Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 980 - AVS | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #29371 of 29394 Old 01-20-2015, 09:51 AM
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Originally Posted by mickinct View Post
I'm in CT
Figured that from your location. My zipcode is under my name. See if it's worth it. If they were smaller or I had the original boxes I would mail them. They aren't exactly PO friendly.
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post #29372 of 29394 Old 01-20-2015, 09:57 AM
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Mine 06118 I had 6 of these I sold them for 500-600$ just before TVGOS went out, I only have 1 now 250gb unit for OTA rec. Funny thing I found out is that the HDMI output is NOT protected from recording, because I use a hauppauge colossus card with HDMI input and no problems, full 1080i in surround sound.

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post #29373 of 29394 Old 01-26-2015, 04:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Ray1938 View Post
An RCA Compact RF Modulator (CRF907R) can be attached to any DVD player that has Video/Audio jacks to get the Ch3/Ch4 RF signal format. Amazon sells this device for about $10.
This works quite well.

I was looking for a alternate use for another of my Sonys, now I’ve found one.

Not exactly sure what I’ll use it for, but you can copy DVD’s, VHS tapes, ....I even connected my ROKU and copied some Netflix stuff to the Sony harddrive !

Just playin’ around with it now, .......maybe I’ll think of another use.
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post #29374 of 29394 Old 02-08-2015, 10:15 AM
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I think I will sell mine. I know it functions properly; the former owner’s recordings are fabulous. The problem is, with indoor antennas, connected to my TV direct is far better, and more stable, and I never figured out how to get it to record beyond 30 minutes. For someone who does not know much about these units, it is a big pain.
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post #29375 of 29394 Old 02-08-2015, 10:53 AM
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Originally Posted by InfinityBob View Post
I think I will sell mine. I know it functions properly; the former owner’s recordings are fabulous. The problem is, with indoor antennas, connected to my TV direct is far better, and more stable, and I never figured out how to get it to record beyond 30 minutes. For someone who does not know much about these units, it is a big pain.
If you still have it. The red button held down brings up a panel with a thirty minute default. You can change the end time to tomorrow if you want.
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post #29376 of 29394 Old 02-08-2015, 12:30 PM
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Thanks, I will try it. The main thing, my simple indoor antennas work better with the TV tuner in both my Samsung and LG tvs. My health is too bad to try putting up an outdoor antenna, and here in Dothan, all you get is 7 to 9 broadcast channels.

Mainly, I buy blurays, several a week, and play several movies each day.
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post #29377 of 29394 Old 02-09-2015, 06:50 PM
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Originally Posted by InfinityBob View Post
Thanks, I will try it. The main thing, my simple indoor antennas work better with the TV tuner in both my Samsung and LG tvs. My health is too bad to try putting up an outdoor antenna, and here in Dothan, all you get is 7 to 9 broadcast channels.

Mainly, I buy blurays, several a week, and play several movies each day.

Unfortuantely, the digital tuners in many HDTV recorders such as the Sony, are not as sensitive as the tuners in most TV sets. Some people buy outdoor antennas and install them in their attic or second floor, rather than on the roof of the home. Depending on how far you are from the transmitters, it may improve the reception of a typical broadcast channels in your area
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post #29378 of 29394 Old 02-15-2015, 07:51 AM
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I have problems on a few local stations with multipath. The tuner in my DHG500 delivers flawless PQ. My TiVo Premier XL is a total mess on ABC and too broken up to watch a few other stations. Score one for 9-year old technology over modern cost-cutting.

"Most people would die sooner than think, in fact they do so."  Bertrand Russell The ABC of Relativity, 1925

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post #29379 of 29394 Old 02-15-2015, 05:55 PM
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Originally Posted by joecass View Post

Unfortunately, the digital tuners in many HDTV recorders such as the Sony,

are not as sensitive as the tuners in most TV sets.


