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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
This DVDR has been working brilliantly for about a year, until a couple of months ago when it froze while I was both recording to HDD and playing a DVD. The DVD looked like a commercially made disk, a documentary, that a friend had brought over, but when it started to play, it looked like a very poor copy; the PQ was very bad. A few minutes in, the picture froze. I wish I could remember for sure, now, the order of what followed, but the upshot is that the HDD recording had frozen, too. I had to do the five-second power button. Powering back on, the Pio did a repair, which was brief. I tried the DVD again, but it froze in the same spot. Power off/on, I started the HDD recording again, and hooked up my PC to the TV to try the DVD, and it played fine then. Maybe 10 minutes later, I noticed the HDD recording was frozen again, requiring another power off/on. I was rather agitated by this time, but I restarted the HDD recording and it gave no more problems. After some thought later that evening, I blamed the suspect DVD, but now, I don't know.


AT the time, the HDD was about 1/3 full. I've since deleted everything, reset the machine to default, re-seated the SATA cables, and cradled it in my arms, rocking gently and cooing at it. It's frozen during recording twice more; both were timer recordings. The first time, the navigator showed the expected duration of recording, but playing it back, it was frozen part way through. The really interesting bit, the second time, yesterday, I'd scheduled two recordings. Both programs showed recorded. Playing back the first, it had frozen part way through. The second recording was good to the end! I guess the clock has a mind of its own.


I'm hoping that someone might be able to offer a solution or something else I might try, but if you can't, this is at least, a different "freezing" story? Thanks!


Yon
 

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I had this exact thing happen to me once, but on a much older Pioneer model 520 from 2004. I bought it second hand in 2006, and it worked fine for about a year until one day this "freezing" symptom started. Often, it would record the entire program but was incapable of playing more than a few minutes of it without freezing. Trying to speed-search past the freeze spot accomplished nothing. Eventually I gave up and replaced the original EIDE hard drive with a new one, and the problem went away. Apparently the original HDD got corrupted somehow, and since there's no practical way to repair HDDs that were formatted for video recorders, the only option is total replacement. Of course, you need the correct Pioneer service DVD and Service remote to do this, and they can be a pain and expense to acquire. There are ways to "roll your own" alternatives, info is available at the pioneerfaq.info hobbyist site.


While it seems silly, I would not be surprised to discover the crappy disc you were playing caused the corruption. Like a lot of features offered by these machines, they expect us to live in a perfect world and never stress them too much. Yes, they can play a DVD while recording to their hard drives, but they don't really like doing it. Simultaneous play/record taxes the encode/decode chip, forcing it to alternate modes rapidly. If you have a flaky crappy bootleg DVD playing, and it stumbles, it can lock up the encoder chip in the middle of recording to the HDD and create an unrecoverable mess on the drive. Always try to play only known-good DVDs in your recorder, such as genuine commercial product or discs you made in the recorder. Reserve questionable DVDs and DVDs you borrow from other people for playback on a separate player. Many of us have learned this the hard way: recorders are for making DVDs, players are for playing them afterward. This is not like a VCR, where one machine serves equally well for record and playback- DVD is a different, and imperfect, animal.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
After reading these forums, especially this one, I've learned lots. Thanks to everyone. I now play DVDs on a machine other than the 550H. Too bad it's too late for HDD recording, apparently. I can never trust it again. Replacing the HDD sounds daunting but I might work myself up to trying it sometime. Meantime, I'll just continue to time-shift with trepidation.


I paid $370 CDN for the 550H. Its 2008 replacement is a 560H. It looks the same except it'll upconvert to 1080p where the 550h does 720p/1080i, going into a Samsung LNS4051D, which I'm perfectly happy with. The new one is $400 at Visions in Calgary. Arghhh! I hate this!


Thanks, CitiBear. Now I know my recorder's problem isn't unique.


Yon
 
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