Sony HDD Recorder

  Newuser939 10:46 19 Jul 2007

I have recently purchased a Sony 970 and would be very pleased with it if I could get it to work correctly. The problem is that it appears (and I stress "appears") to be constantly dropping its signal meaning that when a recorded programme is played back it becomes pixellated or freezes every couple of minutes. When I first got the machine and noticed this problem, I took it back and the Sony Centre replaced it. As the replacement machine is behaving in exactly the same way, I am beginning to think I must have chosen a wrong setting somewhere. I know that it is not a problem with the aerial, the leads or the TV as I can watch the same programme via a Sony set top box without any problem. Has anybody else had this sort of problem or got any ideas on how to solve it please?

  oresome 13:21 19 Jul 2007

I would suggest watching the TV via the Sony 970 integrated freeview receiver for a while.

You can then determine if the pixellated signal is on the reception side, or occurs only after the signal is recorded and played back.

My Sony 870 has both a signal level indicator and quality indicator for the freeview decoder and show something like 60% signal level and 100% quality for mainstream channels and I have far less breakups with this signal level than when using a Panasonic set-top box on the same aerial.

A problem I have with the 870 is that timed recording data using the EPG is lost overnight. I'm awaiting a reply from Sony hopefully to tell me what I'm doing wtong.

  Newuser939 19:14 19 Jul 2007

I have now carried out the experiment suggested by oresome and the problem certainly lies with the reception side. Most of the time I have a signal strength of just over 70% and a signal quality of 100%. However, when the problems occur, the quality figure in particular drops, in extreme cases to 0%.

  oresome 19:41 19 Jul 2007

You seem to have a satisfactory signal level. It looks like you may be picking up interference on the aerial or downlead.

Does it coincide with any appliance in the house switching on, like the fridge?

  Newuser939 16:12 20 Jul 2007

Thank you for taking an interest. However, I think it is all still a mystery. For my latest experiment, I connected the aerial first to the 970, then to a Sony set top freeview box and then to the TV. I watched the same programme live through the set top box and recorded it onto the 970. I could watch the programme through the set top box with no fault at all, but the recorded version had a number of instances of pixellation. Bearing in mind that I had already established that the problem with the 970 was reception rather than recording, it does seem to be a problem with that machine. The only reason I hesitate is that it would seem strange if I have had two machines with the same fault.

  john bunyan 16:20 20 Jul 2007

If the 970 has freeview I would try disconnecting the set top box. If all works well, I think you can alter the settings on the set top box to unused channels. Also do you have a VCR connected as well? I had to fiddle with my set top box to avoid similar problems with the set top box. If the first suggestion works, I'll try to remember the set top box setting I used.

  Newuser939 11:21 21 Jul 2007

john bunyan
Thank you for that. I have tried it with nothing else at all attached but that made no difference. Bearing in mind that the aerial pass through is working perfectly, there seems to be nothing wrong with the aerial lead or signal. The problem appears to be related to what the 970 does with the signal once it gets it - almost like a processing error, though I know nothing about how these things work.

  oresome 14:38 21 Jul 2007

From my own experience, I've found differencies in the performance of freeview receivers.

Luckily in my case the 870 seems much better than the Panasonic STB I had previously.

Difficult to try a model from another manufacturer when you've purchased from the Sony Center!

  john bunyan 14:46 21 Jul 2007

Newuser939. Sorry it did not work. I have a Panasonic HD DVD recorder in one room and an older Toshiba in another room. Have you looked at all the options in the set up menu? Maybe look at changing the input channel option. The Toshiba would not synch. the clock on the automatically selected programme. The shop I bought the Panasonic was helpful in solving my set up problems.
Sorry cant help further.

  Newuser939 14:54 21 Jul 2007

Thank you both very much for your ideas, John and oresome. Just by way of an update, I have now had the 970 on for a prolonged period with the signal strength meter on the screen. At times of break up, the signal strength remains constant at a little over 70%, but the signal quality crashes, sometimes right to zero. It does, therefore, look like a fault with the 970 although it is still strange that I have had two exactly the same.

  Stuartli 15:44 21 Jul 2007

We receive Freeview signals from Winter Hill - over the past 12 to 18 months there have been constant problems with varying signal strengths which can, on occasion, cause the set to switch itself off.

Part of the reason is that the BBC uses the 16QAM transmission method and ITV stations the 64QAM - the former is more stable; another reason is one particular chipset used in the tuner of certain makes and the manufacturer is working on a solution.

It doesn't affect the Freeview set top boxes produced during the ON?ITVDigital days.

However, when the transmitters go fully over to digital transmissions, which will be more powerful, the problem is expected to disappear.

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