Yeah, I noticed this with my DHG250 versus my Vizio M401i-A3 (2013). I did a test with indoor rabbit ears antenna hung upside down from the ceiling to test the two tuners. The Sony tuner is crap. Only picked up a handful of stations while the Vizio nearly got all my locals!


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post #29380 of 29394 Old 02-15-2015, 08:15 PM
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Originally Posted by CleCakYngMfd View Post
Yeah, I noticed this with my DHG250 versus my Vizio M401i-A3 (2013). I did a test with indoor rabbit ears antenna hung upside down from the ceiling to test the two tuners. The Sony tuner is crap. Only picked up a handful of stations while the Vizio nearly got all my locals!


.

Well, you have to figure most newer TV's are almost 10 yrs ahead of the Sony's 2004 tuner technology, None of my recorders from various manufacturers are as good as my flat screen TV sets. Also have a few standalone HD tuners from that era, they're not as good either. Only unit that comes close is a Zenith DTT900 Digital Converter Box from around 2008, when the digital transition was happening....
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post #29381 of 29394 Old 02-16-2015, 06:14 AM
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The tuner thing is funny.

I have OTA using a Radio Shack "fringe" antenna on the roof. It splits to four TV outlets, with no amplifier, and one FM tuner.

My HDD-250, Tivo Premiere, Tivo Series 3, and a Sony HDTV (first generation rear projection) all get the major channels from NYC, with 70-90 on the feedback. No difference or issues.

We have three low power stations. RF 3 is stable on all sets, partly because I have that old school "fringe" antenna with vhf lo elements. RF 2 is a translator of a long island station, and I'm out of the range. My HDD will see this and sometimes lock a picture, some times not.
The Tivos don't see this at all, but the Sony TV will.
Channel 50.1, a NJ public TV station which is off axis, comes in on the Tivo units, but NOT the Sony units. (RF 50)

So, the Sony units are more sensitive on VHF Lo, but the Tivos do better on UHF.

After the whole "digital transition", here in NY we still have RF 2, 3, 7, and 13.

In Vienna we sit, in late night cafe. Straight Connection, on T.E.E.
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post #29382 of 29394 Old 02-16-2015, 12:22 PM
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Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post
The tuner thing is funny.

I have OTA using a Radio Shack "fringe" antenna on the roof. It splits to four TV outlets, with no amplifier, and one FM tuner.

My HDD-250, Tivo Premiere, Tivo Series 3, and a Sony HDTV (first generation rear projection) all get the major channels from NYC, with 70-90 on the feedback. No difference or issues.

We have three low power stations. RF 3 is stable on all sets, partly because I have that old school "fringe" antenna with vhf lo elements. RF 2 is a translator of a long island station, and I'm out of the range. My HDD will see this and sometimes lock a picture, some times not.
The Tivos don't see this at all, but the Sony TV will.
Channel 50.1, a NJ public TV station which is off axis, comes in on the Tivo units, but NOT the Sony units. (RF 50)

So, the Sony units are more sensitive on VHF Lo, but the Tivos do better on UHF.

After the whole "digital transition", here in NY we still have RF 2, 3, 7, and 13.

I live in NYC itself, there are no analog RF stations left that I know of. Also have an older-type roof antenna, but my OTA reception is hindered by a huge public park that goes up a steep incline. I'm only 12 miles from the transmitters in Manhattan, seems like you get better reception from 40 miles away than I do. But.... I use several amplifiers in multiple setups, my 2010 Sony Bravia is less sensitive than a 2008 Samsung LCD set. The Samsung gets most OTA stations under less-than-ideal conditions, whereas the Sony does not.
If you go into the Menus on the DHG recorder, you can see which frequency each station is tuned to. VHF-low is fairly good, but VHF-Hi and UHF seem to be problematic for my system. Other than getting free broadcast HDTV channels, I don't see any advantage to digital technology. There were never any problems with the old analog broadcast system, where the picture was pixellated or went out entirely like it does now.
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post #29383 of 29394 Old 02-16-2015, 12:59 PM
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I'm a few hundred feet up and my antenna points directly down river, so I'm clearly benefitting from the natural waveguide that is the Hudson River Valley. I am line of sight, almost, with the ESB, 45 or so air miles off. Pretty direct, and I don't get much RF from any other direction. I accidentally discovered this when someone gave me a small outdoor TV antenna. I was awestruck how much better the OTA picture was over the cable TV picture...this in the days of analog only and the CATV company not caring much about noise or other interference. Since then, I've always had an antenna.

