or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › Firewire & Comcast digital cable boxes
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Firewire & Comcast digital cable boxes

post #1 of 249
Thread Starter 
Hi All ...

I have been able to pull SD and HD content off my DCT3412 without issue for several years. It has recently stopped working. Has Comcast sent out a firmware update which broke it?

The TS stream I get out of my box now has no audio. Also once I start to capture the stream, I loose the video output going to the TV. Like the stream just doesn't go to the decoder and the last frame is stuck on the screen.

I have tried to soft reset the box (clear settings, memory, HDD), but no go. I am going to try to re-build my capture PC next.

Any ideas? Thanks!
post #2 of 249
I am seeing the SAME issue. The firmware clearly changed because my menus all changed slightly (size of the font, shape of the boxes). Have you found a workaround or solution yet?
post #3 of 249
I found a work around! I will give you the basic thing here, and I'll post a tutorial on my blog tomorrow. These instructions are for my Mac, so YMMV.

With the firewire unplugged from your computer, start up the program on your DVR, and pause it a good bit before where you want to start recording.
Plug in the Firewire to your comp, and open your recording software, on my Mac I used AVCVideoCap from the Firewire SDK. You will notice when you plugged in the Firewire, the program started playing on your TV, even though it will still have the "pause" icon on your screen. This is good.
Actually start the recording. When you do this, the picture will pause again on your TV. At this point, press play on your remote to "unpause" your DVR. This process somehow makes the DVR now output audio AND video over the firewire.
post #4 of 249
I get the same problem now. I came home from vacation to find the software was updated on my DVR. Then when I tried to record something it froze the screen on my TV until I pressed stop. I use CapDVHS through a firewire cable to record. I've been doing this with no problem for years. If I press pause on the DVR then start the recording it still doesn't work. If I fast-forward the recording then it will fast-forward but the TS file is unusable of course.

I was able to get the local news to record this morning during the Today Show. But when the Today Show was on it would be back to normal. The only way to make it work was to hit record during the local news and then let it run into the Today Show. I was able to record 2 hours this way. But I cannot get it to work any other way on any other channels. I now have one more reason to ditch Comcast and go back to DirecTV's crystal clear picture. How disappointing.

--Will
post #5 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by SPiFF-HD View Post

Hi All ...

I have been able to pull SD and HD content off my DCT3412 without issue for several years. It has recently stopped working. Has Comcast sent out a firmware update which broke it?

The TS stream I get out of my box now has no audio. Also once I start to capture the stream, I loose the video output going to the TV. Like the stream just doesn't go to the decoder and the last frame is stuck on the screen.

I have tried to soft reset the box (clear settings, memory, HDD), but no go. I am going to try to re-build my capture PC next.

Any ideas? Thanks!

I have a guy in comcast working on this he knows of no intentional
affect on firewire I have a DCT6412III were going to swap it out for another
perhaps a DCH-6416 I'll report when this has been done.
post #6 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

I have a guy in comcast working on this he knows of no intentional
affect on firewire I have a DCT6412III were going to swap it out for another
perhaps a DCH-6416 I'll report when this has been done.

I got a update today...from my contact at comcast
they have now involved their engineers to review this issue
they may dissect my box to find out what's going on.
will keep you posted.
post #7 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

I got a update today...from my contact at comcast
they have now involved their engineers to review this issue
they may dissect my box to find out what's going on.
will keep you posted.

my comcast guy wants to know how many of you have this issue and what state your in please chime in :-) so we can get this nipped in the bud.
post #8 of 249
Welcome to the Scientific Atlanta world. Firewire stopped working for us (with rare exceptions) about 2 years ago. Had to be deliberately crippled by our cable companies; but no one seems to know for sure.
post #9 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by archiguy View Post

Welcome to the Scientific Atlanta world. Firewire stopped working for us (with rare exceptions) about 2 years ago. Had to be deliberately crippled by our cable companies; but no one seems to know for sure.

My comcast guy would like anyone with this firewire issue to drop him a e-mail at
george_lunski@cable.comcast.com george is one of us, he caps over firewire and wants to fix this problem for us.
post #10 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

My comcast guy would like anyone with this firewire issue to drop him a e-mail at
george_lunski@cable.comcast.com george is one of us, he caps over firewire and wants to fix this problem for us.

update from George please e-mail him.
We have now been in contact with Motorola. They are requesting the below
information.

