Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 984 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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HDTV Recorders > Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread
drm2295's Avatar drm2295 06:26 PM 01-16-2016
Some advice please. I still do manual recordings with my 500. I still have a grid (no listings) and a front panel clock (wrong time). I have basic cable, and they give me the local HD channels. When I set it up years ago, I chose cable only. Now I want to record OTA through the antenna input as well. I scanned the antenna channels, and all is fine until I want to record. At that point, the unit changes the input back to cable (still on the antenna channel # so no signal.) Basically, it only records from the cable input. I can watch OTA but I can't record it. My question is: if I go back to setup and choose the same zipcode but pick cable and antenna (instead of cable only), will I lose all ability to record... grid goes away, front panel clock goes away? I have an old software version: 1.2.06

Thanks for any help you can offer.

joecass's Avatar joecass 08:07 PM 01-16-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by drm2295 View Post
Some advice please. I still do manual recordings with my 500. I still have a grid (no listings) and a front panel clock (wrong time). I have basic cable, and they give me the local HD channels. When I set it up years ago, I chose cable only. Now I want to record OTA through the antenna input as well. I scanned the antenna channels, and all is fine until I want to record. At that point, the unit changes the input back to cable (still on the antenna channel # so no signal.) Basically, it only records from the cable input. I can watch OTA but I can't record it. My question is: if I go back to setup and choose the same zipcode but pick cable and antenna (instead of cable only), will I lose all ability to record... grid goes away, front panel clock goes away? I have an old software version: 1.2.06

Thanks for any help you can offer.

I think you do have to go back to Setup, same zip code, cable and air (cable box=no) and then do a completely new channel scan, so its scans cable and air together. Then, you'd have to check the Channel List screen and make sure the stations you want to record are set to "On".
The software version shouldn't make any difference. If you had a grid and front panel clock before, it should remain the same. Can't be 100% sure, but that's what I would do.
drm2295's Avatar drm2295 05:39 PM 01-17-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by joecass View Post
I think you do have to go back to Setup, same zip code, cable and air (cable box=no) and then do a completely new channel scan, so its scans cable and air together. Then, you'd have to check the Channel List screen and make sure the stations you want to record are set to "On".
The software version shouldn't make any difference. If you had a grid and front panel clock before, it should remain the same. Can't be 100% sure, but that's what I would do.
Thanks Joe, the local HD channels that come with my basic cable have been nearly unwatchable lately (pixelation and sound cuts out.) They look fine on my tv tuner. They also look fine OTA through the antenna input on the 500. All the rest of the basic cable seems fine. That's why I hesitate to run setup again. I'm afraid I'll end up with a brick. I think I'll try an inline cable amplifier first.

Thanks again!
CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 03:49 PM 01-19-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by drm2295 View Post

...the local HD channels that come with my basic cable have been nearly unwatchable lately (pixelation and sound cuts out.) They look fine on my TV tuner.

They also look fine OTA through the antenna input on the 500. All the rest of the basic cable seems fine.


A good, strong cable signal is needed. Adding additional tuners after Cable TV Tech had done original setup, can be a problem if signal level is borderline to begin with. (Adding inline amp - as you mentioned - can help.)

Then there's quality and type of a splitter. I need to look into this myself, as I have one splitter that is ok on one output, intermittent on the other. Another splitter I have is bad on both outputs. HD breakup-pixelization at times.

I'll have to dig up my DHG manual, as I made a note in there about a 'Add a Channel' bug. You have to redo from scratch the tuner setup to 'add' any channels. (And use 00000 as a zip code to help 'stabilize' the unit.)

Also, reEntering the same channel twice switches between Cable/OTA, if you didn't know that already.





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JoeKustra's Avatar JoeKustra 04:20 PM 01-19-2016
Too bad the DHG doesn't have a diagnostic that indicates signal level. That might help.
CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 09:41 PM 01-19-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

Too bad the DHG doesn't have a diagnostic that indicates signal level. That might help.