You are only catching knife edge reflections...a much tougher place to be and with a much higher overall signal strength in your area, mulitpath isn't your friend. Have you tried, or can you, move the antenna ? At these frequencies, a few feet, or ten, can make all the difference in the world.

Analog was way past its due date....it had to die, although possibly DVB-T on the VHF low and VHF high band was a better idea. That is a dispute for another time, but HDTV in some form was due.

The bigger danger to OTA viewing is that TV stations are currently being "re packed" so that the upper UHF can be sold to cell phone interests....some will be bought out, others will share on one RF channel a subchannel-Congress is raising money by selling channels...

Any way you look at it, though, the OTA viewer will lose. Less choice, or three blurry channels on one frequency ; yea, just what we were promised with HDTV....

In Vienna we sit, in late night cafe. Straight Connection, on T.E.E.
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post #29384 of 29394 Old 02-16-2015, 06:00 PM
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Originally Posted by speedlaw View Post
I'm a few hundred feet up and my antenna points directly down river, so I'm clearly benefitting from the natural waveguide that is the Hudson River Valley. I am line of sight, almost, with the ESB, 45 or so air miles off. Pretty direct, and I don't get much RF from any other direction. I accidentally discovered this when someone gave me a small outdoor TV antenna. I was awestruck how much better the OTA picture was over the cable TV picture...this in the days of analog only and the CATV company not caring much about noise or other interference. Since then, I've always had an antenna.

You are only catching knife edge reflections...a much tougher place to be and with a much higher overall signal strength in your area, mulitpath isn't your friend. Have you tried, or can you, move the antenna ? At these frequencies, a few feet, or ten, can make all the difference in the world.

Analog was way past its due date....it had to die, although possibly DVB-T on the VHF low and VHF high band was a better idea. That is a dispute for another time, but HDTV in some form was due.

The bigger danger to OTA viewing is that TV stations are currently being "re packed" so that the upper UHF can be sold to cell phone interests....some will be bought out, others will share on one RF channel a subchannel-Congress is raising money by selling channels...

Any way you look at it, though, the OTA viewer will lose. Less choice, or three blurry channels on one frequency ; yea, just what we were promised with HDTV....

Besides multipath, my problem is not having access to the antenna, as I'm just a tenant. I asked the homeowner many years ago if I could put up a new roof antenna (preferably with a rotator and amplifier) but the answer was "no". It's a crappy old antenna to begin with. I've tried indoor antennas, but they get one or two channels at most. If I had line-of-sight, I'd get much better reception. So, with the current weather trend, my OTA signals are marginal at best. I never watch live TV, I record everything using my extensive arsenal of digital recorders.


Didn't understand from the beginning of the DTV transition, why the OTA channels here were split between VHF and UHF. In the analog days, VHF was 2 - 13, UHF was 14 - 69. It should have stayed that way, basically I don't care about what's on 14 - 69, as they are mostly foreign language channels and other junk like Home Shopping Network or NYC.gov programming.
CBS HD, OTA Ch 2.1, is broadcast on RF33. If I do an OTA channel scan, there is no Ch 2 in the channel list.


Years ago when I first bought my Sony DHG, things were perfect, as I had OTA and QAM cable. Now QAM cable is gone, my cableco doesn't support cable cards for the Sony, and there is no more TV Guide. That's what I call..... PROGRESS !
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post #29385 of 29394 Old 02-16-2015, 07:56 PM
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The split of channels is a historical oddity. The first set, VHF lo and high, were pretty much at the limits of consumer electronics. Recall how expensive a TV set was...it was a big deal. I recall my grandparents had COLOR....that was a big, fat hairy deal.... 56- 200 mhz....

