Channel Master DVRs For OTA - Page 6 - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

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post #76 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-28, 08:11 PM
 
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I ordered it on December 24th and had it delivered to a cousin of my mother in law in Maine. She received it last Wednesday and sent it FedEx for overnight delivery. I am still running F201 since I heard so many bad things about F202 !

Pierre
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post #77 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-28, 08:14 PM
 
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Super - Thanks. I assume mine will have same firmware as yours and I will leave it as is until the next one is released. Will have more to say tomorrow (if FedEx cooperates!) Should have had it 2.5 weeks ago, but my friend didn't get here due to weather then as well!

Stu

OTA CM4228-CM4221 Combined DTVPal DVR AppleTV 40GB Harmony 659 / 880
Unibody MBP 15 c2d 2.66 Mac Mini 2009 iPad 32
iPhone 3GS 2 Apple TV 40GB
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post #78 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-28, 08:49 PM
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It sounds like the tuner is very good. Does the PVR tuner have been reception performance than just the straight TV tuner?
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post #79 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-28, 10:57 PM
 
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I do not have a straight TV tuner to compare today since the DVR is feeding a projector, but last year I had bought a Samsung and an LG TV that I returned because the reception was not very good. So I guess that we can say that the DTV PAL has very good reception since I was not getting CBS, FOX and Burlington PBS with the TVs...
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post #80 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 09:39 AM
 
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Location: St-Hubert QC, Attic CM4221 clone, CM7777, WMC 8.1, 4 HDHomerun tuners, 2 XBox 360 as receivers
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PierreP, did you experiment things that would give answers to the questions asked in post #36 of this thread (Channel Master DVRs For OTA) ? e.g. the function that would interest me most would be that whatever output are on the DVR, they would all work simultaneously (for example, coax output, component output, hdmi output, s-video/rca outputs).
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post #81 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 12:24 PM
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Djipi,

There is no S-video output on the DTVPal DVR.

However, that is a very good question. On many consumer electronics either the digital only, or the analogue only outputs can be active at any given time. I assume this is to reduce costs. For instance on my SIR-T451 ATSC tuner, there is physical switch on the back.

That being said, the DTV Pal DVr is made by Echostar. So is my BellTV 9242 receiver. In fact, they use the exact same remote, and the User Interface software is very similar. Does that translate to the outputs? I don't know but,.... the lack of anything in the DTVPal DVR manual stating that the user must tell the stb what kind of connection is being made (software as there are no physical switches on the back), would indicate so.

I don't have an HDMI input on my HDTV so I use component for the output of the 9242, but I do know that that using Output#1 on my 9242, the component (analogue) and S-Video (analogue) are concurrently active.

But most importantly the STB has only one way of knowing which input you are using; e.g., if it receives a handshake from a digital capable device. This would be done via HDMI to a HDMI or DVI set (HDMI to DVI conversion is very easy and cheap).

Therefore, I think it is reasonable to assume that at least all of the analogue outputs are active if there is no HDMI device connected, and if there is an HDMI device connected possibly all outputs are active.

This of course is just a guess, at this point. Once someone gets their hands on one, we'll know for sure.
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post #82 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 12:31 PM
 
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Mine arrived this morning. Will hook up this afternoon (later) and can try to provide some answers.

Stu

OTA CM4228-CM4221 Combined DTVPal DVR AppleTV 40GB Harmony 659 / 880
Unibody MBP 15 c2d 2.66 Mac Mini 2009 iPad 32
iPhone 3GS 2 Apple TV 40GB
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post #83 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 12:40 PM
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tenstu,
Before you get your hopes up you should know that you're going to be stuck with PSIP for the time being at least. The posting on rabbit ears was erroneous, and was changed on January 7th.

I got the following reply the other day from my contact in WIVB, after I queried about the indication that WIVB had started transmitting TVGOS, and then possibly stopped:
Quote:
We have never transmitted TVGOS data. Someone may have assumed that we did since CBS is partnered with Macrovision. It was a corporate decision not to do it in any of our CBS affiliates.
I can only assume that my contact is referring to LinTV owned CBS affiliates, because only a handful of CBS stations are owned and operated by the CBS Network, but according to rabbit ears, there is a lot of CBS stations carrying TVGOS.

Keep your fingers crossed. Looking forward to your review!!

cheers.
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post #84 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 02:37 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99gecko View Post
Once someone gets their hands on one, we'll know for sure.
PierreP got one (post #74), and I see that tenstu as well recently. I am impatiently waiting for his review...
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post #85 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DjiPi View Post
PierreP, did you experiment things that would give answers to the questions asked in post #36 of this thread (Channel Master DVRs For OTA) ? e.g. the function that would interest me most would be that whatever output are on the DVR, they would all work simultaneously (for example, coax output, component output, hdmi output, s-video/rca outputs).
Hi DjiPi,

I did not try simultaneous outputs, since I am only using the HDMI output to the receiver and receiver to Sony projector. The Dolby digital audio is carried properly on the HDMI output in case someone would like to know.

Pierre
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post #86 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 06:07 PM
 
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Hands On First Impressions

Finally got my unit hooked up and configured. Here are my initial thoughts.

First, like PierreP, I have an early softare version that I intend to keep for now:

Software Version: F201TALD-N
Boot Strap Version: 1011TALD

TV is an LG 42" 1080 LCD via HDMI

Ok,

Packaging was outstanding. Unit was actually vacuum sealed in an anti-static bag like new oem hard drives. Very nice. Universal Remote, batteries, some basic cables, QS Guide and Manual in the box.

