Channel Master DVR+ Owners Thread - Page 548 - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #16411 of 16824 Old 01-31-2019, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Arenal04 View Post
Just curious. Did anybody contact CM support about this??
I contacted them earlier this week through the website and had an email exchange over a couple of days. They didn't tell me what the issue was, but they told me to do a refresh and it seems to have worked.
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post #16412 of 16824 Old 01-31-2019, 07:23 PM
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OUCH! This is one reason I complained about its lack of L/R audio back when it was first introduced. (Folks said I was just being old-fashioned - wanting "analog" audio. I pointed out that it's analog from the speakers to your ears anyway )

Does the optical audio output still work? (Of course that assumes you have something to connect it to.)

As for DVR+ alternatives, I started a thread a month or two ago: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hd...rs-thread.html. Unfortunately ...
Well, not so bad money wise because insurance paid to have it replaced (well, almost since I didn't actually replace it), as well as all of the other equipment that got fried (including a $2K TV), but I did enjoy the DVR+ while it lasted, and would have purchased a new one at the time, but I suspected it was going to be discontinued so I decided to pass.

I don't know if the optical audio works because I don't have anything to connect to it.

Thanks to the link to your thread. I've subscribed to it shortly after you announced it. But nothing excites me since that other OTA DVR works well and is all I really need (along with kmttg of course).
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post #16413 of 16824 Old 02-01-2019, 08:30 AM
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Cool Auto updating to 135R

I've continuously maintained my server URL blocks to prevent unwanted updating, of course as soon as I got an HDMI-2 TV (top one on my sig) I had to manually install 134R on that DVR+.

DVR+ #3 is still connected to second TV and as shipped from '4th of July' deal, still has my preferred 115R installed. It was connected to the same server (with the URL blocking) through Ethernet connection and a month ago up popped that 'nag box' about "update available". CM may have added a new UpDate URL but DVR+ #1 (also on Ethernet and operated daily) never did this. Since on PSIP Guide now, I just pulled Ethernet plug from #3 to avoid losing 115R.

My internet service has just been upgraded to Fiber-optic and I installed a new server/modem w/o any URL blocking.

As expected, update 'nag' box was soon seen and since DVR+ #1 's on 134R, I commanded the firmware flash. Four attempts yesterday and today have ended with "Download Failed". Ethernet connection was good enough for 'nag' to load and a 'speed test' on WiFi Tablet was the fastest I've ever seen, so I must assume an issue on the CM end of the connection.

If that situation continues I'll have to download firmware file to a flash drive and try a manual update. At least I shouldn't have to resort to that 'three-handed' "Maintenance Reset".

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<.....>As for DVR+ alternatives, I started a thread a month or two ago: https://www.avsforum.com/forum/42-hd...rs-thread.html. Unfortunately there aren't many choices at the moment: among "traditional" DVRs that hook directly to your TV like the DVR+, there are the cheap MStar boxes, the CM-7004, the DVR Which Shall Not Be Named, and of course Android streaming boxes with a DVR app, like the Stream+, Shield, and AirTV Player. For my money, none are quite what I want (not even the DVR Which Shall Not Be Named) as a DVR+ replacement. I still use my DTVPal DVR, though, so I'm probably not very typical.

The trend today seems to be toward the streaming boxes, and/or "Network" DVRs like the Tablo, since you can watch on smart phones or tablets as well as your TV. You need a streamer like the Roku on each TV though. (The thread offers more info on the Big 3 network DVRs.) Of these, I tend to lean toward the AirTV "black box," but mostly that's just because I happen to own one. It is impressive in some ways, though; especially being able to stream live TV or recordings over the Internet when you aren't home.

BTW, the AirTV BB poses a Pachinko-level challenge: how do I copy recordings off the [email protected]#%$# thing? Windows doesn't even recognize the file system it uses. (I suspect it's XFS, but there's no Windows XFS driver, and even Partition Magic doesn't recognize XFS partitions.)
I also would like to thank @JHBrandt for creating the above linked thread and of course the great @pachinko for all his work in the past for users of the DVR+ (blocking unwanted updates for me) as well as help for AVS "links that will always work properly, for all other AVS Members" (see his pink link).
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post #16414 of 16824 Old 02-02-2019, 12:27 PM
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Cool Manual update (firmware flash).

