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Using two Motorola DCH3416's in same room for a week or so

post #1 of 2
Thread Starter 
The DCH3416 that I've been renting from Comcast for at least five years is acting up.  When the backgrounded tuner is already on a given station from the last program it recorded and a new recording starts on the same station with the same tuner and some time having passed in between, the second recording is skipped, and there isn't even an error message (such as "fatal hardware error") in the DVR History folder.

So I got another DVR, intending to return the first one when I've watched everything already recorded on it and transfered all the programming for future recordings (one by one by hand, it seems; can't be done en masse through MyDVR) to the new unit.  The Comcast service offices nearby had no HD DVRs available and the one shipped to me was the same model.

Thus, I now have two Motorola DCH3416s, one atop the other with spacers between them for ventilation, connected to the same television, one to the HDMI input and one to the component video and stereo audio inputs.

Comcast also included a remote, branded "Xfinity" instead of "Comcast"; both remotes have the classic silvery casing, but the old one's Select button is gray and the new one's Select button is red, in case that is significant.

I thought that if one unit is on standby while the other is on, any keys on the remote (except for Power) would operate the unit that's on and be ignored by the one on standby, but I'd forgotten about the Info key, and once I've pressed Info, I can't figure out how to get the machine on standby back into standby without doing something possibly destructive on the machine that's on.

We don't have any polarizing film around, and I hope to be done with the old machine and to have returned it in a couple of weeks, so it's not practical to rush out and buy some polarizing film (where would one even find that stuff?) just for this short period.

I've tried covering the panel of one DVR at a time with corrugated cardboard and with aluminum foil, but neither blocks the signal from the remote.  Is there something else that would block it, which might be found around the house or be sold in a discount store or a supermarket or such?  As it's only for a short time, I would settle for needing to move the blocking material physically from one DVR to the other.

Comcast tech support told me to try what amounted to changing the remote's code for the DVR to 00476; that had no effect and both remotes still operate both units.  There would also need to be a step to change something at the DVR itself, perhaps by using the remote but by going through the service menus, wouldn't there?

Any assistance that doesn't require expensive or difficult acquisitions and isn't technically over my head would be very welcome.

Thank you.
post #2 of 2
Thread Starter 
Thinking about my post after logging out and returning to the room where the TV and the DVRs are, I realized that maybe my main problems here are the lack of anywhere comfortable to sit near the DVRs or of space to put a chair there, and the clutter that narrows the passage between them and any comfortable viewing spot; those, rather than the effort of rising from my chair (I'm lazy but not that lazy), are what make it a problem just to walk over to them and use the power buttons on their panels as needed.  Obviously no one on AVS Forum can help with those aspects.

So here's what I'm still wondering: if one DCH3416 is on and the other is in standby, and I have managed to get through the first two seconds of standby without pressing Select, there are only two keys that will throw things off: Menu and Info.  Menu can be dealt with: there are keypresses (Menu again, and then Exit) that will get both DVRs back as they were.

But Info, well, that's another story.  It puts the DVR that's in standby into a state where its panel displays "Subt" or "Lang" (selectable with up/down) alternating with the current setting (selectable with left/right) for that paramter: "on" or "off" for "Subt"; or "Eng," "Fre," "Spa," or "Por" for "Lang."  There's no video display to the television.

Once it gets into that state the only way back to plain standby is the Power key, which will also put the DVR that's on into standby, and the idea is to have one on and the other in standby at any given time.  So whenever I need to use the Info key, I'll have to get up and press the panel's power key of the DVR that's supposed to stay in standby and then return to my viewing spot: that means either getting around the physical obstacles twice or watching from an uncomfortable place.

Is there any safe keypress sequence on the remote that will get the DVR that's supposed to be in standby back to standby without doing anything destructive on the DVR that's on?

(I hesitate to think what would happen if the DVR that's on is recording.)
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