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Magnavox MDR513H records without audio when TV is turned off

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to figure out why my MDR513H suddenly started to record (via timer or real-time) without any sound (video is OK) when I turn the TV off. If I turn the TV back on during the recording, the audio will be recorded for those segments. In all cases, the cable box is on for the entirety of the recording. Is there some setting that I inadvertently changed? Why would turning the TV off effectively mute the recording? Thanks for your help.
post #2 of 22
Please describe your setup and completely detail all your connections between STB - recorder - TV - etc.

After you write it, read it -- if you can't figure out a detailed map of what you have from what you wrote, then neither can we.
post #3 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'll describe the set-up below but please understand that I had never had any recording problems of this nature until yesterday and I haven't re-arranged the cables recently.

The cable line runs into the Cisco Explorer 4640HDC STB. There is a cable "out" from the Cisco STB to "Antenna In" on the Magnavox MDR513H.

I have an HDMI from the Cisco STB (out) to "HDMI In 1" on my Samsung UN40EH6000(FXZA) HDTV.
There is an HDMI out from the Magnavox MDR513H to "HDMI In 2" on the Samsung TV.

There are red, white & yellow RCA (composite) cables running from the Cisco STB out (SD) to "Audio In" and "Video In" on the Magnavox MDR513H. There are also red, white & yellow RCA cables running from the Magnavox MDR513H "Audio Out" and "Video Out" out to the "Audio In" and "Video In" on the Samsung TV.
post #4 of 22
SUBJECT: Maybe 'Someone Else' Did Something?
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

I'll describe the set-up below but please understand that I had never had any recording problems of this nature until yesterday and I haven't re-arranged the cables recently...

...I have an HDMI from the Cisco STB (out) to "HDMI In 1" on my Samsung UN40EH6000(FXZA) HDTV...
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WAG

Temporarily replace the HDMI between the STB and HDTV (HDMI has handshaking) with COMPONENT (no handshaking) and see what happens. If YOU changed nothing, your ISP could have upgraded the firmware on your STB?!?

Good Luck! smile.gif
post #5 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by ClearToLand View Post

SUBJECT: Maybe 'Someone Else' Did Something?

If YOU changed nothing, your ISP could have upgraded the firmware on your STB?!?
@Globe King
These are my thoughts also. With an HDMI connection between your STB and TV the STB talks to the TV and knows when it is on or not. Your cable supplier may have "upgraded" the firmware to make the STB assume that if it is connected to a TV via HDMI, then there is nothing on any of the other outputs. So if the TV is off the STB can go into a minimum power mode which may be the root of your problem.
post #6 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your responses but I'm a little confused. I'm not having any problems (with the audio) when I watch the TV. The problems only occur when I record.

There is only one set of component inputs on the TV. If I switch the connection from the STB to the TV to component cables, then I'll have to remove the component cable connections between the Magnavox MDR513H and the TV. Wouldn't that get in the way of using the timer menu on the Magnavox ? Either way, shouldn't the issue relate to the connection between the STB and the Magnavox MDR513H (rather than the TV)?

Assuming that there is a "handshaking" issue, do you guys have a work-around? Would some combination of converter and/or switcher alleviate the problem? Thanks.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Quote:
Originally Posted by ClearToLand View Post

SUBJECT: Maybe 'Someone Else' Did Something?

If YOU changed nothing, your ISP could have upgraded the firmware on your STB?!?
@Globe King
These are my thoughts also. With an HDMI connection between your STB and TV the STB talks to the TV and knows when it is on or not. Your cable supplier may have "upgraded" the firmware to make the STB assume that if it is connected to a TV via HDMI, then there is nothing on any of the other outputs. So if the TV is off the STB can go into a minimum power mode which may be the root of your problem.

If the STB went into minimum power mode, wouldn't the video signal be lost as well?
post #8 of 22

My Comcast Motorola cable box will not output audio if powered off, with a timer recording set. The box will power on at the correct time, on the correct channel with video, but no audio. Tapping any button on the remote will cause the audio to return. Perhaps the possible sleep mode behavior is a variation of this?

post #9 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by kjbawc View Post

If the STB went into minimum power mode, wouldn't the video signal be lost as well?
That's possible, don't take my words literally here. My point is that the providers work on the assumption that only a single device is connected to an STB. With HDMI they have a way to know the port, the device type and the power state of the device because of the bi-directional communication. Others have posted in the past that some STB's will shut down or restrict analog output when an HDMI device is connected. So if an HDMI connected display is powered down, there is no reason for the STB to output anything from any output.
post #10 of 22
Thread Starter 
Do you think that routing the HDMI from the STB to a switcher before connecting to the TV and Magnavox MDR would "fool" the STB in to recognizing that the device is on?
post #11 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

Do you think that routing the HDMI from the STB to a switcher before connecting to the TV and Magnavox MDR would "fool" the STB in to recognizing that the device is on?
I don't see how. If you put it on a switcher and the output for that port is nulled, it can't talk to the TV whether it is on or off so the STB would still probably think it's off.

