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SA8300HD appears to be going south - What are my best choices?

Danabw

New Member
So my long-beloved SA8300HD seems to be getting flakier and flakier - more bad recordings w/glitches and skips, I have to reboot it more and more often to get it to run/record properly, today I tried to reboot it and it wouldn't even complete the reboot until I pulled the plug to hard cycle it.

So I'm wondering what my current choices are on TW in terms of DVRs...what I really want in order of importance are:

1. Recording space - I have a 1TB external drive attached to my SA8300HD and want to keep something like that amount of space. Any DVRs that do external drives, or ones that provide similar space w/existing storage?

2. That's about it. :)

I don't do/need multi-room, really, we only have one TV we watch regularly in the family room. The one in the office is more for movies.

Appreciate any suggestions/ideas. Maybe time to switch to DirecTV?
 

Rick Shaw

Member
Danabw said:
So my long-beloved SA8300HD seems to be getting flakier and flakier - more bad recordings w/glitches and skips, I have to reboot it more and more often to get it to run/record properly, today I tried to reboot it and it wouldn't even complete the reboot until I pulled the plug to hard cycle it.

So I'm wondering what my current choices are on TW in terms of DVRs...what I really want in order of importance are:

1. Recording space - I have a 1GB external drive attached to my SA8300HD and want to keep something like that amount of space. Any DVRs that do external drives, or ones that provide similar space w/existing storage?
Well, 1GB shouldn't be too tough. 160GB seems to be the minimum. :D
 

Danabw

New Member
Rick Shaw said:
Danabw said:
So my long-beloved SA8300HD seems to be getting flakier and flakier - more bad recordings w/glitches and skips, I have to reboot it more and more often to get it to run/record properly, today I tried to reboot it and it wouldn't even complete the reboot until I pulled the plug to hard cycle it.

So I'm wondering what my current choices are on TW in terms of DVRs...what I really want in order of importance are:

1. Recording space - I have a 1GB external drive attached to my SA8300HD and want to keep something like that amount of space. Any DVRs that do external drives, or ones that provide similar space w/existing storage?
Well, 1GB shouldn't be too tough. 160GB seems to be the minimum. :D
LOL...it's a 1TB drive. Oops... :D

(I'll edit the OP so folks don't continue to have fun at my expense.) ;)
 

Danabw

New Member
Nobody? :) C'mon, help me out. My DVR is getting wackier each day. Today at lunch it was skipping sound and freezing the picture like an IRQ conflict on a PC used to sound... :) Getting very jiggy.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
DirecTV allows for eSATA, but the current TWC don't work with it. TWC is still handing out 8300HD's last time I checked. I'm sure you can still get another 8300HD if you ask for it.
 

Danabw

New Member
Really? Thanks, that's great, I'll call tonight and confirm they have them and go pick one up!

Anything I need to worry about in terms of SA8300HD versions/types? [hr]
Wow, just an amazingly bad experience with Time Warner just now.

Went to chat on their site, nice guy, but tells me he has no information on any of the DVR options with Time Warner, and I should call an 800 number for customer service.

So I called the 800 number and the support agent tells me that:

1. He doesn't know what DVRs may be available at Ware Court for exchange (that's reasonable).

2. He doesn't have any other information on available DVR options at Time Warner - same response as the guy on chat.

Just amazing...how could these guys stay in business w/out a regulated monopoly...
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
Even the techs have MDN boxes, but some would rather have you get the latest Cisco box. That box won't support eSATA, which might not be good if you have a 1TB HDD. Whatever is at Ware Ct, is what they give you. They might allow you to request an older box, but that is if they have it. I believe the 8300HD's are refurbs, and yes I do have one. I would much rather have a newer Samsung or Cisco box, as those are much better, but lack eSATA.
 
I've had the Cisco 8640 since July 2010, when I turned in my 8300HD (who knows, maybe someone got mine) and asked for the latest available box (which I thought would have been the Samsung 3270 that TWC San Diego was using). I didn't have (and still don't have) an external drive, but the increase internally in storage from 160GB to 320GB was more than enough for me.

Basically, any box other than the 8300HD will not have eSATA working because of the different software (ODN vs. MDN) on the newer boxes, so your 1TB drive in essence becomes a door stop.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
Most of the old 8300HD's have seen their better days. When I last checked, they were out of all the newer boxes. Only the 8300HD's and probably a few HDC's left. Now they probably have the newer boxes in stock.
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
I was at TWC again to swap a remote for my Grandma, and it seems like they have a bunch of 8300HD boxes. I think they have some newer ones, but only for 3D customers. I think they are ordering new WH-DVR's and keeping them for customers that subscribe to that service.
 

Satch

Member
Danabw said:
So my long-beloved SA8300HD seems to be getting flakier and flakier - more bad recordings w/glitches and skips, I have to reboot it more and more often to get it to run/record properly, today I tried to reboot it and it wouldn't even complete the reboot until I pulled the plug to hard cycle it.

So I'm wondering what my current choices are on TW in terms of DVRs...what I really want in order of importance are:

1. Recording space - I have a 1TB external drive attached to my SA8300HD and want to keep something like that amount of space. Any DVRs that do external drives, or ones that provide similar space w/existing storage?

2. That's about it. :)

I don't do/need multi-room, really, we only have one TV we watch regularly in the family room. The one in the office is more for movies.

