Its not a design flaw, it has to do with the software loaded on the 8300
I have friends who live in Cleveland and they have the 8300 also and it works great on that. They have passport software up there which in my opinion, is a lot nicer and user friendly.
I checked the other boards and once COX upgrades our SARA softare on the 8300 to the next version, we should be ok. Some people are stuck with the older version of the software but most people have been upgraded.
If you go into diagnostic mode you can check the version and see that we are 1 release below the version where this problem is fixed
Its fixed in 1.88 and we have 1.87
Below are some nice tips for others who have the 8300 in Gville. It includes some workarounds for the annoying in progress recording bug. Hopefully Cox gets their act together soon
Tips & Tricks (in no particular order)
Slow Motion Mode. While viewing a recorded program, press Play a second time to enter Slow Motion mode.
Frame Advance Mode. While viewing a recorded program, press Pause, the FF/REW buttons now become Frame Advance buttons. This is particularly useful when....well, you know when it's useful.
Fast Forward/Rewind. Pressing the FF or REW button starts the desired action. But did you know you can press them up to 3 times to increase the speed? If you press a button once and then press it again, the picture can lag behind the action or even freeze and result in going too far in either direction. However, if you press the button quickly, there is little or no picture delay and you minimize the chance of going to far.
Mimic Tivo Jump-Back.Tivo users have gotten used to the way it 'jumps back' a few seconds when you hit Play after fast forwarding. You can mimic this behavior by hitting the Replay button, the one with the curved arrow on it, instead of the Play button. This will bounce you back a few seconds and resume normal speed from there. So, when you see the show come back on, hit the Replay button and it should start playing near the fade-to-black between the last commercial and the program. Once you get the hang of it, it will become quite natural. (DravenStone)
One caveat. The next time you press FF, you will be given the "next" FF speed from the one you were previously using, rather than FF1. If you were using FF2, hit Jumpback, watch some of the show, and then hit FF, you will get FF3 instead of FF1. A better way might be to press Play and then immediately press Jumpback. (57U from HDTVoice)
Another way to mimic this action is by pressing the Pause button instead of the Play button to stop fast forwarding. This way, when you hit the rewind button to back up to the precise place to restart the program, it will remain paused instead of immediately starting to play again. I have found that this makes getting to the right starting place a lot easier. (gwsat)
FWIW, the FF speeds are 4X, 10X and 30X.
Disappearing Bar Graph. Hit the Exit button. If you are doing the frame advance/rewind trick, you can get rid of the bar graph by hitting the Exit button immediately after hitting the FF button. The bar will stay away until you're finished with the advance/rewind. (57U from HDTVoice)
Diagnostic Mode. There are two ways to enter the Diagnostic Mode:
Press and hold the Select button on the front of the unit until the Mail light starts to flash, then press the INFO button.
Press and hold the Pause button on the remote until the Mail light starts to flash (around 10-15 seconds), then press the Page Up (-) button. On some remotes, the Page (+) button might need to be used instead.
Disappearing Diagnostic Window. Enter the Diagnostic Mode (see above item). While in this mode you can change the transparency of the screens by pressing the Select button on the front of the box or the "B" button on the remote. It goes from 100% opaque to about 50% opaque to about 5% opaque. You can then use the Page Up/Down button on the remote to cycle through screens. This is useful when changing channels, noting signal levels/PQ, or trying to see levels fluctuate as glitches occur.
Finding SARA Software Version. Enter Diagnostic Mode (see above item) and scroll through the screens until you find the one entitled "Software Versions". The version number will be in a format similar to 220.127.116.11.
Reboot. Unplug power cord for 5 or more seconds and then plug it back in.
Forced Reboot (without unplugging unit). On the front of the box, press and hold both the VOL+ and VOL- buttons, then press the INFO button.
Hard Reboot. A Hard Reboot will refresh all available software and modules on the system, as well as clear out the memory cache. The IPG and other data may take up to 30 minutes or more to fully download.
Turn off the 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
Unplug the power cord from the 8300 and wait 5 or more seconds.
If you are resetting an external drive too, unplug it's power cord at this point and wait 5 or more seconds, then plug the power cord back into the external drive and wait 5 or more seconds.
Press and hold the power button on the 8300's front panel. While the power button is depressed, plug the 8300 power cord back in. Continue to hold the power button until the 8300 display says "boot" and/or begins to cycle a few times (usually about 15 seconds).
