[Moved] Need help re: Motorola PVR - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-29, 02:30 PM Thread Starter
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[Moved] Need help re: Motorola PVR

Heya folks, I need help from the Shaw Gurus here.
I have a Motorola DCT6412 111 HD PVR...and a few days ago roughly half of my channels stopped coming in. All I get is "This channel should be available shortly". This is happening on seemingly random high def and low def channels, such as Fight Network, HD Fox, NTV, etc...
The channels that do come in come in fine.
I live in a rural area (100 mile house) so called shaw support. He reset my box and then told me that the box was probably dead and I needed to buy a new PVR. Given that I haven't had ANY of the signs of a dying hard drive or dying pvr until this moment, I find this suspicious.
My question - if I do bite the bullet and buy their newest Dual Tuner HD PVR, will there be any added benefit in amount of stuff I can record or features?
Is tech support likely correct that the PVR itself is causing my outage and needs replacement?
I just want to caveat emptor as much as possible before shelling out 500 bucks.

Thanks in advance!
-Jason
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-29, 03:26 PM
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The error message "This channel should be available shortly" commonly will arise when you have a weak signal coming in. I had this on two HD channels. After a few calls, they sent a tech out and he had to run a new cable line in from the street. Not sure how that would work in a rural area, though.

This may not be your problem, though, since I have never heard of this happening on SD channels.

You should be able to enter the service menu to see your signal strength. With your TV and PVR on, press the PWR button on the Shaw remote, and then quickly press the "OK/Select" button. Check the OOB Status page, and see your SNR and AGC levels. Also check the In-Band Status page for your specific channel levels (you have to have the channels tuned prior to turning the PVR off).
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-29, 03:38 PM
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-29, 07:35 PM
 
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Try an HD stb that will accept an external HDD instead?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Arcmaze View Post
Heya folks, I need help from the Shaw Gurus here.
I have a Motorola DCT6412 111 HD PVR...and a few days ago roughly half of my channels stopped coming in. All I get is "This channel should be available shortly". This is happening on seemingly random high def and low def channels, such as Fight Network, HD Fox, NTV, etc...
The channels that do come in come in fine.
I live in a rural area (100 mile house) so called shaw support. He reset my box and then told me that the box was probably dead and I needed to buy a new PVR. Given that I haven't had ANY of the signs of a dying hard drive or dying pvr until this moment, I find this suspicious.
My question - if I do bite the bullet and buy their newest Dual Tuner HD PVR, will there be any added benefit in amount of stuff I can record or features?
Is tech support likely correct that the PVR itself is causing my outage and needs replacement?
I just want to caveat emptor as much as possible before shelling out 500 bucks.

Thanks in advance!
-Jason
I have the same unit and it will only recognize up to 120gig internal (no matter what size drive is in it) so if you want to record huge amounts of stuff then you are sol.

Personally I would be tempted to try an HD stb that does not have a built in drive. I find that it is annoying to say the least that the drive records what you are watching continually so that you can pause and rewind live tv. It would be far better is there was an option to shut the pause live tv option off and have silence in your entertainment space. Unless you shut the PVR off the drive will spin continuously even when the HDMI connected tv is off.

The 6412 is getting a little long in the tooth and if mine calves I will not replace it with the same unit for the reasons mentioned.

With an external drive instead of an internal that runs continuously then you could just unplug it for stuff you do not want to record. I suspect that the external drives that Shaw supplies are much quieter than the ones in the 6412.

I do not think Shaw is going to give customers the option of adding there own equipment or if they do I would not want to be a Shaw tech guy!

The reason for this is that the stb equipment Shaw uses runs a proprietary file system from IBM and needs to encode the recorded shows so that only the unit that recorded it will play it back. Otherwise the good folks at the networks and the MPAA in the States would have copious kittens!

Of course I have no idea about the cost difference. Most likely the costs will be either the same or slightly more for the external drive option.

If they do allow customers to use their own drives then the drives will most likely have to be formatted by software in the stb to work...which in turn means unless you are a real geek there is no way to take info off them or re-use them with your computer unless you reformat them to an acceptable format like NTFS, Fat, Ext2,3,4, or any of the other formats that can easily be used with an external drive.

But I digress ...I would suggest that you continue to check other posts in this forum about the pace machines available for Shaw and how user friendly and flexible they really are.

Eric
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-29, 10:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks!

Thanks folks...I have a tech coming out tomorrow, but after accessing the Diagnostics I see that my SNR is seemingly quite low (17.9 dB Fair) and my AGC is listed as "good". (24%).
I take it this is the cause of my lost channels. We've been getting a lot of dropped sound and "noise" pixellation on the screen lately as well, which I take is related.

I am seriously considering upgrading the PVR when he's here to the newer black 160gb one they're offering and then maybe adding their 1tb extender down the road.

But I guess I need these signals fixed up first.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-11-30, 08:14 AM
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Arcmaze, if you have a 6412 III, then you should already have a SATA port on the back of the box. That means you can use the Shaw external drive. No need to buy a new box.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-12-22, 03:41 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rsambuca View Post
The error message "This channel should be available shortly" commonly will arise when you have a weak signal coming in. I had this on two HD channels. After a few calls, they sent a tech out and he had to run a new cable line in from the street. Not sure how that would work in a rural area, though.

This may not be your problem, though, since I have never heard of this happening on SD channels.

You should be able to enter the service menu to see your signal strength. With your TV and PVR on, press the PWR button on the Shaw remote, and then quickly press the "OK/Select" button. Check the OOB Status page, and see your SNR and AGC levels. Also check the In-Band Status page for your specific channel levels (you have to have the channels tuned prior to turning the PVR off).
hi...have the same problem too with some of the channels showing "This channel should be available shortly", just wondering....can i do the same procedure with the motorolla 3416?
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 2009-12-22, 11:56 AM
 
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Well, it is possible that shaw is correct,

My friend has the same issue with his OLD first-gen DCT-2224. I did everything, including cold boots, and the tuner was unable to decrypt most analog channels and some digital.

Signal strength is about the same (17.5db would not create those dropouts IMO). Now, I think the issue has to do with a part of the tuner assembly wearing out. BUT, this may be one small trick:

I couldn't get my DCT-6208 to properly activate by Shaw. I finally got through to one tech who suggested to unscrew the coax cable going into the shaw box, and hold a screwdriver or something metal to both the wire and the shielding on the cable, shorting it. Apparently static electricity can sometimes sit in the line, scrambling it. After that, it worked fine!

Now please correct me if I'm wrong, but is this model a dual tuner? If so, have you tried swapping tuners to the 2nd one?
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