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#1 12-31-1969 6:00:00 PM

Frank
DVR Chatter Honcho
From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2880
PM  Website

Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

First I'll say that all of this is my work and my opinion and that it is based on the hard work and combined knowledge of all the great people who contribute to this site. None of it is condoned by Comcast, IGuide, Motorola or any other outside interested party. Not everyone on the site agrees with every word, as some of the information is subjective. Please contact me if something seis wrong or you think of something I missed. Please post in the appropriate forum if you want to debate or dispute any information below. Please use any information you find below, as well as on the rest of this site, at your own risk.

The most recent update of this FAQ can always be found at http://www.dvrchatter.com/viewtopic.php?id=8


General Information:

Q: What is the Motorola DCT-6412?
A: The DCT-6412 is a dual-tuner HD capable DVR that Comcast and other cable television service providers are leasing to their customers.

Q: What is the Motorola DCT-3412?
A: The DCT-3412 is a dual-tuner HD capable DVR that Comcast and other cable television service providers are leasing to their customers.  It is intended as a replacement to the 6412 for areas where the transition to Digital Simulcasting (DS) is complete.

Q: What is a DVR?
A: A DVR is a device that lets you pause, fast-forward and rewind live television and schedule recordings of television programs using a program guide.

Q: Where can I find Guides and Manuals for the Motorola DCT-6412 and/or Comcast's IGuide?
A: Relevant guides, manuals and the like are posted on the External Links page. Issues addressed in these guides will not be reiterated in this FAQ.

Q: Can I force a firmware update?
A: There is no way for a user to initiate a firmware update. Comcast sends these from their local head end, usually in the overnight hours. NOTE: Answer Under Review as there have been non-specific reports of a button+unplugging combination to force a download.

Q: Are the front inputs active?
A: No, they are not currently active.

Q: Why won't the PIP (Picture in Picture) Buttons on the Remote work?
A: The PIP functions of the 6412 are not currently active

Q: 120 Gb is pretty small for HD Recording. Can I add more?
A: There have been no credible reports of anyone adding external storage to the 6412, and no reports of anyone adding another internal hard drive to the 6412.

Q: What can I do to improve my signal strength / analog picture quality?
A: A lot of good information on this topic can be found in this thread.

Q: Bottom Line...is the 6412 for me?
A: If you consider yourself an 'early adopter' and are willing to deal with the quirks and (sometimes maddening) foibles of the Comcast DVR, there is not a better value I can think of for a 2 Tuner HD DVR. If you are someone who likes things to work perfectly 'out of the box' without having to do a lot of troubleshooting or experimenting, or if you have less-than-stellar cable signal from Comcast, then it is probably worth your while to wait until it becomes more stable.

Best Practices:

Q: Knowing that there are some software and hardware bugs, what can I do to ward off PROBLEMs?
A: Most of the known issues with the 6412 w/ I Guide can only truly be corrected by software or firmware updates. That said, there are some simple precautions you can take that can help you avoid common PROBLEMs.

1 Leave your 6412 on at all times. Some have reported being unable to view live TV after turning their box off and on again. Also, the 6412 will "Wake Up" to record programs in a muted state and shut itself off after having "Woken Up" to record a program in spite of the fact that you are using the DVR at the time. DVRs are generally "Always on" appliances.
2 Do Not Leave Your Tuners Tuned to An Analog Channel Users have reported lock-ups when recording or viewing Analog channels (Generally Channels 2-99). Some of these reports have even made it into media reports on the product. To avoid this, it is best not to leave your 6412 tuned to an analog channel when it is unattended. You may turn on your TV to find the box has frozen. Comcast is currently pushing a firmware upgrade to customers (version 09.15) which is supposed to correct the "Analog Freeze" issue.
3 Make sure your box is well ventilated Most report that the 6412 is a device that runs somewhat warm. As with all electronics, the 6412 needs to be well ventilated with nothing on top of it and plenty of air circulation around it. At least one user has cleared up 'Box Resets' by adding cooling fans to his set up..  Note also that "Phase III" type boxes have internal hard drive cooling fans.
4. Avoid Series Recording at This Time Unfortunately, many users report issues with Series Recording including strange behavior surrounding priority rankings, lock-ups when editing Series Recordings and the recording of unwanted episodes because of incomplete Guide data. Additionally, it appears that if you have two Series Recordings scheduled for one time you can only cancel one if needed. Trying to cancel the second brings the first one back. It is the opinion of this site that Series Recording, especially non-network programs, is best avoided until a fix is made in the software.
5.Give the 6412 a Steady and Stable Power Source - The 6412 seis to be especially sensitive to power issues such as surges and inconsistent power supplies. Make sure your 6412 is plugged into an outlet that is correctly grounded and not overloaded. As with most electronic equipment, a surge protector or UPS is indicated.