Appreciate any suggestions/ideas. Maybe time to switch to DirecTV?
I thought our DVR was going bad, so I scheduled a service call. We had pixiation, skips, and blank screens. He checked the signals on the drop pole line, and told us that one of the frequencies was very low. He had to replace the line. We had to do a cold reboot. (Unplug the box to get the old data out for one minute.) It has been three weeks and the problems are gone!

The tech told us that if your drop pole readings are bad, a new box WILL NOT fix things. So you may want to have a truck roll scheduled and insist that they check the line signals at the drop pole and in the home.

I registered through the TWC Direct to Tech forum. It is a secure forum. You can give your name, address, account number, box type, and a description of the problem and they can set up a service call. It's better than calling TWC Customer Service because you can have one-one-one communication with a corporate tech, and not some know-nothing CSR if you call the office.

Just say in your communication with the Direct-To Tech forum that you are requesting a service call for signal and drop-line testing. You can also tell the tech the box that you want them to bring, just in case it needs to be replaced. I have a little TWC "What Box is Right For Me? Guide below.

This checklist can be used to decide whether to keep or swap a TWC box.

Helpful Guide To Keeping Or Swapping a TWC Box

Here is my little helpful guide to decide whether to keep or swap a box:

Is your box working ok? There are several things to consider:

1-4 are reasons why you should keep your box:

1.) If your box is working ok for recording and playback, I would say hold on to it. You never know what you are going to get in a swap, and so many of them are refurbished anyway.

2.) All C-model boxes and Samsungs have the latest version of the Navigator software, (called ODN Navigator) so you are OK with that. The ODN models of the boxes will get new updates and feature sets. The non-C boxes and boxes that are not Samsungs, are generally faster, and run an older version of the software called, MDN-Navigator. These boxes are less likely to be updated because they are being phased out, and are ALL REFURBISHED! However, the SA-8240 and the SA-8300 are very fast and responsive! Keep that in mind.

3.) If you ARE having cable problems, always request in a tech service call to have the drop pole line checked for signal levels, and all cables inside/outside the home. Pixiation and frequent reboots are frequently caused by cable line/drop pole signal issues, which a new box WILL NOT FIX! The signals and lines must be fixed to resolve the issue.

4.) Do you still have a legancy SA-8000, 8240, or 8300 no-C box, TWC subscribers and you are running out of recording space? You can add a Western Digital Drive Expander (Best drive expander) and keep your older, BUT OFTEN FASTER legacy box!

****************************

Some reasons why you might want to swap your box.

(But keep 1-4 in mind above.)

5.) If you do a lot of recording, the older boxes fill up very quickly, because they only have 160gb of storage. Many of the newer boxes have anywhere from 300GB-500GB of storage, at least double the recording capacity. The models with the larger storage are the:

Samsung 3090,(320GB-Note that there are some rare 160GB models out there) Samsung 3270, (320GB) Samsung 3272,(500GB) Cisco 8640HDC,(320 GB) and Cisco 8642 HD. (500GB) (Drive expanders, generally WILL NOT WORK.)

6.) The newer model (ODN) Samsungs are faster than the newer and older model ODN Cisco boxes. But some of the Samsungs can be finicky with HDMI cables. If you have or swap for a Samsung box, and you have HDMI issues happening three times or more since its install in a short period of time, switch to Compoent Cables. (Change your box's video and audio settings to reflect this.)

Jack

PS. Oh here is the TWC Direct to Tech Forum:

https://secure.dslreports.com/forum/timewarnerdirect
 

Admin65

Administrator
Staff member
I'm not so sure if MDN is being phased out, as there was no shortage of 8300HD refurbs. This is good if you like eSATA.
 

Satch

Member
Admin65 said:
I'm not so sure if MDN is being phased out, as there was no shortage of 8300HD refurbs. This is good if you like eSATA.
The only thing I can say, is I found out from a pretty reliable source that MDN 3.0 will be the last major update for MDN boxes, because SA was bought out by Cisco, and Cisco is no longer making MDN boxes.

But, yea, if you like a speedy box compared to the newer ODN models, the MDN boxes are much faster and more responsive than ODN. MDN boxes, (No-C and not a Samsung) there biggest flaw is the small hard drive. But you can add a Western Digital Drive Expander, which is the best external drive. External Drives are mostly miss with ODN. (new C and Samsung boxes.) You often get at least 2x the storage on ODN, with updates being supported, but the boxes are slower than legacy MDN.

Jack
 

DRB

Member
Admin65 said:
I'm not so sure if MDN is being phased out, as there was no shortage of 8300HD refurbs.
no sign of MDN phasing out yet.
Earlier tonight my old SA8300HD DVR got a new firmware update that added features like an additional FF and FREV speed, now there is four speeds in both directions.
 

Mark57

New Member
My SA8300HD had been flaky for several months. Symptoms seemed to be one of the tuners would quit, although it would still try to record but nothing would happen. I got in the habit of rebooting it about once a week to prevent anomalies, especially when the wife wants to watch Idol and it's blank!

It finally died about a week after the latest 'black' firmware update. I could see that it attempted to record a show, starting and stopping after a few minutes about 5 times during a 30 minute show. After I did a manual reboot, all the recordings had vanished(!) including everything on the 750 GB eSATA drive. It would not buffer or record anything, just stream video. Maybe the warm weather was to blame...

I took it into Ware Ct and asked for an identical model so I could keep eSATA. No problem! Got it home and it's been working fine except this week, a show appeared to be recording but it was not. Seems to be a FOXHD bug?. Rebooted and crossed fingers... But I did find the show on-demand, but it disables FF through commercials! Argh.
 
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