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Channel Master TV CM 7400 HD DVR - OTA, Clear QAM, Internet Content - Page 61

post #1801 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by smintn View Post

Yes I think tivo will be the only thing left infact I just saw a premeire 4 advertisement here on the forum.
Tivo Premieres offered at my local walmart for $148 talked to wife about it as an alternative. It was a go until I mentioned the monthly fee for guide use, then she really flipped out eek.gif when I told her how much the lifetime cost was.
I googled multituner dvrs as an alternative source for a replacemnt for this system.........I am sure everyone else on the forum has looked too
this is what I found at one spot reckon any of these are useable? I would assume the au in the site is the country where this site is.....
http://www.harveynorman.com.au/tv-audio/tvs/set-top-boxes-pvrs-1
If you are willing to look at used equipment a TiVo Series 3 unit with lifetime service is a great OTA DVRs, they seem to be selling for around $300 +/- depending on which unit it is and if the unit has had a hard drive upgrade or not.

Good Luck,
post #1802 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

And yet, Charles R, you still acknowledge that the details are gory, so it probably does require "building" by my definition if not by yours.  Without any source for hands-on help in setting it up, it's not an option for me.
We have an entire HTPC community here on AVS. Plenty of help. I built one. Best thing I ever did. Going on 3 years of flawless operation and it's up 24/7.

But I digress. This isn't a thread about HTPCs or TiVos. Let's get back on topic. CM 7400.
post #1803 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by dattier View Post

And yet, Charles R, you still acknowledge that the details are gory, so it probably does require "building" by my definition if not by yours. Without any source for hands-on help in setting it up, it's not an option for me.

rolleyes.gif He just told you there is nothing to build, and there's plenty of help in the HTPC forum here. All you have to do is get a $300 PC, the HDHomerun and a USB remote control receiver (like this one), install the HDHR software and then run through WMC setup for your area.

C'mon man, you wouldn't be on AVS if you didn't have some tech curiosity. It's really not that difficult and you can do the whole thing for $400 or less.

EDIT: sorry about that Don, just saw your post about staying on topic, was on previous page when I replied.
Edited by slowbiscuit - 11/19/12 at 7:22am
post #1804 of 1996
I purchased a 7400, will see how it goes. I don't plan to have the power plugged in all the time, so I should be ok. If I really dislike it I will keep it as a back up in case I ever lose the internet.to issues like financial.
post #1805 of 1996
ON Sale:

DVR @379
1 yr Premium Guide free

Happy Monday.
post #1806 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra View Post

ON Sale:
DVR @379
1 yr Premium Guide free
Happy Monday.

It's been out of stock for a few days at least.
post #1807 of 1996
I bought one on Amazon.com last week. A refurbished unit. When I got it, it looked to be brand new as it was still sealed in all original packaging. Even included the plastic peel off cover over the display. I'm an OTA user only and after 2 days of use, I have not noticed any issues. After reading this forum, I placed 3 poker chips under each leg to give a little room to breath underneath. Its warm but I would not say its hot. I will post a full review after I've had a month of heavy use including VUDU and multi-recordings etc.

I also noticed that Amazon.com stopped selling this item. Not sure if they just temporarily ran out or whether they got too many returns, but it does not come up under a search anymore. Naturally, I bought this thing on Amazon right before Channel Master came out with the free 1 year advanced subscription. Where I live, I'm fortunate to get about 6 hours of guide populated with the free guide. So far I just set a series recording for everything and let it roll. We will see how it performs.
post #1808 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by GopherClone View Post

Where I live, I'm fortunate to get about 6 hours of guide populated with the free guide. So far I just set a series recording for everything and let it roll. We will see how it performs.
If you have scheduled your recordings using the guide-scheduler, don't forget that the CM-7400 will not populate the PSIP listings on its own. You will have to turn it on and manually scan through the channels to populate the listings, otherwise your recordings will be missed if there is no guide info telling the CM-7400 it needs to record. Depending on your list of series recordings, you may have to do this daily before your evenings recording session. If that is not acceptable, you need to either schedule your recordings manually via static date/time blocks or subscribe to the real guide info.
post #1809 of 1996
@ Kelson

I recall you said before that the paid guide service allows the CM-7400 to do name-based recording, but are you saying that scheduling recordings with PSIP also employs name-based recording? I thought that doing so would just create a timer. If it's the former, that seems like a curious design decision if the DVR doesn't scan PSIP on its own to check if it needs to record anything.
post #1810 of 1996
@ Aleron

