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UTV FAQ Page - Please read before posting. Authored by NetworkTV

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UltimateTV (UTV) FAQ

About this forum:

Q: How do I post a question on this forum?
A: First, you need to register as a user and obtain a display name. Once you do this, you can post new messages and reply to existing ones. To submit a new question, select New Thread and type your message on the screen that appears. To reply to a message, select post reply or use the Quick Reply box at the bottom of the thread's messages.

Q: What are some shortcuts and terms that are used on this forum?
  • - UTV: UltimateTV

    - MS: Microsoft

    - DTV or D*: DirecTV (though DTV is used for Digital Television on the HDTV forums)

    - DP: Dishplayer (the predicessor or UTV as well as a currently offered product from Dish Network satellite service).

    - E*: Echostar (Dish network)

    - HT: Home Theater

    - DD: Dolby Digital Audio

    - CSR: Customer Support Representative

    - BB, CC and RS: Best Buy, Circuit City and Radio Shack

Q: How do I search for information in this forum?
A: At the bottom right of the main thread screen there is a search box. Type your keywords and hit the search button.

Q: Can I sell my used equipment on this forum?
A: I am sorry, but the site is here for support and not sales. So the answer would be no.

Q: What are some topics that are not allowed on this forum?
  • 1) Theft of satellite service or PPV events.

    2) Theft of UTV service.

    3) Discussion of of hack or decompiling the UTV software (discussions about backing up the UTV software have so far been allowed).

    4) Discussions of defeating copyright protections (discussions of copying recorded shows to a computer to burn to a recordable DVD have so far been allowed).

    5) Selling items in the general discussions area. These posts are restricted to the For Sale (FS) section of the forum.

    6) Topics and posts contain abusive or foul language (these will be deleted or edited by the moderator).

The Service:

Q: How much does UltimateTV service cost?
A: $9.95 a month plus your DirecTV service fees.

Q: Do I have to pay an extra monthly fee for a second or third UTV?
A: The $9.95 a month fee covers all UTV receivers on the same account. There is a $4.95 additional receiver fee for DirecTV that is required for all additional receivers, no matter what type, though.

Q: What features does my service include?
  • 1) Pause live TV for extended times (30 minutes or more, depending on hard drive space).

    2) An Extended Program Guide (EPG) which includes 14 days of guide data.

    3) Recorded programming will be unlocked for viewing. Without service, only the first 10 minutes of recordings can be viewed.

    4) Three hours of MSNTV Internet access via dial-up modem. Additional access is available for an additional fee.

    5) The ability to use Interactive TV features (such as playing along with games, voting, etc.) with shows that have those features.

    6) Periodic software upgrades to add new features.

Q: How do I subscribe to UTV service?
A: Call DirecTV at 1-800-DirecTV to activate both your account and the receiver. Note that UTV service requires a one-year commitment.

Hooking Up:

Q: Do I need to hook up both tuners?
A: No, but you won’t be able to record two shows at once, watch a show while recording another or use Picture-in-Picture (PIP).

Q: Can I use a splitter or a diplexer to avoid running two lines into my house from the dish?
A: No. You cannot split a satellite signal using an ordinary splitter or combine them using a diplexer. You would only get odd or even stations on each line and the UTV may not recognize one or both tuners. Each tuner must have it’s own dedicated line from your dish. If you need more lines, you can add a multiswitch, which can provide you with more outputs from your dish. You can use satellite splitters to combine multiswitches, but not to split the signal into multiple receivers or tuners. You can also use a set of diplexers to combine an antenna signal with your satellite signal, then split it apart once inside, however, the satellite signal cannot be combined this way.

Q: What is the difference between an HU card and a P4 access cards and what do they look like?
A: The HU (or P3) card is the previous access card used by UTV devices to access DirecTV service. The P4 card is the newest version of the access card. It is required in order to use the latest software upgrade (3.7). The cards look like this: http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...hreadid=287152

Q: How do I insert my access card?
A: Below the On/Off switch there is a rectangular panel. Press this panel to open it. The slot on the left is for the access card.

Q: What is the slot on the right for?
A: This is a Smart Card slot that might have eventually been used for advanced service features. However, it currently has no use.

Q: How do I enter the settings for my zip code, dish type, etc?
A: Turn on the receiver. You should see a Home screen. Use the down arrow key to get to the settings button and hit OK. From the screen that appears, choose Hooking Up. This will take you through the process of setting up your hardware.

Q: How do I perform a system test?
A: Go to Home, then Settings and choose the System Test button at the bottom of the screen. Once the test screen appears, select Run Test.

Q: How do I test my signal strength?
A: Go to Home, then settings and choose Hooking Up. From there, choose Signal Strength.

Q: Can I pick what transponders I use to get my channels?
A: No. Each channel is located on a certain transponder, with several channels on each transponder. Also, depending on your location, you may not use all transponders because some contain programming that is specific to certain regions (such as local affiliates or regional channels).

