Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 399 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #11941 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 09:32 AM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
...
What's "trick play?" Is that like time-shifting?
Yes!

Pausing is okay, but FF and Reverse are horrid because the picture freezes, making it impossible to see where to stop. At the slowest speed, you can count the number of jumps and multiply by 10 to determine the number of seconds skipped, or go to the middle speed and count 30 seconds per jump, or the fast speed for 1 minute jumps. Phew, too much brain power required! It also needs some slower speeds, and slo-mo would be nice too. And the progress bar should be lengthened.
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post #11942 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 09:33 AM
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- with Ext2FS allowing to write, it would be good time to expand existing program, add copy/move recordings (include metadata) between DVR's HDDs
That would be a nice feature! It's been on my mind for a while, but I neglected to add it to the DVR+ Lister "To Do" list. It's on that list now! One reason that I didn't pursue it already is that it can be a destructive process if a bug creeps in. Hopefully that would only happen to me on test data, and possibly to a brave beta tester who wisely made backup data!

If I'm not mistaken, the process should just require determining what hex number should be assigned to the files being copied to the destination disk, based upon the destination disk's REI data (first unused/deleted slot), copying the log, met, and tsf files with their new Strm name and revised data to suit that Strm number, and substituting data in the REI and streaminfo files on the destination disk. Does that seem right to you?

Of course, moving recordings would also require modifying the files (or maybe just the REI file) on the source disk after copying. I would definitely wait on that feature until after the copying process is mature and verified.

Last edited by pachinko; 05-03-2016 at 07:36 PM. Reason: Added additional changes for the log, met and tsf files
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post #11943 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 10:25 AM
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Does that seem right to you?
Sounds right; perhaps you could do quick test, just make your own metadata (or taken from other HDD REI+SI just in case, as I mentioned old TR-50 has some tricks in its sleeve to prevent such thing) in free slot of REI+SI and link it to existing TS (like Linux's fork) ...
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post #11944 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 11:25 AM
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What's "trick play?" Is that like time-shifting?
I admit I've never heard the term before, and would never have guessed what it meant. But to throw another term into the mix, how many of you like to use your DVR+ to "chase record"?
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post #11945 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 11:41 AM
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Of course, moving recordings would also require modifying the files (or maybe just the REI file) on the source disk after copying. I would definitely wait on that feature until after the copying process is mature and verified.
I agree; let's just start with copying. For the time being, we can let the DVR+ handle deleting on its own.

BTW, remember the guy who rolled his own "whole-home" using a BeagleBone to "trick" the DVR+ into storing its files on a networked HDD, which he then accessed with HTPCs via his home network? DVR+ Lister would be an awesome app for his HTPCs to use to locate, play, and copy his DVR+ recordings!

If CM/E* won't give us the DVR+ tools we want, Pachinko to the rescue!
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post #11946 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
...
BTW, remember the guy who rolled his own "whole-home" using a BeagleBone to "trick" the DVR+ into storing its files on a networked HDD, which he then accessed with HTPCs via his home network? DVR+ Lister would be an awesome app for his HTPCs to use to locate, play, and copy his DVR+ recordings!
I certainly do remember wlarsong's "Whole Home DVR Solution" (for those interested, the first post is HERE). The discussion lasted from 6/19/2015 to 6/23/2015 (a total of 10 posts by wlarsong), upon which progress suddenly stopped, and wlarsong has not posted anywhere on AVS Forum since then. As far as I know, no one else pursued the concept. So, does it really work?

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If CM/E* won't give us the DVR+ tools we want, Pachinko to the rescue!
Maybe!
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post #11947 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 03:52 PM
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What is "E/*" ?
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post #11948 of 16648 Old 05-03-2016, 04:10 PM
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What is "E/*" ?
EchoStar.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/EchoStar
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post #11949 of 16648 Old 05-04-2016, 10:40 AM
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Different strokes for different folks.

There are a whole bucket load of issues with the DVR+.

If you think it is excellent then that you are their idea of a perfect customer.

