Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 534 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #15991 of 16647 Old 07-24-2018, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
One other thing to try. (This sounds ridiculous, but works for the DTVPal, and we know E* reused some code from that box.) Do a warm boot (hold down the power button until the DVR+ reboots), then as soon as it comes back up, do another warm boot!
That's an interesting trick. What do you think causes it to work?
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post #15992 of 16647 Old 07-24-2018, 04:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
That's an interesting trick. What do you think causes it to work?
I have no proof of this, but I've seen it work. When a restart fails in some task, it remembers. The next restart it will pick a different resource to get what failed last time. That's just a guess.
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post #15993 of 16647 Old 07-24-2018, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
One other thing to try. (This sounds ridiculous, but works for the DTVPal, and we know E* reused some code from that box.) Do a warm boot (hold down the power button until the DVR+ reboots), then as soon as it comes back up, do another warm boot!
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I have no proof of this, but I've seen it work. When a restart fails in some task, it remembers. The next restart it will pick a different resource to get what failed last time. That's just a guess.
Just tried the double warm boot. I didn't check the accuracy of the clock after the first warm boot because I immediately initiated the second. When it completed the clock was about 14 seconds slow, which is cool because it is within the range of what I usually get. All things considered I prefer the clock to be slightly fast than slow, but I've never missed a scheduled series recording when the early start is set to 1 minute. PSIP time is supposed to be broadcast at least once per second, and be accurate to within one second. So the question is, after a reboot does the DVR+ get the time from tuner 1 or tuner 2 , or does it get it from somewhere else defined by lines in the firmware code?

PSIP Included Tables

Another experiment I might try sometime would be to set both tuners to specific channels, then perform either a warm or cold boot. Unfortunately, I know of no way to directly control what is on both tuners. When you power up the DVR+ it goes to the last active channel (it even remembers that channel after a reboot), and the second tuner is presumably inactive since you can't use the Back button to switch back and forth between channels. The only indirect way I know how to manually set both tuners to two different channels would be to set tuner 1 to the desired channel and start a recording. Then set tuner 2 to another desired channel and start a recording for that channel. Stop the recordings, verify both tuners are still set to the desired channels by using the Back button, then perform the reboot. One of those two channels will almost certainly be the channel displayed after the reboot, but I don't know which one that is. I don't even know if the DVR+ sees the tuners as tuner 1 and tuner 2 .
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post #15994 of 16647 Old 07-25-2018, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
PSIP time is supposed to be broadcast at least once per second, and be accurate to within one second. So the question is, after a reboot does the DVR+ get the time from tuner 1 or tuner 2 , or does it get it from somewhere else defined by lines in the firmware code?
Unfortunately most TV stations are nowhere near as accurate as they're supposed to be. As a result, E* was forced to take extraordinary measures. If they reused the old DTVPal code (likely, since the double reboot seemed to work), that supposedly used a "weighted" average of all channels' times. Those of us on the DTVPal thread were never able to work out precisely what that meant, but I think it works something like this:

  1. Calculate the median time
  2. Calculate a weight for each station inversely proportional to its distance from the median
  3. Multiply each station's time by its calculated weight, add them all up, and divide by the total of all the weights

The idea would be to mostly discount PSIP times far from the median, since those are likely to be inaccurate.
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post #15995 of 16647 Old 07-25-2018, 02:46 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
  1. Calculate the median time
  2. Calculate a weight for each station inversely proportional to its distance from the median
  3. Multiply each station's time by its calculated weight, add them all up, and divide by the total of all the weights
The idea would be to mostly discount PSIP times far from the median, since those are likely to be inaccurate.
Makes sense, but it still leaves the open the question of where is the DVR+ getting a station's time? Is it getting it from 1 tuner, both, or is it scanning all available channels to get that average? If it comes from one tuner it would be absolutely critical to tune to the most accurate channel before powering down. If it comes from both tuners it would be important to tune both of them to the most accurate two channels before powering down. Either method would be especially important if the scanning took place in standby mode. And if it is scanning all available channels to get the time you would think that the DVR+ would also be using that scan time to populate PSIP programming data.
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post #15996 of 16647 Old 07-25-2018, 05:40 PM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
Makes sense, but it still leaves the open the question of where is the DVR+ getting a station's time? If it comes from one tuner it would be absolutely critical to tune to the most accurate channel before powering down.
We don't know for sure what the DVR+ does, but it's definitely not doing that! Mstar boxes do that and it's a big problem for and common complaint about them. If the DVR+ did that you would have known by now. Your recordings would often be missed or start at the wrong times - sometimes wildly wrong.

