or Connect
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Microsoft UltimateTV PVR › Please say it ain't so
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

Please say it ain't so

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
Has anyone seen this behavior on a Sony SAT-W60?

1. About a week ago, I found that it had powered itself off. When I turned it on, it tried to dial out on my nonexistent phone line. I pulled the plug and waited about a half hour. When I replaced the plug, it booted normally.

2. Today, I found that all my recordings were erased. When I checked the History, I found that each erased recording had the cryptic message, "The recording was erased because the video was not available."

It now seems to be recording normally.

I want to keep UTV until DirecTV pries it out of my cold, dead hands. Please don't force me into TIVO. Can anyone help?

Worst case: I can send it back to CCS. They serviced it about eight months ago. Of course, the warranty is six months.

Any other suggestions?

Burt
post #2 of 41
If you have already lost all your recordings (Did it also kill your "Upcoming Recordings",Series and Auto Record settings?) I would personally try the "Restore" UTV Code which will return your UTV back to an "Out of the Box" like condition.

Typing the code 2355 2355 on your UTV Remote (with the UTV in "off/standby" mode) will reboot/wipe the UTV of all it's settings,recordings,etc. leaving the UTV OS intact.

That should resolve most Software causes for the recording "delete".

If the UTV starts acting oddly after this I would start looking into a possible hardware related problem. Overheating and Hard Drive issues come to mind. You can probably resolve any overheating issues easy enough just making sure the UTV is getting plenty of air flow and it's internal fan is running.
post #3 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

If you have already lost all your recordings (Did it also kill your "Upcoming Recordings",Series and Auto Record settings?) I would personally try the "Restore" UTV Code which will return your UTV back to an "Out of the Box" like condition.

Typing the code 2355 2355 on your UTV Remote (with the UTV in "off/standby" mode) will reboot/wipe the UTV of all it's settings,recordings,etc. leaving the UTV OS intact.

That should resolve most Software causes for the recording "delete".

If the UTV starts acting oddly after this I would start looking into a possible hardware related problem. Overheating and Hard Drive issues come to mind. You can probably resolve any overheating issues easy enough just making sure the UTV is getting plenty of air flow and it's internal fan is running.


Thanks for the response.

The really screwy thing is that it left all the Upcoming Recordings, Series, and Auto Record settings intact. It only erased the existing recordings.

Overheating is a possibility. It does not get good air circulation in its current location, but it is the only feasible location, given the wife factor. I have been thinking for a long time that I should get a USB laptop fan. Maybe it's time to spring for one.

One question: if I use the 2355 2355 code, will I have to deal with DirecTV to re-enable the unit?

I am grateful for your help.

Burt
post #4 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by balpers View Post

Has anyone seen this behavior on a Sony SAT-W60?

1. About a week ago, I found that it had powered itself off. When I turned it on, it tried to dial out on my nonexistent phone line. I pulled the plug and waited about a half hour. When I replaced the plug, it booted normally.

2. Today, I found that all my recordings were erased. When I checked the History, I found that each erased recording had the cryptic message, "The recording was erased because the video was not available."

It now seems to be recording normally.

I want to keep UTV until DirecTV pries it out of my cold, dead hands. Please don't force me into TIVO. Can anyone help?

Worst case: I can send it back to CCS. They serviced it about eight months ago. Of course, the warranty is six months.

Any other suggestions?

Burt

It's fried. This morning, the only thing it will do is attempt to dial out. I think I am forced to move to a new box. At least D* has finally revamped its pricing structure ($199 + $20 for installation to upgrade to an HR20 HDTV box It's not that much more than a CCS repair.). I hope it as good as UTV. Good bye, old friend.

Burt
post #5 of 41
A USB Laptop Fan can be had very cheaply these days and doesn't require much work to install (plug in and forget it)... There is some noise issues... but if it is in an enclosed space (reduced noise factor) that might not be a big deal. Have you tried elevating the UTV using plastic bottle caps? That can help increase airflow over the UTV's belly "heatsink" area.