After a few more tries failed (even removed 7G Ethernet from switch and plugged it in directly), I went into:
https://support.channelmaster.com/hc...re-Update-USB-

And followed all their instructions, left Ethernet unplugged and ejected USB HD.

I had a 4GB Drive with 114R which I Formatted 32 and then moved downloaded 135R file into.

With that '4GB' inserted, it opened with "detected" update box and smoothly flashed to 135R. And I have the 'floppy' labeled and ready when I want to flash spare DVR+'s.

After all; I had always flashed my PC's firmware directly by booting w/floppy with a downloaded file as it was so dangerous to depend on a Windows auto-flash not 'bricking' your PC. (W/Dell PC, a failed flash calls for a new motherboard.)

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Menu / Settings / Channel Setup / Antenna Channels / Refresh Internet Guide Data

But now that you mention it, my guide goes up only to 6 AM Monday, so this may be a widespread problem. WeatherNation on CMTV is working, so I know my Internet connection is good.
After "Refresh Internet Guide Data", my Guide now extends out the full 14 days.
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Last edited by pilotart; 02-02-2019 at 12:33 PM. Reason: And I have the 'floppy' ....
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post #16415 of 16824 Old 02-02-2019, 06:35 PM
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Three simple rules for manufacturers of devices with firmware updates provided over the Internet:

  1. If your device can update automatically, always give the user the option to turn automatic updates off! No excuses for not following this one.
  2. Again, if your device can update automatically, never start an update when an important task is running or about to start! (E.g., a DVR should never update just before or during a recording; duh.)
  3. If your device checks for updates automatically, make the "update available" notice unobtrusive! E.g., a DVR could put the words "update available" on the program guide and/or list of recordings, where it's bound to be seen but won't interrupt watching a program.

E* got the first two right (more or less) with the DTVPal (the third rule didn't apply; there was no "update available" notice if you didn't enable automatic updates). But somehow they managed to get all three wrong on the DVR+!
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post #16416 of 16824 Old 02-02-2019, 11:14 PM
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Originally Posted by JHBrandt View Post
Three simple rules for manufacturers of devices with firmware updates provided over the Internet:

  1. If your device can update automatically, always give the user the option to turn automatic updates off! No excuses for not following this one.
I understand, and agree with this in the general sense. But that is because it is logical from the consumer side of the equation. On the other side of the equation, if you are the manufacturer or seller responsible for consumer support it's going to lead to your support people spending a lot of time working with consumers who haven't updated, yet still want their device to work. For them that translates directly into money. They could respond with, "Do you have the latest update?" "If not, get back to us when you do", but I'm not sure how well that would go over with the consumer who has the problem. When I was doing IT work the first thing to do was tell the person with a problem to reboot their computer. A lot of clients didn't like that because they just knew there was a different problem, and of course...they neglected to save their work and expected me to fix the problem without them losing it.
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post #16417 of 16824 Old 02-03-2019, 04:35 AM
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that's very unusual to hear from IT guy who didn't find right words for his customers to do reboot PC AFTER saving their documents, etc

I'm with JHBrandt - mfgs must adapt/change own strict rules if there are problems and been created tension with MILLIONS customer/devices
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post #16418 of 16824 Old 02-03-2019, 08:57 AM
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Cool Unwanted firmware update. ...

I have three DVR+'s, two in use and a third standby (bought two during the great July 4th deal after the 'end' had been forecast here) and one S+ to cover recording channels 3 & 4 when needed along with 4K streaming, if they ever add 'Prime' for it.

My number two is with the 2014 4K TV and still's on 115R and it's good to know that despite the 'nag' box, it can't update without internet (which it doesn't need w/115R anymore).

It's Samsung TV's....
Spoiler!
....DVR+ won't work at all with a 2015 or newer 4K TV on 115R version (it's HDMI-2 related AFAIK).

