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VOOM Hardware User Reports! - Page 3  

post #61 of 1193
MediaGeek

Thanks for the indepth review.

Do you think that maybe the mapping issue of the OTA channels may account for what you are seeing as lack of OTA sensitivity. They're not mapped, thus you are getting them at all?

Look forward to your picture quality comparison of voom to dish to direct.
post #62 of 1193
Does the box lockup? One of my main issues when I was at Sears was the box would lock up just from changing channels. Does that happen with your boxes or is that just a wierd sears problem?
post #63 of 1193
a few more comments

I have my own OTA antenna and downlead: I think this is a better approach than using the VOOM antenna/diplexer which causes some signal loss on both the OTA and sat signal: it seems to me many of the problems reported are related to OTA: perhaps VOOM should have limited its offering to sat only.

if you have an alternate means of obtaining OTA, consider not having the OTA antenna/diplexer installed (keep the hardware though, and the VSB module)

I notice when you tune to an ATSC signal, the audio drops out from the coax digital output: changing the channel up/down brings it back: other than that I have not seen any lockups/breakups so far

now to the sat HD using the DVI HDCP output: this is where VOOM shines:

I do notice breakup/pixelization during channel changes only : and I agree with MediaGeek that this is just poor engineering by Motorola: I think other stb makers blank the picture a little longer so you don't see this: the important thing is once the channel is locked in it seems rock solid and the picture and audio quality are excellent on HD channels: even the SD channels are at least as good as DSS.

MediaGeek: I was told the extra space in the stb ( the door on the right side) was for the future MPEG 4 decoder. There is an article in Broadcast Engineering magazine ( October 2003 world edition) www.broadcastengineering.com on this emerging standard: the subtitle is: "MPEG 2 is approaching retirement, and MPEG-4 is being groomed to take over" so perhaps we have a stb here that is designed for the future- and perhaps there is room for a PVR too- that would be sweet

Motorola at least designed a box with expansion ports- it runs VERY cool, and there is no fan. the front panel display does not work during normal operation

I like watching the VOOM HD picture: I think if VOOM can maintain this level of quality and continue to add more HD content, it will offer serious competion to the big 2- who are also racing to add HD content

this will make more and more HD channels available to us- and that is what it's all about

ps: I would like to rack mount my VOOM box but it does not appear in the Middle Atlantic RSH custom database yet: can anyone help me? the stb is probably the same as another Motorola box that is in the database (OT- noticed that Middle Atlantic RSH now offers silver annodized panels!)
post #64 of 1193
MediaGeek, a couple of points (some of which Mark mentioned above):

* I would never allow an installer to use a diplexer. You take a huge hit in signal strength with these. You're losing signal at both ends where the signal is combined and then where it's separated. Bad news for any OTA or satellite installation.

* In my installation I can't check for sensitivity of the OTA module since all my channels are strong, but I can check for multi-path resistance. In this area I found the VOOM to be superior to my Sony HD200. A local PBS OTA HD channel. although strong, suffers from considerably less multi-path on the VOOM tuner than the HD200. On the negative side, I've noticed that the output is somewhat softer for OTA reception than the Sony. I don't know why and this hold true for both DVI and component.

* I too have my VOOM outputting to a 50" Fujitsu plasma. I've noticed absolutely none of the ringing you've seen through component. That's very strange. Are you sure you don't have the sharpness up too high in that mode? I'm sensitive to that problem and I'm sure I would have noticed it if it were there on my setup. I do find the DVI connection a bit sharper and would probably wind up going with that once I get a DVI switcher. For that I'll wait for my 30 day trial period to expire before I commit to that expense. BTW, there are some problems on Channel 100 (Weather channel) as the result of a bad encoder board at VOOM, so I wouldn't generalize anything based on this one channel. Wilt has mentioned they have a new board on order. You'll notice a small amount of macro-blocking in the lower right on this channel. Has anyone else noticed ringing in general on their VOOM setups through component?

* There's no question in my mind that I see less pixellization on VOOM that D*. I've seen very very little of it even with fast motion. I can't say the same with D*. I haven't heard this problem related to signal strength as opposed to compression or MPEG2 encoding/decoding. With digital, if the picture is there and not at the threshold for breakup, it should be as perfect as it will get. So I doubt what you're seeing is related to your signal strength. However, if you have certain channels that are actually breaking up, THAT is probably due to your low signal strength. I'm currently getting a signal strength of about 65 in clear weather.

* You may not be aware, but the little red button behind the flip out door on the lower right is a resolution changing button. You can tell what resolution you're at by hitting the button briefly and watching which of the long red lights above this small door, light up. If the top one lights up, that is 1080i, the next one down is 720p followed by 480p, followed by 480i. If ALL lights flash, that is the variable mode. So when you hit the button 5 times, you've cycled through all available outputs. I've got mine set to 1080i output for all channels (only the top light lights). I always get annoyed at the flashing the plasma goes through as resolution changes if you're box is set to variable. I somehow feel it can't be good for these displays to constantly have their resolutions changed. I may be wrong, but it never gives me a warm feeling. With 1080i only, I also find the channel changes are quicker. BTW, I've seen no documentation on this in the instruction manual.