Adding a USB fan pointed under the UTV may greatly increase the cooling factor. If you are into a more "heavy duty" option... You can pickup a PC Slot Blower fan and those can be easily fitted inside the UTV without little modification (flatten the PC Slot and twist tie or bolt the blower into the UTV's rear vent holes above the tuners).

Just be sure to REMOVE the Access Card before opening the case if you decide to try the Blower Fan.

The 2355 2355 code will likely "disable" your LOCAL channel lineup temporarily... It should "refresh" after a time... But it is possible to "force" it by "refreshing services" via your DTV online account. Otherwise a "quick" call to DTV Customer Service to force it shouldn't be too painful. You won't have to set up the UTV from scratch with DTV, so dealing with DTV should be minimal. At home, just reenter your recording and guide settings and you should be fine.
post #6 of 41
Sounds to me like the hard drive has gone bad. The usual ways to get a new hd going are still available.

There has been discussions that say that one can go up on the dtv website, log in, and have it "refresh" your units w/o a phone call.

You might want to read the latest hr20 talk at http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=112

The last time I checked, there were still lots of bugs in these units. But I'm a diehard utv fan and I have 2 spares I can plug in if either of my 2 units goes south. So I haven't studied the hr20.

When I read that it goes to live if you view the guide, I swore I'd stay with utv to the bitter end.
post #7 of 41
"When I read that it goes to live if you view the guide, I swore I'd stay with utv to the bitter end."

Does the HR20 do that too? I know I mentioned my DTV Tivo HDDVR2 tends to "Go Live" when pulling up the guide or if I "Pause" for extended periods of time... It just wants to keep you watching TV... Even if it spoils the ending for you.
post #8 of 41
Thread Starter 
I want to thank everyone who responded to this post. I hate leaving UTV, but given the similarity in price between a CCS repair and the price for moving to HDTV, it makes sense. (That doesn't mean I'm happy. It just means it makes sense.) I will really miss the UTV interface. It is elegant and I haven't seen anything else to compare.

I have ordered the HR20-700 for delivery on Thursday (If you believe...) I will report my initial experience with it here. It is really off topic, but as more and more UTV users are forced into my decision, I think it is worth at least one post.

Thanks again,

Burt
post #9 of 41
Please do give us report.....I have been holding off on a HD dvr for cost to drop, but do miss being able to skip commercials....
post #10 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teejay44 View Post

Please do give us report.....I have been holding off on a HD dvr for cost to drop, but do miss being able to skip commercials....

Yeah, it's very important to me, too. According to the CSR, the HR20-700 now has the 30-second skip enabled. I'll let you know.

Burt
post #11 of 41
I'd like to hear about it too. We'll all have to go eventually I guess...


kazak
post #12 of 41
As an existing customer did they offer the HR20 for $100 or $200? I should really see what DTV is offering for those of us with Protection Plan coverage to "upgrade".
post #13 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

As an existing customer did they offer the HR20 for $100 or $200? I should really see what DTV is offering for those of us with Protection Plan coverage to "upgrade".

They said that the "normal price" was $299. Because I was an "A1 customer," I would get a $100 "instant rebate." Delivered price is supposed to be $237.01 including the unit, installation ($19.95) and California tax.

I don't have the Protection Plan, so I don't know if that would make a difference.
post #14 of 41
I think the $100 rebate is part of current promotions... So $200 sounds right.

The protection plan would/should repair/replace a comparable unit. So I'm not sure what, if any, fee they'd charge for an "upgrade". If the DTV's current "basic" SD DVR is say the "replacement" model then one would expect to pay the difference between that model and the HD DVR. Not sure if the $100 rebate could be tacked on... I suppose if it were it might be free? (If the SD DVR is $100 value?)
post #15 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by balpers View Post

Yeah, it's very important to me, too. According to the CSR, the HR20-700 now has the 30-second skip enabled. I'll let you know.

Burt

30 sec skip or 30 sec SLIP. Big difference. One is instant, the other can take a few seconds as its really just a FF for 30secs.
post #16 of 41
Both the HR20-700 and HR20-100 have a 30 second SLIP feature... not skip like UTV.

The HR20 is starting to come around. Not quite as good as the UTV in many ways, but far superior in others.

