Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 7 - AVS Forum
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post #181 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:18 AM
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Just heard from the engineer at the local TV broadcaster. He found the Gemstar encoder "locked up". I'm sure glad I looked into this.
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post #182 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:26 AM
 
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Jeez... it is hard enough getting the engineers to flip the HD switch at the locals much less have them monitor the Genstar encoder...
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post #183 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:26 AM
 
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Is this the same guide that is being used by TWC on their own HD DVR???
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post #184 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:28 AM
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Anyone know of any software that would allow someone to monitor the guide data stream using a PC and TV Tuner card? That would be a utility worth having for us Gemstar users.
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post #185 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:57 AM
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I would like to suggest that those whose guides have not filled in for the full eight days(this should take several days to accomplish) make contact in their local thread. Ask for info from owners of 3410a or other gemstar guided products as to how reliable the guide is in your area.

Here , west of Portland OR the guide works perfectly on the 3410a.

If someone actually gets all 8 days I may have to buy one. (the 250 when it comes out)
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post #186 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 08:25 AM
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I now have all 8 days in the guide. It took about a week. I got days 1&2 (and probably 8) the first night, nothing the second night, and then it added day 2 and day 8 again every day after that. Slow and frustrating, but it's all there now.

And since somebody here told me how to skip a day at a time in the guide, I only cuss it half as much as I did at the beginning.

Other than the guide, I have to say this thing works beautifully. It's great being able to watch a recorded show while something else is recording. The only glaring omission in the box is a second tuner. And maybe that Ethernet port for a reliable guide download. It would have been nice to start out with 8 full days of data, but I can be patient when I'm forced into it.
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post #187 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 09:08 AM
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For someone (me) who's used to using a VCR and is interested in only recording HD OTA, this sounds like it's worth a shot. From what I can tell, the guide data in the Mpls/St. Paul area works OK, so I'll likely order a 250 when they are more available. Thanks for the reviews all!
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post #188 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 10:31 AM
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Looks like the engineer got the encoder going again. He's got a call into Gemstar to discuss reliability and such. It seems Gemstar gave them a PC loaded with special software to monitor the encoder. He says it's not a very good monitoring tool though. It obviously didn't notify anyone that the encoder stopped working. Jeez. There's no telling how long it's been down.

Hopefully there'll be more data in my guide tonight or tomorrow.

Has anyone noticed if the guide updates the listings "hour" by "hour"? Or does it wait until it collects an entire day's worth of data before it plunks it in the guide?
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post #189 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 10:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GBrock View Post

And since somebody here told me how to skip a day at a time in the guide, I only cuss it half as much as I did at the beginning.

How do you do that? I don't recall seeing it in this thread.
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post #190 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 11:39 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhoppe View Post

How do you do that? I don't recall seeing it in this thread.

When in the Gemstar guide listings screen, to skip ahead x number of hours, key in x then hit the right arrow using the circle part of the remote control. The same can be done to go back x number of hours by pressing the left arrow.
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post #191 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 11:47 AM
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Cool, thanks!
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post #192 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 12:06 PM
 
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Fed Ex just delivered mine... gotta go and get the cablecard.
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post #193 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 04:08 PM
 
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Okay... except for TWC's part in this... everything has gone very smoothly so far.

The unit went out and found all the analog and digital OTA stations(too many IMO, ) but then I had to activate the new and inserted cablecard... and TWC disconnected me twice and then kept me on hold for ONE HOUR and Ten Minutes before they answered me.

Then, at the end of the call... they guy tells me that he will send that department an EMAIL to tell them to activate the freakin card?????

So... TWC still left lots of opportunity to eff this up and delay my ability to get the new channels which I am sure I will be charged for starting today... ARGGGGGHHH.

Otherwise, the unit pulls in the OTA HD stations seemingly better than my Samsung T165, and it has a cool front panel display which shows the info and channel. Also, when you tune in the channel, there is an overlay which shows the incoming resolution, and other info.

So... other than TWCs part in all this, the Sony grades an A.

More to come tomorrow... hopefully.
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post #194 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 05:31 PM
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If you leave this unit on 24/7, will it still receive guide data? Or do you have to remember to turn it off every night? I wonder if leaving it tuned to the channel that happens to transmit the Gemstar data would be enough?
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post #195 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 05:55 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fontana View Post

If you leave this unit on 24/7, will it still receive guide data? Or do you have to remember to turn it off every night? I wonder if leaving it tuned to the channel that happens to transmit the Gemstar data would be enough?

It has to be turned off to receive guide data. It actually has an "auto turn off" feature that is set by default to turn off at 1AM. So if you forget to turn it off, no worries, it'll do it on it's own. You can change the time setting for this feature as well.
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post #196 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:24 PM
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That's great! Sounds like an improvement over the LG LST-3410A. How long does it take to start up (from power on until you get a picture)? From reading the thread on the LG box, that unit takes quite a while especially with a nearly-full, larger upgraded disk.
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post #197 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:28 PM
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As soon as I hit "WAtch TV" on my Harmony 880 remote I have the TV GUide on start up...One thing that perplexes me right now is that I lost my HD Discovery channel. Does anyone know why? I redid the scan for cable and it didn't find it.

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post #198 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 06:50 PM
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Mark Fontana

I have a 300GB in my 3410 and only have 4 hours left available for HD recording. When I power it on the picture comes on rather quickly to whatever the last channel tuned, what doesn't though, is the DVR recorded programs availabiltiy, which takes about 2 minutes. Hence the problem with any scheduled recordings when the unit needs to power from off and begin recording, which it won't do then. If the unit is on when the recording is to begin then no problem, except that the unit stays on until you shut it off. This didn't start to occur until I had about 12 hours remaining time left of HD on the drive, up until then it would power on 2 minutes before and begin recording one minute before the actual scheduled recording.
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post #199 of 29281 Old 05-26-2005, 08:31 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Fontana View Post

That's great! Sounds like an improvement over the LG LST-3410A. How long does it take to start up (from power on until you get a picture)? From reading the thread on the LG box, that unit takes quite a while especially with a nearly-full, larger upgraded disk.

