DVR Chatter

Discussing the DCT-6412, Home Theater Devices, Entertainment, Celebrity and the Cable Industry. Not affiliated with any Cable Company, Hardware Manufacturer or Software Developer.



You are not logged in.

-->

#1 10-20-2007 10:52:10 AM

LadynRed
New member
Registered: 10-20-2007
Posts: 4
PM

Recordings constantly freezing on playback

I have a 3412i from Comcast, it's been about a 1-1/2 years since I got the DVR. Up until a month ago it's been pretty decent, a few of the "100% full" messages when it was nowhere near that, but otherwise pretty good. Then this nonsense started happening, and it's SO aggravating !

I record a bunch of network TV shows during the week. New season, new shows. However, in the last month I am unable to playback most recordings without the thing freezing up on me -- the picture freezes.. then the screen goes black, DVR still in PLAY mode. If I hit anything but STOP - like FF or RW, or even the Replay, I get this 'unable to process your request........... message -- telling me to call Comcast with code NPLY. That's just one code, the most frequent, but there have been others.

Some recordings play through w/o a hitch and I FF thru the stupid commercials. Other programs it's a nightmare: I stop it - wait for it to go back to live TV - hit Play and immediately hit the FF to go PAST the point where it froze before. It might then play thru, or, like last night, it stops again in a few minutes. Sometimes  the only way to get it to play is  to re-start from the BEGINNING and FF past the point where it froze -- still no guarantee that it'll play thru though.

Several times I've turned off the unit and unplugged the power for a couple of minutes and then restarted it - but that isn't solving anything, it seemed to in the beginning, but not any more. If this were the hard drive on my PC I'd say I've got a a corrupted disk. Since it's not possible to use the Ethernet connection on the 3412 to move the recorded programs to my PC, I"m afraid I'm going to lose everything.. which would tick me off big time. My brothers have ReplayTV boxes and they have no problem connecting their boxes to their PC networks ! WHY does Comcast make this so impossible ????

I've called Comcast, they're sending a service guy out Monday. They've tried the re-set or whatever they do sending signals to the box - that did nothing. This time the guy tells me to also try turning it off and unplugging the power, but to also unplug the cable for 30 minutes, then plug everything back in. I dunno if that's gonna help, I'll try it anyway.

Anybody had this problem or have any ideas what this might be ? My gut says hard drive.. Comcast guy said it could be the tuners too.. who knows ?

Offline

 

#2 10-20-2007 11:09:16 AM

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

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

In my mind, you'd have different problems if it was a hard drive issue.

It is likely either a problem with one or both of the tuners that is causing it to have problems processing the data or a flat-out signal problem.  You can check your signal levels by tuning to a station on which you've had problems in the past, going into the diagnostic menu and looking at the In Band Status (d04) page.  This will tell you your Signal to Noise ratio, the Automatic Gain Control that's being applied to the signal and the number of corrected and uncorrectable errors at 5 second intervals.  What you're describing sounds like Uncorrectable errors.  Whether it's a problem with the incoming signal or a problem with the tuners processing the signal is still up in the air. 

If you see bad readings there, you can try running a direct line into the box (bypassing any splitters or internal house wiring) and see if that fixes the problem.  If so, you know the problem is somewhere in your house's cable wiring, and you can start replacing splitters and runs of cable from the box back to the source until you find the root problem.

If the problem is still evident by running a direct line from your junction box outside to the DVR, you know you're either getting bad signal from Comcast (something they need to fix) or the tuners are bad (and the DVR needs to be replaced).

Another thing to check while you're in the diagnostic menu is internal temperature.  That's not shown at the link above, but I believe it is in either d13 (PVR Status) or d14 (HDD Status).  I think it's d13.  Heat is a problem with these boxes.  If it's running hot, you'll want to provide better ventilation.  The heat may have ruined the guts of it (needs to be replaced) or the heat may be causing the problems.  If it's the latter, better ventilation will alleviate the problems going forward, but the recordings already made are likely hosed.

Keep us informed.

Offline

 

#3 10-20-2007 11:32:58 AM

LadynRed
New member
Registered: 10-20-2007
Posts: 4
PM

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

Thanks Frank, I'll try the diagnostics and see what turns up.

I"m in a condo building that's 30 years old, so I can't get a directly line from the outside.. I'm stuck with the line where it comes into my unit. Where it comes in is short, with a splitter attached and cables to my DVR and to my PC Cable Modem. We'll see what the tech says on that score. When I moved in here the cable guy put in all new cable in my unit.

I wondered about heat - that box does tend to get pretty warm.  It sits in my entertainment unit, there's just nowhere else for it to go, and it's NOT on top of the tv, the flat screen isn't wide enough to do that.

I'll keep you posted, it might help others.

Thanks !

Offline

 

#4 10-20-2007 11:40:22 AM

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

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

When I had a 6412, I had a USB powered laptop cooler sitting upside down on top of the DVR (the fans you see in the image were against the top of the box) to draw the heat out.  Of course, you'll need somewhere for the heat to go or you'll just get a convection oven effect.

error: image http://gwimages.commerce5.com/image.asp?sku=2384736&name=I187558.jpg&size=large cannot be loaded.

I'd get a $2 coupler from Radio Shack and connect a line to the line coming into your unit directly and then into the DVR.  Splitters go bad, and if that's the case it will save you a lot of the hassle of the Comcast dude trying to figure it out.

Offline

 

#5 10-20-2007 11:48:32 AM

LadynRed
New member
Registered: 10-20-2007
Posts: 4
PM

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

But if the splitter was bad, wouldn't my cable internet and the tv in the back bedroom also be affected ?? I'll try it anyway.. why not? There's only ONE cable coming into my condo.. so to get cable tv in the back bedroom, there used to be a LOOOOOOOOOOONG cable run under the carpet to the back bedroom. When the carpet was replaced last January, that cable was taken out and the cable re-routed a bit so now instead of a 60 foot cable, it's about 25. Anyway, my reception and my internet are fine.

The cooler's a neat idea.. the entertainment unit section where the DVR is is open, so there would be a place for the air to go.. definitely something to think about smile

Offline

 

#6 10-20-2007 11:59:37 AM

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

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

LadynRed wrote:

But if the splitter was bad, wouldn't my cable internet and the tv in the back bedroom also be affected ??

You can have digital data errors all day long caused by a splitter and never see a sign of it on an analog TV. Totally different technology.  Cable internet runs at an entirely different frequency all together than the digital TV. 

The cooler's a neat idea.. the entertainment unit section where the DVR is is open, so there would be a place for the air to go.. definitely something to think about smile

I can't take credit for it.  Someone here (Wareagle I think?) mentioned it once or twice before I tried it.

Offline

 

#7 10-20-2007 12:12:31 PM

LadynRed
New member
Registered: 10-20-2007
Posts: 4
PM

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

Ok.. thanks for the clarification.  I'm a IT/PC geek.. not communications geek.. LOL.  I'll be running to RadioShack this afternoon. smile

Offline

 

#8 10-22-2007 1:29:01 PM

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

Re: Recordings constantly freezing on playback

OK - Odds that we'll ever hear what happened?

Offline

 

Board footer

Powered by PunBB
© Copyright 2002–2005 Rickard Andersson