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195 posts

Master Geek
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Topic # 59230 30-Mar-2010 16:57
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I just bought the Satmax SM801b so I could record a third channel with my Pioneer 400GB analogue. I already have a twin tuner freeview recorder, but being such a TV fan, and wanting to make use of my old machine, I chose a cheap option for a third channel recording (they're currently on special at Harvey Norman's for $248 FYI).

Anyway, it's great and does what I want. The only problem I have is the time display when the machine is in standby. For some reason, the two dots between the hour and the minutes keep blinking. This is an annoying distraction. My Panasonic twin tuner also has the time displayed but no blinking.

I've had to switch the power off at the back when I'm not using the Satmax otherwise it is too distracting. Does anyone know if there is an issue here with the blinking dots or is there something I can do to stop them without switching off the power?

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17 posts

Geek


  Reply # 313284 31-Mar-2010 00:45
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1) You can try putting a filter over the display to get a dimmer effect. Use some clear colored plastic.
2) You can also use a felt pen to block out the dots but you will lose part of the display. 

Kilaru 



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 313470 31-Mar-2010 13:36
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Thx. Actually, turning off the power doesn't work because it kills the RF cable daisy chain.

On reflection, it's a pretty nitpicking thing which I'm quickly getting use to anyway.

While we're here, I have a question.

I've got a full HD TV with built-in freeview for this setup. The Pioneer recorder I've hooked the Satmax into for recording has HDMI upscaling but is a SD recorder so you can notice the quality change on some channels. I've used standard RCA video and audio from the Satmax to the Pioneer.

My question is: would using an S-Video cable (I happen to have a spare one) instead of the RCA yellow video cable, make any difference to the picture quality? I read that S-Video still only contains standard defintion so will it make that much difference?

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Ultimate Geek
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  Reply # 313482 31-Mar-2010 14:23
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RustyViewer: My question is: would using an S-Video cable (I happen to have a spare one) instead of the RCA yellow video cable, make any difference to the picture quality? I read that S-Video still only contains standard defintion so will it make that much difference?


yeah. using a s-video cable does make a significant difference imho. i've got a similar setup in my bedroom and swapping over to a s-video cable improved the picture hugely in my case.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 571627 21-Jan-2012 14:12
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Ok, I have noticed a wierd bug in the Satmax 801. About once a month or so, it suddenly starts putting letters on the display and will no longer work until I completely switch it off (from the unit, not the remote of which there is no response) and then on again. This is annoying since I have recently hooked a hard disk into it to make use of the built-in PVR but it will not work when it goes into this state quite suddenly and without warning. This makes the machine unreliable for any major recordings, particularly if I go away for a few weeks. Anyone heard of this bug in the machine?

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 571631 21-Jan-2012 14:45
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Am I missing something here? You bought a terrestrial set top box that is a receiver only to feed into your analogue recording unit. Is that right? $248 is a lot of money if that is all the satmax unit does.

Honestly, how about sell it all on trademe now before there's too much advertising about the analogue switch off and people twig that it's an analogue unit. I know this doesn't help you immediate problem but honestly, looking forward this may well be the best use of your money. All of this gear sold now would get you a TIVO for instance etc.



195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 571662 21-Jan-2012 16:25
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What! You are definitely missing something here. It is a Hi-def terrestrial digital receiver. In my original post I said I'd hooked it up to a Panasonic to record a third freeview channel, albeit in SD. However, I have now plugged in a Hard Disk via the USB port into the Satmax and have hooked the Satmax to the TV with an HDMI cable. The Satmax has a built-in PVR so I can now record a third channel as hi-def.

The problem with the Satmax is that there appears to be this bug where it switches into some strange mode every so often with letters on the display which keep changing but it never snaps out of on its own. I once left it for three days just to see. It requires a full reboot on the machine itself. This means it is unreliable for recording if I go away for a while. I wondered if anyone else had noticed this issue.

I suspect the problem may be to do with some sort of digital update that it tries to do form time to time in which case the answer may be to switch off any automatic update, if such an option exists. I'll have to check.

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  Reply # 571679 21-Jan-2012 16:56
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It sounds like it's buggy so you can't reliably use the USB part of it. When did you buy it? If it's buggy take it back.

With TIVO for instance being $299 at the moment you've be better served selling all of that and getting a twin tuner with internal hard drive HD terrestrial device that works, rather than the hassle of recording HD in SD using 2 devices.  http://www.bondandbond.co.nz/shop/tv-home-theatre/freeview/telecom-tivo/prod114394.html



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 571708 21-Jan-2012 18:19
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Isn't TIVO tied in with telecom? I don't think TIVO is terrestrial freeview is it?

I'm not recording in SD at all. I have a twin tuner HD Panasonic for my main recording and the Satmax for any third program.

I would more likely lean towards something like Magic TV, but since we're only talking about recording overlaps on a couple of shows at the moment, it's hardly worth it.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 571711 21-Jan-2012 18:23
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And of course. TIVO's big letdown is that they don't carry Prime and I don't think they carry Maori TV either.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 571728 21-Jan-2012 19:30
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a) No TIVO is not tied to Telecom, have a look at some of the threads in the TIVO section here if you are interested.

b) Maori is now on the EPG fully.

c) Prime is not but apparently they are working on it. Will wait and see if anything comes of that or not.

You can always schedule a manual recording for Prime which is probably no different to what you're doing at the moment.

Just ideas is all mate.



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Master Geek
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  Reply # 571759 21-Jan-2012 21:41
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ok, sure, thx. :)

My Satmax is plonked right on top of my Panasonic recorder DMR-BW850. I don't suppose there's some sort of interference going on there?

I understood, at least in the early stages, there was an exclusive deal between TIVO and Telecom as regards internet access for TV on demand, something like that.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 572658 24-Jan-2012 10:57
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RustyViewer:
I understood, at least in the early stages, there was an exclusive deal between TIVO and Telecom as regards internet access for TV on demand, something like that.


TIVO EPG is now complete 
http://www.geekzone.co.nz/forums.asp?forumid=114&topicid=94122&page_no=4

Yes TIVO has the ability to download/stream movies etc and data from this aspect was un-metered on Telecom.  You can get the EPG data via any broadband connection though. 

Just an idea, and I know this doesn't immediately solve your blinking light problem etc.



195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 572845 24-Jan-2012 16:49
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Don't really care about the blinking light problem now, I'm use to it, More wanting to hear any feedback from others who have experienced this wierd mode it goes into about once a month.

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Uber Geek
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  Reply # 574559 29-Jan-2012 11:05
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195 posts

Master Geek
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  Reply # 574578 29-Jan-2012 12:30
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See the link you referred to for my answer.

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