Pace CableCARD HD Boxes (TDC779X, TDC778X and DC757X) - Page 4 - AVS Forum
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post #91 of 1068 Old 11-30-2007, 11:48 PM
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Originally Posted by toadtaste View Post

The Pace box has the same size hard drive as the Motorola ones as far as i know.

Yes the Pace boxes do support an external SATA hard drive being hooked up. You are going to have to reboot the box though for it to see it. Mediacom does currently allow this to be used, and I don't see any change in that ever.

From what I have been able to tell the Motorola 6412 has a 120GB hard drive, and the Pace has a 160GB Hard Drive. Just switched my Motorola for the Pace today.
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post #92 of 1068 Old 12-01-2007, 09:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vindrus View Post

From what I have been able to tell the Motorola 6412 has a 120GB hard drive, and the Pace has a 160GB Hard Drive. Just switched my Motorola for the Pace today.

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Originally Posted by toadtaste View Post

The Pace box has the same size hard drive as the Motorola ones as far as i know.

Yes the Pace boxes do support an external SATA hard drive being hooked up. You are going to have to reboot the box though for it to see it. Mediacom does currently allow this to be used, and I don't see any change in that ever.

i have tried rebooting my Pace STB twice since hooking up the external SATA drive. Still no luck. I looked at the diagnostic page and it looks like it says SATA drive is not enabled? is it possible Mediacom has it disabled after all? If so, any way i can that changed?
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post #93 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 07:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

I looked at the diagnostic page and it looks like it says SATA drive is not enabled?

Can you please be more specific about "not enabled". AFAIK, SATA is active with Mediacom.

Does it say drives 1/2 when you go to the HDD status page?

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post #94 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Can you please be more specific about "not enabled". AFAIK, SATA is active with Mediacom.

Does it say drives 1/2 when you go to the HDD status page?

No, it says 1/1 on HDD status page. also says total size 158GB.

What made me think it was not enabled is when i go to interface status then SATA it says:

SATA ENABLED NO
INTERNAL DRIVE VALID
EXTERNAL DRIVE UNKNOWN

Any ideas on what is going on?
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post #95 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 02:52 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

No, it says 1/1 on HDD status page. also says total size 158GB.

That indicates that it didn't recognize the drive. How many times have you rebooted the box?

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Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

What made me think it was not enabled is when i go to interface status then SATA it says:

SATA ENABLED NO

The value of this field will vary depending on the revision of the head-end server (aka DAC) software. If they are running an older revision, this field can be No, and the SATA port will still be active.

Edit: given that you are running a 779, they have to be running the new DAC software. So its definitely puzzling that the SATA port would be disabled in diagnostics. Have you asked Mediacom if they've disabled your SATA port (the specific thing to ask about is "External PVR Access".

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post #96 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 08:06 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

That indicates that it didn't recognize the drive. How many times have you rebooted the box?



The value of this field will vary depending on the revision of the head-end server (aka DAC) software. If they are running an older revision, this field can be No, and the SATA port will still be active.

Edit: given that you are running a 779, they have to be running the new DAC software. So its definitely puzzling that the SATA port would be disabled in diagnostics. Have you asked Mediacom if they've disabled your SATA port (the specific thing to ask about is "External PVR Access".

i have tried rebooting the box twice with not luck. btw, it takes 1 to 2 hours to reboot each time. is that normal?

i did ask Mediacom if the SATA port was enabled but they weren't sure and were suppose to call me back but never did. i'll try again.
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post #97 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 08:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

i have tried rebooting the box twice with not luck. btw, it takes 1 to 2 hours to reboot each time. is that normal?

Definitely not. Do me a favor, disconnect the SATA drive and reboot the box. I suspect that it will boot up within a few minutes.

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post #98 of 1068 Old 12-02-2007, 08:13 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Roginator View Post

But I just got a Sony surround system a couple of days ago and the 778 doesn't appear to be outputting Dolby sound like a previous poster reported. This could be operator error, but maybe not. HD-DVD and DVD discs output Dolby Digital 3/2.1 fine.

