Geekzone: technology news, blogs, forums
Guest
Welcome Guest.
You haven't logged in yet. If you don't have an account you can register now.



28 posts

Geek


Topic # 110523 10-Oct-2012 20:21 Send private message

Hi,

I have a Zinwell ZMT-640PVR (1.2.2 firmware) box that has worked OK (some minor issues!) for a few years.

However in the last month or so, we've noticed it has started behaving badly, with symptons such as:

* 10-20 seconds to bring up the EPG
* When the EPG is displayed, 2-3 seconds to scroll up/down the program list
* 2-5 seconds to respond to channel changes
(actually - pretty much everything now has a delay!)
* When playing back video, sometimes up to 5 seconds to respond to fast-forward/rewind (which is annoying to the point where we don't bother fast forwarding any more - a win for the advertisers I guess!)
* And strangely, can no longer fast-forward TV3 recordings (?!)

I initially blamed this on the remote (we use a universal remote), so tried the original Zinwell remote (with fresh batteries). No difference.

So I assumed my box was just flaky. Until... I talked to my mother who happens to have an identical box with the same firmware - and found out she's experiencing exactly the same issues! She'd actually brought the TV3 fast-forward issue to my attention and I verified I couldn't either.

So - anyone have any ideas what could be causing this (and even better - how to fix it!)? I can't pinpoint exactly when the issues started, but was possibly around the time this was done:

http://www.mediaworks.co.nz/IMPORTANT-NOTICE-FOR-TV3-FOUR-TV31-AND-C4-VIEWERS-USING-FREEVIEW/tabid/300/articleID/1571/Default.aspx

I've tried resetting the system to factory defaults and rescanning the channels - no joy :(.

Thanks
Michael

View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic
 1 | 2
277 posts

Ultimate Geek
+1 received by user: 6


  Reply # 699367 10-Oct-2012 22:16 Send private message

check out the thread about the jc matthews dvr, we're having exactly the same issue. the zinwell and jc matthews are basically identical units.

Just A Geek
1928 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 309

Trusted
Subscriber

  Reply # 699392 10-Oct-2012 22:37 Send private message

I dunno if the 1.2.4 software will fix it.. but give it a try.

http://www.spam.co.nz/zinwell/

4717 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 110

Trusted

  Reply # 699394 10-Oct-2012 22:43 Send private message

Were there ever capcitor problems with the Zinwell PVR, or were these related only to the smaller standalone Zinwell unit?

Take it you've tried replacing the remote batteries? Wink

1498 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 52


  Reply # 699395 10-Oct-2012 22:44 Send private message

mjward: Hi,

* 10-20 seconds to bring up the EPG

Michael

This may be a Freeview problem as I have same problem on my Panasonic BW880 and my Sony TV.
Sometimes it is instant but mostly more like your 10 - 20 secs. Sometimes instant on TV but slow on recorder.
Makes no sense to me.
I don't experience the other problems though.

4717 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 110

Trusted

  Reply # 699742 11-Oct-2012 15:31 Send private message

B1GGLZ:
mjward: Hi,

* 10-20 seconds to bring up the EPG

Michael

This may be a Freeview problem as I have same problem on my Panasonic BW880 and my Sony TV.


Think it's widespread by the looks of it.  The JC Matthew unit is almost identical to the Zinwell PVR and users are reporting very similar issues.

pogostickconz:

The problem is a remote thats slow to respond (and yes i have recharged the batteries in the remote and there doesnt appear to be any nearby devices that would be interfering with the IR signal) as in you press FF and it doesnt work so you press it again. You know it got the first request because all of a sudden it will start FF at 16x! any ideas? similar to your problem?


http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=110373

1230 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 68


  Reply # 699768 11-Oct-2012 16:09

B1GGLZ:
mjward: Hi,

* 10-20 seconds to bring up the EPG

Michael

This may be a Freeview problem as I have same problem on my Panasonic BW880 and my Sony TV.
Sometimes it is instant but mostly more like your 10 - 20 secs. Sometimes instant on TV but slow on recorder.
Makes no sense to me.
I don't experience the other problems though.


