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The Official AVS Dish DTVPal DVR Topic! - Page 55

post #1621 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMyTVC15 View Post

There are only a few people having problems with it. Most of the people that aren't having problems aren't posting here because they are happily enjoying there DVR at home and have nothing to bitch about.

?

Out of the 52 (at this time) votes, 29 have the lockup problem. That's over 55%.
post #1622 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by HDTV Sparky View Post

(..... some are very dissatisfied, others can live with any reboots or freezes they've experienced. )
Anyway, I would think most ( 70% or more) are overall satisfied, maybe even happy with their purchase .....
Just because someone may have vote in the poll that they've experienced one or both of the problems doesn't mean they regret the purchase. . . . No regrets !

Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMyTVC15 View Post

I've had a total of 2 reboots in the more than 3 weeks I've had it and haven't had one for a couple weeks now. And even those reboots were a minor inconvenience . . . Sure it ain't perfect, show me one that is. But i'd still give it a 9 out of 10.

Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased you are happy with your purchase and someday really soon I hope to have one as well. As you say, some people can tolerate a lot of a certain kind of fault and still be happy with the performance of the unit as a whole. But then there is a second segment of users for whom the reboot issue is an intolerable red flag -- red enough to delay a purchase until the issue is resolved. As you might guess I'm part of that group.

All I'm saying is that it would be a disservice to that second group to try and minimize real problems with the equipment or sweep them under the rug. When that has happened it is extremely annoying and people start sniping. If we keep the problems up front, those who decide they can tolerate them will make an informed decision to buy now and the rest of us will wait it out. That's all.
post #1623 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysfocused View Post

I'm currently paying TWC $63 a month for tv service and $9.95 for DVR service. Their Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD box is crap. I've been having so many problems with this box like, picture constantly freezing, audio dropping every 2 seconds, 48 minute recordings of 60 minute programs, just a whole lot of problems. So when I came across the DTVPal DVR I thought, "Hey, most of the programs I watch are on OTA stations. I'll just purchase this box, drop TWC and save some money." Now, after reading some of the comments posted here, I'm thinking that it will probably be better if I just stay with TWC. This box cost me $249.99 ($280.63 after shipping and tax). I'm looking for ways to SAVE money, I didn't have $249 to throw away on a unit that probably will not work properly or, even worst, not work at all.

I would not be discourged by what you read here. I got my DTVPAL DVR for Christmas and have been very happy with it. I did have some initial lockup problems but since January 3rd only 3 problems. I have only had one recording broken into two segments. I have never had Cable TV only satellite service but I believe you would be happy with the DTVPAL DVR as it stands right now. Is it perfect - - no but it has worked very well for me. I even upgraded the harddrive from a 250GB to a 500GB with no issues.

I would recommend sticking to your original plan and dropping cable and go with the DTVPAL DVR.
post #1624 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by alwaysfocused View Post

I placed my order for the DTVPal DVR on 1/5, estimated shipping date given was 1/12. I called Dish Network on 1/13 to ask if my unit had shipped and was told that it did. I called again yesterday to ask for a tracking number and was told that I could not be given a tracking number because my unit DID NOT ship.

I was in the first wave of November pre-orderers, never got a tracking number, never could get confirmation it shipped. The box showed up on December 24 and has worked flawlessly since.
post #1625 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mebes View Post

Nothing new to you guys with daily resets..... but here's the interesting part.
The TVGOS descriptions for the 2 parts of ER did not match.
They were close but not the same.
I was going to post the differences in the descriptions today after work, only to find that she deleted the recordings before I could.
Has anyone else noticed a discrepancy in the TVGOS data? (on broken up recordings)

Thanks,
S

Probably one description was TVGOS data, the other PSIP data.
post #1626 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by chapelrun View Post

I would not be discourged by what you read here. I got my DTVPAL DVR for Christmas and have been very happy with it. I did have some initial lockup problems but since January 3rd only 3 problems. I have only had one recording broken into two segments. I have never had Cable TV only satellite service but I believe you would be happy with the DTVPAL DVR as it stands right now. Is it perfect - - no but it has worked very well for me. I even upgraded the harddrive from a 250GB to a 500GB with no issues.

I would recommend sticking to your original plan and dropping cable and go with the DTVPAL DVR.

Wow, that is quite a few problems. I got mine on 12/24 and have had zero problems. (Of course our local CBS had problems last night with their signal, but that happened on all of my units, no just the DTVPal DVR).