As toadtaste mentioned, we've replicated the problem. When a fix is available, I will post to the release notes thread. Until then, there really isn't a workaround. You're stuck with PCM over HDMI.

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What should the Audio Capable line show for Dolby output? Has this problem been solved yet?

When you have a build with a software fix, you'll see (PCM AC3) rather than just (PCM).

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post #99 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

ok, i bought an eSATA hard drive and hooked it up to my Pace 779x.

Forgot to ask. What is the make/model of your eSATA drive and how big is it?

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post #100 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 09:00 AM
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Is there a way to upload content into the Pace 779X and similar CableCARD HD boxes via the built-in Ethernet? I have some HD content available from other sources that I would like to view locally via out HDTV, and/or add to the library of stored programs.
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post #101 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 09:21 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ScienceMan View Post

Is there a way to upload content into the Pace 779X and similar CableCARD HD boxes via the built-in Ethernet?

Not at the current time.

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post #102 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 09:47 AM
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Thanks for the reply.

Rarely, but noticeably, we observe audio dropouts of 2-3 seconds when playing back recorded programs. The firmware for our TDC779X is at 9.56 according to the information screen. If we rewind and re-play, the audio loss seems reproducible.

1) Is this normal, or preventable? How can we diagnose it or pursue it further?

2) In terms of the firmware updates, does our provider do this automatically via the cable connection, or do we do it manually? If the latter, what is the procedure, and is there any chance that this would put us out of sync with what the cable provider expects and requires?

It's outstanding that you have this forum. Thanks for providing it.
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post #103 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceMan View Post

Thanks for the reply.

Rarely, but noticeably, we observe audio dropouts of 2-3 seconds when playing back recorded programs.

1. Did you hear audio drop outs in the original recording?
2. Is this analog, digital or HD content?
3. Does the video macroblock when you hear the audio drop outs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceMan View Post

1) Is this normal, or preventable? How can we diagnose it or pursue it further?

We first need to find out if the problem was in the original stream or if it was introduced by the recording. If the problem was not in the original content, then this isn't expected.

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2) In terms of the firmware updates, does our provider do this automatically via the cable connection, or do we do it manually?

It is done automatically by your cable provider. There is a very detailed explanation on this process in the TDC775HD thread. You may want to search that thread to get the details on why its done this way.

BTW, who is your cable provider?

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post #104 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 11:36 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

1. Did you hear audio drop outs in the original recording?

See below.

Quote:


2. Is this analog, digital or HD content?

HD.

Quote:


3. Does the video macroblock when you hear the audio drop outs?

No, the video is perfect. Looks absolutely beautiful on our new 1080p TV at all times.

Quote:


We first need to find out if the problem was in the original stream or if it was introduced by the recording. If the problem was not in the original content, then this isn't expected.

It's hard to tell, since the program itself is long gone, of course. We haven't noticed it yet in live programs, but we have not had this setup very long. It has happened twice now in different HD recordings.

Quote:


(Firmware updating) is done automatically by your cable provider. There is a very detailed explanation on this process in the TDC775HD thread. You may want to search that thread to get the details on why its done this way.

That thread is getting quite long. I'll try searching.

Quote:


BTW, who is your cable provider?

Suddenlink. Their online web site is completely devoid of content other than bandwidth-intensive advertising and promotion. In terms of technical support and information, it is awful.

At the risk of veering off-topic, with respect to the Pace site, it would be nice to have further information on specs for add-on eSATA disks, etc. (3 Gbps required, or will 1.5Gbps do? What is the total capacity limit for external disks?) What is the difference between primary and secondary audio? Is audio volume controlled through the cable box if you put it in to the audio in, or through the audio source? And how does that relate to audio connections through HDMI?

We like the 779X quite well, although as a minor comment given that it is an HD/DVR it is surprising that it is called the "Tahoe Analog" - that threw us in looking the unit up for a bit, but Google helped.