1) How many reports?
2) What type of boxes is this reported on?
3) Was the firewire capture on live TV or recorded content?
4) Does this happen for all captures or with a specific programmer?



Thank you,

George Lunski
Comcast Corporate Office
Comcast Customer Connect
post #11 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

update from George please e-mail him.
We have now been in contact with Motorola. They are requesting the below
information.

1) How many reports?
2) What type of boxes is this reported on?
3) Was the firewire capture on live TV or recorded content?
4) Does this happen for all captures or with a specific programmer?



Thank you,

George Lunski
Comcast Corporate Office
Comcast Customer Connect

Also they want to know if it's SD & HD or just HD content that has the problem.
The more people that e-mail him the faster we can get this fixed :-)
post #12 of 249
It would probably be helpful to reference the S/W & F/W for users that are having issues.

Comcast in Detroit has recently rolled out Software 75.59 - a25p2-2.S1.r-8 and Firmware 16.53.

Firewire still works fine for dumping to D-VHS.


S/W & F/W versions can be found by going into Main Menu, Setup, Cable Box Setup, Configuration Select To Display. S/W version is right at the top, Firmware is on the left side, 5 items down.
post #13 of 249
George,

Here in the DC area (montgomery county, MD), every since they moved over to DCH-6416 (and DCH-34xx) series, my DVHS signal has been set to record once even on HD local channels. My old DCT-6208 broke 1 1/2 years ago and I had to replace it, with the DCT6416 (video was stutteriing on firewire), then the DCH-6416. The reason why I know it is record once on all channels because I tried to copy to my computer and it would not let me from my DVHS recording (transferred from the DVR). I then tried an old recording from DVHS and that copied fine. Directly connecting my computer to the DVR just crashes my computer. This is really upsetting.

Can you get this fix? I would love to dump the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony to my computer.
post #14 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by GotHDTV? View Post

George,

Here in the DC area (montgomery county, MD), every since they moved over to DCH-6416 (and DCH-34xx) series, my DVHS signal has been set to record once even on HD local channels. My old DCT-6208 broke 1 1/2 years ago and I had to replace it, with the DCT6416 (video was stutteriing on firewire), then the DCH-6416. The reason why I know it is record once on all channels because I tried to copy to my computer and it would not let me from my DVHS recording (transferred from the DVR). I then tried an old recording from DVHS and that copied fine. Directly connecting my computer to the DVR just crashes my computer. This is really upsetting.

Can you get this fix? I would love to dump the 2008 Olympics Opening Ceremony to my computer.

you need to e-mail George, he is not on the forum.
george_lunski@cable.comcast.com
post #15 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

you need to e-mail George, he is not on the forum.
george_lunski@cable.comcast.com

Thanks. Will do!!
post #16 of 249
I have the same problem. I made successful test recording (3416 to D-VHS) right before 2008 Olympics started, but I couldn't do anything now.
post #17 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by xiaoyu View Post

I have the same problem. I made successful test recording (3416 to D-VHS) right before 2008 Olympics started, but I couldn't do anything now.

be sure to drop a e-mail to George with all the info Ken H recommends

dargo.
post #18 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

be sure to drop a e-mail to George with all the info Ken H recommends

dargo.

The starter of this thread described my problem exactly, and I have the same model DVR as him with this latest version of updated firmware/UI. I will be in wait and see mode for now. I find it hard to believe this was just accidental and not an intentional attempt to make archiving off the DVR more difficult. I don't feel comfortable providing detailed info to anyone regarding this, no offense. However, in case it really was an oversight on their part, please ask your Comcast guy to see if he can get their testers to pay more attention to the firewire functionality on all the DVR models in active service so something like this hopefully doesn't happen again when they decide to roll out yet another update of minor changes like this.
post #19 of 249
Sending the email to that link above but wanted to post this here too.

On Sunday morning, Comcast in Western PA/Eastern OH updated their firmware. In doing so, I notice no real problems with the firewire on broadcasts being recorded live.

However, I attempted to save the Mens 4x100m relay. After recording it to the DVR, I tried my trusted firewire on CAPDVHS method. It did what the OP said it would do. Tried VideoLan. Same thing.

I have a Motorola 3416 III. Hopefully this can be fixed soon as the Olympics are quickly filling up my box and I have no way of getting them off there.

Thanks to whomever is contacting Comcast about this.