Maybe I'm not the majority on this forum, but mine hasn't had any problems to date. Not a single lock-up, reboot, or anything. It is working as advertised.
post #1627 of 18096
Add me to the list of people who have experienced a reboot. My first one happened last night with 30 seconds left in a 1 hour show. The DVR was doing nothing except playing back the show. I had to cancel the guide download in order to regain control of the DVR as it stopped about halfway through.

In regards to the "part of this program is missing" message, it seems to appear if there is even a fraction of a second of a disruption in the recording. It doesn't have to be in the OTA signal, as in a signal dropout, just any disruption in the data.
post #1628 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by chapelrun View Post

I would not be discourged by what you read here. I got my DTVPAL DVR for Christmas and have been very happy with it. I did have some initial lockup problems but since January 3rd only 3 problems. I have only had one recording broken into two segments. I have never had Cable TV only satellite service but I believe you would be happy with the DTVPAL DVR as it stands right now. Is it perfect - - no but it has worked very well for me. I even upgraded the harddrive from a 250GB to a 500GB with no issues.

I would recommend sticking to your original plan and dropping cable and go with the DTVPAL DVR.


What sort of drive did you get? Is it a 5400 rpm or higher?
post #1629 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Don't get me wrong, I'm pleased you are happy with your purchase and someday really soon I hope to have one as well. As you say, some people can tolerate a lot of a certain kind of fault and still be happy with the performance of the unit as a whole. But then there is a second segment of users for whom the reboot issue is an intolerable red flag -- red enough to delay a purchase until the issue is resolved. As you might guess I'm part of that group.

All I'm saying is that it would be a disservice to that second group to try and minimize real problems with the equipment or sweep them under the rug. When that has happened it is extremely annoying and people start sniping. If we keep the problems up front, those who decide they can tolerate them will make an informed decision to buy now and the rest of us will wait it out. That's all.

I echo the sentiments - you've put it very well. Folks like me feel exactly like you. I've got the Philips [SD] ATSC DVR and it's been flawless and that's what I expect of the DTVPal and so I'm going to hold off for now.
post #1630 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

?

Out of the 52 (at this time) votes, 29 have the lockup problem. That's over 55%.

and thats 52 out of how many units shipped?
post #1631 of 18096
Also, because of the poll's wording, some of us that voted yes on having experienced reboots only had one incident, and none since, but the vote counts as a problem unit anyway.
post #1632 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken H View Post

?

Out of the 52 (at this time) votes, 29 have the lockup problem. That's over 55%.


Quote:
Originally Posted by rdgcss View Post

and thats 52 out of how many units shipped?

Of the 29, how many came upon this forum by googling "DTVPAL DVR locks up" or something similar? It seems impossible to conduct a random user poll on a forum such as this. Only Dish network could possibly know how many defective units there are (if that's indeed the case) and I doubt they are sharing that info.
post #1633 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Russell_ View Post

I echo the sentiments - you've put it very well. Folks like me feel exactly like you. I've got the Philips [SD] ATSC DVR and it's been flawless and that's what I expect of the DTVPal and so I'm going to hold off for now.

I tried the phillips many months ago. It was basically a tapeless VCR with time based recording and no guide. And it only recorded SD. Sure you could upconvert but it was still SD. PQ was lousy in my opinion. I took it back knowing that i would purchase a HDTV sooner or later which i recently did. While the DVTPal DVR has a few kinks to get ironed out, it is light years ahead of the phillips in my opinion. But i guess everyone has their own needs of what they want out of a DVR. If u r looking for an HD recorder, the DTVPAL DVR is the one to get.
post #1634 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by OhMyTVC15 View Post

I tried the phillips many months ago. It was basically a tapeless VCR with time based recording and no guide. And it only recorded SD. Sure you could upconvert but it was still SD. PQ was lousy in my opinion. I took it back knowing that i would purchase a HDTV sooner or later which i recently did. While the DVTPal DVR has a few kinks to get ironed out, it is light years ahead of the phillips in my opinion. But i guess everyone has their own needs of what they want out of a DVR. If u r looking for an HD recorder, the DTVPAL DVR is the one to get.

While I love my new Pal DVR, I've owned a Philips DVDR3575H/37 since May of '07 and it has worked perfectly. Most users including me think the PQ is great for a SD recorder. I still have it hooked up as a backup to the Pal DVR, as well as for archiving to DVD.
post #1635 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by swestbom View Post

What sort of drive did you get? Is it a 5400 rpm or higher?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=1210
post #1636 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

While I love my new Pal DVR, I've owned a Philips DVDR3575H/37 since May of '07. . .