Plunk down $299 or so and get a bug ridden product that has had many firmware updates and is still buggy. As an example,
you would think that by now they would have gotten closed captioning right. Something I use and is important to me.

Is there a comprehensive list of these issues?
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post #11950 of 16648 Old 05-04-2016, 10:55 AM
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Is there a comprehensive list of these issues?
Not sure, but I documented some of my own experiences here and would make the effort to document them anywhere else in the interest of having a common "Modification Request" list...
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post #11951 of 16648 Old 05-04-2016, 10:56 AM
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Is there a comprehensive list of these issues?
Wayback machine to the rescue!

https://web.archive.org/web/20160426...n-Issues-132R-

Actually, it turns out CM's current link works too:

http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...n-Issues-132R-

They are now shooting for "sometime in May." No promises though
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Last edited by JHBrandt; 05-04-2016 at 11:01 AM. Reason: Better link
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post #11952 of 16648 Old 05-04-2016, 12:57 PM
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Wayback machine to the rescue!

https://web.archive.org/web/20160426...n-Issues-132R-

Actually, it turns out CM's current link works too:

http://support.channelmaster.com/hc/...n-Issues-132R-

They are now shooting for "sometime in May." No promises though
Unfortunately CM's list is not including a lot of known issues documented on this forum!

I have had several times where I was watching a UTUBE video and my TV screen went blank and I lost all control of the DVR+. The only way to get it back was to unplug it. I am on 132R.
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post #11953 of 16648 Old 05-04-2016, 02:28 PM
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I've had some issues with CMTV also. For example, channel 560 (Vibrant TV) consistently freezes with the "wheel of death" within a few seconds of starting to watch.

Luckily most channels don't do that, but when watching channel 550 (RT) I often get an on-screen pop-up saying there's a "problem" with my Internet connection. The channel usually continues to play just fine, but the pop-up obscures the center of the screen, and the only way to dismiss it is to change channels.

I'm hoping the problems with Sling, YouTube, and CMTV are all really the same. If so the fix for Sling will fix the others.
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post #11954 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 07:28 AM
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I wish CM (or Echostar, if it is ultimately up to them) could fix the problem the DVR+ tuners have with multi-path signals. All of my major stations come from the same tower array, and half of them never glitch while the rest will display fine for a time and then suddenly begin to drop or distort.

My signal strength is consistently between 80 and 100, but quality will sometimes drop to zero. Meanwhile, my TV tuner fed from the same antenna coasts right along.

Unfortunately, this may not be something firmware can fix.
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post #11955 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 08:07 AM
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you could try rotate the antenna just little angles while watching signal quality scale
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post #11956 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 08:25 AM
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I wish CM (or Echostar, if it is ultimately up to them) could fix the problem the DVR+ tuners have with multi-path signals. All of my major stations come from the same tower array, and half of them never glitch while the rest will display fine for a time and then suddenly begin to drop or distort.

My signal strength is consistently between 80 and 100, but quality will sometimes drop to zero. Meanwhile, my TV tuner fed from the same antenna coasts right along.

Unfortunately, this may not be something firmware can fix.
From what I read in the various CM Q&As, especially the "Channel & Signal Issues", CM does not specifically mention multi-path issues, and believes most reception issues are related to antenna and cabling, including cabling for other devices too close to the DVR+ or its coax feed. They also believe that the DVR+ tuners are on par with TV tuners, sometimes not as good, and other times better. They also make the following statement (click HERE for the complete statement), so firmware might be a solution.

Quote:
The DVR+(CM-7500) tuning sensitivity is controlled by software so the only improvements that can be made in this area are software improvements...
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post #11957 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 09:11 AM
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From what I read in the various CM Q&As, especially the "Channel & Signal Issues", CM does not specifically mention multi-path issues, and believes most reception issues are related to antenna and cabling, including cabling for other devices too close to the DVR+ or its coax feed. They also believe that the DVR+ tuners are on par with TV tuners, sometimes not as good, and other times better. They also make the following statement (click HERE for the complete statement), so firmware might be a solution.
Maybe I'm just in a grumpy mood this morning, or maybe I've just had it up to here with marketing and technical support bet hedging, issue ducking, obfuscation babble. But that's my reaction to the CM link.

