AVS Forum banner

2801 - 2820 of 17993 Posts

·
Banned
Joined
·
954 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mulliganman  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2760#post_24505209


You can put me in the "tuner trouble" category with the DVR+. My current setup: An Antennas Direct 91XG connected to a Channel Master 3414 distribution amp and then split the signal to 3 TV's.


Upon initial setup, I didn't notice much of an issue with the DVR+ but in the last couple of weeks I started having pixelation issues on some channels. Those pixelation problems were not present on non-connected DVR+ TV's or on the TV connected to the DVR+ if I just sent the signal straight to that TV.


I setup and connected the Roamio tonight on the same TV the DVR+ was connected to. No pixelation on any channels. The Roamio is also detecting signals for two-three channels my TV's aren't even detecting (the signals are just not quite strong enough to get a picture). It is also getting guide info for channels the DVR+ wasn't.


I don't share this to bash the DVR+, but rather for comparison sake. For the record, I hope the DVR+ does well. If it does, it will create more competition which can only be a good thing.
Quote:
Originally Posted by apw2607  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2760#post_24505874


^ me too. I did end up getting one of these. Only had it for 2 days before I shipped the thing back. My experience with the tuner wasn't very good. No matter what I did I could never recieve NBC. My crappy iview happily receives NBC, as does the tuner in the tv. I would admit though, my reception area isn't great ... So I put it down to one of those things. Pity because its a nice little box. I didn't like the fact it won't let you use a hard drive under 80GB however as I don't recall seeing that in any spec or owners manual.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Theducksfan2010  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2760#post_24506118


I was going to swap mine out for a new one, but CM support promised me a call back before COB today, and that never happened. Ordered the Tivo Roamio tonight, will get it on Friday.


A caveat is in order: As much as I really really wanted to love this machine, it (for me really, is not anywhere near ready for prime time). 

BUY the DVR+ if:  
   You have strong signals

   Live near the broadcast towers

   Guide populates well, fw updates are reliable, if you are hardwired into internet

   
Do Not BUY the DVR+ if: 

   You live in a "fringe" reception area

   Have: multipath

            weak signals

            night stations (fade during the day)

            co-channels

   You want to be able to record first run shows only

   Mind recordings of the wrong channels, repeatedly missed recordings


All in all YMMV, but I think that the performance of the machine really has a lot to do with signal strength (without a pre-amp) and how close the broadcast towers are to you.


Yes my DVR+ is going back, and I am switching to a Tivo Roamio.

Would I recommend this to anyone who lives in a fringe area: NO

Would i recommend it to anyone who has signals that do not require a pre-amp: YES

Bottom line (for me, at least....and also based upon these three recent posts):

The DVR+ has great potential....but not if it has inferior tuners (and/or related circuitry) that require the absolute best signal strength/quality in order to produce a good (or sometimes even watchable) recording!

What I stated earlier regarding CM's own CM-7000 DTA converter box remains relevant (as do comparisons with the "Roamio", etc.).

It's essential for the DVR+ to make quality recordings under a variety of signal conditions (not just in an ideal "lab" environment).

If CM made the assumption that most people had the option of upgrading their reception (perhaps hoping to sell antennas, amps, etc.), then they need to stop barking up the wrong tree!....as not everyone has the option to do so.....or should have to do so, simply to please these signal hungry devices!

If the CM-7000 DTA box was able to do amazing things with questionable signal....

then is it unreasonable to expect this from the DVR+?

No matter how much certain people defend this unit here.....the single most important function (not "feature") is the way it maintains the signal and the resulting video/audio quality. Fact is, the DVR+ simply doesn't do the job it should very well should do in this regard......period!......which is a shame!

......Sad but true!
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
154 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24507555


The DVR+ gets the guide info from Rovi Corp., like tvguide.com. The Roamio gets the guide info from Tribune Media Services, like Zap2It.com. The TiVo guide has a few bugs.

That may be true, but I haven't seen any bugs yet. For me, the guide on the DVR+ wasn't a huge issue as the channels not showing in the guide I never watch. But, for me it was a nice bonus that they showed up with the Roamio guide.


The biggest issue is the tuners. There is no doubt the Roamio tuners are superior. It really is a shame that the DVR+ tuners are less than ideal. As others have pointed out, users will have issues if they are not in ideal situations or located close to the broadcast towers. I really am bummed the DVR+ isn't going to work out for me. I was all set to buy a second unit for another TV. I am just grateful I am within the return period.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
954 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mulliganman  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24509229


That may be true, but I haven't seen any bugs yet. For me, the guide on the DVR+ wasn't a huge issue as the channels not showing in the guide I never watch. But, for me it was a nice bonus that they showed up with the Roamio guide.