NOTE: A Hard Reboot will resolve MANY issues with not only external drives, but memory issues too. You should WAIT until the reboot is completely finished before powering up. It takes about 5 - 10 min, depending on your application and IPG data. The best way to determine when the download is finished is to watch the front panel indicators. On the front panel, where the : (colon) seperates the hours and minutes, the bottom " . " dot will appear after all the OS firmware has been loaded. An STB getting a download or initializing will be blank. Leave the STB alone until the dot appears. (vegggas)
Last Resort. If for some reason you can't get the STB to do what you want and you've rebooted it by unplugging it, etc., this is a "last resort" item - say just before taking the unit back, you can try reformatting the HDD.
The SA8000HD (and presummably the SA8300HD) has a fairly simple procedure to erase the drive (start clean). Note that this process will erase all scheduled programming and will cause the unit to reload all programming data from your cable provider. On the plus side, it will repair any fragmenting problems. (57U)
Press and hold PAUSE until Mail led is lit. Press PAGE down or (-),
and then press LIST three times. Turn box off. When turned back on,
formatting will begin.
Skip To End 1. Let's say you schedule the recording of a program and go out for dinner. When you get home, you begin watching the recorded program from the beginning while the rest is still recording. When the recording ends, you are 'kicked out' of your viewing. You then have to reselect the program from the list of recorded programs, but the only option is to start viewing from the beginning again. You can FF through to the point where you left off, but if it's a 2-hour program and you were 10 minutes from the end, FF can take some time. However, at this point, if you press Stop you will be given more options (Restart, Archive to VCR, Erase, Skip to End). If you choose Skip To End and then use REW, you can get back to the point where you left off a lot quicker. Remember that pressing the REW button 3 times increases the rewind speed.
Skip To End 2. Another option. If you happen to be watching the clock and you know the recording is about to end, simply press Pause and wait for the recording to end. Once the clock ticks, you can press Play and view from the point where you paused. NOTE: You *might* have to be inside the buffer for this to work though. (DravenStone)
Skip To End 3 - Skip To Beginning Workaround. Another option. Stop the current recording and save it (usually during a commercial). Then start a "new" recording to finish the program. You can then view the first part from the beginning and then view the second part, either in progress or from the beginning after it finishes. While it is annoying to divide the recording into segments, at least you can easily skip to the beginning without rewinding, certainly a useful feature for time-shifting. (Northern Lights)
Extend Recording Time. You can extend the recording time of a recording currently in progress by following these steps:
Press the LIST button to go to the DVR section of recorded programs.
Press the "A" button to switch to the SCHEDULED RECORDINGS list (Note: This is not the first list of available recordings. It is the second list of your current and future scheduled recordings).
Find your in-progress recording program (it will be highlighted in RED).
Press the SELECT button to access the options.
Change the end time to the desired time (whatever is needed to fit the estimated program length).
Press the "A" button to accept changes.
That's all there is to it. (vegggas)
While this is particularly useful for extending the time for sporting events that may run overtime, it is also useful to avoid scheduling conflicts caused by networks who think beginning their programs early, like ER, or ending them late, like Lost and Desperate Housewives, is the thing to do to hook viewers. I use this tip every week to record Supernatural and cut the end time by 1 minute so as not to interfere with the beginnng of ER. Since I also record CSI and ER, there is always a 3-recording conflict whenever I try to schedule Supernatural. I have to remember to schedule it every week and change the end time, but all I lose are the credits/previews, so it's worth the extra effort.
Checking Status Of Current Recording. You can use PIP to check on the status of a program that is currently being recorded. The recording program will be displayed in the PIP window. If you are watching a program that is being recorded while recording a second program, the second program will be displayed in the PIP window.
Lost or Missing Recordings. Most of us probably schedule several All or New episode recordings when the fall season starts and then forget about them. However, the success of these scheduled recordings depends enirely on the title of the program matching the title when the recording was scheduled. Oftentimes, the title in the IPG changes, sometimes as often as weekly, and that can reak havoc with your schedule. While it's impossible to attribute every lost or missing recording to a title change, a few folks, including me, periodically check our schedule and have noticed such title changes. The Rebel Billionaire used to change to just The Billionaire every other week and recordings were missed. The title for The Sporanos reruns appears to be doing the same thing as networks try to add info like HD or 5.1 to some titles. Depending on who provides your cableco's IPG data, this may or may not happen to you, but it seems worthwhile to periodically check your scheduled recordings list against the IPG to make sure recordings are flagged for the coming week. (Jim Boden)
Program In Progress Recording Bug Workaround. Most times you can start recording a program you are watching by simply pressing the Record button, editing the settings, and then Accepting them. However, there appears to be a problem when the program you are watching started before midnight and it is after midnight when you want to start the recording. Simply put, nothing happens. The recording doesn't start and the program does not show up in the LIST. We believe there might be a workaround. (DMorgan486)
The easiest way to avoid this bug is to simply record the program even if you are going to watch it. This requires you to FF to the point where you want to start watching from, and this can take some time, but it's better than missing the end of the program.