My biggest fear was 'bricking' a DVR+ with a failed or interrupted firmware flash, but testing by @pachinko shows that not to be a problem. I do run them on Uninterruptible Power Supplies for many reasons.
Art

Last edited by pilotart; 02-03-2019 at 09:19 AM. Reason: Unwanted firmware update. ...
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post #16419 of 16824 Old 02-03-2019, 01:33 PM
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... if you are the manufacturer or seller responsible for consumer support it's going to lead to your support people spending a lot of time working with consumers who haven't updated, yet still want their device to work.
That is true, and I thought of that when writing my post. But I still don't think it's a good reason to ram unwanted updates down the throats of consumers.

It is, of course, reasonable for the manufacturer to limit support of old versions of firmware, just as they do with software. Microsoft doesn't support Windows XP or Vista any more, and support for Windows 7 is ending next year. CM could've done something similar and said they won't support any firmware version 90 days after it's been replaced with an update.

IOW, if you choose not to update, you're on your own; yet I still believe it's important to give consumers that option, without forcing them to jump through hoops to block access to update servers and the like.

BTW, I'm undecided on how easy it should be to roll back an update that turns out to be problematic. I do think it should be easier than the DVR+'s "maintenance reset" procedure, but it probably should at least warn you so you don't downgrade as a result of a mistake like plugging in the wrong thumb drive.
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post #16420 of 16824 Old 02-04-2019, 05:30 AM
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Not to stray too far off topic but with Windows 10 Microsoft drops support for older hardware with each update or every so many of Windows 10. So while your PC was fine when you first installed Win10 as time passes by your hardware will no longer be supported and you will have to upgrade your PC or buy a new one. So this is a whole new wrinkle.
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post #16421 of 16824 Old 02-04-2019, 03:43 PM
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that's very unusual to hear from IT guy who didn't find right words for his customers to do reboot PC AFTER saving their documents, etc
That's because the usual problem was their computer locking up after they had spent considerable time on their work without having saved it even once, despite being advised to save their work every few minutes. There were also times when they would receive error messages or experience other bizarre computer behavior that was just annoying to them. But the Sacred Reboot solved those problems 90% of the time regardless of the problem. The gist of my point was that I wasn't going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out what they were doing at the moment they experienced a problem, especially if they were using niche software they had installed on their computer, rather than the standard software that was supported.

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IOW, if you choose not to update, you're on your own; yet I still believe it's important to give consumers that option, without forcing them to jump through hoops to block access to update servers and the like.
I agree that a simple checkbox would be a good option to have. But the balance between good customer support and an efficient tech support department can be tricky to maintain. My brother once did some kind of phone support for Sony, and told me about an older woman who called and complained that something wasn't working correctly, and that he couldn't find the model # for her device. They went round and round about it until she spelled out the name on her remote: S-A-N-Y-O.
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post #16422 of 16824 Old 02-04-2019, 05:35 PM
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... computer locking up after they had spent considerable time on their work without having saved it even once, despite being advised to save their work every few minutes.
I've been there many times myself, both as the support guy exasperated that the user didn't save once during an hour's worth of work, and as the user whose app crashed when I hit Ctrl-S! But over time, we learn to adapt software to the foibles of humans.