* I certainly agree that channel changing is not smooth on the Motorola box. As Mark said, if the screen was blanked for a split second longer, this problem probably wouldn't exist.
post #65 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by chap
Does the box lockup? One of my main issues when I was at Sears was the box would lock up just from changing channels. Does that happen with your boxes or is that just a wierd sears problem?
I've only had VOOM for one day, but I have not had a single lockup on either of my two boxes. I think the lockup problem at Sears was before the software upgrade. I think that problem is now fixed.

Scott
post #66 of 1193
Scott, not entirely on my setup. I've had about 3 or 4 lockups since I've had the box. I had 3 only yesterday when showing my friend the setup. Great timing huh? He was still impressed overall.
post #67 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
Scott, not entirely on my setup. I've had about 3 or 4 lockups since I've had the box. I had 3 only yesterday when showing my friend the setup. Great timing huh? He was still impressed overall.
Ken,

Thanks for alerting me. I guess I have those lockups to look forward to.:)
post #68 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
Scott, not entirely on my setup. I've had about 3 or 4 lockups since I've had the box. I had 3 only yesterday when showing my friend the setup. Great timing huh? He was still impressed overall.

Well, here it is. I have my first box lockup.

Ken, I have one quick question. Is there any button or button you can press to reset the box or is it only the pull out the plug and put in back in thing that works ?

Thanks,

Scott
post #69 of 1193
One other question. I pulled the plug and reset the box, but now there is "no information available" in the text area of the guide. Does anyone know how to reload that information after a reset.

Thanks,

Scott
post #70 of 1193
Just saw this posted by Wilth on the yahoo voom group

"The front panel power button, on the far left as you look at the unit; hold it in for 5 or 6 seconds and the box will reboot.
Guide data will reload automatically."
Wilt
post #71 of 1193
My Voom installer just left without attempting an install after saying that I did not have a line of sight to the 156 satellite due to large trees. Is this correct? I thought Voom was at 61.5.
post #72 of 1193
I wanted to add one more thing that I found last night when using the Voom receiver extensively. The box locked up on several occasions when I was just changing channels. It looks like other people have had the same problem. Power cycling seems to fix it, but it takes a long time to come back, and you miss the beginning of what you are trying to watch.

Also, on several occasions when I change channels, the audio would start for the new channel, but the picture remained black. Changing to another channel, and then coming back would usually fix it (unless the box would lock up).

I'm really getting the impression that these Motorola boxes are still in the alpha stage of development. In my experience it is rare for a sat set-top box to crash (on occasion DVR boxes have crashed on me). It's very disappointing to have installed a "premier" product such as this and be confronted with such poor product quality. It really should not have been released yet.

Also, I realized when channel surfing through the Kirk Douglas "Vikings" movie for the tenth time that most of the HD Cinema channels are just repeating the same movies again and again. WorldSport also is repeating the same Madrid Soccer match again and again. So, there are a lot of HD channels, but there is not that much HD content. Hopefully, that will change with time.

Again, the system has promise, but a lot of rough edges for now.

MediaGeek
post #73 of 1193
Sorry to hear that MediaGeek.

Had mine since Tues and have had no lock-up at all.

The only thing I'm waiting for is the correct mapping so I can attempt to get the locals.

Today I can't get Discovery HD today.

Live in IL 61832 but the local channels showing on the voom are not for this area.

Geoffrey
post #74 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by ericlhyman
My Voom installer just left without attempting an install after saying that I did not have a line of sight to the 156 satellite due to large trees. Is this correct? I thought Voom was at 61.5.
It's kind of confusing... it's not 61.5 on the compass, you need to convert that to the true compass reading based on where you live.
Go back to this post in this thread (about 5 or so down, with the link):

http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...0&pagenumber=2

(you might need to fixup the link...)
What you do is find your longitude/latitude (drag the dot to where you live) and above it will show you the true compass reading, and elevation. For me in Western NY, it worked out to approx 156 true compass degrees, and 30degrees elevation. A D* receiver would be 220 or so compass deg on the dial. Hope this helps...
post #75 of 1193
have had no lockups to report so far (fingers crossed)

OTA channel mapping for zip 07760 seems correct

do you have to do a hard reboot- have you tried a soft reboot ( hold standby button for a few seconds)?

did lose channel 106 (banner comes up says it is PPV) 1/2 way through Stars 80: after about an hour it has started to come back up

btw: noticed the VOOM remote came preprogrammed to control a Sony monitor: lucky for me I have it connected to my Sony 30" LCD- no info how to program it for other gear
post #76 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by Scott G
Well, here it is. I have my first box lockup.

