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Sony DHG-HDD250/500: Official Thread - Page 400

post #11971 of 29213
Nope, all 4 DVR's are back to normal and RF strength was never the issue. The problematic Sony unit after I wiped it, still displayed --:--, but then I powered it on and got a message "Recovered from Hard drive Error". Power cycled the unit one more time and finally got the time to display. This morning all the TVGOS listings had downloaded correctly. Georgia Power had come out last week and killed the power to our house for a just a moment. I'm wondering if that quick power flicker locked up the unit in some way???
post #11972 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by frank70 View Post

PhilB, thanks for confirming my suspicion (and experience) that there is not really a way to force a particular host channel in the presence of other potential host channels. One has to wonder, though, why the words that come up in the info box when you run this code are "VBI Search Current Channel" if that's not what it means! And yes, I have tried it with the Host Channel readout blank.

So here's another strange data point for you. Yesterday afternoon I ran the VBI Serach test again while tuned to CBS digital. Guess what my Host Channel was this morning. It was 11-1. Now both of my DHGs are getting guide data from CBS Digital - I have no need for NTSC any more. I'll keep an eye on the second DHG and see if it reverts back to PBS (or FOX) analog.

I'd love to be able to look at Sony's code to see how it searches for the host channel.

-phil
post #11973 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post

So here's another strange data point for you. Yesterday afternoon I ran the VBI Serach test again while tuned to CBS digital. Guess what my Host Channel was this morning. It was 11-1.

Indeed, and here's one for you and everybody else: I tried VBI Search Current Channel again (with CBS tuned), but this time turned off the DVR immediately after initiating the search. Left it overnight and lo-and-behold, the Host Channel finally (first time ever!) reads 0:3-1. And the day-8 guide data had downloaded to boot. So either a) sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't; or b) it works only if you turn off the box immediately after initiating the search (i.e. don't wait for the TVGOS setup screen go to away.) Like you, I'm interested in how long it sticks (forever would be nice.)
post #11974 of 29213
Unless you've blocked out the analogs, it'll probably change back over to that by tomorrow. That's been the standard experience here.
post #11975 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

Unless you've blocked out the analogs, it'll probably change back over to that by tomorrow. That's been the standard experience here.

That's not my experience. One of my DHGs has been using CBS digital for Host Channel for 3 weeks without any filter in place (It did have a VHF filter in line for a week prior). My other DHG now has had CBS digital as TVGOS Host for two days, I've not put a filter on the antenna input on that one at all.

-phil
post #11976 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post

That's not my experience. One of my DHGs has been using CBS digital for Host Channel for 3 weeks without any filter in place (It did have a VHF filter in line for a week prior).

I didn't realize you removed the filter.
post #11977 of 29213
Hi - I realized yesterday that I had in my mind been conflating TV Guide versions and TVGOS data sets. So in the LG 3410a thread I posted a message with some thoughts about this, making my confusion explicit and asking if anyone knows specific answers about, for example, how many physically different TVGOS data sets are broadcast, whether there's a one-to-one correspondence with the version (e.g., 7, 8, or 9 (or lower numbers)) that the TV Guide devices have. Cf http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post14270365

These questions were stimulated in part by Jan J's comment that he had been told that the "proper" digital TVGOS data for conversion by a cecb (and in particular by the DTVPal, I guess) wouldn't start being broadcast in the Chicago area until August. When I was trying to guess for myself what the guy he was talking with meant by "proper", I realized I didn't know how the TVGOS data - whether proper or NOT - were broadcast, by which I mean whether the types were broadcast together, perhaps in different places in the vbi, whether the TV Guide device simply went to a particular data set (for its version) and got the data for the device's zip code there, or whether it simply selected the data it wanted from some grand assembly of TVGOS data, all being broadcast as one set or WHAT!?

Can anybody address this question? Thanks!
post #11978 of 29213
As long as we're asking probing questions, I've always wondered why, when I've told TVGOS during setup that I am OTA only, I still get (in an disabled state by default, and all marked "Air") a gajillion cable channels in my channel-setup list. And also why for each "good" OTA channel, I often get multiple disabled versions of the same channel with minor variations in channel name or network designation. All of this is superfluous data that makes reordering the channels after a TVGOS reset take an hour or more instead of minutes, even with the "page" (channel) key. It's like looking for needles in a haystack.