The biggest issue is the tuners. There is no doubt the Roamio tuners are superior. It really is a shame that the DVR+ tuners are less than ideal. As others have pointed out, users will have issues if they are not in ideal situations or located close to the broadcast towers. I really am bummed the DVR+ isn't going to work out for me. I was all set to buy a second unit for another TV. I am just grateful I am within the return period.

Sad......but true!......it could have been a great product!....

Perhaps they need to receive a high percentage of these units back (which they would never admit to) and/or be flooded with similar complaints. Hopefully the next generation will have real potential?.....if in fact there is a next generation!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,800 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mulliganman  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2800_50#post_24509229



That may be true, but I haven't seen any bugs yet. For me, the guide on the DVR+ wasn't a huge issue as the channels not showing in the guide I never watch. But, for me it was a nice bonus that they showed up with the Roamio guide.

 
Viewing habits are a factor. If I had a DVR+ and it couldn't tune CW I would never notice. Same with someone else who never watches PBS.

 

BTW, the zipcode is just a starting place to get your guide. The database is indexed by DMA (CM7000 used this). Sometimes it was labeled a pseudo-zipcode. This Designated Market Area can cover a lot of territory and several zipcodes. Anyhow, good luck.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
11,493 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by WS65711  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24507970

 
Quote:
Originally Posted by JoeKustra  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24507818



oops. Late Night with Seth Myers: new on Zap2It, not new on TiVo. Good on tvguide.com so probably good on DVR+.

"New" on the Listings on TiVo.com


Possibly it was incorrect at Tribune, and subsequently corrected. I'm not at home so I can't check my actual TiVo hardware.

Maybe if you force your TiVo to connect it will pull in the updated Listing.
Shows as new(well at least not a repeat(R)) on my Tivo, also OAD is  today.....
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts
Any station with pixelation on my TV, has never been viable on the DVR +. With a reset last night, and the hours I slept, that changed this morning. The DVR + was holding its own and a full rescan took my channel number from (the dropped down to 46) back up to 73. I was able to get CM to give me until Wednesday for a refund instead of sending it back tonight. I have two complete antenna systems in my house. Roamio is already ordered, but I do a lot of TV in my office on my secondary antenna. I am pulling the DVR + in there tonight. I will do a fresh factory reset (no antenna or HDD attached) and hook it up to a Colorstar C490 and a 52" LG LCD TV.


From what I saw performance wise today and that it made all recordings last night, I am actually expecting improved reception and performance over the current DVR setup I have in my office now.


Exited about the new system test, and will update after the move. I really think the DVR + will find a new home in my house, and will not be returned.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by slprp1  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24509173


Bottom line (for me, at least....and also based upon these three recent posts):

The DVR+ has great potential....but not if it has inferior tuners (and/or related circuitry) that require the absolute best signal strength/quality in order to produce a good (or sometimes even watchable) recording!

 
Tuner Sensitivity.

   Maybe I have been biased in this department. My LG 60" plasma (manufactured less than 6 months ago) seems to have a great tuner, yes better than the DVR+

 

I moved the DVR + to another room and onto a completely different antenna system tonight. A Colorstar C490 25 ft above ground level.The DVR+ vs my 52" LG LCD: the DVR+ tuners won. Turning the rotor enough to get pixelation on the DVR+, would result in loss of station directly on the tv. Both devices are being fed out of the same splitter. It is picking up stations from 90 - 140 miles away. It didn't handle KNSO 51 (RF 11) as well as the tv  which was suffering from pixelation/stutter (didn't add doing full rescan). But it added KMUM 15 (rf 31) which the tv completely overlooked. Multiple rescans with the antenna pointing multiple directions, and the DVR+ tuners beat my LG LCD every time.

 

I am Deep fringe as far as reception goes. Nearest towers are a 2 Edge path of 70 miles (Sacrament) or 88.6 - 139.4 miles for Fresno stations. The DVR+ was pulling in a solid picture on 15 KW LP stations from over 103 miles away, with a 2 Edge path. 

 

Don't let fear of the tuner sensitivity stop you from buying one, they do have a 30 money back guarantee.