Basic Troubleshooting:
A substantial portion of the PROBLEMs people have with their 6412 can be traced back to the strength, quality and stability of the signal they are feeding into the device. Users should come to the troubleshooting process with the knowledge that the 6412 is not like other devices they have had in the past, that it is especially sensitive, and that it requires a more clean and stable signal than they may have had with previous digital cable boxes that worked fine.

The signal coming into the 6412 is split internally. The one input feeds the two tuners and also an internal cable modi that allows communication back to the head end (presumably for guide data and OnDiand communication). On the diagnostic screens (section d04), you will see that the signal to Tuner 2 is considerably weaker and more 'noisy&quotthan the signal to Tuner 1. As noted by the higher 'AGC&quotlevel, the 6412 must work harder to maintain a stable signal for Tuner 2. Users with poor signal will notice PROBLEMs on Tuner 2. It cannot be stressed enough that this device needs the cleanest signal possible for optimal performance.

The Motorola Signal Booster can help with poor signal levels. (Link to Circuit City is for information, not a suggestion that you should purchase the iti there exclusively) Unlike other signal boosters, it allows two-way communication on digital frequencies between you and your local Head End. It is not an inexpensive product. Shop around for the best price.

The signal should be split as few times as possible prior to being fed into the 6412. The signal cannot pass through other devices (DVD-Recorders, TiVos, VCRs) prior to being fed to the 6412. Personally, I recommend one splitter prior to connection with one output fed to the 6412 and the second into another splitter for distribution to your other televisions and devices in the house.

Known Issues:

PROBLEM: I set up to record an HD program, but my 6412 recorded the program from the station's SD analog equivalent instead.
SOLUTION: This happens when the HD channel and the SD equivalent of that channel carry the same identifier in your Guide listing. Contact your local Comcast office and ask thi to add "-DT" to the identifier of the HD channel. Setting up a manual recording for the desired time and channel may be a work around, but you will not get program info on your DVR Recordings Screen if you do this.

PROBLEM: My box "Woke Up" to record a program and there is no sound. "Mute" on the riote only mutes and unmutes the TV.
SOLUTION: When the box "Wakes Up" to record, the box is muted to avoid blasting out people who are hooked up to a surround receiver. It is widely accepted that this is a feature, not a bug. Most agree that it is a bad feature, but this is the way the box is intended to work. To avoid this, leave your box on at all times. DVRs are intended to be "always-on" devices. If you cannot avoid the PROBLEM, instructions exist to help you create a "Box Mute" button on your riote to un-mute the box (instructions below).

PROBLEM: My 6412 "Woke Up" to record a program, and turned itself off when it was done.
SOLUTION: This is also planned behaviora "feature" with debatable value. For now, just leave your box on at all times to avoid it.

PROBLEM: The sound on my 6412 sounds weird, and my surround sound receiver is not getting Dolby Digital from the 6412's digital sound output
SOLUTION: It's a contradiction to the resolutions of the previous two issues, but turning the box off and on again will correct this. It is unclear what causes this, but what seis to be happening is that the LF/RF channels of the Dolby sound are being sent through the analog outputs, and the analog stereo sound gets sent to the digital outputs.

