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RCA DRS7000N Problem  

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
I just purchased a new RCA DRS-7000N PVR at circuit city for $230. I thought it was a good deal.. HOWEVER....when I flip the switch on the back of the unit to PROGRESSIVE ON I get no signal to my Panny 300U. Flip it to PROGRESSIVE OFF and I get a 525I signal. When I connect the same cables to my old dvd player in progressive mode I get a signal. So I'm pretty sure it's not the cables or PJ. Any ideas? Defective unit or could it be some "user error"?
post #2 of 41
Thread Starter 
Well I power cycled it by unplugging the AC and that fixed the problem. Strange.
post #3 of 41
I myself am thinking about one of these units but just for the Digital Recorder feature. I used to use a Creative Labs Video Blaster Digital VCR in my computer hooked up to my TV with a generic serial remote interface and it was the best PC solution available IMO, but alas in got fried (I think) in that big power outage recently. And Creative no longer makes them.

I really miss it. I really can never go back to the VCR. (sob ... :( ) Anyway enough crying.

I have been waiting for RCA to come out with a stand-alone unit from ever since they did the DirectTV Deal.

I would really appreciate it if when you get a chance to play around and put it through its paces if you could post back your experiences. I heard it has a limitation of allowing only 16 programs. :confused:

Looking forward to your post ... thanks.
post #4 of 41
circuitcity.com has a lot of commets about this unit. I suggest that you check those out. Many happy people and many unhappy. I'm happy for what it does for me. I use it a a digital vcr and a DVD player. It has limitations and is not as versatile as a Tivo, but for $234 and no monthly, it works for me.
post #5 of 41
Thread Starter 
Well DVGuy as the previouis poster said - it does what I want it to do. The quality of the recording is very good. The interface is kludgy nad not at all intuitive. The "freeware" schedule only goes 2 days into the future. Some people have complained of problems when trying to use with cable tuner or satellite tuner. I use neither so I can not comment.

I think it's worth $230 if you realize it's not a Tivo, but a good "digital VCR". I got it because I thought it was cheaper than a dedicated PC, tuner card, etc and I hate the thoughts of shelling out the subscription fee every month for Tivo.

Oh - I haven't tried to record more than 16 programs. But from the looks of it you can probably only get around 16 HOURS of recording in the "Normal" mode. Normal looks so good I haven't tried the other 2 modes!!.
post #6 of 41
Picked one up from C.C. yesterday, now have and additional 50.00 mail in rebate.

Figured easier than hassle and expense of larger HD install in my Tivo plus now I can record two broadcast channels at the same time same as the directv tivo. Also able to record off the C=band a lot easier than with vcr. Has the pause feature up to 45minutes which is great for walking the dogs and not missing one I want to watch.

For the money its a great value, they retailed for 599 a while back. My DTC 100 and a few other RCA periphials including one tv have never given me any problems.
post #7 of 41
Hi folks

I have been playing around with the DRS7000n. I have recorded about 40hours of show before the unit gave me an error message about its hard
drive being too full.

The only (major) problem I have had with it is that the clock seems to lose
time, about 30 seconds a day. I just configured the program guide for my
area and it still seems to lose time. I have to adjust the clock just before leaving for work.

Any ideas for fixing this.

ONCE I Figure out how to use the guide feature. The clock problem cleared up. This unit works well. I ahve recorded up to 31 hours of programs with it.
I have had no failures once I operated the unit properly. It even tells you how much space is left on the harddrive!
post #8 of 41
Is changing a harddrive a difficult task to do? I 'd like to upgrade the DRS7000n with a bigger drive. I need to know if this is mission impossible or just hard.
post #9 of 41
I have read where the "RCA DRS-7000N" will allow for USB connection and transfer MP3's and Digital Images to the device.. but can you transfer off the device recorded programs via a USB cable computer or external harddrive?
post #10 of 41
Has anyone opened their DSR7000N removed the 40G hard drive and tried it using an IDE computer interface? Tried installing another hard drive into the DSR7000N? Is there any kind of security seal on the unit? If there is a seal, don't think I want to open the box until after the warranty has expired.

Thanks Much In Advance

PS... Has anyone found any technical/hacking information on the web regarding this unit?
post #11 of 41
I read somewhere that the DRS7000N would not record correctly about 1 out of 8 times. Yesterday I had this problem, it recorded the audio just find but no video. Has anyone else seen this problem? Any way to fix this problem? IE.. power cycle, unplug from power outlet etc... Call RCA tech support Ha Ha!!!


