AVS Forum banner
Status
Not open for further replies.
1 - 20 of 34 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So now that I had a chance to play with my new 633H-S for a week or so, here are some thoughts on its EPG operation.

The most annoying thing about the EPG is the constant hard drive noise emanating from the recorder almost 24/7. Even when all 8 days of programming seem to be fully downloaded, the unit still shows the EPG sign and grinds and grinds and grinds. When I first plugged the thing in, it seemed to download 3 days of programming very quickly, within a span of several hours or so. It did not stop making noises though, so what it does accesing the hard drive the rest of the time - is a BIG mistery. So for people still considering buying it - get a closed cabinet and keep the unit behind closed glass doors, otherwise it might drive you crazy.

One thing that I noticed is that if you switch the unit on for several minutes (in my case it goes straight to the TV Guide page) and then switch it off, it stops EPGing for some time. Maybe it starts looking for the EPG info, maybe it figures out that it has all the info for the rest of the day, who knows. Sometimes it stays off (no HDD grinding) for quite a few hours.

It appears to me, that (hopefully) there is some sort of a firmware bug, that prevents the player from realizing that it already has all the TV programming in place and leads to the unnecessary downloading activity.

This unstopping HDD activity can't be good the HD, but I bought my Pio with a credit card that doubles one year warranty, so I am all set for the next 2 years. The big IF is whether the 633 (or my nerves) will survive longer then that.


Do other EPG recorders make HDD noises around the clock?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman Resu
Do other EPG recorders make HDD noises around the clock?
My Panasonic E-500 has never made a HDD grinding noise, not when the EPG is downloading or when it is in normal HDD operation. Not only that, but I have never seen the "EPG" flashing on the display. In addition, I can set up the recorder so that the TV Guide EPG does not show when the unit is turned on. THe EPG only comes on when I want it to.


The EPG in the E-500 has worked flawlessly since I downloaded the firmware update. I am very pleased with it (and the recorder), and I use it daily. It hasn't failed me once.


More bad news from the Pioneer 533/633 users. I hope that Pioneer will fix this with a firmware update.


RG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,945 Posts
I have to admit that I have never heard any hard drive noise from my Pioneer 531. You can have the guide appear when you power the unit on, or not, depending on how you choose to set the thing up. The default setting is to have it appear at power up.


I sit about 10 ft from the recorder and can't hear a thing from it while it is playing, downloading, or recording. The only noise I have heard at all is when copying something from the hard drive to the DVD writer. I can hear the disc spin up to speed, when initially inserted.


I'm not too woried about the hard drive wearing out before it's time. I've had both my work and home PC hard drives going continuously for years and never had a disc problem. It is probably harder on a drive powering up to speed than running continuously.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
My Sony RDR-HX900, which also has the dreaded TVGOS, doesn't seem to constantly spin its HDD, and when it does it's not annoyingly loud.


What is loud (and has been reported here) is its internal fan , which does come on unexpectedly even when it's off.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
This thread makes me sick. Nothing but uninformed, gratuitas garbage. We've got one guys saying the 533 disk drive grinds, grinds, grinds. Well, coffee grinders grind, disk drives seek, read and write. Then he claims it grinds constantly. Does he really think we are suppose to believe that the Pioneer engineers designed the 533 to constantly write to disk, especially when I know from my I own experience that the HDD activity in minimal. And then we are suppose to believe that the HDD will fail soon from all this unnecessary grinding, even though the truth is the 533 will be obsolete and in the attic long before the HDD could wear out. Then we've got another guy claiming his beloved Panny can turn off the EPG and the 533 cannot, among other things, which is hogwash. He's obvious stroking himself, but I guess he thinks we're too dumb to see it, and so he leaves no doubt by saying it looks bad for the 533 owners. I've got to stop readings these boards, really. This is just pathetic.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
195 Posts
Well I just bought the 633 yesterday (Fri, Aug 19) and after following one of the hook up diagrams (cable from wall to 633 to digital box, line out and in from DB and 633), and trying to figure out the TVGOS (still working on it, REALLY used the on screen guide by my cable provider, SHAW), the 633 seems to be working as designed. Not fond of my digital box changing channels by itself, but willing to put up with it for now as the TVGOS gets updated (using IR Blaster). I don't hear any noise coming from the unit at all. Could it have something to do with my computer being in the same room and having 5 case fans, 2 PS fans and a CPU fan? :p


The only other thing, is getting my Harmony 659 properly programmed to control everything as I want it to.