PROBLEM: I ignored what you said and turned my box off, and when I turned it back on I'm getting no picture.
SOLUTION: How dare you ignore my gis of wisdom?!? Oh, well. Since you've done it already, I'll let you know that starting a DVR recording should correct the issue and get your picture back. Initial reports of firmware 9.15 indicate it may correct this PROBLEM.

PROBLEM: My 6412 clock is wrong, and it's screwing up my recordings.
SOLUTION: Unfortunately, there's nothing an end-user can do about the clock. It's set at your local head end. Supposedly, there is a national move to automatic atomic clock synch, but it is not complete everywhere at this time. Contact your local Comcast office and let thi know the PROBLEM exists.

PROBLEM: Why can't I record two shows at the same time with my two tuners?
SOLUTION: Some have found this PROBLEM when networks offset their time by a few minutes from any given hour (Lost+Alias on Wednesdays, for example). The solution I've found is to schedule all of one network's programs for the night, and then the second network. I've also succeeded by deleting the offending program (Alias, usually), adding the "second" program first (American Idol in my case), and then re-adding the "first" program back in (Alias).

PROBLEM: My recordings on Analog channels are cut off.
SOLUTION: This is a widespread PROBLEM when recording analog channels (usually 2-99). Comcast is currently sending out firmware upgrades (to v 09.15) that are supposed to correct the PROBLEM.

PROBLEM: My analog channels look terrible.
SOLUTION: Comcast is currently working on simulcasting all of the analog channels in digital form, which should improve your picture quality on these channels when viewed through your 6412. This is being rolled out right now, and no one knows when it will happen in any given area.

PROBLEM: I'm getting breakups on HD channels from one tuner.
SOLUTION: There is no solid answer to this, but some have reported that getting a digital signal booster has alleviated this PROBLEM. Motorola makes one, and word is that Comcast will give you one for free if it is determined that your signal is insufficient to work with your 6412.

PROBLEM: I can't Get OnDemand.
SOLUTION: Usually caused by something in between the cable feed coming into your house and your 6412 that is unable to send signals back to Comcast. Common offenders are non-digital splitters and routing the cable through other devices like a DVD recorder or VCR before feeding it to your 6412. It's best to take an un-split line directly into the 6412 bypassing any other devices.

PROBLEM: I am seeing 'To Be Announced' on my progress bar while watching live TV
SOLUTION: This PROBLEM pops up from time to time. The best guess as to why is that your box temporarily lost communication with Comcast's server at some point. The only known resolution is to reboot the box by unplugging it and plugging it back in. Note you will have to wait a while before any guide data is present again, and most likely up to 24 hours before the guide is fully populated.

PROBLEM: I have my 6412 hooked up to a Standard Def TV, but I can't see any menus.
SOLUTION: Turn off the Power and hit 'Menu' to enter the Setup Menu. Set your TV type to Either 4:3 Pan and Scan or 4:3 Letterbox and your Output to 480i. 4:3 Override will be set to OFF by default. Further information can be found in the Connection Manual.

PROBLEM: I recorded [Insert Name of Show Here] but cannot Fast Forward, Pause, Skip or Rewind. Who is trying to steal my DVR functionality?
SOLUTION: No one is intentionally trying to rob you of DVR functionality, so put the conspiracy theory to rest and your tin foil hat back in the drawer. Sometimes, stream PROBLEMs or irregularities will cause you to be unable to use full DVR functionality on some recordings. I've been unable to Fast Forward at certain points in a recording and regained the ability later in the same recording. There are varying broadcast standards and quirks, and unfortunately this effects transport functions at certain times.

PROBLEM: I am watching an HD broadcast (live or recorded), but the audio and video are out of synch.
SOLUTION: Although there may be cases where the synch PROBLEMs are being broadcast by the station and there's nothing you can do about it, it is generally agreed that the decoding of the HD signal is much more likely to be the PROBLEM than the transport stream is. Users have reported that stopping and restarting out of synch recorded HD programs, or tuning away and tuning back to out of synch live HD broadcasts, often clears up this PROBLEM.