So, "auto-save" was invented to save users from themselves But back to the point at hand: turning off "auto-update" would best be located on an "advanced options" screen somewhere. That way it's less likely to get clicked by the clueless But at the same time, don't bury it so deeply that those who really want the option can't find it.
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post #16423 of 16824 Old 02-04-2019, 07:54 PM
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Long time lurker...first time poster. My 7500GB16, or the external HDD, is on the fritz. Looking for ideas. Software is 135R (0.5). If I attempt to pause TV, the 7500 locks up hard, requiring cold reset. With external HDD unplugged, pause TV works fine. External HDD reports no issues on 7500’s STB Health or on Linux laptop via USB...recorded programs are reported correctly.
I’m trying to troubleshoot to either the HDD or DVR. What could help point the way?
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post #16424 of 16824 Old 02-04-2019, 10:48 PM
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Long time lurker...first time poster. My 7500GB16, or the external HDD, is on the fritz. Looking for ideas. Software is 135R (0.5). If I attempt to pause TV, the 7500 locks up hard, requiring cold reset. With external HDD unplugged, pause TV works fine. External HDD reports no issues on 7500’s STB Health or on Linux laptop via USB...recorded programs are reported correctly.
I’m trying to troubleshoot to either the HDD or DVR. What could help point the way?
Since you have rebooted your DVR+, I would try connecting another HDD to it. It sounds like either your HDD has problems, or the DVR+ has a problem with your HDD. Just remember that any drive you connect to the DVR+ will be reformatted in a Linux kind of way. Since CM isn't really providing support for the DVR+ any more you are pretty much down to a process of elimination. Is it the HDD? The HDD housing? The cable? Or is it the DVR+ itself? Also, was your HDD working fine before, or is the problem recent? They're cheap enough these days so even if you had to buy a new HDD is wouldn't be that big of a deal. Just make sure you get one that CM lists as compatible.
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post #16425 of 16824 Old 02-05-2019, 12:30 AM
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Don't forget USB cable in a middle of the chain... also if the HDD enclosure have separate PSU [power brick] - try to substitute it too.
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post #16426 of 16824 Old 02-05-2019, 04:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Greasemonkey View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMarek View Post
Long time lurker...first time poster. My 7500GB16, or the external HDD, is on the fritz. Looking for ideas. Software is 135R (0.5). If I attempt to pause TV, the 7500 locks up hard, requiring cold reset. With external HDD unplugged, pause TV works fine. External HDD reports no issues on 7500’s STB Health or on Linux laptop via USB...recorded programs are reported correctly.
I’m trying to troubleshoot to either the HDD or DVR. What could help point the way?
Since you have rebooted your DVR+, I would try connecting another HDD to it. It sounds like either your HDD has problems, or the DVR+ has a problem with your HDD. Just remember that any drive you connect to the DVR+ will be reformatted in a Linux kind of way. Since CM isn't really providing support for the DVR+ any more you are pretty much down to a process of elimination. Is it the HDD? The HDD housing? The cable? Or is it the DVR+ itself? Also, was your HDD working fine before, or is the problem recent? They're cheap enough these days so even if you had to buy a new HDD is wouldn't be that big of a deal. Just make sure you get one that CM lists as compatible.
Greasemonkey, many thanks for the input! Both work fine separately, just refuse to play nice together...frustrating. I swapped the WI-FI USB port for the external drive USB as well, just to eliminate things.
I’ve got another HDD with contents I can move temporarily and try it. I’d hate to buy another external HDD and end up with 2 working external HDD’s and a bad DVR+ It just seems so odd and always locking up trying pause TV as the main symptom....almost like a timing issue.
Thanks again for the quick response!
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post #16427 of 16824 Old 02-05-2019, 04:43 AM
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Don't forget USB cable in a middle of the chain... also if the HDD enclosure have separate PSU [power brick] - try to substitute it too.
The USB cable works with the HDD connected to my laptop, so I’m thinking it’s ok. It is the 1TB WD and it’s proprietary cable, FWIW. The single cable does provide power, too, so no PSU.
Thanks for the input, much appreciated!
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post #16428 of 16824 Old 02-05-2019, 06:55 PM
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Originally Posted by ZMarek View Post
Long time lurker...first time poster. My 7500GB16, or the external HDD, is on the fritz. Looking for ideas. Software is 135R (0.5). If I attempt to pause TV, the 7500 locks up hard, requiring cold reset. With external HDD unplugged, pause TV works fine. External HDD reports no issues on 7500’s STB Health or on Linux laptop via USB...recorded programs are reported correctly.
I’m trying to troubleshoot to either the HDD or DVR. What could help point the way?
I've had the same problem before. It seemed to happen when my hard drive had more than a certain percentage of the space used. After deleting some unneeded recordings and freeing up some more space, pausing live TV started working again with no problem.
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post #16429 of 16824 Old 02-05-2019, 08:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZMarek View Post
Long time lurker...first time poster. My 7500GB16, or the external HDD, is on the fritz. Looking for ideas. Software is 135R (0.5). If I attempt to pause TV, the 7500 locks up hard, requiring cold reset. With external HDD unplugged, pause TV works fine. External HDD reports no issues on 7500’s STB Health or on Linux laptop via USB...recorded programs are reported correctly.
I’m trying to troubleshoot to either the HDD or DVR. What could help point the way?
I've had the same problem before. It seemed to happen when my hard drive had more than a certain percentage of the space used. After deleting some unneeded recordings and freeing up some more space, pausing live TV started working again with no problem.
Hi Richart, there are episodes which can be deleted. I’ll give that a try. When I connected the external drive to my laptop, I was really surprised by the many histories of deleted shows (hundreds) it logs. I wonder if that takes up space. There was space available on the external drive but i’ll give this a try for sure. Thank you for the help!
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post #16430 of 16824 Old 02-07-2019, 11:59 AM
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This is just FYI