My remote has a macro feature that turns on all my equipment with a single button. By the time it executes the macro, which is about 5 or 6 seconds, the TV is just fading in with the video already showing from the Sony box. I would bet it's only a couple of seconds or so for the Sony by itself. I don't have a lot of recorded material on my HD right now, so I can't comment on whether that would have any impact like the 3410.
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post #200 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 07:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kong View Post

As soon as I hit "WAtch TV" on my Harmony 880 remote I have the TV GUide on start up...One thing that perplexes me right now is that I lost my HD Discovery channel. Does anyone know why? I redid the scan for cable and it didn't find it.

In most markets, Disc-HD is scrambled (or will be soon). You will get it back when you get your CableCARD.

When Comcast first upgraded my area, I got Disc-HD and ESPN-HD on the 3410A. But that changed a couple of months later.

Phil
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post #201 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 07:14 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dlhoppe View Post

My remote has a macro feature that turns on all my equipment with a single button. By the time it executes the macro, which is about 5 or 6 seconds, the TV is just fading in with the video already showing from the Sony box. I would bet it's only a couple of seconds or so for the Sony by itself. I don't have a lot of recorded material on my HD right now, so I can't comment on whether that would have any impact like the 3410.

The real question: Is the HDD available immediately? The LG picture comes up fairly quickly, but it's the temporary unavailability of the HDD during initialization (because of a long program list) that causes the problem. (This is with a 300 GB drive, not the 120 GB original, which of course does not have this problem.)

With 500 GB built in by design, I would think Sony made sure that slow inititalization of the HDD's would not affect the successful start of a timer recording. But we'd like to confirm this once someone accumulates 50 or so hours of recordings.

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post #202 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 10:08 AM
 
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My Cablecard got initialized this morning and I spent the last few hours just flipping and watching... the PQ from this unit is Wonderful! Combined with cable HD, this unit is already coming close to being worth the money to me.

As simply an HDTV tuner, it is far quicker and more responsive than my other two HD tuners. I gotta read the manual and find out what this unit can do and how customizable it can be? For example, is there a remote button which goes back to the last channel you watched? I like to switch back and forth between two channels during sports weekends.

Next up.... I'd love to see what the Guide looks like with some data in it.
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post #203 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 10:29 AM
 
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Does the Guide data ONLY get inserted after midnight, or can/does it happen all the time while it is off?
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post #204 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 10:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc View Post

For example, is there a remote button which goes back to the last channel you watched? I like to switch back and forth between two channels during sports weekends.

Next up.... I'd love to see what the Guide looks like with some data in it.

That was another oversight I just couldn't understand. I never saw anything on the remote that served the "last channel" feature nor did I see anything in the book that addressed it. That is a major oversight. I use that feature all the time.

I hope you have more luck with the Guide than I and others had.
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post #205 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 11:01 AM
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The guide data streams 24x7. Any time the unit is off, it will look for and download the guide data.

As for the "last channel" feature, there doesn't seem to be a way to do that with a single button push. You have to push the "Favorites" button then select something like "Recent Channels Viewed" (don't recall the exact label), then select which of the most recent channels you want to see to switch to it. I believe the "most" recent one will be at the top of the list. I don't like this one at all. I'm so used to switching back and forth with a single button click. This one is harder to get used to, but I've been using it this way for a week or so. It takes about 4 or 5 seconds to switch channels using this method.
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post #206 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 11:21 AM
 
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Does the guide data download for all possible channels, or can you shorten the download time by removing channels which you never intend to watch?
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post #207 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 11:37 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by merc View Post

Does the guide data download for all possible channels, or can you shorten the download time by removing channels which you never intend to watch?

The data in the TV signal will always be the full guide. I'm waiting to hear back from the engineer at the local station as to what the baud rate is for the data and how many times it cycles in a 24 hour period. I don't think you can speed it up at all by altering the Sony box. The download speed is limited to the bandwidth of the how the data is carried in the signal. Don't forget it's analog too. So there may be a fair amount of errors and such depending on the signal strength, interference, etc. at your antenna. From what I understand so far, the data is a sequential stream that just keeps on looping. The Gemstar server at the local station gets a data update once a day to refresh the stream data. At my local station the Gemstar update occurs at about 5:45PM. As I learn more about this process, I'll post it here.

I'm still very interested in finding a way to monitor the guide data with a computer. The local engineer told me that's exactly how they do it, but the software belongs to Gemstar. We need to find a programmer that's written some TV tuner applications to see if it's possible to extract the guide data using a TV tuner card in a computer. Any thoughts on this?
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post #208 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 12:58 PM
 
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Just checked again and the Guide Download has started. So far, so good.

I can't believe that I get so MANY channels. I sure hope I can hide/delete about half of them after the guide downloads. I also kinda like the way they order the stations, alphabetically, with a seperate "news" channel section. I can't beleive how many Discovery Channels there are on this cable?
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post #209 of 29281 Old 05-27-2005, 02:58 PM
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I'm finally getting guide data again. I guess it was the Gemstar encoder at the local TV station that was the culprit.
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post #210 of 29281 Old 05-28-2005, 07:45 AM
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Another cool little feature is when a show end at say 8:30 a small info window pops up on what the next show is...I also love the fact that it has the station logos with the number it is assigned to. I do wish it had a "previous" button to switch back and forth.

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