Found my problem with the unit not recording and it had nothing to do with the DSR7000n. IE.. false alarm.
post #12 of 41
Many of the comments about the RCA DRS7000N mention that it works without a subcription. I also have the unit but I don't use the Guide Plus.

I've just set up a bunch of recurring record timers that give me a backlog of favorite shows. I was curious, if I got a TIVO unit without the subscription could I do the same manual record.

FWIW: The feature I most miss in the RCA is a way to jump forward in large time increments (~ 30 minutes)
post #13 of 41
It is easy to skip ahead, just hit the pause on the remote and directly enter the time you want to skip to in the recording you are watching.

I recorded 12 hours of movies in one session and used this method to directly access any one of the six movies.

post #14 of 41
Hey, just picked up an open box at CC for $169 at the Florin Rd (Sacramento) store. They had four at that price. Great deal!! Although the unit is a bit more klunky than my RTV or UTV units, it does the job I need it to.

My UTV, of course, does all my DTV recordings. My RTV does my DishNet (and previously cable) recordings. And now the DRS7000 does my cable recordings (plus it replaced my cheap Apex DVD player). Pretty cool to have four shows from 3 different sources recording at once!!

Oh, BTW, one really cool feature about the 7000 is that the replay and 30 sec skip features work on the DVD!!!

Any body have any info on HDD upgrades on this puppy???

post #15 of 41
I have one of these units and it works quite well. When programmed as a codefree dvd player (check the dvdrhelp forums) it sometimes records video with no audio. I ordered a 120 gig hard drive last week and will put it in this thing next week after it arrives from compusa. I will let you know if it works.
post #16 of 41
Buy.com has the new DRS7005n for $250 with free shipping. The new one will play SVCD disks. If you read the online user guide you will notice a few minor changes.


I’m thinking of getting another DRS for my wife to use in her hobby room to tape HGTV programming.

The only problem I have had with my 7000, is that yesterday I lost the Guide, could not setup or view. Unplugged for 10 hours and it is back.
post #17 of 41

Just did the HDD upgrade. Easiest upgrade on any PVR!! Followed the VERY easy keypress steps and in about 30 seconds I had a 120 hour unit! Also, RNR of the drive was cake. Used a WD 120GB 7200rpm ATA133 drive. Also tried an old Maxtor 10 GB drive just for SNG. It appears that any ATA drive will work.

BTW-the region 9 (region free) keypress setting works great too.

Thanks for the info guys! And to anyone else looking to tinker, I'm hooking up the old drive to see if I can extract the files to my PC. I'll let you know how it goes. Have fun everyone!

post #18 of 41
Where did you find the information on how to replace the hard drive? I'm new to this forum, but have looked at the previous posts in this thread, and didn't see that info? Does the ease of removal and replacement mean that the firmware for the DRS7000 is not on the hard drive, and that the hard drive on a new unit is empty? What are the key-presses that you are referring to? Are you following on screen instructions or something?
Please post info if you are able to read your old hard drive in another computer. I'm wondering if some kind of a removable drive could be installed in the unit so that it could be periodically pulled and read in another computer?
Thanks. And sorry if I've missed something obvious.
post #19 of 41
Several messages back in this thread, w4nng asked if a TIVO could be used without a subsciption as a manual recorder.
Answer is YES, if you get an old version 1 standalone TIVO. I have 2 of them, and have never had a subscription, and they work fine without any hacking. The newer TIVOs apparently go into a dumb mode if you don't get a subscription. I'm sure there are ways around this by hacking, but simplest thing is to just buy a used or reconditioned version 1 TIVO.
post #20 of 41
I just bought a DRS7000 , and set it up, and have it pretty much working.
However I've had some problems with respect to setting up the channels and guide .
I did a channel search, and it sucessfully found all my over the air channels coming in via the antenna input, and these are sucessfully downloading guide data. However I also have a DTV connected to the rear input on the 7000, and the channel search didn't find these. I can tune the DTV channels by hitting the "input" button and then keying in the channel number manually, but I'd like to have a few of these channels show up in the GUIDE.
Is it not possible to have satellite channels show up in the GUIDE? Or am I missing something? The manual wasn't of much help.
I am very dissapointed in this unit in that I was hoping that with a USB connection that I could connect various USB devices like digital cameras, external hard drives, or connection to a computer, but this is apparently impossible. Apparently the only acceptable usb devise is a card reader.
The jpg player is kind of nice though.

thanks in advance for any help.
post #21 of 41
Could you please post the keystrokes you used after putting in the 120gb drive? As for the codefree (9) trick yes it works great but recorded shows sometimes record without audio in the codefree mode. Can I fix that?
post #22 of 41

Answers fron your first post:

Q#1-Just a few posts up from this one in this thread (DVRHelp forum). Look under DVD Hacks. The DSR7000N is AKA a Thomson DTH-7000E. Do a search for this model.