I had one of those and it worked well. Over HDMI with my TV, however, everything had a red cast. Then the power on-off stopped working within the 90-day Wal-Mart return period. I got a refund and replaced it with its smaller Magnavox twin, which has worked just fine. I find the DTVPal DVR better than either for three main reasons: (1) no red cast (2) HD instead of SD and (3) better user interface.
post #1637 of 18096
I've never had a USB stick, so I could use a suggestion for a brand/model/capacity/price/source. Maybe I could score a cheap one at a Circuit City clearance this weekend. I wonder if you could use a USB card-reader with a camera memory card to download and transfer the DTVPal firmware update? Or even a memory card in a camera connected by USB?
post #1638 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by chapelrun View Post

I would not be discourged by what you read here. I got my DTVPAL DVR for Christmas and have been very happy with it. I did have some initial lockup problems but since January 3rd only 3 problems. I have only had one recording broken into two segments. I have never had Cable TV only satellite service but I believe you would be happy with the DTVPAL DVR as it stands right now. Is it perfect - - no but it has worked very well for me. I even upgraded the harddrive from a 250GB to a 500GB with no issues.

I would recommend sticking to your original plan and dropping cable and go with the DTVPAL DVR.

That's encouraging to hear you've installed a 500 GB HDD with no problems. It would be helpful if you could tell us the exact model/price/source of the HDD and a brief description of what you did to install and program it. Is there anything you can do with the 250 GB drive that was removed?
post #1639 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by wildwillie6 View Post

I had one of those and it worked well. Over HDMI with my TV, however, everything had a red cast. Then the power on-off stopped working within the 90-day Wal-Mart return period. I got a refund and replaced it with its smaller Magnavox twin, which has worked just fine. I find the DTVPal DVR better than either for three main reasons: (1) no red cast (2) HD instead of SD and (3) better user interface.

No argument, but I think we're talking about apples vs oranges.
Each unit (IMO) performs its intended task well.
post #1640 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

No argument, but I think we're talking about apples vs oranges

Exactly
post #1641 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McD View Post

That's encouraging to hear you've installed a 500 GB HDD with no problems. It would be helpful if you could tell us the exact model/price/source of the HDD and a brief description of what you did to install and program it. Is there anything you can do with the 250 GB drive that was removed?

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showp...postcount=1210

Details about my upgrade are listed here. The 250GB drive that was removed was tested in my brothers DTVPAL DVR and still worked in another DTVPAL DVR with the recordings. My brother is using both a 500GB drive and a 250 and is switching back and forth.
post #1642 of 18096
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve McD View Post

That's encouraging to hear you've installed a 500 GB HDD with no problems. It would be helpful if you could tell us the exact model/price/source of the HDD and a brief description of what you did to install and program it.

I assume he just followed the instructions in the first post of this thread?

If anyone has any suggestions to refine those instructions, please post.
post #1643 of 18096
Don't I remember that the Pal runs a form of Linux? And that Linux uses its own file system, EXT2? So has anyone tried plugging in either a drive or a memory stick formatted on a Linux PC?
I'll try to fire up my Linux box and see if I can format a stick, or if the Linux PC can "see" the Pal on the house LAN.
And I wonder if the boot order is set to read the USB first, to facilitate firmware updates or if you have to plug it in, then go to the menu and ask for a firmware update. The former case would facilitate hacking. It basically has four potential boot sources: HD, USB, Ethernet, and the mysterious SmartCard, so it has to have a boot order entry in its boot ROM.
post #1644 of 18096
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by rflemin View Post

Don't I remember that the Pal runs a form of Linux? And that Linux uses its own file system, EXT2? So has anyone tried plugging in either a drive or a memory stick formatted on a Linux PC?
I'll try to fire up my Linux box and see if I can format a stick, or if the Linux PC can "see" the Pal on the house LAN.

As per FAQ #25, Dish Network uses a proprietary filesystem (DaveSystemDisk), which cannot be read under Windows, OSX, or Linux without special drivers, which may or may not be available.
post #1645 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

I've owned a Philips DVDR3575H/37 since May of '07 and it has worked perfectly. Most users including me think the PQ is great for a SD recorder. I still have it hooked up as a backup to the Pal DVR, as well as for archiving to DVD.

