Digital noise on the tuner of Sony RDR-HXD870B

  shauleor 12:20 12 May 2008

I have a new Sony RDR-HXD870B recorder. When watching TV (and recording programmes) via the tuner of the recorder, some of the Freeview chanels, such as BBC1, BBC2, BBC3 and to a lesser extent ITV produce digital noise on the screen and sometimes the image is frozen for 3-8 seconds. The other chanels, like BBC4 or Chanel 5, do not produce the noise and when I am watching the problematic chanels via the TV set (Samsung LCD) the picture is perfect. As I am using the same aerial for both the Sony recorder and the Samsung TV, it can't be that the signal is too weak. I tried everything in the recorder's manual, but I couldn't solve the problem. Any ideas, please?

  ravingdave 12:58 12 May 2008

BBC1,2 and 3 are all on the same broadcast multiplex (along with CBBC, and BBC news 24). ITV is on a different multiplex, along with channel 4, ITV2, ITV3, C4+1, ITV4, E4). BBC4 and Channel 5 are on two different multiplexes.

If the signal on the BBC1 multiplex is marginal it could be that the TVs tuner is just doing a better job of holding onto it, whilst the 870 is not. Still worth checking the signal strength on the 870 to see what it says - tune to freeview BBC1, then select System Menu/Initial Setup/Digital Tuner/Signal Check.

If signal check is showing OK, then it could be a faulty unit.

  shauleor 13:34 12 May 2008

Thanks a lot ravingdave for your advice.

The signal strength is unstable. It can be strong enough for a few minutes and then it goes down or for a couple of seconds it can even show no signal. The signal strength moves actually from 56% to 0% and back within the same minute or so. It can stay at 56% for a few minutes and then again it fluctuates. The signal quality is moving in the same way, but from 0% to 100%.

In this case, is it the unit's fault or the broadcasting equipment's? And if the latter, is there anything you suggest I could do? Many thanks!

  amonra 14:11 12 May 2008

Got the same problem myself, signal varying. I know my trouble is due to living in a poor reception area, so probably you are the same. You can try an aerial amplifier to see if it improves matters, they are only about a tenner so no big loss. Other than that, what recption do your neighbours get ? If they are OK then could be your aerial needs renewing ?

  shauleor 14:52 12 May 2008

Thanks amonra for your post.

As I mentioned above, when watching the same channels on my TV set, via the same arial and cables, the reception is perfect. My neighbours in the building, who are using the same arial, they all have TV sets only, but no recorders and they are very happy with the reception on their TVs. I will try however an aerial amplifier, as you suggest. Thanks

  ravingdave 16:02 12 May 2008

Does your TV also have a signal strength meter so you check if the signal strength is fluctuating in the same way. If the signal is also varying on the TV then you are probably in a poor reception area (even though the TV is clearly able to hold onto the signal), and a booster may well work. If the TV meter is showing a good signal with no fluctuation then this would point to the 870 tuner being faulty.

  shauleor 16:51 12 May 2008

The signal strength on the TVset is 95% and stable for both BBC1 and BBC2. For ITV1 it is 82% (compared to 50% on the recorder's tuner). So you reckon the tunes is faulty. Well, I will report it to the vendor, as it is still in guarantee. Thanks for your help.

  ravingdave 18:25 12 May 2008

Sounds like a fault to me if the TV is showing a stable signal, whilst the 870 is varying.

This thread is now locked and can not be replied to.

Elsewhere on IDG sites

iMac Pro review

25 book design and illustration tips

iMac Pro review

Idées cadeaux pour geeks et tech addicts