Q#2-OS/Firmware is NOT on the HDD. Orig drive is divided into two partitions. The first is 300Mb, the second is the remaining size of the drive.

Q#3&4-See the DVD Hack page.

Q#5-Can see the partitions in W2K, but does not recognize the format or data. Will research more.

Q#6-Will have to get Q#5 down before we address that.

Answers from your second post:

The Sat input can only be used as a timed recording input. No guide listings for Sat. It will, however allow you to control the Sat box with the IR blaster. E.G.-Set timed recording for Input 1 and set channel to change to. It's klunky, but it works.

Also, I haven't tried it, but it is said that you can "jumper" the S-video and audio outputs to Input 1, set timed recording and insert a DVD and press play to record DVD to HDD. Appearantly, there is no MV on the output or the input strips it, don't know for sure. Don't know if it even works, but thats what I heard. I don't really have any reason to record DVD to HDD when I have a DVD burner that makes perfect copies of any DVD and don't want to take the time to try it. But you can try it if you like and report back.

Anyone else have any hidden features they want to share?


post #23 of 41

Check the above post for HDD upgrade. BTW-I haven't run into the recording issue you have yet, so I don't know the answer. But then again, I just got this all working less than 24 hours ago. We'll see if it geeks on me.

post #24 of 41
Dear alpman -- I tried replacing the 40gb seagate HDD in this unit with a 120gb seagate drive. I initialized the HDD by pressing input and stop for 4 seconds, I then saw init and format on the front panel. But when trying to access the HDD all I got was a disc error message. Can you help me (and everyone else) with better installation instructions? Thanks.
post #25 of 41
Alpman: Thanks for answering the questions I had. Took a bit of searching, but I finally found the DVRHELP forum, and found the HD upgrade stuff. Thanks.
I'm dissapointed that you can't get the sat channels in the guide. I guess this recorder will be dedicated to local channels.
I'm curious just where the guide data comes from? Ie, does the info for all the local channels come in through one channel, or does each channel have only it's own guide data? Reason I ask, is when I did the channel search, the 7000 came up with 3 or 4 channels that I don't really get hardly a hint of a picture, ie certainily not good enough for it to extract guide data from, yet the guide data for those channels appear in my guide. This makes me think that perhaps if I LIE to the 7000 and tell it that I have cable, that it might give me guide data for all the cable channels, which would at least tell me what was on many of those sat channels, even though it wouldn't be able to go to them from the guide. I know that I could just read the guide off the DTV, but that means using a separate remote. I don't ever use my DTV remote anymore, as it is controlled by my unsubscribed TIVO., so it would be nice to have local and sat guide data all in one place.
Overall, I'm not that happy with the limitations that the 7000 has, but perhaps after I've used it for a while I'll grow to like it more.
post #26 of 41
The instructions for upgrading the hdd on dvdrhelp are wrong--it doesn't work. Also has anyone been able to get the clock to work correctly? Mine looses a minute a day.
post #27 of 41
I suppose if I had paid the original 599 for this device, I'd be prone to complain a bit but at less than 200bucks with rebate with the component output and using it for three different sources including my cband, its a real bargain with a dynamite picture.
It's not as user friendly as the Tivo but still a real value I think. Depends on what one wants it for I suppose.
post #28 of 41
I also have found that HDD formatting does not work (by holding down the AV and STOP keys on the front panel), works only if the drive is a 40GB Seagate.

I've successfully copied the internal drive onto a new 120GB drive, installed it in the machine and the machine started fine. Only problem, it still had the same recording time left, i.e. it was still treated as if it was a 40GB drive.

Alpman, are you sure the HDD upgrade work, and if it did, did the machine report 3 times the amount of free recording space left??

post #29 of 41
On recording from DVD to HDD, it is true that if you loop an output to an input, start a timed recording and then play the DVD that you can record a DVD to the hard disk.

However, most of the DVDs I tried this with were copy protected and this was detected by the machine and it would not allow the recording. The latest James Bond movie worked, others didn't. So there is some copy protection switched on on some DVDs (possibly Macrovision) that is checked for by the PVR.

post #30 of 41
Fix for the time loss problem. If you properly set the guide plus to you local
cable provider the clock will not lose time.
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