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As a matter of follow-up, CM called me moments ago. The rep I spoke with earlier, Steven, approached the CM engineers about what I'm experiencing and they'd like to speak with me and better understand what I'm seeing, or not seeing, lol. Very, very cool. I was told to not worry about the 30 day return period during this troubleshooting attempt. I won't get contacted this or next week though, but the following one. I'll gladly report back how that goes, in there is interest in such...

Kudos to CM.
 

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@ Tony

You may already be familiar with the protocol for reporting bugs, but since you've actually gotten CM's attention, you might find some tidbits in this article that will help you get through to them as to why you're not satisfied with the DVR+ and how they can observe the same behaviour that you dislike, so that they can know what it is you want fixed:

http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/bugs.html

You might have seen this before, but if not, it tries to explain how non-programmers can communicate bugs to programmers, so that everyone is on the same page. If they listen to you, perhaps the next firmware will improve the product for all the DVR+ users. :)
 

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As a matter of follow-up, CM called me moments ago. The rep I spoke with earlier, Steven, approached the CM engineers about what I'm experiencing and they'd like to speak with me and better understand what I'm seeing, or not seeing, lol. Very, very cool. I was told to not worry about the 30 day return period during this troubleshooting attempt. I won't get contacted this or next week though, but the following one. I'll gladly report back how that goes, in there is interest in such...

Kudos to CM.
Unfortunately, there's no "magic bullet" that CM can offer you. The tuners are fussy and don't work well in difficult (or even not so difficult) locations and/or conditions. Period.
There are no options to change tuners or make modifications (unfortunately).
As I've stated before, they've alienated many people (especially those forced to use indoor antennas) by using these inferior tuners!
You may want to check out this antenna (link below).
It's built far better than the flimsy Mohu/Winegard antennas (but it's more expensive as well).
Ideally, It should be mounted in a window or outdoors (preferably facing in the direction of the towers). You should only consider the larger version. They also sell the Electroline EDA-2100 amp (which is also better than average). It's competitively priced. The company has an excellent reputation and mostly very good to excellent reviews. You should do some research on it (if you're considering antenna alternatives).
It may be worth a try to consider this antenna (and amplifier) prior to waving the white flag on the DVR+.
They have a good return policy, so there's no risk involved.

http://www.hdfrequency.com/best_indoor_hdtv_antennas.html
 

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As a matter of follow-up, CM called me moments ago. The rep I spoke with earlier, Steven, approached the CM engineers about what I'm experiencing and they'd like to speak with me and better understand what I'm seeing, or not seeing, lol. Very, very cool. I was told to not worry about the 30 day return period during this troubleshooting attempt. I won't get contacted this or next week though, but the following one. I'll gladly report back how that goes, in there is interest in such...

Kudos to CM.
The good news to all of us is that the product is still in active development and that this forum is actively monitored. And, it's always good to know that CM stands behind what they sell: we've heard them offering to accept a return past the window from at least one other customer.

Perhaps the next time someone talks to CM directly they can find out when we should expect the next software release and let us know. Kelson, has your source dried up?
 

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The good news to all of us is that the product is still in active development and that this forum is actively monitored. And, it's always good to know that CM stands behind what they sell: we've heard them offering to accept a return past the window from at least one other customer.

Perhaps the next time someone talks to CM directly they can find out when we should expect the next software release and let us know. Kelson, has your source dried up?
Curious......
How do you know (for a fact) that this forum is actively monitored?
Perhaps it is but unfortunately, (unlike other manufacturers) Channel Master has never indicated that they were monitoring this forum and no one has actually confirmed this. Have you?
Is this an assumption?
Possibly a good assumption but is it factual?
Regardless, since there are unresolved issues with the DVR+, hopefully there will be further updates. However, this won't resolve issues if they're related directly to inferior quality tuners.
That's a hardware issue.
 

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Yup, exact same antenna set-up during testing. Single mast, both antennas as explained before, with those two inputs running into the RCA preamp up there, then the output down through the attic... I have two RG6 cables running that route - one for direct to TV testing, and a shorter one, going to the DVR+ box, so I can compare the two by swapping the conection at the preamp on the mast, and then making the proper connection in the house (TV or DVR+).
I guess I missed the "two antennas" part. Why two antennas? No slight intended: But that seems unnecessarily complicated. It may even be counter-productive. To keep the two antennas from interfering with one another, they have to be a minimum of greater than 1/4 wavelength apart at the lowest desired frequency. Assuming high VHF (channel 7): That would be about 43cm (17 inches).

Here's how I would do it:



Can't speak to your RCA preamp. Don't recall what I bought, years ago, and I can't seem to lay my hands on it at the moment. Needs to be a high-quality, low-noise preamp, though. Same with the splitter--not one of those gold-coloured Rat Shack things. Coax: I use nothing but Belden RG-6 (I think it's braid-over-foil). I use a Paladin Data Shark termination kit for the connectors. Creates weather-proof terminations and is nearly fool-proof.

The diagram doesn't show it: But I have a lightning arrester where the run goes from vertical to horizontal, outside the house, with its own 10' copper-clad ground rod, which is, in turn, bonded to the ground rod for the home's electrical service with a run of 8 ga. stranded. There is also a 10 ga. solid copper ground wire from the mast to the antenna system's ground rod.

Jim
 

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I don't have a lot of time at the moment...

I have a second antenna, the recently purchased RCA ANT751 to get one channel only - 8, which is NBC and ABC on 8.2. I cannot otherwise get NBC and another ABC is a nice bonus. This RCA antenna is pointed at 168 degrees (true) here.

The UHF antenna is the ClearStream4 and is pointed in the opposite direction, to San Francisco, from this location, 312 degrees. It gets everything else that I obtain, including towers 60+ miles away.