UHF was relegated to novelty because a UHF tuner wasn't very stable at the time, and the frequencies, again, were at the leading edge of stability for consumer electronics. It is also a lot more expensive to broadcast at UHF, you need way more power, and the frequencies are more line of sight (which is your current problem). The VHF channels were a bit better with hilly terrain, and the VHF low better still. This is why the networks wanted the low channels, in the beginning. UHF was trash with the tech of the 50's to 70's-pretty much until the microchip showed up and TV went from 'cranky, call the TV shop again to peak the circuits" to mostly indestructible.

I'm a ham, and recall one hill on a particular highway, about 60 miles from NYC. I could get the FM sound channels from 2, 4 5 and 7, but interestingly, at different points as I went down the hill-clearly the frequencies bent differently over the hills between my car and the NYC transmitters. I recall channel 4/5 was the winner, by a large margin, for coverage. Likewise, 6 from Albany could be heard before any of the other Albany stations, when going north. (sadly, this too was lost in digital transition)

I'm sorry to hear that you can't do much with the antenna. The QAM scam is "sell them a signal, then force rent them a box to descramble it". We had that in my area, they went fully digital, then scrambled everything. The reason was to monetize all those bedroom and kitchen TV sets. Oh, there was discussion about how it was about piracy, but not really....Interestingly, in my area broadcast channels are still in the clear....although I understand that in NYC that is not the case. (Cable co's fought the FCC on this one, and this was the accommodation)

They gave you a box "free" for a year, then it became a perpetual $8 per month/$96.00 per year fee. Between scrambling everything to make me rent a box, being hiked to "full price" with no break unless I actually ported (not just threatened to) my phone numbers to fios, and finally, charging a $5 per month "sports fee" for a non sports household, I cut the cord.....the cable co still charged me "more" for internet than if a "triple play", but at the end, phone is way cheaper still, and even paying for Hulu and Netflix, I'm very much ahead.

Nope, we don't miss cable.... at all...but I don't watch sports, and my kids migrated to on demand streaming years ago. Everything you might want is covered by streaming, mostly legally, and if you don't care, then everything is out there somewhere.

In Vienna we sit, in late night cafe. Straight Connection, on T.E.E.

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post #29386 of 29394 Old 02-17-2015, 06:37 AM
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Yes, it's all true.... I remember buying my parents a Zenith 25" console TV around 1980 that cost me $1000.... big bucks in those days. My Dad was enamored with the Zenith "Space Command" remote control that enabled him to zoom the picture. All he needed was a rabbit ears antenna to get reception. UHF was something we didn't bother with until later on in the 80's.

My cableco (TWC-NYC) gave me free Cisco "digital transport adapters" for a year, then the fee beginning 2015 was $.99 each. Somehow the fee has increased to $2.75 per month.
I'm keeping cable for the time being, with this crazy weather my OTA is very unstable. I have a system where I can record 480i directly from the cable box into a variety of DVD recorders using the S-Video output. It's not HD, but it's better than nothing. Also, the Ciscos have an RF Ch3 output which can be fed into any type of recorder with a tuner. While the pic is quite unspectacular, again it's better than no recordings at all.

Not that it's important, but I'm curious as to what the USB port is for on the Sony DHG machines, the manual states "for future use", I guess that never came to pass. I'd also like to know where the Sony factory software resides (presumably in RAM memory?) because, reading the manual, it states the software is largely GNU free license variations of Linux.
If there were some method of accessing the software from a computer, perhaps the correct time and date could be set without the need of the defunct TV Guide system. I know I've mentioned this quite a few times here, it just bugs the hell out of me that the Sony apparently can't be hacked.
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post #29387 of 29394 Old 02-17-2015, 06:46 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joecass View Post
Yes, it's all true.... I remember buying my parents a Zenith 25" console TV around 1980 that cost me $1000.... big bucks in those days. My Dad was enamored with the Zenith "Space Command" remote control that enabled him to zoom the picture. All he needed was a rabbit ears antenna to get reception. UHF was something we didn't bother with until later on in the 80's.