DTV has been sending software updates for the HR20 about every week. At least they're making progress.

-Joe
post #17 of 41
If you have not already, you should go to dbstalk. They are all about the new DTV and Dish services. I started reading a lot there over the past year and waited until now to pull the trigger and upgrade to HD due to all the bugs in the HR20's.

Due to what I learned there I was able to get the following:
HR20
R15 (non-HD DVR)
New SlimLine AT9 (5-LNB dish) Installed with Zinwell multi-switch
All for FREE - plus 1 year free HD programming.

If you are an "A-list" (their term) customer and have a good history with DTV and no excessive discounts there is no reason you cannot get the same deal. Don't fall for the CSR's line "That is the best I can do" because they are telling the truth. You need to get higher in the system and work your way from there.

Don't get me wrong - I'm still a die-hard UTVer. Still have 2 units going strong. I just put a new HDD in one unit as the original drive finally died a couple of weeks ago.
But I have to say there is nothing like watching TV in true 1080i Hi-Def.

I like the 30 second skip feature too and miss it somewhat. But the HR20 can do a 30 second slip, 15 minute jump, and bookmarks in your recordings for favorite spots, plus a lot more. Take a look at this forum http://www.dbstalk.com/forumdisplay.php?f=115 to see all the features. And be sure to read the HR20 Tips and Tricks thread. You will find all you ever wanted to know about the HR20 there.
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by csgo View Post

Both the HR20-700 and HR20-100 have a 30 second SLIP feature... not skip like UTV.

The HR20 is starting to come around. Not quite as good as the UTV in many ways, but far superior in others.

DTV has been sending software updates for the HR20 about every week. At least they're making progress.

-Joe

Yes. And one of those latest updates allows you to plug in and external eSATA drive into the USB port and it will use it. The drive is still not portable to allow viewing on other HR20's, but it increases the amount of Hi-Def recording time tremendously. It will use either drive - int or ext - but only one at a time. Since the OS is on a chip the drive is not an issue.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by twilburn View Post

Yes. And one of those latest updates allows you to plug in and external eSATA drive into the USB port and it will use it. The drive is still not portable to allow viewing on other HR20's, but it increases the amount of Hi-Def recording time tremendously. It will use either drive - int or ext - but only one at a time. Since the OS is on a chip the drive is not an issue.

Ah yes... finally a DVR that can do this. If only UTV had enabled the "Future use" USB ports to do something like this. I understand it was "demoed" (By Bill Gates?) shortly before UTV was canned. Anyone?

Anyway... That is really cool. The ability to expand/extend your DVR storage is only natural. If we could do it with a VCR... why not a DVR?
post #20 of 41
I was checking out the hr20 wish list and saw a number of items that sounded like items that the utv has.

One thing, is this the one that deals with going live when looking at the guide?

Quote:


The ability to turn Picture-in-List off to prevent spoiling a broadcast that may still be in progress

One item seems a bit telling, the date/time of last reboot. I go months between reboots on the utv and never even think about it. Sounds like it happens too often.

I was surprised to see that 30sec skip was not on the list.

There was a request to show the number of 30-sec slips left and be decremented as each took effect. This indicates to me that the slip is lengthly. Does it ramp up and ramp down or is it uniform. Do you get a smiggin of audio at each break? And just how fast is it? With my programmble remote I have 3 keys, one for 2, 2.5 and 3 minutes worth of skips. And they work in about 1/4th of a second. For baseball, it's almost perfect at 2 minutes.

I see there is a request to be able to change the slip to different time lengths.

For me, the skip is essential, and the live spoiler issue would be a real pain. I'll probably check back there every so often. Need to know what I'd do if dtv gives notice on utv shutdown someday.
post #21 of 41
Yep,

Had another random "go live" moment on my DTV Tivo last night/this morning.

Was watching the last part of a movie and someone was going to get killed... I "turned away" since I wanted to record an upcoming showing and see the entire movie. I left the room and in short order the DVR decided it wanted to show me the very ending of the show. Luckily I wasn't in the room but I heard it kick in... So I did go back and rewound to the part "I missed" and reviewed the rest of the movie.