Yes, it has been shown that it uses name-based with the subscription guide. I do not know what recording method it uses with PSIP but it has been established that if the PSIP info "runs out" and is not refreshed before the scheduled recording event, the event is not triggered -- that is for recording events scheduled with the guide scheduler. Manual date/time recording events will trigger regardless of the state of PSIP info.
post #1811 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post

rolleyes.gif He just told you there is nothing to build, and there's plenty of help in the HTPC forum here. All you have to do is get a $300 PC, the HDHomerun and a USB remote control receiver (like this one), install the HDHR software and then run through WMC setup for your area.
C'mon man, you wouldn't be on AVS if you didn't have some tech curiosity. It's really not that difficult and you can do the whole thing for $400 or less.
EDIT: sorry about that Don, just saw your post about staying on topic, was on previous page when I replied.

I wonder if I should do this? I have a Win TV HD tuner card in my pc which I've hardly used and thinking about it, I would not really have to worry about space or much of anything else.
post #1812 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

If you have scheduled your recordings using the guide-scheduler, don't forget that the CM-7400 will not populate the PSIP listings on its own. You will have to turn it on and manually scan through the channels to populate the listings, otherwise your recordings will be missed if there is no guide info telling the CM-7400 it needs to record. Depending on your list of series recordings, you may have to do this daily before your evenings recording session. If that is not acceptable, you need to either schedule your recordings manually via static date/time blocks or subscribe to the real guide info.

I had remembered this issue in the forum earlier and it almost made me not purchase. However, I am finding this not to be the case in my situation. When I first ran through set-up and checked the guide, the whole guide was populated. This might have been an artifact of the scanning process picking up the PSIP data for each individual channel as it went. However, I seem to consistently have 12 hours of PSIP data in the guide. My wife and I only change the channels via the guide and never manually flip through the channels. What is odd is that we shut the DVR off every night and when we turn it on in the morning the whole 12 hours is populated for all channels again. Perhaps it has something to do with how much and how the PSIP data is transmitted based on where you live?
post #1813 of 1996
^^^
Don't you just love it when things behave so consistently -- not.
Please keep an eye on it and let us know if this "good" behavior persists.
post #1814 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

@ Aleron
Yes, it has been shown that it uses name-based with the subscription guide. I do not know what recording method it uses with PSIP but it has been established that if the PSIP info "runs out" and is not refreshed before the scheduled recording event, the event is not triggered -- that is for recording events scheduled with the guide scheduler. Manual date/time recording events will trigger regardless of the state of PSIP info.

I can confirm that it uses named based with PSIP... or at least when the "series" option of recording is selected. I had hoped it would only record that specific time of the day when I set series, but it seems to be picking up the replays at 2:00 in the morning as well. Not a big deal.
post #1815 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by GopherClone View Post

Perhaps it has something to do with how much and how the PSIP data is transmitted based on where you live?

EPG data in the PSIP is transmitted more or less continuously. The current 3-hour event block is transmitted most often, while future event blocks are transmitted less often, depending on how far into the future they are. But it should only take a few minutes for a receiver to gather all the EPG data a station is broadcasting.

What I don't know is whether stations have some flexibility in how often they transmit EPG event blocks. I believe there are minimum requirements, but it's possible that a station can transmit event blocks more often than the minimum if it wants. I'd guess that the completeness of your guide may result from stations sending out all 12 required hours of EPG quickly enough for the CM-7400 to gather it automatically.
post #1816 of 1996
Agreed. What is uncertain about this DVR is whether the guide is being populated for other channels that are not tuned in. In my case the 7400 seems to be doing just that. It is as though the second tuner is filling in PSIP data when not in use. I don't know that this exactly what is happening, but I'm having trouble coming up with an alternative suggestion. Unless all the stations broadcast PSIP data for all OTA networks in the market, I don't understand how when I turn the thing on in the morning it has 12 hrs for all channels loaded.

It has been documented by others that the guide is not filling in for channels that are not tuned in. I'm curious why this is the case. The hardware and the firmware are the same so I would think it has to do with where and how the PSIP data is transmitted.
post #1817 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by GopherClone View Post

Agreed. What is uncertain about this DVR is whether the guide is being populated for other channels that are not tuned in. In my case the 7400 seems to be doing just that. It is as though the second tuner is filling in PSIP data when not in use. I don't know that this exactly what is happening, but I'm having trouble coming up with an alternative suggestion. Unless all the stations broadcast PSIP data for all OTA networks in the market, I don't understand how when I turn the thing on in the morning it has 12 hrs for all channels loaded.

