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post #181 of 7483 Old 10-16-2004, 01:29 PM
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Make sure that you press Ch+ and Vol- simultaneously and only momentarily (don't hold them down for a few seconds like I did at first). Sometimes this results in the cable box channel being moved up by one, but you can fix that after the fact.

Also, be sure your VCR is tuned to channel 3.

-barry
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post #182 of 7483 Old 10-16-2004, 01:41 PM
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Update on setting SD mode. I just tried it again on my setup and had problems at first because my VCR was turned on and set to Line input. I now seem to remember reading somewhere that to change to SD mode, the 8000HD must have a live connection on either the s-video or coax connection. When I turned my VCR off, allowing coax passthru, the box allowed me to switch to SD with no problems. I was then able to turn on the VCR, change to channel 3, and record CNN.

So I guess the instructions for coax are:
1. Connect the cables from box to VCR to TV.
2. Turn on the TV, turn off the VCR.
3. Press Ch+ and Vol- simultaneously.
4. Once in SD mode, turn on the VCR and set it to record from channel 3.

-barry
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post #183 of 7483 Old 10-19-2004, 07:20 AM
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Quote:


So apparently in SD mode you need to disconnect your component video connection in order to use the Y RCA output as the 480i composite output. Though shouldn't s-video output be active at the same time? That would allow you to not disconnect the HD component output (though it wouldn't work correct as noted while in SD mode) but thats OK just connect the s-video output from the SA8000HD to your VCR's s-video input and connect the vCR's s-video output to the Tv's s-video input and select that input while in SD mode. Make sure the VCR is setup to record from its auxiliary input.

I just got the box on Saturday. It has the latest update as referenced above & has been performing flawlessly (so far), with none of the problems described above. The HD pic is MUCH better than my old SA box (BTW, I was the first non-TW executive to get an HD box in NYC, back in 11/01--they told me that I was the 6th box installed in the City!), so I've had TWHD for quite a while, and the picture from the SA8000HD is WAY better than what I had before, even the SD channels look miles better with the upconversion. I have a Sony 36XBR-450, and It displays SD as full 4x3 thru the Component 1 input (I didn't even know that 4X3 could be displayed there!), so now I can watch everything thru component & my wife can deal with changing the channels! There IS a delay whenever the TV switches aspect ratios, but it's a small price to pay. I have the box connected to the TV via the component inputs (no audio is connected to the TV), and everything else (digital & analog audio using the regular analog output, not the archive one, and S-video) is routed thru my receiver (Yamaha DSP-A1). The S-VHS is also connected only to the receiver, and I tape everything using Line1). All I have to do is switch to SD via the 2-button push,and everything works just like it did before I got the box. It doesn't matter if the VCR is turned on or not, and CH3 doesn't figure in to this (but it works also). Thanks to all of you for your expert advice on archiving, as it was driving me crazy all weekend!

BTW: My box displays the multi-page info on CH 1999.

BTW, BTW: I have it set to 1080i & 480P 4X3 stretch.

"MMMM,Snout!"---Homer Simpson
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post #184 of 7483 Old 10-20-2004, 05:55 PM
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I just noticed something odd in my "series recording" list. One of my future recordings is showing up in the guide as black instead of red. And it looks different in my series recording list as well - it has a "rec" symbol next to the show's name. Nothing else is treated that way. What's up with that? Anyone else seen it?
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post #185 of 7483 Old 10-20-2004, 06:27 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by archiguy
I just noticed something odd in my "series recording" list. One of my future recordings is showing up in the guide as black instead of red. And it looks different in my series recording list as well - it has a "rec" symbol next to the show's name. Nothing else is treated that way. What's up with that? Anyone else seen it?

I've seen that a few times and i *think* it might mean that the schedule for that time slot has changed and the show will not be recorded, but i just can't remember if that was the case or not. It's trying to tell you something but i don't know what it is.