Adding the RCA antenna a couple weeks ago did not negatively impact the CS4's performance. I have detailed notes on a spreadsheet, each tab being an experiment of sorts... The RCA pointing south gets the the desired NBC network, so its job is done...

Now with the DVR+ in the loop, I suppose I can try removing the RCA antenna out of the equation. But then, maybe I won't. I will not sacrifice a desired network and back-up (ABC) to accommodate a DVR solution that is compromising reception.

Before I forget, I called back the CM rep yesterday, requesting an email, so I can send to him photos and videos revealing the set-up, testing and results; which can then be forwarded to the engineer/s... This way when we do speak after next week, there will a solid understanding from the get-go of the situation.
 

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Now, Tony, I'm really confused. You have two antennas, one preamp, two downleads and two receiving devices. I cannot picture how you could possibly have this wired-up, and I'm going to guess that any CM reps that try to help you will be similarly befuddled.

ETA: Hey! Our DVR+ just arrived :)

Jim
 

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Jim, first, congrats! Great timing before the 4th and the long weekend...

The RCA preamp is also a combiner, so has two inputs and one output. It sits on the mast below the CS4 and above the ANT751.

I have two coaxial lines up there (connect to preamp output), where one is for the DVR+ (about 6 feet shorter), and the other is for direct-to-TV testing. I hope that makes sense. Hooking-up a long coax to the DVR+ is somewhat problematic as it pushes it off the shelf! The DVR+ is quite small, think iPad-like. Very neat and clean looking, as you know by now... Having a shorter coax, cut to fit, keeps the DVR+ in place and also with the slightly added benefit of less attenuation.

At the end of coax in the house is the power injector for the RCA preamp, and that is what screws into the DVR+ or TV, depending upon which tuner is being used or tested.

NOTE - before making a separate, shorter coax run for the DVR+, I used the longer one that I had in place first for the TV. The results were as described, not ideal. I then created the dedicated coax segment for the DVR+, for the reason explained. Either way, fewer channels and notably worse on a couple others for the DVR+...

If all the channels you want are strong, non-marginal ones, I trust that the DVR+ will be a winner for you!
 

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Jim, first, congrats! Great timing before the 4th and the long weekend...
Unfortunately it was not to be. They delivered to me a unit with a bad remote. That bodes badly. They were not interested in overnighting a replacement, so I've requested a full refund and a call tag.

Channel Master has burned me for $21 (the 2nd day air shipping for which I paid), they'll not get a chance to ever burn me for another red cent ever again.

I'll be leaving this thread, now soon, since I've no further interest in their product.

Jim
 

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Unfortunately it was not to be. They delivered to me a unit with a bad remote. That bodes badly. They were not interested in overnighting a replacement, so I've requested a full refund and a call tag.

Channel Master has burned me for $21 (the 2nd day air shipping for which I paid), they'll not get a chance to ever burn me for another red cent ever again.

I'll be leaving this thread, now, since I've no further interest in their product.

Jim
Damn, really sorry to hear that Jim. Did that plastic piece remove properly from the remote? I suppose you might be gone from this thread already...
 

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Damn, really sorry to hear that Jim.
*shrug* Stuff happens.

Did that plastic piece remove properly from the remote? I suppose you might be gone from this thread already...
"Properly?" It came out--but it took a fair bit of force. I had the battery compartment open and tested the batteries. It's bum electronics.

Too bad: I'd really been looking forward to putting the thing through its paces. I can only hope that somebody else comes out with a similar product--only better made and with better QC.

Perhaps I'll look into building my own. Probably not. I don't really care that much about TV in the first place.

Jim
 

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Curious......
How do you know (for a fact) that this forum is actively monitored?
Perhaps it is but unfortunately, (unlike other manufacturers) Channel Master has never indicated that they were monitoring this forum and no one has actually confirmed this. Have you?
Is this an assumption?
Possibly a good assumption but is it factual?
[snip]
No, I've not confirmed it. As you say, "a good assumption" based on having read every single post on this forum over the months.
 

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Have any of you found the DVR+'s signal strength and signal quality meters screwy at times?

Doing some experimenting this afternoon, and channel 7.1, usually quite strong direct to TV, was struggling a bit with the DVR+ in the loop. While monitoring signal strength and quality, they were both at 100. Then it went black, still both at 100. Later, it seemed to be working fine, fluctuating up and down with the reception, as would expect. Not much after that, the channel when on the fritz again, but 100's on strength and quality...

Anyone else notice this before? I even took a photo of the black screen, with 100's.
 

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Have any of you found the DVR+'s signal strength and signal quality meters screwy at times?

Doing some experimenting this afternoon, and channel 7.1, usually quite strong direct to TV, was struggling a bit with the DVR+ in the loop. While monitoring signal strength and quality, they were both at 100. Then it went black, still both at 100. Later, it seemed to be working fine, fluctuating up and down with the reception, as would expect. Not much after that, the channel when on the fritz again, but 100's on strength and quality...

Anyone else notice this before? I even took a photo of the black screen, with 100's.
Sounds like you've got too much signal strength going into the DVR+, something it does not handle well and does not give any warning of except for sudden dropouts in the signal strength and picture quality.
 

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Good points, thank you.

This channel is not one of the strongest ones I receive. The tower is over 62 miles away, so I'm not sure that's it...

I think more importantly though is that when it was on the fritz later, the DVR+ strength and quality meters were reflecting poor reception, which was evident. It was not getting adequate signal, which I tend to believe, as opposed to too much when it read 100's a couple times, and the picture and sound were also very poor.

Maybe not many look at signal info all that much and with that notice what I've experienced.

I'm about to revert back to a TV connection (no DVR+) for a couple hours, for comparison purposes....
 
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