Hooked up via HDMI, and also used an additional optical output. No issues at all with my LG display handshaking. In fact, when I turned on the TV, the setup wizard was already up and waiting for me.

The wizard took a couple of minutes, found all of my channels, I punched in the Grand Island Zip I use for Zap2It.com so it could configure the program guide. (14072 - Zap2It also includes all Toronto/Hamilton stations in their OTA listing for this ZIP - FYI - very nice)

The guide proceeded to populate VERY fast - using PSIP data up to about 12 hours out. As 99gecko mentioned, WIVB apparently does NOT have TVGOS. I had hoped the previous online reports that it DID have TVGOS were true, but no go. This is a big disappointment actually - and I will hope that they eventually add this stream for us, as that guide experience is far superior. That said, the DTVPal DVR still has the best non TVGOS guide I have seen.

PQ is fantastic. HOWEVER, I had to calibrate my TV again to accomplish this. I had been using this TV with a direct feed (via splitter of course) from the antenna, so the quality was amazing. To achieve a similar picture with the DVR, I had to tweak some picture settings. Luckily, I have 2 antenna feeds from the splitter in the room, and popped back and forth between the raw feed and DVR feed until I was happy. This is a good lesson for anyone who forgets the fine art of calibrating your TV. Most sets allow seperate calibrations for each input. Do it!! Otherwise, you might be robbing yourself of the best possible picture. (and write down your settings!!)

I did a test recording and it works as you would expect. No picture degradation at all. Also, as I had heard.

Signal strength - like PierreP said earlier - appears to be a fair amount stronger.

The interface is much more polished and sophisticated than I had expected. Very intuitive and easy to tweak if you need to. As a Mac user, this was most welcome!

Setup my Harmony 880 in just a few minutes for the PVR. I love the Harmony system ,as some poor guy before me took the time to plug in each and every code for the remote and now we all benefit. Excellent!

I will open the single malt cask and put the DVR (not the cask!) through its paces tonight and report back if anything odd happens.

So for now, I have to say, mightily impressed. If I stay this way, I can see a second one in our future. I do expect bugs and such nuisances to pop up (some are much discussed online) but also expect them to be ironed out with updates - and I will WAIT to update this unit until such time as it is necessary - but only then if new features are added and the update is proven to be bug free itself.

Hope this helps anyone on the fence about it. Obviously, I may have more observations as I get more time with it - and questions are most welcome.

Stu

OTA CM4228-CM4221 Combined DTVPal DVR AppleTV 40GB Harmony 659 / 880
Unibody MBP 15 c2d 2.66 Mac Mini 2009 iPad 32
iPhone 3GS 2 Apple TV 40GB
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post #87 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 06:39 PM
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Awesome review; thanks!

Questions for you:
  1. How long does it take to lock a signal when changing channels? I've noticed some tuners are almost instant, but others take a few seconds. Might be a function of signal strength however.
  2. How much ambient noise and heat does it generate? My old DVD recorder was horribly noisy, and some Echostar DVR's produce a fair bit of heat (I don't even keep my 9242 in the equipment rack because it is enclosed!).
  3. Any chance you could test simultaneous analogue and digital output capability as discussed above?

Enjoy your evening and your new toy!

cheers (with envy....)
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post #88 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 06:53 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 99gecko View Post
Awesome review; thanks!

Questions for you:
  1. How long does it take to lock a signal when changing channels? I've noticed some tuners are almost instant, but others take a few seconds. Might be a function of signal strength however.
  2. How much ambient noise and heat does it generate? My old DVD recorder was horribly noisy, and some Echostar DVR's produce a fair bit of heat (I don't even keep my 9242 in the equipment rack because it is enclosed!).
  3. Any chance you could test simultaneous analogue and digital output capability as discussed above?

Enjoy your evening and your new toy!

cheers (with envy....)
Hi 99gecko,

It takes between 1.5 - 2 second to change channels. A little quicker than the TV's built in tuner.

I just went over to it, and had to put my ear ON it to hear much of anything. I would classify this as VERY quiet. I am recording something at present and watching something else and there is no heat whatsoever emanating from the top of the unit. This, is quite a shock actually.

I just did it for you - once I saw your post. But, I had to use the same TV for the test, switching between the HDMI input and component input on the TV. In this type of test, the unit powered BOTH outputs. Without 2 TV's in the room, I can't be 100% sure that switching away from HDMI on the TV doesn't cause the box to turn HDMI off, but this is what I saw tonight.

Stu

OTA CM4228-CM4221 Combined DTVPal DVR AppleTV 40GB Harmony 659 / 880
Unibody MBP 15 c2d 2.66 Mac Mini 2009 iPad 32
iPhone 3GS 2 Apple TV 40GB
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post #89 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 08:11 PM
 
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Tenstu,

Which code did you enter for the Harmony remote, according to the AVS tread, they suggest to use Dish Network ViP622, but from your post, you seem to suggest that the DTV PAL is already in the Logitech database, if so, what model number do you enter ?

TR-50 or DTV PAL

Thanks,

Pierre
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post #90 of 956 (permalink) Old 2009-01-29, 08:17 PM
 
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Hi Pierre,

Hmmmm... I think I selected the Digital Set Top Box option, then Dish as manufacturer, and then typed in DTVPal DVR. That was it. I was surprised myself at how easy it was.

Using it now, and it works perfectly.

There was also an option under the PVR menu option, but I avoided it - as I felt this unit was more of a STB.

Stu

OTA CM4228-CM4221 Combined DTVPal DVR AppleTV 40GB Harmony 659 / 880
Unibody MBP 15 c2d 2.66 Mac Mini 2009 iPad 32
iPhone 3GS 2 Apple TV 40GB
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