It has been documented by others that the guide is not filling in for channels that are not tuned in. I'm curious why this is the case. The hardware and the firmware are the same so I would think it has to do with where and how the PSIP data is transmitted.

PSIP data only includes guide info for the current channel, but it's always in 3-hour blocks, and usually a multiple of 4 (minimum 4 blocks for 12 hours). So you could see 12, 24, 36, etc. hours, depending on the particular station. And the most proximate guide info is sent most often. Perhaps the broadcasters in your area are all sending more than the minimum, and/or are sending the less proximate blocks more often than required.

If a DVR scanned every 3 hours, it could pick up the next 3-6 hours pretty quickly. If instead it only scanned twice a day, it'd have to "sit" on each channel quite a bit longer to gather all the info. In theory, a PSIP-based DVR with name-based recording like the 7400 should do a "quick" scan every 3 hours, and begin a "slow" scan to fill out the guide whenever the user brings it up on screen (both subject to tuner availability, of course).

Perhaps instead, the 7400 only does one automatic scan per day, and doesn't "sit" on each channel long enough to pull in a full 12 hours of info. One might be able to find out if/when the 7400 does automatic scans by obsessively checking the guide every 3 hours or so over a 24-hour period.
post #1818 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by blocknlot View Post

THE CM 7400 works fantastic for streaming Netflex...

Surely you initially meant NetFlix -- but didn't you really mean VUDU, the CM-7400's only included streaming service?
post #1819 of 1996
I am a Sony DHG-HDD250 user needing a replacement for when TVGOS is cut off in April. I am OTA, no cable or dish. Despite some of the warnings here and elsewhere, I decided to try out the CM 7400. It came with a free one year guide subscription.

The power supply was DOA, and with the holiday closings near the end of December it took almost a month to get the replacement. Once it arrived, the unit was working and easy to set up. I have a wireless home network, so the DVR clock is always right, set to sync with pool.ntp.org. The warnings about the unit running hot are true. I found a $10 solution at MicroCenter with a notebook cooler. It plugs right into the CM 7400 USB port. After the CM 7400 is out of warranty, I might try to replace the internal fans. But the notebook cooler does a good job.

I like the CM 7400 user interface. I found it to be an easy transition from the DHG-HDD250. The remote is well-labeled and easy to use. Right now, I'm happy with this purchase.
post #1820 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFromCH View Post

... After the CM 7400 is out of warranty, I might try to replace the internal fans. ...
Huh ? Have you seen the box inside ?
post #1821 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Huh ? Have you seen the box inside ?
They're virtual fans. Here's your pictures:
http://www.avsforum.com/t/1360146/channel-master-tv-cm-7400-hd-dvr-ota-clear-qam-internet-content/990#post_21634591

Nice.
post #1822 of 1996
And you have posted in post#951 about fan-lees design ... so much for "internal fans" song smile.gif

Good luck to Bill from CH to replace virtual fan(s). biggrin.gif
post #1823 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Good luck to Bill from CH to replace virtual fan(s). biggrin.gif

Yikes! I did not go through this entire thread, obviously. I guess the laptop cooler is the only way to move air through that thing.
post #1824 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by BillFromCH View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Good luck to Bill from CH to replace virtual fan(s). biggrin.gif

Yikes! I did not go through this entire thread, obviously. I guess the laptop cooler is the only way to move air through that thing.

P Smith reported that there is a PCB connector for a fan:
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by blackcat6 View Post

I haven't seen one of these units up close, but if it has a metal case and there is no fan, then there is a good chance the engineers are using the case as a heatsink. If so, then a hot case means it's doing it's job. It's a good way to make a unit silent.

That's correct - they using small heat-sink on top of main processor [BCM7413] - no fan, but there is a provision on PCB [FAN contacts JP20] and made glued big heat sink (almost 70% of HDD surface) with thermal conductive rubber on top of it what is created contact with metal top cover; adding to that - OTA tuner is not thermally connected, it's just shielding.

Of course just because there's a place to connect a fan doesn't mean it's easy. May need to cut slots in the case, drill mounting holes, etc., so may be more trouble than it's worth.

