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Problems w/ Scientific Atlantic 8300 HD DVR? Transfer Shows from one DVR to Another?


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#1 of 13 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted January 31 2006 - 02:53 AM

I have a Scientific Atlantic 8300 HD DVR and it has occasionally "flipped out" where it will completely shutdown and reboot. This would not be a big deal, except it takes over a couple minutes to reboot, thus if it was recording a show it will miss a small junk of it.

Talking with some of the local Austin HTF members apparently there are some glitchy units and that the recommendation is to switch it out for another unit. This would not be a problem except I really do not want to lose some of the HD shows I've recorded as well as the Rose Bowl.

So my two questions are:

1) Have others had similar problems with their 8300 HD DVR?

2) Is there a way to transfer recorded shows from on DVR to another?

Thanks!

#2 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 01 2006 - 12:11 PM

1. I have two 8300HDs and have had intermittent glitches with both. Of course, I had ocassional problems with my SD TiVos, too.

2. No. Posted Image

I don't think Scientific Atlanta supports transferring recordings, and even if they did, most local cable companies wouldn't - and the software the cable companies run (and sometimes customize for their own purposes) are what control the available features.

I really wish transfers were possible. I used to transfer shows between my two TiV0s all the time, and wish I could now. Some times there are three or even four things I really want to see, and I'll record them on both the living room and bedroom DVRs, but hate having to watch 1 or 2 of them on the (27") bedroom TV instead of the 56" living room set. OTOH, it beats missing the shows entirely.

Regards,

Joe

#3 of 13 OFFLINE   Ronn.W

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Posted February 01 2006 - 05:41 PM

My 8300 has glitched and rebooted about 3-4 times in the last 6 monhts. It's never done it on its own, just sitting there minding its own business. I was always flipping channels or doing something with it.

If you had another DVR attached to it, like a Tivo, you could use the Save to VCR function of the 8300 to feed the other DVR the signal to record. Just an idea.

#4 of 13 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 02 2006 - 02:44 AM

Quote:
My 8300 has glitched and rebooted about 3-4 times in the last 6 monhts. It's never done it on its own, just sitting there minding its own business. I was always flipping channels or doing something with it.
This is the same for us. I suppose if it happened on its own we might have seen a recorded show interrupted by the shutdown, which so far we have not seen this.

Quote:
If you had another DVR attached to it, like a Tivo, you could use the Save to VCR function of the 8300 to feed the other DVR the signal to record. Just an idea.
The only problem is that I'll lose the HD quality recordings. I also suspect I'll lose audio quality.

For now I've decided to just get a second 8300 HD DVR until I can determine the best course of action so that I wont lose the shows I recorded.

#5 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 02 2006 - 04:05 PM

My mistake. Scientific Atlanta does make a 8300HD multiroom DVR, which will work with other 8300HD-MR-DVRs, 8300HD-DVRs, and 8300HD non-recording cable boxes. The box allows you to record shows from the other boxes and also lets you watch shows stored on the DVR on other boxes in the system. (They also have an SD version of the 8300 multiroom.) Unhappily, my cable company does not carry this model and has no plans to star in the foreseeable future.

Regards,

Joe

#6 of 13 OFFLINE   Nils Luehrmann

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Posted February 04 2006 - 02:03 PM

Quote:
Unhappily, my cable company does not carry this model and has no plans to star in the foreseeable future.
I was told by a rep at Time Warner Austin that they do plan on getting the multi-room DVR's, but do not know when.

In the meantime, I think I may have come up with a solution. I'm going to first test out the second unit to be sure it is working properly, then I'm going to open up both cases and swap out their hard drives. If the problem with the falty unit is not associated with the hard drive, and there aren't any technical problems associated with switching HD's, then this may very well solve my problem.

If this fails, then there is a slight chance I can use an external HD reader and transfer the files from the HD to a PC depending on what format they are in.

If that isn't possible due to incompatibility issues, then my last option is to use a PC with a HD video capture card and record the shows off the DVR.

Let's hope the first option works as that would be the easiest and fastest solution and would not likely risk compromising on the quality of the recordings!

#7 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 04 2006 - 02:23 PM

My cable provider is Adelphia. Not for nothing are they ranked dead last in customer satisfaction among cable companies by J.D. Powers. (And let's face it, to be last among cable companies, which everybody hates, you've got to suck pretty darned badly. Posted Image) And not for nothing did they recently go through bankruptcy and have their upper management indicted. Posted Image Maybe when the dust settles and new owners are in place it will occur to somebody that providing service to their customers might be a good idea given that they are supposed to be a service company.

Regards,

Joe

#8 of 13 OFFLINE   Daniel Kikin

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Posted February 06 2006 - 07:29 AM

I have the Cablevision version of the SA8300HD box, I've also had the reboots happen numerous times within a few week period, both when flipping channels and also sometimes when I would stay on one channel for extended amount of time without changing, I suspect it had to with a possible bug in one if the software updates they push every month or two.

#9 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 12 2006 - 11:03 AM

I also end with truncated recordings which I assume are due to reboots. (The other night Blue Thunder was on one of the high-def channels and I set the box to record it while I was asleep. When I checked the recording the next night there was only 24 minutes saved. I recorded another showing a few days later and it was fine.)

