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I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

I have an old Scientific Atlantic set top box.  This box shuts off every night and there is no way to override it.  It makes digital recording overnight impossible.  Is there a box manufacturer that does not shut off overnight?  I don't need a PVR, and I don't have, or will have 4K TV. I would like to buy a relatively inexpensive box (even used or refurbished) with a minimum of options and outputs.  As long as it stays on 24hrs a day if it has to be.

 

Thanks

Charles

 

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24 REPLIES 24

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Charles_I:

 

What is the exact model number on the box?  I have a 4290 (SD STB) that stays on unless there is a power failure.

 

Make sure that there isn't something that causes the power to switch off to the box overnight. Also make sure you don't have a "timer" set under settings that switches the box off.

 

If the STB uses the new Navigatr firmware, it's possible that the latest firmware has a power saving feature that shuts the box down each night around 2-3AM?  There would be no way to override that.

 

I believe that any of the very old boxes that still use SARA firmware would not shut down overnight, but who knows how much longer Rogers will allow SARA STBs on their system...



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

davex0
I Plan to Stick Around
ASFAIK, all of the recent terminals including Nextbox HD, 3.0PVR, and 4K don't necessarily shut off, but definitely become inaccessible to download the schedule for the next day around 3AM. Boxes will stay online though, won't turn off.

No avoiding that, the terminal has to pull the latest TV schedule some how.

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

It's an Explorer 8300HD and it's a "feature" that's meant to "maximize the life of your DVR digital cable box" and it comes with a 5 minute onscreen warning and then an unavoidable shut off.  Check this out:

 

http://optimum.custhelp.com/app/answers/detail/a_id/1419/~/dvr-for-optimum-tv%3A-power-save-mode

 

Lots of info on this if you Google it.

 

Charles

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

I have a separate unit that's a DVD recorder.   So no need for schedules, or Netflix, I just need a box that stays on if I want to record a movie at 3am - otherwise I have to use the analog converter which is not as good quality as the digital one that the box pulls in.

 

Charles

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@davex0: My SA8300HD doesn't become inaccessible when it downloads the IPG at midnight.  It also doesn't turn off AFAIK, although I don't use it much any more.  It runs SARA.

 

My 9865s also do not become inaccessible at 2-3AM for the IPG download if I have a recording taking place at that time - say a Stingray channel like 726.  For those who want to watch TV at that time, simply set up a recording for that time as a workaround. The IPG downloads in the background whether you're recording, watching, whether the STB is on or off.

 

These and other tips are outlined in the following:

 

http://www.digitalhome.ca/forum/61-rogers-cable-tv-hd-pvr-discussion/202473-cisco-9865-nb3-0-also-nb...



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Charles_I wrote:

It's an Explorer 8300HD

Charles


Huh?  The 8300HD is a PVR.  Why don't you record using it?

 

The DVD recorder is SD quality only, while the 8300HD is HD.  I can understand if you wish to archive (an SD quality) recording on the DVD recorder, however, for simple timeshifting the 8300HD offers superior quality and is certainly not difficult to schedule.  Also, with a regular box you need to set it to the correct channel for your AM recordings, along with a timer on the DVDr and there's no "scheduling" allowed, whereas with the PVR you can set all kinds of recordings for whenever you want.

 

PS. There is no such thing as an analogue converter on Rogers Ontario. Everything is digital. What you may have meant to say is SD (Standard Definition).  Perhaps that's why you get a superior picture with the 8300HD - after all it's HD, providing superior picture quality to the DVDr, even though the output is SD and the recording on the DVDr is SD.



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

I just checked my SA8300HD and there is a "Timer: Turn off" option under Settings (press Settings twice and scroll up to the various Timers).  Make sure that this is disabled if you wish to continue to use it as a STB instead of a PVR.

 

I have turned on my SA8300HD and will check in the morning to see if it's still on.  If there is a "power save" function as indicated in post 6, this must be relatively recent (with Rogers) as I don't recall any discussion on the topic - perhaps because most people turn their PVRs off and not many are up at 2-3AM...

 

In any case, I would certainly use the 8300HD to do my timeshifting, especially if used with an HDTV. To use a DVDr instead is kludgy and results in inferior picture quality.



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

As I mentioned yesterday, I left my SA8300HD on when I went to bed last night and it was still on this morning. No "power save" for me.  Here are my suggestions in point form.

 

1. Check for an "off" timer.

2. Use the SA8300HD for recording (superior quality and only one device involved)

3. If you insist on using the DVDr, perhaps set a "wake up timer" for just before the programme you wish to record begins.  This should keep the PVR "on" for a couple of hours, unless there is also an off-timer for just after the wake-up-timer.



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

Thanks for all your responses. 

 

Why don't I just use the PVR?  Because I want to edit and burn a DVD of the programs I record (nearly all of the time.)

 

The analog box I'm referring to is the Cisco DTA50 which Rogers rents for people with old analog TV sets.  I use one  to bypass the SA8300HD and go directly to the DVD burner through another of the burner's inputs because the burner predates digital TV, but the quality is acceptable. However, there is a noticeable (but slight) difference in picture quality between the two connections.