It does, for digital channels. Menu > Preferences > System > System Menu

For analog, you can check the SNR.
Menu > Preferences > System > Diagnostics





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drm2295's Avatar drm2295 08:19 AM 01-20-2016
I tried the amplifier between the splitter and the DHG with some improvement. Next, I tried a new splitter, put the amplifier before the splitter, and got rid of the tv tuner. So now the signal splits to just the DHG and the cable modem. My problems with HD content seem to be gone! The DHG indicates signal strength: 88% and Quality: Good. I'm pretty sure it was the same before I made the changes, so I don't know how useful the System Menu signal strength indicator is. Thanks for responding to my request for help. I've had my 500 since 2005, and those 2 hard drives have been spinning not stop the whole time. I paid $700 for the unit, and my wife thought I was crazy. I think it works out to about 5 or 6 bucks a month. I looked at the Channel Master dvr+ for $250. The channel guide is included, but it only records OTA. I'd like to find one that does basic cable as well and doesn't require a monthly payment for the quide (I think the tivo requires a subscription for the unit to function). I don't mind just manual recording. I'm used to it with my DHG.
JoeKustra's Avatar JoeKustra 09:08 AM 01-20-2016
If I remember, 88% was a popular number. It's likely that that number is after AGC is applied, so it is not real helpful.

A box that uses a cable card is hard to find now. I have two TiVo boxes that I got before they raised the rates. I have three DHG 250 if you need one.

Have you ever used the diags to see how many hours are on the HDD?
Ray1938's Avatar Ray1938 12:05 AM 01-26-2016
I found that my amplifier caused the program to be unwatchable at times. It took me quite a while to discover it since it didn't happen all the time, and when it did, s/n ratio and signal strength were good. I attributed the problem to DVR ageing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by drm2295 View Post
I tried the amplifier between the splitter and the DHG with some improvement. Next, I tried a new splitter, put the amplifier before the splitter, and got rid of the tv tuner. So now the signal splits to just the DHG and the cable modem. My problems with HD content seem to be gone! The DHG indicates signal strength: 88% and Quality: Good. I'm pretty sure it was the same before I made the changes, so I don't know how useful the System Menu signal strength indicator is. Thanks for responding to my request for help. I've had my 500 since 2005, and those 2 hard drives have been spinning not stop the whole time. I paid $700 for the unit, and my wife thought I was crazy. I think it works out to about 5 or 6 bucks a month. I looked at the Channel Master dvr+ for $250. The channel guide is included, but it only records OTA. I'd like to find one that does basic cable as well and doesn't require a monthly payment for the quide (I think the tivo requires a subscription for the unit to function). I don't mind just manual recording. I'm used to it with my DHG.

cablenest's Avatar cablenest 10:06 PM 03-10-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by humbug2 View Post
I have had similar experiences over a half century with computers and home electronics. And observed this in business settings. Electronic devices do not seem to take well to idleness. Those who power things up and down seem to have far more problems than those who run 24x365.

I have a DHG-500 powered up but seldom used in the past 2 years. It is still working when I want to use it. I have a hybrid solid state & vacuum tube stereo pre-amp that has been used twice in the past 6 months. It is 20 years old and on standby when not in use. It sounded fine two days ago. I have an Apple Macbook that is 12 years old. It sleeps with power on. It works fine when I use it monthly. And on and on...
Electrolytic/polarized capacitors can need to be "repolarized" after being unused for a while. Some (older, tube generation) types need to be reconditioned by slowly increasing an applied voltage. For more recent equipment, with any luck, just leaving the unit powered on for a few hours may do the trick.
lastplace's Avatar lastplace 08:10 AM 03-20-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post
Does this mean the HDD 250s may work again? I cut the cable last month and thinking of buying an OTA dvr. It would be great if these things came back to life.
JoeKustra's Avatar JoeKustra 08:51 AM 03-20-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by lastplace View Post
Does this mean the HDD 250s may work again? I cut the cable last month and thinking of buying an OTA dvr. It would be great if these things came back to life.
Very unlikely. Ok, impossible. Which DVR are you looking at? I have a few, all on cable. To see what OTA channels are "possible" check with zap2it.com. Just add your zipcode. There are many other sites that are more specific when it comes to reception possibilities, like tvfool and rabbitears.

update: I see you've got the antenna part done. There two major players in the OTA market now. DVR+ from Channel Master, and the TiVo OTA, basic or Bolt. The DVR+ has a large thread on AVS (not as large as this one and for TiVo I would use the TCF.