My cableco (TWC-NYC) gave me free Cisco "digital transport adapters" for a year, then the fee beginning 2015 was $.99 each. Somehow the fee has increased to $2.75 per month.
I'm keeping cable for the time being, with this crazy weather my OTA is very unstable. I have a system where I can record 480i directly from the cable box into a variety of DVD recorders using the S-Video output. It's not HD, but it's better than nothing. Also, the Ciscos have an RF Ch3 output which can be fed into any type of recorder with a tuner. While the pic is quite unspectacular, again it's better than no recordings at all.

Not that it's important, but I'm curious as to what the USB port is for on the Sony DHG machines, the manual states "for future use", I guess that never came to pass. I'd also like to know where the Sony factory software resides (presumably in RAM memory?) because, reading the manual, it states the software is largely GNU free license variations of Linux.
If there were some method of accessing the software from a computer, perhaps the correct time and date could be set without the need of the defunct TV Guide system. I know I've mentioned this quite a few times here, it just bugs the hell out of me that the Sony apparently can't be hacked.
The USB port was used to update the firmware-when things went digital, the TVGOS, which was embedded in the blanking pulse of the NTSC signal, had to find a new home. It was encoded in the CBS Network signals when ATSC began to be used. Don't think in this closed machine that it has any use other than that allowed by the CableCard Labs or the nice folks who gave us HDCP.

Also, hacking the HDD is sort of a moot point. You can easier put together a Home Theater PC system for OTA channels, and as far as piracy goes, the current standards only make it inconvenient for the casual user. Hook your PC up to the TV set, and you can stream or torrent anything. This was less of an option when the HDD was fresh....

There had to be a definite contract between TVGOS and Sony, as they released the updated firmware without any announcement, and to great surprise here. It was almost ten years to the day when TVGOS went away. I think one of the issues was that the HDD box was not individually addressable-not that we get to see the confidential agreements between content holders, but it is clear that if you have a cablecard, you need cableLabs certification, and if you use HDMI, you must accomodate the HDCP protocols. The second one is easy, now as the chips are all so designed (at least in the US market-there are others outside the US), but the HDD boxes were never tied, really to a mother ship. Even TiVo relies on permission from the mother ship to live......

Note this is why most, if not all, of the aftermarket DVR units don't bother with a cablecard.

In Vienna we sit, in late night cafe. Straight Connection, on T.E.E.

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post #29388 of 29394 Old 03-19-2015, 07:15 PM
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Smile Sony DHG-HDD-250

I just picked up one of these units for 60$. I intend to use it with my Mohu Curve antenna.

Someone posted that they used a VCR to program the clock on the HDD250?

Could anyone explain how that is done? Many thanks.
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post #29389 of 29394 Old 03-19-2015, 08:31 PM
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You need to have made recordings of TVGoS back when it was still around and using a VCR capable of storing the information (which newer VCRs can't do). If you play the tape for the DHG, it will use the archived TVGoS signal to set the time and date. Maybe Joe can copy his tapes for you?
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post #29390 of 29394 Old Yesterday, 04:24 AM
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Originally Posted by retrosonic View Post
I just picked up one of these units for 60$. I intend to use it with my Mohu Curve antenna.

Someone posted that they used a VCR to program the clock on the HDD250?