 

As this article states:

 

Between 1:00 a.m. and 6:00 a.m. daily, your DVR will automatically enter Power-Save mode unless you press a key on the remote or a key on the DVR front panel at least once every 2 hours. In Power-Save mode, the set-top is powered-down,but all scheduled recordings still occur. When the DVR enters Power-Save mode,your TV displays a black screen. Note: Your cable service provider controls whether or not the automatic Power-Save mode is activated on your set-top.
 
And the black screen is what the DVD burner records.  There doesn't appear to be any way to override this behaviour.  I'm wondering if I even buy another set top box will Rogers (Toronto) shut it down at 1:00 am no matter what model it is.
 
To prevent the DVR from entering Power-Save mode, simply press any key on your remote or any key on the front panel of the DVR when the warning banner appears. The DVR will not attempt to enter power-save mode again until another 2 hours of inactivity has passed.
 
I'm not about to get up every two hours during the night to press any key on the remote - plus the DVD burner records the warning banner as well. How ridiculous is this?
 
Recording on the PVR during that time is an interesting idea.  I'll  experiment with that to see if it works.
 
Charles
 

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Charles_I:

 

If you do record on the 8300HD and wish to archive that recording, it is possible to hit "Play" on the PVR and "record" on the DVDr to "transfer" the recording to the DVDr.  If you're using the RF-coax connection to record, I suggest using composite video and analogue audio (yellow red white cables) for better picture quality.  You will need to tune the DVDr to L1 or similar input instead of channel 3.

 

I'm unsure why your 8300HD goes into powersave and mine doesn't. The article you linked to is a generic 8300HD article and may not necessarily apply to Rogers SARA firmware.  As I mentioned, I have never heard of powersave on Rogers SARA firmware boxes and I've been at this for a long time. Both of my SARA boxes stay on and do not go into powersave, as do many of my clients' SA boxes.  Did you check for an "off-timer" under settings?  (Press settings twice and scroll up to off timer)

 

Of course you should connect the SA8300HD to any HDTV via HDMI or Component Video cables for the best (HD)  picture quality.  Any other connection like RF-coax or composite video going to the TV would be SD quality only.



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Gdkitty
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

Depending on the users TV, etc.. they may not be able to watch HD at all anyways?
(that.. or its always been connected otherwise, so are used to SD quality and not aware of the HD quality difference?)

The DTA50 might be an option... BUT.. its definitely restricted.
It can only view a small subset of channels.   If you watch anything more than channels like 1-30 odd?
Its probably not the device for you.

I agree with 57s last post.  Might want to do a mix of recording?  Its one easy advantage with the 8300.  Very easy playback to record on other devices.
You could record what you want to the PVR, when you want (heck even 2 things if not watching at the time) overnight or anytime.  
Then as you want to archive them, run the playback and record it on the DVR.
You could even do this over night as well too.  Set the PVR to playback (lets say 1hr prog) then set the DVR to just record for an hour.

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

@Charles_I wrote:

Thanks for all your responses. 

 

Why don't I just use the PVR?  Because I want to edit and burn a DVD of the programs I record (nearly all of the time.)


 

You do know the 8300 PVRs have a copy to VCR (DVR-R) option for your recordings.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

Actually I didn't know you can copy from the PVR to DVDR  - I never use the PVR (this box was given to me second hand). Thanks!  I must look into that.

 

I've uploaded a screen shot of all the Settings here.  The only one that I can possibly imagine has anything to do with the auto shut off is "Set Power On Keys" but the only options there are 'Power', 'Power Number' and 'Power Others' - which doesn't make any sense to me - they all appear to be power on.

 

Please also note the annoying Alert that I get when I turn on the DVD recorder, it flashes for about a minute - and it will record that alert as well.  I have actually disconnected the HDMI connector, even though my HDTV  is an LG that DOES support HDTV.  I currently have a 3 way RCA connector between the box and the DVD recorder - this alert only comes on for the DVD recorder - not from the box to the TV.

 

And I do not use any coaxial cables, except for the Rogers line in from the house.

 

Charles

 

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Charles_I wrote:

 

1. I've uploaded a screen shot of all the Settings here.  The only one that I can possibly imagine has anything to do with the auto shut off is "Set Power On Keys" but the only options there are 'Power', 'Power Number' and 'Power Others' - which doesn't make any sense to me - they all appear to be power on.

 

2. Please also note the annoying Alert that I get when I turn on the DVD recorder, it flashes for about a minute - and it will record that alert as well.  I have actually disconnected the HDMI connector, even though my HDTV  is an LG that DOES support HDTV.  I currently have a 3 way RCA connector between the box and the DVD recorder - this alert only comes on for the DVD recorder - not from the box to the TV.

 


1. Are you with Rogers Ontario?  This doesn't look like my settings page on my SA8300HD.  In post 11 I stated: "Did you check for an "off-timer" under settings?  (Press settings twice and scroll up to off timer).  You will see that timer  option near the bottom of your screen shot!!!