Since a zipcode narrows things down to a very small area, ideally I want to see in the list only OTA channels that are "potentially" receivable here (and only once per channel, thank you), with the ones in the home market for that zipcode initially enabled and the rest initially disabled. That would limit the size of the list to no more than 68 channels (times, perhaps, 1.5 to account for subchannels on the digitals.) Instead the OTA list is up to 605 channels and growing here in the Philly area.

As for the cable folks, well... they've bought all those channels and must live with the consequences.
post #11979 of 29213
Attached is a file originally a spreadsheet I converted to adobe so it would post. It comes from an 'answers' board at the TVGOS website where I used to have an active case on file. I don't think it will answer all questions, but may provide some insight. I think most interesting what is mentioned about the digital slicing beginning at version 8.1.65.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post
Hi - I realized yesterday that I had in my mind been conflating TV Guide versions and TVGOS data sets. So in the LG 3410a thread I posted a message with some thoughts about this, making my confusion explicit and asking if anyone knows specific answers about, for example, how many physically different TVGOS data sets are broadcast, whether there's a one-to-one correspondence with the version (e.g., 7, 8, or 9 (or lower numbers)) that the TV Guide devices have. Cf http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showt...5#post14270365

These questions were stimulated in part by Jan J's comment that he had been told that the "proper" digital TVGOS data for conversion by a cecb (and in particular by the DTVPal, I guess) wouldn't start being broadcast in the Chicago area until August. When I was trying to guess for myself what the guy he was talking with meant by "proper", I realized I didn't know how the TVGOS data - whether proper or NOT - were broadcast, by which I mean whether the types were broadcast together, perhaps in different places in the vbi, whether the TV Guide device simply went to a particular data set (for its version) and got the data for the device's zip code there, or whether it simply selected the data it wanted from some grand assembly of TVGOS data, all being broadcast as one set or WHAT!?

Can anybody address this question? Thanks!

 

Version Differences.pdf 15.9794921875k . file
post #11980 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfburns View Post

Attached is a file originally a spreadsheet I converted to adobe so it would post. It comes from an 'answers' board at the TVGOS website where I used to have an active case on file. I don't think it will answer all questions, but may provide some insight. I think most interesting what is mentioned about the digital slicing beginning at version 8.1.65.

Thanks for the spreadsheet, which I found interesting...

however, it doesn't - at least to me - suggest an answer to any of the questions I have...

I realize I don't know what digital slicing is, either - does that do something about separating subchannels? or what? I guess I'm going to have to read spiffy's stuff again (though I know it doesn't answer the questions I have above)
post #11981 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by rfburns View Post

Attached is a file originally a spreadsheet I converted to adobe so it would post. It comes from an 'answers' board at the TVGOS website where I used to have an active case on file. I don't think it will answer all questions, but may provide some insight. I think most interesting what is mentioned about the digital slicing beginning at version 8.1.65.

My DHGs have TVGOS versions 8.1.42/8.6.44. I wonder if this means that after the analog cut-off, should I lose my downloaded TVGOS software, then I'm out of luck as the default version will not know how to download an update from the digital stream?

-phil
post #11982 of 29213
I'm sorry in advance, but why is there still daily discussions on this device? The DHG-HDDXX0 is all but dead since cable boxes are low cost and tivo's are nearly free now. I even find it remarkable that there is an active collectors market on Ebay for these things which explains why someone is still willing to pay $700+ for the 500. I don't want to rain on anyones parade but for the people that are viewing this as a collectors item what is your basis? Is it because it was Sony's last hard drive based DVR? For those that are using theirs daily please accept my apology, I am not trying to offend anyone. I am just having a difficult time understanding why aftermarket is still active and way overpriced.
post #11983 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equally_Wrong View Post

I'm sorry in advance, but why is there still daily discussions on this device? The DHG-HDDXX0 is all but dead since cable boxes are low cost and tivo's are nearly free now. I even find it remarkable that there is an active collectors market on Ebay for these things which explains why someone is still willing to pay $700+ for the 500. I don't want to rain on anyones parade but for the people that are viewing this as a collectors item what is your basis? Is it because it was Sony's last hard drive based DVR? For those that are using theirs daily please accept my apology, I am not trying to offend anyone. I am just having a difficult time understanding why aftermarket is still active and way overpriced.