Will post an update after I have played with it for a week.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,112 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by probepro
This thread makes me sick. Nothing but uninformed, gratuitas garbage. We've got one guys saying the 533 disk drive grinds, grinds, grinds. Well, coffee grinders grind, disk drives seek, read and write. Then he claims it grinds constantly. Does he really think we are suppose to believe that the Pioneer engineers designed the 533 to constantly write to disk, especially when I know from my I own experience that the HDD activity in minimal. And then we are suppose to believe that the HDD will fail soon from all this unnecessary grinding, even though the truth is the 533 will be obsolete and in the attic long before the HDD could wear out. Then we've got another guy claiming his beloved Panny can turn off the EPG and the 533 cannot, among other things, which is hogwash. He's obvious stroking himself, but I guess he thinks we're too dumb to see it, and so he leaves no doubt by saying it looks bad for the 533 owners. I've got to stop readings these boards, really. This is just pathetic.
Why do you get upset with people posting that they are having issues with THEIR (not your) Pioneer 533's and 633's? You are starting to sound like you work for either Pioneer or Gemstar (the inventors of TVGOS) and were personally responsible for the design decisions of the x33 series.


If you're not having these issues, then all I can say is GOOD FOR YOU!!! But don't dismiss others for having issues with theirs. There have been too many posts from different people to claim it's a figment of their imagination, or someone with an anti-Pioneer agenda.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by probepro
This thread makes me sick. Nothing but uninformed, gratuitas garbage. We've got one guys saying the 533 disk drive grinds, grinds, grinds. Well, coffee grinders grind, disk drives seek, read and write. Then he claims it grinds constantly. Does he really think we are suppose to believe that the Pioneer engineers designed the 533 to constantly write to disk, especially when I know from my I own experience that the HDD activity in minimal. And then we are suppose to believe that the HDD will fail soon from all this unnecessary grinding, even though the truth is the 533 will be obsolete and in the attic long before the HDD could wear out. Then we've got another guy claiming his beloved Panny can turn off the EPG and the 533 cannot, among other things, which is hogwash. He's obvious stroking himself, but I guess he thinks we're too dumb to see it, and so he leaves no doubt by saying it looks bad for the 533 owners. I've got to stop readings these boards, really. This is just pathetic.
Listen boy, by calling other people's posts "garbage" and praising smart Pioneer engineers you simply sound like a not so smart stooge for the Pioneer Inc or someone with some kind of agenda. Right now I am sitting 6 feet away from my Pioneer 633 and I can hear it's hard drive going. You can call it "grinding", "turning", "whirring" or whatever, but it has been going since 7am when I got up, and apart from a short 15 minute break it's been "whirring" non stop.


I come home from work and it's whirring, I go to bed, it's "EPGing", I get up in the morning and it's still at it. The EPG sign is on most of the time. My wife was at home the whole day on Thursday and she said the recorder did not stop it's noisy EPGing ONCE.


What's more when I switch the damn thing on to watch TV or DVD, the HDD is going non stop also, despite the fact that I am not using HDD and EPG is not suppose to be on either. I admit I sit just 6 feet away from the TV, but I can hear the HDD going all the time loud and clear over the regular sound of TV. I've never owned an HDD recorder, so I've no idea if this is normal or not and that's why I am posting.


Now, if what you claim is true and "HDD activity is minimal" most of the time, then I have a brand new defective unit. Another reason I posted was to find out if other people had the same experience. I only have 30 days to return it if it's defective.


As to the HDD dying.. well they DO die, quite often, don't they? And all this non stop writing doesn't help, does it?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
As to the fan inside the 633H, I can't hear it at all, even when I am on the floor behind it connecting cables. And I can feel it blowing air, so here you go.


I am going the email the Pioneer tech support, we'll see what they have to say about all the HDD action and the EPG activity.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
427 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDawg
Why do you get upset with people posting that they are having issues with THEIR (not your) Pioneer 533's and 633's? You are starting to sound like you work for either Pioneer or Gemstar (the inventors of TVGOS) and were personally responsible for the design decisions of the x33 series.