Yeah, lack of 5.1 on streaming services sucks. Amazon/Netflix do have DD+ however.
lastplace's Avatar lastplace 02:59 PM 03-20-2016
Considering the Tablo. OTA has 5.1 with an awesome picture. Streaming through a Roku 2, Netflix & Amazon have great sound, Sling TV requires the AVR kicking it up to PLll.
FlyingDiver's Avatar FlyingDiver 03:28 PM 03-20-2016
Tablo doesn't currently do 5.1. All audio is streamed out as stereo. Other than that, it's a great little box. Different usage model than the others, in general. No HDMI output on the box - all outputs are to streaming clients.
joecass's Avatar joecass 02:33 PM 06-09-2016
Last June I terminated my Time Warner Cable subscription, but apparently the incoming line is still active.
There are three stations still being broadcast via QAM, one of them being ION TV, which shows weekly 14-hour marathons of the original Law & Order series. So I took my DHG HDD500 out of mothballs, hooked it up to the TWC line, and managed to record over 100 Law & Order shows during the winter-to-spring months.
It is still problematic in that a weekly re-boot is necessary, but the files remain intact. Several years ago, I used S-VHS to record six-hour blocks of Law & Order and sometimes DVD RW; but as you know, the picture is lacking. Now I can watch L&O reruns in 720P, and it looks great. I get bored with the current crop of TV shows which seem endlessly repetetive in the plots, but always enjoy a good Law & Order rerun, even if I've seen them all before. So, after being in the closet unused for several years, I put the 11 year old Sony to some good use.
JoeKustra's Avatar JoeKustra 03:10 PM 06-09-2016
Awesome. I still have two DHG units left. My feed has two clear QAM channels and five analog color bar channels. But with four TiVo boxes, the DHG units are part of a stack with a lot of memories.
joecass's Avatar joecass 07:08 PM 06-09-2016
Believe me, I also have stacks of stuff loaded with memories. The TIVO I bought last year has been in my system for six months or so, I remember asking a bunch of questions and annoying some members on AVS. I'm used to it now, but would never buy another one unless there were no additional monthly fees. Paying $16+ a month isn't bad, but to pay for each box separately seems like an unnecessary expenditure. Especially since every other DVR I own cost nothing to use. The TIVO's tuner isn't quite as sensitive as my other equipment, something that surprised me during the winter months when my OTA signal is at it's worst. But, for what I paid for the TIVO, and the fact that it has an upgraded 1.5TB hdd, it was definitely worth it. My other Sony HDD-250 remains in the "unused equipment" closet until I find a reason to use it again.
mickinct's Avatar mickinct 07:28 PM 06-09-2016
the new ota tivo has a 1tb hdd with no feesTiVo Roamio OTA 1 TB DVR: Digital Video Recorder and Streaming Media Player - Compatible with any HD digital antenna - now with no monthly service fees
Ray1938's Avatar Ray1938 06:20 PM 06-13-2016
My 3 Sony DVRs are still in daily use with both TW cable and OTA. Two of them are the 500GB models with cable cards. I power them from an uniterruple power source to minimize reboots. What amazes me most about these units is their hard drives, which have been spinning almost continuously for over 10 years.

Has anyone figured out how to eliminate the random reboots?
JoeKustra's Avatar JoeKustra 04:00 AM 06-14-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1938 View Post
My 3 Sony DVRs are still in daily use with both TW cable and OTA. Two of them are the 500GB models with cable cards. I power them from an uniterruple power source to minimize reboots. What amazes me most about these units is their hard drives, which have been spinning almost continuously for over 10 years.

Has anyone figured out how to eliminate the random reboots?
If it wasn't for the cable cards, I would say people use a zipcode of 00000. Also, I reboot almost everything on the first of the month.
KerryNY's Avatar KerryNY 06:57 AM 06-14-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1938 View Post
My 3 Sony DVRs are still in daily use with both TW cable and OTA. Two of them are the 500GB models with cable cards. I power them from an uniterruple power source to minimize reboots. What amazes me most about these units is their hard drives, which have been spinning almost continuously for over 10 years.

Has anyone figured out how to eliminate the random reboots?
I don't know if anyone completely solved that problem, but those of us who used the more drastic resets (such as "Clear NVM", or 653274147 System Reset) lost our front panel clock, and gained a boatload of stability. I also used the 1.2.13 firmware update to eliminate a "channel not in lineup error", but I am not sure if that helped with the random reboot problem. I used a cablecard, and changing the zip code did not seem to affect anything, either. It certainly did no harm to try it, though.

- Kerry
CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 05:15 PM 06-15-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by KerryNY View Post

I don't know if anyone completely solved that problem,
but those of us who used the more drastic resets
(such as "Clear NVM", or 653274147 System Reset)
lost our front panel clock, and gained a boatload of stability.