I have a panasonic plasma (about 3 years old) - its always been achingly slow to bring up the EPG (20-30 seconds). Have a quite new Samsung TV and its just about instant  Probably depends on whatever sort of processor they have onboard.

I did have a Zinwell STB and it was actually pretty quick on bringing up the menu.

There is always an issue if you have just swapped between muxes (ie from TV3 to TV2) it seems to take a few seconds for the data to come down - so subsequently if you have just changed channels like my example its best to wait a few seconds before hitting the menu button.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler



28 posts

Geek


  Reply # 699802 11-Oct-2012 16:33 Send private message

Thanks for all the helpful comments/suggestions - particularly the link to the newer firmware! Will try the firmware update tonight and post back how it goes.

The slow loading of the EPG was always pretty slow on this device, but it did typically display the 'loading...' prompt pretty much straight away before. Now there's a 5-10 sec delay before that even appears.

And yes, did try new batteries - even a new remote (the original that came with the box), no difference.

1230 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 68


  Reply # 699834 11-Oct-2012 17:35

The Zinwell STB that I had started going flaky - Kept saying there was an update to be installed - and there hadnt been any over the air updates for a couple of years at least - then it started doing other odd things.

I had followed a forum that had installed Hong Kong software on the NZ box and it gave it very basic record to usb device facilities. Seeing there was never any way of getting the official NZ software (NEXT went bust or something and the software was never leaked to the internet) - so I reflashed the box with the HK software and it started behaving again. So I figured that perhaps the memory had got a bit screwed up.

You may find reflashing fixes it (at least for a while).




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler



28 posts

Geek


  Reply # 699858 11-Oct-2012 18:20 Send private message

Ok so upgrading to 1.2.4 firmware made no difference.

robjg63 - the NZ firmware was leaked to the internet... see the link LennonNZ posted above :)

The thread Jaxson posted (http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=110373) reports the same problems (mainly with JCMatthews boxes, which are pretty much clones of the Zinwell). bazzer in that thread mentions:

"Yep, exactly the same. I've found if I unplug the aerial all my problems go away! Of course that means I can't watch anything while something is recording, defeating the purpose of a PVR somewhat. I wasn't sure if it was a problem with the aerial or a problem with the box."

I tried this and found the same - ie recording playback was suddenly responsive. Plugged the aerial back in, the delays returned straight away.

bazzer also mentions in a later post:

"Update from Tim from Freeview:
"Yes, I?m aware of this issue and the factory is looking into why this is happening. Hopefully something can be changed on the platform to resolve the issue which could be done immediately once we hear back from them otherwise they will need to work on a new software release." "

So looks like I'll just have to be patient and see how this pans out.

Thanks All!

238 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 699859 11-Oct-2012 18:21 Send private message

Those problems sound very typical of the crook capacitors fault that dogged these boxes once they got to a couple of years old.

1230 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 68


  Reply # 699902 11-Oct-2012 20:09

The firmware you mention for the STB was only an upgrade file. The firmware I got was a complete reinstall. I think thats why it fixed my old unit.

The Zinwell STB boxes did seem to have issues with capacitors bulging and bursting.

I dont know if the PVRs had dud capacitors - but assuming you can take the top off it you could easily have a look. There are plenty of guides on replacing capacitors on the web. Have a look on youtube for starters.
Can you pop he top off and have a look?

This is geekzone - so if you see something that looks a bit suspect, you can always post a photo - someone is bound to have an opinion and probably some advice....




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

2788 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 64

Trusted

  Reply # 700023 12-Oct-2012 08:48 Send private message

PimpMyMagic: Those problems sound very typical of the crook capacitors fault that dogged these boxes once they got to a couple of years old.

Do you think? Just strange that it occurred on such a large number of boxes at the same time and that it's fixed by unplugging the aerial.

Seems to me it's something in the Freeview stream that's messing with these boxes.