I own 3 DVR+ but have only one in use. Today I decided to power up my second unit which has been powered off for almost a year. It went fine except I had no sound. I had picture and everything else seemed to work. I tried the menu sound adjustments but they did not do anything.


I suspected the HDMI cable so I pulled it off and reinserted it and that did not fix the problem


So I went into the menu and did a factory reset.


As soon as the reset completed the sound came back and all is well...so far. I can't explain why I had the issue but in this case a factory reset was the solution.


Oh and I never had an issue like this before with any of my 3 units.
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post #16431 of 16824 Old 02-07-2019, 12:51 PM
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that was protons high energy particles came from our Sun... unfortunately your DVR's NVRAM was on its way ...
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post #16432 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 06:44 AM
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I suspected the HDMI cable so I pulled it off and reinserted it and that did not fix the problem

There's actually a process you have to use to reset a HDMI cable. Rebooting sometimes does it too, but it depends on how the power state of the TV and streaming device work. Or something. But simply removing and reinserting isn't always enough.



I can't recall the exact sequence, but it involves turning all devices off, unplugging the TV, streaming device and removing the HDMI cable, plugging in the TV, attaching the HDMI cable to the TV first and then the streaming device, plugging in the streaming device, turning on the TV and then the streaming device. You may need to reverse that order ... all off then unplugged, remove then re-insert HDMI, plug in streaming device, plug in TV, turn on streaming device then TV.
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post #16433 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 07:41 AM
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Cool Also lost sound but avoided that :( "Factory Reset" :)

Quote:
Originally Posted by LenL View Post
This is just FYI


I own 3 DVR+ but have only one in use. Today I decided to power up my second unit which has been powered off for almost a year. It went fine except I had no sound. I had picture and everything else seemed to work. I tried the menu sound adjustments but they did not do anything.


I suspected the HDMI cable so I pulled it off and reinserted it and that did not fix the problem


So I went into the menu and did a factory reset.


As soon as the reset completed the sound came back and all is well...so far. I can't explain why I had the issue but in this case a factory reset was the solution.


Oh and I never had an issue like this before with any of my 3 units.
Also three DVR+'s, two in use, with one of those still on 115R. This morning, my first purchased (and in continuous use since July 2015) unit came on without any sound on live TV or playback (this had never happened before on any of my DVR+'s and I also had checked the TV's settings for both the "Receiver" and "TV Speakers", normal operation on TV's tuner).

Then I just pulled the power plug out from back of the DVR+ and after 30 seconds or so; plugged it back in. This forces a "Cold Reboot" (I had performed a "Warm Reboot" as last action yesterday, by holding Power button for five seconds; until blue LED turns red).

This above action restored normal sound. This was the first incidence ever of a sound issue like this.

I've not performed any Factory Reset since the first week with just the first of my DVR+'s. This had just been to eliminate the 'Update nag box' until I could block their update-URL's, I did not want to lose the 115R version that had non-streaming advantages, and cannot be downloaded. This oldest unit did have to go 132R for new (HDMI-2) TV and then a week ago into 135R for the 14 day Guide. (Also had installed new server/modem w/o URL blocks, so the 'nag' was back.)

A Factory Reset requires you to re-enable every single setting you have ever done on your DVR+, so it's not such a big deal in the beginning, but needs to be avoided if at all possible, later on....
Art

Last edited by pilotart; 02-08-2019 at 10:35 AM. Reason: ; until blue LED turns red
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post #16434 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 10:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fshagan View Post
There's actually a process you have to use to reset a HDMI cable. Rebooting sometimes does it too, but it depends on how the power state of the TV and streaming device work. Or something. But simply removing and reinserting isn't always enough.



