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156 posts

Master Geek


# 21642 2-May-2008 23:10
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It's dropping the picture from (mainly) channel 2 and 3. Cycling the channel restores it. Particularly irritating when recording a program, then chasing playback on the DVD recorder.
Faulted to TC, replaced with a brand new one today, it's doing the same thing, but more often.
Anyone else experiencing this sort of thing?
Personally I think the decoders are a POC. And no alternative available, even if I want to purchase it myself.Frown

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  # 128304 3-May-2008 22:34
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Tarq57: ...
Personally I think the decoders are a POC. And no alternative available, even if I want to purchase it myself.Frown


PQ on the TCL decoders is pretty poor. But there are alternatives which are legal (I think). BarTender was advertising Dreambox's which are TCL cable box replacements that can also act as PVR's. They grab the MPEG2 stream directly off the cable and can write that stream to an attached HD.  They also have component video out.

I played around with one for a while and the PQ was much better than the TCL box but in the end decided I didn't need it. They are legal in what they need to have a TCL smart card inserted into them. The questionable side is non authorised gear connected to the TCL network.




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System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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  # 128310 3-May-2008 23:37
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lchiu7: The questionable side is non authorised gear connected to the TCL network.


It is most certainly against TCL's T&C's to connect anything up to the TCL network apart from TCL supplied hardware, however that doesn't mean it doesn't work :).  I personally use a Dreambox DM600 with Cable Tuner which is a PVR & Set Top Box all in one, it takes a 2.5" PIDE (no sata) Harddisk (250GB the biggest I can find), and I have loaded up all of the DVD's the kids like to watch as ISO images on the box as well.  It has Component+Composite via SCART, plus S-Video and RCA for Composite, and a Network port so my DM looks like a NAS on the network with all the recorded shows just on a windows share.  I removed the TCL's POS STB and put it into storage, keeping hold of my TCL Smartcard.  Put it into the front of my Dreambox, and I was away (after a bit of searching for things like Symbol Rate and other helpful information).  Ohh and the box is the size of 3 "regular" DVD cases stacked ontop of each other, ie about 1/3 the size of the TCL supplied box.

I also know of a few other guys that are running HTPC setups in Wgtn/Chch with a Fire DVB-C PCI card in their PC, mostly due to "mines better than yours" type conversations.  The FireDVB cards have a "CAM" daughterboard, so then you need an Irdeto CAM and you again, put the TCL Smartcard into the CAM, then into the FireDVB card, and they were away using the Windows based PVR solutions (MediaPortal, GB-PVR, even XP or Vista Media Centre work).  Me I didn't want a whole PC up with my TV, so wanted to find a smaller and "technically superior" STB solution.

Again, doing that is against TCL's T&C's, I wouldn't say illegal since you have your TCL Smartcard in the front of your box, but IANAL.   It can be done (much like the Sky on your HTPC thread in the HTPC forum) and can be a very long and frustrating process getting it up and running.  But once it's running it can have a very high WAF, and my kids do love it as well.





 
 
 
 




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Master Geek


# 128312 4-May-2008 00:34
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While part of me would love to tinker with and improve several aspects of the gear supplied, there's just no way.
#1: I'm not techy/knowledgeable enough. The most radical thing I've done-approved by a TC tech, was to include a cable splitter to the setup.
#2: I have very little confidence in the build quality of the gear. If I add something to it/replace it, and something, maybe unrelated, goes wrong, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. (Woulda had to sell it to pay the bill)

What I'm thinking, here, is that if this sort of issue (and other issues relating to quality) are common, and I believe they are - just most folk don't worry too much/can't be bothered waiting the 30 + min to report it - wouldn't it be excellent if public opinion could pressure TC into procuring and installing gear that is up to the job.

Saw a flying pig, yesterday. Sealed

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  # 128313 4-May-2008 01:05
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Tarq57: While part of me would love to tinker with and improve several aspects of the gear supplied, there's just no way.
#1: I'm not techy/knowledgeable enough. The most radical thing I've done-approved by a TC tech, was to include a cable splitter to the setup.
#2: I have very little confidence in the build quality of the gear. If I add something to it/replace it, and something, maybe unrelated, goes wrong, I wouldn't have a leg to stand on. (Woulda had to sell it to pay the bill)

What I'm thinking, here, is that if this sort of issue (and other issues relating to quality) are common, and I believe they are - just most folk don't worry too much/can't be bothered waiting the 30 + min to report it - wouldn't it be excellent if public opinion could pressure TC into procuring and installing gear that is up to the job.