Well played DTV/Tivo. Well played. Keep watching the TV at any cost.

Is this "go live" problem in other "regular" Tivos or is this just a "feature" DTV added for some reason?
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by balpers View Post

Yeah, it's very important to me, too. According to the CSR, the HR20-700 now has the 30-second skip enabled. I'll let you know.

Burt

Sort of.

From what I hear, it does a quick fast forward in 30 second incriments each time you hit the skip button. So, it's not instant, but it's quicker than just a straight fast forward. I guess the bonus is you can hit play before it gets all the way forward if you see it overshoot the next show segment.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by rocket View Post

There was a request to show the number of 30-sec slips left and be decremented as each took effect. This indicates to me that the slip is lengthly. Does it ramp up and ramp down or is it uniform. Do you get a smiggin of audio at each break? And just how fast is it?

I just checked my HR20 and each 30-second "slip" takes about 2 seconds to complete (SD playback). You can queue up to 20 slips -- the total number of slips that are requested in succession is shown on screen. And no, that number doesn't decrement (one of my wish list items too). But with software updates coming fast-and-furious it might be in a future release. There is no audio between slips that are queued in this way -- back-to-back slip requests slides you forward about a minute, and it takes about 4 seconds.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by NetworkTV View Post

I guess the bonus is you can hit play before it gets all the way forward if you see it overshoot the next show segment.

Yes ... hitting play or jump-back stops the "slipping" and cancels the queued requests. Since the networks are varying the number of commercials each break more-and-more, this is really handy.
post #25 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by teejay44 View Post

Please do give us report.....I have been holding off on a HD dvr for cost to drop, but do miss being able to skip commercials....

As promised...

I have now lived with an HR20 for about a week. As a devout, rabid UTV user, I thought it might be useful to share some reactions.

Installation

The installation was flawless. The techs showed up on time. Three hours later, I had a complete, professional installation of a new dish in a new placement, double cable runs for three TV setups (HR20, UTV, and Tivo), and, of course, a new HR20-700S. Everything worked properly from the start. I'm impressed.

Picture quality

The picture quality is astounding.

SD is SD, but SD picture quality is better than UTV. (I suspect this has more to do with moving up from S-Video to Component than anything else.)

Interface

The interface is tolerable. In general, it's not as good as UTV, but not as bad as TIVO. Some specifics:

Slip, not skip

As others have pointed out, the 30 second Skip is actually a 30 second slip. It's faster than fast-forward. I timed it several times. It takes two seconds to gobble up 30 seconds of real-time. I had hoped I would be able to report that I got used to it. I haven't. I never realized how long and how irritating two seconds could be. A three-minute commercial break takes 12 seconds. It's unnecessarily irritating. I don't understand why D* implemented it this way. At 15:1 speed, you don't register the commercials, anyway. I hope they fix it.

Better search than UTV

I was surprised to find that I like the HR20 search implementation better than the UTV's. Instead of the UTV's quasi-keyboard (ABCDE), letters and numbers are arranged in a 6x7 matrix. In Title searches, each button press brings up relevant titles from the guide (in TIVO fashion). The only sour note is that there seems to be about a half second delay between button presses. It slows down entry of search characters considerably.

Other search functions are Person, Keyword, and Channel.

Handling of previous searches is much better than UTV. I don't know the capacity, but so far I have 25 previous searches, in alphabetical order, that I can scroll through and repeat with a button press.

In all cases, the search function is much faster than the UTV's.

Difficult to manage series recordings

I'm still working on this. Instead of the UTV's All Upcoming Recordings display, the HR20 uses a To Do list. The problem is that all scheduled recordings do not show up on the To Do list. (I still haven't figured out which types of recordings appear, but it makes it hard to manage series recordings.)

If you want to change a series record for a different time or channel, you can't do it until you find the original recording in the To Do list or the Guide and delete it.

Maybe I just don't understand the interface logic, but it seems like a lot of unnecessary fuss and bother.