Q: Does UTV work with Dolby Digital Audio?
A: Yes. To utilize this feature you'll need a Dolby Digital AV receiver and a toslink digital audio cable (found at electronics stores, such as Circuit City, Best Buy and Radio Shack). Connect the UTV's audio output to a toslink connection on your AV receiver and select digital as the audio source for the UTV's connection on your receiver. Next go into Settings> Screen and Audio> Digital Audio to enable the UTV's digital output.

Q: Can I use the video inputs on the front or back of my UTV to record video onto the hard drive or to pass another video source through to my TV?
A: No. The video inputs can only be used to upload images to your personal site on MSN-TV. You must have or create an account with MSN-TV in order to use this feature (See the WebTV/MSN-TV section below).

Q: What are the USB ports on the back of the unit for?
A: They can be used to power a USB powered device (such as a computer cooling unit to moderate your unit’s temperature) or to connect a compatible keyboard (mostly those made by Microsoft) if you do not have the available wireless UTV keyboard. They do not yet have any other known uses.

Q: Can I use the parallel port on the back to connect a printer?
A: No. Currently, the parallel port is non-functional.

Q: Do I need to hook up the phone line to my UTV?
A: No. However, the phone line is needed for Click-To-Buy Pay-Per-View purchases, for connecting to MSN-TV, to use the Caller-ID feature and for downloading software to an upgraded drive. However, all other information (including the guide) is sent via the satellite and you can purchase PPV events via DirecTV's web site or their hotline number. There is an extra charge to buy events that way and more notice is needed.

Q: Can I use a wireless phone jack with my UTV?
A: If you don't use the caller ID, a wireless MODEM jack (different than a standard wireless phone jack) will work. However, the caller ID will not operate over a wireless jack.


Q: How do I set up an MSN-TV (WebTV) account?
A: From the Home screen, choose “Web Home” (you can also use the TV-Web or WebTV buttons on your remote). This will connect you to an 800 number which will find a local number based on your zip code. The unit will then connect to the local number and take you through the steps of setting up an account.

Q: Do I have to pay extra for access to MSN-TV?
A: You get 3 free hours of access each month. However, unlimited access will cost $19.95 a month.

Q: Do I get E-mail access with my MSN account?
A: Yes. An E-mail address is created with your access account, based on the user name you choose. To read your E-mail, choose the E-mail link at the top of your MSN home page.

Q: The little red E-mail light on my UTV keeps coming on. Why does it do that and can I turn it off?
A: This is the E-mail notification light. It lets you know when you receive a new message. The unit will dial in periodically to check for new messages when that option is selected. To disable this function, select the E-mail link at the top of your home page, then “Settings” and “Message Light.” Choose “Don’t Check” from the menu on the right side of the screen.

Q: Can I create my own web page using my MSN account?
A: Yes. Select “Page Builder” from the left side of your home page and follow the step-by-step instructions on how to create your own web page. View a sample page here: http://community-2.webtv.net/gadgetf...getfaqssample/

Q: How do I log off MSN-TV?
A: Your unit will automatically log off when you turn it off. Pressing the Menu/Options button will bring up a Pop-up menu with a choice to hang up. After disconnecting, hit Clear/ESC to get rid of the reconnect message and return to TV Home. You can also choose Hang Up under the Change User menu, which will take directly back to the TV Home screen.

Q: Can I use my cable modem or DSL service with my UTV?
A: No. UTV currently can only access the Internet via dial-up.

Q: Can I use my own dial-up ISP?
A: Yes. To set up your own ISP, go to Home > Settings > Phone Options > Use Your Own ISP. Follow the instructions to set up your own ISP settings.

General Operations:

Q: How many shows can I record/watch at one time?
A: You may do the following:
  • 1)Watch 1 show (live or recorded) while recording another.

    2)Record 2 shows while watching one of the recordings in progress. You can watch a recording from the beginning to the end even if it is several minutes into the recording process when you start.

    3)Record 2 shows while watching a third previously recorded show.

    4)Watch 2 channels using the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) feature.

Q: How do I view the Picture-in-Picture (PIP) feature?
A: Press the PIP button on your remote. A smaller picture will appear containing the second program.

Q: How do I move and control the PIP window?
A: On the Sony units, press Window to make the PIP window active. You can then hear the audio, change channels or move the window using the arrow keys. On the RCA unit, use the CH CTRL button to make the window active, allow you to hear the audio, switch channels and move the window.

Q: How do I record a show?
A: There are several ways:
  • 1)Tune to a channel and hit record. The show will begin recording immediately. To stop recording, hit stop. A message will pop up to confirm that you really want to stop recording. Select the option to stop recording. The amount of the show you have recorded will appear in the My Shows menu.

    2)Enter the guide and use the arrow keys to highlight a program. Press the record button (to quickly schedule a recording with the default options). If the show is a series, press record again to schedule a series record in order to record all episodes. Press record again to delete the scheduled recording. If the show is currently airing, the recording will begin immediately.

