Originally Posted by StinDaWg
What is the most up to date HD dvr Time Warner is using? We have a 8000HD, 8240HDC, and I know there is a 8300HD out there as well. The 8240HDC is giving me problems with the recordings freezing and not fast forwarding correctly, and the menu system is slow as hell. Would a new box fix my problems or is it the software that is lousy? The 8000HD has the new Navigator software update which works great and I think the 8240HDC has the Mystro software which is slow and buggy.
The latest that I am aware of is the 8300HDC, which runs the same software as the 8240HDC, which itself is basically the 8300HDC minus some hardware that is needed to decode analog cable, so the 8300HDC can take analog or digital cable while the 8240HDC can only handle digital cable. The 8300HD, 8000HD, and other boxes that do not use CableCARDs for decryption have been outlawed by the FCC except those that already have been manufactured. These have been granfathered in.
The 8300HDC and 8240HDC are engineering rush jobs in which Scientific Atlanta basically rushed to get the great 8300HD converted to use a CableCARD and to support the then-current version of OCAP. Scientific Atlanta basically wanted to change as little as possible, and changed too little. For example, its CPU is very good at running DVR code that is written specifically for it because such code does not force it to make many decisions, but is slow at code that requires lots of decision making like translating Java bytecode to native machine code. (The code that runs on ODN boxes is in Java to allow ODN to run on anything, anywhere; as long as there is a CableCARD, there are analog and digital tuners, and there is a DOCSIS cable modem in the device that needs to run ODN.) This is probably because the hardware to make decisions is very minimal which reflects the lack of need of the CPU's original target to make lots of decisions, saving lots of money on high-performance circuits that were anticipated to be wasted. Newer CPUs for cable boxes now probably have lots of logic to minimize the downside of decision making because Java demands it. Also, many of these rush jobs either have inadequate cooling or inadequate power supplies that are heat sensitive. These boxes were rush jobs because the FCC refused to budge on a deadline which many not-so-forward-thinking cable companies like Comcast wanted to effectively cancel by delaying it indefinitely, forcing Scientific Atlanta and Motorola to hurriedly create these rush jobs. Be glad that both of us (StinDaWg and jnv11) live in TWC-controlled areas of North Carolina instead of Comcast territory, because I have heard that as mediocre TWC is here, it is much better than Comcast-hell. Now, if we were in the West Coast, TWC is hell and Comcast looks mediocre in the JD Power Ratings.
If you swap your box, you will probably get either an 8300HDC or an 8240HDC. Here are my tips for surviving an 8300HDC or an 8240HDC:
- Be grateful that the 8300HDC and 8240HDC have the memory to hold the whole program guide in memory without having to fetch it off the network any time you go to any day beyond tomorrow. MDN-running boxes take forever to load this data because they do not store the whole weeklong program guide.
- Be grateful that closed captioning is rock solid. I have someone in the house that needs it. Some versions of MDN crash when closed captioning is on.
- Go all out on cooling your 8300HDC or 8240HDC. This has eliminated almost all of the crashing I had on the 8240HDC and 8300HDC units I have worked with. For example, put your box on 2x4s to allow them to scoop up more air to cool the box down via convection. Do not enclose this box with anything but a room. Do not put this box on a carpet.
- If a show consistently crashes the DVR on playback, delete it, and try to delete as many shows as possible. This probably will cure some file table corruption. This should be a rare problem unless someone has unreliable power or reboots often during recording.
- There is nothing that can be done with the slow running of the guide until Time Warner Cable finally gets boxes that were designed from the ground up to run OCAP, which runs on top of Java. Java is running on a CPU that does not have the required hardware to handle Java quickly. Once the Cisco 8550HDC, 8552HDC, 8650HDC, or 8652HDC; or the upcoming Samsung DVRs come out, a box swap should give you CPUs that can handle Java well.