Another way is to press the Record button and edit the Start time to start the recording from the current time. NOTE: This has not yet been tested.
Here is an explanation of just what happens and another way to avoid being kicked out to live. The main tuner is using the buffer AND being recorded. As long as you are viewing the buffer, you have 1 hour of timeshifting, independent of the recording. I frequently will have the main channel set to something I want to record that lasts 1 hour. Once it starts, I hit pause. At that point, I will hit LIST and switch over to the DVR channel, but the buffer will still be in progress. I can choose a half hour program, which usually lasts about 20 min, or an hour program that lasts about 40 min. At the end of my pre-recorded show, I will punch in the channel number where I paused, and begin viewing where I left off at the paused point. At the end of the program, it doesn't kick me out because it's in the buffer, UNLESS it needs to change the channel for dual recording. A single recording will happen in the background.
Program Distribution. The 8300HD has 2 tuners and 2 outputs that can ALL be used at the same time. The Archive To VCR option does not have to be used only with a VCR. You can connect another TV (or VCR) in another room to the output connections and then view a downconverted pre-recorded program using the Archive To VCR option. At the same time, you can view a different recorded program on the main TV. However, it doesn't stop there. You can still record two other programs at the same time. You could easily send a recorded show to another room for your spouse/kids to watch while you watch a recorded/live program on the main TV without the fear of blocking any other recordings.
NOTE 1: I have not tested this myself, but others have, including one who streams programs to a central PC for further distribution/remote control.
NOTE 2: The 8300HD technically has 4 tuners; 2 NTSC and 2 QAM. However, only 2 of these can be used at any one time. Therefore, for the purposes of this and the next tip, the number of tuners has been limited to 2.
It should be noted that the 8300HD can also be connected to one device via HDMI and to another device via Component at the same time. In fact, a local member has it connected through a Geffen 4x1 DVI swither, and a 45 foot DVI cable, to his Marantz VP12S3. While this is supposed to be way beyond DVI specs, it has worked flawlessly. This same 8300 is also connected via Component cables to a W-VHS deck for permanent archiving. Note 1 above also applies. (kloarizona)
Viewing A Third Program. No matter how many tuners the 8300HD has (2), there are times when they are simply not enough (how many are? ). Oftentimes, you will already be recording 2 programs and you want to watch (or even record) just one more. Well, you still can, but you will be limited to OTA or analog cable channels and SD resolution. There is nothing to keep you from hooking up an antenna to the ANT input on your TV and switching to that input to view a third program. There is also nothing to keep you from splitting your cable and running a second line to your TV to do the same thing. There is also nothing to keep you from running that second line to a VCR and then to your TV to view/record the third program. (DMorgan486)
Audio Out Using HDMI Connection. An HDMI>HDMI or HDMI>DVI connection will automatically select 2 channel stereo if your TV does not support Dolby Digital (DD). In order to restore DD audio out to your receiver, you need to change the automatic setting. Press the Settings button twice and scroll to Audio: Digital Out. Change the setting from HDMI to Dolby Digital. This will force DD audio to the HDMI, as well as the digital/optical audio outs.
Removing Bars On SD Channels. As the 8300 comes setup from the factory, you get side bars on non-HD channels and have to toggle zoom modes to get rid of them. However, this often loses much of the image. Therefore, you may want to add output formats to your settings so you can stretch SD channels with your TV to get rid of the bars and avoid uneven phosphor wear (burn-in). To do this, you have to go through the standard S-A setup routine to enable formats other than 1080i, the box comes with only 1080i enabled by default. You also have to set the General Settings to Pass-Through. Press the Settings button twice and scroll to Set:Picture Format, select Pass-Through.
With box OFF and TV on, press Info and Guide (on box) together, then follow directions on the screen to enable 480i and any others you want. Cox passes 720p (ABC, FOX, ESPN), 1080i (all other HD channels), 480i (SD channels), and 480p (music channels). You will probably not see a difference between 1080i and 720p, so only enabling the one your HDTV uses will minimize reformatting as you scan through channels. Note: The 480i/p Widescreen options allow the 8300 to stretch the image to fill the screen for SD channels. Do not enable them if you use your TV to stretch the image.
Display Format Summary. Press the Settings button twice to get to the General Settings. Then scroll up to Set: Picture Format.
Fixed - Displays all content at whatever resolution you selected, based on what you selected in the wizard. You force the output to a single output and the box scales to that input. Easily changed in the settings menu of the box.