    3)Enter the guide and use the arrow keys to highlight a program. Hit the Select/OK button. This will take you to an information screen with several options. Here you can view the program description and credits, search for additional air times, set a reminder for that show or record the show. Choose done to go back to the guide without choosing the other options. When you choose record, you will be given the choice of recording all the episodes of a series or just that one. When you pick an option, a new screen will give you the choice of setting additional options (such as how many episodes to keep and for how long as well as whether to add more time to the end of the recording or not) or to keep the default options.

    4)Press the Menu-Options button while viewing any screen and select Search TV from the list of items (or go to the Home page and select Search TV). Select a search method and whether to search by time or alphabetically. Enter your search words into the box with either the on-screen keyboard or the wireless UTV keyboard. You may use the various options provided to narrow down your search. Once you perform the search, you will be given the option of setting up an Auto-Record based on that search. The unit will then record programs that match your search parameters.

    5)Go into the search menu and select “Manual Record” from the list of options. A series of menus will guide you through the processes of setting up your UTV to manually record at a certain time and day rather than a specific show. This setting creates a one-time recording.

Q: Can I set up a repeating manual recording?
A: No. Currently, manual recordings are one-time only. However, you can modify series or automatic records to limit channels, times and content as well as extend the recording time. To do this, choose the More Options button when setting up a recording for the guide or via the search function.

Q: Can I record the music channels?
A: No. Recording of those channles is disabled.

Q: Can I record PPV channels?
A: Yes, but the unit will not automatically record a PPV event unless you purchase it first.

Q: How do I choose the quality settings my UTV uses to record shows?
A: You don’t. The quality (compression level) is based on the quality of the original transmission. The satellite feed is recorded exactly as it arrives at the receiver. Sports programming and Dolby Digital movies will take up more space than news or talk shows.

Q: Why can’t I record 35 hours of programming on my UTV?
A: The key words are “Variable” and “Up To.” Under normal operation, you’ll never see 35 hours of record time. 26-28 hours is average. Part of this is the type of programming being recorded and part is the fact a certain amount of space is reserved for buffering, which counts as part of the record capacity.

Q: Why am I not getting digital audio on my UTV even though I have the cable connected and selected in the preferences menu?
A: Not every channel offers Dolby Digital (DD) Audio, even when the guide says it does. The guide only lists that a channel has a digital audio feed, not that it is offered on DirecTV that way. Most of the movie channels are available with DD as do many PPV channels. However, the local affiliate stations are not offered in DD, nor are most of the cable networks. Also, during movie channel preview weekends, Dolby Digital audio is often disabled on the channels offering the preview.

Q: How do I watch a show I have recorded?
A: Press the My Shows button on your remote to enter the list of recordings (you can also access this menu by selecting My Shows from the Home screen or from the Menu-Options pop up strip). You can also access My Shows by selecting channel 1020 from the guide or by typing the channel in with the remote. To play a single listing, highlight the show and press Play or use the select/OK button to open an options screen and select Play. Multiple shows of the same series will be contained under one listing. To access all the episodes, select the show listing and you will be taken to a list of all recorded episodes.

Q: How do I delete a show?
A: If you have a recorded show you do not wish to watch, select it from the My Shows menu and choose the Erase option. It will ask you to confirm your decision. If playing the show, hit stop and you will be given the option to continue playing, start over or erase the show. If the recording comes to an end, you may choose erase from the screen that appears. If you wish to delete several shows at once, scroll to the bottom of the My Shows menu and choose Erase Items. This will allow you to place a check in the box beside each item you wish to delete. Choose Erase when you have chosen all the programs you wish to erase.

Q: What is the buffer for?
A: As soon as you tune to a channel, the UTV begins recording or “buffering” the program. Because this is always occurring, you can pause a live show, take another look at something that just happened, review anything that occurred on the channel from the moment you tuned to it, or begin recording a show in its entirety if you were watching it from the beginning, but had not started recording until further in.

Q: How does recording from the past work?
A: Imagine you tune in to a show from the beginning. Ten minutes in you realize someone else in your family might want to see the show. Simply hit record and the show will record from the beginning. This feature will only work if you began viewing the show from its start time. Otherwise, the recording will only start from when you last tuned to the channel. This means if you tune to a channel at the beginning of a show, but switch channels, you will only be able to record from the point at which you switch back to that show.

Q: How long can I pause live TV?
A: You can pause live TV for between 2 and 3 hours.

Q: When I’m in the buffer, how do I get to the live program?
A: This can be done a few ways:
  • 1)Press FWD to fast forward to the end of the buffer. A Live icon will appear when you reach live programming.

    2)Press the skip button 1 or more times to skip ahead to the live portion. This is good if you are only a short time behind the live program.

    3)Press the menu button and choose “Go Live” from the menu that pops up.

    4)Change to another channel. When you change back, the buffer will have been deleted and you will be viewing the live show.