 

2.  This has something to do with your DVDr and would probably not appear on your TV if you didn't have the DVDr connected/turned on.  It appears to be some sort of "handshake" issue that is tripped when you turn the DVDr on indicating that it is not an HDCP device.

 

3. Try recording on the SA8300HD and feed that signal to your TV via HDMI. You will encounter a superior picture on your HDTV, assuming you have the 8300HD set to output 720P, 1080i or 1080P. I recommend 1080i/Fixed.



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

@Charles_I wrote:

Actually I didn't know you can copy from the PVR to DVDR  - I never use the PVR (this box was given to me second hand). Thanks!  I must look into that.

 

I've uploaded a screen shot of all the Settings here.  The only one that I can possibly imagine has anything to do with the auto shut off is "Set Power On Keys" but the only options there are 'Power', 'Power Number' and 'Power Others' - which doesn't make any sense to me - they all appear to be power on.

 

Please also note the annoying Alert that I get when I turn on the DVD recorder, it flashes for about a minute - and it will record that alert as well.  I have actually disconnected the HDMI connector, even though my HDTV  is an LG that DOES support HDTV.  I currently have a 3 way RCA connector between the box and the DVD recorder - this alert only comes on for the DVD recorder - not from the box to the TV.

 

And I do not use any coaxial cables, except for the Rogers line in from the house.

 

Charles

 


I have the 3 RCA AV component outputs from my SA8300HD connected to the AV inputs on my DVD-R and the 3 AV outputs from the DVD-R connected to the AV component inputs on my TV.  "Copy to VCR" is one of the menu items when you select any recording on the 8300 PVR.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

@57 wrote:

@Charles_I wrote:

 

1. I've uploaded a screen shot of all the Settings here.  The only one that I can possibly imagine has anything to do with the auto shut off is "Set Power On Keys" but the only options there are 'Power', 'Power Number' and 'Power Others' - which doesn't make any sense to me - they all appear to be power on.

 

2. Please also note the annoying Alert that I get when I turn on the DVD recorder, it flashes for about a minute - and it will record that alert as well.  I have actually disconnected the HDMI connector, even though my HDTV  is an LG that DOES support HDTV.  I currently have a 3 way RCA connector between the box and the DVD recorder - this alert only comes on for the DVD recorder - not from the box to the TV.

 


1. Are you with Rogers Ontario?  This doesn't look like my settings page on my SA8300HD.


Those look like @Charles_I TV settings, not the SA8300 PVR settings.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@OLDYELLR: The screenshot on the left is definitely from a box using SARA (or similar) firmware, however, it does not look like Rogers Ontario, which would explain the power save.

 

Nevertheless, he can record on the PVR, getting a superior picture on his TV when compared to his DVDr and copy any recordings to his DVDr at his leisure if he wants.

 

Earlier you mentioned "Copy to VCR" and that is an option on the SA8300HD when you select a recording on the SA8300HD, however, I usually recommend just hitting "play" on the 8300HD and "record" on the DVDr at roughly the same time. This ensures that it works, while the copy to VCR function is a bit kludgy...



Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

OLDYELLR
I'm a Senior Advisor

@57 wrote:

@OLDYELLR: The screenshot on the left is definitely from a box using SARA (or similar) firmware, however, it does not look like Rogers Ontario, which would explain the power save.

 

Nevertheless, he can record on the PVR, getting a superior picture on his TV when compared to his DVDr and copy any recordings to his DVDr at his leisure if he wants.

 

Earlier you mentioned "Copy to VCR" and that is an option on the SA8300HD when you select a recording on the SA8300HD, however, I usually recommend just hitting "play" on the 8300HD and "record" on the DVDr at roughly the same time. This ensures that it works, while the copy to VCR function is a bit kludgy...


You're right about the "Settings' screen being SARA, it just looked a different colour and resolution than mine.  And yes, selecting "Copy to VCR" just displays instructions and requires you to press "A" to start. My DVD-R is connected permanently and I would turn it on and do just like you say.


Rogers PayGo. Location: S-W Ontario

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

Charles_I
I Plan to Stick Around

I'm with Rogers in Toronto - I don't know if that's different than "Rogers Ontario" but you guys seem to have sorted out that it's SARA firmware. 

 

I recall seeing the "handshake" issue come up when I've researched the connection warning before.

 

Seems the consensus is to try recording on the PVR and then copy it to the DVDr.  I'll try that and let you know how it goes.

 

Thanks

Charles

Re: I need a ST box that does not shut off overnight

57
Resident Expert
Resident Expert

@Charles_I wrote:

I'm with Rogers in Toronto - I don't know if that's different than "Rogers Ontario" but you guys seem to have sorted out that it's SARA firmware. 

 


That is strange due to the layout of the settings.  I believe you mentioned earlier that you recently got this PVR from elsewhere?  Have you properly activated the SA8300HD on Rogers system?  ie Did you call them and tell them you have a new box?  If not, it may still be running the firmware from whomever gave/sold it to you?  When you bring up the guide does it say "Rogers" on it somewhere?  Top-left corner?  I'm not home right now so I I'm going by memory from several years back.  I mostly use my 9865 now and my 8300HD gets very infrequent use.



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