Email being sent.
post #20 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by rajb245 View Post

I found a work around! I will give you the basic thing here, and I'll post a tutorial on my blog tomorrow. These instructions are for my Mac, so YMMV.

With the firewire unplugged from your computer, start up the program on your DVR, and pause it a good bit before where you want to start recording.
Plug in the Firewire to your comp, and open your recording software, on my Mac I used AVCVideoCap from the Firewire SDK. You will notice when you plugged in the Firewire, the program started playing on your TV, even though it will still have the "pause" icon on your screen. This is good.
Actually start the recording. When you do this, the picture will pause again on your TV. At this point, press play on your remote to "unpause" your DVR. This process somehow makes the DVR now output audio AND video over the firewire.

This actually works as far as getting the audio to actually record onto your PC. It DOES NOT, however, make the picture visible on your TV while doing that.

For the PC:

Start recorded program a minute before desired start point on program
Press pause
Plug Firewire Cable in
Open CAPDVHS
Press REC
Press Play on DVR remote

You won't see anything on the TV screen but if you record the desired program for as long as you think you need to, you can stop it and check it. Unlike the other recordings, the 5.1 audio does exist this time.

I hope Comcast can get a firmware update out soon.
post #21 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianvann View Post

The starter of this thread described my problem exactly, and I have the same model DVR as him with this latest version of updated firmware/UI. I will be in wait and see mode for now. I find it hard to believe this was just accidental and not an intentional attempt to make archiving off the DVR more difficult. I don't feel comfortable providing detailed info to anyone regarding this, no offense. However, in case it really was an oversight on their part, please ask your Comcast guy to see if he can get their testers to pay more attention to the firewire functionality on all the DVR models in active service so something like this hopefully doesn't happen again when they decide to roll out yet another update of minor changes like this.

firmware updates routinely screw up all manner of consumers electronics
cable box's are no different, I am just glad their is a geek at comcast who knows what were going through, try telling your local office about this problem and get that deer in the headlight look.
post #22 of 249
Not to make 3 posts in a row, but the problem is clearly with the audio PIDs. CAPDVHS isn't recognizing them. Even when you make the above 'makeshift' recording that the poster outlined, VideoRedo doesn't recognize the PIDs. HDTVtoMPEG2 will output a new .ts file with NO AUDIO.

When I run MPEG2Repair on the file, it recognizes the Audio PID as 0x840 and the Video PID as 0x841, and finally outputs a useable .ts file that has an Audio PID that VideoRedo can recognize.

So, the error in this seems to be (since video seems to record fine) in the way the Motorola boxes is outputting the audio PID. Of course, that doesn't explain why it freezes the screen. I though maybe Comcast was doing this to stop people from recording ("Hey, if we are going to give you the firewire port, you better hook it up to the TV or get no picture!") but since a Comcast person is helping us with this, maybe that isn't the case.
post #23 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

firmware updates routinely screw up all manner of consumers electronics
cable box's are no different, I am just glad their is a geek at comcast who knows what were going through, try telling your local office about this problem and get that deer in the headlight look.

True, but firmware updates also routinely work as expected, presumably because issues are found and fixed prior to the roll out. Anyway, I'm frustrated and leary about this situation, but I didn't mean to come across as ungrateful. Your point about calling the local office is well taken. If you have someone on the inside who can get this fixed for us, that's awesome.
post #24 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hardcore Legend View Post

Not to make 3 posts in a row, but the problem is clearly with the audio PIDs. CAPDVHS isn't recognizing them. Even when you make the above 'makeshift' recording that the poster outlined, VideoRedo doesn't recognize the PIDs. HDTVtoMPEG2 will output a new .ts file with NO AUDIO.

When I run MPEG2Repair on the file, it recognizes the Audio PID as 0x840 and the Video PID as 0x841, and finally outputs a useable .ts file that has an Audio PID that VideoRedo can recognize.

So, the error in this seems to be (since video seems to record fine) in the way the Motorola boxes is outputting the audio PID. Of course, that doesn't explain why it freezes the screen. I though maybe Comcast was doing this to stop people from recording ("Hey, if we are going to give you the firewire port, you better hook it up to the TV or get no picture!") but since a Comcast person is helping us with this, maybe that isn't the case.

funny thing is George was telling me he is thinking of getting the new hauppauge hd-pvr so he can get around the 5c block. I get audio with the work around just fine so we are all being effected differently and I can capture live with no issue at all. I will post any updates I get.