Randy
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post #186 of 7483 Old 10-20-2004, 10:57 PM
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What's a "rec" symbol? If you have a conflict (three series recordings which overlap), the lowest priority series will show up kind of greyed out in the scheduled recording list, with a circle with a diagonal slash through it. Is that what you're seeing?

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

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post #187 of 7483 Old 10-21-2004, 06:11 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by michaeltscott
What's a "rec" symbol? If you have a conflict (three series recordings which overlap), the lowest priority series will show up kind of greyed out in the scheduled recording list, with a circle with a diagonal slash through it. Is that what you're seeing?

Yes, that's it Mike. It was speaking a different language to me than I had seen before. I absent-mindedly had tried to set up 3 different recordings in the same time slot. I'd done that once before, and it "warned" me about it - gave me a warning screen that said there was a conflict and gave me a choice of which recording I wanted to flush. Very thoughtful of it, I mused. This time, it didn't give me that warning screen. What it did do was black out the first recording I had scheduled in the Guide, and grayed out that recording in the "Scheduled Recordings" list just as Mike described above. It was trying to warn me; I was just too stupid to understand its language.

Anyway, now I know it can give you a warning two different ways. Thank goodness ABC is repeating that "lost" episode of LOST on Saturday. Saved by the network programmers!
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post #188 of 7483 Old 10-21-2004, 06:10 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by EricScott
Except if you have the Archive to VCR function enabled, in which case you can output whatever is in the PIP window over composite or S-Vid.

1) Can you Archive NTSC Preimum (HBO) programs?

2) Can you Archive HD Preimum (HBO-HD) programs?

3) Can you Archive OTA HD programs?

If so, are they auto letterboxed upon output?

AND, if you switch to SD mode -- can you record (VHS/DVD) PayPerView channels?
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post #189 of 7483 Old 10-21-2004, 06:32 PM
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d-v-c,

I can answer some of your questions and speculate on others.

1. Yes, you can archive NTSC premium programs. I'm not sure about pay-per-views.

2. HD premium programs: I've never actually tried this, but I think you can.

3. Don't know.

The programs are auto-letterboxed.

I've often used the switch to SD mode for videotaping, but I've never tried a PPV show. On the other hand, I'm sure it would work, since you can videotape any show that you can watch.

-barry
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post #190 of 7483 Old 10-21-2004, 08:18 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by archiguy
Anyway, now I know it can give you a warning two different ways. Thank goodness ABC is repeating that "lost" episode of LOST on Saturday. Saved by the network programmers!

I just noticed that I had one of these in my scheduled recordings. I find that this happens sometimes when I have a series recording too broadly specified, particularly for one of the premium cable series--the same episode of something will be on 5 time one week on as may different channels in the HBO tier and if the series recording entry is specified loosely, it will try to record them all, which is bound to overlap something. This is one place where this thing is notably dumber than TiVo--it won't record any matching episodes which have been recorded in the past 28 days (or something like that).

You're right--the little circle with a slash through it is on top of the text "REC", making an icon for "No REC". I'd seen the grayed out scheduled recording entries, but had never noticed the corresponding black slots on the guide grid.

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

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post #191 of 7483 Old 10-22-2004, 05:18 AM - Thread Starter
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I noticed this symbol last night for the first time.... It was shows we marked as "series" and as you say, we didn't narrow down the "search" that the box will do. In my case, my local CBS is channel 7 (analog) and 707 (digital). It found both of them, rightfully so. Not sure if I had another program set to record at the same time and therefore would have needed (3) slots or if it simply could tell they were (probably) duplicates.
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post #192 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 05:16 AM
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Here's some undocumented features that most of you already know about, but some here may not be aware of. There are other tricks i'm probably forgetting about, but these are the ones i use the most, all compiled in one post.

Edit: Updated on 6/19/05:

Slow Motion - Quickly double-tap the PLAY key. To resume playback hit the PLAY key once.