Error protection

I ran across an interesting omission. The unit let me schedule a recording on a channel I don't get. I found out about it when I tried to play the recording and there was nothing there. It then informed me why I didn't get the recording. I should have been notified when I tried to schedule it in the first place.

OTA quality & integration

OTA quality is outstanding. Picture quality is as good as sending the RF feed directly to my TV. I think the tuner is better than the one in my Sony XBR. (The local PBS station, KCET, breaks up constantly with the XBR tuner. It is rock-solid with the HR20 tuner. Both tuners are fed with the same antenna.)

The integration of OTA and DBS channels is elegant. All channels appear in the same program guide in a logical fashion. There are two ATSC tuners and two DBS tuners. Output from all tuners can be recorded. I don't know if this means you can record four programs at once (2 ATSC and 2 DBS). I haven't tried it yet.

BTW, I am feeding the XBR ATSC tuner and the HR20 ATSC tuners simultaneously with a simple antenna splitter. That way, I can still watch live OTA on the XBR tuner if all other tuners are tied up. Works like a charm.

Resolution/Formats
Confusing

This is probably not the fault of the HR20. The HR20 provides four resolutions: 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i. Each of these resolutions is available in three formats: Crop, Stretch, and Pillar Box. My XBR has four formats: Zoom, Wide Zoom, Full, and Normal. That's 48 possible configurations. It was a bit overwhelming, at first.

I think I finally got on top of it. I've found that I can leave the XBR on Full format and forget it. If you set the HR20 to Native Mode, it automatically produces the picture format and resolution it receives. The only time I have to change format is when I receive a letter-boxed SD program. Selecting the Crop format produces a satisfactory picture.

RTFM

The key to setting up the resolution/format is actually documented in the User Guide (p. 84): Resolution made simple: Set the resolution to the highest number your TV supports by pressing the RES key [This refers to the 480i, 480p, 720p, and 1080i keys

on the receiver]. If you then set the HR20 to native mode, everything falls into place. This may be old stuff to professionals, but, as a newbie, I found it very helpful. PIP

Nonexistent.

Bugs (Software Upgrade: Ox168, Downloaded: 6/14/07)
Go-live bug

This is driving me nuts. If you press Stop during a recording or if you delete a recording, the whole system reverts to the last live channel tuned. There seems to be a conspiracy in the universe to make this happen when the last channel tuned is broadcasting a commercial at about triple the SPL of what I have been watching. I am constantly getting blasted out of my seat. This is dumb and intolerable.

Slip, then Back-Skip can break the aspect ratio

This one seems to happen when you are watching out of Native format (e.g., you change to Crop format to see a letter-boxed SD program). If you do a few skips (slips) and a few back-skips, the aspect ratio is actually broken. The picture is stretched vertically into no standard format. (It is frightening to see William Shatner with a face that is three times taller than it is wide, instead of the other way around.) You have to find a 1080i program and switch to it then return to the recording you were watching to restore the aspect ratio.

Auto-record broken in Title search

At first, I thought there was no auto-record function on the HR20. If you do a Title search for a program that is not yet in the guide, you seem to reach a dead-end. There is no auto-record option. I am trying to get around this by using a Keyword search to enter a title. If the program is not in the guide, there is an auto-record option available. I don't know if this works. I'll have to wait to see if I get my desired recordings in a few weeks.

A few tips

This is a wonderful resource for getting up to speed on the HR20:

http://www.dbstalk.com/showthread.php?p=747592 . Here are a few tips from this document that I found useful:
Ring of fire

The HR20 has a circle of very bright LEDs on its face. They flash and chase each other during certain operations. (I am not amused.) You can dim or turn them off completely by pressing the Left and Right buttons simultaneously on the receiver.

Turn off Animation

The interface runs faster if you turn off Scrolling Effects.

5.1 Dolby Digital

If you are running your audio through a 5.1 receiver, you have to set it up manually. The default is not 5.1.

Summary

In general, I'm happy I made the switch. (Did I mention that the picture quality is astounding?) The unit feels like it is in a late beta stage. I hope D* will work out the bugs soon. The picture quality makes up for the inconvenience.

