Pseudo discrete-OFF for SA Digital box - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums
 

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Old 2004-02-09, 10:29 PM   #1
BurningMan
 
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Default Pseudo discrete-OFF for SA Digital box

I've had an MX-500 programmable remote for 2 weeks now and it's getting close to where I like it. However, I had a problem with my 'System OFF' macro which is suppose to shut everything down. Since the power command for the SA digital box is a toggle, my 'System OFF' macro would turn the unit ON if it was already off.

To fake a discrete-OFF you can put the following remote commands into a macro:

'settings' -> 'down cursor' -> 'right cursor' -> 'select'

This will set the sleep timer and turn the cable box off in 5 minutes.

I'd be interested to know if someone has come up with something better, though.

-burn-
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Old 2004-02-10, 10:44 AM   #2
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What model SA box did you test this on? I haven't found anything better.
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Old 2004-02-10, 12:18 PM   #3
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This works on both my SD and HD Rogers boxes. I don't know the model numbers off hand.

There is nothing magical about that sequence. That is, it's not some undocumented system code. It simply brings up the settings menu, moves down to the sleep-timer menu choice, selects the first time interval (5 minutes), and then commits the timer by pressing 'select'.

So long as the sleep timer is the first menu item down in the settings menu, this should work on any SA unit.
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Old 2004-02-11, 08:38 AM   #4
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But what's the point? Now you have to figure out how to turn it back on again. All my components except the cable box and the satellite box have discrete on/off, and I'd like that for the satellite since it downloads the guide while off, but it seems rather pointless for the cable box. When I punch the 'CBL' button on my remote it just turns on the receiver and tv and sets them up appropriately, and the same for any of the other modes except that for DVD and VCR I have to turn on those components too. I ended up with a master off button that sends discrete off to all components that accept it, but if I've been watching SAT before shutting down I normally hit the power to shut that down first.
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Old 2004-02-11, 03:37 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jethrogoss
But what's the point? Now you have to figure out how to turn it back on again.
I don't understand. You send the cable box 'Power' code to turn it on.

As I said at the beginning of the thread, I include this in the 'Master power' off' macro. It's useful for ensuring all components are shut down at night. Sure, I could use the cable remote to shut it down, but that defeats the purpose of having a single remote on the coffee table. It also means I can give easy instructions to everyone else in the house. <press the OFF button>

As an aside, my DVD player doesn't have a discrete-OFF either, but I ensure it's turned of by turning it on first sending 'play', pausing for 1sec and then sending the 'power' command.

-burn-
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Old 2004-02-11, 07:14 PM   #6
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I've got discrete power codes for all my devices except the SA3100HD.
My attitude is "it's a rental so why even bother turning it off" If SA doesn't bother with discretes then why should I care about the longevity of the box. That's Rogers' problem. My only problem leaving it on is that in the event of a power failure overnight, when the power comes back, the STB is off by default and so there are times when I have to power on manually. (Happens a couple of times a year so not a huge problem).

What I don't get is it seems that most of the consumer electronics industry seems to think that discrete remote codes are unneccesary or too much trouble. I dunno I'm not a CE software engineer but it doesn't strike me as being too complicated or expensive to add a handful of extra codes for people with higher end remotes.

If I had a choice I wouldn't buy SA product because of the lack of discretes.

If you really insist on turning the box on & off then an X-10 switch might do the trick as well.

TomW.
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Old 2004-02-11, 07:36 PM   #7
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The "off" position on the SA STBs doesn't really turn much off anyway. If you feel the top of the STB, it's very hot, whether on or off. These boxes are never "off" unless unplugged.

Most STBs are like this. I should hook up my meter one of these days to see how much difference in power draw there is - probably the amount of the green LED. :wink:
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Old 2004-02-11, 10:55 PM   #8
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Basically, when you "power off" your STB, all it really does is stop decrypting/processing the video signal. All the video outputs will output a solid black screen (as opposed to switching off completely). The tuner will usually change to on of the server frequencies to download more guide data quicker. Some guide data is downloaded via the Out-Of-Band channel while watching TV, but it takes much more time.

The only true way to power off, is to pull the plug, which is bad because then Rogers will deactivate the box because it hasn't responded in a while.
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Old 2004-02-12, 11:54 PM   #9
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Default Re: Pseudo discrete-OFF for SA Digital box

Quote:
Originally Posted by BurningMan
To fake a discrete-OFF you can put the following remote commands into a macro:

'settings' -> 'down cursor' -> 'right cursor' -> 'select'
Thanks burn, worked like a charm!

I personally prefer to turn it off when not in use for an extended period. The box sometimes gets into a funny state when it's on, so I'm hoping it helps however warm it may be.
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Old 2004-02-15, 08:58 PM   #10
Wayne
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I agree with not needing a discrete power on, off code for an STB as there is no reason to turn them off.

I never, ever, ever turn off my STBs as 2 of them are connected to TiVos so I don't want issues with something not recorded as the STB was not on. I don't have a problem with them being on all of the time.

Very occasionally - once every few months the boxes will all be shut off - I am not sure if this is due to a power outage or a reboot of the STBS or what.
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Old 2004-02-16, 01:43 PM   #11
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Another reason could be better sound quality while watching or listening to another source (DVD, CD, etc.) if you have an STB connected to your receiver or preamp. Some receivers could be sensitive to crosstalk from the inputs constantly being blasted by the STB. Note, you don't neccessarily have to hear it for it to negatively impact sound/picture quality.

I think it's a very good idea for 3250HD owners for the time being, to ensure that we get that software upgrade smoothly and as soon as possible.
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Old 2004-02-18, 02:21 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BurningMan
Quote:
Originally Posted by jethrogoss
But what's the point? Now you have to figure out how to turn it back on again.
I don't understand. You send the cable box 'Power' code to turn it on.

-burn-
The point is there is no discrete on either, so you can only send POWER if you know its already off. There are some macros for my remote that can be built to build your own discrete on/off code into the remote itself, with a failsafe mode to keep cycling until it gets back in sync (in case the signal gets blocked or someone turns it on or off with another method).

My point was similar to the others above, there's just no point in turning off the system. Maybe upgrades would be one short term reason, but for this sort of component in general its not worth losing too muh sleep over. As for crosstalk, I'd replace my reciever if I got crosstalk from a different digital input!
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