Another way to reduce heat would be to move the HDD out of the box (with an external HDD enclosure). Has anyone had luck trying that?
post #1825 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post

P Smith reported that there is a PCB connector for a fan:
Of course just because there's a place to connect a fan doesn't mean it's easy. May need to cut slots in the case, drill mounting holes, etc., so may be more trouble than it's worth.
Another way to reduce heat would be to move the HDD out of the box (with an external HDD enclosure). Has anyone had luck trying that?
Please read my old posts when I did initial assessment of the box.
post #1826 of 1996
Is this what you're referring to?
Quote:
Originally Posted by P Smith View Post

...



Next test: moved the 1.5 TB to BlacX dock connected thru eSATA cable to CM7400; booted OK, everything is fine, last recorded event is here and playable.

That was a long post; I hadn't seen that one line buried in the middle until I rechecked just now wink.gif

I saw that you next did a 2-drive test. Did you have the 1-drive external configuration long enough to see if it helped keep the CM-7400 cool?
post #1827 of 1996
That's right post.

I would disappoint you with that two drives config: internal drive still spinning eg generating heat. Perhaps without heads movements it's reduced, but I wouldn't expect too much. May be 10% max.
post #1828 of 1996
Folks,
Newbie here. And likely to be a one shot. I will monitor for a couple weeks if there's followup questions or comments. I wanted to return the favor, what I learned from my problem in case it helps others. Most of the same behaviors others experienced and complained about in this forum, I found too. Overall, I've been very pleased with the unit, and would still recommend to others if it fit their need. And yes, there's lots of room for improvements CM (or the company they OEM it from) could make.
I've owned the CM7400 for about 13 months (ie just out of warranty, so nothing to lose). Running wireless, OTA (antenna), HDMI to a plasma HDTV and 5.1 surround. Only recorded broadcast shows, no vudu, or internet shows. Mildly annoyed with the small disk size soon after I got it. Regularly got msg that disk was about full, and only occasionally filled it up and couldn't record more. Unit is on 24/7.

So my problem as reported to CM: "Unit not responding to remote or front panel inputs. The green light on front blinks when making input with remote, but no action is taken. It seems locked up. Manually hold power button down to turn off, reboot, No change. Disconnect power, wait, reboot, no change. New batteries in remote, no change. sw is up todate as of ~1 month ago I checked. The unit is stuck on one channel and will not change channel, go to menu, guide, etc. Can't do anything. Power to unit has been off for ~1 week, just rebooted, no change. Help?!
Has worked fine over last year. Last week of use, response was slowing down (changing channels for example)."

CM email support wasn't very helpful (pretty lame actually). So I turned to this forum. It took most of a day reading 1800+ posts. However, I got encouragement from the posts to try some things. I was already interested in upping the disk storage and noted one guy put in a larger (internal) drive and the cover wouldn't go back on. Another added an external eSATA drive. But I had to solve this lockup problem. I popped the top cover (a little more challenging than I thought it would be) and looked around. Nothing much I could figure to do, so what the heck, I'll try unplugging the red ribbon cable from the hard drive to the PCB, and see what happens. Plugged in and turned the unit on, and after it rebooted I had all the remote functions back and working. As expected, I couldn't record anything as it said the space was full (actually, the disk was disconnected). Hmm. Power off, pIug the HDD cable back in, and lockup like before. I was looking for a way to get the unit reset to the factory settings, maybe reformat the HDD, but whenever I connected the HDD cable the unit would freeze up again. It was a catch-22. I tried numerous ways to try and get over this hurdle, but couldn't. Called CM support this time, and once again was disappointed in the answers and help provided. Nice enough guy, just no options available. Couldn't send the unit to them for repair, and on the assumption the HDD was bad, they don't offer replacement parts.
My suspicion was something to do with the HDD. The front bezel came off (again, a little tougher than I thought), and I got the small nuts that hold the HDD onto the chassis bottom off. Pried off the heatsink to see the actual drive, and removed the screws holding the metal brackets to the HDD bottom. Now I got the naked drive in my hand. I don't have access to a crash/burn PC with SATA to try connecting the old drive (Seagate 320GB, 2.5") to see if it worked or not. So I went to my local Fry's store (San Jose, Ca). Initially planned to price shop for an external SATA box, with the idea I'd plug the old drive into the external box, and use the external SATA input on the 7400 to see what happened with the old HDD. With sales help, we couldn't find a SATA in/out box, all were SATA in/USB out. They did have some external SATA box+drive combo's, but I thought they were more expensive than I wanted to spend at this point in trying to solve the problem. I realized it was going to be more difficult/costly to go this troubleshooting route with the old drive, so I took the chance on just replacing the internal disk. In my old electronic days, we called this the shotgun approach. Not quite sure of the root cause, but will try a logical/probable assumption. So I bought a 1TB Western Dig 2.5" for $85 + tax. Temporarily plugged the new HDD in last night, fired the unit up, it reset to factory settings, and voila, all's working. I've recorded a couple shows, and verified it's working as it should (more correctly, as good as it did before). I unplugged the unit this AM, put the HDD mounting hw back on, front panel back on, and left off the lid. The WD drive appears to have a thicker metal top plate (heat sink?) that may do better than the factory Seagate. But it's too thick to get the factory heatsink and lid back on (as reported in another post). I'll probably drill a bunch of vent holes in the lid over the HDD and leave the heatsink off. Don't want to add a fan. Maybe down the road will find a way to test the old Seagate to see what it's problem is. Or not..