Regards,

Joe

#10 of 13 OFFLINE   Julio Trujillo

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Posted February 16 2006 - 04:03 AM

I have the 8300HD with service from OneLink, previously Adelphia, and I think it's a great advancement from this cable company.

I've been with it for a week and a half and these are my complaints:

1) Pixelation on some recordings where there is much movement and a particular case during a "live" program. As I watched Madonna's song during the Grammies; whenever there were lots of flashing lights, the image became almost unwatchable. I thought this was maybe an effect for her show, but then this also happened during the light flashing of other shows.

Is there anyway to improve this situation? Is this typical?

2) The stretch option makes images "fat" and the zoom options increase the whole size of the image, where it could be a "height only" adjustment.

3)The "All chapters for this time slot and channel" recording option should have a sub choice for "on this day". Also the schedule should provide for "start one minute before and stop one minute after program", so as to never loose programming.

Anyone here a contact of Scientific Atlanta? These suggestions should be considered by them.

#11 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 18 2006 - 06:49 AM

1) Pixelation

Fast-motion pixelation is almost always the result of over-compression, usually at the broadcast source, sometimes in the delivery service. (Cable or satellite.) Either way it is a problem with the input signal, not the HD tuner or recorder. Nothing you really can do except complain to the network affiliate and your cable company and hope they do better in the future.

2) Aspect ratio

If both the TV and the DVR are properly setup, and if you're using using either component cables or one of the digital connections (DVI or HDMI) aspect ratio should not be an issue with HD or other anamorphic content (like DVD) because it is normally flagged to let the a widescreen TV automatically adjust it to suit the image. My set ocrrectly adjusts for anamorphic DVD content and switches back and forth between widescreen HD show material and 4:3 commericals on the local HD channels. The only time I ever zoom anything is if I'm watching letterboxed on a non-anamorphic DVD or SD channel.

It sounds like either the DVR or the TV has the wrong setup options selected, or that you're using the composite or s-video connection. Make sure you're DVR knows it is connected to a 16:9 TV, make sure you activate all the resolutions, and set the default resolution to either "pass through" or the native resolution of your set (if it is a fixed-pixel system like LCD, LCD RPTV, DLP, LCoS or Plasma.)

3) DVR features

According to Scientific Atlanta, their equipment is capable of a number of functions that are not supported by some cable companies. What you get depends on what software the local cable company elects to use, and what tweaks they make to it. I agree the interface I get is far inferior to my late, lamented TiVo, but I wanted to record HD and I can't afford to keep both TiVo and the upgraded HD service. In other parts of the country Adelphia (and other cable companies) carry the Moxi DVR and service, which offers much more TiVo-like functionality, but it is not available here.

As I noted above, I'm just hoping that when Comcast takes over my local cable office stops spinning its wheels and refusing to spend any money on upgrades and starts reacting to customer needs again.

BTW, you can adjust the start and stop time for a recording, and the system will even extend the recording time if the electronic guide indicates that an episode will run overtime (the upcoming episode of The Sheild will be 64 minutes long, and my SA DVR is already set to record from 10:00 PM to 11:04 PM Eastern Time.) It would be much more convenient if there were a TiVo-style "add 1 minute, add 5 minutes" option, but once you've programmed a recording you can go to the upcoming recording list and edit a recording to change the start and stop times.

Regards,

Joe

#12 of 13 OFFLINE   Julio Trujillo

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Posted February 22 2006 - 08:26 AM

The Aspect ratio thing is not that simple. Because the current standard for widescreen TVs is 16:9 (1.78:1), and seems it will stay that way, many movies and series always show with bars. Doesn't matter if the settings are perfect between the TV and the source, if the material is wider than 1.78 (1.85 or 2.35), correctly sized you'll always see bars because physically they don't match.

Notice that image height is usually more impressive than width, that's why we still have Full Screen version of movies, they look "bigger" on 4:3 screens. So, current solutions is somekind of zoom/stretch; I would've prefer TV screens to increase to 2.35 or 2.40, that way the image would always occupy the height of the screen. But since the standard is smaller, the alternative is to provide a different kind of zoom, particularly when HDTVs behave oddly when zooming on HD images.

That's why I suggest a "height only" zoom/stretch for widescreen material, we could then increase height to our liking, without loosing image.

The exception belongs to widescreen projectors, which are not limited by a "screen", the image is presented as is.

#13 of 13 OFFLINE   Joseph DeMartino

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Posted February 23 2006 - 02:58 AM

Quote:
I would've prefer TV screens to increase to 2.35 or 2.40, that way the image would always occupy the height of the screen.


And every TV show produced before about 1990 and every movie produced before about 1948 would have big honkin' black colums on the sides of the image and reduce the giant screen people paid for to a postage stamp-sized image?

You're essential complaint isn't with the SA box (as I thought it was since you were complaining about squeezed images and the like) but with the nature of your set and the consumer electronics industry. Sorry, can't help you there. For a host of aesthetic and technical reasons 16:9 was chosen as the best compromise aspect ratio for fixed-size disply devices that will be called upon to display a wide variety of aspect ratios and anamorphic squeezing was chosen as the most sensible way of delivering widescreen images that would deliver the highest resolution on 16:9 displays and still be relatively easy to reprocess to display correctly on 4:3 devices.

It isn't that the actual state of the art with regard to aspect ratio isn't that simple, it is that you would prefer some other system entirely.

Regards,

Joe


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