Slow Motion - Hit PAUSE first, then hold down the Right Arrow key and it goes into Slo-Mo.


Frame by frame advance - hit PAUSE first, then repeatedly tap the Right Arrow key


Swap from one tuner to the other - Press the Pip's SWAP button only (don't press Pip)


Recording Options - after selecting a show to record, press SELECT again and a menu
pops up where you can change settings for that particular recording (like save until
manually erased, record entire series, start early/late etc)


Commercial Advance (sorta) - When you're FF'ing through a block of commercials,
hit PLAY as soon as you see the show resume, and the unit jumps back to the right
where the show resumes. Takes practice and quick eyes to get it just right :-)


Jump Ahead to 15 minute marks - When in FF mode you can jump ahead to the next
15 minute interval by pressing the Right Arrow key.


Jump Backwards to 15 minute marks - Hit the Rewind key then press the Left Arrow
key to go backwards. Handy when joining a show in progress and you want to skip
back to the beginning.


Create Manual Recording - Press REC and a menu will pop up giving you an option to
Create a Manual Recording. Press SELECT and you'll be able to navigate around and
create your manual recording just like you did with your VCR.


To make the Bar Graph or a Menu disappear no matter what you're doing, just hit the EXIT key.


When in the Guide, see a particular channel listing by entering the direct channel
number using the number keys (like 7, or 200, or 1182 etc).


Another way to quickly skip through channels in the guide is to press the FAV button.
It will jump directly to the next channel on your List of Favorite Channels and is actually
more useful than when watching live TV. Faster in the guide at least.


When in the Guide, hit the A key to skip ahead 100 channels at a time.


When in the Guide, to quickly scan hours or days ahead, press and HOLD the Right Arrow
key and it starts advancing through the hours really fast and you can see the days advancing
too. When you get close to the day you want start watching the hours again and take your
finger off the button which will dump you close to the time you're looking for on that day.
If you go more than a few days ahead you'll probably see "No Data" for a few moments
while the new data loads. If you go too far ahead it will not load new data (i can go forward
about 5-6 days typically, but sometimes only 3 or 4 days).


When in the Guide, to quickly skip several days ahead, press a number key then quickly
press the Right Arrow key. Use number 2 to scan two days ahead, use 4 for four days, etc.
Same No Data rules apply as above.


To search by Theme, bring up the Guide normally then hit the B key to bring up the
list of Themes.


While searching by Theme, you can either scroll down by hitting the Down Arrow key
or hit the B key to skp to the next group of Themes (like Sports, Lifestyles, News, Family,
etc) then use the Down or Up Arrow keys to scroll through the subheadings in that group.
When you've highlighted a Theme you want (say, Sports) Right Arrow over into the
Programs section the pressing the B key again skips down one page at a time. Zero in
on the show you want using the Down or Up Arrow key.


To search by Title, bring up the Guide normally then hit the C key to bring up the A-Z column.
Then to search for a particular title, you can either scroll down through the A-Z alphabet to
the letter you want, or hit the C key to advance to the next page of letters. Once you settle
on a letter, Right Arrow into the list of Programs then either scroll down with the Down Arrow
key or hit the C key to skip down to the next title group. When you land on the show you're looking
for, hit the Record key and a menu will pop up giving you the option of recording that particular
showing or Recording the entire series. You can then go into your Series Manager and fine tune
the settings.

You can change the way the DVR changes channels. If you press the * key this switches to
a mode where you will have to press the SELECT key to complete a direct channel change
or to skip to a specific channel in the Guide. So now you have to press 4 then quickly press
SELECT to complete the channel change. This is to prevent you from accidentally hitting a
number key then losing your existing show's buffer when the channel suddenly changes.
I hate when that happens! This mode eliminates that problem :-) To restore normal
operation, press the INFO button to bring up the progress bar, then quickly hit the * key.
Or reboot the DVR - that also resets this back to the default.

