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Freeview HD PVR - Digital Stream DHR8205U

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professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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Good stuff, glad it has helped! I've seen a number of others who've purchased one for an elderly relative - the only other thing I've seen people recommend which might make life easier is to think about one of the cheaper Logitech remotes (e.g. the 300). This is because some of the buttons on the Digital Stream remote are very small and difficult to read (for anyone!). It will also mean they can control their TV and the PVR from the same remote which obviously keeps things simpler.

Hope all goes well - give us a shout if there are any questions and I'll do me best to help!
 

se7en

New member
Sep 17, 2010
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Hi Professorhat

Id just like to say my digital stream box is working wonderfully after the digital switchover. All Hd channels are crisp whilst having great signal strength and quality.

Question if i didnt need my tv tuner to work ie power saving management set to ON i have it currently OFF does this effect the day to day workings of the digital stream at all like series recordings etc??? Or anything else you may know of.

Many thanks once again
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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Hi there - assume you mean the Power Saving Mode in Standby option? This essentially shuts the Digital Stream right down when you press standby, ensuring it uses less than 0.5W as per the EU mandate. The main differences are:

1. As you've highlighted, the passthrough of the aerial signal to another device doesn't occur.

2. All the lights switch off (as you'd expect!), including the clock display.

3. The machine takes longer to come out of standby (approximately 30 seconds as opposed to the 15-20 seconds of "normal" standby).

4. There's an issue with the creation of log files if this option is set to On - if for any reason you need to create log files (normally at the request of MIT if you're having an issue), you need to switch this back to Off.

Other than that, I'm not aware of any other limitations of using this mode - certainly any and all recordings will still work as before.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
professorhat,

Much kudos for your stirling efforts over the last 14 months... I've sat down for far too long today going through the whole thread.

Owning to the recent demise of my Humax 9200T and now having read the thread, I'm swayed from my 'obvious choice' of the Humax HDR-FOX T2. I can't say the 9200T was the most stable of boxes over the last three years. Otherwise a great box, despite its quirks.

Ideally, of course, I'm sure we'd like a box to be all things to all people, specifically with regard to online content availability: iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player, Demand 5, online film delivery merchants, YouTube, Picassa (the last two being available via my Panasonic Blu-ray player). But I've not seen anything that fills all the holes. Or perhaps I've not looked hard enough.

But that's enough off-topic.

When you (or anybody else for that matter) gets a chance, I have a few of questions, as certain DS / BBC updates may have occurred since you last summarised them:

Have the BBC now enabled the MHEG link to iPlayer functionality, so that it's usable in the DS?

The implication is that if you can't see a programme in the EPG (assuming it's already been made available online), then you won't be able to view (or for radio, listen) to it. I think this means some content will only be available online, or at least not browsable in the same way as on a PC?

Finally, are there any significant outstanding issues or good-to-haves in the pipeline? I know you have kept a tab on the development / upgrade path.

Thanks,

Brian.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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bga01 said:
Ideally, of course, I'm sure we'd like a box to be all things to all people, specifically with regard to online content availability: iPlayer, 4oD, ITV Player, Demand 5, online film delivery merchants, YouTube, Picassa (the last two being available via my Panasonic Blu-ray player). But I've not seen anything that fills all the holes. Or perhaps I've not looked hard enough.
Nope, I don't think there's anything which provides this at the moment. I think the closest is a PS3 with Play TV, but this has its own problems (including only being able to record one channel and not using AR or Accurate Record to track any change in scheduled programmes.

bga01 said:
Have the BBC now enabled the MHEG link to iPlayer functionality, so that it's usable in the DS?
Not as yet - the latest I've heard is something is due to happen in November, but there are no guarantees. Past record of this is not going well and, whilst I appreciate it's mostly the BBC changing the goal posts which are causing delays, it must be frustrating for owners of the box who want this.

bga01 said:
The implication is that if you can't see a programme in the EPG (assuming it's already been made available online), then you won't be able to view (or for radio, listen) to it. I think this means some content will only be available online, or at least not browsable in the same way as on a PC?
Not sure what you mean here? If it's that iPlayer programmes appear in the EPG, this isn't how it will work. The EPG doesn't show anything which is on iPlayer, purely the programmes which are due to be broadcast on standard Freeview (and Freeview HD). To access iPlayer, you'll go through the red button to access the service, and will then see something akin to that you see on the iPlayer website.

bga01 said:
Finally, are there any significant outstanding issues or good-to-haves in the pipeline? I know you have kept a tab on the development / upgrade path.
There is due to be another update at the end of November from what I understand, but no indication as yet what will be in it. I'm in the beta testers group, so will post as soon as I know.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
I see, red button for iPlayer.