Please tell me where a TiVo Series3 HD DVR is "nearly free now". Tivo will sell you one for $599, but that is far from nearly free. And that doesn't include the $12.95 monthly service fee. The Sony is still valuable because it is free of the service fees demanded by Tivo. There are plenty of users who use their Sony HD DVR for OTA only so a cable box isn't an option for them. Cable service in my area is very expensive. I and many of my neighbors have satellite instead or are OTA only. I certainly don't regret buying my Sony DHG-HDD500 for OTA use nearly 3 years ago. It has 57+ hours of HD storage capacity which neither Tivo or most cable boxes can match. Only in the last year has Dish Network produced an HD DVR which matches the hard drive capacity of my Sony.
post #11984 of 29213
^^

What he said.....

It has simply been the best option (and continues to be) for OTA only viewers since what...2004 or 2005? I'm not sure if it's props to Sony or shame on everyone that a 3+ year old DVR (ancient really when it comes to this type of technology) put out when HD recording what in its infancy is still a viable option for a decent % of the market (still around 20% OTA only right?)
post #11985 of 29213
I'm another very happy OTA only user. As noted, other than the original purchase, there are no additional or recurring costs for owning/using this unit. I am extremely happy with it (although I do wish its tuner were as solid as my SXRD's). We do in excess of 50% of our TV viewing via this HD DVR (love time shifting and ff commercials). It is easy to schedule and view recordings, and, since it will get the TVGOS from digital - it will be in use in this household for many years to come.

Note: I also have a HDTV tuner in my PC and can use it as an HD-PVR. While its quality is as good as the Sony, it is a little less convient to use, so, it usually gets used when there are multiple programs I need to record being broadcast simultaniously.
post #11986 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equally_Wrong View Post

I am just having a difficult time understanding why aftermarket is still active and way overpriced.

What, are you grumpy because you still can't find one for $150?

As others have noted, right now the only real alternatives for OTA-only people like me are the Tivos with their subscription fees and the also-discontinued LG LST-3410A. The Tivos have the added disadvantage of requiring a phone or internet connection in order to get the EPG, neither of which I have in my living room.

If the Echostar / Sling TR-50 does appear this fall as promised, and turns out to work OK, and is reasonably priced, it will probably deflate the market for the Sonys.
post #11987 of 29213
I love my 2 HDD500s. I hate using cableco clunky boxes and remotes, and dealing with their customer 'service', and the bills. My Sonys work great. I hope they do after Feb 08 too.
When the already approved replacement tech for rental cableco boxes comes out I may subscribe to more cable service, but for now I am extremely happy with my Sonys.
post #11988 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by gigaguy View Post

I love my 2 HDD500s. I hate using cableco clunky boxes and remotes, and dealing with their customer 'service', and the bills. My Sonys work great. I hope they do after Feb 08 too.
When the already approved replacement tech for rental cableco boxes comes out I may subscribe to more cable service, but for now I am extremely happy with my Sonys.

I agree, I do like the DVRs. But, 4 years ago there was nothing else on the market like them. Now, that every Joe Manufacturer has made one, one would expect the price of these boxes would have dropped just like every other piece of hardware electronic. I've had more time to think about it and I do recall a company called Tweeter selling off alot of these guys for $200 and they went straight to Ebay. You will regularly see the DVRs on Ebay and I made the assumption that after an enthusiast has owned one and realized its value is no where near MSRP or within 75% of it, they are just wanting to unload them and at least get some of the money back. I know I would
post #11989 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equally_Wrong View Post

I agree, I do like the DVRs. But, 4 years ago there was nothing else on the market like them. Now, that every Joe Manufacturer has made one,

There is NO alternative for an out-of-the-box, OTA, fee-free HD-DVR.

-phil
post #11990 of 29213
^^

Exactly
post #11991 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Equally_Wrong View Post

I'm sorry in advance, but why is there still daily discussions on this device? The DHG-HDDXX0 is all but dead since cable boxes are low cost and tivo's are nearly free now. I even find it remarkable that there is an active collectors market on Ebay for these things

I'd guess most of the boxes sold are still active...so dead it is NOT. I've had one for 2 years, and it is the center of my recording capability. (I also have one of the earlier box, the LG3410a)...now I could have had digital cable for the last 3 years, but that alone would have cost me maybe $2000 bucks or more, and there would be a big problem...I would have all those channels I don't want, AND the quality of the broadcast high-def channels coming over cable is visibly less than the OTA quality as coming from my 2 boxes....and Tivo? I set up a Tivo HD for my Dad, which was convenient for him, because he HAS to rely on cable where he is, and the Tivo remote is good for him to use, unlike the miserable thing Comcast gives you...BUT I wouldn't want the unit, because - as far as I can tell - using the program guide and trying to move forward day by day to check things out is MISERABLE!