EDIT: This apparently no longer works in the newer versions of Passport.


To get to the multi-page Diagnostics screen, simultaneously press and hold the front panel's
SELECT and EXIT buttons till DIAGNO appears then release the buttons, then press EXIT and
the the box tunes itself to the multi-page Diagnostics channel. To exit press Ch + or Ch -

Randy
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post #193 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyWalters
Recording Options - after selecting a show to record, press SELECT again and a menu pops up where you can change settings for that particular recording (like save until manually erased, start early/late etc)

If you are doing a "series" recording, there's a wealth of *different* options available under "List", then "C" for Series Recording and options there.
Quote:
Originally posted by RandyWalters
Commercial Advance (sorta) - When you're FF'ing through a block of commercials, hit PLAY as soon as you see the show resume, and the unit jumps back to the right where the show resumes. Takes practice and quick eyes to get it just right :-)

I've seen that happen .... sometimes. Not sure what the exact circumstances are though. Sometimes it backs up, other times it doesn't. It is nice though and if I nail it right, I get a smirk on my face.
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post #194 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 10:05 AM
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I've created "rube goldburg" sorts of 30 second and 3 minute skip ahead buttons using the macro functions of an MX-800. Doesn't always work exactly right but gets you close. Too bad they can't give us a good, precise software solution for skip ahead buttons via an upgrade. Or more accurately, they choose not to since it wouldn't be difficult. Talk about a value-added feature!
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post #195 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 11:53 AM - Thread Starter
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According to people over at the Yahoo! Groups for the Explorer 8000, the box in fact had a software function for a 30-second skip that could be accessed more simply with programmable remotes (not using macros and what-not). At some point, SciAtl completely disabled or removed this portion of the software.

I doubt it's coming back....
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post #196 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 12:11 PM
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I've actually seen all of these features documented. I searched around to find use of HD DVRs by providers and snooped their sites for DVR documentation to see if they were running Passport Echo on their boxes. As I recall, the best doc I found was for a Cox provider--I have uploaded them to my Yahoo Briefcase in this folder. Everything that you mentioned, Randy, is in these docs, except for the tuner-swap thing; they're for Passport Echo running on Motorola boxes and PIP doesn't seem to be supported (everything else works exactly the same).

I've had these docs for a couple of months and it never occured to me to post them--selfish me. Sorry .

Automatic back-up/"back-down" after a fast-forward or rewind is a TiVo and Replay feature that I always found to be annoying. I turned it off in TiVo's back-door mode.

One more "undocumented" feature (it's in those documents ): in the guide, press a digit and quickly press the right-arrow or left-arrow to advance that many days ahead or back, respectively. If you're looking at Saturday, 3+RIGHT goes instantly to the same time on Tuesday. Well, not always instantly--it sometimes has to pause and download new guide data if you go far enough ahead.

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

"Think of the cable company as a group of terrorist (sic)." -- hookbill
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post #197 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 12:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by hall
According to people over at the Yahoo! Groups for the Explorer 8000, the box in fact had a software function for a 30-second skip that could be accessed more simply with programmable remotes (not using macros and what-not). At some point, SciAtl completely disabled or removed this portion of the software.

I doubt it's coming back....

I wouldn't be surprised. Commercial skipping has always been controversial. I'm sure that we all recall the broadcasters' suit against Sonic Blue for the automatic remove-all-commercials on playback feature that they put into ReplayTV. Defending themselves from that suit was arguably what took them into receivership (toward the end, they were soliciting donations from the public), and the buyer of Replay sensibly removed the feature from the product which they now sell.

Broadcast television is paid for completely by advertisement and non-premium cable/DBS-only channels (A&E, SciFi, etc) are supplemented by that income. Supposedly the advertisers are getting increasingly tight with their money because they perceive that television is become an increasingly less effective advertising medium. Over the years, this has led to broadcast television becoming populated with less and less expensive programming, beginning with the flood of "news magazines", which have nearly been replaced by the even cheaper "reality" show.