PROBLEM: My DVR hard drive is not full, but it thinks it is 100% full and will not let me record more programs and will not cache live broadcasts.
SOLUTION: In order of destructive results (Try the least destructive first and see if that solves the problem before moving to more destructive methods): Delete any recording (box will re-read disk usage).  Do a hard reboot of the DVR (box will re-read disc usage, but you will not have full Guide information until it reloads). Perform a Full Factory Reset (Warning: Erases EVERYTHING).


Questions Everyone is Sick Of:
NOTE: Asking any of these will most likely get you mocked, ignored or verbally attacked. You've been warned.
Q: How do I program the 30 second skip?
A:
1. Press the 'Cable' button at the top of the remote.
2. Press and hold the 'Setup' button until the 'Cable' button blinks twice.
3. Type in the code 994. The 'Cable' button again blinks twice.
4. Hit (Do Not Hold) the 'Setup' button
5. Enter in 00173 (for 30 second Skip)
6. Press whatever button you want "30 Second Skip" to be.

Q: How do I program a "Swap" button to switch tuners?
A:
1. Press the 'Cable’ button at the top of the remote.
2. Press and hold the 'Setup’ button until the 'Cable’ button blinks twice.
3. Type in the code 994. The 'Cable’ button again blinks twice.
4. Hit (Do Not Hold) the 'Setup’ button
5. Enter in 00236 (for Swap)
6. Press whatever button you want "Swap" to be.


Q: How do I program a "Box Mute" button to un-mute the 6412?
A:
1. Press the 'Cable’ button at the top of the remote.
2. Press and hold the 'Setup’ button until the 'Cable’ button blinks twice.
3. Type in the code 994. The 'Cable’ button again blinks twice.
4. Hit (Do Not Hold) the 'Setup’ button
5. Enter in 00141 (for Box Mute)
6. Press whatever button you want "Box Mute" to be.

Company Contact Information
Comcast Corporate - Philadelphia, PA
Phone: 215 665 1700

i-Guide (GuideWorks) - Joint venture between Gistar/TV Guide and Comcast
http://www.guideworkstv.com
http://www.guideworkstv.com/ContactUsContent.asp

GuideWorks - Denver, CO
303 267 6800

GuideWorks - Radnor, PA
610 293 8500

Thanks to markjrenna for his work on helping to compile information and adding it to the appropriate forum categories.

Last Updated 2/3/2007

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#2 04-19-2006 4:56:18 PM

stanpz
New member
Registered: 04-19-2006
Posts: 3
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

I have the Motorola DCT 6412 and I want to output either a recorded program from the hard drive or a live program I am watching to my VCR. The video line out does not seem active. Is there something else I need to do ?

Last edited by stanpz (04-19-2006 7:00:40 PM)

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#3 04-20-2006 11:43:19 AM

Frank
DVR Chatter Honcho
From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2880
PM  Website

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

stanpz wrote:

I have the Motorola DCT 6412 and I want to output either a recorded program from the hard drive or a live program I am watching to my VCR. The video line out does not seem active. Is there something else I need to do ?

You should post this question in the Dumping recordings to other devices thread instead of burying it in a thread that most frequent posters / contributors to the site rarely read.

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#4 05-19-2006 7:45:06 AM

CUKIO34
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Registered: 05-18-2006
Posts: 1
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

is there anyway of reseting the 6412 memory. I bought a used 6412 and has ppv purchases on it, i do not want to connect to it until i have cleared them. someone please help.

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#5 05-19-2006 7:55:03 AM

Frank
DVR Chatter Honcho
From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2880
PM  Website

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

You should post this question in the setup and connection thread instead of burying it in a thread that most frequent posters / contributors to the site rarely read.

