war on pixels, breakups, and dropouts - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 17 Old 11-26-2001, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
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I have 3 different recording "stations": one for OTA, one with a dish pointed to 61.5, and one with a dish aimed at 148. The first two work perfectly, but the one pointed at 148 has given me fits for quite awhile now. It's been plagued with intermittent "motion-pixels".

Naturally, I replaced every component in the system. I then moved the dish around on the roof, thinking I was getting multipath reflections off the tile roof. Next, I got a bigger (24" round) dish. I added line amps to everything. I repositioned equipment, replaced cables, performed chants and ceremonies, and hit myself on the head with a hammer.

I even unsoldered the lower shield on a dish modulator and shorted out the relay contacts ... I was that desperate.

Nothing helped. I decided to start replacing equipment again, but I didn't have another TU-DST51 to try, so I decided to take my own advice and "fix" it by reseating all the internal connections as described in this thread. The results were spectacular. Absolutely no pixels. Now, with a 24" dish pointed at 148 this has become my my most dependable and weather resistant station.

I know this looks like I'm tooting my own horn, but what's of interest here is the statistics on Panny Set Top Boxes. Obviously, the first time around I replaced one defective box with another defective box. It means that 3 out of my 4 dst51's have needed "reseating" in order to perform pixel-free.

My point here is that if you are experiencing any problems with random pixels, I strongly urge that you take the plunge and reseat. you'll be happy with the results.

-Roger
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post #2 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 07:12 AM
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Roger, this is another reason I like my modified DTC100. I dont have any of the funny issues the dst50 would cause me. Hope you will get a chance to try out the recording of this unit since you are the "man" on this stuff. Would love to get our opinions on how is works compared to your panasonic stuff. And who knows, you may like it?

Now I like having a spare show I am still trying to decide if I should get another dtc100 and sell my dst50 or just keep it as a spare. Anyone got a dtc100 for sale cheap?

Dave
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post #3 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 10:04 AM
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Roger, why do you have a rig pointed at 148? Is it solely for KCBS-DT?

I've considered installing a 148 dish but given my NJ location and the surrounding terrain it's possible (likely) that I can't see the satellite from here.

Even if I could: are there any authorization issues? I have a Dish Net subscription to WCBS-DT, which I can receive OTA anyway, but it's always good to have a reliable signal source. I think it was claimed in the HD Programming Forum, back when CBS first became available on Dish Net, that the two signals (WCBS-DT and KCBS-DT) required separate authorizations and that if you were authorized for one you would not be authorized for the other.

Ron Gomes
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post #4 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 10:18 AM
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I started with 61.5 WCBS-DT New York which they added for $1.50/month.

Later, I installed 148 and added KCBS-DT Los Angeles for no extra charge. However, it did take four phone calls and two full days before Dish figured out who at Dish was capable of throwing the switch.

Both sats now feed one 5000 rcvr and both WCBS-DT and KCBS-DT show up on the EPG. Also, the HBO & Show channels show up twice with identical channel numbers. But, everything works.

PS. Thanks again, Roger, for your heads up on seating connectors.
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post #5 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 10:31 AM
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Cymro,
Since you are feeding both 61 and 148 to your 5000, how did you configure your SW64 switch?
Did you eliminate 110 or 119?

"Dammit Jim, I'm a doctor not an engineer."
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post #6 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 10:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by cymro
Both sats now feed one 5000 rcvr and both WCBS-DT and KCBS-DT show up on the EPG. Also, the HBO & Show channels show up twice with identical channel numbers. But, everything works.
I just have a single dual-output dish pointed at 61.5, with no intervening switches (and currently no dish for the signals at 110 and 119). The two outputs feed two separate receivers that can tune the signals independently.

Presumably I'd need some some sort of switch to combine the signals from the two satellites. What would that be?

Ron Gomes
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post #7 of 17 Old 11-27-2001, 06:13 PM
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Todd:

I use only 3 dishes: 61.5, 148, and either 110 or 119 (I don't recall which).

I use the SW64 switch to take the 6 inputs from the dishes (two from each - they're all dual LNB).

I use two of the outputs to drive two receivers.

rrg:

You'll need a switch with four or more inputs and two or more outputs. An SW64 is overkill for you, but would allow you to upgrade in the future.

