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Greetings. I lurk here alot and have learned much from you all.


A few years ago, I got a 3576. It is a J&R refurb. Love it, when it works, but had a HE&& of a time using it. Didn't like using it through the cable box once Comcast switched to all digital, too much hassle to remember to leave the cable box tuned to the right channel. It wouldn't pick up any clear QAM channels through the straight cable (no box), even with a signal booster (well, actually I could get the local PBS channels, but that was it). I set up an antenna in my attic and ran it straight to my 3576 - that worked fine for about two years and then the channels all started "pixelating". I though this was from a weak signal and pretty much gave up on the unit.


Along came a refurbed 513 from J&R. Works like a champ. Picks up all of the QAM channels through the straight cable that I read all of you guys talking about. Haven't even tried the antenna in the attic - haven't needed to. Life is BETTER, but the 3576 still bothers me.


Is it possible to have a "weak tuner"? Is there something I can do to fix it? Thanks to experimenting with the 513, I have pretty much determined that it's the tuner on the 3576, nothing to do with hook up or cableco.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswensen /forum/post/20492701


Greetings. I lurk here alot and have learned much from you all.


A few years ago, I got a 3576. It is a J&R refurb. Love it, when it works, but had a HE&& of a time using it. Didn't like using it through the cable box once Comcast switched to all digital, too much hassle to remember to leave the cable box tuned to the right channel. It wouldn't pick up any clear QAM channels through the straight cable (no box), even with a signal booster (well, actually I could get the local PBS channels, but that was it). I set up an antenna in my attic and ran it straight to my 3576 - that worked fine for about two years and then the channels all started "pixelating". I though this was from a weak signal and pretty much gave up on the unit.


Along came a refurbed 513 from J&R. Works like a champ. Picks up all of the QAM channels through the straight cable that I read all of you guys talking about. Haven't even tried the antenna in the attic - haven't needed to. Life is BETTER, but the 3576 still bothers me.


Is it possible to have a "weak tuner"? Is there something I can do to fix it? Thanks to experimenting with the 513, I have pretty much determined that it's the tuner on the 3576, nothing to do with hook up or cableco.

Since these DVDRs have an amplified coax and line input circuit, you'll have to eliminate the "Digital Cliff" as one possibility, causing the signal to disappear from too much signal strength from the amp "acting up" or whatever.


I'd first eliminate that as a possibility with a VERY SIMPLE "hang-by-a-thread" test, as described here.


If you find the signal too strong in that machine, and you don't have any attenuators around, a splitter might do the job (using one output only) until you can get a proper attenuator.


* * * * * * *

Another thing to try is MULTIPLE channel scans, Cable (Analog/Digital). I had one of my 3575's not deliver all the channels I knew were there, and it took 3 successive scans to incrementally add the few that it "missed" on the 1st scan.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswensen /forum/post/20492701


Greetings. I lurk here alot and have learned much from you all.


Is it possible to have a "weak tuner"? Is there something I can do to fix it? Thanks to experimenting with the 513, I have pretty much determined that it's the tuner on the 3576, nothing to do with hook up or cableco.

Since you now have a 513, you can get a reading of the signal level on any QAM channel. This assumes you trust the numbers displayed. Just hit the display button. My cable feed indicates 96 to 98 with DTV channels from 26 through 128. I don't get all the channels, only 138 including subchannels. I still get 26 analog channels starting at 2, but the display function doesn't show signal levels for NTSC.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo /forum/post/20492970


Since these DVDRs have an amplified coax and line input circuit, you'll have to eliminate the "Digital Cliff" as one possibility, causing the signal to disappear from too much signal strength from the amp "acting up" or whatever.


I'd first eliminate that as a possibility with a VERY SIMPLE "hang-by-a-thread" test, as described here.


If you find the signal too strong in that machine, and you don't have any attenuators around, a splitter might do the job (using one output only) until you can get a proper attenuator.


* * * * * * *

Another thing to try is MULTIPLE channel scans, Cable (Analog/Digital). I had one of my 3575's not deliver all the channels I knew were there, and it took 3 successive scans to incrementally add the few that it "missed" on the 1st scan.

I appreciate the good ideas. As I mentioned, I have lurked here for a while, so I have heard you all talk about over-amplified signals. Tried the "hang by a thread" technique - no joy. I ran the 3576 for two years with the attic antenna, but even then, no workie without an amplifier. Now, not even the amplifier helps. Even tried two amplifiers in series - still no joy. In the past, I have had to scan several times before I get the channels I need - no good at all now.


About all I seem to be able to do now is to use the unit as a "dumb" recorder behind the cable box, but that kills all of the ability to use the unit's tuner for timer recordings on different channels.
 