So the short version of this verbose explanation might read: If the CM7400 doesn't respond to remote/front panel controls, resetting the unit doesn't work, unplugging doesn't work, and you're brave enough to take the lid off and disconnect the HDD cable, it might just free the unit up. You can decide what direction to take from there.
post #1829 of 1996
Quote:
Originally Posted by fixitdano View Post

Folks,
Newbie here. And likely to be a one shot. I will monitor for a couple weeks if there's followup questions or comments. I wanted to return the favor, what I learned from my problem in case it helps others....

.... Mildly annoyed with the small disk size soon after I got it. Regularly got msg that disk was about full, and only occasionally filled it up and couldn't record more....

So my problem as reported to CM: "Unit not responding to remote or front panel inputs. The green light on front blinks when making input with remote, but no action is taken. It seems locked up. Manually hold power button down to turn off, reboot, No change. Disconnect power, wait, reboot, no change. New batteries in remote, no change. sw is up to date as of ~1 month ago I checked....

... I don't have access to a crash/burn PC with SATA to try connecting the old drive (Seagate 320GB, 2.5") to see if it worked or not. So I went to my local Fry's store (San Jose, Ca). Initially planned to price shop for an external SATA box, with the idea I'd plug the old drive into the external box, and use the external SATA input on the 7400 to see what happened with the old HDD. With sales help, we couldn't find a SATA in/out box, all were SATA in/USB out. They did have some external SATA box+drive combo's, but I thought they were more expensive than I wanted to spend at this point in trying to solve the problem. I realized it was going to be more difficult/costly to go this troubleshooting route with the old drive, so I took the chance on just replacing the internal disk. In my old electronic days, we called this the shotgun approach. Not quite sure of the root cause, but will try a logical/probable assumption. So I bought a 1TB Western Dig 2.5" for $85 + tax. Temporarily plugged the new HDD in last night, fired the unit up, it reset to factory settings, and voila, all's working. I've recorded a couple shows, and verified it's working as it should (more correctly, as good as it did before). I unplugged the unit this AM, put the HDD mounting hw back on, front panel back on, and left off the lid. The WD drive appears to have a thicker metal top plate (heat sink?) that may do better than the factory Seagate. But it's too thick to get the factory heatsink and lid back on (as reported in another post). I'll probably drill a bunch of vent holes in the lid over the HDD and leave the heatsink off. Don't want to add a fan. Maybe down the road will find a way to test the old Seagate to see what it's problem is. Or not..

So the short version of this verbose explanation might read: If the CM7400 doesn't respond to remote/front panel controls, resetting the unit doesn't work, unplugging doesn't work, and you're brave enough to take the lid off and disconnect the HDD cable, it might just free the unit up. You can decide what direction to take from there.

Good to know. Replacing the HDD not only fixed your unit but also gave you more storage space. I'd still consider an external drive case, though. That would let you keep the HDD cool w/o modifying the 7400's case. And as we were just discussing, it might keep the 7400 itself a bit cooler.

I've had good luck with Vantec's external drive enclosures. Don't know if you can get one at Fry's; you may have to turn to an online seller such as Amazon or NewEgg. If you want a model with an eSATA connector, be aware Vantec makes both USB-only enclosures and USB+eSATA ones. The ones with eSATA are somewhat more expensive than the USB-only ones, but still reasonable.
post #1830 of 1996
By my and others (see at Dbstalk DTV DVR's forum) opinion, ThemalTake BlacX eSATA dock is perfect external device for the purpose.
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