The only other minor comment we have is that the slight fan noise hum it makes is a bit distracting. It is quieter than our old VCR, of course, but since it continues even after all devices are switched off, it is noticeable in a quiet room.
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post #105 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ScienceMan View Post

That thread is getting quite long. I'll try searching.

Fair point. I'll try to post a quick Q & A on this topic in the original post on the 779 release note thread.

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it would be nice to have further information on specs for add-on eSATA disks, etc. (3 Gbps required, or will 1.5Gbps do?

1.5MBps will be fine. Typical HD streams are only 20Mbit, so a drive that can read 40+ MBit and write 20MBit will work (i.e. any SATA drive that meets the specs).

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What is the total capacity limit for external disks?)

We've tested up to 750GB. Higher capacities may work though.

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Originally Posted by ScienceMan View Post

What is the difference between primary and secondary audio?

Secondary audio is typically used to transport alternate languages (i.e. Spanish, French etc.) for those areas of the country where multiple languages are spoken.

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Is audio volume controlled through the cable box if you put it in to the audio in, or through the audio source? And how does that relate to audio connections through HDMI?

Audio volume controls all outputs except for S/PDIF.

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We like the 779X quite well, although as a minor comment given that it is an HD/DVR it is surprising that it is called the "Tahoe Analog"

Tahoe Analog (aka Tahoe Analog CableCARD or TACC or the 779X) has its nickname to differentiate it from the 778X (or Tahoe CableCARD) which is only able to decode digital channels whereas TACC can decode both analog and digital channels.

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post #106 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 05:18 PM
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Greetings,
I have a Pace 778X
I am having issues with outputting Dolby Digital surround over the Optical Spdif output.
I have it (optical spdif) going into a 5.1 surround system, and I am only getting sound from the front 3 speakers (front left, front right, and center).

Is this related to the issue with HDMI? Is this the same known issue?
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post #107 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 05:46 PM - Thread Starter
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I have a Pace 778X
I am having issues with outputting Dolby Digital surround over the Optical Spdif output......Is this related to the issue with HDMI? Is this the same known issue?

No, the HDMI AC-3 issue is unrelated to S/PDIF output. There are no known issues outputting 5.1 audio over S/PDIF (I've seen it working on multiple receivers). Are you sure your source is 5.1?

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post #108 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 05:52 PM
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Not sure,
Kind of new to the whole HDTV thing.

I was watching Mythbusters on Discovery HD, and it says DD-5.1 on the channel info bar thing.
I wasn't getting any signal in the rear speakers at all.

I guess if I have signals coming out of the center, I can pretty much guarantee that it is decoding correctly.
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post #109 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 07:46 PM
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Has anyone reported frame skipping/dropping?

I have a 778X and attributed it to updating the program information, but another user says it may be caused when dissimilar resolutions are used by each tuner. (720p on one tuner while trying to watch 1080i on the other)

In one brief test of that theory, the frame dropping seemed to stop once both tuners were on 1080i channels.

I only have a few HD channels and rarely have it on the 720p channels -- maybe I should test this theory a bit...
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post #110 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 08:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Definitely not. Do me a favor, disconnect the SATA drive and reboot the box. I suspect that it will boot up within a few minutes.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Forgot to ask. What is the make/model of your eSATA drive and how big is it?

See if i can answer all your questions.
I did disconnect the SATA drive and your suspicions were confirmed. it did boot up in just a few minutes.
The external SATA drive i was trying to use is a Western Digital, model number WD3200F037. Size is 320GB.
Also, i did call MediaCom again and ask them if the external PVR access was disabled on their boxes. She told me it was disabled because Pace charged them extra to enable it and Mediacom didn't pay for that option. She also added that i was the first person in her 19 years of doing customer service for them that anyone had even ask that question? Sometimes i don't know about the support you get from technical support personel. She also told me she would verify her answer and call me back but i never heard from her.
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post #111 of 1068 Old 12-03-2007, 09:00 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

She told me it was disabled because Pace charged them extra to enable it and Mediacom didn't pay for that option.