Q: How do I use the skip forward button?
A: During playback of a recording (or while viewing the buffer of a live show) press the skip button to instantly advance by approximately 30 seconds. Use multiple presses of the skip button to advance past commercials or other portions of a program you do not wish to view.

Q: Can I skip backward?
A: Yes. Press the Replay button to skip back approximately 7 seconds.

Q: How do I use the Guide?
A: Press the Guide button on your remote to go into the guide. Once there, you can perform several functions:
  • 1)To navigate the guide use the arrow keys on your remote or keyboard to move up and down as well as left and right. On the keyboard, the scroll up and down keys will move the listings up and down page by page. Holding the command (CMD) key while using the left and right arrow keys will skip forward or backward by 12 hours. On the remote, the channel up and down keys will move the guide up and down page by page. On both the keyboard and the remote, the FWD and REV keys will move the guide + or – 12 hours and the skip and replay buttons will move the guide + or – 3 hours. To navigate to a certain channel, simply type in the channel number and the guide will move to that location.

    2)If you select a program that is currently airing, you will be taken directly to that show.

    3)If you select a program that is not yet airing, you will be given the option to record the show or to set up to be reminded when it is about to start.

    4)A program description will appear at the top of the screen for each program when you highlight it. Press the Info button to get a complete description.

Q: How do I find out how much space I have used on my hard drive?
A: Go into My Shows. Go to the bottom of the page and choose History. At the top of the screen will be a listing for the percentage used. With the stock 40GB hard drive, UTV normally uses 3-5% of the hard drive capacity per hour of programming. However, sports and movies with Dolby Digital soundtracks will take up more space. Some programs may take up less. Units with upgraded drives will see smaller percentage increases when recording programs.

Q: Can I delete the history?
A: Yes. Scroll to the bottom of the history list and select Clear History.

Q: How can I move to the bottom of screens with long lists on them without scrolling?
A: The left and right arrow keys will allow you to move from button to button, including those at the bottom of long lists (such as the history). In addition, the My Shows menu allows you to toggle between the top of the show list and the Upcoming Recordings button each time you hit the My Shows button on your remote.

Q: Can I save programs on my VCR?
A: Yes. UTV provides a second set of outputs to connect it to your VCR. Simply tune your VCR to the Line-In input, hit record and start playing a program on your UTV. Remember that anything on the screen will be transferred to tape, so you will need to stay on the program and avoid opening any menus or activating info screens while the recording is taking place.

Q: Can I record shows directly to my VCR instead of onto the UTV?
A: Yes, you will need to use the included IR Blaster to control your VCR. To set up your VCR so it can be controlled by your UTV, go to Home, then Settings and Hooking Up. Choose Hardware Accessories, then VCR and follow the instructions for setting up control of your VCR.

Q: Can I control two UTVs separately with one remote?
A: Yes. If one of the units is an RCA, you can control it using the Aux function of the remote. Go to Home, Settings, Hooking Up, then Hardware Accessories. Select Multiple Receivers to control one of the UTVs using the Aux function on the remote.

Q: How does the Caller ID feature work?
A: When set up (and you subscribe to Caller ID service), an on-screen banner will appear when there is an incoming while the UTV is turned on. If the unit is turned off, the call will be stored in a Calls menu which can be accessed through the Home screen or Menu/Options banner. To delete the listings, select Erase List from the bottom of the Calls menu.

To set up the Caller ID function, go to Home > Settings > Phone Options > Caller ID. Follow the instructions to set up the Caller ID function. Note that this function will not work with a wireless phone jack.

Troubleshooting, Upgrades and Fixes:

Q: I found a "Tuners Changed" message in my history screen. What does this mean?
A: This message indicates that one or both of your receiver's tuners was not receiving a satellite signal at some point. This can happen for a few reasons:
  • 1) Heavy rainstorms can sometimes cause a loss of satellite signal. This is rare and usually only happens during severe conditions. This is a condition known as "Rain Fade" and usually only occurs for a short time during the worst portion of the storm. The better your normal signal strength, the less prone your equipment will be to rain fade. Sleet and ice can also sometimes cause signal failure, as well, but snow is usually not dense enough to block the signal, even when the dish is fully covered.

    ****Note: A good way to minimize weather-related signal loss is to spray a coating of Pam Cooking Spray on the reflecting surface of the dish (don't spray it on the LNB as it could leech inside through seam around the cap). This will allow snow and ice to slide off and cause rain to bead and run off. It will do this without making the dish surface glossy, which could cause signal problems (a reason why using wax or other glossing agents is not recommended). For best results, use original Pam without any flavoring. Re-apply when rainwater no longer beads on the dish surface. Be sure to fully wash the dish surface with soap and water before applying the spray to ensure a good application. Spray only enough to coat the dish, not soak it. Wipe of the excess to leave just a thin layer on the dish surface.

    2) Dish alignment or mounting problems can cause signal loss. If the dish is not aligned correctly, the signal can fluctuate and occasionally be lost. A loose or poorly mounted dish can shift out of alignment or be moved by objects impacting it.