Saw a flying pig, yesterday. Sealed


The irony that TCL face is "by international standards" they are a raindrop in the ocean,  with ~50k subscribers or so they would have a hard time finding any reasonable supplier prepared to deal with them simply because they are so small, the other issue is TCL don't make much money from the Subscriber TV, as most of it is passed directly to Sky TV, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  It would be hard to justify spending 1Mil on 50k subscriber boxes when you aren't going to see any return on that investment.

I have no confidence in the TCL supplied gear, hence why it is sitting in a box in my ceiling, the boxes I brought in from china are ok, granted the cable ones weren't as good quality as the satellite ones, but at least the chinese did fix them up when they broke.

And last but not least, isn't this forum Geekzone?? :)... It's not about the final destination (being able to actually watch TV is a bonus)... it's about the journey!  That being said my boxes are plug and play, unplug old box, plug in new box with smartcard.. watch tv.





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  # 128324 4-May-2008 07:59
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BarTender:

The irony that TCL face is "by international standards" they are a raindrop in the ocean,  with ~50k subscribers or so they would have a hard time finding any reasonable supplier prepared to deal with them simply because they are so small, the other issue is TCL don't make much money from the Subscriber TV, as most of it is passed directly to Sky TV, do not pass go, do not collect $200.  It would be hard to justify spending 1Mil on 50k subscriber boxes when you aren't going to see any return on that investment...


Maybe TCL could just get Dreambox's and rebadge them!




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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  # 128340 4-May-2008 09:03
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lchiu7: Maybe TCL could just get Dreambox's and rebadge them!

Doubt it, firstly these are ex-china so I think Dream in Germany would have something to say about it.  Plus all the Irdeto cam used in the box isn't written or certified by Irdeto, so Irdeto might have something to say about it as well.

I would hope that TCL go for a regular STB replacement which supports High Def (which the Dreamboxes don't support), plus also go for a PVR option as well.  That way that customers could get Sky HD or Freeview HD without needing a PVR, or could take the PVR option if they wanted to.  And at the time I would hope that TCL don't charge $700 per unit for install like Sky do.

Dreams a free tho ;)





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  # 128517 5-May-2008 08:55
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Hi

The issue regarding "drop to black" is one not experienced by all subscribers.

We are working on the software solution at the moment and once fully tested by our engineers and the software vendor, we will download to all decoders before the end of June.

Due to the amount of work underway in the Broadcast Operations since the beginning of the year on broadband and TV, this fix has taken longer than we would like and apologise for the problems it causes you.

Although customer bandwidth requirements continue their exponential growth and thus demands on equipment, TelstraClear is committed to InHome and ensuring the network is in good shape for the current and future growth requirements.

Over the past 6 months and in the coming year we will be spending  millions of dollars and thousands of man hours on improvments to the network and products to ensure optimum the user experience. 

Regards

Jeff Doyle
Market Manager -- InHome Services

 
 
 
 


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  # 128520 5-May-2008 09:19
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TelstraClear: The issue regarding "drop to black" is one not experienced by all subscribers.


I haven't experience this as much as I used to and when it did happened, it was at odd moment. I don't turn off or standby my TCL digital decoder, which I think may be the cause of the problem - as i found out that when turning on the TV after a channel was left on for a super long while (again, just an estimation), and doing channel cycling, it comes back.

I do like to see TCL chose a better decoder unit, at least one with component output (HDMI be great), with coax/optical digital audio output too. Also, an integrated modem will be most welcome but with TCL's customised HFC network, it'll probably be near impossible to see this.

So... component + s-video + PVR be great (on top of the RF-out and Composite)! Bonus if with HDMI and coax/optical digital for HD stuff.




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  # 128525 5-May-2008 09:30
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BarTender:
lchiu7: Maybe TCL could just get Dreambox's and rebadge them!

Doubt it, firstly these are ex-china so I think Dream in Germany would have something to say about it.  Plus all the Irdeto cam used in the box isn't written or certified by Irdeto, so Irdeto might have something to say about it as well.

I would hope that TCL go for a regular STB replacement which supports High Def (which the Dreamboxes don't support), plus also go for a PVR option as well.  That way that customers could get Sky HD or Freeview HD without needing a PVR, or could take the PVR option if they wanted to.  And at the time I would hope that TCL don't charge $700 per unit for install like Sky do.

Dreams a free tho ;)


I am not that up on the technical side but my understanding is the cable system TCL has implemented is pretty standard. That being the case, how hard can it be for them to source cable boxes that are higher functioned without having to pay for special runs. Is it just the TCL branding on the box itself or internal hardware config changes to make them work here?