Pass Through - Passes the input signal through to the output with no change, unless you disable certain resolutions. For example 480i in to 480i out, 480P in to 480P out, 1080i in to 1080i out, 720P in to 720P out. If you disable 720P, 720P in will go to 1080i out.
Auto HDMI/DVI - If you are using the HDMI port, you will see this option instead of the Pass Through option. Resolution is automatically formatted to the scan rate supported by the TV.
UpConvert 1 - All 480i and 480P signals get upconverted to 480P. All 720P and 1080i signals get upconverted to 1080i.
UpConvert 2 - All 480i and 480P signals get upconverted to 480P. All 720P and 1080i signals get converted to 720P.
NOTE: I noticed today that my format was reset once again. Usually when this happens, I have to go through General Settings and reselect Pass-Through. However, pressing the Pause button appears to restore the setting.
Auto Shut-off Workaround. It appears that you can defeat the Auto Shut-off feature by setting the General Settings/Timer: Turn Off option. You can set the Timer: Wake-up option for 1 minute later to keep the unit on virtually 24/7. This can be especially useful if you have the 8300HD connected to a Replay TV or other devices that rely on the 8300HD being on for channel changing, etc.
V/H Resolution Information. If you are using the SA8300HD or the SA8000HD, with rev 1.87.xx SARA software, one of the diagnostic pages (pg 30) shows the MPEG decoder input vertical and horizontal resolutions from the cable company or their source as it hits the STB.
Potential Recording Conflicts. There have been reports that "old" scheduled recordings of programs that are no longer on might cause the 8300HD to get confused at some point. This can result in lost recordings or the inability to set up new recordings for the same timeslot. Here is a short explanation (edited) of the problem. YMMV.
While trying to record 2 shows at once last night, I couldn't get one of the channels to record at all. Instead, it was recording 1 program that I had scheduled and 1 I had not. When I tried to cancel the one I had not scheduled, the 'yes' button would not work. Also, this recording was not showing up in the recording list (King of Queens was recording, but it was not in the list).
After a few minutes of frustration, I reviewed my list of scheduled recordings to see if I could find a cause. There were a few still in the list for programs that were no longer on, such as Survivor. The schdeduled channel/time for that old recording matched the channel/time of the mystery program currently being recorded even though the program titles did not match.
So, it looks like the 8300HD scheduler got confused somehow and was applying the old scheduled recording channel/time even though the titles did not match in the guide. I did find a new "Survivor" recording in the list, but it was marked with a time of -59 minutes and clicking on it led to a black screen.
I eventually got it worked out (after missing 15 minutes of the show I wanted). The moral of the story is to clean out old scheduled recordings for shows that are no longer on. It looks like the 8300HD can get flaky if they are still in the list (even though they shouldn't affect new recordings).
Macro - Automate Remote Turn On. To automate a remote turn-on and stay on whatever channel you previously had on (instead of a dedicated turn-on channel) without using the power button, go to General Settings/Viewer:Power On option. In the list of Power On channels, select Last Channel. Now, no matter how you choose to turn the unit on (except when using a dedicated wake up timer), it will go to the last channel viewed. If you want to set an easy macro, make sure that the General Settings/Set:Power-On Keys option is set to Power and Numeric. Then, in your macro, choose a non-existing channel (such as "000")to turn on the unit, it will turn on, but not change channels. (vegggas)
NOTE: Some versions of the software may react differently when entering a non-existing channel number to turn on the unit. In these instances, some folks have had success by entering the channel number followed by "Last" to tune to the previous channel. (Charlie_Phogg)
Also, those of you with on/off issues, there are more tricks you can do. Someone mentioned that they can't use channel "0" because it changes to "1", and another says that the guide comes up whenever it's powered on. Use the "EXIT" button to clear commands before they are used. Example: to power on, macro in channel "0" with a single press of "0", then press exit. The channel never changes and the guide data is quickly erased too. The "EXIT" button clears all on-screen graphics and aborts commands any time it's used. (vegggas)
Memory Info. Memory is being asked about again. For the record, here is the memory map for the 8300:
Flash = 512Kb
Application Dram = 64Mb
Media Dram = 32Mb [SD versons have 16Mb Media decoding Dram]
Mpeg Encoding Dram = 16Mb
Non-Volatile Memory = 8Kb
Your cab files for all your recordings are stored in the NVM, along with all your other settings and preferences. The use of favorites, among some other settings, eats up most of this memory. A hard reboot reads off the drive and/or account memory and refreshes the NVM, whereas pulling the power plug alone, does not. This is an extended basic explanation, and not absolute gospel - I didn't write it.
I think cable operators also have the ability to use some of the Media Dram for overlay technologies when the application dram is too full, thus reducing overall PQ. (vegggas)