    3) Cable or multiswitch problems are another reason for signal problems. A loose, poorly crimped or damaged cable will not pass a signal properly, though at some times may appear normal. A malfunctioning multiswitch can fail to pass a signal from the dish to the UTV. Mechanical multiswitches will often click during channel changes, but excessive clicking may indicate a problem.

    4) Tuner failures will also cause tuner changes. A tuner that runs too hot for too long can slowly move toward failure. When all other possibilities have been checked and ruled out, this may be the problem. UTVs run very hot and this can affect delicate electronic parts, including the tuners, power supply and hard drive (see below for suggestions on how to keep your UTV cool). Heat damage happens very slowly and can take a while to manifest itself, so excessive or lengthy tuner failures may indicate the damage has already started. Don't wait for tuner problems before taking steps to keep your UTV cool.

    Dirty or erratic electrical power service can also affect the tuners, as well as the hard drive and power supply. A good way to protect your UTV from this is with an Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS). If you are only hooking the UTV to it, a small unit will do. This will not only condition the power going to your receiver, it will prevent missed recordings by allowing it to run through power failures. It will also prevent the guide from being lost, requiring it to be downloaded again.

Q: I lost my program guide. Why did this happen and how do I get it back?
A: If your unit loses power, the guide will be lost. The guide can also be "recalled" (your guide will be deleted via satellite) if there is a problem with it, such as innaccurate information (this occurred during May of 2003 when many viewers found innacurate listings for the finale of the series "Buffy the Vampire Slayer." In confirming this problem, other issues were found in the guide, so it was deleted from users' receivers, corrected and resubmitted). In either case, the guide will start filtering in by itself and show a full 14 days within a few days.

Q: My local affiliate channels are not showing up in the guide. How do I fix this?
A: Assuming you have subscibed to receive local channels, when the guide is lost (see above) the local channels can sometimes take as much as 30-60 minutes to re-appear in the guide. This is due a security cycle that occurs for the pin-spot satellites (satellites that can send multiple streams on the same frequency to different regions). Usually, once the system cycles around to your local access, your channels should appear.

If the channels do not appear within the hour, you can call DirecTV to have them send a signal to card to re-aquire the local stations. You can call them sooner if you need them right away, but they will usually eventually come back by themselves.

Q: When I hit the fast forward button, it keeps going and won’t let me stop it. What’s happening?
A: This is called runaway fast forward. Sometimes the UTV gets stuck in fast forward. It’s rare, but does happen occasionally, and using fast forward more often increases the odds of it happening. It was hoped this issue would be fixed in version 3.7, but it has not. Keep in mind, though, all PVRs have small, nagging glitches that continue to go unfixed in software upgrades, so this is not limited to UTV.

Q: My UTV won't power on. What can I do?
  • 1) Check to make sure your unit is getting power. Make sure it is plugged in and the outlet is providing power.

    2) Unplug the unit for several hours, then plug it back in and try again.

    3) After removing the access card, open the case and check the main fuse. These have been known to come loose (especially if the unit has been moved or jarred in some way). If necessary, bend the fuse clips so they hold the fuse tighter. Make sure the fuse is not blown.

    4) With the cover open, listen to see if the hard drive or cooling fan is receiving power. If all seems quiet, the power supply may be to blame.

    5) Disconnect all internal cables, then reconnect everything (to be sure all connections are solid), close up the unit and insert the access card. Repeat step 2.

Q: Will using any of the following information void my warranty?
A: Yes. Using some of the following information with UTV could void the warranty.

Q: Can I upgrade the hard drive in my UTV?
A: Yes. Using certain drives (straight out of the box with no formatting) the hard drive can be upgraded. The instructions can also be found at http://community-2.webtv.net/gadgetf...getfaqssample/ or http://www.blindsquirrel.org/UTV/default.htm or http://www.public.asu.edu/~rwultsch/utv.html.

One Note: before attempting the upgrade, make sure you can connect to the MS servers. Do this by setting up an MSN-TV account. This will verify you will be able to download the OS to the new drive. If you cannot connect DO NOT ATTEMPT THE UPGRADE. If you cannot connect to the MS servers, you will be stuck with a unit with no OS and no way to go back. Once the new drive marries itself to the unit, the old drive will no longer work without the UTV reformatting it. Therefore, if the upgrade fails, you cannot simply put the old drive back in and expect it to work. Do this procedure at your own risk.

Q: Does any drive work for the upgrade?
A: No. The drive must support ATA security in order for it to work with a UTV.

Q: How can I find out if I drive I wish to use to upgrade my UTV will support security?
A: Use the IBM drive fitness test found here: http://www.hgst.com/hdd/support/download.htm

Q: What are some brands of drives others have used for their upgrades?
A: So far other users have successfully upgraded with drives such as Western Digital (AB,BB, even some newer JB models), Seagate, Maxtor and IBM/Hitachi Deskstar. Be aware the requirements for the placement of the jumper is different for some drives, so you may have to experiment a bit. The UTV usually requires the jumper to be in the Master/Single position. On WD AB or BB drives, remove the jumper.

