagine any cable operator will offer 3rd party cable guide info through its cable line. Your only chance is OTA via existing broadcasting channels. So if you don't have OTA reception, you probably will never get guide info.

I can't even get the clocks to automatically set on the old VCR's via Cable.

Alan
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post #77 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 09:52 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Ken Ross
It seems that Cablevison does provide at least the channel numbering scheme for the TV Guide feature, but thus far I see no program information.

I have an older SD CRT in my bedroom and it has the GuidePlus system. I had been having problems with it just recently, but most recently, when I checked, the guide was there fully populated and up-to-date. I'll have to check tonight when I get home if I remember...I don't usually watch TV on that set any longer although the wife does.

I don't know why these new TV's and STB/DVR's don't have an ethernet port built in so that you can simply plug them into your network and let them grab the data in this manner.
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post #78 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 09:52 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Foxbat121
I can't imagine any cable operator will offer 3rd party cable guide info through its cable line. Your only chance is OTA via existing broadcasting channels. So if you don't have OTA reception, you probably will never get guide info.

That was exactly what I was thinking. Why would a cable company agree to this? The problem with OTA hookup is that it will probably only give you info for the broadcast channels. What about the premium services such as the HBOs of the world?
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post #79 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 09:57 AM
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Originally posted by Ken Ross
That was exactly what I was thinking. Why would a cable company agree to this? The problem with OTA hookup is that it will probably only give you info for the broadcast channels. What about the premium services such as the HBOs of the world?

I haven't seen nor heard of a single area that is properly implementing the PSIP data so I highly doubt that the guide was meant to be obtained from OTA.

I don't think cable operators can "block" the guide intentionally. I'm not sure of the specifics, but maybe if you try removing all splitters and/or plugging it into a "home-run" cable jack. Signal strength and maybe even bi-directionality may be the culprit.
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post #80 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 10:13 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by Foxbat121
Where does the guide data come from? From cable or OTA?

EPG on these type of boxes (I have a 3410a) typically come from OTA PBS channels in the area; there may be others, but I believe the box basically searches from Channel 1 on up and locks onto the first one that has the data. My understanding is that cable should pass this data through as it is embedded in the original TV broadcast signal.
I can see from some of the posts that Guide problems don't seem to discriminate between vendors. I will watch with interest as folks who use the Sony try to find all the "tricks" to get consistent EGP functionality (like re-booting); I assume there's at least a Guide download light (ala the 3410a) so you have an idea of what's going on.

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post #81 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 11:19 AM
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This is still sounding promosing for us OTA only people. This hardly sounds like a junk product that still needs a much longer look.
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post #82 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 12:32 PM
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Assuming the guide download is a function of TV Guide and not the box manufacturer, it should work like this:

After the first night, you will get guide info for days 1,2,3 and 8. Each successive night will add new days 3 and 8. After five nights the guide should be full (8 days of info).

The guide info arrives via OTA or cable. I've found cable to be more reliable with the LG 3410A, possibly because of the more consistent signal than my indoor OTA antenna.

What I'd like to know about the Sony is how mapped channels appear in the guide. For example, my 3410A maps Comcast NBC-HD to channel 116-5. Yet the guide channel shows up as 188 (Comcast's assigned number). Then I have to go and manually change the channel numbers for each mapped guide channel.

This seems really stupid, so I'd like to know if the Sony handles this differently.

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post #83 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 01:29 PM
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In a direct A/B test via HDMI, the PQ of the Sony is exactly the same as the SA8300. I was a bit surprised by this because I thought the Sony had an edge, but it shows you how dangerous it is to just use your memory in determining PQ. For me that's another strike against the Sony.

To Phil's point, the channel guide mapping seems to be all over the place just as he pointed out with the 3410A. To get any kind of coherent order, you have to manually rearrange all the channels by prioritizing where you want them in the guide. This is a VERY time consuming process since every single channel needs to be re-ordered. At this point the guide is far more cumbersome than I had imagined. Very disappointing. I have no intention of literally spending hours to do that at this point.

I also don't like the methodology for calling up your favorite channels. Too many button pushes.