Can you comment on the PQ of the recording when you offload from the Pal DVR to the Philips 3575. The Pal DVR only has composite out to the 3575; does it output an anmorphic frame to the 3575 or does it output pan&scan or letterbox. I believe someone else said it was selectable. How does the recorded PQ of the Pal DVR transfer compare to the recorded PQ from the 3575 ATSC tuner.
post #1646 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Can you comment on the PQ of the recording when you offload from the Pal DVR to the Philips 3575. The Pal DVR only has composite out to the 3575; does it output an anmorphic frame to the 3575 or does it output pan&scan or letterbox. I believe someone else said it was selectable. How does the recorded PQ of the Pal DVR transfer compare to the recorded PQ from the 3575 ATSC tuner.

Sorry, but I have the composite outs going to the LITE-ON HD-A760GX that sits under my Philips (it has a 250 GB HD) so I can only tell you what the LITE-ON HD-A760GX receives, which is a 16:9 picture squeezed to fit a 4:3 screen, which when my HDTV is set to the first zoom setting fits the screen perfectly. I'm guessing the Philips would work the same way when set to record and play 16:9.
Wajo would know more about that setting even though he doesn't have a DTVPal DVR.
The Pal DVR has several different zoom settings; some for SD and some for HD. I have both set to Auto.
The PQ of the transferred recording (at the SP setting) is (with the Lite-On) just a little soft, but acceptable.
post #1647 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chuck44 View Post

Also, because of the poll's wording, some of us that voted yes on having experienced reboots only had one incident, and none since, but the vote counts as a problem unit anyway.

And that is why I didn't even bother voting.
post #1648 of 18096
Mine has rebooted 3 times in the last 45 minutes all while watching a previously recorded show.

Basically, the screen goes black, the record and power light are on and then it goes and boots up with the DTVPal start screen and then downloads the guide and goes back to normal. And the guide update is disabled.

This all started happening after I updated the F$@&#^G firmware to F202. I had no problems for over 3 weeks until I updated the firmware. Dish better get this fixed soon, because now it is getting annoying.

I would suggest if you have not upgraded the firmware, that you don't. I have been emailing their support and they keep telling me they don't know when an update will be available and have no way of contacting engineering. They also can't get me the older firmware to revert back to. This is starting to make me mad.
post #1649 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by zerowords View Post

carpoolfinder.appspot.com/?place=DTVPalDVR

The line above is NOT a url because I am not allowed to provide URL's yet as a new poster.

I have created a pushpin map that all can access. The purpose of the map is to see where people are having trouble with reboots. So stick a pin in the map and instead of your name, say one of the following phrases, for example.

No reboots.
2 reboots/week

The system will only let you put in one pin at a time. But if you return, you can put in another. But only put in another to show where your TVGOS provider is with their call letters, like WXIA.

You can delete your pin by RIGHT clicking on it. But this system is brand new and I have experienced inconsistent behavior regarding RIGHT clicking. It has worked best if I strike the right click sharply, but briefly. One time I just left clicked on a pin and it offered to delete. So I don't know what is happening.

Anyhow, this is just an experiment. No one else has tried using this system.

Brian in Atlanta

PS.

If you want a sandbox to play in, try carpoolfinder.appspot.com/ and type in Tester .

This mapping system allows you to erase your message and repost another, especially if your experience has changed. Also, the system has been expanded to include colored edges on the pushpins that are black for a week, turn silver until 30 days, and then the edge is white. You can make the pins themselves any colors you like, but let me suggest you reserve white (Color code ffffff) for station positions and talk among yourselves regarding other color codings .

Oh and you can put up to three characters on the pins themselves, but again, I have no ideas for the use of such characters.

One more (off topic) comment. This free, public system can be used by anyone. That is you can create a similar map yourself if you are willing to get a google account. The resulting system is hosted by google, you don't even have to have a server yourself. Tell me if you have questions or comments. No guarantees -- it is free and new.

Brian in Atlanta
post #1650 of 18096
Quote:
Originally Posted by bfdtv View Post

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I connect the DTVPal DVR to my TV?

The DTVPal DVR supports both HD and non-HD displays. It outputs full high-definition through component and HDMI, and it downconverts HD channels through coax and composite for those with older TVs.

If you have a HDTV or a 480p EDTV, you should connect the DTVPal DVR to your display with component or HDMI. HDMI carries both audio and video. If you use component for video, you'll also need to connect the analog stereo outputs (red and white RCAs) to your TV for sound. If you have an A/V receiver or surround system, use the optical output in place of analog stereo.