 

Going to do a full factory reset, one more scan, and then see how it does managing recordings.
Update: although the DVR + could not pick up CW 59 (maybe signal overload, the TV had a Strong signal) the DVR + was able to get KTLN beautifully, and the signal on the TV was way below the digital cliff. I was also getting a rock solid picture on KGMC on the DVR +, where it was pixelating, chopping up on the TV. Two different antenna systems with two different TVs, same DVR +. Completely different results. In my office, I have to declare the DVR + tuners the winner.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts

If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
8,800 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by jjeff  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2800_50#post_24509450

 

Shows as new(well at least not a repeat(R)) on my Tivo, also OAD is  today.....
I don't put this as a high priority really. It's just fun to watch. BTW, OAD was wrong since it starts after midnight. Trust but verify, right? Using Zap2It the OAD is 3/21, but to schedule it for the TiVo has it correct for 3/22 tonight (or tomorrow morning).
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
507 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24510915


If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!

During the short time I had a working unit (replacement should arrive on Monday), I didn't find any issues with the tuners. They seemed at least as good as the DTVPal DVR. I'm about 60 miles from the transmitters, using a medium-size outdoor antenna and low-gain pre-amp. I wonder if the issue in your case and some others is more related to overload and/or interference. Maybe the DVR+ gets overloaded more easily than some other tuners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,102 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24510915


If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!
most likely you overload the DVR's tuners; in 10 miles distance with an amp ... just remove it and check again.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
287 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24510915


If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!

Something else you can try is an attenuator inline with the antenna input to the DVR . I've used these attenuators from RMS during transceiver development at Harmonic (one of my previous design engineering jobs), and at home with good success. At ten miles, I'm surprised you need an amp at all. It's good to have an assortment and they are stackable.

http://www.rmscommunications.net/FAP_n.htm
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
235 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2800_50#post_24510915

 

If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!
Ten miles and you have an amplified antenna?  Sounds like overloaded tuner to me.

 

Chuck
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtaylor1532  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2550#post_24472812

 

Some observations from experience from a first time poster:

 

I've monitored this thread since ditching cable tv for an antenna.  I came from the world of Media Center, cable card tuners and Xbox as extenders.  While this worked flawlessly for several years, it admittedly is a complex setup for my wife to operate.  We needed something that would give us a channel guide and the ability to pause live tv and record a few shows now and then.  

 

Sure, forums like this will always be populated by the vocal minority, people who have issues with the product.  I myself will not post positive reviews of products I own, because they work and I don't have to think about them.  But they are also full of useful and valuable information, which I studied before buying the DVR+  

 

While it is a step down from a media center setup with 4 tuners, it fit the bill and was exactly what I was looking for.  The main goal for me was to simplify life for the family, and so far, that goal has been achieved.  It hasn't been without its headaches, which have all been signal related.  A proper antenna mounted in the attic and an amplifier have now solved all of those issues.  I do live in a difficult area for reception, and the two most important stations for our family, PBS (Sesame Street for my 2yo daughter) and Fox (for the wife) have been the most difficult, since their towers are in complete opposite directions.  I am also fortunate to work for the chief engineer at a local station, so I have access to the best support.

 

Now that all of these issues have been ironed out, we have a stable, reliable system of watching free, uncompressed HD television, and we are saving a large chunk of money having ditched the cable company.  I have been very fortunate that I have not experienced the issues that some others have with their units.  And it's troubling to read of so many problems with something that I have invested so much in. I do understand that it is a new product, and that early adopters are often used as beta testers.  I still expect to have issues at some point, which I am prepared for. I can see how some people would expect a lot more from this device, but I felt that the price was reasonable for what it promised to do, and it has lived up to that promise so far.  

 

I would, and have in the past week, recommend this to others.  Sure, it isn't perfect, and is still very new, but it has worked well so far.  If and when Netflix and HULU+ are added, it may render our Roku 3 useless.  While no one device will ever do it all, this may come close for me.  If a new, improved model (4 tuners maybe?) is released in the future, I would likely buy that as well.

 

OK, a little more than 2 cents.  But maybe it will help someone decide either way.
 

Sorry to say, that after about 10 days of use, I have to eat my words and say that I am returning my DVR+  At least in my situation, the tuners are not able to handle the signals I receive.  In particular, our local ABC station (WHTM-TV Harrisburg PA, which I work for) is under 3 miles from my location.  I have line of sight, I can literally see the tower from my living room window.  I get break-up/pixelation every few minutes on this station.  The only possible explanation is that the signal is too"hot" and the DVR+ is unable to handle it.  With the antenna feed plugged directly into the TV (Sony NSX40GT1) the picture is solid.  No hits to the signal.  

