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Discussion Starter #1
For the last 2-3 weeks, my HD recording has been sporadic at best. Usually, for the late night timers, it would skip the timer all together or list the show as having been recorded but, when I went to play it, I would be rewarded with a black screen and the machine would pop back to the menu.

Initially, I thought that this was a recording issue in general. But, as I have troubleshooted further, or perhaps as the situation has worsened, it seems that the machine will tape the SD channels just fine, it is the HD that are hit and miss.

I have spoken with Starchoice twice. The first agent was helpful and did reformatted the harddrive. That seemed to fix the situation for about four days, and then it started again. On the last day, it spontaneously started a recording of an HD channel that I had cancelled and continued taping that channel for 6 1/2 hours, continuing through many programs (which would require a manual timer). When I got home and turned the recording off, I could not watch any of it.

I called Starchoice again last night. The first agent had said that if the situation wasn't fixed, they would simply replace the machine, so long as I was willing to pay the warranty for a year and s/h -- which, of course, I was. I was one of the first timer buyers of the DVR530 and I am not too anxious to dip a toe into the DVR630 pool just yet -- as it seems to have it's share of flaws too.

In 6+ years, this will be my sixth DVR530. Typically, they have only lasted me one year. But, this last one was brand new and lasted well over two years. I was just curious if anyone knew what the exact issue is. Why can it record SD but not HD successfully? The agents did not seem to know.

Anyway, my replacement is on its way. I was just curious and wondered if anyone had any insight.

Thanks!
 

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How many hours of recordings do you have on the hard drive? We've always found that having at least 20 hours of HD remaining keeps it as stable as possible.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Oh, well, it varies. I rarely have more than 10 hours of HD recorded, probably around 5 hours... typically less, and then a bit of SD recording too.
 

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Hi quimbysjody,

The only thing that comes to mind would be a lower ebno level on the HD channels. This could explain why you can record SD, but not HD. Was that checked during troubleshooting?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks! It was checked. The signal strength and ebno was quite strong the first time I called in, although I cannot remember if I was on an HD channel or an SD channel, and they never asked me to test both. It does seem to fluctuate. Right now it is 5.8 . I think when he had me check it was in the high 7s or 8s. And, to be fair, at the time I hadn't realized that the SD was taping fine and the HD was not -- just that my timers were not taping (although, I did indicate what channels they were on, when I was explaining the situation).

So, is that an indication that they tuner or harddrive is going? I can view the HD channels without issue...excellent clarity. It is the recording that is spotty.

I did lots of troubleshooting before contacting Starchoice the first time, including switching the cables around and doing a hard reboot (unplugging everthing). When the first rep. spoke with me, he confirmed that I had a nice strong signal, indicating that the dish was okay but again, as I said, I don't remember what channel I was on, when he tested the strength.

Just testing now some different HD channels, although we have had a bad storm day in Ontario, the snow has stopped and my dish is cleared off...

ch. 294 WGN 94 ebno 7.6
ch 277 SHOW 81 ebno 5.0
ch 282 TMN 90 ebno 6.7
ch 284 NBC 87 ebno 6.1
ch 293 CTV 85 ebno 5.7

...however, right now I can tape. And, I think my HD levels were good, when I was trying to tape some stuff myself and it would not tape, but just pop back to the black screen and then menu.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
This morning my HD ebno is

ch. 294 WGN 95 ebno 7.8
ch 277 SHOW 83 ebno 5.4
ch 282 TMN 94 ebno 7.7
ch 284 NBC 87 ebno 6.1
ch 293 CTV 87 ebno 6.1

My SD equivalent channels are :

ch. 650 WGN 78 ebno 8.7
ch 522 SHOW 75 ebno 8.5
ch 602 TMN 77 ebno 8.6
ch 360 NBC 72 ebno 7.9
ch 311 CTV 73 ebno 8.1
 

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HD ebno will always be lower than SD. The values reported from today seem pretty normal and shouldn't be the cause of the problem. (Unless of course there happened to be a lot of snow on your dish every time you had a failed recording).

So, with that checked, there's nothing else that jumps to my mind as to the obvious cause. The replacement seems like the best resolution in your case! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you so much for responding to my post. I must say, each time I have called Starchoice I have been impressed by the level of customer service. This is just an added bonus! Thanks again.
 

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quimbysjody,

I know you said you didn't want to get a 630 just yet, and I understand completely, but I just wanted to make sure you were aware of the trade in.
If you call and ask for Customer Relations then ask them about the 530 for the 630 trade in for $99 I'm sure they help you out (as many of us have).

Just FYI.
 

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quimbysjody,

If you call and ask for Customer Relations then ask them about the 530 for the 630 trade in for $99 I'm sure they help you out (as many of us have).

Just FYI.
I just want to comment that through Customer Relations I received the $99 deal, but after one year (in other words free rental for a year) and I didn't have to trade in my 530. It's really been great to still have it, as the 630 tends to be finicky. I also got a multiswitch too. I don't know about now, but really great deals were available to longtime customers when the 630 first came out.

The Hans
 
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