If you don't have a HDTV or 480p EDTV, then you need to use the composite or coax output from the DTVPal DVR. For the best picture and sound on older TVs, use composite video (yellow RCA) and the analog stereo outputs (red and white RCAs). If you have an A/V receiver or surround system, use the optical output in place of analog stereo.

Note the DTVPal DVR does not have s-video, and its component output can only be used on TVs that support 480p, 720p, or 1080i.

While it is true that HDMI carries both audio and video information, it might be good to point out that most (all?) TVs will NOT pass 5.1 audio from an HDMI input on to the optical output from the TV. They will only output 5.1 audio that comes directly from the OTA tuner within the TV. This is apparently a restriction from the movie industry that is *supposed* to prevent high-quality copies. As a result, if you want 5.1 surround sound, you cannot simply run HDMI to the TV and then optical from the TV to your surround receiver. You need to do one of the following:

1) Run the HDMI to a surround receiver with HDMI inputs and outputs. The receiver will play the surround sound and then route the video to the TV via HDMI.

2) Run HDMI from the DTVPal DVR to the TV and optical from the DTVPal DVR to the surround receiver. This is what I have done.
Quote:
Originally Posted by 1HD_addict View Post

Try changing the audio out of the DTVPal DVR to PCM instead of Dolby Digital from the Setup - Dolby Digital menu.

I had sound problems too when I first hooked the unit up. I use an HDMI connection to the TV and the TV audio output jacks are hooked up to my stereo. Since I only have a 2 channel stereo, I don't need Dolby Digital. Changing to PCM eliminated all sound problems. My guess is the TV only decodes Dolby Digital information from the tuner input...but that is just a guess.

In the near future I will add a Dolby Digital receiver to my setup. I will most likely connect the HDMI from the DTVPal directly into the receiver and switch the DTVPal back to Dolby Digital.


Quote:
Originally Posted by RegGuheert View Post

Thanks! My TV is configured as yours is. While I have a 5.1 surround-sound receiver, it does not have HDMI inputs and can only decode surround sound from either digital coax OR optical input. Those two inputs are already being used for a DVD and a Blu-ray player, so there are no more surround sound inputs to use for the TV.

While I haven't experienced this problem since the two times that prompted my post, I have just changed this setting as you suggested. We'll see if the sound problems crop up using PCM.

Thanks again!

Reg

Please note that I get 5.1 surround output from the DTVPal DVR set to output either PCM or Dolby Digital. The setting is found at Menu->Setup(3)->Dolby Digital(4). I'm using PCM now in an attempt to avoid the sound problem I had previously. However, this might not be necessary since I'm no longer using HDMI for audio.

As alluded to previously, the problem with the industry's protections which will not allow your TV to pass 5.1 channel audio is that it defeats one of the main benefits of HDMI: namely that it carries both audio and video. Most audio receivers, like mine, have only one optical digital audio input, while some have two or three. But I have seven components with 5.1 channel digital audio outputs: 3 DVD players, 1 Blu-ray player, 1 HD-DVD player, 1 DTVPal DVR and 1 TV. Based on a private message from rflemin (Thanks!) about inexpensive optical combiners, I decided to look into hooking up more than two of my components to the surround receiver. Here are some things to note:

1) You CANNOT combine the optical output signal from the DTVPal DVR with that from other components using anoptical combiner. This is true because the optical output from the DTVPal DVR is always on.
2) You CAN use anoptical switch to switch in the signal from three different optical sources. This is what I have done, and have added a fourth input connected to my receiver through the coaxial input. I will have to be careful to switch *away* from the DTVPal DVR optical input before trying to use the coaxial input to the receiver.
3) I tried to cascade the combiners with the switch to allow two inputs in two of the switch position, thus allowing for 5 optical inputs plus one coaxial input for a total of six. Unfortunately, I failed in my attempt. Apparently having six meters of optical fiber, six optical connections, a switch AND an optical combiner attenuated the signal too much for my receiver to detect it. The optical combiner seemed to be the main contributor to the loss I experienced. The light level was notably dimmer following this device. I don't know if it was because I bought a poor-quality one or if they all would be like this. Now I'm wondering if it might be possible to lower the light threshold at which my receiver detects the signal.

In the end, the switch allows me to go from having two surround inputs to my receiver to having four. The big drawback to the switch is that I bought one that has to be changed manually, which is something I have avoided for my system, so far.

I hope this information is useful to someone else. If anyone has an other ideas how to connect more than four inputs to my surround receiver, please let me know.

Thoughts?

Reg
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