Burt
post #26 of 41
Great report! Thanks. It's quite useful to see a comparison from the utv perspective.
post #27 of 41
Agreed.

Reviews of DVRs from the UTV POV are greatly appreciated.

Not sure how often DTV is doing Software Upgrades on the HR20. (I'd heard it was CRAZY often not long ago) Maybe when it settles down I can feel more comfortable with using it.

Before UTV I was fairly confident that MS couldn't come up with a stable (bug free) Interface. UTV 3.5 and 3.7 have been good to me. 4 years of 3.7 hasn't given me much to complain about.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by lgodave View Post

Agreed.

Reviews of DVRs from the UTV POV are greatly appreciated.

Not sure how often DTV is doing Software Upgrades on the HR20. (I'd heard it was CRAZY often not long ago) Maybe when it settles down I can feel more comfortable with using it.

Before UTV I was fairly confident that MS couldn't come up with a stable (bug free) Interface. UTV 3.5 and 3.7 have been good to me. 4 years of 3.7 hasn't given me much to complain about.

There was an update just last week. They are still happening fast and furiously. I think they are trying to get as many new features active as possible before the all the new HD channels (150+) come online over the next few months.
One other very nice option (never available to us UTVers) is participation in the CE (Cutting Edge) program via DBSTalk. This is not an exclusive group and is very easy to sign-up for. There is a prerequisite that you must agree to not call DTV regarding problems created by the CE updates. But that is not an issue since all the REAL support for the HR20 is via DBSTalk. This is pretty much where ALL the development ideas being incorporated into the HR20 are coming from. Just the networking features alone put it way ahead of the UTV.

lgodave, I felt the same way you did until recently when I started to see the buginess subside along with sweet deals others were getting. There are issues, some mentioned in Burt's review (very nice job Burt!), that are still being worked on. But they aren't show-stoppers. I am seeing new features being added with almost no side effects. Most of those who are complaining about the updates have been complaining for a long time, and continue to, because a long-standing issue they have had with their DVR still persists. I think it is due to the HR20 they have since many others report the updates fixing the same issue with their device(s). One thing is for sure - DTV is committed to making a home run with this unit which is different than when they inherited the UTV. They are much more experienced now and are still putting forth all the resources needed to produce a very good performing HD-DVR. I haven't been sorry since the installer left (he did a crappy, lazy job ).
The other thing to remember is this: If you are planning on getting an HR20 in the near future it would be a good idea to do it while the deals I described above are still there to be had. My gut feeling is once all the HD channels come online DTV will have people lining up ready to pay a premium price for the HR20's and their programming. For the time being they are satisfied to give us DTV long-timers free equipment and programming in exchange for another two years of loyalty.
post #29 of 41
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by balpers View Post

Slip, then Back-Skip can break the aspect ratio

This one seems to happen when you are watching out of Native format (e.g., you change to Crop format to see a letter-boxed SD program). If you do a few skips (slips) and a few back-skips, the aspect ratio is actually broken. The picture is stretched vertically into no standard format. (It is frightening to see William Shatner with a face that is three times taller than it is wide, instead of the other way around.) You have to find a 1080i program and switch to it then return to the recording you were watching to restore the aspect ratio.


Update

I called D* about this issue. They suggested that I had a software issue that might be corrected with a reboot. I tried it and it worked. Looks like this issue should be removed from my bug list.

Burt
post #30 of 41
Hello--I'm hoping sdomeone can help. I am asking here, as this problem is new to me (it has not occurred in the past). I had the DVR set up to record a show in HD. When it came time, the tuner switched (with warning) to the appropriate channel to record. For some reason, I am unable to watch another HD channel on the second SAT tuner (I can watch HD via the antenna hookup--but the channel I wish to watch is on the satellitel only). My question--if there are two tuners for SAT (both connected properly), why can I not watch one HD SAT channel while another is recording? Additionally, I have recorded two HD channels at the same time in the past (I think), so I'm not sure what the issue is...why have two tunersif only one is usable?
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: Microsoft UltimateTV PVR
AVS › AVS Forum › Gaming & Content Streaming › Microsoft UltimateTV PVR › Please say it ain't so