Many thanks indeed for all that, I shall keep an eye out for future posts...

I shall investigate prices... including John Lewis.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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No worries. On my last look, Maplin seemed to be cheapest with it at £150, though it mentioned they were low on stock at the time. I seem to remember someone saying they had got a John Lewis price match on the Maplin price as well, so this is always worth a shot.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
RE: Freeview HD PVR - Digital Stream DHR8205U
Hi Prof

I am having serious "missed recording" issues.

I have a theory about why it might be but I thought I'd run it by you and the folks on here. We haven't officially gone HD yet (it starts next week - Tacolneston) but I have been picking up all of the available HD channels from an adjascent transmitter (Sudbury) for a few months and they work perfectly. However, I now get (apparently random) missed recordings. It does not seem to matter whether it is an HD channel or an SD one - they just get missed for no obvious reason. For example, I set to record a daily programme this week on BBC1 HD. Monday and Tuesday recorded fine but today - nothing! Similarly I had a BBC HD recording scheduled last night and that was missed too. As was a Channel 5 programme earlier in the evening.

I have rescanned a couple of times and last week re-booted the box to try to cure a sluggish remote response and the missed recordings issue. Re-booting cured the first problem but not the second. I am hoping that the switchover (which finishes at the end of November) might be the cure but, to be honest, I'm not hopeful as the problem can affect pretty much any channel and I'm losing confidence in the box altogether. Fortunately, I bought from John Lewis so I don't anticipate a problem if I want to return it for replacement but I am wondering if that will be any better?

I guess I should just wait it out for the next few weeks, but it is getting very frustrating setting recordings only to find they are not there - especially when it is a series that is being followed.

Any suggestions Prof - or others?
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Prof, this is a great post. Very helpful.

I purchased my DS in Jul 2011 and had similar problems to ramases with 3 rugby worldcup programmes not recording back to back. It seemed that the patch for 4.12 at the end of august / september seemed to fix it. I'd recommend the latest patch therefore. Good luck.

Note I have just asked DS if they could look into the following upgrades will see if they get anywhere with them:
1. Scheduled recordings can start late and miss the beginning, perhaps 9 minutes!, of the programme. Can you force a start at the original programmed time.2. It would be nice to show the current time when pressing the i button to the right of the programme name3. It would be good to have an 8 or 10x speed. 4 is too slow and 16 too fast.4. When catching up a current broadcast via the recorded programme, don't jump to the start of the recording but continue with the recording version in perhaps a 'psuedo-live' mode.5. When stopping a recorded programme, go back to the Media menu list rather than jumping to the live programme. This enables deleting and watching another programme.6. With the favourites list, could you display the programmes (mini-guide) for the next 6 hours or so. This was a useful feature with my old Virgin Media box.anyway, not a bad box for the price, if a little niggly.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
KD76 said:
Prof, this is a great post. Very helpful.

I purchased my DS in Jul 2011 and had similar problems to ramases with 3 rugby worldcup programmes not recording back to back. It seemed that the patch for 4.12 at the end of august / september seemed to fix it. I'd recommend the latest patch therefore. Good luck.
Thanks for this - maybe not a switchover issue then though I have software version 4.13r8637 and Micom 1.32 which I think are the latest. Anyone else have an idea?
 

bob.g

New member
Oct 30, 2009
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Ramases, did you also download and install the 4.13.r8638-FVU (For BBC HD Audio Downmix) upgrade. I had problems with my DS and this fixed it. The update has to be done on the upper USB port at the rear.

Worth a try !!
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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bob.g said:
Ramases, did you also download and install the 4.13.r8638-FVU (For BBC HD Audio Downmix) upgrade. I had problems with my DS and this fixed it. The update has to be done on the upper USB port at the rear.
If you're connecting the DS into a home cinema system (and thus getting Dolby Digital) you don't want this firmware upgrade - it's only designed for those getting audio issues when connecting into a non-DD system (e.g. a TV or stereo amp).