Yes, overall this is what I've found to the case, except a while back, I posted that my FPC decided to return.

Does anyone see on their units how much the SD picture is chopped-off left and right, especially in 4:3 mode? I mean it's pretty bad that parts of in-program text is off-screen. I ran back-and-forth between rooms to compare it with my old Philips DVR unit which shows the complete image.

Is there something in the unit to adjust for picture?




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Ray1938's Avatar Ray1938 04:57 PM 06-16-2016
Wow, I forgot about "channel not in lineup". I haven't encountered that problem for a while.
A few years ago, I got my third unit from my daughter who lives in Phoenix area. I performed reset to clear her local channel listings, and not only lost the front panel clock, but also lost some details in the list of recordings. I get a date/time listing but no channel info. until I select the recording.
This unit did a random reset in early May, and now the front panel clock is back. I was away for the whole month and had programmed lots of weekly tv shows but not one of them got recorded so reset probably occurred around the day we left home.

I assume everyone has to deal with the one hour time shift due to the daylight savings feature, I don't recall seeing anything posted about that event.


Quote:
Originally Posted by KerryNY View Post
I don't know if anyone completely solved that problem, but those of us who used the more drastic resets (such as "Clear NVM", or 653274147 System Reset) lost our front panel clock, and gained a boatload of stability. I also used the 1.2.13 firmware update to eliminate a "channel not in lineup error", but I am not sure if that helped with the random reboot problem. I used a cablecard, and changing the zip code did not seem to affect anything, either. It certainly did no harm to try it, though.

- Kerry

CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 05:03 PM 06-18-2016
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ray1938 View Post

I assume everyone has to deal with the one hour time shift due to the daylight
saving feature, I don't recall seeing anything posted about that event.



I'd normally do monthly or every two-month code resets and time it around Daylight/Standard time changes, but I haven't done a reset in a while. I'm in the month of April on my unit now since the last reset. When the time change came about in March, I adjusted my Scheduled Timer Events one hour earlier.

From Clock-Drifting to a brief, soft hangup to the March time change... I have Scheduled Timer Events set at 1 hour and 12 minutes early, currently. Days-of-the-Week are in sync.





GO CAVS!


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CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 10:42 AM 06-30-2016

Hi folks,

I've been having stalls/freeze-ups lately when FF or REW through recordings. I have to walk away and wait for recovery, as this recently has become a daily thing. The other day, a freeze-up/stall took a long time to recover. Recordings seem to play fine if I do not touch Fast-Forward or Rewind.

A reset probably would clear things up, as I have not done one in a long, long time.

But first before a reset, I decided to try to zero-out the Smart Cue Adjust settings (Page 37).

It worked.

FF had no stall/freezing after watching a handful of HD and SD recordings.

I had one brief stall using Rewind. I'm only using 9x and 30x speeds for now until I see how the unit performs in the days ahead before adding 3x and 90x back in.



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CleCakYngMfd's Avatar CleCakYngMfd 11:23 AM 07-02-2016

Sony DVR Update:


Another stall with 9x Rewind. I pushed the 'Power' button on the remote... and I heard it...

A 'click' sound. The infamous sound associated with a 'Reset'.

So, I watched the ongoing 'horror' with the Front Panel Display... FPC gone. --:--

Finally, 'Welcome...' and the return of the Front Panel Clock.

Upon power-up, I checked to see if the Scheduled Recordings were still there. Whew. They are.

The date from a previous manual 'Reset' was still running forward before yesterday's reset, which reads 4/22/05! Wow... the longest running 'Day-of-the-Week' in sync. (My major code reset sets the date at 1/1/04.)

So, now the clock is 2-hours-6-minutes off. I edited all the Scheduled events 2hrs, 6min ahead. Would have been 1:06, but the recent DST change put me with an additional hour offset.

While editing my Events for the new start/stop times, I ran across the 'Channel Not in Lineup' message again. What I do is 'Edit' the event and change 'Cable' to 'Air'. Exit out of Menu. Change to 'that' channel 'not in lineup', go back to the event and Edit to change from 'Air' back to 'Cable'.

I'll see how it goes for any other stalls/freeze-ups, especially during Rewinds.


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Tags: sony dhg-hdd250/500 , vizio m401i-a3 40" hdtv
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