Q: I didn't test to see if I could connect to the MS servers and I can't connect to download an OS to my new drive. Now I'm stuck without a working UTV. What can I do?
A: Try the following, keeping in mind this may be irreversible:
  • 1) When the unit tries to connect, pull the phone cord to force it to try a new number.

    2) Try a different cable and phone jack. If necessary, plug into the test jack where the line enters the house (usually in the basement near the main breaker box) to get the strongest connection possible.

    3) Try another location, such as a friend's house or at work if your office uses analog lines (do not plug your UTV into a digital line - this can kill the modem).

Q: Can I reuse the old drive in a computer?
A: Yes, using the following steps:
  • 1)After completing the hard drive upgrade procedure (found at one of the above links) turn off the UTV and unplug all the cables.

    2)Remove the access card and open the case.

    3)Reinstall the old drive and plug in the power and IDE cables.

    4)Turn on the UTV.

    5)About 5 minutes after the lights on the front of the unit start flashing, pull the IDE cable, but keep the power on and connected.

    6)Allow at least an hour and a half for the drive to finish zeroing out. After this point, the drive will attempt to obtain a new password. However, the IDE cable is not connected, so the command will never be received by the UTV. No new password will be issued, the old drive remains unlocked and the new drive remains married to the UTV with all its settings intact.

    7)FDISK and format the old drive in your computer to make it ready for use.

Q: What are some backdoor codes for UTV?
A: All codes are entered with the power off. The code will activate when the receiver is turned back on:
  • 411 - Shows technical information for the box. Also allows the removal of intro screens, etc.

    217 - Go to phone settings

    7264 - Clears tellyscript (not dialing options, etc. currently also clear the tv listings.(Oct,2000)

    7265 - Clears tellyscript (not dialing options, etc.).currently also clear the tv listings.(Oct,2000)

    32768 - Clear flash NV RAM (including tellyscript, dialing options, etc. If the box is locked, then this secret code is disabled._(When the box is locked, the message light on the box flashes 5 times)

    12357 - Here's what it does: Clear dialing options. Clear tellyscript and send user back through scriptless. Turn on audible dialing for diagnostic purposes.(unknown build)

    77437 - Spooky Dialing Options

    6502 - Mfg test code. (Go to Channel 100 directly) build 6684 and later. If the box is locked, then this secret code is disabled._ (When the box is locked, the message light on the box flashes 5 times)

    110698 - Enable Offhook detect (Yellow light flashes)

    110598 - Disable Offhook detect (Red light flashes)

    072358 - Queries offhook detect state (yellow light-on, red light-off)

    989898 - Set the client version number to 1.(useful for verifying approm upgrade) (This code will be turned off before shipment)

    8675309 - (the Jenny Code on this forum) Boot into Mini-Browser for downloading Boot or App ROMS (primarily development use for flashing BootROMS; unknown build)._Currently work with external bootrom(2545) only Oct,2000. Basically downloads the latest software via dial-up from Microsoft. Expect around a 2-hour download time, depending on connection speed.

    5309 - Shorter version of 8675309. Boot into Mini-Browser for downloading Boot or App ROMS (primarily development use for flashing BootROMS; unknown build). currently work with external bootrom(2545)only.Oct, 2000t; This code does not work when approm corrupted. Use 8675309 when approm corrupted. In general, if you are downloading due to a software problem, use the full code above. The partial code should work for upgrading from earlier software versions.

    7225000 - Clears TV listings (unknown build).

    7335000 - Clears TV IR codes (unknown build).

    55325532- Delete All Partitions! (unknown build).

    23552355 (some software uses 55325532) – Clears all settings, programming and other preferences form the UTV and sets the unit up to original factory settings.

For other codes, go to this thread: http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...hreadid=247282

Q: How can I find out what software version my UTV has?
A: Go to Settings > System Test > System Info.

Q: How can I find out how big my hard drive is or whether it is the original or upgraded drive on a used unit?
A: Go to Settings > System Test > System Info > More Info.

Q: Can I add a second hard drive to my UTV?
A: Not currently. So far attempts to add a second drive have been unsuccessful.

Q: Can I add a USB Ethernet adapter to my UTV in order to connect it to my computer?
A: No. The computer will not currently recognize the UTV.

Q: Is there a way to transfer my files and settings to a new drive?
A: Maybe. Some users are working on this capability. Check these links:
http://www.public.asu.edu/~rwultsch/utv.html. and

Q: I have a 160 or 180GB drive I wish to use to use to upgrade my UTV. Will I get more recording time with it?
A: Not significantly. The maximum drive size a UTV will currently recognize is up to 137GB. A larger drive will work, but only the first 137GB will be used. That is why most people use 120GB drives. While they will lose a few hours of recording time over larger drives, there won’t be any wasted space or expense in using a larger drive.