People have gotten awfully good at ignoring interstitial ads even without electronic commercial-skip gimmicks; they get up and go the the bathroom, make quick phone calls, grab a snack. The experienced television watcher has a keen internal sense of the length of the standard commercial break and will sit back down just as it ends.

I can see where the cable SOs might ask SA to remove a feature like that. They sell local advertisement on the cable-only channels; giving their home customers the ability to automatically skip them without even a glance is hardly in their interest.

Personally, I rarely watch television live. If there's nothing on that I want to watch except for something that I'm currently recording, I'll either watch another recording for a while or go do something else for half an hour. I don't mind zapping the ads manually. I sometimes catch a glimpse of things which interest me, like ads for new movies, or an interesting new car or gadget.

Eventually there should be dual-tuner CableCARD DVRs with at least instant 30-second skip. Replay has gotten away with that all along without invoking the wrath of Hollywood. TiVo has it as a "back-door" option; why they never added it as a feature in new products is beyond me (or maybe they have). BTW--I love the way that Replay describes the feature: "Quickskip Skip 30 seconds of a recorded or delayed show. Great for skipping those slow scenes."

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

"Think of the cable company as a group of terrorist (sic)." -- hookbill
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post #198 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 12:57 PM - Thread Starter
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I thought TiVo had it clearly labeled on their remotes for years or something but recently removed it .... just the obvious key on the remote though. The function is still there if you search for it (on the 'net).

Dish Network, on the other hand, makes no attempt to hide it. There's a 30-second skip-ahead button on the remote. I don't recall if the manual goes into detail about it though. This page, http://www.dishnetwork.com/content/p...r/index.shtml, clearly states Skip through commercials on recorded programs.
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post #199 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 01:18 PM
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The last TiVo that I bought was a 30-hour analog Series-1 Sony, about 3 years ago. It did not have a 30-second skip button. They may have added it to models since then, but, according to this document at their site, the current Series-2 analog units has no such documented function. The same chapter of the HD DirecTiVo Guide (here, on PDF page 80) is nearly identical. No skip.

As I said previously, you could get into "back-door mode" and enable an undocumented 30-second skip function, replacing, I believe, the 7-second instant-replay button (I don't think I have ever used that).

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

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post #200 of 7483 Old 10-23-2004, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally posted by michaeltscott
Eventually there should be dual-tuner CableCARD DVRs with at least instant 30-second skip. Replay has gotten away with that all along without invoking the wrath of Hollywood. TiVo has it as a "back-door" option; why they never added it as a feature in new products is beyond me (or maybe they have). BTW--I love the way that Replay describes the feature: "Quickskip Skip 30 seconds of a recorded or delayed show. Great for skipping those slow scenes."

One reason why Tivo doesn't have that feature might be because one of the bigger investors in Tivo is NBC. Bob Wright, the President of NBC made the investment as a hedge against the potential loss of advertizing revenue because of DVR users. He's said publicly that he sees it as the future of television, and that the networks will have to seriously rethink their revenue models. (This was also a motive behind NBC's aquisition of Universal, which among other things produces all of the Law & Order series, thus consolidating all of the profit for the show under one corporate entity.) His vision doesn't seem too far off, its just that Tivo has fallen behind with the popularity of cableco provided DVRs...
-JMP
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post #201 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 11:19 AM
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Quote:
Originally posted by RandyWalters
Swap from one tuner to the other - Press the Pip's SWAP button only (don't press Pip)

As I said previously, this is the only feature in that list of tips that I hadn't seen documented and I was unaware of it. I've played with it a little--it could create a totally new style of watching "live" television. Both tuners keep separate trick-play buffers, so you can pause at the beginning of commercials, swap, watch until the other channel hits an ad, pause it, swap and zap the previous channel's ads, and go back and forth like that. Of course, this only works with two channels with unsynchronous ads.