However, I don't think there is any way to deal with four dishes.
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post #8 of 17 Old 11-28-2001, 08:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by rrg
Roger, why do you have a rig pointed at 148? Is it solely for KCBS-DT?
Ron,

It's just dictated by the environment around the two locations where I have this stuff. One location has no OTA access and no place for a dish pointed at 148. The other has OTA and no view of 61.5.

-Roger
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post #9 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 02:47 AM
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I was going to start a thread on my problem, but found this one and wonder if this is the same thing.

I have a DISH 5000 and modulator, a 5000 set up for ExpressVu with modulator, and a DST-50 in my rack. This set up has worked fine for me, with the exception that I must swap the coax cable between the 2 modulators because I can find no combination of amps and A/B RF switch that will work when hooked up to the DST 50.

But that's not my problem. As of 2 weeks ago, some of the HD channels from the EVu 5000 work but others don't. When tuned to the problem channels, I get a frozen screen that is cut into uneven quarters, The top 2 quarters, or upper half, have a frozen array of vibrating green pixels. And the bottom half has a frozen picture of whatever the DST 50 had last succesfully tuned, flickering between the 2 fields like a sloppy freeze frame. the audio will be intermittant during this.

The Evu demo channel now does not work at all, however the CBS feed will work. But if after the CBS programming is finished, that same channel runs the demo loop, I am back to the freeze problem. So the problem is dependent on the program, and not the channel carrying it. Some movies work, some don't, on the same channel. Remember everything worked fine 2 weeks ago.

I have a spare 5000 receiver that I swapped out, and a spare modulator that I swapped as well as the third modulator in the DISH 5000 that I checked. I have 2 extra DST 50s, so I swapped one of those. The problem remains, and the all the DISH Network channels work fine with any combination of this equipment.

Then I took the modulator output from the Evu 5000, and plugged it in to the OTA input on my Hughes DirecTV HD receiver, and all the channels worked! So now I'm thinking there is no problem with the 5000/ modulator, but a sensitivity problem with both DST-50s. I guess I'll try the third and then try Gridleaks reseating trick.

My boggle is, why did it work before, and not now. Why do some channels, actually programs, work but some don't. Shouldn't the output level of the modulator be constant, and not dependent on what's being shown? And why does the same modulator when plugged into the DISH Net box work flawlessly?

I tried several amps and even got ridiculous and daisy chained amps together trying to get more level to the DST-50. Nothing helped.

I feel like I'm trying to invent the HD broadcast system. Everything is an ordeal, modulators are weak and bleed into adjacent channels preventing you from combining them, the Panny decoders are finicky and overheat, my HD1000s have heads that go bad, the Unity Motion box requires an engineering degree to operate, and so much heat pours out of this gear that I have an array of noisy muffin fans that blow the heat wave thru the rest of the house.

And now another problem that defies any logical process of elimination. I wish I had a simple hobby like trying to return man to the moon.

Any insight on this problem is appreciated.

Jay

"Can I please just watch this the way it was meant to be seen?"
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post #10 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 08:09 AM
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It's not your problem, it's BEV's problem. I am still not sure if BEV is doing this on purpose to stop people from watching them on anything but the 6000. I don't think the 6000 has this problem. The funny thing is if you make a tape of the garbage you can't watch it on the Panny but you can watch it perfectly if you play the tape back on a JVC or Victor deck.

Bernhard
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post #11 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by J_Nemeth

But that's not my problem. As of 2 weeks ago, some of the HD channels from the EVu 5000 work but others don't. When tuned to the problem channels, I get a frozen screen that is cut into uneven quarters, The top 2 quarters, or upper half, have a frozen array of vibrating green pixels. And the bottom half has a frozen picture of whatever the DST 50 had last succesfully tuned, flickering between the 2 fields like a sloppy freeze frame. the audio will be intermittant during this.

...

Then I took the modulator output from the Evu 5000, and plugged it in to the OTA input on my Hughes DirecTV HD receiver, and all the channels worked! So now I'm thinking there is no problem with the 5000/ modulator, but a sensitivity problem with both DST-50s. I guess I'll try the third and then try Gridleaks reseating trick.
I had a similar problem with just one off-air channel -- the others were fine.
Besides the reseating, one of my DST-50s needed a tweak to one of the pots on the tuner board. It was something another member tried "out of desparation" and it worked. Does someone else remember that post? (or what keyword to use for the search?)