For that matter, I would have noticed it when I first got a DVR+ and didn't have it hooked to the Internet either. Or even if we both managed to miss it somehow, somebody would have noticed and posted about it here long ago.
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post #15997 of 16647 Old 07-26-2018, 02:10 PM
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We don't know for sure what the DVR+ does, but it's definitely not doing that! Mstar boxes do that and it's a big problem for and common complaint about them. If the DVR+ did that you would have known by now. Your recordings would often be missed or start at the wrong times - sometimes wildly wrong.

For that matter, I would have noticed it when I first got a DVR+ and didn't have it hooked to the Internet either. Or even if we both managed to miss it somehow, somebody would have noticed and posted about it here long ago.
If the DVR+ does not maintain time through one tuner, i.e. the tuner displaying the active channel when it is powered down, it would have to use both tuners, the hidden PSIP tuner that forgets to populate Guide data, or it would have to run a zombie time scan now and then when it is in standby mode. On the other hand, it's possible that to maintain accurate time in Auto Date and Time mode the DVR+ need only be powered up for a few seconds now and then. The clock still has to keep accurate time when it is in standby in order to fire up the recordings for scheduled programs. But how long can it maintain accurate time, at least to a minute or two if there are no scheduled recordings and the unit is not powered up? A day? A week? If I remember correctly, when set on manual time my DVR+ was losing about 45 seconds per week. But it was also recording scheduled programs every day and was powered up at least once a day for general purpose viewing. The experiment here would be for someone who has an extra DVR+ they can do without for a couple of weeks to delete all recordings, set the unit to Auto Date and Time, then leave it powered off for two weeks and check the accuracy at the end of the experiment.

An interesting alternate experiment would be for several people who have an extra DVR+ they can spare to coordinate start time and date for the experiment, then use the manual time mode to set the date and time, power down for a few days, a week or two weeks then compare accuracy of their clocks. If they are all accurate, or off by the same amount (assuming all are slow or all are fast) we would know that at least there is consistency in the firmware and hardware involved in time keeping. Inaccuracies are all over the map would be an indication of...something else, the likes of which is so horrifying that should the public find out about it we would fear for the future of civilization.
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post #15998 of 16647 Old 07-26-2018, 11:52 PM
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it's actually standby mode not true "power off", we don't know how the DVR's OS functioning in standby mode ... perhaps some watchdog routine could periodically parse timestamps data from PSIP tables;
for sure we do know there is scheduler routine what keep running all the time;
it would be easy to understand, if we will know how to use debug port (USB ?) and see the messages online
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post #15999 of 16647 Old 07-27-2018, 05:53 PM
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The way I look at it is this: like any computer, the DVR+ can keep reasonably accurate time on its own for at least a few days. But like any clock, to be useful, the DVR+ needs to be synchronized to an accurate reference, both at boot-up and periodically thereafter. If you don't have an Internet connection, the only reference time it can use is one derived from stations' PSIP broadcasts.

Based on what the DTVPal does, here's what I think is the most likely scenario: at boot-up, the DVR+ scans the stations it knows about, calculates a reasonable time from their PSIP data, and then stores the difference between each station's time and the DVR+'s calculated time. (The DTVPal had a diagnostics screen that made this process clearer.)