Dargo.
post #25 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by dargo View Post

funny thing is George was telling me he is thinking of getting the new hauppauge hd-pvr so he can get around the 5c block. I get audio with the work around just fine so we are all being effected differently and I can capture live with no issue at all. I will post any updates I get.

Dargo.

Yeah, live recordings aren't effected at all for me. It is just pre-recorded DVR programs.
post #26 of 249
Thread Starter 
dargo: Thanks!!! I have sent George mail with my details.

The workaround described in this thread works for me as well. It is a PITA to use now, but at least content can be pulled off the box.
post #27 of 249
Glad to find this thread. I sent a note to George too. I have same s/w and firmware as KenH posted above. Live streams okay for me, not DVR recordings though. I haven't had a chance to try the workaround yet. ** EDIT ** Okay I did a test with the workaround and it appears to work for me - both audio and video are good. Thanks! It's not ideal, but it works.
post #28 of 249
Hello Everyone

My name is George Lunski.

I decided if I want to provide the best customer service and experience, I should become active in this thread.

First an update...

Comcast & Motorola are both investigating this issue at this time. I do not have an ETR at this time. I will update this thread as I receive information or requests from our engineers.

If youa are experiencing issues with the fire wire port please email the following to me @ george_lunski@cable.comcast.com

1. Account Number. (Please Do Not Post Or Make This Public)
2. Box Number (e.g. 6412)
3. What is the capturing device (e.g. PC)
4. What is being captured (e.g. Live or DVR or VOD)
5. Is this only happening on specific programs (e.g. Battlestar Galactica)
6 Quality of Capture (e.g. SD or HD)

Thank you everyone for your patience while we investigate this issue.

*** UPDATE ONE *** WEDNESDAY 20TH AUGUST 2008 ***

Good Afternoon Everyone,

I wanted to provide a brief update...

Comcast and Motorola are still investigating this issue. Motorola has received all of the examples everyone has provided thus far. They are very appreciative of the examples. At this time, however, we are still reviewing this and do not have an ETR. Again, thank you for everyones patience, assistance and examples while Motorola & Comcast troubleshoot further. Please continue to feel free to contact me at anytime and provide examples if your are able to do so.

Thank you again everyone! Have a good Wednesday and enjoy the rest of your week & weekends!

*** UPDATE TWO *** FRIDAY 05TH SEPTEMBER 2008 ***

Good Morning Everyone!

I have received several examples from everyone here. Thank you. From those examples, Motorola has been able to duplicate the issue. They are currently working as quickly as possible to roll out a update. At this time, I do not have an ETA. I apologize for the delay. I will continue to communicate to Motorola and our engineers in pursuit for a fix. If anyone has any questions, please feel free to contact me.

Have a good weekend everyone.


- George Lunski
- Comcast Corporate Office
- Comcast Customer Connect
- EMAIL @
- geore_lunski@cable.comcast.com
- AVSforums ScreenName @
- "ComcastGeorge"
post #29 of 249
Quote:
Originally Posted by ComcastGeorge View Post

Hello Everyone

My name is George Lunski.

I decided if I want to provide the best customer service and experience, I should become active in this thread.

First an update...

Comcast & Motorola are both investigating this issue at this time. I do not have an ETR at this time. I will update this thread as I receive information or requests from our engineers.

If youa are experiencing issues with the fire wire port please email the following to me @ george_lunski@cable.comcast.com

1. Account Number. (Please Do Not Post Or Make This Public)
2. Box Number (e.g. 6412)
3. What is the capturing device (e.g. PC)
4. What is being captured (e.g. Live or DVR or VOD)
5. Is this only happening on specific programs (e.g. Battlestar Galactica)
6 Quality of Capture (e.g. SD or HD)

Thank you everyone for your patience while we investigate this issue.

- George Lunski
- Comcast Corporate Office
- Comcast Customer Connect
- EMAIL @
- geore_lunski@cable.comcast.com
- AVSforums ScreenName @
- "ComcastGeorge"

Welcome to the clubhouse George :-)
post #30 of 249
The latest firmware update appears to have disabled the ability to set manual recordings. I've set 2 in hi-def only to have the DVR completely ignore that I set them.
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: HDTV Recorders
AVS › AVS Forum › HDTV › HDTV Recorders › Firewire & Comcast digital cable boxes