1230 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 68


  Reply # 700031 12-Oct-2012 09:12

If you google "capacitor plague" you will see that there was(maybe still is) an epidemic of shonky capacitors in various products on the market. It affects all sorts of makes and models of products and it still appears that some of the cheapest caps are still causing issues. The wikipedia page on capacitor plague gives quite a story.

Anyway - its a pity that devices can fail over what is essentially a very cheap component. The good news is that with a bit of luck you may be able to fix it yourself. If you had a look on youtube you will see all sorts of products (big TVs etc) that show someone fixing them by replacing a couple of stuffed capacitors for a couple of dollars.

Maybe capacitor failure is not whats causing your issues, but it would actually make more sense that they do all start failing around the same time as they were probably all assembled around the same time from the same components and would therefore be expected to start failing around the same time. That odd problem that is 'cured' for a little while by powering off for a while but gradually that stops being effective does actually sound like capacitors conking out.

If someone at Freeview has acknowledged an issue then I would just wait and see - but If it requires a software upgrade on the box, sadly I dont think the zinwell boxes will ever get it as there are no agents in NZ anymore and they havent been sold for a while now.




-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn't have to do it it himself - A. H. Weiler

238 posts

Master Geek
+1 received by user: 2


  Reply # 700053 12-Oct-2012 10:05 Send private message

robjg63: The Zinwell STB that I had started going flaky - Kept saying there was an update to be installed - and there hadnt been any over the air updates for a couple of years at least - then it started doing other odd things.


Sorry, I should have quoted my reference when I suggested the capacitors problem. It applied specifically to the Zinwell STB where it occurred in many such instances. It did not relate to the present rash of PVR problems, which I agree, seem to stem from changes made to Media Works Freeview reconfigurations.

Unlike the PVRs the STBs had no cooling fans and ran rather hot, which no doubt contributed to the drying out of the cheapo Chinese electrolytic capacitors used for power supply filtering.


4717 posts

Uber Geek
+1 received by user: 110

Trusted

  Reply # 701135 14-Oct-2012 20:56 Send private message

And another on...
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=83&topicid=110684

richms: its ignoring button presses on the remote for several seconds frequently. Anyone else seeing weird things.

 1 | 2
View this topic in a long page with up to 500 replies per page Create new topic




Twitter »
Follow us to receive Twitter updates when new discussions are posted in our forums:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when news items and blogs are posted in our frontpage:



Follow us to receive Twitter updates when tech item prices are listed in our price comparison site:




News »

Trending now »
Hot discussions in our forums right now:

MH 17 "shot down" all dead
Created by joker97, last reply by turnin on 22-Jul-2014 16:56 (196 replies)
Pages... 12 13 14


Geekzone giveaway: Thecus N2310 NAS
Created by freitasm, last reply by sir1963 on 23-Jul-2014 19:38 (34 replies)
Pages... 2 3


PB Computers experiences
Created by KiwiNZ, last reply by Jaxar on 23-Jul-2014 16:42 (29 replies)
Pages... 2


Huge Fuss, didn't even make it a year.
Created by networkn, last reply by Glassboy on 22-Jul-2014 19:50 (121 replies)
Pages... 7 8 9


Skinny's new aggressive ad campaign
Created by Yabanize, last reply by Yabanize on 22-Jul-2014 23:35 (52 replies)
Pages... 2 3 4


Is working in IT making you less manly?
Created by dotnetdev, last reply by Demeter on 23-Jul-2014 19:28 (16 replies)
Pages... 2


Apple Watch?
Created by gnfb, last reply by tdgeek on 23-Jul-2014 15:48 (12 replies)

Telecom and temporarily moving
Created by Tel69, last reply by NonprayingMantis on 19-Jul-2014 21:34 (12 replies)


Geekzone Live »
Try automatic live updates from Geekzone directly in your browser, without refreshing the page, with Geekzone Live now.

Are you subscribed to our RSS feed? You can download the latest headlines and summaries from our stories directly to your computer or smartphone by using a feed reader.

Alternatively, you can receive a daily email with Geekzone updates.