Q: Is it possible to repair or replace a failed tuner in my UTV?
A: It has been done, though it is very difficult to do because of the delicate soldering process. Check these links: http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...hreadid=252752 and http://archive.avsforum.com/avs-vb/s...hreadid=262447

Q: My UTV gets very hot. How can I help keep it cool?
A: Heat is the greatest enemy of UTVs. This can cause tuner and hard drive problems. There are a few easy things you can do to fight heat build-up:
  • 1)Raise the unit up. Use bottle caps or similar objects to create more space under the unit. The bottom of the UTV is a heat sink and is where most of the heat goes. Raising the unit up will allow more heat to escape.

    2)Don’t place any other items on top of or directly underneath the UTV. Other devices create their own heat and can cause more heat to build up in the UTV.

    3)Remove the back panel of any enclosed cabinet you might be using to store your electronics. This will allow heat to escape without the alterations to the cabinet being too noticeable.

    4)If your UTV is behind a door, open it at least when the UTV is in use. Children in the home can make it necessary to keep the cabinet door closed most of the time, but if you are using the UTV, you’ll be able to prevent little hands from touching what they shouldn’t.

Q: How can I get a new copy of my owner’s manual?
A: Go to http://www.ultimatetv.com/userguides.asp

Q: What is the RadioShack catalog number for the RCA UTV?
A: It is item #16-2607.

Q: Where can I learn more about my UTV?
A: Check the help section of your UTV, read the manual or log onto http://www.ultimatetv.com/using_questions.asp

If you have additional suggestions for FAQ material, please PM me. Do not post suggestions here to avoid creating too much clutter. I will edit the FAQ with new info as I become aware of it.

Additional info added 5/21/2006

How to re-image your UTV drive.

These instructions include info on how to save an image from a drive AND how to apply an image to a drive. If you don't already have the operating system image to apply you'll have to find it somewhere or ask here and maybe some kind soul will make it available to you. kazak

Here are the instructions that Herculito posted...

This is not my work, or my Findings.. i Was helped and Allowed to post this info for all of you that need this help, I can help you with your questions.. since i already did this and it worked great



While the utv is running, unplug the ide cable, (leave power applied)boot your computer hit pause before it detects ide drives plug ide cable from computer into drive and hit enter the drive should now be detected.
run winhex, from tools select physical disk(start center on some versions,then select the physical disk that is your utv), from position goto offset 13480600 look at 13480624-7 in the display it should read FSNo
right click the first byte (13480600)select begining of block now from postition tab goto offset 154805ff right click, select end of block. from edit tab select copy all into new file and name it on your local drive.
(if FSNo is at 15480624 instead of 13480624 then select 15480600-174805ff and do the same)

Now that you have the file you can disconnect the drive and hook up your new drive. on the new drive select offset 0 as begining of block and 178c2fff as end of block. From edit tab select fill file,select first option and type in 00 for hex value (if the drive is already zeros you can skip this step)
after it zeros that chunk goto tools then disk tools then clone disk
on source file select read sectors from image file and select the file you saved from before. select your destination drive and start sector will be 631811 (this is lba 13480600 or sector 09a403 in hex...which is sector 631811 in decimal)(make sure you select copy entire source) and click ok it will write the sectors and you and the drive should be showing the data starting
at 13480600 now disconnect the drive install it in the utv plugin the power cord utv should now come up to the welcome to utv screen.

note this new hdd will no longer work on the computer unless you do the same procedure and erase all the content (i think i havent tried yet)

Hopes this helps many as it did helped me..
thanks to the finder of this info
GOOD LUCK, Herculito.

Additional info provided by Guitars911

I could not find a good link to download a free registered version of winhex. Here is an alternative to winhex.

This 30 day free trial app has been confirmed to work great earlier this year. See this thread: http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=627069

You can get it here: http://www.flexhex.com/

This may work as well: http://www.mh-nexus.de/downloads/HxDen.zip

If you need to wipe the drive first, use mhd3 from here: http://redtab99.web1000.com/utv/mhd3.zip
And here's another method posted by Ultimateguy...

Here are the steps I found useful to apply an existing OS image on a target drive. (I appologize for the outline flattening. I am not only inept with FlexHex editor, I am having problems with the formatting function in the forum tonight.)

1.Install Target Drive in editing computer.

2.Once you locate the OS image you open that file with FlexHex Editor.

3.Select everything in the file.
a.Cntrl + ‘A’

4.Copy your selection.

5.Close the file. FlexHex will not let you paste into the new disk with the file open. (at least the version I have didn’t.)

6.Open your Unlocked target drive with FlexHex editor.
a.File-Open-Physical Drive
b.If your drive was previously in your UTV, you’ll need to unlock it and format it. Find instructions on how to do this elsewhere in this forum.

