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Super Moderator
56,506 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Updated 2011.05.15

Since this applies to several cable companies, I thought I'd put it here. It's a very helpful link for those with Motorola STBs. I believe the diagnostics are applicable to Pace STBs from Shaw & Cogeco.

For diagnostics/menu, please see item 17 of this post.

Other useful tips gleaned from this forum:

1. We recommend you do not turn off the 6208/6412/6416. The HDD doesn't spin down anyway, and "off" is really "standby", consuming almost the same electricity. Since the HDD buffers the channels, perhaps you can tune to a music channel before switching off your TV, this will reduce the buffering due to the lower bitrate. Edit 2007.09.28. This recommendation regarding not turning off the PVR is a bit old and some people have been able to turn it off without encountering problems, like there were a while back.

Edit 2010.10.31. Some people with eHDDs have had issues when they power down, so they've left the PVR on to workaround the issues. Try it both ways depending on your PVR make/model and eHDD, etc.

Be aware that when the PVR powers itself up, the audio is muted on all outputs. That's apparently to guard against the speakers blaring in the middle of the night or something. To get the sound back, just bring up the guide or something to let the DCT know you're there. I think that's a recent firmware enhancement as it used to remain muted after powering itself up.

6412 Record when powered off? - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

2. If your STB doesn't "play", go to a previous recording and hit play... this may bring your box back to life.

3. If the audio mutes after using the skip button too many times, hit the last button twice and your sound will come back.

4. Reboot the STB once a month by unplugging it and plugging it back in before you go to bed. This way the IPG will be ready when you next need to use it.

5. If you're getting split recordings, lots of pixellation, or sound dropouts, check the signal strength (S/N ratio) in the diagnostics above. Also remove any upstream items such as splitters and power bars for testing.

6. If you're having problems, try a reboot as mentioned in 4. Wait for the time to display - if you can, wait for 30 minutes for some of the other features to download, etc.

7. Heat is a killer for STBs. Make sure the STB is well ventillated and make sure it's "on top".

8. If you get the 100% Full message, deleting a programme will usually get you back to the correct reading. Record a few 1 minute programmes so that you can delete them as required for this workaround.

9. In terms of setup, most people use 1080i for HD channels and 480i (usually best for SD) or 480P (if necessary due to the TV) for the 4:3 override, for the best PQ.

10. Note that when using DVI/HDMI connections, some HDTVs do not accept 480i signals via DVI/HDMI, so you need to turn the 4:3 Override to off, or try 480P.

11. If you have jerky/stuttering on playback, try changing the output format from 1080i to 720P. Changing the format seems to clear the problem. If the problem clears, then you can change back to your favourite output format again. If you have your 4:3 override set to 480i/p, then simply changing the channel from an HD one to an SD one and back (or vice versa) should also work.

12. Do you need to enter 3 numbers to change channels? Go to settings in your menu - then guide - then change channel behaviour to auto-tune. For "fast" channel changes, you can also hit a channel number followed by "OK".

13. If you can't see the full frame picture in the guide at the top right, try moving the position of the guide a bit to the left. This may bring the picture up properly. If the Guide doesn't come up properly, change channels from SD to HD, or vice versa and try again.

14. Cold Cold Reboot (New Firmware):

Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums - View Single Post - PVR menu is gone - Resolved: bad HDD

15. Information from the Cogeco Forum, which also uses Motorola:

Cogeco Cable FAQ for Current and Prospective Subscribers - See Post 1. - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

16. If you have a purple/green colour displayed on your TV for SD channels, change the 4:3 override from 480i to 480P, or turn it to "off" and have all the signals 1080i. This is usually for DVI or HDMI connections, which can have lots of issues - see below. The same holds true if you have black/green/snowy screen, or long delays when changing formats - SD to HD channel for example.

FAQ - HDMI Comments/Issues - Canadian TV, Computing and Home Theatre Forums

17. In order to get into the user/diagnostics settings/menu, you
power the STB "off" --> then press "menu" on the STB. Here's a detailed description:

17a. Signal Strength Link:

18. To activate Closed Captioning, go into the user settings/menu:

19. On-line activations (for Shaw):

20. If you can't see the guide on HD channels but can on SD, then you may be connected via an SD instead of HD connection - use component video, DVI or HDMI. Also make sure you've set the output formats for the STB properly.

If you have any comments or suggestions for this FAQ, please PM 57.

Super Moderator
56,506 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If you have a broadband connection on your computer (via cable). The following link should provide you with a general indication of the signal strength at your house.

This is good for people who don't have a STB or who have a Motorola STB which doesn't show Signal Strength.

Signal strength above -10dB is adequate for digital channels and a S/N ratio of 35 is good. Any splitters "downstream" of where you have your cable modem connected would, of course, lower the signal strength.

Some people may not get a reading. I don't know why - perhaps if you have a router, or if you don't have a Motorola modem. I understand that Shaw people may not get a reading due to Shaw's method of operating, or preference. Those people will need to use the diagnostics as outlined in post 1.