On the recording issues, there's so many different things this could be, it's hard to say. Sometimes it's the fault of the broadcaster changing the IPT/EPG information, so that the Digital Stream either isn't aware it's a programme in the same series, or alternatively thinks it's something it has already recorded (like a repeat) - ITV can be particularly guilty of this. There were some issues in an earlier firmware, but these have been resolved. Also, if a programme is re-scheduled on to a different channel, then this won't be picked up as part of the same series. All I can really advise would be to report regular missed recording issues to MIT (here) - I've not really had any issues which weren't my own fault or were issues other people had and thus indicate the broadcaster mucking around. But that doesn't mean there isn't either (a) a bug in your box or (b) a bug in the firmware that you've picked up and hasn't been noticed before - hence why it's worth reporting the issues.
 

bob.g

New member
Oct 30, 2009
47
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0
Prof

With great respect to your knowledge I installed this upgrade on the advice of MIT, even though I use a home cinema system, and it cured a number of small problems I was having.

I'm not suggesting that it's the answer in this case, but it worked for me.
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
21
18,895
KD76 said:
Prof, this is a great post. Very helpful.
Thanks!

KD76 said:
I purchased my DS in Jul 2011 and had similar problems to ramases with 3 rugby worldcup programmes not recording back to back. It seemed that the patch for 4.12 at the end of august / september seemed to fix it. I'd recommend the latest patch therefore. Good luck.
Good advice, though it's been noted some of the Rugby World Cup recordings were indeed caused by ITV mucking about with things. According to someone I know on another forum who works closely with DS-K:
ITV have a habit of changing their IET/EPG information. They initially broadcast a program with one set of EIT identifiers and a blank or incomplete synopsis - They later update the synopsis and also change the Program EIT information. The trouble is that if they change one part then the DHR deems the "new" program to be a repeat broadcast and doesn't record it expecting the previous information related program to be broadcast and recorded. Depending on what part is changed / broadcast then this can result in missed or duplicated recordings (ITV "This Morning" last year)I have seen ITV do this with the World Cup last year (Semi Finals), Midsommer Murders and the Rugby World Cup Highlights on ITV4. They may do this with others that I don't record.When ITV update a programs information section (Synopsis) they should not be changing the EIT information but they often do (maybe an automated system ?)This may also be why some users of the Humax HDR T2 get a number of "Failed to Track" recording failures when using AR on their machines
ITV have a habit of changing their IET/EPG information.

They initially broadcast a program with one set of EIT identifiers and a blank or incomplete synopsis - They later update the synopsis and also change the Program EIT information. The trouble is that if they change one part then the DHR deems the "new" program to be a repeat broadcast and doesn't record it expecting the previous information related program to be broadcast and recorded. Depending on what part is changed / broadcast then this can result in missed or duplicated recordings (ITV "This Morning" last year)

I have seen ITV do this with the World Cup last year (Semi Finals), Midsommer Murders and the Rugby World Cup Highlights on ITV4. They may do this with others that I don't record.

When ITV update a programs information section (Synopsis) they should not be changing the EIT information but they often do (maybe an automated system ?)

This may also be why some users of the Humax HDR T2 get a number of "Failed to Track" recording failures when using AR on their machines.

KD76 said:
Note I have just asked DS if they could look into the following upgrades will see if they get anywhere with them:

1. Scheduled recordings can start late and miss the beginning, perhaps 9 minutes!, of the programme. Can you force a start at the original programmed time.

2. It would be nice to show the current time when pressing the i button to the right of the programme name

3. It would be good to have an 8 or 10x speed. 4 is too slow and 16 too fast.

4. When catching up a current broadcast via the recorded programme, don't jump to the start of the recording but continue with the recording version in perhaps a 'psuedo-live' mode.

5. When stopping a recorded programme, go back to the Media menu list rather than jumping to the live programme. This enables deleting and watching another programme.