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Discussion Starter #14,365

Quote:
Originally Posted by dswensen /forum/post/20493581


I appreciate the good ideas. As I mentioned, I have lurked here for a while, so I have heard you all talk about over-amplified signals. Tried the "hang by a thread" technique - no joy. I ran the 3576 for two years with the attic antenna, but even then, no workie without an amplifier. Now, not even the amplifier helps. Even tried two amplifiers in series - still no joy. In the past, I have had to scan several times before I get the channels I need - no good at all now.


About all I seem to be able to do now is to use the unit as a "dumb" recorder behind the cable box, but that kills all of the ability to use the unit's tuner for timer recordings on different channels.

Since there's no known "tuner tweak" remedy that I know of, and no FW to reinstall in case the tuner FW is corrupted, I can only recommend that you now try the two "system tweaks," SKIP 079 first, then SKIP 013 if no joy ... unless, of course, you've already tried those as well.


Read the procedures and understand that they will delete any recorded titles, channel memory, etc. as stated there.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by 234 /forum/post/20483033


Firstly, difinition of "Broken",

Broken is that one unit works different to others.


However, this freeze trouble is shown at perticular house situation.

Even if the user exchanges unit, 2nd unit also shows trouble.

It means both units are not broken.


In this point, we shoud apologize to the user meets this trouble because our product makes inconvenience situation to the user and disapoint to the user in spite of high expectation when they bought.


We need to make our product work all US houses propery, I am working to find the cause and solve it.


I mean only one point,


"failure rate is so high" is not true.


I and many engineer are working for 15 users in the world to let them enjoy digital world.

234,


I sincerely appreciate your contribution here and love the 515H when it works, but I had to return my first 515H because it would not turn on at all after 2 weeks of occasional use.


I now have 2 units - a used unit Walmart sent me as new, and a replacement unit that snap/crackle/pops/freezes every time that it is powered on to analog channels. These 2 units are presently hooked up in 2 different rooms of the same house.


This weekend, prior to returning the unit that appears to be broken, I am going to swap these units out with precisely the same hook-up to the same TV which will reveal whether they both act the same, or whether just one of them is broken.


JAM
 

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Magnavox told me I cannot set up the 513 or 515 to record on different channels without manually changing the station, which kind of defeats the auto recording. Guess I'm spoiled by the DISH receiver which was outstanding. I discontinued their service due to price increases. Can you recommend any digital DVR with tuner, hard drive recorder, watch live - tape another, freeze live TV, record different channels, etc.? I'm using basic Comcast service. They want $16 per month rental (includes HD which I don't need) and am trying to keep costs down.

Please note your reviews of the Magnavox were exceptionally helpful!
 

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Discussion Starter #14,368
The Mag 513 or 515 will do all you want except RECORD more than one channel at a time... only one tuner in the Mag. Also no Guide system like in the 722.


You can record one channel while watching another channel with your HDTV's tuner using the coax passthru feature... Mag 1st on coax feeding it's coax out to the TV. Only the raw tunable signal goes thru the Mag's coax in/out circuit.


You can set up to 36 timer rec programs, pre-titled in the 515, for recording MANY programs on unscrambled channels unattended. I get ALL of my timer-recorded shows via the clear-QAM channels mandated by the FCC... the major nets like ABC-HD, CBS-HD, NBC-HD, FOX-HD, and ESPN-HD, TNT-HD and many other analog/digital channels in my non-Comcast system.


Since you have Comcast, right now you can tune and record whatever channels they don't scramble, which requires their box to unscramble. Whatever channels your digital-tunered TV gets now is what the Mag will tune and record.


Comcast is on a tear trying to force its subs to rent one of their boxes, so who knows how long any "boxless" channels might be around for you. Worst case would be you'd have to rent one of their "full-featured boxes and set the Mag up as shown in Sketch 3 here.


Using the Mag will, however, not be as "seamless" an experience as your 722 if scrambked channels are involved.
 

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Thanx for your info. FYI- am not looking to record different channels simultaneously. I'd like to record FOX @ 6:00-700pm, then ABC @ 7:00-730, and CNN later in evening. Want to program this while I'm away from home. Can it be done simply?
 

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Yes, setting a timer program is easy, and you can program shows back-to-back on diff. channels, diff. rec modes, diff. aspect ratios, etc., as described here.


One person set up only 6 timer programs to record 36 shows while he was on a 3-1/2 week trip.


You CAN program and operate the Mag recorder remotely from *any* place in the world with a Slingbox, as described here.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by patbbb /forum/post/20499016


Thanx for your info. FYI- am not looking to record different channels simultaneously. I'd like to record FOX @ 6:00-700pm, then ABC @ 7:00-730, and CNN later in evening. Want to program this while I'm away from home. Can it be done simply?