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#6 09-01-2006 10:26:29 AM

TC
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Registered: 09-01-2006
Posts: 8
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

Has anyone tried to perform this "Box Mute" on the DCT-3412?
Thanks, TC

Q: How do I program a "Box Mute" button to un-mute the 6412?
A:
1. Press the 'Cable’ button at the top of the remote.
2. Press and hold the 'Setup’ button until the 'Cable’ button blinks twice.
3. Type in the code 994. The 'Cable’ button again blinks twice.
4. Hit (Do Not Hold) the 'Setup’ button
5. Enter in 00141 (for Box Mute)
6. Press whatever button you want "Box Mute" to be.

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#7 11-20-2006 2:17:28 AM

steveofthejungle
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Registered: 11-19-2006
Posts: 4
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

I bought one on ebay and it has noe serial number stickers on it (this is my second box and the first one had them so I know what i'm looking for) Is there a serial number inside if I open it up. How do i find the dang thing?

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#8 11-20-2006 9:25:03 AM

Bobby
Charter Member
From: Rohnert Park, CA
Registered: 02-14-2005
Posts: 333
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

smile

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#9 11-20-2006 9:43:58 AM

Frank
DVR Chatter Honcho
From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2880
PM  Website

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

steveofthejungle wrote:

I bought one on ebay and it has noe serial number stickers on it (this is my second box and the first one had them so I know what i'm looking for) Is there a serial number inside if I open it up. How do i find the dang thing?

Unless you're in Canada (where these boxes are for sale) you got hosed.

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#10 11-21-2006 5:10:06 AM

steveofthejungle
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Registered: 11-19-2006
Posts: 4
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

I am in Canada but my cable provider says they cant hook it up without the serial number?

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#11 11-21-2006 10:35:45 AM

Bobby
Charter Member
From: Rohnert Park, CA
Registered: 02-14-2005
Posts: 333
PM

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

The problem is, if it doesn't have a serial number, like it's been scratched out, it's a stolen box.  Be you in Canada or not.

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#12 11-21-2006 10:57:22 AM

Frank
DVR Chatter Honcho
From: Bucks, PA
Registered: 02-12-2005
Posts: 2880
PM  Website

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

I guess what I should have said is "unless you AND the seller you purchased from are in Canada."  If the seller was in the US (where these boxes are not for sale) it is likely stolen property.  Which would explain why the serial number was removed.

I'm not seeing a serial number anywhere but on the back sticker.

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#13 11-21-2006 5:20:56 PM

steveofthejungle
New member
Registered: 11-19-2006
Posts: 4
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Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

I bought a box from the U.S. about a year ago and it showed up with the serial number and works great. The person I bought the new one from said it wasn't stolen but there's no way to be sure. I think it's strange that it is so easy to remove the serial number (a little sticker) and would think it would be accessable from the menu or engraved somewhere else like inside so it would be possible to find out if it is stolen. I have a dispute with paypal open and hopefully can recover my money. Thanks for your help everyone.

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#14 11-21-2006 5:26:05 PM

steveofthejungle
New member
Registered: 11-19-2006
Posts: 4
PM

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

Is  the serial number needed for the cable company to connect to the box or is it just for security purposes? I'm asking because i'm thinking maybe if I give them the number from the box I'm using that works they could hook it up and the number wouldn't show up as stolen.

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#15 02-23-2007 12:24:58 PM

Rickenbacker44
New member
Registered: 01-29-2007
Posts: 2
PM

Re: Motorola DCT-6412 / DCT-3412 Comcast + IGuide FAQ

The signal strength going into the box is very important as stated. I had a lot of problems with pixilation ( a word?) and sound drop-offs on programs I had recorded.  Also the digital music channels would cut in and out when listening to them over my stereo. After switching boxes once, and 2 tech calls at home, I figured it out. The last tech said that I had routed the coax cable incorrectly. I had it going into my audio video receiver first, then splitting it to a VCR and the Motorola DVR. I re-connected it with the cleanest coax signal going straight into the Motorola, and the others split off after that. I have none of the problems that I had before.  The only glitch that I still have is long recorded programs  (6hrs) that I try to dump off into a VCR or DVD recorder
lose their sound after about an hour. The sound is still works on the show I'm playing back, but is silent on the ones I am trying to record. ????

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