I doubt that I'd actually use this capability, but it's amusing.

Mike Scott (XBL: MikeHellion, PSN: MarcHellion)

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post #202 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 11:26 AM
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I am not sure if this question has been covered before, but my DVR was installed yesterday (Passport Echo 1.5.159) and I find the HD picture quality significantly softer than the SA3100HD's. I wonder if is the general feeling or it is only my unit.
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post #203 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 12:06 PM
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Relative PQ of this unit to others has certainly been brought up. There is no general consensus and I doubt that one could be reached about a subjective impression of something measured on such a wide variety of combinations of equipment. For instance, I went from the SA3100HD to the Pioneer 3510HD, which I found to deliver greatly superior PQ--the SA8000HD seems to be at least as good as the Pioneer box to me, on my television. Your mileage may vary (and, obviously, does).

Go to the other thread and do a search for "pq or soft" (I did it for 162 hits) for some people's impressions.

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post #204 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 12:55 PM
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SD/HD Volume Stops Working!

To make videotapes, I've been using the 'trick' of switching to SD mode and recording. Suddenly, a couple of days ago, when I switch to SD mode, I no longer get any sound on the coax cable at all. The picture's fine. I've checked my cabling. And, I do get sound when I play an old video, so the vcr and tv seem to be working OK.

Anybody else seeing this problem?

-barry
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post #205 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 01:56 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by FredB
I am not sure if this question has been covered before, but my DVR was installed yesterday (Passport Echo 1.5.159) and I find the HD picture quality significantly softer than the SA3100HD's. I wonder if is the general feeling or it is only my unit.

I've noticed the same thing - HD PQ doesn't quite have the Wow! factor that it did on my Pioneer 3510HD box. Unfortunately the cable guy too my 3510HD with him when he installed the SA8000HD so can't compare them side by side, but i'm sure the HD images are a little softer and less vibrant than before.

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post #206 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 03:16 PM
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I agree - I put in the 8000HD and was no doubt diappointed with the significantly softer HD picture quality than my previous Pio 3510. With all of the great HD sports on right now, I'm bummed that I'm missing it.

That said, the SD quality was a step up from the 3510. But, I'll take the 3510 over this box any day. I heard about an 8300 model that's supposedly coming soon, that has similar PQ as the 3510. Fingers crossed.
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post #207 of 7483 Old 10-24-2004, 06:12 PM
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Do you have the "Output Formats" set to allow 1080i and 720p and 480p. Your TV set can probably convert them to it's natural frequency better than the 8000HD. It does, on my TV's, take much longer to do it that way, but the picture is sometimes sharper.

-barry
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post #208 of 7483 Old 10-25-2004, 11:31 AM
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Quote:


Originally posted by FredB
I am not sure if this question has been covered before, but my DVR was installed yesterday (Passport Echo 1.5.159) and I find the HD picture quality significantly softer than the SA3100HD's. I wonder if is the general feeling or it is only my unit.

Yes. you are not alone. I switched from the Pioneer 3510 to the SA 8000HD.The picture is noticeable softer for HD, especially when watching DiscoverHD.


I'm surprised no one has mentioned this... you can go fwd/backwards days on the tv guide using the day +/- buttons. No need to hold down the right arrow key.
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post #209 of 7483 Old 10-25-2004, 01:37 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by timewaster
I'm surprised no one has mentioned this... you can go fwd/backwards days on the tv guide using the day +/- buttons. No need to hold down the right arrow key.

Uh, what "day +/-" buttons are you talking about?

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post #210 of 7483 Old 10-25-2004, 01:58 PM
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Quote:


Originally posted by michaeltscott
Uh, what "day +/-" buttons are you talking about?

These two:



That's a close-up of the remote distributed by TWCNYC with the 8000HD. Do you have a different model?

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