6. With the favourites list, could you display the programmes (mini-guide) for the next 6 hours or so. This was a useful feature with my old Virgin Media box.

anyway, not a bad box for the price, if a little niggly.
Yes, a few of these have come up before as requests:

1. Yes you can, but it's limited. Just setup a manual recording or, when you've scheduled it, go into your Scheduled list and edit the recording - this will cause the Digital Stream to not use AR and just record the times you've said. Note, if you do this on a Series Link, it will stop the Series Link from working, meaning unfortunately you have to setup a manual recording for each one. A "padding" feature was requested a while back, where the Digital Stream would track changes in the schedule through AR, but also add an extra time period around this for you (e.g. 10 mins before and after the programme). Unfortunately, this has never been implemented which suggests it probably won't be - however, we said the same about Dolby Digital over HDMI and this did get released a few months ago so there's always hope!

2. Agreed.

3. The issue with this is, the chipset in the DS is limited to only providing 4 fast forward speeds - at the moment, this is 2x, 4x, 16x and 64x. Some people have asked for this to be changed to 8x or 32x instead of 4x or 64x , whereas others have said they prefer as is. Unfortunately, this is a case of you can't please all the people all the time, so I wouldn't expect anything to come from this one.

4. Not sure what you mean here - in my experience, when catching up with a current broadcast via a recorded programme, it then goes to the live version of what you were watching prior to starting the recording. As long as this was the same channel, there's no issue. If it was a different channel, this is annoying as you then have to quickly change to the correct channel. It was requested for this to change, but as I remember, it has been kept to mean that, if someone was watching another channel, then goes to a recording, the buffer is still being recorded on that channel, thus allowing them to go back and then rewind that live channel. Personally, I don't see the need for this - if you want to do this, just set the live programme to record. But others have said they like it this way. Again, you can't please all the people all the time!

5. Yup, another one requested and not done because others don't agree (me included!). I prefer it as is.

6. Yes, agreed. I requested this way back in the beginning of the users' wish list and the fact it's not been implemented now suggests it probably won't be.

Anyway, hope this helpful - and more to the point, hope you're another happy Digital Stream owner. Another update due end of the month as I recall, but not sure as yet what will be included in it, other than a bug fix for some audio issues that some people are currently experiencing (which we're beta testing at the moment).
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
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bob.g said:
Prof

With great respect to your knowledge I installed this upgrade on the advice of MIT, even though I use a home cinema system, and it cured a number of small problems I was having.

I'm not suggesting that it's the answer in this case, but it worked for me.
Fair enough - MIT are far more knowledgeable than I on this!

Was just posting what I've been told - I believe the firmware you have means you might have slight audio issues when watching certain Dolby Digital broadcasts (but by no means all). So if you haven't noticed anything and it's fixed other issues, then sounds good!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Thanks everyone for the info. One of the missed programmes was Midsummer Murders so that could well fit with the "ITV mucking about" theory! However it has also affected BBC (mainly HD channels but also SD occasionally), Channel 4 and Five so, here's my plan .....

1 Wait until the switchover is finised here (by the end of November).

2 Then if the problem continues, start logging missed recordings and let MIT know.

3 Try the "BBC sound" software update.

I'll report back ...........................

Cheers.
 

professorhat

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Dec 28, 2007
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BBC and Channel 4 are generally very good when it comes to the EIT identifiers (just useless when it comes to mucking about with the broadcast audio on 5.1, hence all these different firmware editions!). So it's definitely worth seeing what happens with them after switchover / firmware update.

Channel Five are really a law unto themselves when it comes to anything - I woud never expect a programme broadcast on this channel to record properly. If it does, consider yourself lucky!
 
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Anonymous

Guest
professorhat said:
BBC and Channel 4 are generally very good when it comes to the EIT identifiers (just useless when it comes to mucking about with the broadcast audio on 5.1, hence all these different firmware editions!). So it's definitely worth seeing what happens with them after switchover / firmware update.

Channel Five are really a law unto themselves when it comes to anything - I woud never expect a programme broadcast on this channel to record properly. If it does, consider yourself lucky!
Well - over the weekend recording was missed for River Cottage (Channel4) and Paul Merton (Five) recorded OK but would only play back the first 2 minutes before returning to the start and playing again, and again and again ........ |(
 

professorhat

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ramases said:
professorhat said:
BBC and Channel 4 are generally very good when it comes to the EIT identifiers (just useless when it comes to mucking about with the broadcast audio on 5.1, hence all these different firmware editions!). So it's definitely worth seeing what happens with them after switchover / firmware update.