Thereafter, if the difference between a station's PSIP time and the DVR+'s time doesn't match the stored value, and the difference is within the expected "drift" rate of the DVR+'s clock, the DVR+ corrects its time to match the station's time, accounting for the recorded difference between the two times.

If, OTOH, the difference is greater than a reasonable "drift" rate, then the code operates on the assumption that the station's clock was adjusted, and updates the recorded time difference instead of updating its own clock.

Of course, I may be totally wrong about that. The point, though, is that none of the above requires any rescanning of TV channels after the initial boot, yet it doesn't force the DVR+'s time to match any single station's time. So you can use even a single inaccurate station as a reference clock, as long as you record exactly how inaccurate it is!
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post #16000 of 16647 Old 07-27-2018, 11:55 PM
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You are giving to much creativity for dish coders, who are on low salary and dish FW Dept experiencing constant high churn of its small workforce
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post #16001 of 16647 Old 07-28-2018, 07:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Of course, I may be totally wrong about that. The point, though, is that none of the above requires any rescanning of TV channels after the initial boot, yet it doesn't force the DVR+'s time to match any single station's time. So you can use even a single inaccurate station as a reference clock, as long as you record exactly how inaccurate it is!
That makes me even more curious as to how accurate the DVR+ clock would be if it was not powered up for 2 weeks following a reboot.
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post #16002 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 12:10 AM
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Angry Dish 20.1 Remote REFUSES to Learn

Now I really, really hate this remote! Not only does it very easily miss buttons, it simply refuses to learn some, including the < > buttons.

Waste of money, waste of time. I really should've gone with my orig. idea, which was to buy a $5 remote that's already set, with code, to control this DVR. If one exists.

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post #16003 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 04:31 AM
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I would install new batteries into both remotes first !
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post #16004 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 02:01 PM
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You are giving too much creativity for dish coders, who are on low salary and dish FW Dept experiencing constant high churn of its small workforce
Perhaps, and my algorithm isn't perfect either. I was just trying to show how a DVR could synchronize its clock to PSIP without either relying on periodic scans, or taking one or two stations as "gospel." IOW, it was mostly a proof of concept.

More likely, E* just copied their code from the DTVPal, knowing that it works well in most situations. Maybe they made a tweak or two, but probably no big changes. Which means they're probably still doing a periodic scan of all known stations during standby, even though since 114R, that doesn't seem to update the guide anymore.

Whatever it does probably isn't terribly important anyway (although it would probably be interesting!) My point was just that I'm generally more willing to trust the clock in my DVR+, even when disconnected from the Internet for a while (which does happen occasionally, and often without me noticing right away), more than the one in my iView.

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post #16005 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 02:25 PM
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Now I really, really hate this remote! Not only does it very easily miss buttons, it simply refuses to learn some, including the < > buttons.
Sorry you're having so much trouble, but rest assured my own Dish 20.1 remote was able to learn every button from a DVR+ "flat" remote, including the left and right cursor buttons, fast-forward and rewind, and Skip Back and Fwd.

As for alternatives, I've learned there's at least one "out there" now; unfortunately my correspondent didn't fully answer my question when I asked about the brand:
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I wouldn't have thought the CM-7004 has been on the market long enough to make it into any universal remote code libraries. What model remote was it, and which code worked?
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Cm7005tb1 is what it is listed as.
(They meant cm7500tb1, i.e., DVR+, of course. Although I didn't realize it at first, turns out the DVR+ and CM-7004 use the same remote codes.)
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I would install new batteries into both remotes first!
Good point. My experience has been that reliable remote "learning" requires fresh batteries. (That's not only true of the Dish remote, but it's more important with the Dish remote because of its inability to learn one button at a time.