Staying in Wellington. Check out my AirBnB in the Wellington CBD.  https://www.airbnb.co.nz/rooms/32019730  Mention GZ to get a 10% discount

 

System One: Popcorn Hour A200,  PS3 SuperSlim, NPVR and Plex Server running on Gigabyte Brix (Windows 10 Pro), Sony BDP-S390 BD player, Pioneer AVR, Raspberry Pi running Kodi and Plex, Panasonic 60" 3D plasma, Google Chromecast

System Two: Popcorn Hour A200 ,  Oppo BDP-80 BluRay Player with hardware mode to be region free, Vivitek HD1080P 1080P DLP projector with 100" screen, Denon AVRS730H 7.2 Channel Dolby Atmos/DTS-X AV Receiver, Samsung 4K player, Google Chromecast, Odroid C2 running Kodi and Plex

 

 


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  # 128528 5-May-2008 09:38
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Larry you ask a good question, as I did sometime ago and was responded to by a TCL offical who seem miffed that anyone should question their purchasing policies. That said DVB-C boxs with integral DOCSIS functionality and capable of acting as both TV and broadband gateways are very common in Europe (and the US) so why TCL saddles users here with 2nd rate boxs is beyond me, but I am sure some accountant has all the beans numbered.

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  # 128530 5-May-2008 09:43
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chiefie: I do like to see TCL chose a better decoder unit, at least one with component output (HDMI be great), with coax/optical digital audio output too. Also, an integrated modem will be most welcome but with TCL's customised HFC network, it'll probably be near impossible to see this.


Well, if I check out this link: http://www.adbglobal.com/?q=node/117 then I see a few boxes that could do it.  I didn't think (and correct me if I am wrong) there was anything "non-standard" with TCL's HFC network.  It was pretty standard DVB-C for TV and DOCSIS 1.1 for Cable Internet, upgrading to DOCSIS 2.0 shortly.
Many of the above ADB boxes have DOCSIS Modems included, so it's just a matter of finding out the right box, and adding support for it in their Cable TV system, and DOCSIS Cable Modem provisioning system.  Since it is an ADB box then I "assume" it would be pretty easy to add support for that box into their systems.

The Broadcom Chip: BCM7118 seems to have everything that is needed on a single chip.

chiefie: So... component + s-video + PVR be great (on top of the RF-out and Composite)! Bonus if with HDMI and coax/optical digital for HD stuff.

I already have this without the HDMI support :P





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  # 128532 5-May-2008 09:54
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BarTender:
chiefie: I do like to see TCL chose a better decoder unit, at least one with component output (HDMI be great), with coax/optical digital audio output too. Also, an integrated modem will be most welcome but with TCL's customised HFC network, it'll probably be near impossible to see this.


Well, if I check out this link: http://www.adbglobal.com/?q=node/117 then I see a few boxes that could do it. I didn't think (and correct me if I am wrong) there was anything "non-standard" with TCL's HFC network. It was pretty standard DVB-C for TV and DOCSIS 1.1 for Cable Internet, upgrading to DOCSIS 2.0 shortly.
Many of the above ADB boxes have DOCSIS Modems included, so it's just a matter of finding out the right box, and adding support for it in their Cable TV system, and DOCSIS Cable Modem provisioning system. Since it is an ADB box then I "assume" it would be pretty easy to add support for that box into their systems.

The Broadcom Chip: BCM7118 seems to have everything that is needed on a single chip.

chiefie: So... component + s-video + PVR be great (on top of the RF-out and Composite)! Bonus if with HDMI and coax/optical digital for HD stuff.

I already have this without the HDMI support :P


Hehe BarTender, I know... but how's the 7-Days EPG on Dreambox at the moment?




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  # 128539 5-May-2008 10:19
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chiefie: Hehe BarTender, I know... but how's the 7-Days EPG on Dreambox at the moment?

If I could be bothered I would just use the XMLTV EPG from pvr.geek.nz but I havn't worked on that, however I don't see any reason why it wouldn't work, just havn't bothered making the time to get it working. This week is a little slow so I may pull finger and get it working. If TCL sent down the full weeks worth of EPG over the EIT, or supplied a XMLTV formatted file over their STB Cable Network then I wouldn't have this problem. Sky can afford to send the weeks worth of EPG over EIT via Satellite, I can't see why TCL couldn't do the same as it wouldn't cost them anything and they have bandwidth to burn.... but that is another story ;)

EDIT: Finally pulled finger and sorted it out.  Had to manually match up from the epg.pvr.geek.nz xmltv to the sid/tsid/nid on TCL.  Below are the results in the OSD, the Web UI is also great, but the screenshot it huge!:



Now I just need to sort out the icons (if I can be bothered!!) so I will have all the logos for the channels on the left... Is it worth it??? not sure.





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