If you're not having these issues, then all I can say is GOOD FOR YOU!!! But don't dismiss others for having issues with theirs. There have been too many posts from different people to claim it's a figment of their imagination, or someone with an anti-Pioneer agenda.
I'm not saying people aren't having issues. Quite frankly, I'm surprised the EPG works at all, considering it's a free service from 3rd parties, one of which is the cable company. But constantly griding HDDs and omnipresent EPGs aren't issues, just misinformation. This isn't just a case of using colorful language, either. The guy is saying, "if you are still considering buying the Pioneer", presumably after reading his informed opinion I suppose, he's glad he has an extended warranty to cover the premature HDD failure, and he recommends buying furniture with doors to house the grinder so you won't hear it. Quite frankly, RD, I was hoping for more from you.


If there indeed is constant activity on the guy's HDD, then it should be obvious something is wrong, and there's no need for extended warranties or new furniture. And the problem may not be with the hardware - it could be the cable company or TVGOS, which is more likely than not the case, but there's not mention of that.


Since I let myself get all worked up over this, it really must be time for me to move on. I've been hanging around here on and off for about 6 months, hoping to learn as much as I can about buying a recorder. The information here has been invaluable, which I guess is why I was annoyed with this thread. I sure hope folks aren't basing their buying decisions on this nonsense.


I've got lots of tapes I need to archive to DVD, so I'm going to get with that.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by probepro
Then we've got another guy claiming his beloved Panny can turn off the EPG and the 533 cannot, among other things, which is hogwash. He's obvious stroking himself, but I guess he thinks we're too dumb to see it, and so he leaves no doubt by saying it looks bad for the 533 owners.
I suggest that you do stop reading this forum because you misrepresent what you read.


I did say that I can turn of the EPG on my E-500 so that it doesn't display on start up, but I wasn't the one who said that this wasn't true on the 533.


I am not stroking myself, but I suggest that you stroke yourself and leave this forum. If you can't quote properly, don't post.


You are not part of the solution, you are part of the problem.


RG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
198 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman Resu
I come home from work and it's whirring, I go to bed, it's "EPGing", I get up in the morning and it's still at it. The EPG sign is on most of the time. My wife was at home the whole day on Thursday and she said the recorder did not stop it's noisy EPGing ONCE.
Mine did that non-stop for an entire week. I decided it wasn't worth the trouble and disabled it .

Quote:
What's more when I switch the damn thing on to watch TV or DVD, the HDD is going non stop also, despite the fact that I am not using HDD and EPG is not suppose to be on either. I admit I sit just 6 feet away from the TV, but I can hear the HDD going all the time loud and clear over the regular sound of TV.
I sit roughly 6 feet from mine as well, and I don't notice any noise from the HD during playback. Try disabling the EPG (unless you want it), and see if that helps.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,340 Posts
FWIW, here's my opinion on the EPG issue.


According to other posts here, EPG data is downloaded several times a day, and contains information for "today", "tomorrow", and "8 days from today". (This is why you get a gap in the programming when you first install a system, then it slowly fills in over the first week).


Now imagine that the schedule for a show that's already been downloaded to your machine has changed (ie, the program has moved to a new time slot or the description of the program is updated). The TVGOS software needs to overwrite the previously downloaded information with the updated data.


What this means is that every time guide data is downloaded (which I understand is typically 4 times a day in sessions lasting 2-3 hours each), the TVGOS software needs to compare the new information with the previously downloaded data stored on the HDD and update it if necessary. This is something that needs to be done on any DVR with the TVGOS software.


So it's perfectly understandable that there is HDD activity while the EPG data is downloaded. The machine has to be constantly looking up existing scheduling data in order to compare it with the new stuff. I'm sure there would be a bigger objection if schedule updates weren't captured by the DVR.


Now those of us who have worked with computers know that some hard drives are very quiet, and some are much noiser. It sounds to me like the Pioneer machines, at least some of them, happen to have noisy hard drives. It may be that other Pioneer machines have quiet hard drives (for example, it could be that Pioneer decided to switch HDD suppliers when they realized how noisy the drives were). This is pure speculation on my part, but it would explain why we have Pioneer owners making contradicting claims.