Could anyone explain how that is done? Many thanks.
I guess you said that you haven't made it work yet? It's not a toaster, which may be related to the post count of this thread (highest in HDTV recorders). If you have an older VCR that doesn't strip the TVGOS data (non-digital, channel 3/4 output), I have used tapes to set the time and day-of-week. Nothing will set the date or year, although the date can be set once a year . That said, there are other methods in this thread to either set the time or use a spreadsheet type method to extrapolate the time from your offset. I only have one VCR, so duplication would be a challenge. That said...
Here is what I would do. Set the clock with the "izzy method" first. That will get you an internal time that is a known value. This method, and others, are based on the fact that when you know the unit's time, then remove power or reset it, the clock does not "start" until the white button is pressed. So you could wait for the right time and turn the unit on (out of standby really) and have a good clock that works until the next power failure. I always used a UPS so that wasn't an issue. Since the drive always spins a decent UPS is needed. If you have a time that is close, a zipcode of 00000, and read more of this thread, then let me know if the tape method is worth it. I don't know where you are located. I have four 250 GB units and would give you one or more. But since the boxes have long since been recycled, shipping could be an issue. No PM is needed since I watch this forum from 7am to 9pm every day (about). Good luck. It's not a DVR, it's an adventure. 2014 list of consumer available DVR's

If it's NYC, that puts you about 2hr away. I am 8 miles from I81. Check my zipcode with WWW.NOAA.GOV to see my location.

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post #29391 of 29394 Old Yesterday, 08:07 PM
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Joe, thank you for taking the time to reply.

When you say the "izzy" method, I really dont know what you mean.

Could you point me to a FAQ on setting the clock, with the zip code 00000 thing?

Many thanks.
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post #29392 of 29394 Old Yesterday, 08:42 PM
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Quick question. Has anyone found a way to deal with channel numbers that conflict with each other?

That is to say... if there is actual broadcast channel 15 with virtual channel 17-1, and then there's actual broadcast channel 17 with virtual channel 30-1, then the first one of these to be scanned in (ie. if they're received from different directions) blocks the other from being added to the list.

Basically, one station occupies both its real and virtual channel numbers, and prevents anything further from being searched or added to on those numbers. And yes, there are several situations where this occurs in my area - and I'm not even talking about long-distance reception, which is made completely useless by this issue.
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Originally Posted by retrosonic View Post
Joe, thank you for taking the time to reply.

When you say the "izzy" method, I really dont know what you mean.

Could you point me to a FAQ on setting the clock, with the zip code 00000 thing?

Many thanks.
Just so you don't go crazy searching this forum for the izzy method of setting the DHG clock,
Here it is,

1. Hit Exit and TV Guide on DHG's Front Panel simultaneously! The Unit will Reboot!
2. Wait till the Unit is done rebooting and you see the dreaded --:-- on the unit before hitting the power button.
3. Hit power button, the unit will start up! If you are one of the fortunate that have a front panel clock (I lost FPC on both Units), the time showing on the front panel is your target time!
For the unfortunate ones that don't have a Front Panel Clock, hit record button once, clock on top left is target time in my case it was 9:00AM!. I hit TV Guide button once (I repurpose) to get out of that menu!
4. Hit Exit and TV Guide on DHG again to reset and freeze the clock and wait for target time to arrive before powering up the unit...
5. At 9:00AM and 15 seconds I powered up the 500 this allows clock drifting..

Enjoy, I do occasionally check back with this forum for any new developments on the DHG other than door stops. Thanks Sony and Rovi for making such a great product and not giving us a clock setting option!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by retrosonic View Post
Joe, thank you for taking the time to reply.

When you say the "izzy" method, I really dont know what you mean.

Could you point me to a FAQ on setting the clock, with the zip code 00000 thing?

Many thanks.
Perhaps you haven't applied power yet? You need to meet me/us half-way. Start here: https://docs.sony.com/release/DHGHDD250-500rev2.pdf and you will find that the zipcode is part of the setup. If you don't use 00000 you may exhibit lockups about every four days that need power removed or cause a reboot. You will probably lose the time if that happens. Well, not lose, just that it will be wrong. It always has a time, just not the right one sometimes. How many channels do you receive? Have to recorded by holding down the red record button for 5 seconds to get the manual record panel yet? You also may exhibit 1 second audio dropouts. That's normal but not frequent. Also:http://www.spiffspace.com/forum/index.php is source of information.
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