I can't recall the exact sequence, but it involves turning all devices off, unplugging the TV, streaming device and removing the HDMI cable, plugging in the TV, attaching the HDMI cable to the TV first and then the streaming device, plugging in the streaming device, turning on the TV and then the streaming device. You may need to reverse that order ... all off then unplugged, remove then re-insert HDMI, plug in streaming device, plug in TV, turn on streaming device then TV.
The author forgot to use shamanic drum for the time of disconnecting and connecting, turning off and on, unplugging and plugging back
BS, in one word !
That geek have no knowledge of electronics and embedded firmware/software!
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post #16435 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 11:04 AM
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Art you said "A Factory Reset requires you to re-enable every single setting you have ever done on your DVR+, so it's not such a big deal in the beginning, but needs to be avoided if at all possible, later on.."


This is not quite true. The factory reset menu comes with options to leave various settings alone when doing the reset. At least with the last firmware upgrade these options were there. I can't speak to if the options were there for earlier firmware.
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post #16436 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 12:34 PM
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Cool My thoughts on reboot.

I generally perform a 'warm' boot (just pressing unit's power button until LED flashes Red) as a preventive 'clean-up' measure much like I do with a PC or even an iPhone or 'smart' TV. It seems like the older they get, the more often it's needed to keep them operating at peak.

With a DVR+, you of-course don't do this (a 'warm' boot) while it's recording and if you choose to do it while blue LED is bright, it will finish in standby mode and if you perform it from standby, it'll conclude in the 'on' mode.

I save 'cold' boot for when a problem is seen. I know that electronic devices often don't like sudden power interruption, an old XM-SkyFi of mine would sound distorted (on next use) if it was left on when car was shut-down, but my SkyFi-II doesn't need turned off before car. Of course PC's are especially sensitive to 'improper' shutdowns. My oldest Sony TV will get 'bricked' by one single defective 'Remote' command and needs about a week unplugged to recover. Its recovery is complete and permanent after disposal of that original remote.

When my DVR+ is 'acting-up', I prefer To disconnect power while it's 'on', thinking this will minimize chance of it 'remembering' bad behavior and it then recovers in the 'on' mode.

My computer expertise is limited to operation and beta-testing (for Boeing) pre-flight planning, performance and navigation PC software, They now refer to this as "Electronic Flight Bag".

So I look forward to comments from more knowledgeable operators.
Art
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post #16437 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 02:29 PM
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Had a weird thing happen with a recording on my DVR+. Watched an episode of the Fox show 'The Resident' recorded last fall. As the last segment of the show came back on after a commercial break, you could hear background sounds from the audio but no voices even though you could see that people were talking. I cycled my audio receiver from 5.1 to stereo, but no difference. After the show ended, the voice audio came back on the commercials. Sounds like the network feed or the local station lost one of the audio channels to me. What do you think?
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post #16438 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 05:10 PM
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I agree.
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post #16439 of 16824 Old 02-08-2019, 09:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotart View Post
...When my DVR+ is 'acting-up', I prefer To disconnect power while it's 'on', thinking this will minimize chance of it 'remembering' bad behavior and it then recovers in the 'on' mode.
...
So I look forward to comments from more knowledgeable operators.
Art
I wouldn't recommend do it that way - you're risking of corrupt the files system as DVR's OS I/O subsystem using buffering and by normal turning DVR off you do force to flush updated data [EPG, etc] to the HDD.
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post #16440 of 16824 Old 02-09-2019, 07:16 AM
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I've encountered the no-sound-on-the-TV problem several times with each of my 2 DVR+s on two different TVs.

I've always solved the problem by de-selecting the HDMI source using the TV remote, and re-selecting it. Sometimes I have to do this a couple of times, but it has always fixed it. I've never had to fiddle with the DVR+, power cycle, reset, or any of that.

I also have this issue from time to time with my Roku plug-in streaming stick (forget the actual model name), so my conclusion is that it is a fault / weakness in the HDMI connection protocol between devices and not specifically a problem with the DVR+.
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