Still got the same "Playback error" as before. One difference was, this time the 7004 created 852
.ts files in the _BDAT_ directory, nearly filling the drive, as I expected. So I guess for whatever reason, the first "initialization" didn't complete correctly. Obviously didn't help with getting a recording to work though. Formatted the thing back to NTFS and will press it back into backup service.
Next I'll try a 64GB SanDisk drive that worked well with my iView for time-shifting. But at this point, it's looking like the 7004 is even more finicky about drives than the iView is.
OK, now this is starting to get weird. I formatted my 64GB drive, put it in the 7004 and let it "initialize." Then I set up a recording. Finally, I turned the box off.
The box turned off - then the screen came back on! But the LED on the front is off. And the box isn't responding to On, Off, or any other button on the remote.
So, I pulled the power then plugged it back in. (Interesting - after a power loss, the 7004 prompts you to review the time and reset it if necessary.) Then I checked that my recording was still set up. It was, so I turned the box off again - AND THE SAME THING HAPPENED AGAIN!
Except this time, after about 3 minutes, the box turned itself off. Guess I'll wait and see how the recording does this time.
STILL no luck!
Although the symptoms were different this time. The recording started, but never stopped! And no matter what I did, it wouldn't stop. I just saw the "free space" keep trickling down, from 99% to 98% to 97%. Deleting the timer didn't stop it, and it wouldn't play (apparently chase play isn't supported on this box, although time-shifting is). Finally, in desperation, I pulled the plug again. After doing that it takes a few seconds to "initialize" the drive again - and naturally, once that was done, I was back to 100% free and no recordings!
I downloaded and installed the "SMPlayer" referred to earlier in this thread, and I can see the 7004 actually did record something. However the format it uses makes it impractical to recover the recording. Each of the Bn.TS files in the _BDAT_ directory may have part of the recording, so I suppose if I played them all and identified which ones had the data I wanted, I could copy them all out to a "final" .TS file with a utility like FFMPEG. But unless the box can do the job correctly itself, that's not exactly helpful.
I have one last card to play. I slapped an old 100GB "spinning-platter" HDD in a dock and formatted it. Although the manual says spinning-platter drives are not supported, the 7004 accepted it and initialized it. So I'll give it one last try. I can see the HDD access light this time around, which may help also. Maybe the third time will be the charm?
A decent tuner and a nice guide, but as a DVR, this thing makes an iView look downright reliable. This is an absolutely insane amount of trouble.