Channel Five are really a law unto themselves when it comes to anything - I woud never expect a programme broadcast on this channel to record properly. If it does, consider yourself lucky!
Well - over the weekend recording was missed for River Cottage (Channel4) and Paul Merton (Five) recorded OK but would only play back the first 2 minutes before returning to the start and playing again, and again and again ........ |(
I have seen another person with these issues on another forum (missed recordings and some recordings which continually restart)- definitely report the issue to MIT and see if they have a firmware release to fix it. Otherwise, return it to John Lewis for a replacement as something is definitely wrong with the unit - the majority don't get these issues.
 
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Anonymous

Guest
professorhat said:
ramases said:
professorhat said:
BBC and Channel 4 are generally very good when it comes to the EIT identifiers (just useless when it comes to mucking about with the broadcast audio on 5.1, hence all these different firmware editions!). So it's definitely worth seeing what happens with them after switchover / firmware update.

Channel Five are really a law unto themselves when it comes to anything - I woud never expect a programme broadcast on this channel to record properly. If it does, consider yourself lucky!
Well - over the weekend recording was missed for River Cottage (Channel4) and Paul Merton (Five) recorded OK but would only play back the first 2 minutes before returning to the start and playing again, and again and again ........ |(
I have seen another person with these issues on another forum (missed recordings and some recordings which continually restart)- definitely report the issue to MIT and see if they have a firmware release to fix it. Otherwise, return it to John Lewis for a replacement as something is definitely wrong with the unit - the majority don't get these issues.
Have emailed MIT tonight. I'll see what they say. If they don't have a solution, I'll get a replacement from JL. Just pleased I bought it from them not Ebay :)
 
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Anonymous

Guest
ramases said:
professorhat said:
ramases said:
professorhat said:
BBC and Channel 4 are generally very good when it comes to the EIT identifiers (just useless when it comes to mucking about with the broadcast audio on 5.1, hence all these different firmware editions!). So it's definitely worth seeing what happens with them after switchover / firmware update.

Channel Five are really a law unto themselves when it comes to anything - I woud never expect a programme broadcast on this channel to record properly. If it does, consider yourself lucky!
Well - over the weekend recording was missed for River Cottage (Channel4) and Paul Merton (Five) recorded OK but would only play back the first 2 minutes before returning to the start and playing again, and again and again ........ |(
I have seen another person with these issues on another forum (missed recordings and some recordings which continually restart)- definitely report the issue to MIT and see if they have a firmware release to fix it. Otherwise, return it to John Lewis for a replacement as something is definitely wrong with the unit - the majority don't get these issues.
Have emailed MIT tonight. I'll see what they say. If they don't have a solution, I'll get a replacement from JL. Just pleased I bought it from them not Ebay :)
Well, things appear to be better following Freeview Switchover. AFAICR there have ben no missed recordings or other issues. I'll monitor things and see if it continues to hang together.
 

professorhat

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Dec 28, 2007
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ramases said:
Well, things appear to be better following Freeview Switchover. AFAICR there have ben no missed recordings or other issues. I'll monitor things and see if it continues to hang together.
Good stuff - hopefully all will be well from now on. I've not had any issues either now for quite a while so looks like the broadcasters are behaving themselves at the moment too - hopefully some sort of change freeze is in place for the Xmas period!!
 

eggontoast

Well-known member
Feb 23, 2011
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I updated to firmware version 4.13.r8637 on Monday night. Since doing the update everything seems to work OK apart from being able to rename the 'Favourite lists' for some unknown reason it will no longer save this change. Does anyone else have this problem or know if its a known glitch with this version of firmware ?
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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18,895
Have been running 4.13.r8637 for a while now. Have to say I've not tried renaming the Favourite lists before (I only have the one), but have just tried it and it seems to work okay for me. Has survived a basic power off and on from standby and also a full power off and on (i.e. using the switch on the back). When does it lose the rename for yourself?

I was on holiday last week and have just caught up with the main owner's thread on "otherforums.com" and don't remember seeing this being reported by anyone else (but admit I skim read a lot of it!).
 

professorhat

Well-known member
Dec 28, 2007
991
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Another update due soon which is said to finally include the ability to access BBC iPlayer from the red button and also be able to stream videos, pictures etc. from a DLNA enabled server.

Unfortunately I can't update the main review any more because of the change in editing policy on this forum meaning I can't cover the latest updates in this post - I'm working on a way round this which I'll link from here shortly.
 

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