Mass production fosters investment in high levels of (single chip) integration by semiconductor (integrated circuit) manufacturers, and that's great. At the board level the typical goal of the designer is to find as much technology as possible "off the shelf", and then design the remainder. I'll confess up front that I haven't surveyed the complete specifications of every ATSC chip manufacturer, but there are clearly multiple IC choices, and that means multiple board level design choices.

Google for "ATSC receiver integrated circuit ", and a host of familiar semiconductor manufactures and their products emerge. Some date back to 2005/2006 or so, some more recent. I find it highly unlikely that all board levels designs based such an array of choices will be equal. I submit there are an infinite number of ways to do things less than optimally.

One thing I'm pretty sure of is that the semiconductor technology most ideal for the 1st (front end) gain stage to achieve best possible noise factor is not likely to be the same technology most economical for the bajillion more transistors implementing all the complex functionality that follows. Also, I easily imagine there can be a variety of tactics and strategies taken for detecting, assessing, and compensating for phase issues (multipath) across the 6MHz spectrum of the transmitted signal.

From my own experiences, and from the countless anecdotes on this and other threads, a pattern clearly emerges. For me there is clearly an opportunity for performance improvement, and clearly there are existence proofs that better performance is possible.
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post #11958 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 09:56 AM
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if you would work in the industry, you would know what kind of battle going for each cent spend on components ...
adding to that, EVT stage in R&D include testing different chips in eng prototypes
when generic characteristics (say multi-path rejection level) play its role for picking one/two/etc chip - the major test cannot be made in each home with million of different antennas - the tests done in-house RF chambers to pass FCC certification
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post #11959 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 10:08 AM
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you could try rotate the antenna just little angles while watching signal quality scale
Yes, I have done that numerous times. Sometimes it will offer modest improvement or even lock in the signal better than before, but wait a couple of days (or hours) and the symptom reappears.

It *never* happens on some of the stations that broadcast from the very same tower, so direction doesn't seem to be the major problem component. Not being well-versed in this facet of electrical engineering I can only guess that it may have something to do with frequency, but those who know better can feel free to call BS. I only know that I see the same issue on both DVR+ units, while the TVs they are attached to can pull the signals just fine with their built-in tuners.

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post #11960 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 10:29 AM
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I only could guess if you want improve reception of DVR+ instead of TV, if that's true then I would try turn your antenna for big angles, the other RF signals coming from side direction(s) could be attenuated by specific diagram of the antenna while main signal would be enough to get higher SQ

or get more directional kind of antenna - but we gone to far from the topic

talk about your reception in dedicated topic (your city and/or antennas forum)
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post #11961 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 10:42 AM
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but we gone to far from the topic

talk about your reception in dedicated topic (your city and/or antennas forum)
I agree that general reception issues belong in another forum. I only brought this subject forward since I and other users seem to be having specific tuner problems with the DVR+. I would be curious to see a virtual show of hands of members who suffer this malady. One user with reception problems is easy to dismiss, but if several are seeing this behavior maybe the DVR+ programmers would look more closely at their tuner software.
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post #11962 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 11:16 AM
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I agree that general reception issues belong in another forum. I only brought this subject forward since I and other users seem to be having specific tuner problems with the DVR+. I would be curious to see a virtual show of hands of members who suffer this malady. One user with reception problems is easy to dismiss, but if several are seeing this behavior maybe the DVR+ programmers would look more closely at their tuner software.
The posting of "TV is better than DVR" can be found in so many forums I lost track. Ten years ago this was true, ten years from now it will probably be true. I feel for you, but sadly it's very common. If you want to throw money at the problem, it might help. It's just a matter of priorities. I wish I knew why TV tuners seem better, but I don't.
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post #11963 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 11:18 AM
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I suppose folks whose DVR+ tunes their channels fine, but who's TV doesn't tune them well, complain in a forum dedicated to their TV, not here. So we may be getting a biased sample. Still, if your TV works and your DVR+ doesn't, that has to be frustrating.
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From what I read in the various CM Q&As, especially the "Channel & Signal Issues", CM does not specifically mention multi-path issues, and believes most reception issues are related to antenna and cabling, including cabling for other devices too close to the DVR+ or its coax feed. They also believe that the DVR+ tuners are on par with TV tuners, sometimes not as good, and other times better.
I'm not sure that's fair, but it's probably true that most reception issues can be remedied by antenna and cabling (and sometimes a preamp), even if the DVR+ tuners really are part of the problem. Still, it can be devilishly tricky.