 

While my situation may be somewhat unique, in that I am surrounded in almost all directions by towers, making it difficult to get perfect reception on all stations, I did expect the DVR+ to handle these variations a little more gracefully.

 

While I really love the idea of a subscription free DVR, it just doesn't work for me.  As my Wife so eloquently put it, what good is a subscription free DVR if it doesn't work?  So off to Best Buy I went to pick up a Tivo Roamio basic, and all of the tuner issues have disappeared, and we get more features and a "smarter" box for less.  I really liked the DVR+ and wanted to make it work, but it's time in our household was short lived.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
954 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by mtaylor1532  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24512192


Sorry to say, that after about 10 days of use, I have to eat my words and say that I am returning my DVR+  At least in my situation, the tuners are not able to handle the signals I receive.  In particular, our local ABC station (WHTM-TV Harrisburg PA, which I work for) is under 3 miles from my location.  I have line of sight, I can literally see the tower from my living room window.  I get break-up/pixelation every few minutes on this station.  The only possible explanation is that the signal is too"hot" and the DVR+ is unable to handle it.  With the antenna feed plugged directly into the TV (Sony NSX40GT1) the picture is solid.  No hits to the signal.  


While my situation may be somewhat unique, in that I am surrounded in almost all directions by towers, making it difficult to get perfect reception on all stations, I did expect the DVR+ to handle these variations a little more gracefully.


While I really love the idea of a subscription free DVR, it just doesn't work for me.  As my Wife so eloquently put it, what good is a subscription free DVR if it doesn't work?  So off to Best Buy I went to pick up a Tivo Roamio basic, and all of the tuner issues have disappeared, and we get more features and a "smarter" box for less.  I really liked the DVR+ and wanted to make it work, but it's time in our household was short lived.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24510915


If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!

......Could it be a matter of quality control?

......Is it a possibility that they switched tuners at some point during production?

If it's (even somewhat) typical for TV's (and/or other devices) to produce better results with the same signal, then there's likely to be a flood of these units being returned!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
416 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24510915

 

If that's true, you are one of the few lucky ones that got a descent tuner!   I live less than ten miles from TV transmitters and my amplified antenna is 25 feet up and the signal quality on the CM box was terrible.  The five TV's on the same distribution amp were solid.   I find it hard to believe that the CM tuner is "better" than your TV.   Like many others have done, I sent my CM box back while I could get a complete refund.  These units simply are NOT READY FOR PRIMETIME!
An amplified antenna less than 10 miles from the towers? Was probably overpowering the tuner. Did you ever try it without a powered antenna?
 
  • Like
Reactions: osu1991

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Theducksfan2010  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24512442


An amplified antenna less than 10 miles from the towers? Was probably overpowering the tuner. Did you ever try it without a powered antenna?

Actually, an amplified antenna that close to the transmitters would probably be overpowering its own internal amplifier, and thus feeding a distorted unusable signal to the DVR's tuners.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
40 Posts

I've tried it without a powered antenna and the video pixelated anytime the wind blew over 5 mph.  Admittedly, I am around lots of pine trees so that's why I put a 10db pre amp on it.  As I mentioned earlier, my FIVE TV's have no reception problems hooked up this way.  The antenna is not overloaded by any means.  By the way, I talked with one of the engineers at Channel Master about my problem and he is the one who suggested the pre amp.  He also admitted that the CM tuner was not going to be as good as the one in my TV, and that he also had had problems with his reception from the CM box.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
472 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallmerk  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24512558


I've tried it without a powered antenna and the video pixelated anytime the wind blew over 5 mph.  Admittedly, I am around lots of pine trees so that's why I put a 10db pre amp on it.  As I mentioned earlier, my FIVE TV's have no reception problems hooked up this way.  The antenna is not overloaded by any means.

It could be that the tuners (or probably the demodulators) in the DVR+ are not very good at handling dynamic multipath distortion from the moving tree limbs. Has it been reported which chipset the DVR+ uses?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,102 Posts

Quote:
Originally Posted by L David Matheny  /t/1481183/channel-master-dvr-owners-thread/2790#post_24512615


It could be that the tuners (or probably the demodulators) in the DVR+ are not very good at handling dynamic multipath distortion from the moving tree limbs. Has it been reported which chipset the DVR+ uses?
it would be interesing to read papers about demods being troubled by multi-path; I've seen only tuner chips responsible for the handling/rejecting

do you have a citation ?
 
2801 - 2820 of 17993 Posts
Top