7.Zero the target drive
a.Select all Cntrl+’A’
b.Hit ‘Delete’
c.This is not necessary if the drive is brand new (already all zero’s)

8.Move your cursor to the start of the target image location.
b.Go To What? Disk Sector
c.631,811 (make sure you are in Decimal by noting the green arrow next to the Dec button. If the green arrow is in the hex button, change it to Dec)
d.Select the “GoTo” button
e.Make sure you landed in lba 000013480600. It will show up highlighted on the left hand side of the window

9.Paste the image you copied in step 4.

10.Commit the changes to your target drive

11.Wait until it’s done saving – should only be a few minutes (Under 5 for sure if you didn’t have to do the zero-ing step).

12.Disconnect the Target Drive from your computer.

13.Install Target Drive in UTV

14.Re-assemble UTV.

15.Power up and voila!

16.It took me about 24 hours to receive my local channels in the guide.
post #2 of 19
Thread Starter 

Originally posted by NLogN

Do you think we should add info regarding the defective MAX2104s to this FAQ? I suppose since it's pretty much understood to be the usual reason why UTVs have tuner failure...adding it (or making the Defective Tuner Chip Thread a sticky) seems like a good idea.

Sounds like a good idea to me. There are just too many bad tuners out there for it not to be a legitimate issue. As to making it a sticky; didn't you try that a while back.

post #3 of 19
David read it enough to see that the links needed to be edited,and he edited it himself,he might have missed one or two.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 

Originally posted by Edmund
David read it enough to see that the links needed to be edited,and he edited it himself,he might have missed one or two.

Yep, all I did was C&P the original to a new post. Someone else did the clean-up work...

post #5 of 19
Posting to save it from being archived.:}
post #6 of 19
Saving from going to archived files as its been over a year since any one posted to this thread.
post #7 of 19
saving it from being archived.
post #8 of 19
Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

saving it from being archived.

Me too
post #9 of 19
Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

saving it from being archived.

me to too
post #10 of 19
Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

saving it from being archived.

Me too 2
post #11 of 19
post #12 of 19
I no longer use my Sony SAT-W60, but I do want to watch the items I recorded [like Sammy Davis in Germany - priceless].
I don't want to pay $15/mo for UTV and 2nd receiver.

Is there any workaround?

post #13 of 19
If you aren't using it now... You can just disconnect your Sat Feeds to the Tuners and any telephone connection to the UTV and then call DTV and have them "disconnect" that UTV from service. Your Sony UTV's Access Card will stay "active" as long as it doesn't go back on DTV service and you'll be able to continue watching your already recorded items.

Another work around is to archive your UTV records to another storage device (a good idea I should also follow... some of my UTVs still have records from way back in 2003-2005). The Hard Drive isn't going to last forever so it is a good idea to back it up before they fail. Then you have those programs available and they are very portable.

VHS might be too "old school" but it can do in a pinch. I might suggest investing in a stand alone DVD Recorder... some of which are under $100 and very useful.
post #14 of 19
This Thread helped me today (flex hex)
post #15 of 19
Directv is no longer turning on non-RID units, which includes ALL UTV's. So if you have them, they are useless to anyone but the original subscriber, and only if they have the original access card.
post #16 of 19
Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

Directv is no longer turning on non-RID units, which includes ALL UTV's. So if you have them, they are useless to anyone but the original subscriber, and only if they have the original access card.

So for the original subscribers can he/she continue using their "active" access card(s) and switch UTVs? (If not via DTV phone support then via an online swap?)

Is there any official statement or evidence from DTV they aren't activating older units? I know for "new" subscribers this is probably true but for "old" customers I'm surprised they aren't allowing them to activate existing equipment. I've got a couple of Sony DSS units (besides a bunch of UTVs) I might want to use someday.
post #17 of 19
Only non-rid receivers whose still have the access card they were married to at the time they were turned off, can be reactived.

As a TechknowGuide on Directv's own forums, I have access to forum in which we have access to very high up in the directv feedchain. This where the announced it to us, to pass it along. There is also a thread dealing with this on dbstalk, Doug Brott has his own sources.

post #18 of 19
Originally Posted by Edmund View Post

Only non-rid receivers whose still have the access card they were married to at the time they were turned off, can be reactived.

Per recent discussion on Forum (Feb 2012)... That is true. But for people with an existing non-rid they want to replace they should (I think) still be able to "swap" by refreshing Service from the "old" Receiver to a "new" Receiver by switching Access Cards and having DirecTV "hit" the Access Card again. (Easily done by logging into your DirecTV account and "refreshing" Service to your access card).

Course switching between UTVs (with active DVR service) you'll need a "old" UTV to start with... but with other (non-DVR) non-Rids you might be able to "refresh" service from say an old Sony B2 to a A55 without issue?

post #19 of 19

For those active UTV users that still use their "3 Hours of WebTV/MSNTV Service" the MSN TV Service will close after Sept. 30, 2013.

If you'd like to continue accessing your e-mail/favorites/photos/etc you'll want to read the FAQ before the Service closes and follow the update/upgrade procedures.

Might be nice to hear if that means if DirecTV will be "crediting" us back some money for the unavailable MSNTV service...
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