Very generic antenna advice for multi-path issues: if you have an attic or rooftop for it and are willing to spend the money, consider a ClearStream C4. It's one of the most directional antennas for UHF. (Ironically, the ClearStream C2 is one of the least directional, and is therefore much more likely to have multi-path issues.)
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post #11964 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 11:49 AM
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...I wish I knew why TV tuners seem better, but I don't.
Internal signal splitters in one and not the other?
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post #11965 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 12:24 PM
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Internal signal splitters in one and not the other?
I don't know. I have an old Radio Shack 1 to 4 active splitter feeding my TV and other devices. I have even seen posts where people feel the picture is better on the TV when fed from cable. That's not too frequent now since most cable is encrypted, but from a PQ point of view, I always found the TV display better. But there are just too many variables, most of which I can't control. I would suggest the more directional antenna and research the frequencies. Like P said, visit the local thread and see if anything stands out. My local CBS and NBC channels are the same power and on the same tower. I feel the CBS feed looks better. Not a test, just an opinion.
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post #11966 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 12:26 PM
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They also make the following statement (click HERE for the complete statement), so firmware might be a solution.
If you go to the manual scan screen and put in an active RF channel number, you'll see the signal strength appears almost immediately; but the signal quality takes a second or two to "max out." It looks to me like the firmware is adjusting the tuner gain to maximize the quality, and that takes a few seconds.

In my setup, it seems to do an adequate job on every local channel (except for two that I don't care about much anyway), but I wonder if there's a way the firmware could give us an "advanced" per-channel "fine tuning" option, so that we could try to "tweak" our "problem" channels.
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post #11967 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 12:35 PM
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I have even seen posts where people feel the picture is better on the TV when fed from cable. That's not too frequent now since most cable is encrypted, but from a PQ point of view, I always found the TV display better.
That was usually true in the analog era. It's not so true these days because cable often re-encodes the digital data to cram in as many video streams as possible, and that degrades the PQ somewhat so OTA is usually better if you don't have problems (like multi-path) that cause your picture to break up frequently.

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My local CBS and NBC channels are the same power and on the same tower. I feel the CBS feed looks better. Not a test, just an opinion.
In my area, CBS has only one subchannel while NBC has two (one regular subchannel plus one of those useless encrypted Dyle mobile/hand-held streams). So CBS on 11.1 has more bandwidth than NBC on 5.1. Your situation might be similar.
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post #11968 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 12:58 PM
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if you would work in the industry, you would know what kind of battle going for each cent spend on components ...
adding to that, EVT stage in R&D include testing different chips in eng prototypes
when generic characteristics (say multi-path rejection level) play its role for picking one/two/etc chip - the major test cannot be made in each home with million of different antennas - the tests done in-house RF chambers to pass FCC certification
I completely understand. I've been in the industry for 40++ years. There are also the costs associated with getting it wrong, rework, support, and negative impact on market share.
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post #11969 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 01:39 PM
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In my area, CBS has only one subchannel while NBC has two (one regular subchannel plus one of those useless encrypted Dyle mobile/hand-held streams). So CBS on 11.1 has more bandwidth than NBC on 5.1. Your situation might be similar.
I concur on the digital aspect. I mean there is no "maybe", just 1 and 0. But my stations, WYOU and WBRE, have no subchannels. Very rare but true.

It may be just a better network feed, since I never watch local content. As good a guess as any.
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post #11970 of 16648 Old 05-05-2016, 01:55 PM
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Weird. If any two stations should be identical in PQ, I'd think it'd be those two. You may be right about the network feed; I can't think of anything else.
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