Also, avoid rechargeable (NiMH) batteries during learning. They work OK during normal operation, but their lower voltage won't necessarily let the remote write to flash ROM (which is how it "learns") reliably.
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post #16006 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 03:38 PM
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Question Wanted: Cheap Remote (NO Learning Required)

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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
... My experience has been that reliable remote "learning" requires fresh batteries. (That's not only true of the Dish remote, but it's more important with the Dish remote because of its inability to learn one button at a time.

Also, avoid rechargeable (NiMH) batteries during learning. They work OK during normal operation, but their lower voltage won't necessarily let the remote write to flash ROM (which is how it "learns") reliably.

Thanks. Maybe I'll talk myself into trying it one more time, with better batteries. Now, where can I find that cheap $5-10 remote that works with DVR+?

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post #16007 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 05:01 PM
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My Sony RMVLZ620 has no problems learning all the dvr+ codes. I love this remote. It replaces all the remotes I have but it will run you a little more than $5 to $10.

-Tony
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post #16008 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 05:53 PM
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I'm hoping @keeper sees my quote above and responds. Of course, there's no guarantee that remote is under $10 either.

If not (and the Dish remote remains too cantankerous), I second the recommendation of the Sony. Controls up to six video and two audio devices. It's a learning remote (no built-in DVR+ codes), but unlike the Dish remote, you don't have to teach it all the DVR+ remote commands in a single session. Also no colored buttons, but there are four buttons labeled A, B, C, & D that will do the job.
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post #16009 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 05:58 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
I'm hoping @keeper sees my quote above and responds. Of course, there's no guarantee that remote is under $10 either.

If not (and the Dish remote remains too cantankerous), I second the recommendation of the Sony. Controls up to six video and two audio devices. It's a learning remote (no built-in DVR+ codes), but unlike the Dish remote, you don't have to teach it all the DVR+ remote commands in a single session. Also no colored buttons, but there are four buttons labeled A, B, C, & D that will do the job.
What do you need brother? I use Simple Control app for IPAD. Sorry didnt realize what you were asking. For IR control of devices I use Itach that works with Simple Control.
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post #16010 of 16647 Old 07-29-2018, 06:36 PM
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My Sony RMVLZ620 has no problems learning all the dvr+ codes. I love this remote. It replaces all the remotes I have but it will run you a little more than $5 to $10.
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
... I second the recommendation of the Sony. Controls up to six video and two audio devices. It's a learning remote (no built-in DVR+ codes), but unlike the Dish remote, you don't have to teach it all the DVR+ remote commands in a single session. Also no colored buttons, but there are four buttons labeled A, B, C, & D that will do the job.

Thanks for the info.

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post #16011 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 06:31 AM
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Now I really, really hate this remote! Not only does it very easily miss buttons, it simply refuses to learn some, including the < > buttons.

Waste of money, waste of time. I really should've gone with my orig. idea, which was to buy a $5 remote that's already set, with code, to control this DVR. If one exists.
As far as I can tell, there are no $5 remotes that have the DVR+ pre-programmed. You'll need either fully programmable / learning remote or something like the Harmony remotes. The Harmony database does have the DVR+ listed under CM-7500 model number, and the Harmony 300 / 350 can sometimes be found for ~$30. There are remotes that are easier to program than the Dish remote ... many will let you re-program a single key instead of starting from scratch each time.
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post #16012 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 09:07 AM
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The reboot involving pressing the power button seems to have solved the time problem for me. Thank you!
Set up a daily manual recording on PBS to see if that might help keep the time stable.

Last weekend, I manually set the time and when I checked on it it this weekend, it was off by about 4 minutes. Even when I would try to set the time, it would be off by that amount. That's when I resorted to the reboot.
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post #16013 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 12:30 PM
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What do you need brother? I use Simple Control app for IPAD. Sorry didn't realize what you were asking. For IR control of devices I use Itach that works with Simple Control.
Thanks for answering! We were wondering what brand your roommate's remote control was. (The one that listed the CM7500tb1.) Or was that the Simple Control app too?