I also took the advice and used the "better" Radio Shack UHF-VHF combiner to bypass the relay. The modulator no longer loads-down my OTA signal (which is split to another couple of my STBs).

Also note the free ("in-warranty") Panasonic factory repair did make the DST-50 run much, much cooler.

P.S. Yes it was frustrating for a while till it all came together...now I can sit back, relax, and enjoy some great HDTV.
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post #12 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 10:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bb1987
It's not your problem, it's BEV's problem. I am still not sure if BEV is doing this on purpose to stop people from watching them on anything but the 6000. I don't think the 6000 has this problem. The funny thing is if you make a tape of the garbage you can't watch it on the Panny but you can watch it perfectly if you play the tape back on a JVC or Victor deck.

Bernhard
The problem is not really BEV. It's the TU-DST50/51. First off, let's all admit to ourselves that we're not even supposed to be using a 5000 receiver and modulator with BEV. It's remarkable that a piece of Dish gear that was never marketed in Canada even works with BEV.

Second, BEV's only obligation is to keep the 6000 owners happy.
To a large extent they have done so. The BEV/Dish 6000 uses the same ST Micro Hi-Def MPEG decoder that is used in the DTC-100 (and probably the Hughes Hi-Def DirecTv receiver, but I can't confirm that). The ST Micro is a very forgiving MPEG decoder, as I have observed by feeding my BEV 5000 modulator into the DTC-100's OTA tuner. Virtually all the channels that come through garbled on the DST50 look beautiful on the DTC-100. Since the ST Micro decoder is used in the Dish 6000, the engineers at BEV only need to send transport streams that can be handled correctly by the ST Micro.

I believe there are two solutions to the problem:
1) As Bernhard kindly pointed out, one can simply record the garbled message onto D-VHS and play it back through a Victor DH30000 D-VHS deck without issues.

2) One can probably use a 169Time/GVT modified DTC-100 to record and playback BEV content without issue. I will be able to confirm this method works within a week or two.

-Dylan

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post #13 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 03:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by dahester


Virtually all the channels that come through garbled on the DST50 look beautiful on the DTC-100. Since the ST Micro decoder is used in the Dish 6000, the engineers at BEV only need to send transport streams that can be handled correctly by the ST Micro.

-Dylan
So is everyone else with a 5000 on BEV having this problem? I was having no problems for the 2 or 3 months since I first hooked it up. And did everyone's problems start about 2 weeks ago?

I just find it hard to believe that the transport stream was changed on some programs, but not others. And I also thought that the modulator took the satellite transport stream and converted it to the standard ATSC 8VSB stream to be tuned as an OTA signal. The only inconsistencies I have heard of in OTA broadcasts is audio issues.

I have no other explanation, so maybe your theory is true, but the fact it WAS working fine, makes me a little skeptical.

The problem with my theory about a weak modulator output, one that the Hughes can handle but not the DST-50, is that the RF level should be a function of the Modulator and not the stream being fed to it. The stream is just data, and the RF carrier is created in the HD modulator. It seems like it would work on all programs, or work on none.

Jay

"Can I please just watch this the way it was meant to be seen?"
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post #14 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by J_Nemeth
So is everyone else with a 5000 on BEV having this problem?
Yep.
Quote:
I was having no problems for the 2 or 3 months since I first hooked it up. And did everyone's problems start about 2 weeks ago?
Nope. Welcome to BEV Hi-Def recording hell! I've been doing this for a year now, and I saw the problem the first time I pointed my dish to Nimiq1. Your results will constantly vary. When Gladiator first came out, it was unrecordable. A week later, on another broadcast, the TU-DST50 gave me a perfect picture. Go figure.

-Dylan

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post #15 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 04:59 PM
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I recently moved my BEV 5000 output to the TU-DST51 and have encountered the same problems.

I would strongly encourage our Canadian members to call BEV and let them know about the problem.

'Better Living Through Modern, Expensive, Electronic Devices'

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post #16 of 17 Old 01-03-2002, 06:44 PM
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For those following this, I found this thread which has some more information:

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...hreadid=100515

Jay

"Can I please just watch this the way it was meant to be seen?"
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post #17 of 17 Old 01-04-2002, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by bb1987

I am still not sure if BEV is doing this on purpose to stop people from watching them on anything but the 6000.
Bernhard -

I don't think this is intentional. It affects the 6000 as well (although only when set to output 720p). See billharris4's post.

Peter
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