But then that is just my opinion, since I don't use a switcher other than the one in my AVR.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'd like to think that there is a work-around. Otherwise, Magnavox recorders will turn into paperweights for many people using cable-TV service.
post #13 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

I'd like to think that there is a work-around. Otherwise, Magnavox recorders will turn into paperweights for many people using cable-TV service.

 

I don't know if or how your "double-connections" might be involved, but I don't think you need the coax from the STB to the Mag... all recording, timer or otherwise, can be done via L1 as the source (your current YWR cables from the STB to the Mag)? Also, I don't think you need the YWR cables from the Mag to the TV since you've got either HDMI or Component RGB doing the job?

 

Then, it might be a matter of which, HDMI or Component RGB, "works" with your STB and the Mag "system" and which components should be connected while recording.

 

Here's some info on others with STBs and their connection TIPS. See esp. Geodon005 who says Moxi advised him have to have only the Mag connected to TV when copying, and MrMazda who says some STBs cut off other outputs when connected to TV via HDMI, confirming that HDMI can be an unpredictable PITA!

post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

There is only one set of component inputs on the TV. If I switch the connection from the STB to the TV to component cables, then I'll have to remove the component cable connections between the Magnavox MDR513H and the TV.
As has been mentioned you don't need to make all possible redundant connections between your components -- just one. Often times that leads to signal loops. You have the magnavox connected to the TV via HDMI -- that's the only one you need so pull the component connection between the magnavox and the TV. Then pull the HDMI connection between the STB and TV and replace with a component connection between the STB and the TV. That gets rid of any HDMI handshaking between the STB and the TV. That may solve your problem. If you are going to use one of these DVD recorders for cable, you have to be prepared to make a number of compromises.
Edited by Kelson - 2/7/13 at 10:06am
post #15 of 22
+1 to what Kelson said. HDMI may be nice for those who only play things but for us archivers it's more often as Wajo said, a PIA! biggrin.gif
Without a HDMI connection between your STB and TV the STB won't know what your TV is doing and may enable the outputs all the time. A HDMI between your DVDR and TV is fine but it's the only connection you need between the two.
post #16 of 22
Thread Starter 
I spoke with Time Warner Cable's tech department. They claim that the problem is not on their end - i.e., the STB does not go into a low power mode. Any other ideas?
post #17 of 22
Have you tried what I suggested in #14 above?
post #18 of 22
SUBJECT: You Can Lead a Horse to Water, But...
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Or Post #4? redface.gif

Have you met "Not Me!" from the Sunday "Family Circle", IIRC, Comics? biggrin.gif
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Who you gonna trust? The Gurus here or some "clueless" ISP Tech? tongue.gif
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson View Post

Have you tried what I suggested in #14 above?

Yeah plz try #14 and tell us about it!
post #20 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, I made some progress but I'm still not comfortable with the stability of the connections.

I tried removing all power from all devices hoping that the data connections would reset (and the STB would reboot). I was still unable to make a recording with audio if the TV was off.

Then I removed the HDMI that connected the STB to the TV. I was then able to make full recordings (including audio) with the TV off. Interestingly, after I reconnected the HDMI from the STB to the TV, I was still able to make full recordings (including audio). I've tried a few recordings and things are holding up so far.

I'm more or less back to the way things were before this problem started. I still don't know what initiated the recording problems or whether the problem will reoccur (while I'm making an important recording).

I'd like to figure out what the simplest set of connections is that will allow me to view cable TV and DVDs with the highest resolution HDTV image possible while still having the flexibility to make and play full Magnavox recordings (with the TV off). If I permanently remove the HDMI between the STB and the TV, I may eliminate/minimize the likelihood of losing the audio on recordings again. Unfortunately, I think that the other connection types would reduce the resolution of the cable TV image. What do you recommend?
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

If I permanently remove the HDMI between the STB and the TV, I may eliminate/minimize the likelihood of losing the audio on recordings again. Unfortunately, I think that the other connection types would reduce the resolution of the cable TV image.
Component connections transmit HD also -- it is not exclusive to HDMI. Many people state they see no diminution of PQ between Component and HDMI. You would have to try it and judge for yourself on your particular equipment and viewing environment.

There is still a possible fly in the ointment, due again to your cable company. At least some cable companies will cause any other analog outputs (composite or S-Video) to be disabled on their STB if it is set to output component-HD. You will have to determine that for yourself.

But it seems clear at this point that if your STB detects an inactive HDMI connection (i.e. sleeping TV), it shuts down audio output -- probably to save power.
post #22 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

I spoke with Time Warner Cable's tech department. They claim that the problem is not on their end - i.e., the STB does not go into a low power mode. Any other ideas?

Yeah, I've had some cable techs tell me some fairy tales, too. wink.gif
Quote:
Originally Posted by Globe King View Post

Unfortunately, I think that the other connection types would reduce the resolution of the cable TV image. What do you recommend?

I wouldn't knock the component until you've tried it. As mentioned, it carries HD signals. You'll just need a separate audio connection, and if you don't use a surround sound system, then analog audio will do fine. Unless you're into 3D channels, component shouldn't be that much different from HDMI, if at all.

I used component for awhile to view cable HD channels when I had an older receiver. I only switched to HDMI for convenience that my newer HDMI receiver enabled.
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