265 Posts
Motorola DCT General and Download Error Codes: The complete list

Someone recently pointed me to this link:

While a good start, it is only about 1/3 of the possible error codes that you can see on a Motorola DCT. Here, then, is the complete list:

General Error codes:
These errors will display at boot time (in the case of a failure) or can also be seen by launching the OSD and selecting 'd 01 General Status'. Error codes display on the LED and the OSD. In the case of multiple errors, the last error logged is displayed:

EP00 No error
EP01 Not connected
EP03 DRAM error
EP04 SRAM error
EP07 ROM verification failure
EP08 RAM test failure
EP09 Battery test failure
EP11 Invalid unit address
EP12 Power on self test failure
EP14 GITV startup failure
EP15 TSI structure corrupt
EP18 Driver initialization failure

Download error codes and informationals:
The following are displayed on the front panel LEDs of the set-top during and just after the code download process.

"| dl" This display indicates that an out-of band platform code object download is in progress. The first segment in the display is a crawling ant progress indicator, which moves one position for each segment of the platform code received.
"EF" This display indicates that the flash memory area is being erased.
"FP" This display indicates that the flash memory area is being programmed.
"----" This display indicates that a network platform code object download has completed.
"hunt" This display indicates that the bootloader is hunting for an out-of-band frequency.
"Fr [number]" This display indicates that the bootloader is attempting to lock on to the frequency indicated by [number].
"Au" This display indicates that a platform code is being authenticated after it has been downloaded.

The following are error codes that can be displayed if there is a problem with the download:

Eb01 The platform code object failed a validation check, before being loaded into the flash memory area from RAM.
Eb02 The platform code object download failed due to a time out or other failure.
Eb03 The bootloader failed to erase the flash memory area.
Eb04 The bootloader failed to program the flash memory area.
Eb05 Invalid Frequency. The frequency specified in the download control message is invalid. If an upgrade download was attempted, the invalid frequency encountered was read from the Startup-Database.
Eb06 Hardware initialization failed.
Eb07 The platform code object failed a validation check, after it was loaded into the flash memory area.
Eb08 This is a reserved error code.
Eb09 A sanity check failure has occurred. The code execution check bit for the loader flags field was not cleared.
Eb10 The start up database in NVMEM did not pass the CRC check, and was rebuilt to the default state. This error only occurs if both the primary and secondary copy of the start up database has been corrupted.
Eb11 The bootloader failed to lock the out-of-band tuner.
Eb12 The bootloader failed to receive a conditional access message.
Eb13 The bootloader failed to receive a download control message or no matching Platform ID entry found.
Eb14 An attempt to load a platform code object with the wrong object class or object type.
Eb15 No matching platform ID was found.
Eb16 An unexpected flash memory erasure or program was in progress at start up.
Eb17 The flash memory area is not responding.
Eb18 The platform code object size is mismatched.
Eb19 The platform object size failed the range check.
Eb20 The start up database pointer is not located within the appropriate NVMEM range, or the pointer does not lie on a 32-bit boundary.

Note: A number of these error codes indicate a problem at the headend and should almost never be seen in the field.

Super Moderator
56,506 Posts
Discussion Starter #13
Standalone mode - The STB is acting as though it's not connected to cable at all. The STB probably has a poor connection to it. Check your RF-coax connections (undo and redo all connections) and temporarily remove any upstream splitters, power bars, etc (perhaps even a leftover filter which would need to be removed by the provider). Put the STB as close to the incoming cable to your home as possible for the best signal. If you have another location in the home where a STB is working properly, try moving the STB there - this is no guarantee as different STBs require different signals.

Broadcast mode - the STB cannot communicate back to the head end. The fix is probably the same as above.

SDV (Switched Digital Video) Issues - The STB is not properly communicating with the node near your home. The fix is usually the same as above - a poor splitter or connection upstream being the cause. Sometimes (rarely) the issue is with the service provider upstream - perhaps a filter they installed if you were on basic cable.

SDV Issues, links, post 1: Although this link is for Rogers, the issue is similar for most service providers that offer SDV.

On-demand Issues - The STB is not properly communicating with the head end. The fix is usually the same as above - a poor splitter or connection upstream being the cause. Sometimes (rarely) the issue is with the service provider upstream. Remember that On-demand is communicating with the head end with each button press, so please be patient - this communication is not instantaneous.

If the STB is not communicating with the head end properly, it may shut down in about 3-4 weeks and would need to be reauthorized. If any of the above suggestions don't work, call your service provider.

As always, check your signal strength and S/N ratio and perform a reboot per post 1.


With a PVR, I always recommend a UPS so that it has some surge protection and doesn't go down. Plug the PVR (and eHDD if applicable) into the battery protected side of the UPS and any high draw equipment like a TV or AVR into the non-battery side. A HDD doesn't like to lose power when reading or writing and damage can occur at that time. If you have a cable amp upstream, the amp should also be plugged into the battery protected side and this way the PVR will record during an outage. A small UPS will usually keep a PVR operating for 30-60 minutes, depending on the PVR and UPS. If you wait for a good sale, you can usually find a small UPS (350-750 VA) for about $50-$75.
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