Another concern is the very frequent resolution changes that take place during switching of inputs. For some reason the Sony frequently down-rezzes as I change to its input. Not good at all and indicative that there's an inconsistent 'handshake' between the display and the box. I don't get this with any other HDMI source via my Gefen switcher. Only very very occasionally have I gotten this with my D* Sony HD200.

So, as you can tell, I'm disappointed thus far (not to mention still having no program information). At least I do have a guide now that shows channels, but that's pretty useless without the actual program information.
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post #84 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 01:37 PM
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To go back to an earlier comment, these devices should all be network compatable. I just added a Roku Soundbridge to my stereo to let me access music stored on my computer. At $250 it even came with a wireless card, so I didn't have to run a network cable to my stereo location. This is the 21st century! I have one of these on order through my store, so I will be in touch with Sony through our service department if the program guide doesn't work. Lew
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post #85 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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at 48 hours with no clock or guide data from cable only;

I connected an OTA antenna, did a channel scan (it found several analog and digital channels) and updated the setup for the guide to tell it an antenna is connected

will see if this brings up guide data

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post #86 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 02:25 PM
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Mark, Did you find a PBS OTA station? (Is it possible to write a whole sentence in 3 letter acronyms?). Lew
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post #87 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 02:40 PM
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Ken,

As far as the ORDER of the channels in the guide, yes, there is no order. Not only that (again referring to the 3410A --- I don't have the Sony), some cable channels do not even appear in the guide, while others appear that I don't have. This happens notwithstanding the fact that the guide is "customized" to your zip code.

You can tune the channels that don't appear in the guide, but of course you lack the info and recording setup features for such channels.

It wouldn't be so bad rearranging the order if you just had to do it once. But the LG will, at random times, reset the order and the remapped channels. What a pain! I'm hoping the Sony has improved on this.

This type of box seems to have two possible sets of problems: the manufacturer's hardware/firmware, and the TV Guide. Troubleshooting becomes difficult when the line between these is not clear. I would think that the Sony hardware/firmware would tend to be reliable, and that most problems will be caused by the guide.

I suppose you'll see what happens over the next couple of days. I'm sure many of us are curious about the Sony, and are waiting to see how it acts.

Oh, boy, I wonder how long it will take THIS thread to match the 3410A's 130+ pages?!?

Phil
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post #88 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 02:57 PM
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Phil, it pretty much sounds like your issues with the 3410 are precisely the same with the Sony. Of course I've got the additional issue with the "auto down-rezzing of the Sony). You are correct, I forgot to mention that some of the cable HD channels I do get haven't yet shown up in the guide but yet I can tune them. They reside in the favorites but refuse to integrate into the guide.

If this thing had even a semi-volative memory, I'd think I'd jump out of a window after spending hours rearranging channels. This is why I've done nothing unitl I see if this guide is actually viable.

In the meantime I've got my RMA from Sony. We'll see what happens tomorrow.
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post #89 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 05:15 PM
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If only there were some way to check if the guide data is available, without buying the box....

Or if Sony had built some kind of backup way for it to get guide data, like an optional network interface... Actually, I was wondering how would Sony do software updates, or is that just not possible?

I guess I'm still on the fence on whether I want to build an HTPC or buy this HDDVR. The fact that it can do both cable and OTA is interesting....since I would prefer cable for HD, except that Sinclair runs ABC and FOX around here...so.... Though I do have a regular OTA box (and feed the SD output to a PVR), so the HTPC plan was to record unencrypted HD from cable....

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post #90 of 29332 Old 05-19-2005, 06:45 PM
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Channel order - TV Guide. Rearranged the Channel order in about 20 minutes. Not too difficult. TV Guide - downloaded approx 10 hours worth overnight, and that was it for approx 3 days, (no more than 10 hours at a time), then it disappeared, and showed "no listing". Called the Sony help line, and they suggested I change the Zip code to another nearby, and within hours, I had the TV Guide back. PQ is outstanding, and even more vibrant than my inbuilt tuner of Sony 34" xbr 960. Slow channel changing though, but doesn't worry me, as I usually will only be using it for recording.
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