Just remember that noisy hard drives aren't necessarily any less reliable than quiet ones. It's silly to be concerned about the longevity of them - all EPG machines will be doing the same thing, and the hard drives are built for it. The only reason for concern is if the noise itself genuinely bothers you.
 

·
Banned
Joined
·
1,145 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson
FWIW, here's my opinion on the EPG issue.


According to other posts here, EPG data is downloaded several times a day, and contains information for "today", "tomorrow", and "8 days from today". (This is why you get a gap in the programming when you first install a system, then it slowly fills in over the first week).


Now imagine that the schedule for a show that's already been downloaded to your machine has changed (ie, the program has moved to a new time slot or the description of the program is updated). The TVGOS software needs to overwrite the previously downloaded information with the updated data.


What this means is that every time guide data is downloaded (which I understand is typically 4 times a day in sessions lasting 2-3 hours each), the TVGOS software needs to compare the new information with the previously downloaded data stored on the HDD and update it if necessary. This is something that needs to be done on any DVR with the TVGOS software.


So it's perfectly understandable that there is HDD activity while the EPG data is downloaded. The machine has to be constantly looking up existing scheduling data in order to compare it with the new stuff. I'm sure there would be a bigger objection if schedule updates weren't captured by the DVR.


Now those of us who have worked with computers know that some hard drives are very quiet, and some are much noiser. It sounds to me like the Pioneer machines, at least some of them, happen to have noisy hard drives. It may be that other Pioneer machines have quiet hard drives (for example, it could be that Pioneer decided to switch HDD suppliers when they realized how noisy the drives were). This is pure speculation on my part, but it would explain why we have Pioneer owners making contradicting claims.


Just remember that noisy hard drives aren't necessarily any less reliable than quiet ones. It's silly to be concerned about the longevity of them - all EPG machines will be doing the same thing, and the hard drives are built for it. The only reason for concern is if the noise itself genuinely bothers you.
Your right, I have 2 531Hs. I have in one in my Home Theater and the other in my bedroom. I have DirecTV but wanted to check out the EPG so I enabled the Home Theater recorder with a OTA antenna. After about 2 days, I have 8 days of fully loaded content from Wisconsin to Southbend. Since I don't plan on using it, I'm not going to modify it for Chicago. It gets updates periodically while the recorder is on or off. When it's downloading you can definitely hear it, when it's not, you just barely hear the fan.


The bedroom recorder is enabled for EPG just as the living room is, but surprisingly, if it doesn't find a signal, it just sits there quietly.:) I decided to enable it because it was no different than being disabled and disabled took away manual recording from the RF Input. Absolutely reacts no differently. Hopefully since it's not finding the Guide, maybe it'll give up after a couple and shut completely off taking the EPG display with it.


Have a good one.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sean Nelson
Now those of us who have worked with computers know that some hard drives are very quiet, and some are much noiser. It sounds to me like the Pioneer machines, at least some of them, happen to have noisy hard drives. It may be that other Pioneer machines have quiet hard drives (for example, it could be that Pioneer decided to switch HDD suppliers when they realized how noisy the drives were). This is pure speculation on my part, but it would explain why we have Pioneer owners making contradicting claims.
Thank you for your thoughts. I actually emailed Pioneer's tech support yesterday concerning the constant HDD activity, so we'll see what they have to say.


On difference between different hard drives I completely agree, I just got a new 160G HD and put it in an external enclosure. It is sitting on my desk right in front of my nose and I am simply amazed at how quiet it is. I can hardly hear it at all, as opposed to the Pio's HDD which is 6 feet away!


Anyways, I woke up this morning to the sounds of happy HDD chirping coming from my Pio 633H, turned it on and found out that the TV Guide menu screen is screwed up (see the photo attached). The logos on the left are fine, but programming is not. I am not sure if it's somehow related to the HDD constant activity, but now I have a good reason to exchange the unit at Onecall, where I bought it.


Actually, I don't mind having the TV Guide, it's impossible to know what's on without it, but the constant HDD noise is a bit too much. I was hoping that after 7 or 8 days when all programming slots were downloaded things would settle down a bit, but no such luck.