If you can receive OTA with an antenna, there might be a method you could live with for that specific recording scenario. You could connect the antenna to the Magnavox tuner to record the OTA (FOX and ABC) signals using the Magnavox OTA tuner and schedule the Magnavox to use the Composite Inputs to record the output of a cable box tuned to CNN.


If you lived where I do there would be an issue with those back to back recordings. I believe FOX times run true. A program scheduled for 6 to 7PM actually ends at 7PM. The major network affiliates (CBS, NBC and ABC ) start there 7PM programs at 6:58 or 6:59. The last minute or 2 on FOX would overlap the first minute or 2 on ABC. I saw someone refer to it as the Rocky Mountain minute. Prime Time is 7PM to 10PM here. By starting the 7PM program a minute early, they have an extra minute available to sell a Prime Time commercial since the 9PM program ends a minute earlier than it would have. This conspiracy theory may not really be true, but it sure seems plausible. I have not heard a better explanation for the noticeably early starts on the major networks. I am sure that the stations are off since I have a clock that syncs to WWV near the TV.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by patbbb
Magnavox told me I cannot set up the 513 or 515 to record on different channels without manually changing the station, which kind of defeats the auto recording. Guess I'm spoiled by the DISH receiver which was outstanding. I discontinued their service due to price increases. Can you recommend any digital DVR with tuner, hard drive recorder, watch live - tape another, freeze live TV, record different channels, etc.? I'm using basic Comcast service. They want $16 per month rental (includes HD which I don't need) and am trying to keep costs down.

Please note your reviews of the Magnavox were exceptionally helpful!
I have Comcast service too. I have a 3576 set up to record from the output of the cable box - not using the tuner. With the Comcast cable box, while in Guide mode, and with the program highlighted I want to record, press "Info" and choose "set or cancel a VCR recording". The program guide on screen will show a red dot in the guide description for the program. This action will turn on the cable box and tune the cable box to that channel at that time. Now you need to set up the recorder programming to record the cable box output at that same time. Now what will happen is that, at the prescribed time, the cable box will come on, switch to the correct channel, and the recorder will come on and record the cable box output.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by dswensen
I have Comcast service too. I have a 3576 set up to record from the output of the cable box - not using the tuner. With the Comcast cable box, while in Guide mode, and with the program highlighted I want to record, press "Menu" and choose "set to record with VCR" or something simliar to that. The program guide on screen will show a red dot in the guide description for the program. This action will turn on the cable box and tune the cable box to that channel at that time. Now you need to set up the recorder programming to record the cable box output at that same time. Now what will happen is that, at the prescribed time, the cable box will come on, switch to the correct channel, and the recorder will come on and record the cable box output.
What model box is it, and does it let you select more than one program to record, like for other times or other days of the week?
 

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I have a Motorola HD non DVR box that is the same unit that can have a hard drive but without it. I have never found that method and I have poked around a bit to try and find something that would actually turn the box on and set the channel so I could at least record SD version of all the HD programs I used to be able to record in the clear easily with my 3575.

The box is a DCH-3200 and other then that problem it has about every output option known to man and after my Comcast sub contractor saw all my goodies hooked up he offered me that box so I could do as I pleased with all my devices.

The ONLY reason I now have HD service and a HD box and phone is because they finally offered me a HD triple play type option that now costs me less then internet, TV, and phone cost me before with even more channels and better phone service. The HD rental fee on the HD box was waived as well but I have to pay 5 bucks extra a month for the combo phone/modem box.

It was finally worth it too me to get a box and all my basic shows are now in HD with a few cool new channels as well. You might want to try calling them and complaining about the over priced service with no real HD and see if they offer you a similar deal.

It costs me about 130 a month for all 3 services now and it was costing me over 100 just for the net and non HD extended basic service with one of the "free" boxes so I could still watch all my extended basic channels that are now digital, and encrypted.

My phone bill before this was 50 or more a month so I am saving some money just on that alone and now get free North American long distance too and caller ID.

Anyways I'll have to try your idea and see if my box has a hidden option I missed. Sooner or later I'm getting a HD home run prime that will do 3 tuners and has a cable card that will network with my PC's and media center.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dartman
I have a Motorola HD non DVR box that is the same unit that can have a hard drive but without it. I have never found that method and I have poked around a bit to try and find something that would actually turn the box on and set the channel so I could at least record SD version of all the HD programs I used to be able to record in the clear easily with my 3575.

The box is a DCH-3200 and other then that problem it has about every output option known to man and after my Comcast sub contractor saw all my goodies hooked up he offered me that box so I could do as I pleased with all my devices.

The ONLY reason I now have HD service and a HD box and phone is because they finally offered me a HD triple play type option that now costs me less then internet, TV, and phone cost me before with even more channels and better phone service. The HD rental fee on the HD box was waived as well but I have to pay 5 bucks extra a month for the combo phone/modem box.