So as you see, a lot of people like their Sony's and NOT as collector's items as you imply, but as the best boxes around for their purpose...if you don't understand that, well you don't...
post #11992 of 29213
Hey, anybody have a good suggestion of a universal remote that will control these units well? Don't need total control, but something that will give me access to recording lists, guide screens and playback features.
post #11993 of 29213
All these responses to Equally-Wrong's post make me think it's time to list my DHG-HDD500 on eBay!! I didn't realize there was still a market, let alone such enthusiasm, for these units. I'm glad someone will get good use out of it.
post #11994 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike LS View Post

Hey, anybody have a good suggestion of a universal remote that will control these units well? Don't need total control, but something that will give me access to recording lists, guide screens and playback features.

The Harmony remotes do a good job, the only key I had to manually program was the '.' or '-' (whatever you want to call it).

Then again that was 2 years ago so their codes may be updated.
post #11995 of 29213
I'm no expert here and likely not using the correct terminology, but I *think* slicing is the method that inserts the 'slicing data' to the broadcasts that show up as CC, TVGOS, etc. For analog this has always been done using 'extra space' in the vertical blanking interval packets. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

My understanding is digital has no use or need for vbi packets, hence a need to insert data in a new manner. So I don't really know how to describe or talk about digital slicing. Hopefully someone more learned here will chime in and help us understand better.

Quote:
Originally Posted by avnstf View Post

I realize I don't know what digital slicing is, either - does that do something about separating subchannels? or what? I guess I'm going to have to read spiffy's stuff again (though I know it doesn't answer the questions I have above)
post #11996 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by PhilB View Post

My DHGs have TVGOS versions 8.1.42/8.6.44. I wonder if this means that after the analog cut-off, should I lose my downloaded TVGOS software, then I'm out of luck as the default version will not know how to download an update from the digital stream?

-phil

I recall earlier in this post someone reported receiving VBI data through a recording on a VHS. Should you lose your downloaded version, I guess it could be possible to update the TVGOS version with the right VHS recording.
post #11997 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike LS View Post

Hey, anybody have a good suggestion of a universal remote that will control these units well? Don't need total control, but something that will give me access to recording lists, guide screens and playback features.

2008 model, Philips Universal DVR learning remote control SRU4208WM/17.

Inexpensive, has the Sony code, and the few buttons it doesn't cover can be learned.
post #11998 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by teeitup View Post

I recall earlier in this post someone reported receiving VBI data through a recording on a VHS. Should you lose your downloaded version, I guess it could be possible to update the TVGOS version with the right VHS recording.

If we knew when the firmware download occurs, it would be a simple matter to record it (assuming the recorder preserves the entire VBI, which I assume most do). Otherwise, I guess we'd need 24 hours worth, which would be tough to record without interruption. Best bet is to record overnight (I have a DVD recorder that can go up to 6 hours at low quality.) Without such a recording, it would seem from the spreadsheet that the Sonys may become toast after a TVGOS factory reset, which we know we may have to do now and then to solve the lockup problem.

Might it be reasonable to assume the 8.06.44 version downloads during one of these times from Spiff's FAQ (if so, could be recorded in chunks?)
12:41 AM (30 minutes)
1:11 PM (30 minutes)
11:01 PM (30 minutes)
1:16 AM (60 minutes)
5:56 AM (60 minutes)
5:46 PM (60 minutes)
11:36 PM (60 minutes)
post #11999 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rammitinski View Post

2008 model, Philips Universal DVR learning remote control SRU4208WM/17.

Inexpensive, has the Sony code, and the few buttons it doesn't cover can be learned.

That is one a$$-ugly remote, but seems to be exactly what I'm looking for otherwise. Thanks for the tip!
post #12000 of 29213
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike LS View Post

Hey, anybody have a good suggestion of a universal remote that will control these units well? Don't need total control, but something that will give me access to recording lists, guide screens and playback features.

Get the Sony RM-VL600, been using for years with our DHG-HDD500. It even has last channel recall which the original remote does not. It is about $25 at BB etc. You can also custom program (learning mode) buttons, it controls upt to 8 devices. It is super easy to program for both Panasonic and Samsung TV's
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