I am at my breaking point. We own a Scietific Atlantic 8300hd PVR. The recording funtion wasn't working so the disk was reformatted. Since being reformatted, all the channels have severe pixelation. I have no idea how to fix it but with all my other problems with Rogers internet, I'm ready to cancel everything. Any ideas how I can fix this?
If everything was working properly before, then the pixilization could be due to a faulty hard drive. Since PVR's "buffer" a certain about of data as you watch, if the hard drive were on the fritz, you would see pixilization. Hard drives commonly fail as it is a moving device, and many people and threads are out there with pictures showing you how to repair this yourself.
Don't scrap your machine yet, try a repair, or see if someone is willing to do it for you. If you have another digital box that you can connect to the same line, and if that box worked properly, that would at least rule out any signal issues on that line, and the issue would likely be with the failing pvr.
Thanks for everybody's helpful suggestions. How would I get to the screen which would show me drive errors?
To enter diagnostics:
1. Tune to any digital station.
2. Depending on the STB, you may need to use the composite, S-video or component video connection.
3. On the box itself (not using the remote), press and hold the "+" (or select) button for a few seconds, the "envelope" (mail) light will come on. (the + button is the "bulls-eye" in the middle of the 4 "arrow" keys - on newer models like the SA8300HD it's the "select" button).
4. Press the "info" key next.
5. This takes you to all kinds of information.
6. Press the right and left arrow buttons (next to the "+" button) to scroll through the pages.
7. The signal strength information is on page 5. You need to look at the QAM side. The "level" should be between -10 and +10, with zero being about optimum (for digital stations). If the level is below -10, you'll see the number change to "orange" for "warning". You may have to change splitters, cable, etc to rectify the situation. Call your service provider and they'll usually rectify with better splitters, cable, possibly an amp or a new "drop" into your house. (Interestingly, many of us have found that the SA8300HD gives "false" signal strength readings of -20. If all other readings are "normal" and you've got no other issues, do not worry about a -20 reading on the SA8300HD)
8. On the same page is the Signal/Noise ratio. The S/N ratio is good if it’s at about 35 dB, although a good HD signal can be received with slightly lower numbers. If your S/N is around 30 (or less) though, that could be a source of problems.
9. You can change channels while in the diagnostic menu and see signal strengths, frequencies, etc for various channels, however, they shouldn’t vary by more than a few dBs. You will notice that you won’t be able to see all the information for analogue channels. It will take a few seconds for the information to refresh for the new channel, so be patient. Make sure you check the signal on the problem channel, as signals can vary.
10. When you’re done, press the exit key to exit.
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