We're looking for a cheap universal remote control that will operate the DVR+ by just entering a code (i.e., without a learning or programming step).
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post #16014 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 12:36 PM
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The reboot involving pressing the power button seems to have solved the time problem for me. Thank you!
Set up a daily manual recording on PBS to see if that might help keep the time stable.

Last weekend, I manually set the time and when I checked on it it this weekend, it was off by about 4 minutes. Even when I would try to set the time, it would be off by that amount. That's when I resorted to the reboot.
That's a lot of drift! 4 minutes over a 7 days is > 30 sec. per day. That's a pretty inaccurate clock

The DTVPal had the same problem: if you manually set the time, it would gain about 8 sec. per day, or about a minute per week. If you did the reboot (two reboots needed for the DTVPal), it would lock to either the TVGOS time (which no longer exists) or to the PSIP average and not drift.
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post #16015 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 01:41 PM
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Thanks for answering! We were wondering what brand your roommate's remote control was. (The one that listed the CM7500tb1.) Or was that the Simple Control app too?

We're looking for a cheap universal remote control that will operate the DVR+ by just entering a code (i.e., without a learning or programming step).
Simple control used to be called Roomie remote lol. My roommate now is my wife. She doesn’t care much for ht stuff. I was referring to simple control when responding to your questions.
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post #16016 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 04:56 PM
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"Roomie Remote" - LOL! And thanks.

Well, there you go, @SirCrow . If you have an iPad, you can use the Simple Control aka Roomie Remote app. Looks like it costs $9.99, just within your budget.

Except - Apple didn't give the iPad an IR blaster, so you'll have to buy one. Geez, for those prices, you'd think they'd throw in the app for free.

You sure you don't want to give that Dish remote one more try?
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post #16017 of 16647 Old 07-30-2018, 10:21 PM
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As far as I can tell, there are no $5 remotes that have the DVR+ pre-programmed. You'll need either fully programmable / learning remote or something like the Harmony remotes. The Harmony database does have the DVR+ listed under CM-7500 model number, and the Harmony 300 / 350 can sometimes be found for ~$30. There are remotes that are easier to program than the Dish remote ... many will let you re-program a single key instead of starting from scratch each time.
Bummer. Why couldn't they have given the Dish remote a single-key method?

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"Roomie Remote" - LOL! And thanks.

Well, there you go, @SirCrow . If you have an iPad, you can use the Simple Control aka Roomie Remote app. Looks like it costs $9.99, just within your budget.

Except - Apple didn't give the iPad an IR blaster, so you'll have to buy one. Geez, for those prices, you'd think they'd throw in the app for free.

You sure you don't want to give that Dish remote one more try?

Definitely not going with the iPad idea! That's all I can say.

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post #16018 of 16647 Old 07-31-2018, 08:12 AM
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Yeah, for what they want for a WiFi IR blaster, you could get a Harmony and have $$ left over. I mean, it's a nice idea, but that's just too much. (And Apple probably could've built an IR blaster into the thing for $5 or so!)

So if you can't get the Dish remote to cooperate even with brand-new batteries, sell it on eBay and pick up one of those Sony remotes.
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post #16019 of 16647 Old 07-31-2018, 10:33 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
That's a lot of drift! 4 minutes over a 7 days is > 30 sec. per day. That's a pretty inaccurate clock

The DTVPal had the same problem: if you manually set the time, it would gain about 8 sec. per day, or about a minute per week. If you did the reboot (two reboots needed for the DTVPal), it would lock to either the TVGOS time (which no longer exists) or to the PSIP average and not drift.
When I returned to check on it, I tried to manually set the time. I would put in one time and either I wasn't doing the equivalent of enter/save or it was immediately off by 4 minutes. So that might be user error.
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post #16020 of 16647 Old 07-31-2018, 11:07 AM
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Or a bug.... I suspect most folks either rely on Internet time or whatever the DVR+ gleans from PSIP. So I could imagine a bug with manually setting the time going unnoticed for quite a while.
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