Apart from that and an awkward way some editing is implemented I more or less like the Pio 633H, the PQ seem to be fine, it's very fast (12X burning speed), it has a DV input for my camcorder (no DV output though, like in 520h), big HDD (160 GB vs 80 in 520H). It's fine for home movies (my main purpose), NOT FINE for copying or backing up copyrighted material, it's good as a PVR with EPG and it cost me only $US450.


Is there anything else on the market at this price and with these features?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,330 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by RonDawg
My Sony RDR-HX900, which also has the dreaded TVGOS, doesn't seem to constantly spin its HDD, and when it does it's not annoyingly loud.


What is loud (and has been reported here) is its internal fan , which does come on unexpectedly even when it's off.
Many electronic units use a variable speed fan tied to a temperature sensor in the unit. My Dell PC has one: the unit is normally silent until I start to do video recoding which can run for an hour with 100% CPU utilization. At some point during this the fan always revs up and hits max speed which is very noticable just from the sound the rushing air makes.


Perhaps this is the case here. These new DVDRs are made to be as thin as can be so heat dissipation gets to be a real challenge -- dense electronics and not much space for air convection cooling. A modern hard drive spinning does not make much of a sound; a fan running at high speed and pushing a lot of air to compensate for inadequate thermal management design will make a racket in comparison.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,330 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eman Resu
Do other EPG recorders make HDD noises around the clock?
Eman, you ask if other HDD recorders with EPG make a lot of noise. I can relate my experience. I have a Panasonic E-85 and it is whisper quiet whether it is running or on standby. I recall reading in the Panasonic manual that it would not be uncommon to hear the fan runing at high speed during the evening hours when on standby as the units electronics power up to download the EPG. I've never noticed this either. Having had lots of electronics over the years I am very careful to arrrange components so they are well ventilated and in a cooler section. That may be why my units are silent.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,256 Posts
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kelson
Eman, you ask if other HDD recorders with EPG make a lot of noise. I can relate my experience. I have a Panasonic E-85 and it is whisper quiet whether it is running or on standby. I recall reading in the Panasonic manual that it would not be uncommon to hear the fan runing at high speed during the evening hours when on standby as the units electronics power up to download the EPG. I've never noticed this either. Having had lots of electronics over the years I am very careful to arrrange components so they are well ventilated and in a cooler section. That may be why my units are silent.
Ditto for the Panasonic E-500.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,340 Posts
Here's another EPG tidbit that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere. If you press the number (0-9) buttons on the remote while you're in the TV Guide "Listings" screen, you get a pop-up choice that asks: "Hours Ahead?", "Hours Back", and "Goto Channel". It's a really quick way to jump directly to the listings for a particular channel or, for example, to evening listings if you're checking the guide in the morning.


Found this at: http://www.tvgos.com/support/2004/
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
43 Posts
Discussion Starter · #20 ·
A terse response from the Pioneer tech support:

"Thanks for the e-mail

Pioneer: It is normal for the hard drive to be working all the time. This is normal operation for the hard drive to be working when the DVR633HS is off."



So much for the claim: "... I know from my I own experience that the HDD activity in minimal..." (see discussion above).


My email:

"Inquiry:I have owned DVR-633H-S recorder for just over a week. My RCN basic cable (80 or so channels) is connected directly to the RF input on the recorder. All the TV Guide data for 8 days seem to be downloaded

fully. Still, the unit displays the EPG sign almost all the time (stopped once for 15 minutes this morning) and I can hear the whirring noise from the HDD constantly.

Even when I turn the unit on and watch either TV or DVD (without making any use of the HDD) the HDD seems to be making "read/write/seek" noise all the time. According to the manual the EPG search should

be off when the unit is on, so all this loud HDD activity is very distracting, especially considering that there should be no reason for the HDD working at all.

Is all this permanent HDD activity normal?"



To be fair, these days the recorder does stop epging at around 7pm. Not sure what it does at night, but it's downloading from 6 am to 7pm non-stop. And of course when I watch DVDs on it or whatever, the HDD is chirping away the whole time the recorder is on. The only time the HDD actually stops is when I go to the TV Guide screen, so I assume the HDD background activity is somehow related to the TV Guide. Maybe it is sorting the data, who knows.


When I get a replacement unit from OneCall I will let you know if things are any different.
 
1 - 20 of 34 Posts
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top