Ken, I have one quick question. Is there any button or button you can press to reset the box or is it only the pull out the plug and put in back in thing that works ?

Thanks,

Scott
See Scott, if you had never read my post you wouldn't have had a lockup! ;) What I would suggest is that you hold down the power button on the box itself (not the remote). This will reboot the unit and if I recall, you won't have to wait for the program material to be downloaded as when you pull the power plug. Unfortunately you've found that out the hard way, as did I. I don't see an advantage as of yet to pulling the plug. The reset is actually quicker holding the power button and takes less time than my HD200 to reboot.
post #77 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
See Scott, if you had never read my post you wouldn't have had a lockup! ;) What I would suggest is that you hold down the power button on the box itself (not the remote). This will reboot the unit and if I recall, you won't have to wait for the program material to be downloaded as when you pull the power plug. Unfortunately you've found that out the hard way, as did I. I don't see an advantage as of yet to pulling the plug. The reset is actually quicker holding the power button and takes less time than my HD200 to reboot.
Yeah, Ken I did learn the hard way. The one good thing is it is the quickest booting box I ever saw. After holding down that power button for the 5 seconds it boots right up in about a minute. I think the lockups will get less and less as the software gets better and better.

Scott
post #78 of 1193
I agree Scott.
post #79 of 1193
I've had several lockups, mostly on power-up, but also when surfing with the one-line guide. Has anyone heard when new software to fix these bugs and the OTA mapping problem will be released? To show how far mapping for my area is off, the inside Voom barker channel (999) is also mapped as local channel 8-15 in my area.
post #80 of 1193
techweb

Where are you? Seems like east cost is doing better than mediageek on the west coast.
post #81 of 1193
Does anyone know if you are supposed to leave the power on the VOOM box on all the time ? Someone else said you won't get updates if you turn the box off at night. Is that true ? Won't you just get the update when you turn the box back on ?

Thanks,

Scott
post #82 of 1193
lockups

I may have spoken too soon about lockups. Had mine since Tuesday and this evening had two lockups in succession.

Geoffrey
post #83 of 1193
Seems that VOOM is Beta testing us early adopters and charging $750 plus tax. OK, we get the full programming through the end of Feb for the basic price but still a rip off. Pardon me but I don't understand their business model. Why include an 8VSB receiver and antenna when the total attraction is beacoup HD programming? For VOOM to take off, it needs to be aggressive in its HD programming. That includes options for HD soft and hard porn (ya, nobody here cares to see sexy babes in HD) , sports across the board and first-run flics.

To be successful, VOOM needs to differentiate itself from its competitors. Right now, their business strategy appears quite lame.
post #84 of 1193
JimP

I'm located about 20 miles south of Cleveland, OH. I have no satellite or OTA signal reception problems. My main problem is that I can tune only two of eight local digital channels, either because the box won't tune them, or because they're missing entirely from the guide.
post #85 of 1193
For techweb,

I am just curious when you got your software upgrade, did the box just automatically receive and install the update or did you have to do something to receive it ? Do you always leave your box on to receive updates ? I just wanted to know if they box automatically receives the updates or do you have to do something to make it happen ?

Thanks,

Scott
post #86 of 1193
Scott, I'm guessing it's O.K. to leave the box off to receive a software update. If you think about it, if your box has been off all night and then you turn it on the next day, all the current programming info is there. Therefore the box must have been receiving a signal from the satellite regarding program info even while the box was off in standby. It probably works just like the D* boxes do.
post #87 of 1193
Quote:
Originally posted by Ken Ross
Scott, I'm guessing it's O.K. to leave the box off to receive a software update. If you think about it, if your box has been off all night and then you turn it on the next day, all the current programming info is there. Therefore the box must have been receiving a signal from the satellite regarding program info even while the box was off in standby. It probably works just like the D* boxes do.
Thanks, Ken. Wilt also said if you leave it off you will get the update when you turn it on if you didn't already get it. So I guess I will leave mine off.

Scott
post #88 of 1193
Scott G

You have to reboot the box before it will recognize that there is new software available. You can do so by temporarily pulling the plug; pressing and holding the front panel power button for five seconds to reboot should also work, but I haven't tried that yet. If new software is available, it will start downloading automatically.

This does not apply to guide updating, which should take place even while the box is turned off (but of course plugged in). No DBS sat box is really off when it's plugged in since it's always looking at the satellite. I've seen some entries in the guide disappear after awhile, so I don't know if that's a guide data issue or yet another STB software bug.
post #89 of 1193
a note on learning remote codes

I used the IR learning feature to put VOOM remote codes into an RTI T2 system: many commands, for example channel up, caused the channel to go up several channels at a time


it is easy to fix this with RTI software: I looked at the waveform and saw too many repeats: reducing the number of repeats to 1 resolved it (and no sustain)

if you are doing a straight learn to another remote- don't hold the VOOM remote button down too long to reduce the repeats
post #90 of 1193
Could someone post a picture of the back panel?
Thanks,
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