It was finally worth it too me to get a box and all my basic shows are now in HD with a few cool new channels as well. You might want to try calling them and complaining about the over priced service with no real HD and see if they offer you a similar deal.

It costs me about 130 a month for all 3 services now and it was costing me over 100 just for the net and non HD extended basic service with one of the "free" boxes so I could still watch all my extended basic channels that are now digital, and encrypted.

My phone bill before this was 50 or more a month so I am saving some money just on that alone and now get free North American long distance too and caller ID.

Anyways I'll have to try your idea and see if my box has a hidden option I missed. Sooner or later I'm getting a HD home run prime that will do 3 tuners and has a cable card that will network with my PC's and media center.



I have a DCH3200, too, and will sugggest that you hang on to that puppy if they ever try to "upgrade" you because the new ones are not nearly as versatile. It does have a way to program recordings - you can set a timer several programs using the comcast guide -- you can't simply program the box directly, it has to be done through the guide as described above by dswenson. Then, once you have set that up, you ALSO have to set the dvd-recorder to turn on at that day and time to record (using the auxilliary input the box is connected to -- L1 or L2) . The moto box will change channels for you but I am pretty sure you have to leave it ON -- at least I do, to guarantee that it knows to make the switch. You can set it for a variety of programs - one time only, every saturday, m - f, etc... and it will remember a number of shows (sorry, I dont know exactly how many) but ... it will not actually trigger a recording (even though it says it has done that). You must duplicate the times on your magnavox. If you have trouble finding the recording function in the comcast guide (they're icons at the bottom), let me know and I'll walk you through it. I can't do it now because ... I'm in the midst of recording from cable! (see, another reason to hate relying on the box!) Formerly, with QAM-accessible channels, I could be recording something and watching a show on the cable box... but you lose the multi-cable program flexibility with only a single cable box. The one I was given for the living room is much less versatile, but it does the job in a pinch for 'extra' recordings. I do not intend to get a cable box for every recorder, so I have been dedicating different magnavox machines to different types of recordings (one for shows that require the cable box, and the other to record local channels or PBS that I can still get through a direct coax input. It gets confusing and it's less flexible than the old way, but it's usable. Comcast has scrambled almost everything worth watching other than locals, pbs, religious broadcasting, and a handful of lesser channels, but if you have multiple recorders, you can set them up to record the local station shows with the maggie tuner, and the cable shows with the box. It gives you a little more flexibility but it's hard to keep track!
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by wajo
What model box is it, and does it let you select more than one program to record, like for other times or other days of the week?
Quote:
Originally Posted by dswensen
I have Comcast service too. I have a 3576 set up to record from the output of the cable box - not using the tuner. With the Comcast cable box, while in Guide mode, and with the program highlighted I want to record, press "Info" and choose "set or cancel a VCR recording". The program guide on screen will show a red dot in the guide description for the program. This action will turn on the cable box and tune the cable box to that channel at that time. Now you need to set up the recorder programming to record the cable box output at that same time. Now what will happen is that, at the prescribed time, the cable box will come on, switch to the correct channel, and the recorder will come on and record the cable box output.
I edited my own post above to correct the keys to press on the remote to get this to work.


It works on both Comcast's boxes that I have, a DCH 3200 and an RNG 110. I believe it will work as often as you set the "VCR recording" on the guide menu, but I've only tested it with one program set to record at a time so far. I don't see why it wouldn't work with multiple programs selected.
 

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I've set up five or six in advance - but there may be a maximum based on the guide memory.



Does your cable box come on when scheduled, or do you leave it on so it can change channels? It sounds like you turn yours off... which is good to know. I've never tried that -- well, I tried it and it didn't work, but htat may have been due to other issues.
 

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I have done the timer recording thing many times but it doesn't turn the box on when it's off and when it is on it does this annoying blue box announcing that is about to change channels and record something


SO I had to always make sure the box was on or no recording to my 3575, plus make sure it started early enough to loose the stupid box announcing it was about to record something which of course gets recorded to the 3575 if not set early enough.

If there is a way to make it turn itself on, not have a huge box telling me it is doing this, then it would be somewhat more useful.

Otherwise I have discovered other ways to get the shows I miss in glorious HD with 5.1 sound...
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by artwire
Comcast has scrambled almost everything worth watching other than locals, pbs, religious broadcasting, and a handful of lesser channels, but if you have multiple recorders, you can set them up to record the local station shows with the maggie tuner, and the cable shows with the box. It gives you a little more flexibility but it's hard to keep track!
Sounds like a 515 would come in handy in your situation... at least you can end up with pre-titled shows to reduce the confusion on the search-for show-and-playback end?
 
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