There is no extra charge for that option. It is enabled by default.

Just an FYI, but the option to control the SATA port on the DAC was only recently introduced.

The next thing we'd like to check is the eSATA cable. Its possible that either you have a problematic external cable or the cable inside the box may be loose. Do you have another eSATA cable you can try out? If your cable isn't the issue, you may want to see if you can swap 779's and see if it also exhibits the same issue.

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post #112 of 1068 Old 12-04-2007, 05:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

There is no extra charge for that option. It is enabled by default.

Not suprised that this is the case.



Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

The next thing we'd like to check is the eSATA cable. Its possible that either you have a problematic external cable or the cable inside the box may be loose. Do you have another eSATA cable you can try out? If your cable isn't the issue, you may want to see if you can swap 779's and see if it also exhibits the same issue.

Thanks again for all the help. i'll see if i can find another cable to try. If not that i guess it could be either the box or the hard drive that is faulty?
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post #113 of 1068 Old 12-04-2007, 05:41 AM
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Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

The external SATA drive i was trying to use is a Western Digital, model number WD3200F037. Size is 320GB.

I forgot to ask - i guess you didn't see any problem with the particular drive i am trying to use?
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post #114 of 1068 Old 12-04-2007, 06:45 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

If not that i guess it could be either the box or the hard drive that is faulty?

I believe there are no known issues with that particular model of WD eSATA drive (although we've not done any compatibility tests with it).

Have you tried hooking it up to a PC? If that works, you may want to try to delete all existing partitions before re-connecting it to the 779X.

What I will tell you is we've definitely seen similar issues with cheap/problematic eSATA cables.

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post #115 of 1068 Old 12-10-2007, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttumlin View Post

I forgot to ask - i guess you didn't see any problem with the particular drive i am trying to use?

Update on this situation. We've started doing testing on the newer USB/eSATA combo drives and discovered bugs/compatibility issues in these drives (not in the set top software). As a result, at this point, its recommended that you use eSATA only drives and not combo drives.

The combo drives may work properly, may have slightly degraded functionality or may potentially exhibit the symptoms described above. Due to these instabilities, we can only warrant that an eSATA drive will work properly.

If you do a google search on Linux and the combo chip(s) in question, you'll see a number of issues being reported on all Linux platforms.

If/when a firmware release for the drives in question is available, I'll post an update to this thread. Just want to re-emphasize this isn't a bug in Pace firmware. As a result, we can't do a software update to fix the issue.

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post #116 of 1068 Old 12-10-2007, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

If/when a firmware release for the drives in question is available, I'll post an update to this thread. Just want to re-emphasize this isn't a bug in Pace firmware. As a result, we can't do a software update to fix the issue.

Thanks for the update!
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post #117 of 1068 Old 12-10-2007, 01:25 PM
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Oddly enough there are some known issues with that drive model and Vista. Sounds like the usual releasing of software before it is ready for prime time.
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post #118 of 1068 Old 12-11-2007, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

As a result, at this point, its recommended that you use eSATA only drives and not combo drives.

can you reccomend one and tell me where i might could buy it? all i seem to be finding are USB/eSATA combos.
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post #119 of 1068 Old 12-11-2007, 03:21 PM
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i assume that the Pace eSATA implementation is similar to SA one so an ok place to start would be here:

http://baseportal.com/baseportal/xnappo/main

As far as where to get them, i would try the internet. Newegg etc. I once tried to buy an SATA drive from an electronics store and was very frustrated with the lack of selection.
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post #120 of 1068 Old 12-12-2007, 05:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lindend View Post

Just want to re-emphasize this isn't a bug in Pace firmware. As a result, we can't do a software update to fix the issue.

Considering that eSATA drive market is predominantly eSATA/USB combo drives this is quite an interesting statement. If you make a product advertised to be eSATA compatible it should be as such. Then to blame it on the drive as being the problem. Looks like I may be out a couple hundred bucks because Pace may not have fully done their homework.
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